My Big, Fat, "Geek" Thanksgiving

Posted on November 26,2012 by sdmosaligantimspp

Me and my best friend Steph, a medical resident, holding up our responses after having administered the Rorschach to each other.

For my Thanksgiving vacation in DC, I originally had these grandiose plans to spend the four days exploring museums, going out for drinks, and shopping for dumb-dumb stuff like ornaments to give as Christmas presents to aunts and exotic-sounding teas I'll never actually remember to drink. But of course, as always, I ended up just eating non-stop, watching my mom's free cable, and doing homework.

As I'm taking Projective Methods this year (Professor Jampel, straight up), I had a big Rorschach assignment to complete. For each assignment, we're instructed to score, via the aid of the corresponding inkblots, a series of Rorschach "responses." Every assignment takes me forever to complete as I read and over-analyze the responses over and over again, referring to our textbook and our sample responses/scores for guidance (sometimes I've referred to

So over break, I was sitting at the kitchen table, doing my homework, keepin' it real, when my mom and best friend Steph entered the room and surrounded me and my homework like zombies, bombarding me with questions about the Rorschach's validity and use. For the next couple of hours, per their request, I attempted to administer the entire test on them, which concluded with some pretty "crazy" results (As Steph is an OBGYN medical resident, she kept seeing "unorthodox" images in every ink blot; my mom, having surrendered herself to holiday silliness, kept responding with giggles and naughty Italian words). Afterwards, Steph tried to administer the test herself with me as the participant, so the geekiness continued for another couple of hours. Meanwhile, the wine remained unopened, and my "going out" clothes remained folded in my suitcase; I spent the whole Friday night wearing pajama pants, a shirt that says "Costa Rica," and one sock.

I finally finished my homework on the ride back to Boston, and all I know is that the next time I look at a butterfly, an animal pelt, or two beavers climbing a mountain, I'm gonna see an inkblot.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. :) 'Til next time.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Clinical PsyD, Personal Growth

Guest Faculty Post # 2: Latino Mental Health Program Immersion through Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano in Guayaquil, Ecuador

Posted on August 05,2012 by latinomentalhealth

Old Cathedral, Cuenca, and horse carriage

I traveled with Dr. Stacey Lambert, Director of the Latino Mental Health Program, to Guayaquil, Ecuador on Friday, July 27th and returned to the US on Tuesday, July 31st. It was a very short trip, but full of experiences that we will never forget. We arrived in Ecuador at 10 pm that Friday, and were greeted by Don Enrique and Doña Marta Lucero, Dr. Cynthia Lucero's parents, and by Don Johnny and Doña Carla Gonzalez. Johnny is the General Director of the Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano in Guayaquil, and he is the person who coordinates our students' experiences in their second year immersion in Ecuador.


Saturday morning we went on a car trip to Cuenca, the third largest city in Ecuador, with over half a million habitants. It is over 7,000 feet above sea level, and it takes between 3 and 4 hours of driving up a windy road through the mountains to get there.On our way, we passed through El Cajas National Park, which has beautiful views and many lakes in the mountains.

Pictures don’t make justice to the magnificent mountains and vegetation of that area. The temperature dropped considerably (hint: do not wear shorts if you are going there!). During our stay in Cuenca we visited a number of sites, including a hat factory where people make hats by hand, several churches including the old and the new cathedrals, and several markets, where we appreciated the hand made clothing and other items made by the indigenous people of the area. During the trip we were able to see differences in climate, housing, and clothing between Cuenca and Guayaquil, which is on the coast. Everyone was friendly and eager to help. We returned on Sunday afternoon to get ready for a long day on Monday.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Guest Blog, Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health, Counseling Psychology

In Case of Emergency

Posted on July 30,2012 by jgarciamspp

It would be just my luck to end up in the hospital in a foreign country! Although I came out of it feeling infinitely better than when I went in, I must admit that I was ill prepared. That being said, I am posting this entry to make sure the same thing does not happen to you. Learn from my mistakes, amigos! You will be much better off if you do.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health

Guest Faculty Post: Latino Mental Health Program immersion through UNIBE in Costa Rica

Posted on July 24,2012 by latinomentalhealth

We left Boston on Saturday morning (we were at Logan at 6 am!), stopped in Miami and arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica in the afternoon. The people from UNIBE (Universidad Iberoamericana) were ready for us at the airport and took the students to the host families and took me to the hotel. I am accompanying the students until Friday of their first week here to help them settle for what will be a month experience, and to solidify our relationship with UNIBE, as it is our first immersion experience here.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology, Guest Blog, Clinical PsyD, Latino Mental Health, Counseling Psychology, School Psychology

Thanks, Mr. Weather Man!

Posted on April 12,2012 by jgarciamspp

When I woke up the sun was shining. By the time I made it to school it was slightly gloomy and a little rainy. This Arizona girl is still not used to the sudden changes in weather. I walked out with a light sweater... And I clearly need a rain coat now.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

Driving in Puerto Rico

Posted on March 29,2012 by jgarciamspp

Last week I came back from a conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I attended the American Psychology and Law Society conference. Of course, I learned a ton and it was a great cultural experience, but we'll get to that in a later post.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

I Miss Bread!

Posted on March 10,2012 by jgarciamspp

When I first learned that I would have to give up something for my Substance Abuse class -for a course-length assignment- I felt frustrated. Interestingly enough, my frustration was not based on the fact that I found it inconvenient or annoying to have to give up something I love doing (or just do naturally); I was frustrated because I struggled with finding something that I could give up.

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

Female Serial Killers

Posted on February 19,2012 by jgarciamspp

I was having a bit of a tough time trying to figure out what I should blog about this time around. Mostly I feel like I sound like a broken record. I end up writing about practicum, school, Arizona, or being super busy. So, I wanted to give you something fun! Of course, in order to do that, I turned to Google. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything that really caught my eye. Then... I went to Mental Floss!

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

Adult Psychopathology

Posted on February 14,2012 by jgarciamspp

When I started at MSPP I didn't know much about the different axes that are used in the DSM. Having come from a more experimentally based background it felt like everyone knew so much more than I did. It definitely didn't help when I sat down in my Weekend in Residence for the Adult Psychopathology course and I heard people saying things like:

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Tagged Forensic Psychology

The Rest is Pretty Much History

Posted on January 31,2012 by jgarciamspp

Question: How many papers can a Jessica write in a weekend?

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Tagged Forensic Psychology