SO…here I am, 7 months in. Again as a refresher, I am taking the Community Mental Health and Addictions course. Right now, we are doing the Aboriginal History class. The class right now is not really how we all anticipated it to be, for example, last week we visited a sweat lodge! For those of you who are not familiar with what a sweat lodge is: it is a First Nations traditional sacred place of prayer. You are enclosed in a dome-like tent for roughly twenty minutes. Inside, they sing songs and we are all gathered around in a circle. In the center of the circle, there are RED HOT stones placed inside a dirt dugout. What they do next is what makes it so interesting. They place herbal medicines onto the stones while saying prayers. You pray for your family, friends, your own life, whatever you like. They pour water onto these hot stones which causes them to steam…(A lot!) The steam makes you sweat. You sweat in there like you have never sweat in your life! This all goes on for about two hours. So when I say that the course is not what we all expected, this is exactly what I mean.
Besides the course we are in now, we have covered PSYCH200 and SOC200 since my last blog. Some of the courses are only a week or two long. It is much different than any other post-secondary courses that I have taken in the past. I think the curriculum is set from the times of 9:30am-1:30pm for a good reason. I think it was set like that so that people have time in their busy lives to continue on with balancing their home lives. Myself, I have two little ones. Danika is 5, and Nikko is 2. They are in daycare for the time that I am in school. It sometimes gets hard to leave them in the mornings, but it is all worth it to see them later in the day, knowing I am doing something positive for our future. At this time, I don’t think that I would be able to work as well as going to school. Although there are some others in my class who do manage to balance work and school. There are actually a few others that work, volunteer, and come to school. They, however, do not have children! Like I said, at the end of the day, it is a good feeling knowing that I am doing something great for my family.
This course was created to train us to help people. We must first learn how to help ourselves before we can even start thinking about lending a hand to others. I love this course, and I feel like it is what I am meant to do. The characteristics that you need to have before entering this course are: compassion, being non-judgemental and honesty. You also have to be caring. If you have all these all wrapped up in a package, than you have it all. All of my classmates equally share this passion. We all work together, helping each other to succeed as a team. It is great. 🙂