Just Words

So I haven’t been updating in a while- I didn’t even do a post for the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017! Part of it is because I am being a cheapskate and not paying WordPress to update my fees because I feel kind of dumb paying to upload pictures when Google and Microsoft have given me tons of free upload space…..I know I know, that’s pretty lame not supporting a platform you use regularly.

Anyways so since I have still not updated my pics, this is an all words post.

Whats been cracking lately? I started really slamming my EPPP exam preparation, the written exam I have to take to get my license as a registered psychologist. It was pretty depressing. There was a whole bunch of stuff that was overlap or just good to know, because it integrated well with my clinical practice. Then I was slammed with all the sections that have nothing to do with my clinical practice, including Industrial Organizational Psychology. So that hit like a ton of bricks.  Shortly after that, I received an email from my committee members that I now have a date for my candidacy. That then freaked me out. I’ve got it coming in less than a month and I am certainly worried about it. Fortunately I managed to have a meeting with one of my committee members who’s also the chair of our department, and he did lots of reassurances and walk throughs of all my questions. So now I am preparing the shit out of this so I don’t screw up. Well trying to at least- its incredibly difficult to study with a baby! H is just busting out with developmental growth all over the place, and frankly I am exhausted. Not as exhausted as mom, but still pretty pooped. It also didn’t help that work has been ABSOLUTELY INSANE the last month or two- I have a wackload of cases that are under high high high scrutiny and I’ve become a stressball at work. The good thing is that my coworkers at both places have been incredibly helpful and supportive. Gotta say that’s one of the biggest reasons I stuck it out with each job- my coworkers are awesome, and I am a broken clinician in 2017.

I’ve been experiencing lots of great gains with W and M- probably one of my favorite thing I have done in the last few months is make my Thursday night a workout night with W and K, and its just been bloody fantastic. It gives me a nice guaranteed break no matter how insane the work week goes, and we’ve been pushing each other incredibly so. My deadlifts went really awesome- I reached a personal best of 400lbs one rep, and was pretty excited about that. We also went insane for bicep day, and did 9 excercises of 8 sets of 6 reps (432 reps!) and….now my right wrist is in a lot of pain. I’m currently hunting for a new pair of workout gloves to really restrict my wrist movement.

My VAIO collection has blown up. I’ve managed to make several really awesome gains in the last few months. My biggest one (literally) was the acquirement of a VAIO AW series, Sony’s 18.4 inch laptop. I think I have been in love with this one for a good few years. Long discontinued, the VAIO AW was meant to be the ultimate desktop replacement laptop, by having features like dual drives (only in custom to order though- Sony left the connector out if you didn’t order a dual drive setup!), 18.4 inch 16:9 1080 panel, multi speaker set up (looks like a 4.1 set up and its my first laptop with a subwoofer!), and a speedy GPU (yes its old as fudge, but it was decent in the past as a mid ranger- Nvidia 9600GT- AND its not a recalled Nvidia card thank goodness- that was in the predecessor, the VAIO AR series). This AW rarely comes up for sale anywhere, eBay, local classifies, etc. I managed to screw up a local buy a few years ago for a grey model AW, that was super cheap. Well I managed to find one in France for a great price, and it was the configuration I was in love with- black model with silver trim. I have always liked the highest end configuration that had the camera leather grip on the palm rest, but they do not hold up well over time (this model is nearly 9 years old at this point) and often peel and curl. Anyways, the AW is like turning on a desktop computer, but its portable. Its really useful when I want to do work outside my office, but don’t want to feel cramped from a tiny screen. Its especially great for multi tasking because the screen has so much real estate (yes you could do this with a smaller 1080 panel or 4K for that matter, but the font size is considerably tinier on a 13 inch screen).

I picked up another camcorder (!) the Sony HDR-TG1. Released in 2009, it was more of a stylish vs. substance camcorder, and I lusted after it readily- I remember looking at it at the Southgate Sony Store, and just being amazed at it. I don’t do a lot of videos, so it wasn’t a high priority for me. However, with H now, I love catching all her moments as she grows, and video is huge for that. I managed to snag one for a ridiculously low price (dropped the price alert, and also put it at best offer), and got it spur of the moment, right after I finished my shift at work. So far its been a beauty- I can’t stop looking at it. Its one of the perfect epitomes of Sony Style. Its distinctly a Sony product, and a higher end one at that.

What have I been studying outside my office? I’m getting ready for my doctoral candidacy (finally!). I’m pretty pumped about this. I’m such a chicken shi* though about exams that I’m not sure how I will do. I’ve taken my education degree to heart and have been aiming for the highest possible form of learning, synthesis, as well as doing lots of evaluation level of studying. I have three core areas I need to hit on this exam- doctoral level of clinical terminology/know how of psychology, research methods, and my area of interest, bullying. I have been really focusing on how I can integrate all three of these areas as I study so that I can create new understandings, as well as criticisms of these areas. I’m hoping that I will gain a strong enough understanding that I will be able to roll to f*&k out at my exam and destroy anything they can throw at me. At this point I really just want to do it right now. I’m excited for this, and I’m hopeful for a pass.

And now that its probably been more than a month since I have had this draft in, I’m happy to say I passed my defense! It was one heck of an ordeal. Prep for this took me quite a long time- I zeroed in on my studying about a month before the date, and really focused on integrating everything I knew into one cohesive knowledge base. I really relied on the educational beliefs that synthesis and evaluation were amongst the highest levels of learning one could achieve, vs rote memorization. I.e. I integrated my understandings of child development, trauma informed intervention, bullying, school violence, clinical psychology….all into one piece and made sure I could attack my beliefs and defend those beliefs in as many ways as possible. It really paid off- I knew one of my profs was going to be a tough nut to crack, and it was totally true- I got hard hard hard questions asked. Importantly, I felt that the questions were valid and not out of the blue- I felt fully capable of answering 90% of my questions, and felt informed enough to take a stab at the remaining 10% of questions with a reasonable level of mastery. It was about 2.5 hours in length, and it really felt like a high level discussion, vs. a destruction of a graduate student by superiors. It went exactly how the chair professors said a good doctoral candidacy would go (at least in my head). There was a point in the morning where I just stopped practicing and said screw it- I truly felt comfortable with my material and if they were going to ask a question I couldn’t answer, it was because it was completely out of my scope of practice. That felt great! I haven’t felt like that in some time. I felt like I was learning this because I wanted to master it, rather than just achieve a passing level. So then I watched Batman Arkham Assylum boss level fights on YouTube and then spent the last 20 minutes before the exam listening to ACDC and the Rocky Soundtrack to psych myself up. All in all, it was tough but satisfying. I felt quite happy that it was difficult- I don’t think I would have felt I earned it, if it was a simple walk through.

I have a possible lead on the Sony MDR-SA5000 headphone, one of my all time favorite headphones of all time, and I am hoping to land them in the next month. I think its one of my fave designs ever. Down the road, I am sure I will develop a thirst and  hunt for the famed CD3000, Qualia 010, and R10 (one sold for 1000 last week! damaged but still), but this is the one right now.

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