Sunday, November 27, 2011

Graduate School

Wow, I have not written in this for such a long time. As for a small update on my life, for those of you who care to know: I graduated Westminster last spring (May 2011) and spent a month in Europe with two friends from Moab, Brandon and Roy. After that, I returned to the motherland to hang out in the desert, get in touch with the sun, grow some food, cook, and work at the Moab Brewery.

I started graduate school in the joint Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health program at the University of Utah. Hopefully I'll be finishing up my degree in 3 years if all goes as planned.

Most of the people in the social work program are interested in going into clinical practice and doing therapy. Me... not so much. However, since the U's focus in social work is clinical practice, I am taking a class called Practice which is supposed to help me hone the skills of my inner therapist. I am learning a lot of great things to take with me into my practicum (a fancy name for an internship) where I do clinical assessments of clients court-referred for drug offenses, lead a substance abuse group, and conduct individual therapy sessions.

However, probably the most valuable thing I've taken from my practice class is how to look more closely at myself. Why do I constantly find myself procrastinating? Why am I fairly unwilling to admit that my friends have faults? Why do I have a mistaken belief that I allow other people to hurt me, and that if I don't believe that they've hurt me the pain isn't real? How can I be a better sister, daughter, student, and employee? Can I love others for who they are instead of who I think they should be? Can I approach the world with gratitude and wonder instead of taking it for granted?

I don't pretend I've been learning the answers to all of these questions... In fact, all of the questions I've been asking lately don't seem to have definitive answers. The answers change and evolve just as I think I've discovered how the world works and my role in it. I do know that I constantly become aware of new bits and pieces that together form parts of me. The more epiphanies I have about myself, the closer I come to being in harmony with myself, other people and the world at large. Sure, the harmony doesn't last for long, but knowing that it exists (regardless of how elusive it may be) can be a comforting feeling.

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