After I came back from Costa Rica, Mom and I drove to South Dakota so I could take my preliminary exams. That's 2.5 days of testing. 4 hours of testing that is closed-book, and 16 hours of testing that is open-book. You answer 24 questions in 20 hours.
Mom and Luna got some time to cuddle while I worked. My mom was amazing with making sure I was hydrated, fed, and wasn't bothered. I know it's ridiculous, but I wouldn't have found time to eat till after I turned in the exam. I was exhausted after it was finished.
After that, my mom and I relaxed for a bit and then she left to go back to Atlanta :(
I started my third year in my graduate program.
Based on the picture below you can see....I'm not really quite sure how I feel about that. I've taken classes every summer now and prelims wiped me out...maybe it wasn't the best idea to add up how many years I have been in school, haha.
Regardless, it was go time! And wow, did things get busy really quickly.
|This became my motto, haha.|
I took 12 credit hours fall semester in addition to starting my first year of practicum.
I worked 19 hours a week at a clinical placement site and it was amazing. I saw between 13-16 clients every week, and loved it. Every day was a great day, even when it was really tough. Amazing experience.
Per usual, then things got even busier.
|werk, werk, werk|
....But I still made time to shove nachos into my mouth at the Ribs, Rods, & Rock-n-Roll Festival here in Vermillion. I love nachos.
For 2.5 days out of the week I would see clients, and then for the other 2.5 days out of the week I would attend classes, do homework, work on my dissertation, etc. Weekends were obviously reserved for homework, papers, assignments...and maybe grocery shopping?
I also went to the annual South Dakota Psychological Association conference with friends in my program and we stopped at the Badlands for some awesome sightseeing. South Dakota is REALLY beautiful.
Then a month later I went to Morris University for another conference.
After that, our program participated in the annual Bowl-o-Ween event and I went with two other people in my program as the Witches of MacBeth.
Then on Halloween I was a Powerpuff Girl (but I kept saying Powderpuff, much to my sister's embarrassment). This was also the night I lost my jacket, ID, money, cell phone...only for it to show up days later at a friend's house. No idea how it got there.
|Brandon, Lisa, Matt, & Euo|
Side Note: Luna was and is in love with my costume. She claimed it as her own immediately and still uses it to this day as a toy.
I drove home for Thanksgiving and had my first Thanksgiving meal in over 5 years. It.was.so.tasty.
I also left Luna with my parents because my end-of-semester schedule was so tough. I was at the library until 2 at night and she was really lonely. During this time I also attended a friend's wedding AND MY BEST FRIEND CAME TO VISIT.
Abby Silva and I have been friends since my freshman year of college. She came right after a light snowfall and we had a blast going around and drawing things in the snow, going out to eat/drink, and catching up. I love this woman.
She's basically the best.
At the end of the semester, I met up with my mom in St. Louis! To celebrate the end of another semester we saw Wicked.
Luna and I were reunited, but I really think she was fine without me....mom and dad gave her cheesecake, for goodness sake.
I mean, really, look at her begging for crab dip. She even has her little toes streeetched out to get it, hahaha.
I celebrated Christmas with family and brought in the New Year relaxing with them. It was a lovely change of pace from the school year.
In addition to spending time with my mom, I got breakfast dates and smoothie making time with my dad. We tease each other about our smoothies and about whose will taste better.....just fyi...he is a way better smoothie maker than me.
My mom and I drove up to Vermillion, SD for the start of spring semester and during that time figured out that Luna was really sick. So I took her to the vet.
To put it mildly, it was a really traumatic experience for both of us. She had horrible kidney stones and a terrible terrible urinary tract infection. Luna ended up needing an IV to force liquids in her and I ended up crying at the VET'S OFFICE. My sweet girl was a screaming mess and ended up getting a needle into her bladder while SNARLING AT EVERYONE. I had never heard her make such noises or act like this! She was so scared. My mom had to comfort me a lot, Luna was mad at me for 3 days, wouldn't even LOOK at me, and I thought that she was going to need surgery.
She eventually forgave me and cuddled with me again. And thankfully she doesn't need surgery.
Throughout the semester Luna continued to hunt and drink out of various tall cups of water...knocking over several and then freaking out at water touching her paws.
I continued see clients, took more classes, worked on my dissertation, got a grant and worked on research, saw more clients, and did diagnostic testing for a few additional clients.
I was also prepping for oral examinations during this time. I was pretty exhausted, anxious, and stressed. This wasn't really a good time in my life, honestly. There's no doubt that I love what I do, but I pushed myself far too much this year.
I ended up getting kidney stones and friends took me to critical care to figure out what was wrong. Like I said...not a good time in my life.
But still, every Thursday night I got together with Matt and Euodia and relaxed for just a bit.
My parents came up during my Spring Break and we traveled around South Dakota together. They were amazing for helping me to relax, and I've dedicated an entirely different post to our travels.
Toward the end of the semester I completed orals...a 2 hour examination of my clinical skills and knowledge. I started with comprehensive exams in the fall and ended with orals in the spring. Orals was oddly fun, much to my surprise.
At this point I was running on EMPTY and was trying to chug water to avoid any more kidney stones.
And then school ended.
And....then summer classes started. haha. Can a girl get a break?! I took two classes this summer in addition to working on my dissertation.
At the end of summer I was able to go on another vacation with my parents in Colorado after I presented at a conference. That vacation was amazing as well and I made another post about it, too.
And after summer classes ended, school started one week later.
Now 4th year has begun.
Now I'm working at the VA conducting neuropsychological assessments while taking classes, peer supervising others, seeing clients, working on my dissertation, and applying for internship. Life is...still a bit hectic.
Hope you all are doing wonderfully well.