Last night, instead of having our usual interactive lecture session from 7:00-9:30, my professor requested our presence at a speaker the school invited to discuss underachieving children and how parents, schools, teachers, society, and students themselves can change this trend. The speaker, Julia Cook, was quite prolific. I’m not one to voluntarily attend a presentation unless it’s for extra credit or something (#sorrynotsorry), but her presentation was phenomenal — even for a mandated assignment. It had humor, it was fast-paced, it was colorful, it was relevant to work I may encounter in the future, and above all, it was interesting. She used one of the best PowerPoints I’ve ever seen!
I didn’t know what to expect when my professor emailed us last week that instead of having a quiz and a lecture on the particulars of counseling Asian- and Arab-Americans, we’d be attending a speaker known for her published children’s books on bullying…
The best part of the evening was the gift! One of the deans approached two of my classmates and me as we were minding our own about 15 minutes before the presentation began, and asked if we would participate in Julia’s presentation. She said we wouldn’t have to do much, that we wouldn’t have to go up on stage or say anything, and that our involvement would be fast and fun. Okay, fineee.
Surprise! As soon as Julia called for her volunteers from the audience, we were asked to come up on stage. At least I only had to hold a sign up… Amy had to wear a red foam nose, a huge tie, and a clown collar! But, just as the dean promised, we didn’t have to say anything, and we were on stage for fewer than 5 minutes. (I’m not a big standing-up-in-front-of-people type of gal.)
So this is where my gift came into play. As a token of her appreciation for her 4 volunteers’ assistance, each volunteer was allowed to choose one of her books and have it autographed. The children’s books normally sell for about $10 apiece, but I received my very first official counseling resource gratis. I chose this book that Julia had read to the audience during her presentation:
The dean and one of the office administrators kindly arranged to pay Julia for Amy’s and my books and have them delivered to Amy at her on-campus job, so I’ll have my physical copy in-hand as soon as I see Amy again. I literally cannot wait to use this book as a resource, perhaps before my Practicum experience is over! When I took a Play Therapy class last summer, we discussed how the use of non-human characters (e.g. animals) in stories can help children relate to problems and problem-solving better than if human characters are portrayed. This book just makes cents to me 😉
Well, I’m off and running! I have a lot of cleaning and grocery shopping to do before my better half arrives this afternoon. I just wanted to share with you how excited I am to have my first counseling book!!