December 15, 2011

End of the Semester is Upon Us!

Hey everyone!

I cannot believe it but my second to last semester is over! Classes are completely done. I am just waiting on grades for those but I am not too worried. As of next Wednesday, I will be done with my high school internship. I have over half of my 600 hours too! That's crazy to think that I am almost done with that! Eeek. Graduation is going to sneak up before I even know it.

It is kind of bittersweet leaving my internship site from this semester. Everyone here has been so nice and helpful. I am excited to move on to the younger age levels but I really enjoyed my time here. I feel like I learned so much. I realize that I really enjoy doing classroom lessons. I did two while I was here and I really much enjoyed being in front of the students. I also did a bunch of group work while I was here. I think groups are great and wherever I work, I am going to want to do them with the students. I wish I would have had more individual counseling sessions but I really do enjoy sitting one-on-one with the students. I feel like I got a lot of experience when it comes to career and college counseling but I am anxious to work on some more personal/social issues.

I have a long to-do list that I am going to need to get done over break. It is a little insane to be honest but there are definitely some things that are more important than others. I am planning on spending some time shadowing a few school counselors in one or two of the districts that I want to find a job. This will probably mean missing a few days at one of my internship sites. I am hoping to coordinate so I don't have to miss both. I am also going to have to miss class but I think it will be well worth it! I got the names from my elementary school counselor for which I am so thankful! I also have a bunch of organizing that I NEED to get done so I don't go as insane next semester as I did this semester. I also want to try to read some. I am getting a Cricut for Christmas and I am looking forward to messing around with that over break too!

I cannot believe that I only have one semester left! These last two years are flying by. I just signed up for graduation the other day. Whoa! I am looking forward to getting back to the grind after a nice relaxing break.

I hope everyone who reads this has a very Merry Christmas (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Whatever) and a Happy New Year!!


November 27, 2011

My Soldier.

Two posts in one day... This is getting out of control!

I haven't posted yet but I have adopted a soldier. I have felt since last spring called to try to figure out a way to help the troops. I think it was after watching that show on TV called Coming Home. I cry every episode but its such a special thing.

Anyhow, I can't say much about my soldier for confidential reasons. He is serving overseas until September of 2012. My job as a "penpal" is to write a letter or card a week for the entire length of his deployment. I am also allowed to send occasional care packages. I am in the process of sending out my first one tomorrow. I tried to send some necessities in addition to fun things and things characteristic to Wisconsin. I also had my kids that I work with in the morning make letters and color pictures and students at my internships wrote letters. It turned out really great. I think about him often and pray that he comes home to his family and friends safely at the end of his deployment. I have not received a letter from him yet. I might not ever but that's okay. Its more about making sure he has something to make him smile in mail call once a week.

If you feel like you want to get involved, the non-profit I went through is called Adopt-a-Platoon. You can click on the name and it will take you right to the website. It was really easy to sign up. They called me in a week or two and verified my information. Within two weeks I had the name of my soldier, even though they said it could take up to 6 weeks. I decided on just being a penpal because I am still in school and don't have a lot of money. You can choose to adopt completely which means a card/letter a week and at least one care package a month. I think it would be a great thing to do as a school/classroom/counseling department or just as an individual or family. If you have any other questions, let me know. All soldiers deserve to know that we are really thinking about them back here and that we really do thank them for their service of keeping us safe!

That's all I have got for today. I should get back to this presentation and paper that I have been procrastinating all break.


Procrastination...its the holidays...

Hey all,

I am writing this post because I am procrastinating the homework that I have been putting off since Thanksgiving break started. For some reason I am just not in the homework mode. I am in the holiday mode however. :-)

I am finally ready to listen to Christmas music even though its been on the radio for a good two weeks already. Yesterday we cleaned the house and moved some furniture in preparation for our Christmas tree. We are FINALLY getting a real tree. As a family we have had a fake tree for years but I think we finally persuaded my mother that we need a real one this year. I absolutely LOVE the smell of a real tree and I cant wait to go pick one out!

Thanksgiving has just passed and I am not ready to jump back into the real world of classes and internship and life just yet. I had an extra long break. Got to spend time with family, got all my shopping done for the holidays (yay!) and had some general down time. I have so much to be thankful for this year. My dad's mom is still with us. She is definitely slowing down but I got to spend all of Thanksgiving with her and its definitely a blessing. My cousin's girlfriend had her baby on Black Friday. Both mom and baby are healthy and happy. Its such a special blessing. First great-grandbaby on that side of the family! I get to spend lots of time with my mom, dad, and brother. Who knows what next year will bring with my brother off at college and me in the real world. I want to cherish every moment, even if they tend to drive me nuts after long periods of time together :-)

I cannot believe that in a few short weeks, I will be done with my second to last semester of grad school. Time has flown by so unbelievably fast! I mean two years, really? I can see that light at the end of the tunnel. I am thankful that the job outlook is promising, although it may not seem like it here in southeastern Wisconsin.

I hope that you all had a safe and happy holiday week/weekend. The Christmas season is officially upon us. I know that on Thanksgiving we usually say what we are thankful for. I hope that you all continue to be thankful year round for what you have. This holiday season I am going to try and do a few things for those who do not have as much as I do. I suggest you do the same. If we each do one small thing, we can make a big difference!

I feel like this post is all over the place so I hope it made sense!!
Happy Start of the Holiday Season Everyone!


November 7, 2011


Hey y'all!

Sometimes I just feel like I should be from the south. Anyways, I realized just now that it has been over a month since I have posted something on here. Ooops! I cannot believe that we are already a week into the month of November. The weather is really starting to feel like it is moving in the direction of winter. I am not looking forward to having to bundle up and make my way out when its cold and there is snow. It can sometimes really be a pain. Ugh!

An update on internship, since its what this blog is about. Things have been picking up around here...finally!! I have a couple of students that I see on a regular basis. I am part of 3 groups. 2 girls groups (one junior and one senior) and one transfer group. The transfer group will be ending in a few weeks and I am kinda sad about it. I look forward to meeting with these boys once a cycle to chat about life. We (the other intern and I) asked how they felt about the group last week. They said that they really enjoyed it but they wished we had brought more food. Guess I am baking for next time :-) We are talking about bringing in lunch for the final group since the group runs around lunch time. The boys seemed REALLY receptive to the idea, surprise surprise. ;-) The girls groups are going really well. I even got to run one of them by myself last week. It turned out really well and I felt surprisingly comfortable doing it. I really like running small groups because it gives me a chance to talk with these students on a deeper level. I feel like I am really getting to know each of them personally.

I have a few students that I am working with on a semi-regular/regular basis. Its good to see the same kids often and be able to chart their progress. I hope that I am able to help them in some way before I have to leave here at the end of the semester.

I am going on Thursday to see the school's production of Fame. I know a few student's that are in it and I am excited to go and show support. Plus I LOVE the story line. Friday is XIXIXI (11/11/11). That means that we are scratching a day of classes to have an assembly and do a bunch of awesome activities. More to come on that and FAME once the end of the week rolls around.

I am hoping to get some stuff scheduled and do a few classroom guidance lessons before I leave here. I am going to go into a room of seniors and talk about the transition to college. I am really looking forward to this and am hoping that it comes to pass sometime before the holidays. Speaking of holidays...

My family is leaving this weekend to head down to Iowa. My cousin's girlfriend is having a baby so we are throwing her a baby shower. So while the entire side of the family is in town, we are also celebrating my grandpa's birthday AND Thanksgiving! I am so not ready for Thanksgiving to be here but I suppose it is right around the corner. It should be a good weekend filled with fun, family, and food. And hopefully some football. :-) After this weekend, I am going to try really hard to start eating healthy. I started to realize that my eating habits are getting worse instead of better these days. It needs to change ASAP!! So stay tuned. I might/will have plenty of questions for all of you school counselors out there. And anyone else too!!!

That's all for now. I will update later in the week.


October 6, 2011

Today we lost a visionary...

I was saddened to hear that last night Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, passed away.

 I think President Obama said it best when he said, "The world has lost a visionary, and there may be no greater tribute to Steve's success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented."

We lost a true visionary last night. His story should inspire many to create works just because they had the idea for them.

What an inspiring man who will have a powerful impact on the future!


September 27, 2011

CPS- When do you call?

Hey all,

I have a question to pose for you today. But I should preface it with a story. In case you are not from Wisconsin, CPS stands for Child Protective Services. As you all know, we are mandated reporters. Okay, on to the story.

Today at my internship site, all the counselors meet to discuss whether or not we should call CPS on a student. Without getting into any detail, there were some stories this student told that became concerning for us. While there was no visible evidence and the story we heard was told second hand, we had to try and decide whether or not to call CPS.

Now its time for you to answer, when do you feel you need to call child protective services, or whatever its called in your state? Does it change for each age level? Does your state do well at following up?

Please give me feedback. I am curious!


September 16, 2011

My first one-on-one!

Hello all!

I already have over 50 hours at my high school internship site. I think, well I know, that I am going to have way more hours than I need but I want to finish out the semester here!!Two days ago was the first time that I actually was able to do some individual counseling. I have been observing here and there since I started but this time I actually had a girl in my office! And I was the one counseling her.

We mostly were just talking about college. She knows she wants to go out of state but she really isn't sure where she wants to go or what she wants to do. I made a point of telling her that I think its a step in the right direction that she knows what state she wants to go to. She seemed slightly overwhelmed with all the choices she was going to have to make so I tried to be mindful of that and make sure that I let her know to take a few breaths, that she had plenty of time to make these decisions. They don't need to be made right this second. She told me that she is the type of person to lose things easily. She was really concerned about making the "right" choice. What if she went to one school but changed her mind on her major and then the school she was at didn't have the new choice? I felt then that I needed to give her a tool to use. I told her she should try to make a list of all the different majors she thinks she might be interested in, then when she is looking at her different school choices, she can mark off whether each school has some, all, or none of those choices. This way she can be sure that she is picking a place where she is not just stuck in one track. She smiled and said that she hadn't thought of doing that and that it was a really good idea.

After she left my office, I felt really good about how things had gone. I realized though while I was counseling her that I was still in my head a lot during the session. I kept thinking about if I was saying the right thing, if I was talking too much, thinking a lot about what I should say next. I think that this is just because of inexperience. I know that with time, that will hopefully fade out and I can be completely in the moment. I hope that this student didn't realize that this is what I was thinking. That is the last thing that I want. But she seemed satisfied with our conversation. I hope she was.

I hope that in the coming weeks I will be able to do more counseling with her as well as other students. I need a lot more practice before I would call myself fully competent. That is what internship is all about though right?!

Happy Friday!


September 13, 2011

Operation BEA-U-TIFUL

Hey everyone!
I found out about this wonderful website from a friend's page on facebook. She had posted a picture that she had taken in the bathroom of the store she was recently at. I was so inspired that I finally looked up the website because I couldn't believe what I had seen. My first thought, to be honest with you, was, "Uh oh, we have another Aunt Jeanette on our hands!" Now I should probably explain what that thought means before I progress any further.
My grandma June's twin sister's name is Jeanette. When I say they are twins I mean it. When I was little I thought they were both grandma because I couldn't tell them apart. My Aunt Jeanette makes these bookmarks out of old greeting cards and then tapes bible verses to them. She leaves them EVERYWHERE!! When I was in high school, I was in Iowa for a family wedding. We were in the restaurant for the rehearsal dinner, and I went to the bathroom before going to sit down. I found a bookmark, which is how I knew that my Aunt Jeanette was there. Needless to say, in high school I found this rather mortifying. But now as I grow older, while I still find this a little weird, I can see how this can be a really great idea.

Then I stumbled upon this picture and this website. It seems like kind of a duh moment. How easy is it really to make someones day? How easy is it to boost someones self esteem? And Operation Beautiful does it with one single post-it. How easy is it to carry a small thing of post-its and a pen in your purse, especially for those of us that carry huge purses?! I think that I am going to start this trend in my neck of the woods. I also plan on sharing this with the girls groups that are being started at my internship site. It is such an easy thing to do that can make a difference in the life of a stranger.

Thought everyone could use something to brighten their day!


September 9, 2011

9/11 Anniversary

Why do I feel as though everyone is going to write a blog about this? To answer my own question, because its probably true. I am not really sure where to begin this post because all my thoughts on this being the 10 year anniversary are rather conjumbled in my head.

I work at a before and after care program in addition to going to school and interning. With the anniversary fast approaching, it got me thinking about how most of the kids that I work with there were only 1ish when 9/11/01 happened. Even as I sat at internship today, most of the kids that I saw walk through the office were only 5-8. I started thinking about how I would want to talk to the kids about what happened. Odds are they were not old enough to remember (and in the case of my morning kids at my paying job, not even born yet). It was such a powerful event in my life and the lives of all my peers, that I don't know if I can accurately describe to them what happened without getting emotional myself. I suppose its the same for the generations that came before me. Pearl Harbor, Challenger explosion, Vietnam, JFK assassination, and many more. How did these people accurately teach us about what happened to them?

I am a firm believer in that narratives can be a very powerful learning tool. I know that many of the things that I remember from school and from life come from hearing someones story. I recently wrote a post about New Orleans. I was forever changed by that city in part because of all the stories people were so willing to share with me while I was down there. So powerful!

I guess like many people, I can recall exactly where I was standing when I first heard about 9/11/01. I was by the freshman hallway bathroom on my to my second period class, biology. I heard some upper class men talking about how a plane had just crashed into the world trade towers in NYC. I had no idea what the world trade towers were as a freshman in high school. Once I figured out what was going on, I was really scared. I remember the t.v.'s were on in almost every classroom those first few days, at home as well. We were all glued to the news. They even brought in t.v.s to the lunchroom so that we could watch then too. Later I found out that my mother almost came and got me from school because there was just so much unknown at that time. I had a friend that I was in colorguard with whose dad was traveling in the area of New York at the time. I remember so vividly the look of shear panic on her face as we entered the band room that day because she had no idea if her dad was on one of those planes. Luckily, she got a message during school that day that her dad was okay.

Okay so whats the take away in all of this? 9/11/01 was a tragic day in the history of the U.S. I think it was so profound because the safety we often take for granted was disrupted. We no longer felt all powerful and that was scary for many Americans. At the same time, I think 9/11 taught us a very valuable lesson. It brought us closer together. It taught us not to take our safety for granted. It taught us to love each other. It gave us sympathy and empathy for one another. It brought our nation together. I think this is the lesson that the kids need to be learning. From the young ones I hear a lot, "Well the Muslims did it, shouldn't we just get them back." The kids need to be taught that out of this tragic event comes things that are positive.

I think we as Americans should start claiming back 9/11. Now don't get me wrong here, I am not saying that we shouldn't commemorate the anniversary of this tragic event. But we should claim it to be a happy day. Do we put our lives on hold every time December 7th rolls around. I have heard of a couple that is having their wedding day on 9/11 this year. They want to reclaim the day as a happy time for their friends and family. I thought that this was a brilliant idea. So this 9/11, we should take some time to pay respects for that day. I challenge you then to do something fun with your day. Take time to do something that makes you smile. Take back 9/11.

Have a good weekend everybody.


P.S. ASCA (American School Counselor Association) has put up a great list of 9/11 resources for family and people in education. If you want to look at those, here is the link.

September 4, 2011

NOLA, the love of my life.

Two posts in one night, this is going to get crazy. Can you tell I am procrastinating reading? If you read my last post, you know that I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now, so I thought I would talk about something that I really love. NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA! I know you are thinking, wait a second, the city with all night partying amongst other wild and crazy things. Well yes that city, but that's not the part of the city that made me fall in love.

Seeing as its been 6 years since Katrina hit New Orleans, its only fitting that I talk about my love affair for this city, since Katrina is part of the reason that I fell in love in the first place. I love to volunteer! I have been volunteering since sixth grade and I don't think I will ever stop. I want to start a group to volunteer somewhere in the cities before the next ASCA conference, but that's another post entirely.

In January of my freshman year of college, I went with a group from the ELCA down to NOLA to help with Katrina clean up. It was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I met so many amazing people down there. The first year I was there, I cleaned the upstairs of one of the leaders parents house. Did you follow that? The downstairs of the house had already been gutted but the upstairs had not. We went through closets, pulled up carpet, got rid of clothes, books, family heirlooms. At one point, I just totally broke down. During that gut, we watched people dig through the pile of rubbish that we were accumulating. I cant imagine being desperate enough to have to dig through moldy crap to grab a couple of moldy shirts and pillows. And yet they smelled like booze and had cigarettes in their mouths. Some things I just wont ever understand. It was such a moving experience for me. That same trip I got to scrub the X off of a house we were cleaning and painting. They had been gutted and were getting ready to move back. That was amazing because I knew it was going to help these people heal and move on.

I have meet so many amazing people from New Orleans. Their strong faith is amazing to me. Many of them didnt let Katrina get the best of them. I heard so many fascinating stories, many that moved me to tears. I saw things that people should never have to see. Being down there for two years in a row, really taught me to live each moment of life. I shouldn't let things such as school work get me down. I really should appreciate every moment I am given. The city of New Orleans gushes out hope. They are rebuilding and things are really turning back to normal. I have watched to progression and have been amazed by what I have seen. It will really, truely be done when there is not one house left with an awful X left on it!

I am going to include some pictures so you have an idea of what I saw. If you ever want to know more about the trip that I went on just ask, I have plenty of stories that I can share, too many to write down here!


This house is one we saw over a year after Katrina hit. It hadnt even been touched!!

Scrubbing the X off of a house. Finally these people can officially start their lives over!

How did those stay there while everything else got swept away?

Gotta stay safe! No matter how ridiculous you look!

The pile that we gathered. This is from the second floor only!

Had to add one of me! It was serious business, but we still managed to have fun getting ready.

This deserves some explanation. We were on a mission trip through church. We were pulling off floorboards so we could rip up carpet. As we pulled them off, we were throwing them over the ledge to the first floor where someone would haul them outside. These landed this way, not only did they land this way, the stuck together. Talk about a powerful moment!

The X.

To explain the X for those who do not know. The top is the date that this house was checked, to the left is who checked it, bottom is if there were any people found inside, and to right is if there was anything else found (pets, ammunition, etc.). There are often more than one X because there were different units that checked houses multiple times.

Our ending pile.

It blows my mind that water and wind did that!

Overwhelmed is an understatement...

This last week was my first week of classes in the evenings. I went into the week thinking it would be a breeze. We only have three classes this semester as opposed to five last fall. Boy was I wrong!

The first class that I have is research methods. It wont be bad because despite the amount of papers. Two of them are with a partner. The head of the department is also teaching this class so at least he is knowledgeable and I know I will learn something despite taking at least two other research method classes in my college career.

My second class is group counseling. I am really looking forward to this class. It is being taught by the "new guy" in the department. He is young and you can tell he LOVES running groups. There is some work in this class but I know I will be able to put to work what I learn in class right away. I like that!

My internship class...this is the one I am really overwhelmed by. I guess I didn't realize how much work this was going to entail. I mean there are soo many things that we have to do. 6 lesson plans, 10 reading critiques, a whole bunch of paper work. I am so stressed about this. I think that part of the reason that I am so stressed and overwhelmed by this is because its all so unorganized right now. Those who know me, know how organized I like to be with my work. Now looking at my room, you would have no idea I like to be organized, but that's my clothes not my work. Right now, I don't feel like I have all my assignments organized in my head and in my binder/planner. I think once I do that, I will feel a bit better about it. I am just so fearful that I am going to miss something and not be able to get my degree. I know it seems irrational but it comes from a place of legitimacy.

Is anyone else feeling this way? Am I way off base here? Is it too much to hope that I blink and its May and I have everything done?


September 1, 2011

First Week of Internship

So I am already into my second week of internship! Its hard to believe because it is going by so fast. I am a private Catholic high school. Its a fairly small school as far as high school's are concerned. So far I haven't been doing too much actual counseling but I have gotten to observe a lot and we are starting a few small groups. I have gotten to witness a few interviews for transfer students. It felt good to be able to make some face to name recognitions when I saw them around the next day. There is one student in particular who I am trying to make sure that I say hi to every time I see her in the hallway.

I don't have too much to say for this post although I am sure that there will be more to say once we actually get past schedule changing. :-)

I do want to share a link with you. There is a fantastic school counseling website that I have come across. From now through the 10th of September, she is doing give-aways of fabulous school counseling stuff. All you have to do is leave a relevant comment about how you would use said item. She then picks one person randomly to win the give away. Its a great way to start/keep building your toolbox, plus she has some great ideas for school counselors with all levels of experience. So check it out and maybe you can win some cool stuff!!

Have a good day.


August 22, 2011

ASCA National Conference 2011...Perk Up Your Program!

The famous market! 


This year I was lucky enough to be able to attend the 2011 National School Counseling Conference in the lovely Seattle, Washington. On my very, very, very long flight home, (A Layover in Phoenix just to get to Milwaukee? I don't get it sometimes but whatever) I decided to write an article about all that I learned and absorbed during my time at the conference. I thought I would share it here with all of you. Enjoy!

"8 Things I Learned to "Perk Up" My Program ... When I Have One."
~One graduate students perspective on the 2011 ASCA National Conference.

2011 has brought a lot of firsts for me. Being done with my first year of graduate school, my first internship, my first time traveling totally alone, and my first school counseling conference, the ASCA National Conference. 
I learned so much at the ASCA National Conference from now on called Seattle 2011. Some revelations were personal while others were professional. I would like to share the top 8 things with you all.

  1. I actually can enjoy traveling by myself. This was the first time I have ever traveled completely alone. I was more than a little bit nervous. I found as the conference progressed that I was actually enjoying being by myself. There was no one holding me back which was nice because I also like to be early to things. I even enjoyed having dinner by myself at a nice restaurant. It felt a bit weird at first but by the time my food came to the table, I was totally comfortable.
  2. Students stay connected to counselors not because of what or how we are doing things but why. We work with our kids because we care and we want to see them succeed. I don't think any of us would be counselors (in training...) if that wasn't the case. When I get my own school, I am going to put up a sign that says "Why" so that I always remember why I am there. Sometimes we can get so caught up in what we are doing or how we are going to do it. Remembering why I am there will help keep me grounded.
  3. You may think that just because I have a macbook, iPhone, and I grew up with technology that I am savvy. Well guess what, that's not the case. I learned about so many cool technologies that I can use as a school counselor. There is a new one called iTunes U which is seriously worth your time to check out. Thanks Dr. Joy Burnham for keying me into it. Also timetracker and ezanalyze are very useful and time saving tools for counselors but also for other professionals. We can always use things that help us better manage our time with our jobs often entailing so much. Those are also free, which is great as all of you well know! Who doesn't like free stuff?? I can tell you I was having a blast in the exhibit hall with all the "swag" I took away!
  4. There isn't, in my opinion, enough talk about LGBTQQA youth. For those of you not in the know, that is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, and ally youth. I was glad I was able to sit in on a session that talked about just that. What I will take away the most from the session by Lisa Koenecke and Joni Downs was that no matter what a student's sexual orientation is or what our personal bias may be, it is always important to stress with these kids what a healthy relationship looks like. This is a topic that can transcend sexual orientation into something that every teen should be talking about.
  5. I was told by one of the counselors at the conference that what happens at the conference, stays at the conference. What are we in Vegas here? Apparently counselors need to cut loose just as much as the next professional. Who knew right? But in all honestly, I had to laugh when I heard this because I knew that I wanted to take back everything that I was learning, seeing, hearing, and experiencing to my fellow classmates so that they could reap the benefits of the conference that I did while I was there. As for what happens at the conference, staying at the conference, I guess everyone will just have to come to the conference to find out! ;-)
  6. I know that I have experienced this over and over again throughout my time in school, which I recently counted to be 20 years (K-Graduate School)!!! Often the learning a student does happens outside the classroom and can be more beneficial that the learning that happens inside the classroom. No offense to teachers, because I have the utmost respect and admiration for them, but children learn so much better when they can have time to explore their environment. I remember the things that I learned on field trips and other outside activities than I do in my classroom. Even now being in graduate school, I felt I learned more from this conference than I did in some of my classes the last two semesters. We as counselors can deliver information to students in a hands on way so that they do absorb the information. If we go into their classroom and talk at them, they probably wont remember a thing we said. I don't know about you, but I want the kids I work with to remember the things I am trying to teach them.
  7. How much do you know about Hip Hop? I can tell you that I know a whole lot more now than I did before Seattle 2011! If you EVER want to know more about the hip hop world, you should check out XXL and The Source. They will be a lot of the research you are looking for. My brother, who is a senior in high school, always tells me I have my own "era". I am not that much older than the kids that I will be counseling, but if my brother looks at me like I have my own era, then I am sure the kids will too. Its all too important for us to be able to connect with our students. They will take notice if you know a little about a little. Even if you know an artist to a particular song, something in pop culture or a new type of technology, they will take notice in that. Even if they don't catch it right away, they will think about it later on. As counselors, we can never go wrong with showing interest in a kids world. It shows them that we care about them. It can also help us learn more so that we can understand them better. If the students really know how much we care, they will be more willing to come to us whenever they have a problem. I have full faith in that!
  8. The final thing that I learned at Seattle 2011 is to always keep in mind What, So What, Now What? I think that this is a great pattern in order to assess a situation in a quick easy way. We can think about what is the situation that we have at hand, why is this a problem, and what can we do about it. It really takes into account what I learned in classes about making sure you get all of the story from the student so you can accurately assess what is going on and then try to come up with a solution. If you come up with a solution too quickly, you lose site of the so what! It is a good way to sum up basic counseling of students in any situation. 
As counselors, I hope that we can all "take action together today to work on the challenge of making school counseling comprehensive in all our schools." I know that because of Seattle 2011, I am going to strive to be the best school counselor that I can be and try to make whatever program that I end up in, a program that is completely comprehensive. Why you ask? For the students, to make them the best people that they can be!

Did you go to the conference? What did you learn? What was your favorite session? I want to hear from you! Have a great evening!


To Tweet or Not to Tweet...

...That is the question! Ever since Twitter started, I have been adamantly opposed to even signing up for it. Like with Facebook, I feel that I will get drawn in. You hear so many horror stories of people saying things on Twitter that they should not have and things can get out of control.

Lately, however, I have been hearing about more and more professionals in the teaching and school counseling fields that have been using Twitter. Messages about classes, scores for marching band competitions, and what are called "twitter chats". These intrigue me because I feel that I could benefit from hearing important advice from other school counselors. At the same time, I am not sure if it is a smart thing to do.

I am curious what other counselors think about this. Is it a worthwhile thing to sign up for? Are there other options for ways to communicate with other professionals? What are your ideas? How do you use twitter?

Can't wait to hear your answers!

August 20, 2011

Oh How I Love Massages!

So I went with my best friend to have a spa day in Kohler. Let me just plug here and say the Kohler Waters Spa at the American Club was amazing. The staff was phenomenal and it was such a relaxing atmosphere. All the stress I had built up from working summer camp is all gone. At least until I start internship next week :-) It wasn't a cheap spa to go to but it was totally worth the money.

Okay now that I have added my shameless plug, lets chat about self-care. Ever since undergrad, I have found that doing stuff for myself is really important. When I get stressed and tired, I get crabby. No one wants to be around me when I get like that. It used to be that I could just read a really good free read book and that would do the trick. But I have found that lately that just doesn't rejuvenate me quite like it used to. It is becoming ever more evident through classes and all the work that I am throwing myself into that self-care is truly important. I carry my stress in my shoulders and when it feels like they are up to my ears, then I know I need to do something. Going to a spa, getting a massage, or getting my nails done, really does help me relax. I can spend a few hours not thinking about the things that I have yet to do or the crazy things that have been happening.

I think its so very important to find a way for everyone to relieve their stress. Having too much stress can be detrimental to your health. I was reading an article in a magazine today that said even missing 1 hour of sleep a night can be awful for your health. You can "catch up" on the weekend but after a while it can really start taking a toll on your health. So much so you can have high blood pressure amongst other issues. So part of self-care that I struggle with is making sure that I get a good night's rest. Sometimes there is just so much to do but I know that if I don't get sleep, my day will not go as I want it to. Some people say that they can run on five hours of sleep, I bet that cant be true. I need at least seven in order to function somewhat okay. Eight is even better!

I want to hear from you! What are your favorite things to do for self-care? When you are really stressed as a school counselor, what do you do? Who do you go to when you just need to talk it out?

That's all for tonight. I am going back to watching the women's U.S. gymnastics championships. Wish I could be as fit as these ladies! Goodnight all.


August 18, 2011

A Brand New Blog

Hi to all of you, any of you, that are reading this! I decided that I would start a blog in order to get out my trials and tribulations about being a school counseling student in hopes that other people, students or practicing school counselors will chime in!

I am going into my second year at graduate school and now is the time where we start internships. Yes that's right, I leave my summer camp job tomorrow and start internship on Tuesday! Not much of a break. I am starting out at the high school level for my first 200 hours. I am really excited but a little nervous because I have yet to work with high school students from a counseling perspective. It should be a wild ride.

Over the next couple of weeks, months, and year, I will be writing about all my trials and triumphs during school and in my internship. Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think. I can use all the advice I can get. I am sure I will post many a question over the course of this blog!

Goodnight all,