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Posts tagged “b.s. in psychology

Date Night

Josh and I popped into our favourite Mexican restaurant last night- a little place called La Loma on Eastern Blvd. which sells authentic Mexican tacos (and ice cold Coronas). Afterwards, we went to see Alice: Through the Looking Glass in 3D at the theater. It was pretty phenomenal. 🙂

Critics are panning it but I’m wagering that many of them are curmudgeony old farts who’ve long forgotten how to connect with their inner child. Josh and I were laughing and crying and fascinated by all of the pretty colours and CGI. (We clearly need to get out more.) 

I’ve been out of school for just over 3 weeks now, and I’m happy to say that I haven’t done a darn thing. At all. I’ve downloaded around 7 different games and have a large stack of library books on the table that I’m positive I won’t read. I’ve discovered that I have a thing for acquisition as opposed to actually reading. That said, I think I’m still decompressing because I’m really quite the bookworm. Normally, I don’t like to go more  than two days without accomplishing something or checking off goals on a list, so the fact that I’ve done nothing at all (and don’t care whatsoever) is a good sign! I’m learning to relax.

I did pick up this really awesome graduation present for myself though:
GradPresent

I absolutely love it. It’s a heavy duty copper and bronze homemade poppy necklace from an online shop called Mama Peacock. I think it’s a steal for $26. It sits heavy around the neck and is supported by a steel ball chain necklace. I especially love the stacked nickel and bronze ringlets wrapped around a solid steel pole that connects the ball chain to the pendant. This thing is just badass.

Josh and I have been up all night. After coming home from our date, I finished up some work for a client and he’s been gaming for most of the night. I could get used to this pace of life. No rushing, no demands, no deadlines- well…no serious ones.

Alas, as much as I love loafing around being a beach bum (sans the beach), I’m already working on a business model for a shop of my own. I won’t reveal it until it’s close to being finished, but I’m so excited with the direction I’m going in. I’ll be able to work from home and enjoy doing what I love to do. (And that’s all I’ll say about that.)

I’m off to heat up our leftovers. Tacos for breakfast!

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IU East: You Rock my Socks!

I’m sitting here in a semi-daze, stunned. I’m not used to receiving phenomenally good news. Actually, it’s usually the opposite. Life has been a little crazy lately. As I previously mentioned, I’ve had to file several appeals with my university, because I was initially told that almost 90 credit hours would be accepted as transfers-in. That would’ve meant that I could’ve graduated in May of 2016- a bit earlier than what would’ve been considered “standard”. (By about a year.) So I was pretty excited by that news a year ago, and that was part of the reason why I chose my school: IU East. It’s a top-notch school- one of the best in the state, in fact.

So again, when my adviser told me (only 4 months ago) that my previous advisers had made a mistake, and that they would now have to take away almost 30 of my credit hours, I lost it, understandably. I don’t have $11,000 for the remaining credit hours. Plus, it would’ve meant that I would have had to put off my graduation date by another year. Needless to say, all of this has taken away my academic shine and I began thinking that taking a year off was probably in store for me in the immediate future. In short, I was disenchanted altogether- to say the least.

My adviser told me that she had tried to plead with the graduation board on my behalf, but came back with the news that they “never make an exception”. I may as well not even try, and count my losses with my wins along the way in this academic journey. And, for a little while, I felt myself giving up. I just didn’t have it in me to put up a fight, really. At least, in the beginning. But as time drew on, I became angry. I couldn’t believe that a school could commit such an egregious oversight and tell me to clean up the mess, as it were. It just didn’t seem fair!

Really, I was supposed to contact my adviser and go through that channel. But when things get serious, I like to handle matters myself. So, I filed an appeal. I didn’t even tell my adviser. I just did it. I pleaded my case and provided documents to substantiate my claims. And then I waited.

That was several weeks ago. I had already decided to drop my Statistics course a few weeks ago, and then filed a refund appeal, because I felt my professor was entirely incompetent. I lost the appeal due to “insufficient evidence”, although I provided the committee with 9 accompanying documents. Perhaps that was a bit much. Live and learn!

That was an $800 loss, no biggie. So when  I checked my school email today, I wasn’t expecting to find what I did. I heard back from the 2nd appeal committee and they relayed to me that they had decided to make an exception (!) and shaved 6 classes off of my advising worksheet/audit, meaning, instead of needing to take 11 more classes to graduate, right now, I only need 5. This is a huge victory!

From what I know, this has never happened in the history of this school. It’s unbelievable. That will save me roughly $6,000- $7,000 off my tuition. I have a total of $4,100 for my spring semester, so that means that I’ll need to pitch in a grand or so for my remaining class, and if I push for the summit and take 5 classes in the spring (January-May of 2016), I’ll be able to graduate with my B.S. in Psychology then, in May, and begin working on my Master’s in Forensic Psychology the following semester, in August of 2016.

This is the best news I’ve received in a long time. 🙂

And I have to say it: IU East, you just changed my entire life’s course. THANK YOU.

And Al, if you’re reading this, a million thank you’s for encouraging me to file that appeal. You have no idea how much I appreciate your support. And, I wish you much continued success in the future and have no doubt that you’ll continue having many more successful solo exhibits. 😉

sp


Darwin, Depression, and Dark Days

It’s just past 11:00 a.m.  and already 82 degrees. Josh is getting ready for work (I seem to have kidnapped him again) and I’m up with the chickens (hey, 11:00 a.m. is early for me!) and have decided to reset my sleep cycle once again. For the past few months, I’ve been up all night an sleeping during the days. I love my nights! Night time is dark, cool, and it feels like all the world is dead and I’m on a little island to myself. I can come and go as I please- do my shopping (you’d be surprised how man people shop at Walmart at 3 a.m.) and just really connect with my nocturnal surroundings. I really can’t stand mornings or getting up early and I’m used to getting things done at night. So it’s a sacrifice for me, to say the least, to flip my script entirely and give up my nights. Even my dream environments are night time- I haven’t dreamed of daylight (or day time) in years, except for once or twice.

I’ve noticed, though, that I’ve becomes increasingly depressed over the past few weeks- and that’s just not normal for me. I lead a pretty fearless life. I don’t stress out about things- I’m literally never anxious- and I stay consistently level and upbeat, for the most part. But lately, I’ve felt a few complex fears pressing in and feelings that I might not succeed. (Again, highly unusual for me. I’m a serious go-getter.) I’ve learned to section off and compartmentalize my “layers of self” to discern just where my problematic sources might be. Are they economic? Spiritual? Emotional? Environmental? Nutritional? And so, after much seeking, I’ve realized that my depression has been a combination of artificial sleep (Ambien) + a lack of exercise and sunshine. I’ve decided to cut Ambien out of my life, because although it does help in getting a person to sleep, it does little to assist in REM sleep and allowing a person to have the full benefits of natural sleep. Last night, I slept naturally and woke up refreshed at 8:30 a.m. (or thereabouts). Today, I have 50 pages to absorb (Darwin in Chapter 1- Pavlov- Chapter 2), 3 quizzes (two psychology quizzes and one statistics quiz) and 40 or so Statistics problems to work out. This is not necessarily a heavy workload.

I’ve been missing my mother and my kids but keep telling myself that I’ll see them just as soon as I catch up. Life has a funny way of choking the living &^%$ out of you, doesn’t it?

My kitchen sink has been defunct for a month now, and I’m sure that has lent a hand in my acute depression. Thankfully, Josh is going to help me fix it today. I haven’t been able to update my blog regularly for some time now, but I haven’t been in a good head space lately. Studying psychology is sort of like being under a self-reflecting microscope 24/7. At first, it’s easy to see how psychological applications apply to everybody you know, but theories and perspectives about the mind can easily be compared to certain Scriptures in the Bible about and such. At first, you can see everyone else’s ailments and how best they might be helped, etc. but at some point, you really have to apply all of that stuff to yourself. So, in an interesting way, I’ve been my pwn therapist and patient for several years now.

I could use a good vacation from myself. :0/


Sleep Deprivation= Cheap Buzz

Tomorrow is my last day of the semester. I love this floaty, surreal, semi- twilight existence that goes along with sleep deprivation. I’ve been awake for 30 hours now; not too bad. I’ve seen plenty worse. (It involved hospitalization and wide awake REM states- no place for the faint of heart, m’ friend.) I’m good for powering through a final exam and an 8 page paper in a day, however, which is what my day consisted of- just as long as I get a 12 hour power sleep beforehand. I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home, kiddies! But it’s a way of life for me, and I seem to be at my best when my world is slightly ethereal with the soft fuzzies of sleep deprivation. It pushes me over the edge ever-so-slightly so that I get a much-needed blast of adrenaline. It’s better than coffee. 🙂 (And let’s face it, it’s a free buzz that carries with it no guilt.)

I’m managing to hold on to my A still in my Serial Killers class–which I finished an hour or so ago– and as long as I receive a good score on my final paper in my Forensic Anthropology course, I’ll have an A in that as well. I have a good feeling about it so I’m betting I’ll come away from it with my two A’s in tact.

I would write more, but I’m starting to teeter over onto the floor a bit- and I don’t think I’m supposed to be doing that.

Netflix is calling.
My vacation starts tomorrow evening (a whole 9 days to myself-YES) and I can’t wait to go to some ole boring park and take pics of absolutely nothing at all. That sounds like paradise!

DreamscapeMJ


Out with the Old…

…in with the new. Semester, that is. My summer classes are almost over. I can hardly believe another year has flown by so quickly!

And so goes college life.

I’ll either be taking 5 classes this fall, or 3- depending on how much aid I receive; it’s yet to be determined. Technically, I’m only two semesters away from receiving my B.S. in Psych. and I can either knock it out in two consecutive throat-choking semesters, or spread it out for another year and a half (and keep most of my sanity in tact!). I’d rather get it over with, however, quickly.

I still have one quiz, 3 discussion boards, both final exams and an 8-10 page paper to write- and yes, that’s just one week of school! I’ve been keeping up this ridiculous pace for 5 weeks now and I think I remember what all of my children look like. 😦

I haven’t seen my oldest daughter in half a year now and although my mother only lives 2 miles from me, haven’t seen her much more. She’s working doggedly herself 6 days a week; but we do get to talk often and she’s recently joined the rest of the texting world and has hopped on board and texts with the speed (and emojis) of a 20 year old. Too cute.

I’ll have a 10 day break in between my semesters, so if anybody’s reading this who actually wants to see me- there’s your official notice! Before you know it, I’ll be up to my eyeballs in 3 psych. classes, a biology (addictions) course and a Statistics course. It’s going to be one of those semesters.

Alas, as I wrap up my summer semester and prepare to dive into fall, I love all of you, my friends- old and new- and miss you all terribly. I’ll be popping in from time to time, as always. Before we know it, it’ll be 2016!

Summer is dying and I must say, I’m going to actually miss it this time! Special thanks to my BFF and the love of my life: Josh, for giving me the best summer of my life. 🙂

My back deck- summer of ’14- first leaves falling- my beloved Helios 44-2 film lens/Canon Rebel XSI

July14


Substance Use vs. Abuse

So I’m studying all of the psychoactive drug groups and their accompanying behavioral properties in my Behavioral Neuroscience class, and I came across a fallacy in my instructor’s PowerPoint Presentation. She had written this:

Substance abuse = a pattern in which a person relies on a drug chronically and excessively for the psychological and behavioral changes the drug produces.

I can’t tell you how much I disagree with that statement/definition. That defines substance use, not abuse. By that definition alone, that would mean that every person who counts on his or her daily antidepressant to make those necessary biochemical, physiological changes in both their brains and behaviors are “addicts”. This is so untrue.

Keeping in mind that I have my CPC in Substance Abuse (from Vincennes University), I’ve created my own definition of substance abuse, and it’s as follows:

Substance abuse= destructive behaviors that accompany the drug-user in which he and others are affected in negative ways.

Very simple.

Just because somebody takes a drug regularly- with hopes of behavioral and psychological changes (even chronically/daily or “excessively”)- does not make that person a substance abuser.  The word “excessively” is a tricky one because what is excessive to one person will not be to another. Some people take one Ibuprofin- some take 5. Every person’s body is different and each person’s drug use is both circumstantial and situational. I think we really need to be careful labeling a person as a drug abuser if he or she continues taking a drug for holistic/homeopathic, and or medicinal reasons.

Back to your scheduled program. 🙂

(Don’t worry peeps- it’s only toilet paper from a ‘toilet paper challenge” I hosted at a photo site once.) 
TokeUp


Fall Schedule

SummerFALLHelios film lens 44-2/Canon Rebel f/8/manual- taken on back deck- 8.4.14

I’ve officially made the switch from Vincennes University over to Indiana University East. My admissions counselour, Cherie, helped me register for my classes, which are:

1) Research Methods for Experimental Psychology
2) Cross Cultural Communications
3) Statistical Techniques (post-pre Calculus math course)
4) Everyday Psychology
5) Ethics

That’s a healthy 15 credit hour schedule- no small potatoes. (The most I’ve ever taken in one semester were 21 credit hours- 6 classes- and apart from one class, received 5 A’s, so I think I can swing this.)

As much as I’d love to stay at VU and explore CSI/Forensics and as much as I’d love to entertain the possibility of a future in DNA & Serology, my calling is clearly in the area of working with people on the street at the street level. Sure, a cushy office (with AC in the summer) would be great and everything- degrees hanging on the wall- but I’m driven by my desire to work with people who are drug addicts, homeless, troubled, hopeless- society’s throwaways, and those who suffer from a myriad of emotional/psychological disorders. That much I know.

A few years ago, I dropped out of school entirely, due to severe migraines that plagued me weekly. My Pastor encouraged me to return to school- if at all possible- which I was miraculously able to do. At the time, I owed the school more than $1,000, due to having to drop out. In short, I was screwed. But I was so encouraged by her letter, I called the school and asked if anything could be done to help me. I faxed in a few medical documents, proving that I’d had physical complications and the school wiped out the entire debt. (This is why I say that my return was nothing short of a miracle. This just doesn’t happen in the academic world!) She (my Pastor) suggested that I get out of Business Administration and explore other areas that would better utilize my talents, such as working with others. Had it not been for her urging, I would have never returned, so that’s always in the back of my mind. I push on for others and not just myself.

School begins in approximately 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m hoping to take a year off to work on my music, but I’m not sure if that will be before or after I receive my bachelor’s in Psychology.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep myself occupied by surprising my Mom’s friend with a photo book that I’m calling “Whispers from the Garden”. Her friend’s husband passed away several years ago and they shared an amazing garden behind their house. I shot some pics there last winter and will be compiling the book from my collection of pics taken of their winter garden.

Supper calls! Until next time.

Birdhouse from the garden

Birdhouse