Registered for my Final Two Classes Today……

I remember sitting down at my computer blogging about my decision to go back to school.  I had been out of school for around 20 year., and a lot has happened in my life since I had last been a student.  In December 2015 I graduated summa cum laude with my B. S. in Psychology.  I began grad school right away, and I also blogged about my decision to pursue Gerontology.

Today I am sitting here blogging about registering for my final two graduate classes.  By December of this year, I will hold a master’s degree in Gerontological Services from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

This journey has taken me through five years, two moves, both of my children graduating high school, health concerns and surgeries, the death of a grandparent, and multiple other life changes.  It was very difficult at times, and I even spent some time in tears and ready to give up.  I kept going, though, and here I am!

I am working to find a job and begin to build upon my education and truly make a difference to the people who I work with.  I am looking at research ideas, and beginning the process of developing them.  I am still a wife and a mom, and these roles are the ones I still identify with most closely because these roles mean the world to me.  I am also someone who is passionate about my chosen field and the individuals that I work with.  In some ways. I am the same person I have always been.  In others, I have changed and grown.

My husband and my kids have given me their love and support, their proofreading skills and their shoulder, their understanding and their cheering section to get me through.  I could not have gotten here without them!

So here I am getting ready to tackle my final semester of school.  I am excited to see where I land as I apply for and interview for positions in my field.  I am excited to see what the next chapter of my life holds as I am stepping out as a confident, educated and capable woman.

Commencement 2016

This weekend is the commencement for my graduating class and I will be unable to attend.  That fact kind of sucks.  I worked very hard to finish my degree and did so with honors.  I would love the opportunity to walk in the commencement and celebrate my accomplishment with my fellow graduates.

One factor that keeps me from going is that I am in the process of a big move.  My family has to be out of our home by May 31, because our landlord is selling the house and will not be renewing the lease.  As of this moment, I do not yet know where we will be going as all of our options so far have not worked out.  It makes for interesting living and keeps me from making a graduation trip.

Another factor that keeps me away from commencement is the coming graduation of my son from high school.  My youngest child graduates from his vo-tech school on June 7 and from his high school on June 17.  This is a big moment in this child’s life because he is on the autism spectrum.  There were times in his educational life when my husband and I both feared this day would never come.  It is a victory for both my son and for us as he graduates!

Even though I cannot go, I cannot help but reflect on what I have accomplished.  I am 42 years old and I graduated with my bachelor’s degree with a 3.91 GPA.  Not too shabby.  I am now enrolled in graduate school and working toward a degree in gerontology.  I got As in my first two classes.  Ten years ago I would have said that it was too late for me and that I would never be able to do school.  And yet here I am!  Whether I get to go to Virginia or not, I celebrate!  I know what my accomplishment means to me.  I know what it means for my future.

My project

My final project for my dementia class is a presentation on a topic of my choice that pertains to dementia.  My professor stated that she wants the topic to have something to do with our life and job, and be a help to us in what we currently do.  Quite frankly, that doesn’t narrow it down for me a whole lot!  There is so much about dementia that I want to understand more about, so much that I do not know.  I think I finally narrowed my topic down to something that will help me in my current job.  I will talk about non-pharmacological interventions that I can use with my clients to assist them in everyday life.

I spend every day that I am at the center with anywhere from one to five different clients and all of my clients might have different forms of dementia and therefore different needs.  I do have my supervisor, and often there are volunteers available to assist me, but sometimes I am by myself in working with these people.  Something that I sometimes struggle with is finding things to do that interest my clients, but also things that will help my clients.  Our goal is to give them opportunities to participate in the activities of the center and to do things that are fun to them and that encourage them to do things that involve thinking.  We try to offer opportunities that will assist in slowing the rate of cognitive decline.

We have our old stand-by things, like coloring and playing tic tac toe.  One of the   challenges I face is that some of our clients are usually game to try new games and activities, but one or two of them just are not open to doing certain things. When I have volunteers it is possible to do multiple things at once with our clients.  I need to learn about tools and interventions that I can use to come up with activities that my clients will respond to and like.

So here’s to the project!

I got into Grad school!!!

In just four short weeks I will finally complete my bachelors degree.  I have been doing a lot of thinking about my future goals and have decided to go straight to grad school.  I found a program that matches my intent and bit the bullet and put in my application.  Then I waited.  And waited.

I have finally received word that I have been accepted to the MS in Gerontological Studies program at St. Joseph’s University.  Pardon my moment of immaturity as I SQUEEEE with glee!!  I still have to pick my first classes and get my financial aid squared away, but I will begin my master’s journey on January 12!

This was a long time coming for me.  I didn’t start (or re-start as the case may be) my degree until I was nearly 39 years old.  I will be turning 42 the week I finish my bachelors.  There was a time when I thought I would never be able to go to college and now here I am working to fulfill my dreams!