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Today’s post is a follow-up to my Mid-Semester Update.
This is final exam week at Our Lady of the Lake University. On Monday evening the final exam was given in my lecture class (I went and looked at the exam, but didn’t have to take it since I’m an auditor). Yesterday I attended the last session of my clinic practicum. I have officially completed my two courses and will soon receive my OLLU transcript. Before Monday’s class I picked up my letter from Joan Biever, Ph.D. (Professor and Chair, Psychology Graduate Programs) which documents my completion of a total of 90 clock hours (45 hours per course) of continuing education during this semester. This is significantly more than required in order to maintain my psychologist license.
I have achieved my sabbatical goals of learning about counseling issues and strategies for working with the Hispanic/Latino population and improving my speaking ability with the Spanish language. The two graduate-level courses I completed through OLLU’s Psychological Services for Spanish Speaking Populations (PSSSP) program were Language and Psychosocial Variables in Interviews and Assessments with Latinos (taught by Dr. Teresa Castaño, a.k.a. Classroom Professor in this blog) and a Spanish clinic team practicum at Community Counseling Service (supervised by Dr. Ezequiel Peña, a.k.a. Clinic Team Supervisor in this blog). Additionally, I had weekly Spanish lessons at the SEFLA language school. This educational activity was not part of my sabbatical proposal, but I found it to be extremely worthwhile as a supplement to my OLLU courses. I met with Elvia Quijano for two hours per week for ten weeks for Advanced Conversational Spanish for which I received a grade of A+ as indicated on the diploma given to me by Clara Pérez Peláez, Director. An unexpected and enjoyable professional development activity in which I participated was the National Latina/o Psychological Association conference that I attended last month (I earned 11 continuing education hours). I wrote about this excellent conference experience in a previous post (English) and in a journal entry (Spanish).
For my Language and Psychosocial Variables in Interviews and Assessments with Latinos class, I kept a journal in which I reflected on issues and connected the readings and lecture topics to my own experiences. This was a valuable exercise in which students were to document their personal and professional growth. I’m a private person who normally wouldn’t share so much publicly in a blog, but I feel that it could be instructional to others and more clearly show my thoughts and feelings about my experiences and progress with the Spanish language. So, here is the complete set of nine journal entries (in Spanish):
In expanding my own education in the area of multicultural issues, I did some research and came across useful articles, videos, and books that can serve as resources and discussion prompts for others. I posted several pieces about Hispanic/Latino culture which readers may find helpful. Here are the eight cultural pieces:
- 1. Hispanic or Latino?
- 2. Hispanic Heritage Month
- 3. Cultural Competence
- 4. Cuentos and Dichos
- 5. Bilingual Advantages
- 6. Day of the Dead (cultural holiday)
- 7. Cinco de Mayo (cultural holiday)
- 8. National Latina/o Psychological Association Conference
Overall, I’ve had a great first sabbatical experience. My classes and the NLPA conference were excellent! Even though my main focus this semester in San Antonio, Texas was academic (it was a paid sabbatical leave, after all), I did manage to work on some writing projects — taking an online book proposal writing class, attending International Freelancers Day seminars, and writing this blog. I also managed to have fun — joining social groups, eating at a variety of restaurants, going on tours, and doing leisure reading. As you can see, I’ve been busy. But it was a good kind of busy and a much needed break from my university job. I am grateful to Bloomsburg University (my home institution) and Our Lady of the Lake University (my sabbatical site) for allowing me to pursue this personally enriching and professionally relevant sabbatical opportunity. It has worked out extremely well, and I’m looking forward to future sabbaticals.