Monday, January 12, 2009

Day 1, Term 4 of 9 Million Begins

I really enjoyed my psychopathology class this morning - in part because it is a class that I get, stuff I actually know and have worked in - which is not always the case here. I know, or really I have just been told, that I come across as really clinical - or as if I am diagnosis or med-happy - but that isn't the case at all! I just think it is important to have a common idea of how to view and diagnose mental health issues, in particular with the larger and professional mental health community. I don't believe that it is (the DSM-IV TR - Diagnostic Statistical Manual or bible of diagnosis) filled with absolute truths or that it is right all of the time - but it is an outline that helps guide treatment, usually.

Anyhow, that wasn't the point. The point was that after going to class I find myself really sad that I am going to be in school so long and not out there working AND that I had to drop classes I really wanted to take. So, yes, woe is me I know. Nonetheless there is some general malaise hanging over me and it really needs to go away.

My professor made this great point about how people kill themselves for school, they come out damaged in many ways. That during grad school people often get married, have kids and/or get divorced. He experienced some huge health issues whilst working 30hr/week, earning his PhD, being married with kids and doing some other stressful things. He says that we shouldn't do this program in 2 years but I am not doing it in 3.5 years and somehow this makes me feel like a failure.

Isn't that ridiculous my professor says it is a bad idea, and yet I still beat myself up. In part it is that I feel I will continue to be this anonymous student in this program. This student that does well on her papers and presentations but that the professors don't remember the name of. This is not in my head, this is my experience - I just don't stand out. The only time I ever did was in advanced Social Welfare classes and that was because I boiled over with confidence, I had experience and I did projects and jobs on campus. Here I am neither a weak link nor a brilliant star. I will graduate with good grades, do well in my internship and no professor will run into me on the street and say, "Heather! It is SO good to see you. When are you coming back to teach a class?" As was the experience of many an adjunct professor.

I don't mean this as whining, just as a little note of why I get sad. You can say for me tojustdo something to stand out, but until I have the confidence and until I am able to speak up without swallowing my words, rambling, spontaneously crying or simply sounding like an idiot, it just isn't going to happen. That is why I was going to volunteer for the Traumatology Program, but I need a job and don't want to risk anything that gets in the way of that.

Oh happy doomsdayer that I am today.

I best go resume my task of looking for a job, then going and cancelling my Y membership and cleaning and not being pathetically unmotivated!

I know, I am SO fun to read the blogs of. Sigh, this shall pass.


Jenny said...

I never felt like I stood out at all at Princeton, until the very last year, and only to a few different teachers.

The Princess Abdicated said...

Don't beat yourself up. I think its good that you are not killing yourself to get through school especially when you're trying to work at the same time. It's best that you work at the best pace for you. Don't worry about the pace others are working at or whether or not you stand out, it's the fact that you made it through the class and made the grade that you wanted that matters. Remember you're not doing this for anyone but you, so don't worry about the teachers just worry about getting through each class in a way that will make you happy but won't break you down.

About Me

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Portland, OR, United States
I am a daughter, sister, friend, wife, counselor and colleague. I am a work in progress. There may be some pieces out of place and things might be messy, but it's okay. I would rather accept that I am still unfinished than think that this is it. You can find my comments on faith and spirituality on my blog: And my comments and anecdotes on life at:

Books That Matter. Well, some of the many that matter.

  • Magical Shrinking: Stumbling Through Bipolar Disorder, Chris Wells
  • Pride & Prejudice, Jane Austen
  • An Abudance of Katherines, John Green
  • Dave Pelzer
  • Franny & Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  • I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Sloane Crosley
  • The Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris
  • The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel