Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's been so long...

Hello everyone!! I am back! It has been quite some time since I have gone on one of my maniacal rants, so I decided it was definitely time to come back!
Well for those of you not stalking me and in the know, I have moved from Provo, Utah to Boston, Massachusetts! GO SOX!I am actually living in Brighton, MA which is just barely east of down town Boston. I am attending Boston University to get my masters in School and Community Counseling. GO TERRIERS!! This will lead me into any number of different possible careers, and I have not even remotely decided between them, so don't bother asking yet. I know I want to work with teenagers, preferably ones that are labeled high risk in some way. What can I say? Normal is boring. It is a one year "intensive program" ( translation: we absolutely kick your trash for the entire time you're here) where you do your course work and your internship all at the same time. I am interning at English High School- the very first public school in America. Do not be fooled- more than historical it is G-H-E-T-T-O. We're talkin' there is a fairly even split between Latino and black students, and then, as it was phrased to me by one of the permanent school counselors, " And then we have...MAYBE three white kids."
Me: " wait...three percent? or"
Counselor: " Oh, no. Three total. Three people."
The headmaster is a big, hugely energetic, super positive black guy who took one look at me and said ."....uh oh. you're a little size not so big aren't you? you're not going to faint, or pass out, or cry on me are you?" I assured him I've seen all kinds of fits and had all kinds of kids ALL kinds of mad at me in the past. Bring it. ( He seemed pretty satisfied with that response)
Other than than, I have moved into a HUGE and BEAUTIFUL house. It is seriously giant. One kid that came to a party here last night said, " Wow. It looks like one of the Harvard buildings!" The house is four stories and is divided into two groups with separate entrances, etc. There are five of us on the top two floors, and four girls on the lower two. All the girls in this house and the house next door are all members of my church. I am TOTALLY LOVING my roommates. I get along particularly well with two of them and we are having a ball. There was a HUGE party at my house last night that was ridiculously "off the hook" as my lovely roommate Molly says. Those of you who know me well are probably not surprised that I spent about...1/3 of that time hiding in my roommate Courtney's room...and the entire last 30-45 minutes in my room. In my pajamas. Really just wishing everyone would get the heck out of my house. Yeah, that's right. I'm a party animal.
Well that's where I am, and what I'm up to. Life is good.

However, what would an Ashlie blog be if I did not get up on my soap box about something. So a few things, increasing in their seriousness as they go.
A: Driving in Boston: Insane. The only entity that can survive in this place without getting tragically lost is a GPS system. (that's right. they speak. they have accents. as far as I'm concerned, they're entities) I have now purchased a GPS system. This will save my life...probably literally.
B:Last night I was told that I look like an Osmond. As in the Osmond family. Donny, Marie...etc. I have NEVER gotten that before. This is very curious to me....
C: I am beyond sick of hearing about Michael Jackson. Seriously. Let it go people. There are about 85 million more newsworthy topics. Let it die.
D: Welcome back to higher education in a place where most people are not religious. I have a class that is about the theory and practice of counseling. My teacher is the head of the department, has a PHD and is clearly an EXTREMELY intelligent woman. She is, however, on the younger side, and in the two, three hour sessions of class, she has used the F less than 30 times. me....just seems a bit excessive. I'll grant you...and may heaven strike me dead for saying it..her swearing is usually amusing. It's not like..angry, or offensive because you feel like she's upset or a totally explosive person. It's pretty mellow, entertaining-ESE in nature. But at this point, I just feel it is beyond over the top. And in bad taste.
E: Last and finally. In this same class we were discussing the contextual model of psychotherapy which basically states that it doesn't matter which of the many many models of psychotherapy you choose from which to work so long as you are relatively consistent and that certain common factors are always in practice as they are responsible for the largest percentage of efficacy in therapy. One of these common factors is that you, as the counselor, and your client need to believe in what you're doing and that it will provide some kind of relief from whatever problems the client is experiencing. Our teacher posed to us a question that had once been asked of her.

"If a client came to you and legitimately believed in their heart and soul that they were possessed with some kind of evil spirit, would you feel comfortable prescribing exorcism and sending them to an exorcist?"
This discussion went several directions, one of which made me very uncomfortable. The girl (sitting RIGHT next to me..AWKWARD...) said that no, she wouldn't because she's not a religious person, quite the opposite actually, and went on to give her view that she would not work with a religious person because she couldn't believe that religion would help them, and therefore would be compromising her own set of beliefs and standards to work with them. However, she also CLEARLY expected for it to work the other direction (as in that I as a religious person could not be so close minded as to not with a non religious population.)
This was just infuriating to me on so many levels. First of all, which I brought up, this person coming to therapy believe they are possessed is not necessarily so religious. In fact, it might be because they are NOT so very religious that they are believing that they are possessed. We don't know, we don't have enough specifics, this is a pretty broad question that all of us would probably need to take in a lot of specific situational factors to come up with an answer we were comfortable with. However, even if this person WAS so very religious, I am really sick of the stigma placed on "religious people" that we are so very hard to work with, and so very "boxed in" in our ideas. How completely exclusive and close minded of my classmate to refuse to "compromise her own set of beliefs" to work with someone who believed that religion would help them. I must not force region on my clients, because that's close minded ( which I agree with in the professional world, you shouldn't do that) but it doesn't work both ways. Either you're inclusive in your clientele or you're not.

The other things is that according to when I last checked last on an NBC study, 90% of Americans did not want "In God we trust" removed from being the US motto. Non religious people are not the majority, they are simply making the most noise.
For those of you dying to know: I did say something. Super nicely,and several comments later so it was not directed right at this girl. We still sit next to each other and play nice and all get along just great. ( You basically share every class with these people, so making enemies is not so wise).But still none the less, I made my point. The old Ashlie still lives.

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