So I think I have finally found the program that I want to go into. It’s a Mental Health counseling masters program at UW Stout and I am pretty eff-ing stoked about it. (That’s what I am going to put on the application too, "Dear Sir or Madame, I would be pretty eff-ing stoked to attend your fine institute of learning…")
The program lasts for two years and afterwards I would be licensed to be a therapist in Wisconsin…which would be pretty sweet. The program also doesn’t require a GRE, which is a pretty big bonus for me because my math skills are fairly nonexistent. Which isn’t fair because all of my family is like insanely brilliant about math. You know the whole Irish American family stereotype about people getting drunk and then fighting? That’s how thanksgivings are at my grandma except the drunken argument will be about something like how the imaginary number E factors into an equation. (Not joking about this, it happened. There was actual yelling and swearing) So yeah, my grandfather was an engineer for NASA, a literal rocket scientist and my grandmother was a professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering but I still get confused about fractions. Not cool, DNA, not cool at all.
Anyway, point being, I am glad that my admittance will be based off my GPA and work/volunteer experience and not anything to do with a math test. Plus I have been looking at all the UW schools for a program for counseling that is practice based and not research based (UW Madison is primarily research based) and this is the only one that I found.
This is a rare, totally serious thought from me, but I really am excited I found this program because I have wanted to work in this field for a long time. My older sister suffers from a mental illness and I have spent my whole life seeing her and other people with similar illnesses shoved through a system that doesn’t have a whole lot of empathy for them.
I know that there are some people out there that honestly care and advocate for disability rights, but I feel like mental illness somehow is treated differently than other disabilities. Maybe its because it isn’t one that you can see right away, like when someone is in a wheelchair, or maybe it is because society has everyone convinced that anyone that suffers from a mental illness could snap at any moment and go on a murder rampage. And news flash to people (like some people I am friends with hint hint) "bipolar" is not a personality trait, when you use that word to describe someone that you think has a bad temper or is annoying or THE DAMN WEATHER, you sound like a eff-ing prick. Its a disease, one that puts people into the hospital and that the people who have it cannot control.... ugh, the whole thing just disgusts me.
Its like, if someone had cancer or a broken leg, you wouldn’t be weird about it or embarrassed or whatever but whenever I mention to someone that my sister has bipolar disorder they change the subject real quick like I’ve made them awkward by bringing it up. So I figure the best thing I can do is go to school, learn more about and work within the system to help people. Not that I am like some holy martyr or anything like that, but it would be nice to be able to make a difference in someone’s life. And lets face it, NASA and Milwaukee School of Engineering aren't exactly knocking down the door asking me to come work for them so I better find some kind of career. N. still has a year left of school though so it wouldn’t be until fall of 2011, so I still have some time to figure everything out.
It would mean that we would have to move again though. I just counted the number of times I have moved in my life and the answer is 24. I am only 24 years old (to be fair my parents got divorced when I was a kid but lived in the same town so I’m counting every time either of them moved). But seriously, that is a lot of times to move. But one more won’t hurt me, plus who else can say that they have lived in that many houses?