Oct 21

Allons-y!

As the Tenth Doctor would always say..

 

 

Allons-y!

 

 

I feel like I should start this post with a Dr. Who gif, as I am writing this after watching the latest Dr. Who episode that just aired tonight! Happy Who Day!

 

 

 This may only be my first blog post, but the semester is already chugging along!!

First, let me introduce myself.  I am a second semester student in the MBA in Professional Accounting program.  It’s a great program for students like me, who have an undergrad degree in a COMPLETELY different major.  I have my Bachelors from St. John Fisher College in Sociology with a minor in Human Resources Management (Go Cardinals!).  So…this is my first semester of ever taking an accounting course and it has been a blast!

I am also a Program Advisor and Graduate Assistant in the Richard J. Whele School of Business.  Being a graduate assistant can be fun and challenging.  Our latest event for the School of Business was the Forty Sixth Annual Business Awards Dinner on Tuesday night, October 14th, at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.  The dinner was to bring together community business leaders, alumni, faculty, staff, and students in order to celebrate the achievements of two award winners.  Ronald J. Tanski of National Fuel Gas Company was awarded the Business Executive of the Year Award, and Michael J. Edbauer MBA, DO, received the Dr. Bernard L. Martin Award.  Both award winners have made tremendous contributions to the WNY area and have achieved great executive success.

As a Graduate Assistant, I helped to organize the event along with the other graduate assistants in the Dean’s Office.  The dinner was very successful with having surpassed our goal of over 25 tables of attendees.  This was a must-go type of event for business students, with many business leaders to connect with and network!  In this modern time, networking gives you a leg up on the competition for internships and job hunting.  Plus, the raspberry cheesecake dessert was yummy!

Me, Olena Spencer, Dr. Shick, Nick Krzemien, Billy Craven

Happy Studying!

PS: Here’s a funny video I found on youtube this weekend!!!!

Marcel The Shell With Shoes On, Three

 

 

Oct 18

Self Harm

Hi all,
I usually don’t write about sad topics on my blog, but this week I was INSPIRED to write about self harm. And I’m hoping to develop a series of blogs on this topic that I have a new found passion for.

This week at my internship, I heard of an incident where a student was cutting herself and I had a student in my office who admitted to burning himself. So one male and one female. Oftentimes, society stereotypes only females to engage in self harmful behavior, but this also impacts men as well.

Why do people want to harm themselves? Based on my experiences, one of the reasons is that people have HURT another person and instead of dealing with the EMOTIONAL pain, they want to PHYSICALLY cause pain to themselves. Another factor is suicide. Whether it is suicidal thoughts or attempts, self harm is often a first step. The thing about self harm is that people are often are not experiencing PHYSICAL pain, they are experiencing EMOTIONAL pain.

Taken from pinterest.com

There are three other reasons that people self harm:
-The physical pain allows them to FEEL something. People who are hurting, feel emotional numbness or disconnection from their world. When they experience physical pain, they temporarily gain that feeling back.
-Cutting (specifically), but also other forms of self harm, releases endorphins, stress and emotional pain. This is stated by cutters.
-For young people, self harm is a way of fitting in with their friends.

What are ways people harm themselves? In my recent experiences, people cut themselves with knives, razors, or sharp objects or they burn themselves intentionally as a physical release of pain. Other ways of self harm include: scratching or pinching oneself until blood is present or marks or left on the skin, banging or punching objects to cause bleeding or bruising, and hair pulling.

As I was on Pinterest (my favorite website for any type of inspiration). I came across a list of words that are associated with self harm that I would like to share.

Depression. Hurt. Anorexia. Bullied. Broken. Death. Cutter. Self-Harm. Depressed. Suicidal. Sad. Bulimia. Paranoia. Anxiety. Panic. Eating Disorder. Voices. Lost. Self Hate. Misunderstood. Alone. Drugs. Hard. Judged. Alcohol. Cigarette. Panic. Recovery. Alive. Help. Strong. Cry. Life. Addiction. Pills. Bad. Hope.

To you, some of these words will be more powerful than some, but each person experiences pain differently and the words that do not stick out to YOU, stick out to someone else.

There is HELP. There is HOPE.

*Canisius College offers counseling to ALL currently enrolled students. Visit their website for more information. http://www.canisius.edu/counseling/

Oct 18

Missed flights, ten page papers, and roller coasters?

Well, welcome to my first post! My name is Kaileigh and I am a second year graduate student in the College Student Personnel Administration program at Canisius. I also have a graduate assistant position in International Student Programs and International Admissions (and an internship in Fraternity and Sorority life, GO GREEK!).  I’m sure you are wondering what missed flights, ten page papers, and roller coasters have to do with each other…

As a graduate assistant in International Student Programs, we work to provide students with activities and programs to get them acclimated to American culture and promote international friendships. Our students come to campus a week before the rest of the college moves in (this is where the missed flights come in) and we give them important information about being an international student but also do fun local activities. We have taken students on sunset cruises on Lake Erie, we’ve played Lasertag and gone go-carting, we take a trip to go on the Maid of the Mist, and most recently we took students to Six Flags Darien Lake (roller coasters).

 

Maid of the Mist Tour!

While my job is rewarding and enjoyable, I also have to remember I am a student after all (ten page papers). The CSPA program is very unique. The classes are directly applicable to what I am experiencing in my job and internship which makes the classes much less like work. The CSPA program is also a cohort program. I appreciate my cohort every day, especially on Tuesday’s when we have to get through 8 hours of class fueled by Tim Hortons, Starbucks, and our inside jokes. It makes school and work that much better when you can experience it with people who are going through it as well.  We also have a lot of fun together outside of class when we have holiday parties or go out for happy hour after work.

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you check back in with my blog posts as the semester continues!

International Students on Sunset Cruise

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International Students at Lasertron

Oct 07

Being Thankful.

I know it’s really soon to be writing (or thinking) about Thanksgiving. But being thankful spoke to me this week.

Things I am thankful for.

1) My family- My parents and sister have always been there for me. But especially in tough times. I find comfort and love in their words, even though I am far away from them.

2) My closest friends- I can always rely on them for a laugh, a smile, and a hug. They have always been there to listen to me, both in person and while we are apart.

3) My education- Not everyone is fortunate to make it to where I am today. If you had asked me 3 years ago, if I would be receiving a Masters degree, I would have said no. I have been blessed with so many great professors who love and care about me and my colleagues. Both as people and students.

4) My students- They may be crazy, but their humor really keeps me going.

Sep 20

Being Comfortable

WOW! My first full week of internship is complete! I have loved getting to know student that I will be working with and knowing where they come from and where they are going. I played games to get to know some of the younger high school students and did some college research with the seniors. I am becoming more comfortable working with them as my time there continues. One thing I really noticed is how fast I am learning their names. I am not usually good with names unless I see the students each day. When I was working at my practicum, I saw most of the students in group and I was not able to learn their names as fast. But when I am working individually with students I make a point to actually say their name and remember something about them. This helps me connect with the students and they feel more comfortable talking to me. Or so I’ve realized.

I also make a point to say “hi” to students in the hallway as I see them. Just as an extra smile throughout their day. I don’t think many teachers do this, so it’s nice to know that I can be that “something extra” students. Connecting with students is HUGE in any educational field. I love getting to know students and what they are like outside of the classroom as well as inside school. Students are PEOPLE too. Some teachers forget that. Asking students questions and being genuine is so important for any student. But especially troubled youth.

I am still learning and every day is a surprise, but I am rolling with the punches and learning from each and every student.

Sep 14

From there to here…

I survived my first week of my internship! YAY!!

While I cannot work with students alone, I worked one-on-one with students completing intakes. When my supervisor asked me to do it, I was excited, but also nervous. These students don’t know me, why would then open up to me and tell me about their families and their lives? Surprisingly, students were very open and seemed comfortable talking to me. It was so great getting to know students one-on-one instead of in a group setting (like last semester in my practicum). As I was completing the intakes, I noticed that I felt very comfortable as I asked students questions about themselves. The “intake” was not just a form to fill it. It was in fact a conversation with a student to get to know them and understand them. And as I was asking students questions and having a conversation with them, I realized how far I have come from my Pre-Practicum class where I practiced my counseling skills to Practicum where I was working students, and now to internship. I am not always thinking about “what do I ask next in this session?” I let the student lead the conversation and my responses seem natural and I feel more confident.

In the middle of the week, my supervisor and I had students express great family concerns that impact their day to day lives and sometimes their safety. Many of their stories were sad and heartbreaking. But as a school counselor, I am there to HELP. NOT take on their problems or to make them my own. I am there to advocate and help them cope with whatever is going on in their lives.

Sep 07

Exhausted.

Well second week in and I’M EXHAUSTED (and it was really only a 3 day week)!
Two highly interactive classes on Wednesday, substitute teaching 2nd and 4th graders and class on Thursday and substitute teaching 3rd graders on Friday! On Friday, I was in bed at 7pm. And I ran the Dirty Girl 5K on Saturday and participated in a walk for Lupus on Sunday morning!
What a week! But I wouldn’t change it for the world.

In my internship class, as we were practicing our counseling skills, I realized that while I needed a refresher, I still had them! It was the BEST feeling in the world and I know that I’m growing each day! In teaching this week, I was nervous because I have very limited experience with elementary school students, but I am working to gain more experience. However, I realized this week, that I DO have what it takes to work with elementary students. And I will continue to practice. Children have so much to offer and they are so intelligent!

On Saturday, I highly debated not participating in the Dirty Girl run. But decided that yes, it was a little out of my comfort zone, and the more reason I should do it! I completed each obstacle (without falling) and had a blast! Check out my photo! And for 45 minutes I forgot about my crazy week and THAT is exactly what I needed.

This week I have a FULL 5 day week and I’m starting my internship, so BRING IT ON! I’m ready!

Sep 05

Hard Work Pays Off!

Yay for feeling reward in your work!!

 

My undergrad background at Canisius is in Marketing. I chose that path because I thought it would be a safe bet for getting a job post-graduation.. That was the most important thing to me! With Canisius’ help through the counseling center and networking events, I was able to find a job and I worked for some reputable WNY companies for several years. I had pride in my work and felt prepared to face all obstacles thanks to my business background and education from Canisius. However at the end of the day, I did not feel a sense of reward in my work. I was missing something no matter how many different paths I would take in my career.

I always wanted to be a School Counselor and felt I would be really good at it. When I was laid off of my last job in business, I knew it was my opportunity to go back to school for what I really wanted.  Once I made that decision, the next was simple – I knew Canisius would be the place for me.

3 semesters in and I’m so happy! The program is equal parts challenging, engaging, and fulfilling. Time is flying in the program, and I might be a nerd but I look forward to all of my classes! This semester I began my practicum in a local High School. Applying my classroom work and knowledge into my practicum is such a liberating experience. I am excited to continue my education and I have a feeling my graduation day will surely be bitter-sweet!

Aug 28

One more year!

Well, folks! I have one year left of graduate school!

It’s really crazy to think about! I have already began to study for the comprehensive exam that counseling students are required to pass before graduation.

In my first semester in the program, I remember learning SO much about myself and being challenged to step out of my comfort zone, as well as self disclose in appropriate ways. This semester is going to be much of the same. In my substance abuse course, I am writing a paper about how the substance use and abuse of others has impacted me and my career as a school counselor. I will be starting (soon, hopefully) a paper about my sexuality and how it relates to my career, relationships, and myself. However, you must know, I am VERY apprehensive about this assignment. Many aspects of the assignment are considered private pieces of my life (as well as my colleagues). But I am going to attempt the assignment with an open mind and do what I feel COMFORTABLE with.

In addition to graduate school, I have began the substitute teaching “interview” process. The interview process is very simple and a few do not even require an actual interview, but more of a “meet and greet.” I had a principal on Tuesday tell me that the purpose of the 15 minute interviews were to make sure that professionals can be professional and carry a conversation and “put words together.” This really stuck with me. And that is exactly what interviews ARE. LIGHTBULB! This year in substitute teaching I am extending myself as much as possible into the younger age group. I will be potentially be working with early childhood student (NOT my area of practice or expertise) but I am looking forward to new experiences both in counseling and teaching this year!

Aug 15

Teaching vs. Counseling and Everything in Between

Well, more like what’s in between…

I ALWAYS get the questions “So you want to be a school counselor?” “You don’t want to be a teacher anymore?” And my favorite question is “School Counselor or Teacher?”

I honestly can’t answer either one of those questions in one word.

I have two teaching certifications. BUT I chose to attend grad school for school counseling for TWO reasons. 1) Everyone I went to college with was getting their Masters in Literacy, Special Education, etc. I didn’t want to go the same route as anyone else, and I wanted to learn something different. 2) I served as a peer counselor to my peers at Keuka College, where I attended college for undergrad. I truly developed a passion (and motivation) for helping students.

Last semester in Practicum, I often felt “confused” in my role as a teacher and a practicing school counselor (I think I blogged about it earlier).

I recently began tutoring a 4th grade student in math. As I was tutoring her the past few weeks, I felt myself feeling “calm” like the counselor. But my brain was moving like a teacher! When my student had difficulties, I encouraged her to take a deep breath and I offered her assistance. Don’t get my wrong, I do not often grow “frustrated” when I am teaching. But something feels different for me when I’m tutoring. I was even asking OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS, which is something I’ve struggled with both in teaching and counseling.

While I’m tutoring, I DO NOT serve as a counselor, but I have found that I am able to use my counseling skills to be a better tutor and teacher for this student.

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