I’m really enjoying my Forensic Psych class this semester. It’s formatted more like a colloquium series. We have guest lecturers almost every week, which is one of the fabulous benefits of going to a school with a faculty that is almost entirely forensic. So each week we learn about different research and different aspects of forensic psych, instead of just reading a textbook or hearing one professor’s experience. It’s definitely my favorite class this semester, and probably my favorite class so far in the program.
I’m officially submitting my manuscript later today! It’s a bit scary and nerve-wracking, but I’m also quite calm about it, in a sense, because I’ve convinced myself that it will be rejected outright.
I gathered some more pilot data, but I’ve been having some difficulty with the actual program that I’m using to run the study. It’s frustrating to have technical problems standing in the way of data collection. But I’ve been very fortunate to have my adviser helping me quite a bit with the issues.
I had a truly interesting client this week. Not surprisingly, it’s because his referral question was much more diagnostic and even a bit forensic! I also got the rare opportunity to look at his MRI (usually we just get reports from the imaging, not the actually images). He has severe bilateral parietal lobe atrophy, as well as hippocampal atrophy and some other abnormalities. It’s so unusual to see those images…and then see the client, and know what he is walking around with inside of his skull.
"I used to scorn people who didn’t travel like I do, which is recklessly and dangerously."
"I’m known as a radical feminist."
"I read a lot of psychoanalysis. I don’t understand what I’m reading, but I read a lot of it."
"Think of when you drink too much and end up doing something stupid, which is fairly frequently for me…"
I’m happy to report that I’m still keeping up with my classes! I feel capable. Finally.
I’m still doing some trouble-shooting with my study, but it’s moving along. I made some major tweaks on Friday, so I’m hoping to get some more pilot data this coming week.
The work at the hospital is getting a little repetitive for me. Last year, my kiddos were all pretty much diagnostic referral questions. I got to test the kids and try to figure out what, if anything, wasn’t working quite right. This year, it’s mostly baseline testing. I just try to establish the person’s baseline cognitive functioning so that if anything goes wrong after their surgery, we can figure out what changed. So it’s not as much of a puzzle, which is less interesting to me. But the up side is that I’m getting a lot more exposure to the neurology piece. I spend a lot more time this year considering imaging data and how the test data fits or doesn’t fit the big picture.
Things are rolling along pretty smoothly. Classes are going well, externship is pretty great, my lab work is exciting, and my TA responsibilities are fairly minimal.
I started collecting some pilot data for my study that I hope to turn into a dissertation. It’s so thrilling to be running something that I created…something that I’m INTERESTED in! I’m still working out the kinks but hey, that’s what pilot data is for.
I’m submitting a manuscript for review within the next week or so, which is mostly terrifying. I don’t imagine it will be accepted. I’m mostly just afraid of being a laughing stock for the reviewers.
It was another slow-ish week. The Jewish holidays gave us a break from classes, which worked out well since I had a fair amount of other work to catch up on after being in Atlanta two weeks ago. I’m still going strong with classes in general, though I do need to spend a little more time getting myself organized.
My client at the hospital was a very interesting case. She has epilepsy, but she also has non-epileptic seizures, meaning the seizures aren’t generated by excessive synchronous neural firing in her brain. In other words, some of her seizures aren’t real. I’m intrigued but my supervisor doesn’t seem to place a whole lot of time and effort into the psychological piece of his neuropsychologist title. He cares much more about the neural piece. I’m of the mindset that the two are very difficult to parse, so I think we need to spend more time delving into her psych history.