Monday, August 2, 2010

Will I have a career or am I doomed to forever be a student?

So where was I?  Oh yes!  Making a plan of attack for May.  This plan looked something like this:
  1. Talk to seminar Professor
  2. E-mail psychoanalytic mentor
  3. Meet with Comps grader
  4. Read Nancy McWilliams
  5. Read more Nancy McWilliams
  6. Read a third Nancy McWilliams book
  7. Organize all class notes that could be of possible interest while taking the exam
Implementing this plan took me from March until the day I picked up the exam in May.  I had two weeks to write my exam, which was picked up on a Monday.  By Friday of the first week I had six pages of nonsense written (I still thank my ENC1101 teacher and Anne Lamott for this writing approach).  I woke up on the first Saturday morning, looked at the Pilot and said, "I'm redoing it.  I'm squeezing the client into the theory, instead of the using the theory to describe the client."

I re-wrote that part and completed subsequent parts all by the close of the first week.  This meant I had a whole week to edit, add and refine my work.  I passed the first draft off to my mom and the Pilot who both edited it and asked many questions to help me clarify my writing.  I woke up at some other point that week and decided to rework one more aspect of the paper and then was completely confident in what I had written and only needed to edit and pay attention to page limits.  I finished it at 7:30 pm the night before it was due, printed it the following morning and turned it in, among much panic.  Remember, if I didn't pass the test this time around I would not be graduating on my projected graduation date.

Additional pressure about graduating on time was coming from other places; my practicum site.  Back in March (the same week I found out I hadn't passed the exam the first time) I was interviewing potential interns for next year.  After all the interviews had been conducted, my supervisors took me out for a dinner meeting to discuss my thoughts, their thoughts and hopefully land on a decision.  We all agreed within the first 5 minutes of the meeting who we would like to offer the position too (although she ended up declining, having taken a position elsewhere); which left a lot of time to chat about other stuff.  My supervisors had a hidden agenda all along; THEY OFFERED ME A JOB!!!  So passing the test in May, not only meant that I would graduate on time, it also meant that I would employed upon graduation.

On June 18, 2010 I returned to school to pick up my exam results.  The Pilot was unable to accompany me there this time, but requested I call him as soon as I got the envelope so he could be on the phone with me when I opened it.  I called (3 times before he answered), opened the exam, and read aloud, "Congratulations, you have passed!"  I was jumping up and down in a dark, abandoned classroom as I continued to read further comments that included this gem; "You met or exceeded our expectations on every critical domain."  I hung up with the Pilot, called my parents and then my supervisor.

Ten days later, I had finished my required 750 hours of intern work and walked into the Lighthouse as an employee!  My graduation ceremony is in November, but I am officially practicing therapy with an MACL!