Thursday, May 31, 2007

Up to HERE

It would have been nice to use my 200th post on this blog to celebrate an accomplishment or share good news. Instead, I'm just fed up to the eyebrows with the school's internship department.

The internship director I've been working with, Eleanor, has been trying to get me another place to finish out my first year's fieldwork. She sent me the info last Wednesday, when I was busy with Shavuot. On Friday I called the contact person, Dr. Newperson. No answer -- probably away for the long weekend. On Monday I called again: still out. On Tuesday I called and actually got her. She was too busy to see me that day, and I had class all day Wednesday and Thursday. We arranged to meet this Friday, and I emailed Eleanor to let her now.

I got this in response (and she cc'd my fieldwork advisor and my faculty advisor):

Ayelet: I am extremely concerned that this process is being prolonged and you are still out of placement. You have said that you cannot meet with Dr. Newperson on Wednesday or Thursday due to your class schedule. What is your schedule? I will contact Dr. Newperson to determine if she can meet with you during times that you are on break/lunch or between classes.

Are you kidding me? I bust my tail to get to my first placement, which takes FOREVER to process me, and then allows a psychopathic associate director to harass and discriminate against me; I'm sent into a 3-hour emotional gang-rape that ends in me being denied a second-year internship and told by the internship office that they can't even try to find me another spot until I finish out my first year; I try to contact Dr. Newperson NUMEROUS times, she can't see me on Tuesday, and you want me to spend the scant time I have between marathon 3-hour classes racing from school to a VERY remote location and back? What kind of crack are you smoking?

Somehow I stayed calm enough to write this:

Eleanor, tomorrow I have class from 9 a.m. through 4:15, with a one-hour break, during which I have a meeting with a professor. I could meet with Dr. Newperson tomorrow evening, but I don't think I'd be able to get to her office before 5 p.m. Thursday I have class from 9-11:10 a.m., then from 1:30 to 4. I don't think I'll be able to get all the way downtown, interview, and get back to class on time, and I missed last week's classes because of the Jewish holiday, so I do not want to be late. Again, I could meet with Dr. Newperson in the late, late afternoon, but not during the day.

I would have met with Dr. Newperson today but she was busy all day. I called her last Friday, which was as soon as I could call her, and she was not in the office. She also was not available yesterday. She can't meet with me until late afternoon on Friday. I've been trying as hard as I can to get in touch with her and meet her; it's just unfortunate that she hasn't been available until tomorrow, when I'm really busy.

Apparently that didn't suffice.

She is usually in her office late. So, why not propose a 5:00 PM meeting?

I did NOT want to push things with Dr. Newperson, given my experience at the first internship and The Other Bad Place, but I sent this out:

Dear Dr. Newperson,

Eleanor is quite eager for us to meet, and says that you might be available after 5 on Wednesday or Thursday (that's the earliest I could get from school to your office). I'm happy to meet sooner if that is okay with you, or to meet on Friday if an earlier meeting is not convenient.

Thank you, Ayelet Survivor

I wasn't surprised that I didn't hear from her, although I did get a frantic call from my faculty advisor. And I hope to Gd that Dr. Newperson doesn't think I'm pushy -- or any of the other 5 million terrible labels they slung at me at The Other Bad Place.

But being back in class is really nice. You can tell when your classmates really missed you, and when they're really excited that you're in class together. A number of them went out of their way to ask how I was doing, since they knew what happened to me at the first internship, and they commiserated with me on the horrible and entirely unjust way I was treated at The Other Bad Place. Some of them had internship horror stories of their own to share.

One very shy foreign student was particularly sweet. We were in Foundations of Social Work Practice together, so she heard all my shelter horror stories; once, when she had her hand up but the professor didn't see her, I raised my hand and said, "Oksana has a comment...." She came up to me after class to thank me for doing that, and since then she's been especially nice to me.

We ran into each other today in the computer lab, and she asked how I was doing; I told her about the first-year debacle and the second-year meltdown.

"I was thinking of you over break, Ayelet," she said. "I was hoping things would work out for you. I didn't want you to think that what happened was your fault. You are GREAT, Ayelet." It was so nice to hear, especially since it was completely unsolicited.

Fellow students are the #1 unrecognized and underutilized grad school resource. I am so lucky to have these people be part of my education. I get more from them than from the professors (and certainly a lot more than from the internship department).
Copyright (c) 2007 "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Sounds like Eleanor has power issues...as in, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." Sheesh. I hope your interview goes well!

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