Thursday, September 27, 2007

Experientials Vol. 6

Well test number 2 is done for the week, and I found out that I got an A on my test from Tuesday so that was awesome. I am gonna take tonight off and then it is off to Headstart tomorrow, and studying will commence again. I have yet another test on Tuesday and then a paper and presentation due on Thursday. What a life I lead :) I am kinda excited about the paper and presentation though, because it is very much a real life experience. We have to write a staffing report, and give the staffing report, on an actual case study. We were given the artwork to analyze from actual clients and have to write up the report on them. It is going to be challenging, but at the same time it is exciting to be doing doing something that is 100% relevant.

I did feel relieved after talking about Headstart today. It seems that I really only need to concentrate on my first site, and will continue to do so until they feel they need me at the other site, if that ever happens. Which is great because I was feeling a little overwhelmed trying to figure out how I was going to balance both of them.

Again I got done with my test a little early today and so I did another quick watercolor.

And then in class we were talking about the difference between sex and gender. With sex being the biological context and gender being the social context. It is really interesting when you start thinking about it. We were asked to make a drawing about how we define ourselves in regard to sex and then in regard to gender. At first when I was thinking about this I was coming up with about the same thing.

So I drew a figural drawing.

But then when I started to think about it more abstractly I thought about what I thought it meant to be female and a woman, and how I felt in comparison to this. So basically my next pieces were more about the idealized woman and then myself, and of course they are very abstract thoughts.

So that is today in a nutshell. I think I will go take the pups to the park and relax the rest of the night. I am gonna observe my last classroom tomorrow, and then at some point I will start developing a case load. I am nervous about that, but excited too...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Experientials Vol. 5

This week has already been long and it is only Tuesday. We have 2 big tests this week and a test next week and a paper and presentation next week as well. Needless to say I am feeling a little overwhelmed and busy. But we did lots of fun art things today. In one I got to pretend to be a hard kid to work with, but I don't have anything to show for that because I got to rip up the paper... That was fun. But here is what I do have to show.

In this one we were working on reflecting on feelings and owning our own feelings and not projection our feelings on the client. This can be very difficult, because it is hard not to bring our own emotions into it. We were given 3 pieces of paper, each with a circle predrawn and got to choose our materials, I chose chalk pastels.

In the first one, we had to draw what was on our mind as we walked into the room. In this particular one, I was thinking a lot about Derek and him being sick and not being able to be there to protect him (not that mom and dad don't do excellent on this, but...)

Before we drew the second we watched a video of a "client" who was being slightly difficult. In this picture we had to draw how the client made us feel. I felt like the client had me blocked off and would not let me in.

And on the third one, we had to draw what we felt the client was feeling. I felt that the client was being difficult because they felt vulnerable.

This next one is one that I did because I had extra time after finishing my test early. Hopefully that is a good thing, but I should know soon enough. It is a watercolor, I think that I find it very therapeutic.

This one was an interesting one, in which we talked about the native american belief that everyone has multiple names including their becoming name. So we drew our name as we are at this time, and our becoming name as we want to become.

Lastly we were studying Adler and his concept of a magic wand. So basically this drawing is, if you could change one thing and had a magic wand how would it be different. Again I was thinking about Derek, so if you look at this one and the first one in the reflection of feelings series you might see similarities.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Experientials Vol. 4 & Headstart

So first a little about my first day in East St Louis. It started out really rough. First I was running a little late (not really but later than I wanted) and noticed I was low on gas but had not time to fill up, so I was not setting out on the right start. And then the mapquest directions were SO wrong. I went around in circles a couple of times... and let's just say that all the stuff said about E. St Louis and it being sketchy are true. So I was not feeling really comfortable driving around in the area. So I stopped at a gas station for directions. Yeah the attendants were behind bullet-proof glass, and I was definitely the only white girl in the area and they definitely looked at me funny.So one of the attendants told me how to get there, and I made it safe and sound. Now that I know how to get there, it won't be too bad... The site is actually on the community college campus, so once I get there it is good.

So the kids were really sweet. They all wanted me to sit by them or play with them or color with them. They really wanted to eat my attention up. The classroom that I observed for the most part of the day had 14 kids in it from the ages of 3-5 (that is the age group that I will be working with). There is a good mix of girls and boys, but in the school it is predominantly african american with a few bi-racial and hispanic kids. (All the teachers are black too, although the cafeteria lady and front desk worker were white...) So any way some of the little kids came up to me and told me that I was "like him" and pointed to the hispanic boy, I am assuming they were talking about my skin color, although he is still much darker than me.

But all in all it was a fun day and I think that it is going to be a great experience. Today I found out that I will not only be at this site, but also another site in East St Louis. I am not sure how I am going to split my time, or why they decided that I needed two sites, but such is life. So next week I will get to go there too...

And here are some experientials that we have done in the last week:

On this one we practiced our attending skills, with a partner. It was about 5min, a piece, and this is what I drew as I was talking with my partner about moving away and adjusting to school. Not sure if there are any real insights besides the fact that a lot of my pieces look similar.

These next few pieces are from an assessment that we were learning about called the LECATA. It is basically a drawing series that you give people (free choice, self, scribble, favorite place and family) and then assess them based on impressions that you get from each piece. We were supposed to draw these like we were kids. Here I have just put up my free choice, scribble and favorite place. On the scribble, we make a scribble and then turn it to see what you see and make it into that image. So....

And here is a piece that I did in class because I finished up some other work early. It is a watercolor piece.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

School Update

So today I got back my first test.... and I got an A! I am so excited. I have mixed feelings about it though. It was an open book test so that made it easier, but I had been sick all weekend (running a fever of 102°) so I hadn't studied. So I am not sure if I should feel too positive about it. But I am still happy.

Tomorrow I start my Headstart Assistantship, I am a little nervous about it all. And it is funny that I have to be more professional now than I am used too... No more purple hair (at least for now) and I have to take out my nose ring AND my industrial for work only though, not for school. It is just kind of weird. But here are some things that I made for "work". The one is our nametag and the other is our work bag to bring some supplies back and forth if I need to.

I am sure that I will have lots to say after tomorrow, but I thought it was time for an update :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Experientials Vol 3

So today I had my first test... let's cross our fingers (and toes) ;) And I got my placement for my assistantship, I am going to be at the Discovery Center For Little Scholars in East St. Louis and I start next Wednesday. It should be an experience.

Here are some more experientials for you all...

The first one is a two-person effort where we had to illustrate a chapter in one of our textbooks. This chapter was about the helper and the client and their relationship.

This one is a materials exploration. All the different type of materials were laid out and we were supposed to see which ones we were drawn to. I had just been reading about how some clients are intimidated by producing art, but that they may be ok with collage. And so I experimented with that myself. I found that I liked to tear the tissue rather than cut it as I was doing at first.

This one is a free choice that we did at the beginning of my last class today. I used chalk pastels, I like to get messy and blend these with my fingers. I also like how the colors are vivid.

And this last one was done at the end of the same class. We are talking a lot about splitting of personalities, such as the good witch and the bad witch and were told that we could either draw these witches, or 2 fictional characters. So that is what I chose to do. My "bad witch" is some sort of snake character with a pointy beakish nose and my "good witch" is some sort of buddha cyclops creature who has no mouth (maybe to keep all the secrets in?)...

So yeah... that is how school is going... I have a paper to write now about a naturalistic child observation that I did yesterday—which is just a fancy way of saying I watched some kids on the playground!

Experientials Vol 2

So the second week is over...

So here are some of the experientials from this week:

The first was a really neat one with a partner. One of us was the helper and one was the client. We were not supposed to talk at all, so it was solely based on the art. The client drew a picture of something that was on their mind, and then the helper drew a response. I wish that I had the helper and client pictures together, but I only have my pictures from the experiential.

It was a really interesting experience, like I said I wish that I had the other images to make a whole picture of it... but it was a great way to show that you can understand people through their art alone, and speak through art alone.



And here is a free choice image. I used markers and had two of the basic lines in my head. The rest just came:

Experientials Vol 1

So here are some of the artsy things that they have me doing in class right now. Don't worry, there is a lot of reading associated with all of this too...

For this one we were asked to do a nametag that represented how we wanted to be seen as a therapist. I found this shiny paper and thought about wanting to be seen as happy and shiny :) After putting it all together, people commented that my design background was apparent... Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing...

On this one, we were just asked to do apiece in response to the day (the first day). I didn't really know what my response to the day was though, but I knew that I wanted it to be vibrant. And from there I just let the piece shape itself...

This one was just a free drawing where we could choose the materials and the subject. I wanted to draw a tree because I was thinking about growth, and my personal growth...

And lastly, this is one that required a little more thought. Now granted on most these other pieces we are given 20-30 min. On this one we had about 45. But we were given the task to create our lifeline, based on what is important to us. I immediately knew that I wanted it to be a circle. And then I thought of the different layers that I wanted to represent. The actual events, and then the emotions that were associated with the events. So on the outside of the circle are the tangible events, and these are the ones that everyone else can see. On the inside of the circle are more of my internal emotions at the time. And then at the very center is the flower and it represents how I am growing as a person. I left a large portion of the circle unfinished, because there is so much more of my life left to live.

So that is a lot of my week in a nut shell. It has been a very hectic week, and a lot is going on, but I made it through it. This is such an exciting time in my life. To think that I have always wanted to pursue this career path, and now I am here and that is what I am doing.
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