Sunday, October 5, 2014

Grad school begins!

I started grad school on September 24th, and already I'm about to start my third week! Crazy. But time flies when you only have two classes (and 100+ pages and 2+ assignments) scheduled each week.

First day! I look so ready.


On the morning of my first class in four years, I had a meltdown. I picked a fight with Tyler about dogs for no good reason, and then I sobbed openly for ten minutes (he could only stay for three of those minutes because he had to catch a bus, and I don't fault him for that).

Then I got ready. I wore the most "grad school" outfit I could cobble together in my frazzled state of mind: black pants, black cardigan, chambray button-up shirt, and loafers. I wrangled my hair into a half-back and tried to make it look less frizzy. Then I sat around for several hours because my class wasn't until four o'clock. I got nervous and antsy and went to campus an hour early so I could sit outside my classroom.

My classmates appeared to be equally as terrified, and we exchanged nervous whispers before the PowerPoint got fired up. But then, everything was fine, as you might have guessed. I stuttered a lot, like Porky Pig-level stuttering. That was pretty terrible. But the next day, I didn't stutter, and I made the class laugh, and I felt smart.

For my second week, I had one online class, and did my first peer counseling session the next day. We're in triads (although I'm an odd student out so I rotate a lot), which means that we each assume the role of client, observer, and counselor during class time. I made an excellent client, if I do say so myself. (It helped that I had already gone to hypnotherapy* earlier that day, and knew what I wanted to talk about.) And I actually was a pretty decent first time counselor. I did a lot of dumb stuff, of course - I didn't pay attention to the time and went over the 10 minutes I was allotted, and I tried for too much, too soon as a result, thinking that I needed to fill the time. But I felt surprisingly comfortable and I liked it! That's really exciting for me. (Now I have to watch my recorded session and I feel like it's going to make me cringe. But I can only get better, right? Unless I get much, much worse.)

Afterward, I rewarded myself with one delicious lavender cupcake... and five more cupcakes for later. Oops.

*Hypnotherapy! I told my mother one day that I wished I could just be hypnotized into loving exercise, and the next thing I knew, I had a Groupon to Amour de Soi. Hypnotherapy is not actually hypnosis, as it turns out, but I did feel deeply meditative and safe. I liked that I got to keep my eyes closed, especially since we did an exercise that involved my hands talking to each other about my feelings re: fitness. Surprisingly, I came to some interesting and useful conclusions through the hand-talk exercise. For example, I mentioned that I liked pole dancing class because I could employ "public solitude," and feel that whatever my body was doing, it was the right thing for me in that moment; I realized as I spoke that I could transfer that nonjudgmental way of moving and being present in and appreciative of my body in different spaces, even during boxing class. Anyway, I would recommend hypnotherapy if typical therapy isn't your thing, and I would definitely recommend Amour de Soi specifically.

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