Archive for October, 2009

I’m yours

… I learned that Jason Mraz song on ukulele today.  I was amazed how simple learning chords on ukulele is overall – within 10 minutes of getting the thing out of the case I was jamming along on a 5-chord song.  Also on the list of uke songs I learned today – “Three Little Birds”.  I feel cooler by the minute 🙂

Did my first solo session at the hospital today.  I was surprised at how not nervous I was.  Guess I am growing!

In unrelated news, getting mail = happiness.  And I have had a lot of happiness in my life lately… Liz’s beautiful homemade save the date cards PLUS a totally awesome Halloween/miss you card from Erin and Travis.  And less recently, a cute penguins card from Lyd (with gas money… I swear I am going to go deposit that check soon Lyd, I’m sorry)… you guys/gals totally rock my face off, and every time I get mail (Joan, the lady I’m staying with, puts it by the sink in the guest bath) I feel so excited and blessed!!

Last bit of news for tonight: I have a HEADSHOT now.  Not super professional or anything (by this I mean that I took a bazillion pictures with my digital camera on timer and picked the best one), but here goes:

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Not bad.  The San Diego sun apparently looks good on me. 🙂

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October 28, 2009 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

a late night thought

So I need to get this off my chest.

If nothing else, I have learned in the past month the importance of washing/Purell-ing hands in the hospital.  To prevent the spread of germs from you to patient, patient to you, patient to other patient, patient to your instruments, etc.  I get it.  I really do.  I Purell my hands when I’m in the hospital twice for every patient I see (before + after) and sometimes more than that.  My hands are extremely dry, but I can live with that.

When I was at church today we were told about new regulations to prevent the spread of H1N1: no Communion cup, no holding hands during the Our Father, no shaking hands during the greeting or at any time during the service.  In spite of all my Purell-ing on the job, for some reason this troubled me.  Until this whole swine flu runs its course, I apparently need to go through life sanitizing myself from other people, from the warm feeling of someone’s hands supporting yours, from the firm and friendly handshake you get from your neighbor next to you in the pew.  Being that I’m in a long-distance relationship, I don’t feel another person’s touch very often, and strange as this sounds, I treasure it.  Maybe I’m gross.  I don’t know.  I’d be totally willing to carry Purell with me and offer it to strangers so we can hold hands and pray together.  I may even get sick… oh the horror!

In short, while I am generally a fan of cleanliness and preventing the spread of disease, I am NOT a fan of losing that element of touch that is so powerful.  People have held hands with each other for thousands of years and now all of a sudden we need to rub alcohol gel on our hands immediately after touching someone OR worse still, not touch someone altogether.  We all need our hugs/hand holding/bodily contact (don’t be crude!) that usually results in the transmission of germs.  It makes me very sad to live in a world where the need to stay clean out-needs the need to touch, to support, to heal each other.

Anyway.  That’s all for now I suppose.  Have a great week everyone! 🙂

October 26, 2009 at 12:52 am 1 comment

Hey, it’s a new post!

So sorry guys (and girls!) about the lack of posting in the past week or so.  Honestly, I’ve spent the last week being as productive as my mind and body will allow me, trying not to fall behind, and taking as much in as I possibly can.  It’s a helluva lot.  I don’t feel overwhelmed yet (but ask me again when I have more responsibilities!).

Cool things I’ve done this week:

1) This morning I ran down at Mission Beach – there’s a concrete path there that runs along the ocean so I don’t have to run in the sand (which is good, my legs hate me enough already).  Interesting people watching, especially surfers wiping out 🙂

2) Stay at the hospital until 9:00 pm on a Friday evening doing music therapy sessions, which doesn’t sound very cool except that the sessions were AMAZING and the time seriously flew by!

3) Learn (a somewhat simplified version of) the guitar solo from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” to use with a client.  That’s one small step towards complete badass-ness 🙂

4) Met some new friends at the TX/OU (sucks) game watching party in San Diego.  There are  A LOT of Texas Exes around here – over 100 at the viewing party.  Good to know I don’t have to watch games alone anymore!

5) Thought a lot about my future, job prospects, etc. (more on this later, too tired to write about it now)

And now I leave you with a small tidbit of hilarity – happy Monday eve everyone!

October 18, 2009 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

all are welcome in this place

So I’m sitting outside and don’t really want to do work. I’ve got a mug of yummy Peet’s coffee in my hand, the temperature outside is an extremely comfortable 67 degrees, and everywhere I look I see beauty around me.

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See?  That’s my happy face.  🙂

I don’t know what it is exactly about church music, but I’ve been to the same church twice now in SD and both times the music has made me cry.  Multiple times, both Sundays.  Naturally, as a studier of music’s effects on the brain, this makes me curious.  I don’t normally have crying reactions to music (one possible exception to this is the fourth mvmt. from Respighi’s Pines of Rome, extremely loud in surround sound).  To be sure, I am often emotionally moved, but the crying is a bit unusual for me.  The emotions that accompany said crying are definitely positive – I feel supported, I feel safe, I feel home.  Most of the music that incites this reaction is music I sang with the 11:15 ICC choir in Denton, an experience that was extremely positve, even tranformative, for me.  I’m enclosing Youtube videos of several of these songs (I’m doing the best I can to find versions that match what I remember):

“All are Welcome”

“You are Mine”

“We Have Been Told”

“Christ Be Our Light” (this actually is not the version I know, but I like the arrangement! Also, LOVE the guy dancing with the drum throne in back)

So there you go.  I don’t really expect anyone to look at the videos, although they are good – they’re mostly for my own benefit 🙂  I guess I’m going to continue to be my own research participant in my completely non-controlled study in why I can’t stop crying when I hear church music.  I’m going to go listen to that last link again now 🙂

October 11, 2009 at 6:41 pm Leave a comment

Miss Personality revealed…

Personality tests are interesting to me.  Sometimes I take them and I see the results and I think “whaaat? that’s not me at all!”, and other times they are right on.  The most recent version of the Myers-Briggs I took (thanks Facebook!) described me as an INFJ (Introversion, iNtuition, Feeling, Judgment).  Here is the little blurb I got along with my test (again, credit “What’s your Personlity Type” test on Facebook):

You seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. You want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. You are conscientious and committed to your firm values. You develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. You are organized and decisive in implementing your vision. Famous people with your same INFJ personality include: Adam Sandler, Mel Gibson, Billy Crystal, and Oprah Winfrey.

Does that mean anything to you? Because it doesn’t really mean anything to me.  It’s very abstract and I don’t think it really tells anyone anything about me, unless they personally know Adam, Mel, Billy and Oprah.  Anyway, for my internship I’ve had to take two additional personality tests, the results of which I think have been much more insightful.  Since I’ve turned in one of them already and can’t remember the results, I’m going to cover the results of my “Personality Plus” test (you can find a comparable online version here – take it!).  The Personality Plus test was developed by Florence Littauer under the premise that there are four basic types of personalities – sanguine, choleric, melancoly and phlegmatic, and each comes with its own sets of strengths and weaknesses.  The biggest difference between the above online version and my paper version of the test is that while the online test allows you only one personality type with both its strengths and weaknesses, the paper version allows for different sets of personality traits for strengths and weaknesses (which apparently I have).

So, without too much more nerding out, here are my results:

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*Strengths: Phlegmatic personality*

-Emotions: low-key personality, easygoing and relaxed, calm, collected, patient, well-balanced, consistent life, quiet yet witty, sympathetic and kind, keeps emotions hidden, happily reconciled to life, all-purpose person

-Work: competent and steady, peaceful and agreeable, has administrative ability, mediates problems, avoids conflicts, good under pressure, finds the easy way

-Friends: easy to get along with, pleasant and enjoyable, inoffensive, good listener, dry sense of humor, enjoys watching people, has many friends, has compassion and concern

*Weaknesses: Melancholy personality*

-Emotions: remembers the negatives, moody and depressed, enjoys being hurt, has false humility, off in another world, low self-image, has selective hearing, self-centered, too introspective, guilt feelings, persecution complex, tends to hypochondria

-Work: not people-oriented, depressed over imperfections, chooses difficult work, hesitant to start projects, spends too much time planning, prefers analysis to work, self-deprecating, hard to please, standards often too high, deep need for approval

-Friends: lives through others, insecure socially, withdrawn and remote, critical of others, holds back affection, dislikes those in opposition, suspicious of people, antagonistic and vengeful, unforgiving, full of contradictions, skeptical of compliments

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Hmm.  Wow.   That is a lot of information… much of which describes me to a tee.  So anyway, if you have feedback on any of that, you can let me know.  Also, if anybody takes the test I’d be interested to see what your results are (they don’t give you much information after you take the test but I can email you what your results mean).   So click away and then we can overanalyze our personality tests together.  It’ll be fun – no really.  🙂  Good night everyone!

October 11, 2009 at 12:57 am Leave a comment

First two days!

Can I just say first off that I am so blessed?  I have the most amazing friends who knew I was moving to SD and care enough to ask how internship is going so far and how I am doing.  It really does mean a lot to me to know that you care enough to read my insanely narcissistic blog about what’s going on with me.  I really don’t want to disappear from the lives of the friends/family I care about, so I think this is a good way to let people know what’s going on with my life while I’m out here.  All of this to say – thanks for reading, ya’ll 🙂

So. First two days! I am … yeeah, I’m not going to figure out what percentage I am done with internship (1/90th? no, more than that).  So far, it’s been pretty good.  Lots of information, some of which I’m going to need repeated several times, but pretty good. I am in a good place out here – a wide variety of experiences (the populations I will be working with at first include substance abuse patients, well elderly, people with Parkinson’s disease, people in the ICU/other hospital floors, kids/adolescents/teenagers with developmental disabilities, breast cancer survivors, hospice patients and oh yeah, people in homeless shelters), lots of people to work with, and TONS to learn.  It’s really a bit intimidating at this point, but also good to see today that I’m not expected to “know it all”, that I can rely on others, and that above all, IT’S OKAY TO MAKE MISTAKES. (more on this later)  The rest of this week and part of the next one are going to be devoted to more orientation/getting my ducks in a row, a LOT of observing senior interns and supervisors, and perhaps working a teeny tiny bit with clients. What with the massive amount of information racing about in my head, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  🙂

On a somewhat related note, on Sunday night I made a list of promises to myself.  Those of you who know me well probably know that I’m very hard on myself, sometimes needlessly so, and this list was intended to make a covenant with myself, to remind myself that I am only human and can only do so much.  In part because I suspect I’m going to need some reminders of these promises I’ve made further down the road, I’m enclosing the list below…

I promise:

-to allow myself room for failure

-to give every day and every client my 100% effort

-to engage in self-care

-to learn from mistakes

-to keep surrounding myself with those who support me

-to see God in every person and client

-to acknowledge and embrace my anxieties, and to work through them

-to live spiritually

And finally…

-not to beat myself up if I falter and break a promise to myself

I know it’s super cheesy, but when I look at the list (it’s currently by my bed) I’m reminded of why it’s so important to take care of myself – why it’s so important that we all take care of ourselves, really. Life is short, people.  It’s way too short to live in fear of making mistakes.  I just hope I can remember these things when the flood of work actually comes 🙂

October 6, 2009 at 10:20 pm 1 comment

Photoblogging extravaganza 1: The trip to San Diego

My dad and I left very early Wednesday morning for San Diego.  He drove while I slept (well, sort of… drifted in and out of sleeping/watching the stars).  When I woke up, we were about 40 miles to Fort Stockton and 250-ish miles from the Texas border.  The drive from Austin to El Paso is, by the way, more interesting and shorter than the Dallas-El Paso trek I made to regional conference last year.  More changes in scenery.  We stopped at a view point in between the I-10 and I-20 merge and El Paso:

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Went through El Paso and… goodbye Texas :-(, hello New Mexico!

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I’ve been to and through Mexico several times and thought it was indeed a “Land of Enchantment”.  This time, not so much.  After Las Cruces, the ensuing 150 miles or so were flat, sandy, and kinda boring.  I didn’t take any pictures.

On to Arizona:

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Arizona … what shall I say about Arizona?  It was kinda cool.  I’ve been to the Grand Canyon and that’s cool and stuff, but the southern part of Arizona is really stark and beautiful.

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First sign we encountered with the words “San Diego” on it was north of Tuscon at the turnoff for I-8 (Tuscon, by the way, seems like a very nice city).  Excitement ensues 🙂

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The other thing I will say about Arizona is… Holy Cactus, Batman!!

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From Gila Bend (crazy little town where we spent the night) to the Arizona border, cacti (cactuses?) were all over the place.  They were really, really erie.  We were listening to a Phoenix classical station playing this really lush dance suite and the music and the rugged scenery… the last 100 miles flew by.  God, I love music.

Finally, CALIFORNIA OMG!

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(Entering Pacific Time… which my body still is not used to.  Also, I’m a little upset that TX/OU will be at FREAKING 9 AM here.  But we will discuss later 🙂

I-8 doesn’t go through the Mojave Desert (that’s quite a bit north of here), but upon entering the Cali border we immediately entered what is probably the biggest sandstorm I’ve ever been in:

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Sand from these incredibly large sand dunes was blowing swiftly onto the road.  Let us just say that I’m very glad my dad was driving.

Landscape change – I-8 next took us up into the mountains (the climb was so steep that we were advised to turn off our A/C to avoid overheading. Intense!)  The mountains here were truly unlike anything I’ve ever seen!

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(I’m not sure the pictures do it justice – these mountains essentially looked like overgrown rockpiles. Really cool)

From there we started our descent to SAN DIEGO.  On the way into town, we had In ‘N Out Burger (delightful!).  I should’ve taken a picture.  All in all, I really enjoyed the trip.  There is no way I could have done it without my dad – he drove all but about 150 miles of the trip without even needing a nap.  Mad props.

So now I’m here – I dropped my dad off at the airport this morning, which was rough.  When I feel like it in the next few days I’ll write about my dad visiting b/c we had a BLAST and it was great to have him here.  San Diego is beautiful.  I can’t believe I’m actually here.  This time last year I was making tentative plans and the whole thing seemed so far away, and now I start on Monday.  Until then, you can most likely find me in front of the TV watching college football while I still have the time.  No Texas game this weekend but for some reason, Joan (the lady I’m staying with) gets the A&M/Arkansas game.  Huh.  Go figure.  🙂

October 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm 3 comments


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