So here I am!
What have I done so far?
Wednesday I did work on the airplane for my thesis, look at me being so industrious! Something else I miss about Texas... We landed and the guy in the row in front of me reaches out across the aisle to shake hands with the Navy man sitting there. He said, "Before you leave I just want to thank you for your service," and shook his hand. Then someone alerted him to a woman who was sitting nearby who is also a soldier going home in plain clothes and he shook her hand too.
It turned out I was on the same airplane as someone in my program (we found this out when she got up to use the bathroom at the end of the flight and I happened to see her pass me). When we landed we called two of our faculty who also had landed at the same time at the same airport and all rode together. These two faculty members are also big names in the field and besties, so it was kind of fun to share a cab with them. When we got to the hotel we threw down our stuff, registered for the conference, then went for sushi with friends from the program. We went to CVS to buy snacks and BLUEBELL ICE CREAM (another thing I miss about Texas), which we devoured.
This morning my head decided to have its monthly migraine, so that woke me up at around 4am, and I didn't really sleep again. I got a phone call at 7am from someone I was going to meet (didn't realize she was going to call at 7am, though), and then I decided to take a migraine pill, so I could finally sleep. I hesitated to take the pill because it has a lot of caffeine in it and I wanted to sleep, but I was so exhausted that the relief at the lack of migraine overpowered the caffeine.
What I did at the conference today:
- Sexuality & Art Therapy
This was a fabulous presentation. I am going to buy the book she referenced heavily: "The Heart & Soul of Sex" by Gina Ogden. Unfortunately, the presenter didn't tell the book store station (at the conference) they were going to present on that book in advance so there were no copies available to buy immediately after. I'm lucky, though, because this book is going to be ordered to the store so I can just go pick it up sometime soon (or just order it on Amazon). The presenter talked about bringing healthy conversations about sexuality into therapy, normalizing sexuality with clients, etc. It was great and very empowering!!
- "It Begins With Us" - Working with Transgender Clients
This was an okay presentation but I made kind of a prejudiced statement before going that I was only going to go to presentations done by people with MA or above because often the presentations done by people with lesser degrees (ie: undergrad or grad students) are not very well researched. This was a presentation of a class project she did. If she had had more time and had really done a real research project by sending our her survey to more people, there may have been more results (also if she had consulted someone on her survey questions). It was pretty good, though, especially for a class assignment. But they didn't really bring in any of the deeper subjects relating to working with transgender clients, or really many honest responses to people who identify as transgender... I skipped a presentation about Gush Katif for this one - that presentation was apparently AMAZING, people CRIED - so I am kind of sad...
- MARI Card Assessment
(What is the MARI Card Assessment?) I had been looking forward to this all year, ever since last year I missed it because I waited until the end of the conference and there was no time left. Also last year I chose to research this assessment for my class and it is super top secret, there isn't much information about it anywhere! This was a really amazing experience... It ended up being a lot about my wrestling with my Jewish identity and spirituality... WOW.
- "Points of You: The Coaching Game" trial
I was walking around the exhibition room and I heard two women speaking in Hebrew so I went over to the booth where they were standing and basically asked if I could practice my Hebrew on them. So they said, we can give you our shpeal in Hebrew if you want! So that's what they did... it is actually a really cool game that inspires a lot of interesting conversations. It's basically irresistible - you feel compelled to talk about the cards you pick! Very cool. It's really new and was developed in Israel. I have a few critiques about it, though, one big one being that all the people pictured in the cards are White. But it is a really cool tool. Plus I got to practice some Hebrew.
- Student session with Pat Allen
This session was designed to be a small conversation, I guess Pat didn't realize how many people would show up because there were more than 50 people in the room, actually probably close to 80! So it was just her answering questions... describing the Open Studio Process (OSP). It was obvious nobody in the room really knew who she was because people were really confused about the OSP - she never identified it by name, herself. But one person did say "oh do you do something like the OSP?" and I laughed inside... She invented the OSP! Literally! But she didn't say that, she was really cool about it. It was kind of annoying, though, I didn't need to sit in a session about the OSP, but because I sat in the front row I couldn't leave! Near the end we did talk somewhat about jobs and whatever... I don't know. Last year's student session with Shawn McNiff didn't get so derailed, but mostly because he didn't ask for anyone's opinions about anything hahaha.
- Art of Edith Kramer Opening Reception
This was cool, Edith Kramer is one of the Founding Mothers (or the "אמהות" "imahot" if you want to make a reference to the biblical matriarchs, since there are 4 haha) of Art Therapy. Here I actually introduced myself to someone I had been seeing around the conference all day, turns out she lives kind of near my parents and knows one of the teachers at my school. Ha! Small world... The shuttles were timed really badly, so it took forever to get there and back, so I almost missed the movie about art made by Holocaust survivors, which I wanted to see. They had underestimated the amount of space they needed for the audience of that movie anyway, so I got there about 30min into the movie but people were sitting out in the hall on the floor or on piano benches because there were no more seats. I just gave up.