Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's always an adventure!

This story started several months ago when I saw an email advertising a new English speaking International Creative Arts Program opening up at the University of Haifa. It had my name written all over it, so I sent them an email asking if they were looking for instructors, to which they responded they weren't, but thank you very much. End of story.

About fours week ago, I received an email - out of the blue - from the administrative assistant of the CAT (Creative Arts Therapy) Program of the University of Haifa asking if I would be interested in meeting with them?

Cool. OK

So I sent my resumes in English and in Hebrew. And waited.

On Sunday I got the call asking for me to come meet with them on Wednesday. But first I need to show a little more supervision and teaching experience. 

I have only just started supervising, so was only able to tell them about that. I have two students that I supervise. I enjoy supervising. It's very different than teaching, and obviously different than doing therapy. Which, of course, they asked me about in my interview... but I get ahead of myself.

Tuesday night I called my Papa and asked his advice, and put together what I thought was a really extensive - I forgot how extensive my teaching experience has been - list of all the different kinds of teaching experiences I have had.

Important things like WHO I taught to, i.e. the professional nature of the population I was teaching, or not; WHO invited me to come teach to them; HOW MANY people I taught to; WHERE the facility was that I taught; and HOW LONG the class or workshop was for.

I was impressed with what I put together!!

I wasn't nervous about the interview. I'm good with people. I'm a charmer. I know that. I know how to be with people when I want to be. I know how to turn on good energy when I want to. I'm good at what I do, I know that about myself too. I know how to be real and honest. I'm intelligent. I know my material. I am confident with what I know - and don't know. I'm aware of my strengths and my weaknesses and am not afraid to talk about them.

I didn't really know what they were looking for. I was going for the information. For the expereince. FOR THE ADVENTURE!! For the opportunity. To be invited by an international program for an interview is a big deal! So I went.

It was a beautiful ride. NED gave me advice to sit on the left side of the train so I could view the coast going up, and she was right! The train had wifi, so I got some work done and some phone calls made. I took the bus from the train to the university. I love an adventure! I arrived 30 minutes early, so I walked around the campus which is situated atop of the Carmel Mountains overlooking the Haifa Port. A spectacular view!

My interview was with the Director of the International Program, the head of the art therapy program (I think, as she never really introduced herself - so Israeli!) and the administrative assistant. Turns out the Head also graduated, and got his PhD, from Lesley University (where I got my masters) so he was impressed and familiar with my training. I was able to name-drop instructors which meant he knew I had learned from the best in the expressive therapy field.

OK, now another back up story:
When I was in graduate school, I started in the art therapy specialization of the program. After a very short while, I was called into the directors office and told very clearly that I could not BE in the art therapy specialization because simply I was not a good enough artist. Which is true, but at the time I was insulted. Even hurt. And angry.
I was placed instead in what was called the INTERMODAL program, which turned out, of course, to be the biggest blessing. Intermodal meant that I received training in art and music and movement and drama and voice and writing and... And as time went on, I understood that it was a subcultural thing amongst the expressive therapy world. Art therapists really have a much more different mind set than intermodal therapists. It's a nuance that only those in the expressive therapy world understands.

I am defintely an intermodal therpaist - all over the place - using this and that - going here and there - pulling different tricks out of my pocket. I am not a straight art therapy kind of gal!! In theory or in practice! I call myself an art therapist most times, because people understand that easier. But truth be told, I am an expressive arts therapist and VERY proud of it!

Back to the interview, they were looking for an instructor to teach a supervisor course to a group of art therapy students. (I remembered this course from graduate school as being one of my very important courses in my learning process and I was excited to be considered to teach it!)
Art therapy students are very anxious about learning art therapy. Even though the world doesn't function that way, they don't know that yet, and I said as much to my interviewers. To which they agreed, but they need the proper instructors for their students, which I completely agreed with. The head of the program and I really understood each other, because he was also trained intermodally.

The hours they were offering ended up being in real conflict with my private practice. Which would mean I would have to give up client hours - for less pay - which I am not willing to do right now.

So we left with the decision that they would call me to teach workshops on intermodal therapy, working with children, families, adolescents and teens. I made the connection. They liked me, "You have good energy and make a good presentation," I think were his words.

And I liked making the connection to an international university program!

Very exciting adventure - indeed!!

The best part? Falling asleep on the train ride back to Modiin and some kid poking me to tell me we had arrived at our final destination! And it was only 2:00 pm in the afternoon. I still had a day of clients and a night of rehearsals for a new show to go through.

Or maybe the best part was realizing in the middle of a client session that evening that I had one blue sock and one black sock on!? Think they noticed? Or maybe they thought it was the not-such-an-artist in me!

 I love an adventure!!