Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Rain in Spain is Not as Big as My Brain and I am Going Back to School Again

This is the old building that housed my college, The College of Human Ecology @ Michigan State. Gosh I loved that school. It was the best time of my life. I learned, I loved, I lived. I Even met Jon in the dorms there more than ten years ago! Where has the time gone?

HERE is something else I did there. I also did THIS.

Then one day, after five years in college, I was forced to graduate and I was very sad. Then my Mom's friend gave me the book "Who Moved My Cheese", because they got to talking and thought I was afraid of change, but really I just liked college, because who wouldn't? Then after that, I stayed in East Lansing for another year, living in my own fabulous little apartment with a pink tiled bathroom, crystal chandelier and all. I started a little English Second Language tutoring service for grad students and substitute taught in the local school districts. After a year, I missed being a student and considered going back to school for some sort of Master's degree but up deciding to move back to Detroit instead. To be perfectly honest with you, real life was not as much fun.

So for years now, one of my personal goals has been to attend graduate school at some point. I've looked into programs, mostly dealing with psychology and counseling all over the state and in San Francisco when we lived there. For many reason, mostly due to moving around, and then having Noah, I never really settled down long enough to decide on a program and apply. I was quite close in San Francisco though, SFSU had a great school counseling program...but them we moved back home.

It's been a long, introspective year. I really battled with inner feelings and questions I had on whether being at stay-at-home-mom was for me or not. I'd always pictured myself as a mother, lots of kids, staying at home, doing art projects, baking cupcakes. Something changed though and I feel the desperate need to do something in addition to being a Mother. They say being a mother is one of the most important jobs in the world and I wholeheartedly believe that, but I think I have another purpose in life also and I don't think I can do many more years as a full time stay-at-home parent.

Psychology was my original major in college and I just loved it. I had a genuine interest in the subject and poured my all into school. I have pretty severe ADHD, and while learning is fun and comes easily to me, studying doesn't. That's why, when during my freshman year I found myself on the Dean's List, I felt proud and satisfied, knowing I was in the major I should be. unfortunately, after a years or so, I became afraid of the bleak job market information being feed to me about recent Psych. grads and was persuaded to change my major to something more "practical". At the time that was Interior Design, but tuned into clothing design after two years of boredom and now I have the most impractical degree out there!

So, I'm ready to go back. Not only that, but I want to go back for my Master's in Psychology. As my shrink says, "those that have lived through mental health situations make the best therapists because they can empathize and understand their patients best!" I think that's true. In fact, recently, my therapist suggested I go to school and become a psychologist, that she would be happy to write me a strong letter of recommendation, and this was before she even knew my past as a psych major. It's a great idea and as long as I can be accepted into the program I have my eye on, it might be a reality someday soon!

There is a one year, full time Master's of Psychology program at a near by private grade school (which I may name later). It's a real long shot, a very competitive program, but if I at least give it my all to get in, what's there to lose? I'm looking at fall 08' or 09'. Next year Noah will be in his nursery school's Pre-K program and most likely doing that 5 days a week. The program I am thinking of, I believe goes from about 9:00am-3:00pm, Monday-Friday, so I could still see Noah everyday and he would only need to be with a sitter a few hours a day or as many of the kids in his school at four years old do, he might even stay until 2:15 for their after lunch enrichment programs. Those are things like science, tumbling, art or cooking classes after lunch. It really could work. The best part, in Michigan, after you obtain your Master's in Psych, you are eligible for your provisional license and can then counsel under the direct supervision of a licensed psychologist. I know quiet of few, so that part might not be hard, After 2,000 supervised hours, you can sit for your permanent license! I'd go on someday for my P.h.D hopefully, but in the meantime, this would be great!

My goal is private practice, but, I'd also like to volunteer my time and services to under privileged women dealing with mental health issues. I'll go into this more in a later post, but I think there is a real deficiency in public mental health education and a huge problem with the availability and affordability of mental health care for low-income families, especially young and/or single mothers. Later on I would also love to do research work on these problems.

I need to wrap up this post, but long story short, I have enrolled in school again! I will begin one course later this month in Abnormal Psychology at a local college. Surprisingly, I never had abnormal psych. during school, so I need to take this course before I apply to the Master's program. Also, it's a good way to show the prospective school my work potential. I am not going to settle for anything less than a 4.0! I'm going to ace this course.

So happy, so thrilled! I can't wait to begin. Class is a 3 hour lecture and discussion once a week while Noah is in school. I'll keep you guys posted. I'm going to find a way to get into the Master's program, even if it takes me years. In the least though, just simply being in this one class has really done a lot for me. I have something to call my own, something to challenge myself with and it feels great!


Judy said...

Oh Lauren, this post made me misty! Congratulations on taking a HUGE step.

Going back to school - for ANYTHING - is always a dream of mine. Now I can live vicariously through you!

Magdalena said...

You are so cool. I hope you get a funky bookbag and sharpen those pencils girl because you are going to knock them dead!

Laura said...

Congratulations Lauren on taking this big step! I know that you're going to knock the socks of said school with your application and pull a straight "A" in abnormal psych. So, when you get your license, I'll get a discount, right? ;)
Good for you for doing something for YOU, to better you and accomplish a dream that you've had for a long time. I admire you!

ilyms said...


Speaking from experience, it is the most rewarding thing you can do for yourself, aside from a killer haircut or funky colored pedicure :-)

For about 20 minutes last night I was seriously considering a PhD program. Then the kids came back, and I came to my senses.

Another Master's degree, maybe. But I am not so sure I want to go as far as a PhD. (Ask me again in 6 years when both boys are in school, and the girl is about to graduate...)

You will need to fill your time when Noah goes to school, too. Don't sit around and eat peanut MM's like some of us tend to do, while wondering where the extra poundage is coming from.

You have my complete and total support!

Will you and Noah have matching lunch pails? That would ROCK!

yuko said...

Lauren, that is SO cool!! I'm glad that you finally found something you can enjoy and be excited! I'm excited for you, too!!