In my favorite Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and his friends learn to confront a boggart. A boggart takes the shape of its adversary’s worst fear and is banished through a spell and laughter. Under Professor Lupin’s capable tutelage they emerge victorious. The boggart cycles through each student’s immediate, internal fear before they render it riddikulus.
I can only imagine that my professor took a page out of the Harry Potter series when constructing his lesson plan. On the first day of class for Clinical Practice with Groups our professor passed out notecards and told us to answer the question: “When it comes to working with clients in a group setting, what is one situation that terrifies you?”
Last Fall, in my first semester of graduate school, I wrote in a reflection assignment for class about how I planned to manage it all. “It all” meaning a full-time job, what feels like more-than-part-time school, and providing some semblance of an adequate life for myself (involving a number of s-words: sustenance, shelter, sleep, social life?). I said a few nice things about maintaining a regular schedule and blogging as a creative outlet. My professor commented, “What a great idea!”
I talked with a friend the other day about her experience in an intensive nursing program while also working full time. Between her clinical hours and her work, she spent seven days a week in a hospital — working. She told me that yes, it was hard, but every day she was so inspired by each of her classes and by her professors. Being in class was her favorite thing to do, and applying her learning to her practice was absolutely fulfilling. She thought, “Wow! This is what it means to love what you do.” It’s not that it was easy, but the love she had for it provided a renewing source of energy and passion.