Monday night supervision, and a visit from a slimy friend

It’s Monday night! Are you ready for some…supervision?!

On Monday nights, my classmates and I meet online for an hour and a half of supervision and consultation. We put our heads together and help each other find approaches to working with difficult clients. It’s a great time to connect and a weekly reminder that we’re all feeling pretty clueless. For me, it’s great to “see” some familiar faces for a little bit. Tonight, though, I was ready to drive back to Nebraska for supervision. Since it is only our second class, I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it.

First of all, Baton Rouge has been in the national news several times since we’ve moved here–and it’s been only six weeks. A massive sinkhole, a butane spill on the highway, a hurricane, and now a bomb scare. Today’s bomb scare meant that my husband came home early and his dress rehearsal was cancelled. So he was hanging around at home, and he was kind of at loose ends.

At around 6:15 p.m., I set up my laptop in the kitchen. I contemplated changing into my PJs, but then realized that everyone can see me via the program we use. Then I realized that they could also see the pile of dirty dishes in the kitchen, and that I should probably wear something decent. Okay.

At 6:25 p.m., everyone started logging on. What inevitably ensued sounded like a 5-minute-long Verizon commercial. This is no one’s fault, and there is no better way around it, but it IS kind of comical. It’s also like when you talk to your dad on Facetime for the first time. (Sorry, Dad.)

No, wait? Can you hear me?

At 6:30 p.m., class got underway. It was great to see everyone! Except…we couldn’t see each other this time. Technology! It’s okay, I still love you.

Always and forever.

The cameras never did function, but we started some good conversation rolling. When I work with my peers each week, I can step away from the fears and insecurities of the week and see that everyone feels equally clueless. And the thing is–we’re not clueless. Each of us contributes something valuable, creative, or insightful. It’s good to be in the swing of things.

At 6:40 p.m., I heard heavy breathing through the crack in the kitchen door. Here is why:

At 6:43 p.m., Louie tiptoed in just to see what I was doing. Luckily, the conversation was nothing sensitive at this point, and he stopped just long enough to declare the online class meeting “weird” before asking if he could practice trumpet.

At 6:45 p.m., I made a mad dash to look for the noise-canceling headphones.

After successfully tuning out trumpet orchestral excerpts, I turned my attention to helping another classmate with his client issue for the next 25 minutes. I began to feel like even I might be able to work with this client if I had to. Yes!

At 7:10 p.m., Louie poked his head in again, gestured, and mouthed something about an emergency. I stepped away, only to find out that one of Louisiana’s slimy critters had hopped his way under our ottoman and our dog and cat were desperately trying to…rescue…him:

(Not the actual frog. But similar.)

At 7:11 p.m., I slid back into my seat, long enough to catch part of the discussion and to hear my professor ask me for my opinion. I felt clueless when we started discussing this particular topic, so it was NOT an exaggeration to admit that I had no clue. He didn’t need to know about our amphibious “emergency.”

The rest of the class proceeded without incident. However, I made the important realization that I prefer in-person classes, and when those aren’t available, husbands and critters (furry and slimy) need to occupy themselves for that hour and a half. In-person classes certainly have their disruptions–hurricanes and bomb scares, or under more normal circumstances, technology snags and forgotten homework–but over the past 20 years, I’ve gotten pretty good at remembering the basics of class decorum, like wearing pants. Next week I’ll do a little better explaining to everyone (myself included) that this is a “real” class and we should treat it as such.

Actually, I’m grateful to my professors at UNK (and the tech people) who have made it possible for their intern classes to meet from all over the country once a week! Lest you be concerned, I DO take it seriously–it’s been an anchor when I’m feeling a bit adrift in my new home–although I did have to remind myself not to scan Facebook during class. I’ll have this new thing figured out soon enough 🙂


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