Posts Tagged ‘letters of recommendation’

Doing This Thing

January 10, 2018

I have officially made the decision to go after my PhD in the Transformative Psychology program at CIIS.

I talked to the dean of the school this morning and she gave me some lovely insights into the program and what I need to do to apply for the program.

I basically have it all covered except for the personal statement.

I need two letters of recommendation, one of which has to come from my academic advisor in my program–he’s confirmed that he will write me a letter and we are meeting at lunch on the first Friday of the school weekend, basically a week from this Friday.

The other letter will come from my supervisor at my practicum site, who actually offered to write me a letter before I had asked him.

I need to e-mail him and say, yes, please do write that letter for me!

In fact.

Hang on a minute, I’m going to go draft that e-mail now.

Yes.

One more thing out-of-the-way.

I was also very grateful to discover that I had been correct in the reading of the PhD application demands–the scholarly paper the admissions department requires can be one I have already written for my current program!

That is super nice.

It’s an 8-10 page paper written in APA format (American Psychological Association).

The dean expressed that they want to see an example of my writing abilities and that I could absolutely use a paper I had already written, it did not have to be an original work.

Whew.

That is such a nice relief.

I really didn’t want to have to write a paper on top of getting my stuff together for this last semester of my Master’s program.

I’ll still need to provide plenty of other things besides the sample of my academic writing and the two letters of recommendation.

There’s also the application fee, $65, so worth it, frankly.

And a resume with pertinent and relevant experience listed.

My transcripts.

I will be very happy to provide those, especially with my current 4.0 grade point average, thank you very much.

A goal statement outlining what I plan to do with the degree once it is conferred.

And.

A four to five-page personal statement.

I mean, that’s a fair good amount of stuff.

But.

Doable.

So doable.

And, as I mentioned, the not having to write a fresh academic paper for the admissions team feels really nice.

The dean told me the deadline was end of February.

Once the application is sent in the admissions team goes through the applicants and decides who they want to call in for an interview.

At which time I would need to give some ideas about what I want to pursue, although said ideas do not have to be concrete, I can change what I decide to do the dissertation on if over the course of the program I find something really amazing and compelling.

But.

I do think I have been narrowing it down and although my idea is big and there’s a lot to explore, I’m super excited by the prospect of exploring it.

I feel like it will help me heal some trauma and in turn, I hope that I will be better equipped to help others walk through their traumas as well.

I’m super happy that I have made this decision.

I felt so freaking good when I got off the phone with the dean, I knew, I just knew it is what I am supposed to be doing.

I’m supposed to get my doctorate.

I am supposed to be of service.

I get to keep learning and growing.

It is fucking exciting.

A little scary too, but I don’t feel it will be that much harder than the work that I have done to get my Masters.

In fact, in some ways I think it will be easier.

The classes are self-directed and timed, I won’t be going into a classroom, I’ll be doing the work on my own, I’ll have my own agency to move at my own pace.

I suspect that I will want to move faster rather than slower.

The dissertation could take longer, the program is designed to be done in two years, but I sense that more than a few folks take longer to get to the dissertation.

I don’t want to do that.

Not to be worried about at this point.

I have taken as much action today as I possibly could in regards to the next steps.

I went to therapy this morning before work.

I went grocery shopping after therapy and managed to have the call with the dean of students from my car before I went into work.

I worked a full day.

Then.

I went and saw two clients this evening.

I e-mailed my supervisor at my practicum site for the letter of recommendation.

And.

I filled in a few more things on the doctoral application.

My god.

I’m really going to do this.

I am going to get my PhD.

Fuck.

My life is amazing.

AMAZING.

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Affirmation

December 10, 2016

I got some today.

And.

Man.

It feels nice.

Really nice.

Really fucking nice.

I mean.

REALLY.

Especially since I’m heading into the applying to practicum and interning and all that jazz and in my last weekend of classes for the semester.

It feels good.

I mean.

The only thing that I think would feel better is if I was done with my Psychopathology paper, but that’s a ways off yet and I’m not going to focus on something that I can’t do much about at the moment.

Rather.

For just a moment.

I am going to bask in the niceness of being seen.

I got back a paper from my Family Therapist professor and the comments on it really made me happy to see.

The end one especially.

“Carmen!  Thank you for being so brave, you will be a fabulous therapist!”

Yes.

Thank you.

It’s nice to get that kind of reflection back from a teacher, even if I didn’t always see eye to eye with the class, it came around, and it feels good to be seen by my teachers and to be confirmed in my path, in the directions I am going.

I also attended a practicum fair and made some nice connections there and got some good suggestions and some great resources.

There is so much to learn and so many skills to hone.

And also so many skills to acknowledge.

I have a lot of talents and I am going to have to list them and advocate for them and say, hey, look at me, I have what you want, I turned around shit hole of a life and I made something of myself and I’m smart and capable and resilient and strong and I have mad skills with the babies and the little ones.

I need to become my best cheering section.

I’m working on it.

It helps that I am showing up for school and the program and taking suggestions and trying.

The showing up.

All the time.

And grateful to get to do it.

I took the train today and guess what?

It didn’t rain.

haahahahahahaha.

Fuck you weather.

Oh well.

I am glad I took the train in any way, it was slippery and wet and the rain had cleared off but only by a little bit, it would have still been treacherous getting into school during Friday morning rush.

Instead I took the train.

I put in my ear phones and I listened to music.

And I was happy.

Happy to be heading into school.

Happy that I was going to get to see my friends.

Happy to be listening to good music.

Music makes me happy that is for sure.

I bopped a long in my seat during the rush hour commute and I didn’t give two fucks.

I smiled.

I looked at the houses passing by the train windows, the wet grey fog wrapped around the hills, the moisture dripping down the tree leaves.

It was beautiful.

I was grateful and it was nice to sit still and just watch the city float past and listen to happy music on my way to school.

I’m dancing now in my chair.

Well.

I’m swaying along to the music.

And it is a fine, fine, fine thing.

I feel like I carried that buoyancy with me through out the day.

The fair went well and I connected up with one of the women who works at the UCSF Infant/Parent program that is based out of General and I shared my experiences and what I have done and we made a really nice connection.

I got all the information I needed.

And I will need to do a lot of work to get into the program, its prestigious, but, I felt the connection and it felt good and right and strong and my skill set would be very valuable to them.

Advocating for myself.

Seeing what I have to offer and really putting it out there to the world.

I also like that the program is psychodynamically inclined.

As am I.

I love psychodynamics.

It speaks to me.

After the practicum was over I hopped over to Psychopathology and got myself sorted with cup of tea and had a chat with my professor.

She asked how the practicum hunt was going and I expressed that of course I would be applying to the school sites, but that I was also really intrigued with the UCSF Infant/Parent program out of General Hospital.

“Really?  You are?” She asked, her head tilted, a slight smile on her face.

“Yeah,” I said, “I’ve been a nanny for over ten years and it feels very compelling to work with parents and infants and helping new parents work with their kids, and well, it’s psychodynamically inclined and I am very interested in that modality.”

“Yes, it is,” she said and her smiled broadened, she leaned in towards me, “I did my practicum work there.”

What!?

OMfuckingG.

“You did?” I said, my eyes must have gotten as round as saucers.

“I did,” she said and her smile grew larger.

“Um, well, haha, this is where I ask you if you would mind writing me a letter of recommendation,” I said, a little bashful, but shit, fuck, holy moly, my professor did her practicum and interning there?  I had to ask.

“Of course!  I would be honored to write you the letter,” she said, “absolutely.”

Oh yes!

Yes!

Yes!

Awesome sauce.

We talked about their, UCSF’s schedule, and the requirements needed and when I must have the application in, by February 14th.

Valentines Day.

Of course.

What better way to show myself that I am lovable and worthy of love than applying to a prestigious program that will lead to an internship and look hella good moving forward whatever career path I end up going towards.

I was tipped off that it’s better to apply earlier rather than later as they get inundated and they only take four interns.

I would be competing with all the schools–Berkeley, USF, State, and of course, UCSF.

But you know what.

I got this.

I can feel it.

All the little serendipitous things.

All the work aligning and showing up and doing my best and hey, who better than to help new parents connect with their children?

Heh.

Oh.

It just felt so lovely and validating and it just really dropped in my lap.

My professor offered to meet with me off hours, off campus sometime over break, we’ll commit to timing by the end of the weekend and I’ll get to pick her brain about the program and ask her what I need to have prepared and all that.

And of course.

Hahaha.

Ugh.

Just a little added pressure on myself to make sure that my Psychopathology paper is off the charts.

I sort of, kinda of.

REALLY.

Want that letter of recommendation.

I am worth it.

I deserve it.

Excited.

The future is hella bright.

And.

Happy.

Joyous.

Free.

All the motherfucking time.

All the time.

Seriously.

 

 

 

Grounded

December 8, 2016

I will not be riding my scooter the rest of the week.

Eek.

Tense ride home in the rain, cold, and wet, and slick and yuck.

The weather calls for rain for the rest of the weekend.

Damn it weather.

I got places to be.

School.

Work.

A wedding.

I’ll either be using cars or getting out early and using the MUNI, which sucks, but hey, at least I have options and for that I am grateful.

I hate blowing the money on cars.

But.

I also hate the waste of time that is MUNI.

If I was on a more direct route it would be fine, but to get to work would be either a half hour walk from the closest train station or a transfer to a bus, the 22 Fillmore, and still a walk, but more like 10 minutes.

Either way a pain in the ass.

I’d rather spend the extra dollars and take a car.

The next couple of weeks don’t look good weather wise, lots of cold and lots of rain.

More rain than I have seen in years.

Sigh.

Oh well.

I am starting to count down the days, it’s getting closer, the last weekend, the last weeks of work, the starting a new job, the time is just sliding right past.

“What do you mean, next week is your last week,” the middle boy said to me tonight at dinner time, “where are you going?!”

I explained that I would be starting with a new family in January.

Next week the temporary job that I have had for the last two months will come to an end.

They have been a great family to work for and I am super grateful that I have gotten to know them, and that they happen to be psychiatrists who will happily write me letters of recommendation for practicum doesn’t hurt either.

I will miss the baby girl the most, she really digs me and I her.

She’s passionate and smart and likes to dance.

Nothing there I like.

Heh.

We had a big dance party tonight, the middle boy wanted to have a dance contest and I queued up some Kungs on my Spotify and we got down and boogied.

It was a fun day with them.

The rain kept us inside and cozy.

The oldest boy read for most of the afternoon.

I would bring him snacks and peel his clementines, and I got him a snuggle blanket and just checked in with him every so often.

He’s a peach.

All the family.

Really.

“Wait! I know!” The middle boy looked at me, eyes big and round and brown, ruffled with the thickest, prettiest eyelashes, “we can come a visit you at your house! Once a week, or even better, once a day!”  He nodded his head solmenly at me.

“Oh, my gosh, that’s the best idea!  I’d love it if you came and visited!”

Of course, my tiny in-law might be a bit cramped with a 21 month old, 4.5 year old and 6.5 year old, and their parents.

Maybe we’d have a dance party.

I’m listening to some French house music right now.

The dancing helps.

Gets me in my body, my sore body, I’ve been doing lots of yoga recently, making hay while the sun shines.

That’s figurative, if you haven’t realized it’s been raining buckets all day.

Although I did avoid the worst of the down pour having got home before it really unleashed.

It wasn’t raining when I left and I figured, hey, I’ve ridden home before, I can do it later.

But.

It was so cold.

And even with my sweatshirt, a jean jacket, and my scooter jacket, my scarf, and my gloves, it was chilly.

Plus.

It was slick.

I can ride home, I did ride home, I have done it, I may do it again, but when it comes right down to it, there’s no need for me to be miserable and there’s no need for me to be out on my scooter if I don’t need to be.

It’s stressful riding when the roads are slippery.

I don’t need any more stress in my life.

Thank you very much.

I will get up in the morning and get one more yoga class in before the weekend of class.

Otherwise it won’t be until next Tuesday that I will be able to get back to the studio.

So, even though I am a bit sore, I am going to go in and just take it easy and be gentle and keep the momentum going.

I do feel better in my body and I can notice some changes, my waist a little tighter, my arms a bit stronger, my posture straighter, and well, it does seem to lessen my anxiety quite a bit.

Not that I have any reason to be anxious.

Psychopathology paper.

Child Therapy presentation.

Which, yes, I worked on today before and after work and doing the deal.

I wrote out a vignette for the teacher and for my partner in the dyad and I fleshed out what I want to do and I feel quite confident that I can do the ten minute presentation without too much hassle.

I emailed my partner today and we chatted about the project, but more, we made plans to have lunch, AFTER, the presentation, the following day, when I will also be leaving school early to go to the wedding.

I may need to line up a few other lunches with folks, the class is having a end of semester soiree Saturday night after class.

But.

I will be at the wedding, or by that time, the wedding reception.

No last goodbyes to my classmates.

I will still be in a full day of classes on Friday and Sunday, so I will have to sneak some time in with my favorite people.

God.

I can not believe how fast it’s going by.

Quick.

Fast.

Like the red fox jumping over the lazy dog.

Just need to figure out when I’m going to wedge in the time to write that last paper.

Sigh.

Not tonight, though.

Not tonight.

It’s late my dears.

Time to watch the last part of the last episode of Westworld and have one more spot of tea before I retire.

It’s been a day.

I deserve a little down time.

I do.

I do.

Good night.

Sweet dreams.

You know the rest.

Chili In A Pot

November 26, 2016

Naps on the bed.

You read that right.

This lady took a nap today.

Once a year sort of thing.

I cuddled under my grandmother’s afghan and said, screw reading any more for school, I need to rest my eyes.

It was divine.

Delicious.

Sublime.

I had chili simmering on the stove.

I really like cooking and it’s nice to have a little something simmering all day long and tis the season for the comforting smells and snuggling in blankets.

Oh.

And in case you’re wondering.

The day AFTER Thanksgiving is the best time in the entire year to go shopping at SafeWay.

My God.

It was a ghost town.

I wasn’t planning on doing any shopping today except for groceries and it was a very pleasant surprise to have nary a soul in the store with me, to get in line, to not wait, to get out the door fast and efficient.

Lovely.

I also went to yoga today and that class was small too.

It kicked my ass though, which I think may have accounted for the needing to rest and have a nap this afternoon.

Aside from that I didn’t do a whole lot.

I made some phone calls.

I did my morning writing.

The aforementioned yoga.

Groceries.

Cooking.

And.

Yes.

Lots of reading for school.

I started in on my Psychopathology class and that might have been what put me to sleep.

Heh.

It’s dense material.

Really dense.

And I’m pretty damn grateful that I have had so much time to do the reading, it will facilitate me being ready to write my final papers and concentrate on my last projects for school semester.

It has been a gift.

That and to continue to address the laundry that I need to stay on top of.

I have my second treatment at Hair Fairies tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

I’m ready for this.

I want to take care of it and move the fuck on.

It’s supposed to rain, which precludes me taking my scooter, but I’ll hop in a car and get over there first thing in the morning and get it dealt with and out of the way.

I may do a little wander around the Fillmore area and window shop, it’s a fun neighborhood to do that.

I’ll bring my umbrella and go for a nice long saunter in the rain.

Maybe buy some Christmas lights and a tree ornament or two.

I actually got one tonight when I went up to the Inner Sunset to do the deal this evening.

Wishbone was still open and also pretty desolate.

You got to love San Francisco during the holidays, the city just empties out.

I got the cutest little glass fox in frosted blue with glitter and a little furry tail

Adorable.

I’m thinking about getting my tree on Sunday.

Which may be the earliest I have ever gotten a tree.

I may hold off until next weekend, when it’s officially December, but the temptation is strong.

There is a tree lot two blocks away!

They were unfurling the trees today.

I was happy to see a number of them that will fit well into my little studio.

I will be continuing my Elvis themed “Blue Christmas” with my blue lights for the tree.

In fact.

I am going to re-invest in the large blue ceramic glass bulbs that I had two Christmas’s ago.

They broke when I was monkeying around trying to add some mood lighting to my house after Christmas had passed.

I want to get them again.

I really like the old fashioned bulb shape.

They make me happy.

Christmas is a happy time for me.

Busy as fuck.

Yes.

But happy as well.

Joyful.

I love sending out Christmas cards.

I have my boxed sets, one from my co-op, one from Rainbow Co-op, the collection I got from the Tuileries last Christmas; I have my holiday stamps.

I send out at least 15 cards every year, usually more, last year I think I sent out 20 or 25.

Lost count.

I usually do.

There is just something special about taking the time to sit down and address them and think about the person I am writing to and let them know that they are in my heart, it’s a wonderful feeling.

Plus.

I love getting cards in the mail.

I can’t expect to get any if I don’t send any out.

It’s the one tradition, and the tree, that I keep up with since I don’t bake Christmas cookies anymore or make Christmas candy.

I flirt with the idea every season, but I really don’t want to have it in my house.

The best scenario would be to make everything at someone else’s house.

I don’t foresee that happening.

However, I do generally get a least one afternoon of cookie baking with the family I work for.

I am pretty sure the mom will want me to help with the Christmas cookies again this year.

Today is the official beginning of the count down.

Four weeks from today will be my last day with the family.

I’ll catch a red eye that night to Wisconsin, spend a few days in the snow at Christmas and be with my best friend in Wisconsin and her family, so happy I get to have their company.

Four weeks and I’m done.

It’s been a trip.

I’m ready for a new adventure.

There will be lots of them soon.

I still need to get my practicum stuff prepared and write a resume and put together letters of reference and apply to the 6-8 sites the school recommends.

There are more than 6-8 sites, that’s just the number they recommend one apply to, cover all the bases.  I hear it’s pretty typical to not get into your first pick.

I’m ok with the work, I know it has to be done and despite the napping today, I did do a lot of work that is going to facilitate me moving forward and having my assignments done before I got to Wisconsin.

In fact.

I’ll be done by the weekend of my birthday.

That’s the plan anyway.

If not sooner.

Sooner I’m actually hoping.

But I get a head of myself.

The next thing is to deal with my head.

Literally.

So excuse me, I have another load of laundry to wash and some chili to put up for the week.

Fingers crossed tomorrow I’ll be cleared.

Super ready for that.

Seriously.


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