It’s Like You’re Trying To Speak To Me…

So it’s been a good minute since I’ve posted anything, but if you’ve ever experienced graduate school then you understand how my life spiraled out of control once “Thesis” appeared on my schedule. Thanks for sticking around fam!

I’m not going to give you an update on Grad School because no one needs that kind of negativity in their life. You’re welcome *Maui Voice*. Let’s talk about friendship instead!

In the spring of 2016 I fell into a conversation about race relations with an acquaintance at church. When I say “fell”, I mean that I made a half-joking comment about our country moving to a ‘us vs. them’ situation across race lines that sparked a 3 hour-long discussion with this guy, who we will call Arrow, that I had barely exchanged pleasantries with, but such is life right?

Fast forward to winter 2016 when I’m on break from school and I haven’t spoken to Arrow since Spring. I wasn’t thinking about it because you know, Grad School *jazz hands*.  Arrow, my sister, and I go to lunch which ends up lasting until dinner time (I didn’t have anything to do, but homie probably should’ve gone back to work, but whatevs *shrug*).  You ever have a friend where either you don’t talk at all or you talk to each other for hours, there is no in between? This is our friendship. Weirdest thing, yo!

Arrow is the epitome of the white, southern, cisgendered male. He loves Jesus, his momma, his guns, and his truck. His life is legit a country music song. I am a first generation Nigerian-American asexual cisgendered woman. He’s conservative (tragic) and I’m liberal(ish). Clearly, we don’t have anything in common (except a love for Jesus) so we have a hard time finding common ground, but we try. We more often find ourselves talking past each other, but I think we’re getting better at communicating.

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This friendship is fascinating to me for two reasons: 1) We engage in a mutual exchange of ideas where we actually listen to each other. 2) We are learning from each other. I honestly feel that I have become a better person from our friendship and its only been 4 weeks!

When I think about how our friendship will progress I wonder if we will ever be able to find common ground. Arrow thinks that the biggest barrier in our communication is a lack of shared experiences. I would agree with him *gasp*. To potentially remedy this issue, Arrow has suggested we engage in some shared experiences. We’ll do something he’s passionate about (shooting) and something I’m passionate about (TBA). I think this is pretty exciting!

Maybe after some shared experiences it won’t feel like we’re talking past each other. Arrow is the Marlin to my Dory 🙂

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I lived…

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Dear reader, I have completed my first official semester of graduate school and I’m just thankful that I survived. The last time I updated was at the end of the first 7 weeks of the program and I had successfully completed my courses with a 4.0. The next 7 weeks were not so pleasant.

I took Research Methods and Psychopathology in the second term of the semester. Psychopathology was a breeze. There was a lot of work involved but nothing too taxing and the teacher was extremely laid back, which made the course very easy. Research Methods was a whole different animal.

My first foray into Research Methods was this graduate level course. I did not take RM in undergraduate like everyone else in my cohort so my knowledge of the course material was very limited. I spent the majority of the four hour long class completely lost….not a fun feeling at all. On top of being lost in the course material, my professor would assign multiple assignment each week that were due, including over Thanksgiving break. Since I have to drive 2 hrs to class every week on top of working in the morning before I leave, I quickly got burned out. To be honest, I almost quit the program.

Between driving, working, school work, and other responsibilities I was rethinking my decision to go to Grad School at this time. If not for the fact that I want to be a psychologist and this degree being one step closer to that goal I would have quit. I am sure that there will be many times throughout the next 18 months that will make me wish I could be content to be a Trophy Wife, but at this time I am just glad to be on break for the next 4 weeks.

Until next time friends!

The Road So Far….

Hey y’all! I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but Grad School can keep a girl busy. We have come to the end of the first 7 weeks of the Journey To Master’s (JTM) and it has been the most interesting of rides.

I personally feel that these last few weeks have been pretty easy to manage. I’ve been looking for a better job because with working both jobs that I currently have, I still don’t make enough income. At this point my parents are having to support me and I’m not comfortable with that arrangement. The hardest time I’ve had in the program was week 5 when I had 2 research paper’s due, an exam, and a practice NCE to take all in the same week. I didn’t get a lot of sleep that week but I made an A on both papers and on the exam.

I was even able to face/conquer one of my biggest automotive fears. I got a flat tire on the Interstate while headed to class. The newer Hyundai models don’t come with a flat tire so I had to have my car towed to tire shop and get the tire replaced. This happened 20 minutes before my class was supposed to start and I had a presentation in class that day. It was stressful, but it was handled pretty easily and with little fuss (thank God for Roadside Assistance). I did find out that all four of the tires on my care were pretty bad so the flat tire was a blessing in disguise. I was able to get a deal on four tires so now my car has 4 awesome tires and a spare in case of emergencies :).

I am on break next week before starting my second round of classes and I must say that I am looking forward to the break. I plan on spending the week basking in glow of my successful first half of the semester and mentally preparing for the second half of the semester. I would also like to start a new crochet project…

You’re Going To Go By That?

I started Graduate School last week and it has already been an Experience. I’m getting back in the swing of studying and turning in school work.

If I was to provide a grade for my first week of school, I would give it solid A-. My professors seem knowledgeable and supportive and my classmates are alright. Two of them are my Sorors so that’s a major plus 😉

As introverted as I tend to be in social situations I have already made two friends in the program. I think we’re going to be a great source of support for one another these next two years.

I must share a hilarious story from the first week. It has served to provide me with a little chuckle all week and hopefully it makes you laugh as well:

It was the first day of class for my Human Development graduate course. It was a typical first day: classmates introducing themselves, teacher handing out the syllabus and introducing herself, etc. I have one of those names. The kind of name that is always mispronounced by the teacher or substitute. After 21 years of having teacher, professors, and employers stumble over my name, I’m quick to speak up and help them pronounce it properly instead of allowing them struggle. I knew my professor had reached my name on the role when she paused, stuttered, then simply decided to spell it instead of risking pronouncing my name wrong. I pronounce it for her. She repeats it back then asks, “Are you going to go by that?”.

I didn’t initially respond because I didn’t know if she was serious. When I realized that she was asking a legitimate question I informed her that, “yes I would like to go by my name”. What’s crazy about this story is that she asked two other students in class if they wanted to go by their names when she called them on the roll…they had names you would find on a Coke bottle! A week later, this story still makes me and two of my classmates literally laugh out loud.

Looking forward to seeing how week two of the program goes!

Finished Crochet Project!

So it’s been a while since I have really been able to work on a crochet project. I still have a lot of WIPs on my hooks, but I am so excited to be able to say that I have completed something!

I crocheted this gorgeous Chevron patterned lap blanket for a friend who was married last November. The colors are her wedding colors. I hope she likes it!

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The pattern is a Granny Ripple Pattern by Birdlebee Williams Designs (can be found on Ravelry). It was really fun to work up and doesn’t take that much time to do. (I was exceptionally unfocused and then overwhelming busy so it took me forever to finish this project). The pattern is very pretty as you can see. I think it would look gorgeous no matter what colors you use, but I think that about all Ripple Patterns :).

The Start Of Something New

So it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here about anything, but I’m back now!

Speedy Update: Since my last post I have completed exactly one crochet project (seen here), started working at a job that love, lost the job I love, and applied/was accepted into Graduate School. Let’s focus on that last part, shall we?

History: I graduated from undergrad in 2012. I was accepted into the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at my undergraduate institution but was unable to attend due to finances. This was the first of many setbacks I had on my journey to Grad School. In 2013, I applied to a Mental Health Counseling program that was more affordable and closer to home but was not accepted into the program. I got a job working at a local foster care agency in the same year and I felt like things were moving in the right direction. I knew the job was going to be beneficial for me in regards to resume building and experience working with in my chosen career field. In 2014, I applied to a Graduate Program again. This time I was confident that I had submitted a strong application and would finally be able to move forward in accomplishing my goals. Again, I was rejected from a program. At this point I was feeling really down. I began to question my abilities, maybe I wasn’t good enough for graduate school. It was beyond frustrating watching my peers pursuing their dreams when I felt stuck in mediocrity.  What was even more frustrating was the fact that I felt every door of opportunity I had was being consistently shut in my face for the last few years.

Jan – May 2015: When 2015 began I made a resolution that I would be in Grad School no matter what. I applied to two programs that I was confident would accept me. I was invited to interview at North Carolina State University for their Mental Health Counseling program. I was so excited! Finally things were moving in a positive direction! I drove to Raleigh for my interview on a clear Monday morning in March. I was nervous, but excited because it has been my desire to go to school in North Carolina for years. Driving through Raleigh, I was buzzing with nervous energy and couldn’t wait for my interview. I went to NCSU early so I would have a chance to get comfortable on campus so I would be prepared for the interview. As I walked on campus, I was not at peace…I didn’t feel comfortable at all! I was so surprised. When I had visited The Triangle previously I loved it and felt completely at home. I figured that I was just tired from my long journey and would feel better after I had the pressure of the interview off my shoulders. This was not the case at all. The interview was a group interview, which I was expecting. What I was not expecting was the fact that I disliked everyone in my interview group. I disliked the way the professors described the program. There was simply just an overwhelming feeling of disgust. When the interview was over, I couldn’t get out of Raleigh fast enough! A few days later I received notification that I was accepted into the program. What was I going to do?! I thought and prayed hard about what to do. This was it! The moment I had been praying about for years and now I didn’t want it. My heart was very conflicted. I decided to turn down the acceptance because I didn’t want to invest money and time into a program that I was not passionate about. I felt good about my decision until I got notification that I had not been accepted into the other program that I had applied for. Now, I was back in the same boat – no Grad School prospects, but this time it was my fault!

May – July 2015: I was still determined to be in school this year so I began researching more Graduate School options. In my previous search for Graduate Schools I had come across a program that I had evaluated as a last resort option if my other plans did not work out. The reason for this was because the program was very far from where I lived and would require a sacrifice that I was not willing to make for the sake of schooling.  Two years after I had dropped this school as an option because of location, I researched it again and discovered that the institution had a campus that was much closer to me. Again I was filled with hope that I had possibly found the Graduate School for me. I applied to Brenau University’s Master’s of Clinical Counseling Psychology program at the end of May, had an interview and was accepted by the beginning of June! My heart could not have been more elated! I would finally been able to take the first step in accomplishing my goals!

What I have learned most from my long journey to Graduate School is that God is still and always will be faithful. What I didn’t mention in this post was how God has used these last three years to refine me to the point where I KNOW that I want to spend my life helping at-risk youth reach their full potential. It took me three years of having opportunity after opportunity close to me, but everything was leading me to a program that would provide me with the education, experience, and connections necessary to accomplish my long-term goals.

Rejected