Monday, 13 April 2015

A Tough Day for a New School Psychologist

I arrived at 12.30, half an hour early. I went into the teachers' room and saw what I thought was quite an unusual sight. A teenage boy was standing near the door, and all the teachers were standing up and looked very angry. The scout leader, being the manliest man of the school, was reproaching the boy. The scout leader looked all red and besides himself with fury. I watched as the boy closed in, not looking at anyone, ear-buds behind his ears, hood over his head, all dignified and careless, and indifferent. When all the angry words and accusations were over - it turned out he (and two of his classmates) had climbed out onto the school roof during classes to smoke. "Are you an addict?" the principal asked? She was so mad. "Can't you do without smoking at least until the break?"
The boy didn't say anything. I asked him to come to my office after the English lesson - during biology. I didn't want him to miss English, and the biology teacher was quite willing to send the boy to me.
I worked with his younger brother during that lesson. I found the same indifference, the same lack of emotions, of feelings, of any life in the boy that his brother had displayed just a while ago. I learned about the boys verbal skills and attention span, about his lack of sleep and dislike for his teacher. He left, and I began waiting for his big brother. But he never came.
I intend to see him tomorrow, first thing in the morning, during the first class, but there is no way of knowing whether he will show up at all.
I really hope to make both of those brothers see that the world is not against them and that they indeed can be appreciated and seen for who they are - not as delinquents, but as kids that desperately need care - with no one to give a damn about how they're doing at school or in life, for that matter.
Of course, I'm naive and idealistic to think that I can help those boys, but I suppose newbies have to be that way, or there is no hope at all if we are all cynics right from the start. Oh, I do hope he comes to my office tomorrow.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Planting, Dancing and Bullying

It's raining now after two days of the most perfect spring weather. I managed to sew a lot of flower seeds as well as some peas and yellow string beans.
On Friday I bought Forsythia x intermedia "Lynwood Gold". The three naked branches leave a lot of room for imagination, and I hope it will grow thick and flower lavishly.
I did manage to finish the socks for Walter's dance recital on Saturday. This is how they turned out, I was rather pleased, even if the project was quite quick and easy.

The dance recital was great, and I couldn't be prouder since it was the first time I saw my child dancing with a proper dance club. I think even Ralph felt a bit envious watching his brother, but I doubt that will be enough to make him join the dance club as well.

I'm at school three days a week - Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. As luck would have it, both on Thursday and Friday "things happened" at school, and I've been thinking about bullying prevention and attendance problems for three days now. I have some sort of a plan in my head that I wish to implement, but I must admit, the task seems daunting.
This video might be a good start - at least to know which methods have been proven to be less than effective, and it is a nationwide problem that has not really been addressed on a national level in my country, so I need to put together my own materials, translating and adapting from strategies that have already been proven to work.

I do hope to make a difference, but I feel sooo new to all of this...

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Oh, Yes, It's All Good!

Yesterday was one of those days. One of those incredible days when everything just falls in its place. I went to school (to work with kids! And teachers! Yay!), I finished my practicum report, I drove to the city, I got there in record time, submitted the report and was back in my home town just two and a half hours later! I don't think I had to stop at any red lights, that was just unbelievable. I even managed to squeeze in some 10 minutes for the library, and I even got two books on autism and Asperger's that I had wanted to read for some time now. And I got back home, and everything went so smoothly I could not even believe it. A group-mate called and said she could help me find the clinical practicum for April-May, and I got hold of the would-be mentor at a crisis centre. She agreed to meet me on Tuesday, and I just can't wait!
Life is getting more and more hectic and busy, so it's easy not to notice that spring is here. But it is! And I'm sure many people would appreciate if their 3-minute walk to work looked like this.

Tonight I will relax with a wonderful knitting work - dancing socks for my son.
And tomorrow... and on Saturday... I will make sure to find some time for some gardening work! Oh, life is so good!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

First Day

The first school day is over, and what a day it was! It was a bit weird, looking through all the materials that the previous psychologist has left, reading the student files and getting to know so many of them...
Everything was new. Going to work in the morning was quite new, but taking a change of shoes with me to work was unprecedented. Learning the ropes, meeting the kids. Hugging some and reproaching some others. Even drying tears.
I really, really like it there. I didn't even want to leave. If I didn't have soooooo much to do (I need to hand in my practicum report tomorrow and translate three hour-long "Top Gear" episodes, and two episodes of a German police drama, and I have to drive to the city tomorrow to the University, and I need to finish knitting socks for my son's dance recital on Saturday, and I need to find someone - anyone! - to take me on for the second practicum.)
Life has never been more exciting and fun.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A New Job! A Dream Job!

Yes, yes, yes, I've been accepted as the new psychologist in our local primary school!

I'm so happy! I'm doing the happy dance!

Wait, WHAT?!

I start on Tuesday and am feeling a bit jittery, a bit panicky... Happy, yes, but wow, how did that happen?!
I feel a bit like on the day I gave birth to my first-born and was both in awe and in shock about the matters of this world that was so incredibly irresponsible and thoughtless that it gave me this wonderful human being and did not even make laws on how warmly to dress it! I had to figure everything out myself! That was insane!
Yes, it's just like that right now as well.