A lot is going on and hence the reason I haven't blogged in a few days. I realize that when push comes to shove, I have an almost scary combination of insight and drive to keep things moving and that seems to be what's happening now. A week before the Thanksgiving holiday and I have a half dozen things tasks I have to complete soon and decisions that have to be made--some by the first of the new year if not sooner.
I met with Joetta Scott, an academic counselor at the College of Marin yesterday for over an hour and had a long discussion about what happened with my front desk internship placement at the Mary Isaak Center, telling her that I'm currently at a stand-still, awaiting news of what my next placement will be. My next supervision seminar at Vida Nueva in Rohnert Park is this Friday and my internship supervisor Sara Jones has yet to speak with her supervisor about what placements would be both available and appropriate for me, given what happened at the MIC. That discussion that I was supposed to individually have with Sara this Friday has to be postponed until she speaks with her supervisor. Meanwhile, I have some decisions to make about spring semester registration, and a lot hinges upon my final grades for this semester.
One academic template for spring semester would be a 9-unit psychology-only course load to include (1) Theories of Personality (one of three admissions course prerequisites for a graduate counseling orogram), (2) Data and Ressearch Methods in Psychology, and (3) Seminar and Fieldwork Experience. If I go the fine art/multimedia route as a template, then I would be looking at two 4-unit art classes and a 3-unit multimedia class to include: (1) Color Theory, (2) 2-D Fundamentals, and (3) Animation I: Illustration and Cartoons. Both paths interest me but I can't go down both for too many more semesters and I have an unaswerned question that needs answering. It is a question whose answer is at the very core of my decision making: Do I or do I not have Asperger's Syndrome? If yes, to what degree do I have AS? This question has to be answered and it will be one that (unless I;m lucky) will involve a substantial amount of time and money spent to find out.
The testing and diagnosis can only be done by a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in learning disabilities, pervaisive developmental disorders, and autistic spectrum disorders. There is only one such clinical psychologist here in Marin County who I am going to contact to see if I can work out some sort of a financial agreement (i.e., pay in installments). Her name is Dr. Marion Diamond and her practice is located in Novato. Because knowledge is power. Without a written diagnosis, I will continue to be ineligible for certain services I might otherwise have if I do in fact get a diagnosis of AS. Secondly, without a diagnosis of either AS or something similar, I won't truly know whether a clinical MFT counseling or social work graduate program will work for me. Until I have this diagnosis, I can't use this as a disability to disclose when I'm applying for jobs or for shared room rentals in private homes. Because without the necessary written documentation, making such statements would not be apropriate. Yet the catch-22 is that a large majority of my problems in the past have resembled what one with AS may deal with. So I have to get to the bottom of this and am hoping to begin testing under a licensed clinical psychologist in January, if possible.
The other thing that Joetta discussed with me is that, until I obtain a written diagnosis, aside from keeping mum about AS, I need to think more broadly that many people without AS or NLD have the same type of communication problems I've experienced. She suggested that I be open to feedback about interpersonal interactions with people I may work with in my internship and to ask those for feedback without feeling the need to "label" myself as having AS or any other similar PDD. This was the key statement in my hour-long meeting with Joetta. I may try it.
Disclosing AS without the written diagnosis has already proven a bad move as I learned in the rental I've been in the last six months. Last Monday night, I gave my landlord verbal notice of my intention to vacate her house and rental either December 1st or January 1st. What I didn't realize is that I gave her more power to choose rather than to state a firm date. I have yet to await her decision. The courteous, professional way is a thirty-day notice, coming from either the landlord asking the tenant to leave or the tenant stating they will leave. However, another thing I learned is that without a written rental agreement typed up at the beginning of a rental period, the landlord can do whatever they please when it's their private home. That said, I am already looking for new room rentals with the idea that I will be vacating December 1st if I find a new, suitable rental. One where--going forward--I will mention my visual impairment as a disability but nothing else.
In other news, I am waiting to hear back from a prospective couple whose three-story home I may be paid to house sit for, this next week until the day after Thanksgiving. Should this successfully work out, not only will have have more supplemental income coming in, but this house sitting opportunity would serve as the start of an excellent reference for future house sitting opportunities. It's my chance to step up to the plate and show how mature and responsible in an adult fashion I am caoable of being.
I am also starting to write, edit, type, and format professional resumes and cover letters for clients and made my first check last night. The process is a little more time consuming than I thought as I have yet to finish writing the cover letter, format that and the resume, and print several copies in several different fonts for my client--all by this Friday when I will meet with her to give her the final copies. She will then be responsible for taking those copies to Kinkos to get printed on specialty resume paper unless she uses her own. I charge what I charge, however the work for this client will have taken between 2-4 hours to complete from start to finish.