Saturday, October 11, 2014

B-ham 'Bama

I figured it was about time I talked a little bit about school!

I am now over halfway through my first semester of doc life, and it is going well! I go through phases of loving it to feeling overwhelmed and unsure of my choice to feeling intellectually and personally fulfilled to wondering what on earth I will do with this degree (and sometimes all multiple times a day)! The coursework has been very manageable with my job, and I enjoy being in class twice a week. It makes my weeks busier, but I still have time to relax, workout and spend time with friends (and even go on trips)! It's been a good decision thus far and is opening up my eyes to a new world of education.

I just got back tonight from the SACES conference, and I am feeling fulfilled and rejuvenated (and in amazement of the wonderful world we live in- traveling always does that to me)! This could not have come at a better time. I was feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself following class this week, but this conference made me feel like this career track is not only something that I can see myself doing, but could be something that will fulfill me as an educator, intellectual, counselor and person.

I love flying and looking through SkyMall!
I was not overly impressed with Birmingham (sorry!), but I did get to explore a little bit of the city before the conference began. A classmate and I found a great restaurant that we went to twice on Thursday and stumbled onto UAB at Birmingham. We walked a good part of the city but sadly not to any of the great shopping we heard about. I still can’t get over how big the hotel we were at was, though- it was like a little city with so many connections to conference centers and other hotels (and the beds were SO comfy!) I loved how our room looked over the atrium! I love cool hotels :).

The sessions overall were good. I went to a total of twelve over the course of Friday and Saturday, and I got wonderful ideas about programs and procedures I can implement in my school (namely great college/career and STEM ideas) and also good ideas for dissertation topics and doctoral life success. I now am not as intimidated to present at conferences and am more sure of myself, my identity as a practitioner and student, and my abilities. I see where what we are learning about in classes translates to the world of academia. And it excites me!

I also thoroughly enjoyed meeting other counselor educators, especially those that are new to the profession. It felt good to learn from their experiences, but also I (more importantly) liked their personalities! That is so important because these people could be my future coworkers, and they seem like good, solid people who want to make a difference in education, which says so much about the profession and what my future could look like. I also felt very comfortable asking questions and sharing my own insights in the sessions and round tables. They had a great program for students in the interview process, so that is good for me in a few years (it also seems like jobs are plentiful)!

It was also fun to spend time with all the VCU doctoral students and professors. They are a fun bunch:) The evening activities where we hung out more casually, ate/drank, and networked were great! I am looking forward to getting more involved in programs at VCU and hopefully writing with these ladies!

After the luncheon on Friday
Great end to the week! I love professional development:)
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