How’d I end up in the Land of Enchantment?

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I was reflecting earlier on my experience here in New Mexico thus far, and thinking about how much I’ve gained from my internship experience already. I am eagerly anticipating what the next few months will bring me. I officially graduate in May, but I decided to stay at the school until they break for the summer in June. I don’t like the thought of leaving the school a month before seniors graduate and before students go home to a no-communicatin zone… I want to be there ALL the way, and well – I’ve got no solid plans after I graduate anyway 🙂

I think I’ve had the quite-common experience of nearly being overcome with anxiety when thinking about what I’m going to do and where I’m going to end up after I graduate. I mean… I’ve lived my entire life in routine and security. I attended school in the same school district in the same town from preschool to high school graduation, and I immediately attended college. I stayed until I graduated – then I immediately attended graduate school, which happens to be at the same college. Now that I’m nearing the end of my collegiate years, I’m kinda freaking out.

Of course, I’m ready to move on and actually get a job or be led whereever I should end up. I’m becoming more and more curious about where I’ll end up… I just have NO idea where that will be, and that is a cause for anxiety for the anal-and-always-planning-way-ahead-of-time lil ol’ me. I could return to Michigan – but I’d be bored and I wouldn’t gain the new experiences that I could get in other states or countries. That leaves about 49 other states and tons of other countries. Yep. I also got curious and explored job postings – do you believe that I’ve only found one school for the Deaf that has advertised for a school counselor?! Anxiety galore!

I ended up in New Mexico for two main reasons: (1) I love the Southwest and (2) the stories that last year’s intern shared with me convinced me to contact NMSD. I was quickly accepted and welcomed to the school. So far, I feel I’ve been truly welcomed here and fully involved in the system at the school. Due to this, I’ve learned SO much about the system and I’ve been able to reflect on the areas of interests I’d like to pursue.

I really want to pursue play therapy and advocacy for Deaf children. New Mexico is one of the poorest states and I’ve been observing how much that has impacted Deaf children throughout the state. I’ve also been observing the impact of the lack of resources for Deaf children with other needs, such as vision needs. It is quite difficult to find specialists for Deaf-Blind children here, and it bothers the hell out of me. Finding such resources is probably more of a social worker’s expertise, but I believe school counselors can play a role in becoming an advocate for children’s needs and providing support for them and their families.

I’ve been thinking less about where I’ll end up after I graduate and focusing more on the present happenings… I wouldn’t mind staying in the Southwest. It’s too soon to make any promises, but I really like how I feel here and I’m beginning to search for my options here.

I miss Gallaudet greatly so I’ve made plans to visit during Rockfest weekend, which will add to my weeklong visit during graduation week. It’s going to be tough to “let go” during graduation… but I suppose it’s time 🙂

Low Road to Taos, NM

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