Thursday, September 30, 2010

Long Time, No Post

It's 5 am and I am up for work. I am going to see if I can get out early to go to an event at the Center on Halsted, right by my house, to see Matthew Shepard's mother speak. I am assuming most of us are all old enough to recall his murder at the University of Wyoming. Such a horrible thing, hopefully trainings like these will educate people so they can help develop a culture of understanding with our children and adolescents.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UPDATE: 100 Push Up Challenge

I am in  the middle of week 4 of the 100 Push Up Challenge and am beginning to hate doing my push ups. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday the bf has to hear me say, "I don't want to do my push ups!". Tonight I will do 5 sets of 20, 25, 20, 20 and 28 push ups and they are starting to get pretty difficult. Why am I doing this again? I feel like I typically quit everything so I am determined not to quit this, but I really want to. I don't think I see too much change in definition, but I have gained a 1/4" around  my bicep. I am not too sure if this is what I was going for...

Read here about the start of the challenge.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Something to Think About

I've been meaning to post about something that has been catching my attention in the news and is pretty salient in the counseling world. I thought I'd save this post for today: World Suicide Prevention Day. There is one suicide every 40 seconds around the world. Pretty heavy stuff.

Recently there have been many stories about military suicide rates and how the country is failing to meet our soldiers' mental health needs during and after service. These men and women are serving their country, receive extensive and expensive training, sacrifice relationships, and risk their lives and when they return their most basic needs, that of mental health care, go unmet to the point of hopelessness. There have been studies and reports saying a new office needs to be created to prevent suicide in the military. More bureaucracy, but at least they are recognizing the need. While I am no expert on suicide or the armed forces I can't help but feel angry and saddened by these articles.

I also wanted to touch on the suicide rate in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. According to Alix Spiegel's article, Traces Of Katrina: New Orleans Suicide Rate Still Up, the suicide rate has doubled in some parishes. According to the article, the city is slowly being rebuilt but the number of mental health practitioners is no where near that prior to the hurricane. I recently watched a documentary by Spike Lee on HBO, If God is Willing and the Creek Don't Rise, which also touches on the affects of Katrina, and now the BP oil spill, has had on the mentality of the city and its resident. The news article and the documentary both caught my attention around the same time, leaving me unsettled and with many questions.

While these two examples point to lack of mental health services in a large system and in a certain geographical area, I think the more pertinent issue is surrounding the stigma of seeking counseling, therapy, treatment or whatever you want to call it. And why is there such stigma for those left behind after a loved one has taken their own life? How can we help them? Many people involved in their faith communities have no qualms about seeking counseling from their pastor, priest, rabbi, etc, but what about those who are not active in a religious organization? Who do they turn to?

These recent articles have made me reconsider where I can best use my skills once I have completed my grad program. Is it in a school setting? Is it in a community agency in an undeserved area? Doing outreach? Only time will tell...

For more information visit: International Association for Suicide Prevention

Monday, September 6, 2010

Homeward Bound

I need a shower!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Wisco Here We Come!

First time going to Wisconsin! We are finishing packing up for some Labor Day camping in Wisconsin. We are supposed to go tubing down some river tomorrow, but it may be only 60ish degrees. I may have to pass on that. I  love the fall weather though, perfect for camping at Wolf River.

And, on a side note, GO STATE!

Also, I just finished week 2 of the 100 push up challenge and I already feel it. I re-did week 1 because it was pretty difficult, but since then I have been feeling confident! We'll see how week 3 goes :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reality Bites!

After a fun summer of bumming around the reality of school/semi-part time job/health insurance/dentist/etc. is setting in and it ain't pretty. In fact, I am having a lot of anxiety about it. This is no surprise though, in my counseling skills class we all had to counsel each other and this was my main problem (that and the whole when am I going to get married thing). I have known the day was going to come where I am taking more classes and don't have as much financial aid to live off, my savings have shrunk considerably, and I don't really want to get a "real" job. That day is today. While I have enjoyed the past year of being a "full-time student" with a part-time job and think it is finally time to face the music.

I interviewed for a position where I would make close to what I was making at UC, but part time. The catch is that I would have to work weekends. That would mean no more trips to the lake while it's still nice out, no more Michigan State football games in East Lansing, no more going home for Thanksgiving or California for Christmas; all reasons why I wanted to move closer to Michigan in the first place (besides CA for Christmas). I love my job now and am not sure if I am ready for more commitment to a retail store.

I also have an interview with Jumpstart's Americorps program via the work-study program at school. This would only pay $8.50 (what am I in high school?) 3 days a week, but at least it would be working with kids. I would also get $1,000 at the end directly towards loans. If I get that, I could work there and 2 shifts at my current job. I still don't think I would be puling in the approximately $1200 I need to live off each month. Maybe I should just temp so I have regular working hours. What's a girl to do?

Time to write the rent check.