Saturday, September 22, 2012

Student Association's SA Day-Away - Burlington's Mayor

Senior Eric Jaukkuri - Co-Secretary of Programming stands with Director of Student Activities Grace Kelly and Marilyn Cormier, Director of Government and Community Relations in Contois Auditorium this afternoon just prior to a talk to the Student Association by Burlington's young and dynamic new Mayor Miro Weinberger.  The second picture has the Mayor and Michael Fay, the College's Student Association President.  The third picture is of all of the members of the E-Board and the Student Senate posing with the Mayor.  And, YES, he does look like one of our students :)

The Mayor spoke of his own internship in Washington, D.C. in the office of Senator AND SMC alum, Patrick Leahy.  He encouraged our students to get involved and to take advantage of the many opportunities in local government.  He is a very impressive young, new politician and it was wonderful of him to share his Saturday afternoon speaking with our students and answering their questions.  One of our students asked him about the plight of the homeless in this area and of the issues surrounding how our society AND our government can deal with the mental health issues of those who are less fortunate and who may find themselves homeless.  It was a GREAT question and I was, as usual, very proud of our students for not only their questions, but for how well they responded to the Mayor - Well done Student Association.

take care, be well and PLEASE, PLEASE, keep all of the members of our military and all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

THIS is why I love to teach - - - -

Yesterday was one of those days in teaching that reinforces my LOVE for this profession.  My Sports Psychology class had to select their presentation topics for the semester - they have to work in teams of four and so yesterday they chose topics, established teams and selected dates for their presentations.  For them, it was chaos, for me it was ORGANIZED chaos where they were forced to work together, make connections with members of their teams, compromise, choose tasks within each team and then work with me to establish timelines - as I said, chaos for them - ORGANIZED and planned chaos for me.  One student commented "you love this don't you?" and I smiled and responded YES.  We then began looking at why some people are perfectly comfortable being GREEN CIRCLE skiers and others DOUBLE BLACK DIAMONDS - it was a fascinating discussion about how neurotransmitters may play a role in this and how the Central Nervous System levels of stimulation let one take great chances and another be happy with taking few chances.  We watched a YouTube video on cliff jumping and then moved on to even more extreme sports - check out wing suit base jumping on YouTube - watching the expressions on their faces as they watched seemingly sane people jump off of very high cliffs dressed in a wing suit and then FLY at 100 miles an hour right next to walls of stone left some with expressions of fear and voicing "I will NEVER do that" and others with looks of joy at seeing something that really speaks to them.  We processed all of those different reactions and they left the classroom talking, energized and saying "I never knew that before." - THOSE words warm any professor's heart....

My Theories of Counseling class met next and we talked about the chapter they had read for yesterday. After going through the PowerPoint presentation I had prepared based on the chapter on Medication(s) we watched the PBS Frontline show from 2008 entitled The Medicated Child - wow - each time I show this to my classes, they have a visceral reaction to scenes with 4 and 6 year old children who are on 8 to 11 different medications.  Since most of these students are also in a Practicum class, they will all have "clients" who are on some form of medication so it is important that they do some critical thought and analysis of their OWN views on medication.  Much like the students in Sports Psychology, these students also left the classroom talking with each other, energized and all riled up - again, things that make teaching so rewarding -

As I said, things that remind me why I LOVE to teach, even having done so since January of 1966......

Take care, be well, and please keep all of the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers as the War in Afghanistan continues to take the lives of OUR soldiers.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Practicum and the Psych Club

Just finished meeting with my Practicum class on this beautiful Labor Day.  Everyone (16 students) is placed and several have already begun their interships - others are waiting for their background checks to be completed.  One of my Class of 2012 Practicum students has an interview tomorrow for a full-time job at the same place she had her internship - she will rock it. 

I meet with the officers of our Psychology Club in half an hour - good folks with great ideas.  We will be contacting all of our majors/minors to see what things they want us to present this year.  The Psych Club is funded by the Student Association and has done a great job of raising awareness over the past couple of years.  We will have Chris Clary from Career Development come to talk about Graduate School and hopefully have Brian Cain, who is a Sports Psychologist come to speak - all of the Club activities are open to the entire campus - Brian spoke to almost 80 students the last time we brought him on campus.  The Club also collaborates with Psi Chi which is the National Honor Society of Psychology so this year looks like it will be a good one.

Take care, be well and please keep all of the members of our military in your thoughts and prayers - there still IS a War in Afghanistan..........