Warning: nerdy post about graduate school

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

One of my many projects last semester took the entire semester to complete and was broken down in several parts. Additionally, it was focused on teamwork *yay* and personal work styles and creating applications to a new model of a comprehensive school counseling program. This model is also known as the ASCA (American School Counsling Assocation) model in which the role of a school counselor changes to fit the changes in our society, and shifts from the traditional role of intervention to a more… modern role of prevention. Didja get any of that? 🙂

Sure, my group did whine and gripe throughout the project because well, it took up a lot of time and it was difficult to comprehend our assignments at first. I must admit now that while I’m unsure I’d be willing to undergo the same experience again, I did learn a lot about myself as a co-worker and am now able to make applications here at NMSD. I’m seeing a lot of aspects in the counseling program at NMSD that could be modified to fit the ASCA model and possibly improve the program as a result.

Of course, when I begin thinking about that, I suddenly think, “Oooh, I just made an application of what I learned in school. Goodness, I’m a nerd now.” It is cool to think about it because I do often wonder if I DO have the skills I need to become a school counselor and if I CAN make it out *there* after I graduate. I wonder if I really learned everything I needed to know at Gallaudet. Of course, I anticipate some stumbling once I begin, no matter how much training is under my belt… every school and every system is SO unique and different from each other… and no one school and system is perfect. No such thing as perfect anyway.

The beginning of this semester-long project began with a fun activity, though! When you’re under Dr. Cheryl Wu, you CAN’T avoid activities – and frankly, you don’t want to miss any of them! This was called “Pumping the Colors” and was a day-long activity in which the mental health counseling and school counseling programs were divided into their respective groups to become two teams. Both teams basically worked to create their own structure that will hold several water containers (each container is a different color)and, well, pump the water from one end of the structure to the other.

It may seem, well… pointless. We AREN’T training to be engineers after all, so what’s the point? *ta-da* Teamwork… Since this was the activity leading up to our big project focusing on the ASCA model, we needed to take a hard look at our own individual work style and how these work styles fit together in one team – especially our own team as we work together to complete this project. This activity was actually a LOT of fun and we were successful… so we started of the project with a big high. Now that I think about it, it was probably a hidden agenda – they likely wanted us to start with excitement so we would get a good start on the project 😉

Without futher ado – a sample picture of the activity’s result!

Pumping the Colors

I’d post the picture of what the entire structure actually looked like as a result of our day-long hard work (and some crankiness here and there)… but I don’t want to cheat the next group out of THEIR hard work this fall! 🙂

Fun, I tell you. Graduate school CAN be fun at times. I do think the group you’re stuck with for any graduate program really makes a difference. It’s weird being here at internship on the other side of the country away from some of my favorite classmates and awesome faculty- and it’s also weird being away from campus when the semester is on a roll and I’m missing all the action and people! Aww.

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