Posts Tagged ‘students’

Made It!

March 14, 2016

I got through the last day of my three day weekend of classes.

With a little help from my friends.

I got a ride in this morning again.

And a ride after school, although I did not go straight home, no, I headed to the Castro instead and did something that I may rue at a later hour.

I had an Americano at 5p.m. while I was waiting for my friend to join me and go to dinner.

I probably should not have but I was trying to get out of the rain and the mindless milling about the Castro.

It’s fun to window shop, but not when it’s pouring out and the wind is blowing your umbrella inside out.

I ducked into Revielle and the coffee was delicious and I may be awake a little longer than I suspected I will, or.

I may not.

The Day Light Savings Spring forward made for a short night of sleep and I am pretty sure I’ll be able to find my way to sleep.

The question I’m actually debating is whether or not I have the chutzpah to go to yoga class tomorrow before work.

I would like to, especially since I was unable to make any yoga classes this weekend.


Sleep may really be the answer.

Not like I have some challenging week ahead of me, but running three days straight on a slight sleep deficit does tend to add up.

I was joking with a member of my cohort about being sleepy and how that must mean someone in my class was a pathological narcissist as one of the transference characteristics is extreme sleepiness in response to the defensive structures that the narcissist has built up.

If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, I don’t exactly either.


I am beginning to see that I may, that is, I may be getting it.

The material is really starting to ooze in everywhere and also I see parts of myself that are beginning to have more cohesion with the program and with my cohort, with the process of doing the work and the work, well, working on me.

I joked around a little yesterday about realizing that I had dated a closet narcissist, a melancholic and depressive, and a probable borderline personality.

That’s so sexy.


I have, however, not dated them for as long or I have avoided going out with them again and really, hey, hey, look at that, it’s not them who are the problem.

“So I realized,” I said to my dinner companion as we swapped stories and caught up and loved on each other, I am so happy to have this new friend in my life, “I needed to let him go and walk away.”

No texting.

No reaching out.

No waiting for the phone to ring.

Because all the people that I have dated have one thing in common, aside from mental illness, ha, just kidding.

They have all dated me.

I am the one with the issues.

As I shared with my new “therapist” today in our first dyad session.

I was a bit challenged by being the client, and it’s just me, being me, but I worked my way through it, and realized, even if the therapist didn’t, that I have done a lot of work.

Oh so much work.

On myself.

And the work, well, it can ease off, I could use a break.

I don’t feel like working on myself right now.

I feel like taking a break.

I feel like.


Yes, perhaps.

This is a good time to not self-improve and just be delighted with who I am and the work I have done, to acknowledge, if just for a moment the work and I then accept it and let it sit for a while.

That feeling of acknowledgement.

Not that I’m going to sit too long.

I am like a shark.

I must keep on moving or I will die.

I joked with my “therapist” that a moving target was harder to hit than a still one.

And that’s really it in a tidy little package.


I get to sit with my results, not for too long, I don’t want to rest on my laurels, but I do want to take a moment and just notice for myself that I showed up every day on time with the readings done and the papers written.

I showed up and I participated.

I showed up and I connected with people.

“I just want you to know how much I appreciate the service you do, just by being here, just by being you,” she said today at lunch out of the blue.

I was not expecting that.

I was also told by someone in my cohort that my colorful outfits and flowers in my hair and my authenticity of self was a really refreshing thing, he called it, in fact, “a breath of fresh air.”

Grateful that I get to be of service just by being my authentic self.

Such a gift.

I had a really good day today and maybe that’s the coffee talking, but I really felt connected to my friends at school and then this evening up in the Castro, a roast chicken dinner with my new friend and an hour or so in a church basement to set me up just so for the rest of the week.

It’s just a work week.



I will probably give myself the day off tomorrow from school work.

At least a day of grace period before I dive back into the reading and the next round of papers that will need to get written.

But I am officially half way through second semester, first year, of graduate school.



Crazy good.

I made it through March.

I have two more months left.

Then New York.

And a summer off.

I am more than certain I will be busy with other things between here and there, more adventures in dating, in letting go, in soft surrender, in acceptance, in lightening up.

And yes.

Having fun.

Yes please.

More fun.


Just as I am certain that I may not rest on my laurels, but I will take a moment to appreciate, with kind eyes, the work I have done.

Good job kid.

Good freaking job.

Cracked Open

August 12, 2015

I knew it would happen.

I have been on the verge for days now.

I’ve only been here in Petaluma for the graduate school retreat for 2.5 days.



It is boot camp.

But at least it’s boot camp in a really pretty place.

Not that I have seen much of it, just a few glimpses walking between classes and going to the dining hall for meals, but you know, the view is pretty when I have gotten to take it in.


This morning.

So sweet.

So special.

I was sitting out on a deck behind the building in which the first class of the day was to be held writing my morning pages and I heard a rustle in the grass and looked up.


A doe and her fawn.

Just there.

Not even ten feet away, more like five or eight.

I don’t know that I have ever been that close to a deer.

The doe looked at me and the fawn regarded me, then I bent to my pages and they bent to their graze and it was a perfect communion of you do your thing and we’ll do ours.

They nibbled grass so close to me that I could actually hear them chewing it!

That was an awesome moment.

And there have been many awesome moments.

Bonding with my cohort.

Bonding in ways that I did not know was possible around issues I did not even know to think about in ways that I had no frame for contemplating previous to being here.

The defect of being the perfect little school girl, having to have my readers all read and my books all read and taking notes and listening attentively and sitting up front and raising my hand.

Here, I’m here, “present,” I said when my name was called for roll this morning.


The gift of getting to be here.

Not that many people get to go after their Masters degree.

Not that many people get to have this kind of experience.

I am hanging out with some pretty smart cookies and doing some deeply intensive, thoughtful, powerful work.

And I am working.

Let me not put too fine a point on it.

This is serious shit.

And I keep showing up for it even when I wanted to vomit in my mouth today and pee my pants at the same time when my professor handed out additional readings and said, oh there will be more posted to the syllabus on the web and here are the instructions for the five papers (FIVE!) you have to write for the course as well as a presentation that has to be done partnered up with another person in class, and the final project, which we’ll talk about tomorrow.

I was going to start hyperventilating.

I got full.

I got so full of information I stopped taking any in.

My partner looked at me, “are you ok?  Do you need to use the bathroom?”

“I’m not going to pee my pants, I’m just overwhelmed,” I said and laughed, but it wasn’t a laugh that went much further than my mouth, it wasn’t a body laugh or a joyful laugh, it was a forced exhalation of air, and a let’s move on to the next part of this exercise so we can break for dinner.

The entire cohort wandered to the dining hall in a haze of books and papers and comparing notes with the other half of the cohort and their reading schedule and who like which professor and interestingly enough, some folks switched and even though I was having a hard time navigating the amount of work that was just handed to me in my brain, I could see that I was in the right class for me.

“Have you felt this before,” the woman sitting next to me at dinner said when I told her how overwhelmed I was and the experience of being handed more work and just trying to organize it all in my brain.

And I realized I had.

We started talking about it and I shared about how no one else in my immediate family had gotten a college degree, though my mom did do some college courses, she never got her degree, which means of course that there is no one in my family who has gotten a Master’s degree and how I have had to rely on myself to go through this process.

Although that is not necessarily true, I have had my support networks, but they don’t look like traditional support.


I just realized how hard and for how long I have been trying to get out from underneath the pains and traumas, and dramas and neglect, the abuse and the historical ramifications of my family and it was hard work, constant struggle and effort and more to get where I am and then to get into and through college, and I don’t blame my family, they did the best they could with what they had, but I was always looking for a way out.

School was my way out.

“And you got out,” she said, and patted my hand, “you’re here.’


I felt tears prickle my eyes.

I did get out.

And I am here.


To be in this gift, to be a gift, to myself and to my community and to my family.

A full meal, a couple of cups of coffee and a refilled water bottle, back to class for another three hours.

Where I broke open and broke down.

We had the most powerful lecture and the significance of the work that was done is too great for me to write in great detail–I have to go to bed soon and get up and do it all over again tomorrow as well.

Suffice to say I was not the only person in tears or who had to excuse themselves to have a cry in the bathroom or blow their nose, many, almost all of us of the sixteen, were in tears, we all worked through some stuff, we all processed, we all really got aboard the therapy bus and the journey really is happening.

I saw things.

I resolved things.

I grieved.

Oh man did I grieve.

I also yelled at God a bit.

Then I listened to my fellow cohort and we all shared and it was stupendous.

This is such a gift and I know not what the bloom will look like on the flower.

But the shell of the seed has germinated.

The husk is cracked.

And I have adequately, sufficiently.


Watered the seed with my tears.

I almost didn’t write tonight.

But I am glad I did.

Just to let the tears dry a little on my face and unload a little.

It’s good.

It’s all good.


It’s so very, very, very.

All the things.

The Good News

August 11, 2015

Day one is done.

Twelve hours of classes.

9:15 a.m. to 9:15 p.m.

Granted there are some breaks in there.

Breakfast was served, and it was lovely and accommodating and the staff here is great and have been super helpful about my dietary stuff–namely no sugar no flour–so I have happily eaten and enjoyed eating.  My first night, first dinner, not so much, ended up being just salad, but since I spoke with the kitchen, all is well and the food is really good.

Then straight from breakfast into the first class setting.

Three hours.

Small break in that three hours and a lot of listening and note taking and writing and focusing and being present.

Then lunch.

Which was shorter than it seemed, since I was reading during it and also getting help from a fellow in my cohort who is super tech savvy and helped me figure out how to open the pdf file on my computer for my student loan deferment paper so that I could fill in the text part of it and electronically sign it.


Was that a relief.

I was really grateful to have that taken care of then all of a sudden, hey, it’s time for class again.

Fortunately there is coffee on tap.

Although I had to parse it out later in the day, I did not want to be up zooming around with energy late tonight.

I just finished doing another stint of reading as well, just now, before getting to my blog.

Which, I have learned, without asking and I intuitively knew it anyhow, that we are encouraged to take some down time, to do some of our own writing or journaling.

Yes sir and ma’am I shall be doing so.

I need to download.

I need to decompress.


It’s only the first day.

The fear is abating and I am getting into the groove of what is happening and learning the names of my fellows in the cohort.

Lots of different folks from all over, France, southern and northern California, India, Boston, New York, and of course many of us from the Bay area.

Friendships are quietly being made, not all are quiet though.


I want to say to the chatty Cathy in the next room.

Fortunately said lady is not in my cohort, but she is in my fucking personal space.

Grateful that there are quiet hours, which started 27 minutes ago and if she can’t pipe it down by the time I am done with the blog I may say something.


I don’t need to cause waves on day 1.5.

But I will need to sleep.

I got up today at 7 a.m. and that seemed to work for me.


It was not fun to have to wait for the bathroom and I swear the person in the room across from mine heard my alarm go off and bolted for the shower before I could get there, but I got off to a good start and did my morning routine in and around going to breakfast.

My only gripe about the facilities, and it’s really a small one, is that the dining hall and the dormitories we are in are a bit apart from each other.

It’s about a ten minute walk from one to the other and I had to plan on what to carry with me to best utilize my time.

I suspect that is a skill I will be honing very well over the next three years, how to carry more with me, how to best utilize my time, how to maximize time and space to squeeze as much reading in where I can.

A couple of times I even wound up in the class room fifteen minutes early to get a jump, not really a jump, catching up on the reading that needed to be done prior to the class, and that was good.

Most of the students arrive right as the class is starting.

I have been well-trained to get somewhere fifteen minutes early.

I take that time.

I get organized.

I get myself situated.

I feel calm.


I read what I can before the class starts.

This is a habit I will develop.

It is akin to multi-tasking, but just a little different.

The time at meals, dinner too, being a time when I got as caught up on the reading as I could, but was quite sure to give myself the time to sit and decompress a little, to socialize, to sit next to people I had not sat next to earlier at lunch or breakfast.

Time to also vent a tiny bit with my fellow students and see where they were in the process.

I had breakfast with a second year student and shared about my reader snafu, having bought the wrong reader for two of my classes and she shared with me that she had not even read the readers before her first retreat in her first year having joined the school very late in the process and having just moved to the city.

I felt better and ahead of the game.

I never have felt completely out of my league and that is a comfort too.

Plus, one of my fellows loaned me a book that is important to the class I took this afternoon and evening and I spent an hour or so reading it after the class let out.

At 9:15p.m.

That still floors me.

To look up from the assignment and realize, oh my god, it’s after nine in the evening and I am still in a class room.

On top of being in the intensive classes and doing the reading, I also got to write reaction papers in my class, by hand, which was a relief, but man, I wrote four of them for one of the classes.

This is no joke.

This is some work.


The good news.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

I had a moment of exquisite connection in a role-playing scenario where I was the therapist and the client interaction was amazing and I got it, I’m really going to do this.

I have felt that in little snippets all day long.

The contempt I had for certain aspects of the program have completely faded and I am present, accounted for and learning my pants off.

And with that.

I bid you adieu.

Time to sneak in a few last pages in the reading before bed.

See you bright and early.

Graduate school boot camp day two!

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