rotten cabbage

yesterday I had my very first one-to-one counseling experience. like a real life one. up until yesterday I had just been practicing with fellow grad students in class and with friends. I'm doing my practicum work now and I have to complete a certain amount of hours for the class. so yesterday I met with my very first real client. while I can't talk specifically about the session, I can say how overwhelming it was for me. there were moments where I felt like I was in over my head. moments when I felt like I just wanted to tell the client what to do ("are you crazy? how could you do that?!?!"), but couldn't as it's not my place. but there were also moment where I felt really confident, like I was doing something that I was meant for... like maybe, there was a chance I could really help this person. maybe.

I also felt super drained after the hour and a half session. I can see how energy transfers from one being to another. if my priorities were straight, if I had more time, if I was more krishna conscious, I would probably spend some time after a session chanting, decompressing. alas, none of those things are true, unfortunately.
I've been really productive lately... not slacking in any way, shape, or form, yet somehow I still have a ton of stuff to do. for each counseling session I do I have to complete a set of progress notes... I'm already behind on those. I have three classes worth of papers to grade (app. 20 students per class... times 3... ok, that's about 60 papers that I need to read word for word and make constructive comments on...). I have my comprehensive exam in three weeks and need to prepare my first question for my study group on thursday night... oh, speaking of thursday, my outline for the first chapter of my huge thesis project is due.


I was sick over the weekend and didn't make it to the temple on sunday. I felt like I had to choose between getting better or going to see my friends and the dieties. I was sad to not go. I wanted to be there. but if I had gone... driven for three hours...I would have been exhausted on monday, and probably would have felt really crappy. so in one sense I am glad I decided to stay home.

I'm still tired, still overwhelmed, still stressed out. but things could be worse, right? I could be a one-armed, half blind leper eating rotten cabbage who didn't know anything about Krishna. that would be way worse... right? right???

today in the english II class I teach, we discussed raymond carver. he is the author of one of my favorite short stories, popular mechanics. I first read this story back in my undergrad days. my professor asked us to write a response to the piece and I did so through a poem. today I brought a copy of that poem to class and handed out it. I asked my students to comment on the value of the poem in relation to the story. I didn't tell them I wrote it. I guess that was kind of egotistical of me... I wanted to see if it did have any value. they all responded positively, pointing out how the minimalistic style matched the minimalism in the story. I eventually told them I wrote it... then of course they gave me the brown-nosing-it's-so-good-comments. I told them that it wasn't necessary... I wasn't looking for praise. ok, so I lied a little... is that such a crime? what can I say, I'm human.

picture so sweet
swiftly taken
grasped and grabbed
turmoil and torment
why is he leaving
sordid affair
or just an unhappy boredom
dark on the outside
dark on the inside too
she’s glad you’re leaving
glad you're leaving
picture so sweet
swiftly snatched
pulled and pushed
this way and that
both ways
the end
when crying picture
no more


Devadeva dasi said...

wow! that sounds like my teaching job fantasy...to discuss raymond carver.

i get my in-laws' old issues of the new yorker so i dont know exactly when this was but within the last couple of months i would suspect...anyway, there was an essay about carver's relationship with his editor. really intersting. basically, the guy would edit out half the pages of carver's stories...

the sparse, bare bones, perfectly meta-functionality of the dialogue, etc. a construct of a really good editor.

i don't know how i feel about this.

kmala said...

I have to say, I really love teaching at the college level. my experience as a high school teacher really jaded me, and when I really started to get in at the college level - even if it is community college - I really started to feel what I expected I would feel as a teacher - like I could really do it, and that I know stuff... etc.
I don't know too much about mr. carver, but he is one of my favorite short story guys. I'd like to read one of his novels and his poetry one day, but I don't have the time. I appreciate his minimalism and his ability to bring the every-day-not-so-eloquent person to life.
plus he's kind of dark and mysterious, which I'm always attracted to.

brew27 said...

I can offer you this advice... I have been counseling people at church and it is difficult to listen, want to help and still be detached, but strength comes from faith... centering yourself in your faith must be your core and reach out from there.

And don't worry... we don't do Christ Centered Counseling...have you looked at that? Talk about neo-nazi-esque... nothing can be said except that which comes from the doctrine... sloooww your roll :)