I cannot believe that my journey of graduate school is coming to a close. I have made so many incredible memories here in Chicago and I have grown tremendously. Now that coursework is coming to a close, it is finally time to start wrapping up some of our biggest projects and prepare to walk across that stage! However these last tasks are some of the most influential elements of our graduate journey thus far; so of course we need to pour every last ounce of our heart and soul into them…
One of these big tasks involves terminating at our internship sites. Most of us have been working at these sites since September, logging in over 700 hours of time with each of our populations. It has been an incredible journey to learn from my clients at the senior center. They have taught me so much about life, love, friendship and perseverance. As some of my very first clients ever, they have helped shape who I am becoming as a dance/movement therapist, and I will never forget them. One of the hardest tasks I will have to do now is properly say goodbye to each of them on the very last day of my internship. What an amazing experience it has been to share with them! I will hate saying goodbye.
The next big task is creating our research posters for the Research Celebration during Manifest on Thursday May 14th (1104 Wabash, floor 8, at 7pm for those who would like to attend)! This is one of the most daunting tasks for me personally because I have put so much of myself into my thesis research. I very much want my poster to do my study justice, while also representing who I am as a dance/movement therapist and researcher. These posters will be printed on large boards for display in a formal research poster session. During the session each researcher will stand by his/her poster where they can answer any questions that viewers may have about their study. At the end of the poster session, a winner will be announced, and given the award of attending next year’s ADTA conference for free! It will be a beautiful celebration for all of us who have put so much hard work into our thesis research thus far.
Another important task is the performance element of Manifest taking place on Friday May 15th. This is a time for all of us within the cohort to look back on our graduate journey and reflect on all of the growth we have experienced together. The process feels similar to the structure of “performance as therapy” and provides us with the intimate space to share in our vulnerable feelings surrounding graduation, and what it means for our journey to come to a close. This year the performance is titled “Threaded.” I am very excited to share in this experience with my friends, and also my family who will be present. It will be vulnerable, beautiful, and full of tears. Of course! This is the dance/movement therapy department remember ;)
The next day we will finally be ready to put on our caps and gowns and walk across the stage…I can’t wait!