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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Where are the Teachers?


13th January 2012
Dear Cassi,
    
Another of the ghosts of my memory moaned today. I remember this one occasion where I was foolish enough to watch as another child was roughed up by a group his school mates. They drew no blood mind you. It was all just make believe that went too far.
    
I forget what offence this unfortunate young man committed to anger the other seven year olds. However, I know it had something to do with a contract. They surrounded him and twisted his arm but went little further than that, but the anger on his face is what I recall.     
    
They took his contract, I think it was written on notebook paper, spit on it, rubbed it on the ground and then on his face. Children can be so cruel but this happened in the school yard so the teachers are not without blame.
    
I remember there was this green ball of snot coming out of his nose, and he thought it was blood. He fumed when he felt it and reached up then looked at his hand. It looked like his head would explode.
    
The next day it was like nothing ever happened. I have trouble understanding that now days. Then again, this was the child that showed another kid his butt on a dare. He got over it and from what I know he is doing well thought he hasn’t called in more than ten years.

Stay safe, Cassi,


Richard Leland Neal

Monday, January 30, 2012

Outstanding Warrants


Dear Cassi,
   
The arrival of the police a few days ago at my work prompted many of my residents to go run and hide. This is because, or so I am told, they have outstanding warrants and have not taken the time to go to our legal clinic.
   
This reminded me of a man I ran across in the late nineties who had a hundred thousand dollars in fines from three traffic tickets. He had neglected his legal obligations and been found in contempt of court. The option given him was spend the next ten years in jail or pay the fine. He had opted to pay and was now living with his girl friend and putting most of his pay towards his debts to society.

I have to agree with how the court put this out for him. Spending ten years in jail would only cost the tax payers more so making it as unappealing as possible is the best thing the judge could have done. Further on, the money was only just compensation for all those people who fail to deal with warrants.

Failing to get to one’s obligation is a way to get buried in problems. Now day’s I struggle to stay on top of things primarily because I never got to them in youth. Stacks of old paper and piles of tools that were never put away are a large part of my life.

I do understand that getting to these things a few years ago would have been an exercise in futility. No matter what I did things just got worse for me as my depression, and my overworked life style leads to crud piling up.   

I’ve been moving in the right direction and the passing of junk from about to away is like puss from an infected wound. The more of it that moves the better I feel, and every day my home gets more livable.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal   

Sunday, January 29, 2012

My First Computer


7th January 2012
Dear Cassi,
    
Do you recall the first time you used a computer? I do. It was one of those Apple IIe units with dual floppy drives and a green monochrome screen. Those units were donated to schools by the Apple Corporation in a highly successful attempt to promote their product.
    
I’ve been told that this action caused the only point of domination for Apple computers in the market. Everyone new Apple, so everyone bought Apple. It worked for a spell then the spell wore off and everyone went back to PC and its Windows formatting.
    
The first time I worked on a color unit was when I went into therapy for my learning disorder. I recall the Jones Clinic rather well. They had a lab of “IBM clones” that I worked on as half of my treatment. These devices were next to useless by today’s standards but I recall them being fun.
    
After my mother died my father got me a word processor that worked better than any of those computers. That business lasted until my freshman year in high school when I got a real computer. It had a half gig hard drive and sixteen megabytes of ram. That was the going system for 1994 and I thought the world of it back then. There is no greater change in our world than the computer in the last twenty years. At least most of those are for the better.

Stay safe, Cassi,


Richard Leland Neal

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sand Bees and Rain Fish


5th January 2012
Dear Cassi,

Another of the many points of youth I can now recall is that school yard my father once called the park and how my thoughts of it changed when I became a student at that school. When I was a student at the elementary level I recall what we called sand bees buzzing along the school yard. This was a time in the nature of youth where the way the world worked was still unknown to us and we saw the sand as the birth place of these bees.
     
Some of the children would wonder how the bees would one day turn yellow and join a hive to make honey. Sand bees were black and green on our playground and we thought that all the bees of the world came from the ground of our school yard.
    
 The world can be so large and so small at the same time when you are young. All the world can fit in a thimble when you are a child and still it can be the biggest thing in all understanding.
     
Another of the things born of the sand was fish made of rainwater. It would rain, as many think it does not do in California, and some of the children would toss stone into the puddles to “make the fish jump” out of the pool.
     
There were no fish. It was just droplets of water that looked like fish to young eyes. It would never come to most of those folks that the shape of fish look like drops of water because of hydrodynamics.
     
It comes to me that some of us finally understand why the world is like this and how it came into existence. Then there are those of us who simply fail to see the importance as they grow older.  

Never let the world lose its magic,

Richard Leland Neal

Friday, January 27, 2012

When I Was Young


3rd January 2012
Dear Cassi,
    
Another of the cornerstones of my youth was playing with leaves and seeds. We had this old tree in the front yard that shed these leaves that looked to me like spaceships. The flowers looked like little rose of orange and yellow seahorses. The flowers would mature into seed pods which I used as tanks fighting some unnamed war in my head.
    
Likewise, I always thought of fox-tails as little fighter jets who would standoff against the wild oats as mortal enemies. That was the funny thing about youth, to me the world was made of toys. When I was in grade school it was seeds and leaves, and when I was in high school it was bits of old electronics.
    
Somewhere in the piles of junk I think I still have a red bucket full of those things, but where it is I have no idea. I keep telling myself that I will get all that mess cleaned up but I never do. What a youth could be reconstructed from that mass of broken pieces after all these years, but who has the time.
    
Then again, we often see the good times as bathed in a golden light, and the bitter nature of the truth may creep in on closer examination. Needless to say, living in the past will not serve me today, so I should let that business go, but over the past year I have been given need to look back.
    
These childhood pastimes do have a modern iteration. They are the bases of my writings and the foundation for my creativity. Still, that creativity has yet to pay off but that has failed to stop me from iterating. One day I may get something from my old pass times, just as one day my scars from youth may heal.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Devil’s Pet Goat


2nd January 2012
Dear Cassi,
    
One of the more odd games I played in youth was some make believe story where the devil had turned a goats father to bronze and pulled the animal underground. The goat was a black goat we had at the preschool whose name is lost to me now.
    
We got the idea because there was a bronze sprinkler head near his pen that to us looked like his hoof. Little children see the world in funny ways some times. I recall that we had more often than once had this conversation about the sprinkler head. Every now and then we would brush away more of the loose dust and pretend we were on a quest the save the captured animal.
    
Living in a world of make believe was just what children did to pass the time and what a great way to do things it was. Now we try to find real things to fill the void and a bit of make believe couldn’t do us a bad turn.
    
I have little recollection of the preschool I went to as a child. I recall blue letters on a concrete building and green cots that we all slept on. Past that it’s mostly gone.
    
Was I a child who laughed and played? I guess I must have been. It’s good to remember happy times even as few as they have been for me.

Smile a moment, Cassi, and think of a happy day,


Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bed Wetter


30th December 2011
Dear Cassi,

I have no delusion that this comes as a shock to you, but I was a bed wetter. I think this went on until I was six which is normal, or so I’m told, but it never feels normal at the time for the only one who wets.
   
There was one time that I remember so distinctly from as far back as four that I still have it pop into my head today. I was at preschool when this happened and we had naptime.
   
I woke up with my jeans wet in the middle of the nape with all the other students still sleeping. I looked around and stood up feeling more naked than I had ever been when I was nude and froze. I had no name for the feeling at the time, but I can tell you now that I was embarrassed.
   
Doesn’t embarrassed sound like you have your back end hanging out? You have to wonder if that’s how the word came about. Some day I’m going to look that up.
   
Back on topic, I knew I had to tell staff what had happened but when I walked away to go do that I felled so bad that I couldn’t. I said something to myself that was just thinking out loud and started walking sideways. It made me feel better but why who can say.
   
Funny things get into your head when you’re young. Then again when you get to the place in life where you once again wet the bed I figure you have some funny things in your head again.
   
My mother had to bring me another pair of pants but she never spoke of this event later. Maybe she would have if she were alive today but who can tell. Mom talked about bad things that involved folks I didn’t see every day. She rarely spoke ill of my friends or my father. I think she knew when to speak and when to be silent.


Say safe, Cassi,


Richard Leland Neal  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

LTCC vs. SCCT


How would you describe the differences between Krumboltz’s LTCC theory and Lent, Brown, and Hackett’s SCCT?

The LTCC and SCCT are similar theories of career development. However, one could say that the chief difference between the two is the attitude taken by each theory. The LTCC takes as its primary function to shape the person to deal with new problems and help them “cope” with their environment (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 78). In contrast the SCCT examines the cognitive mediators as if they were working with the environment. The idea of “self-efficacy” or the judgment of one’s own ability to execute actions and perform tasks (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 91).
                                 
The LTCC places a  good amount of pressure on the counselor as well as the counseled. We may understand this by examining the four basic fundaments laid out for this theory. Firstly, the job seeker, or any person needing or having employment, needs three things. These three things are to expand abilities and lexicon of experience, ready themselves to changes never thinking that their job offers true stability, and finally be empowered to act on plans to better their situation. The fourth, and lastly noted, need is for the counselor to address the whole of the client’s problems and not focus on one aspect (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 79).

Giving this further scrutiny it can be stated that “to expand abilities and lexicon of experience” would mean to have a profitable life outside of work that may lead to jobs in the future. For example my friend Ken took an interest in rock collecting. This became rock carving and shaping and ended its evolution as jewelry construction. Jewelry provides Ken a hobby for his retirement. By the time Ken retired he had acquired all he needed for this hobby and was in good position to become a jewelry maker at least in his own definition of the word.  Lately, Ken was in no need of employment as his pension would pay his bills but was in need of an affordable use of his time.

Then let us shift this to the point of view of the SCCT which evaluates situations based on values not efficacy. The SCCT also has four major factors being: personal satisfaction with the job preformed, observation of action by others, environmental pressure, and finally impact of actions on the self (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 91).  If these four factors drive positive outcome of if enough of the outcomes are positive the behavior will be reinforced and evolved. If the overall outcome is negative the behavior will be discouraged.

In Ken’s case, how does he feel about the jewelry he makes? We may see it as the progeny of a large aardvark and a hippopotamus, but if Ken finds satisfaction he will make more.  Secondly, he first observed others making jewelry and emulated this jewelry. The environment provided an opportunity to shape rocks and a framework for the shape those rocks should take. Third, some of Ken’s rocks were then used to make fishing poles which were entered in and won a contest. Ken then received pressure to make more jewelry. Factor four can be translated to what was the impact on Ken? He received encouragement and gratification.  Ken will keep playing with his rocks until that stops.

Looking at the two methods the largest contrast is that the LTCC works well for those who are unsure of themselves and have more problems in life. It would also be better applicable to younger clients as it involves active planned adaptation. The SCCT is more involved with bringing out or evaluating what is present already. LTCC’s expansion factor is not limited to  the existing environment and can be as relevant to a ten year old as to an eighteen year old.  SCCT may be hard to apply to those with fewer life expanses. An active eighteen year old finishing high school may have many experiences from which to draw making the SCCT work well but an eighteen year old who was home schooled will need the factors present in the LTCC.

Niles, S. G., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. G. (2009). Introduction to Career Development Interventions. In Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century (3rd ed., Ch 2).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Notes to Classmates


I’m happy to say that I don’t feel like I’m about to die this morning. I feel bad, yes, but after three weeks of illness I’m coming round.

I wrote these two notes to the classmates in my grad school on the 22nd, and I hope to be back up to quality writing now. Then again, I think I’m just getting readers by accident. Any time one of you would like to prove me wrong by commenting it would be much appreciated.  

(Classmate one)

Ah theater people. What an odd mix of color and form resulting in a strange hypnotic movement.

I was 12 units from a degree in theater when I looked over at my teachers and said “I don’t want to be like these people” then changed my major to psychology.

Still, I just have to ask, how old is the photo?




Hay (Classmate two),

Never live in your head. It gets cramped in there. Unless you have a head like mine that is. I think Godzilla has an apartment in my left ear.

Well, let me point out that any extreme is generally a bad thing in child rearing, but you made your way through it and now you’re doing something better.

I always tell religious folks that if daemons walk the earth I’ve shaken hands with one. At the time it was killing a Methodist congregation in inner-city Los Angeles. Most of the time it’s hard for people to understand those sorts of things. You either get it or you don’t, but it’s not worth keeping you up at night.

In any case, it looks like you have your life banged out to where it works so take pride in who you are and what you have lived through. You can trust me on this it’s easier that way.   

Richard

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dark World


3th December 2011
Dear Cassi,
    
One of the largest parts of my young life was my brother’s insomnia. We would stay up all night, and he would tell stories of the ‘Dark World’ which was little more than a compilation of the TV shows he watched. Sunday morning cartoons came to life in his head and became mixed with horror films my father would show him.
    
Who shows Friday the 13th to a seven year old I have no idea, but old man Neal thought it was the right thing to do. I spent at least a decade of my life listing to every story of death, torture, and abuse that could come from the diseased mind of a pre to early teen horror film junky.
    
The worst of this was the lack of sleep that came along with these mental assaults. I would go to school with a head that felt like it was full of spiked led balls that I couldn’t hold up to save my life.
    
When I think about that it may have been the reason for my slow mental development. How can anyone grow up healthy when suffering from sleep deprivation? I can’t blame my brother for what he did back then, but I’m still angry that he refuses to take responsibility for things he did in his twenties.
    
The Dark World was the place where my earliest nightmares where born. It was a world no more or less obscene than our own but with all those horrific things lane out like puzzle pieces put together in a hellish mosaic.
    
You could say I have a dark mind, well, now you know why.


Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Letter to Counselor


This is a forum post I wrote a day ago to a counselor talking about her problem client. She hasn’t responded so I don’t know if she found my comments useful.



Dear Counselor

This fellow you’re working on is a grown baby because he had no strong role models and he clearly needs to find a few. His father could be enabling and the son’s refusal to call him by his parental role is indicative of abandonment issues.

I can only say that he needs to be in group therapy so he can learn that he is not the only person in this world with problems and that his father needs to “man up,” or “parent up” to be PC, and stop enabling his son’s acting out.

In addition, I would have to ask if he ever reached out to his mother. She doesn’t have to love him but she is a part of him and he should help things along. Ask him to write letters to his mother, real paper letters, and bring them in and read them to you. Hopefully you can get him to a point where he wants to have something good to say. His mother will not come save him, but she might want to be a part of his life if she can be proud of him.

In any case putting his feelings down may help to lance the fester and start the healing process. He can use these letters for a blog later.

Another thing you could try is sessions with his dad where you toss a ball around. Sounds funny but it forces him to engage and concentrate.

Take everything I say with a grain of salt. You have a good deal more experience than I.


Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Marcus Case


Here I was asked to apply four theories to one mental hath case regarding a 4 year old.

Poor kid has issues but as he doesn’t exist I feel okay about the whole thing.

Marcus case

Symptoms: aggression, limited vocabulary, a lack of self control, slow growth.

    
First and foremost a responsible clinician need rule out overt biological factors such as bad diet, child abuse, or even malformations of the scull. Once examined for these mental health can be examined.

Epigenetic factors
    
The most common and understandable reason for Marcus’s problem is childhood anxiety caused by a lack of parental attention or fighting by the parents. For whatever reason Marcus may be experiencing high anxiety levels and those levels will cause sleep disorder and a failure to thrive.
    
In this case his parents should be sent to counseling for their marital issues and should spend more time with their son. There could be genetic factors, but nothing will serve this unfortunate young man more than a loving nurturing home.   
   
Behavioral
    
Firstly Marcus must not have been exposed to the right behaviors to emulate and secondly his aggression must be reinforced somewhere in his environment. First question to ask: does your TV act as your babysitter? If yes: what is he watching. Marcus would be best served by Sesame Street and Bob the Builder. Nonviolent shows with reasonable speech patterns.
    
The second point would be to find where aggression is being rewarded. Often times when children act out the parents, teachers, and fellows do whatever will involve the least amount of work to stop the behavior. “Do you give you child a lolly to shut him up? Yes!? Bad parent, bad! Go to your room.”

Cognitive
    
The slow cognitive development of Marcuse is still the major point to examine. At four he should gain and understanding that his feelings are not universal and that may be the cause of his problem. Marcuse may feel shut off from others.
    
Again look for a factor that is causing the slow development. Good diet and parental involvement are the best recommendations, but cognitive restructuring will need to take place.   

Psychoanalytic
    
Simply put the Id has taken control over the ego and super ego due to an over or under stimulation. Engage in play therapy where the super ego is strengthened to combat the overpowering Id.

Bioecological
    
As the working of Marcuse’s genes, his ‘distal processes’ are beyond our control me must then focus on his ‘proximal processes’ or the child’s interaction with his environment. Again somewhere he is observing and emulating aggression. Remove this proximal and ad a new more healthy one.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Four Career Development Theories


Identify at least one unique contribution from each of the four career development theories discussed in this chapter.

Super’s theory is a large and expansive construct with a difficult number of factors to interpret, but one of its cornerstones stands out the idea of exploration by the client of the self and needs. It then becomes the responsibility of the counselor to address that exploration, aide in it, and guide the client on to the next find. Super’s life stages overlap and it is important to note that child, student, and worker start at different ages in life but all end around sixty five(Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 50). This would indicate that so long as some is still working they are still learning and developing. In the modern world we see this all the time with older and older individuals returning to school and looking to education for their next stage of development.

We can consider the act of thinking about, asking about, or researching a new career to be this exploration. For example, a man came to me looking for a job to fill his time once he retires as he would do so in the next six months. He questioned me about a job as a Security Officer as he knew my experience in this area. I then explained to him that the work was often boring, difficult, dangerous, and stressful. In the end of this interview we agreed that before he retired he should have a firm grasp of the work he would move into and that he should test the job out before making any major changes. He explored a possibility, found it not to his liking, and I helped him through this search.

The most important aspect of Gottfredson’s theory is that it addresses preconceived notions placed on clients from the past. This is consistent with the ideas of Freud and Kelly both relying on passed experience. However, the point to be examined with Gottfredson is the idea of sex rolls. This “Tolerable-sextype boundary” (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p. 60) will be a major obstacle for many a client and counselor.

In a sociology class I once watched a documentary about a man who was ostracized at work for taking his daughter to the doctor. His coworkers felt that this was “woman’s work” and said that he was father and mother to his little girl. When I was asked to comment on this the class was surprised that I found this concept ‘evil’. I then explained to the class that gender should have no impact on responsibility and that these ideas are out of date and never had much real validity. As a counselor these issues will at some point need to be addressed.

Holland’s theory is very attractive in that it is simple and easy to understand. It can be broken down into the idea that there are six mindsets and six environments in which these mindsets fit. The idea that all jobs and people are one of these: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, or conventional oversimplifies and relies on the idea that one, we are correct in these assumptions, and two that those assumptions are assessable readily. However, the point to take from Holland if any is that different people require different environments for optimal satisfaction. The other side of this coin is that every person can work well in a number of environments. The counter point that must be made is that this theory is overly mechanical and fails to also include human factors like dysfunctional job situation in which no one will work well or the opportunity for satisfaction outside of work. Take what you want from Holland but understand that in addition to the limitations the research lends it only moderate support.

Krumboltz Learning Theory of Career Counseling has a major advantage over the others because it uses cognitive restructuring to improve clients rather than simply evaluate them. This idea of restructuring can greatly benefit individual with a verity problems and bring them to a better work environment.  

Which career development theory offers the best link to your future counseling practice/population?

Honestly, Holland’s theory will work well for those cases that are in moderate distress. Those who are easy to satisfy will need little help and a model they can understand. On the other hand, problem cases will require Krumboltz because the individual must look within for job satisfaction as the work space is so rarely a happy one.

Niles, S. G., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. G. (2009). Introduction to Career Development Interventions. In Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century (3rd ed., Ch 2).

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sad Little Lies


28th December 2011
Dear Cassi,

    
Do you ever recall from your youth one of the more obvious lies you were told? After my parent’s divorce every other weekend my father would come over and sometimes he would take us to the “park.” What he meant by the park was the playground of the local grade school where we would find ourselves the only weekend visitors.
    
To this day I still think of parks as rather lonely places. I have no memory of children laughing and playing in them. Then, by the time I went to school laughter wasn’t something I was known for given my depression.
    
I do recall asking what the school building was before I turned five but I have no memory of what my father said. The old man said a lot of things designed to screw with me and that idea that messing with kid’s heads is funny never got old for him.
    
Why we insist on lying to children I have never been able to understand. I never believed in Santa or the Easter Bunny, and I never put teeth under my pillow. You could say that I had a bad childhood, I would, but would it have been made better by these lies? Can there truly be all that much wrong with being honest and clear to the young?
    
Today week keep our children as fools unaware of that the world is like, but when do they grow up to learn the truth? The truth is ugly, and the tender nature of children should be spared that grief. Still, need we lie; need we paint the world in rosy tones so that as they age they can see those tones fade into the dim of reality?
    
If we spent all the effort put into the lies of our world to making reality better we could have a world with brightness. Once more, if we banished from our lives those sad little lies we always tell ourselves maybe we would be better to one another.

Stay safe, Cassi,

Richard Leland Neal

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Three Skills


Okay, boys and girls, this is the rewrite to yesterday’s post so you tell me if it’s a win or lose.

Systematic Career Intervention may help clients by teaching or reinforcing skills they need in the workforce.  Three skill that can be verified both by our text and my work with the homeless the ability to find search for and find a job, the ability to evaluate and make career decisions and the development of a proper work ethic or attitude towards their work environment.

The majority of the clients entering my facility come from unstable situations, have suffered some form of abuse normally both mental and physical, and often self medicate with drugs. Each of these factors makes them poor job candidates. When in residence we often first must make clear to them to need for stable employment and how to become gainfully employed. Things addressed in this area are, how to fill out the application, write the résumé, speak during the job interview, and even how to shake hands with a perspective employer.  Without these most basic skills no other skills are at all useful to many of my clients.

In the normal life in modern time the average person will need to make career decisions and may seek intervention for them. This includes finding an education program, finding a job, or requesting a transfer at work. These decisions may be short or long term and will vary depending on the need of the individual. Two college students may come to the same counselor’s office seeking a job one just needing a few dollars to go out with their friends and the other needing help with tuition.

Some weeks ago a client came to my works station with just this issue. At twenty two he was having trouble deciding what to do with his life both in short and long term. He expressed to me that he had worked in housekeeping and might stay in that line of work, considered joining the Navy, and had a desire to be involved in politics.

A few questions revealed that he had no clear view of what it meant to work in government. This prompted my suggesting he gain and education in this area and return to it later in life. That left two options leading me to first ask if he had spoken to a recruiting sergeant. He responded in the negative, and I advanced the young man research janitorial work then speak to a Navy recruiter. On doing this I suggested he way the options so that he could make a decision.

I expressed that the way to way his options is to take two sheets of paper and divide each in half. On one sheet place on the first half all the advantages to his first job choice and on the second half all the disadvantages. He was then to do the same thing with his second job choice and assign a number value to each positive and negative. Subtract pluses from minuses and then compare how the two jobs had scored. To close this conversation I explained to him that this would not be the last job of his life and that if he made one decision it was by no means permanent. When counseling a client with high anxiety reminding them that they have that option is very important.

Maintaining a healthy work ethic is difficult in the modern world of downsizing and layoffs. It is a large issue given that many of my clients work until they have money then live off that until they absolutely need a job.  A poor work ethic will slow development and reuptake into the economy. It should be noted that “optimal human functioning” and “fulfilling human potential” (Niles & Harris-Bowlsbey, 2009, p.3) would be nearly impossible without an appropriate work ethic.

I often inform clients that they should work as if they had the job they want so that when they get the job they want none of their previous behavior will hamper them. Back in two thousand seven I worked with a man who wanted to be a wrapper and had spent hundreds on building his studio. He worked as if he had no desire to be there and likewise rarely could report having laid down tracks for a new song. What he took to work was what he brought home.

References
Niles, S. G., & Harris-Bowlsbey, J. G. (2009). Introduction to Career Development Interventions. In Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century (3rd ed., Ch 1).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fail, Do it Again


So this is the second paper I turned in to grad school, comic included, and it was given  a “fail.” Well, I’ll take that with a grain of salt.

Three skills that counselors can help their clients develop through the delivery of systematic career development interventions:

          First and foremost the goal of career development intervention should be to build that skill without which all other skills are useless. That would be the ability to find a job. Both the unemployed and the working may have issues in this area. If a client has come for intervention they do so because there is some issue they need to address and the examination of their job finding skills should come first. Once that has been properly examined then all other skill building may commence.

Skill 1: Career decision making
          In the normal life in modern time the average person will need to make career decisions and may seek intervention for them. This includes finding an education program, finding a job, requesting a transfer at work. These decisions may be short or long term and will vary depending on the need of the individual. Two college students may come to the same counselor’s office seeking a job one just needing a few dollars to go out with their friend and the other needing help with tuition. These two cases must be dealt with separately.
Skill 2: Appropriate work ethic
          Maintaining a healthy work ethic is difficult in the modern world of downsizing and layoffs.  However, a poor work ethic will slow development and reuptake into the economy. The work ethic should both fit the job and future goals of the client.
Skill 3: Adaptation to work changes and stress
          Never before in human history have we seen so much rapid change in the workplace than we do now in modern times. New co workers, new technologies, and new business plans populate the work environment. Change breeds uncertainty and uncertainty creates stress. Dealing with stress is becoming a larger and larger part of the workplace.

Professor's response:
Well Richard, that was a unique and very creative approach to fulfilling the assignment. When you are feeling better (hopefully soon) please post your paper in a professional manner and directly into the box. Other students often cannot open attachments. Thank you. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

PSY 727 “My Vantage Point”


Okay, friends, I took a day off after two months of nonstop posting, two long weeks at work, and getting rather ill. This is my first essay for grad school tell me what you think.
3rd January 2012
Week #1 Assignment “My Vantage Point”
            We may start with the understanding that I have an analytical mind, and that implies that I like to understand things by breaking them down into parts. It is common for me to name things because giving something a name is the first human act of understanding. For example, I place my compost in a bin to permit the vegetation to die; because these yard clippings become layers that I must then mix I call this first stage of compost “stratified compost.” When the compost is placed in the rock enclosure it becomes just compost. Likewise, when I cut wood the piece of wood I intend to use I call the “product,” and the wood I will not use becomes “scrap.” The name assignments do very little to speed my work, but still are part of my mental framework.
            A secondary point regarding my personality is that I have worked in the field of uniformed security for the last fourteen years, and that mentality translates into other areas of my life. The primary construct of the Security Officer is “observe and report” and the secondary construct is “provide an appearance of professionalism and diligence.” As a Security Officer I detour crime by making it clear that I am present, that I am watching, and that I am a force of opposition or assistance. Given these two factors you can understand that I will give you a reasonably clear analysis of who I am.
Genetics
            Genetically speaking I come from cold weather European stalk. The colors of my features are much like that of the Irish with blue eyes and reddish blond hair. You might say that I look like the typical broad shouldered Irishman. In truth my body morphology is more of the Slovak nature with fat that sits on my frame in blankets to shield me from the cold. I believe my stalk is more prone to depression as depression would serve better to survive the long cold winters. Genetically I am a creature of the cold and so can live isolated and alone for long periods.
Environment
            Environmentally I have two major circles of influence. The first of these being my work where I spend most of my waking hours and the second being my home. It is possible that I could also include another college or time with my friends, but I feel they would be best addressed elsewhere.
I work at a homeless shelter and stabilization program for people between the ages of eighteen and twenty four. I fear picking up the bad grammar and vulgar vernacular of the residents as many of the other staff members have. Speech tends to bleed into the brain through the ears and become part of thought patterns. Thus, if I speak poorly or use base language this is a result of where I work. The large number of film geeks at this facility may give me a Hollywood outlook on life. In the modern day that tends to mean that I will think somehow it will all work out. Life is so rarely like that and we go to movies to escape life.
My home environment is as disordered as my mind and is a great cause of frustration. I live with my mentally ill brother, and his gross inability to help with the housework plaices a great burden on my time. The very morning I write this I have spent two hours cleaning and would have a home that is not an embarrassment where I to spend the next two weeks at the soul purpose of banishing clutter from my abode. This is a place where something as substantial as a boot can disappear beneath the clutter. They say the desk is a reflection of the mind, but I would say the home is more encompassing. When I am right my home will be right so far as I can see.
Learned Behavior
            Where do I display learned behavior? In this regard I would have to say ‘where do I overtly display learned behavior?’ We all learned to slow down when we see a police car or to step aside when we run into dog mess. One point where this comes up in my early life is anger. I had a group of ‘friends’ who only listened to me when I was screaming so I learned to scream. They complained that I was always angry so I learned to not hang out with them. In the first case the anger response was reinforced and in the second avoiding them was rewarded with less frustration. Both of these instances are negative reinforcement or the removal of a negative experience.  
            It can be said that I have learned to keep redundant systems because I have had computers fail on me when I needed them. Likewise, I have learned to replace my clothing before it gets ratty. This came after spending two or three minutes every morning for a month sorting through the old T-shirts to find one that had a good choler. Over time it became clear that I save time by keeping things in good repair.
Unconscious factors
            Who can truly tell what is going on under their skull? I believe that my mother’s death formed an unconscious desire to stop time leading to my long time collections of useless and worthless junk. I still have my Windows 95 computer for no good reason. I scrapped parts off it a few years ago so it lies in bits on a garage shelf. I kept the old printer cables even when they stopped making printers for them and only tossed them away in 2010 as if they would have made a comeback.
            I often think that my aversion to getting drunk has something to do with my father’s drinking habits. The old man drank cheap booze and got roaring drunk. I have always felt the old man to be less than honest, and so I never drink so much that I cannot drive. You could think of this as an unconscious rebellion or simply a good idea. It had to figure into my brain at some point by way of the unconscious.
Social Influences
            I presently have both a blog and a webcomic because society says these are the in thing. Social media is a large mark of our age, and I slowly and limply participate. Participating in social trends like fashion or music has never played well with me, and I listen to the radio only to have something to do when I drive. I buy clothing that needs little ironing and washes well, but the solid saturated tones I prefer are what are provided. I would like a green shirt but as the Dickies store does not sell them so I do not buy. I could order one online, but I honestly have no need to display my individuality by dressing one way or another.
Parenting
            If there is one thing I can say about my family it is that it was dysfunctional. Crazy has something of an attraction to itself, and I have a clear understanding that both my father and mother came from dysfunctional homes. My mother died young and as the last seven years of my knowing her she spent most of her time in a hospital or working I will move on to my primary caregiver. My father was the kind of man who would lose the argument and forget about it the next day so you would need to have the same argument over again. He was the kind of man who understood violence and only violence.
            As I was the youngest of the family and had no strength for fighting there was no way for me to win an argument. During my early life I had no means with which to change my situation and that breeds depression and anxiety. From this I took on a cynical nature and a tendency to keep fighting even when a situation is hopeless. I would imagine this would be an advantage in counseling as I will give up on no one.  Thus, the primary aspect of my personality coming from parenting is a dogged nature.
Culture
Before I am anything culturally I am an American. I believe Americans to be a people of extreme actions. Those who smoke often make a religion of it as do those who do drugs. In America we see the biggest cars, people, houses, naval ships, and so forth. As a product of that environment I love or hate things with more energy than I need.  America is a big place, and we are by nature a diverse people, but I still cannot call myself much of a Californian or Los Angelino. I would say that I have always been something of a societal outsider, so I tend to be more functional rather than imitative.

Friday, January 6, 2012

NASA Found a What You Say?


This was a response to a blog post put up by the ill fated Leucrota Press.
15th January 2011

NASA found a what you say? Last time it was warp bubbles and the time before that life on Mars.
    
Sorry to tell you, but I’ve been following this story and the science was a little fuzzy. First off the Arsenic they fed the bacteria had phosphorus in it so the bacteria could have just eaten that, second the extracted DNA was poorly cleaned so it could have been contaminated. This is a long way from proof of arsenic life.

Proof is a bad word when dealing with one study to begin with. My teachers always told me to say ‘this study suggests’ rather than it proves because proof can be unproven.

Moreover, if you’re coming up with a strange body for your aliens you also need to come up with a reason for the morphology. With my massive Red Stone warriors I came up with a clear evolution that molded them into their present state. Every now and again people keep saying ‘I thought they weren’t humans because they were so tall.’ 

They’re tribe is no different from you or I than a pigmy, but the diversity among the ranks of the human race is lost on many a modern American. There are lots of humanoids running around on earth for us to make into aliens and even more strange things in the sea to give intelligence. Still, let us set that aside for now.

Things evolve out of utility and if you’re going to make a true alien the first question is “why did it evolve?” It needs hands to hold with and feet to walk with, eyes to see, and a brain to wonder. If something is going to be so different from humanity that it is truly bizarre then why did that life form become dominant?

The final note in this alien song is, “what does it have to do with the story?” Remember that people can’t see what you’re talking about so you need to show them with words. My Red Stone are giants and so I have to keep reminding the reader that they are dealing with a being bigger and stronger than normal humans. If I forgot to do that they would just be people who use different words and their uniqueness would be lost.

Different isn’t always good so if you’re coming up with something to be different you’re thinking too hard. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Old Cover Letter


You will note this is a letter written before I knew better format. I’m sick so I’m not editing this one.

Dear (Book publisher),

What you have here is a children's picture book manuscript written in rhyme and teaching children the difference between pear the fruit and pair as in two things with some mention of to pare.

I yield to your better authority how it is all to be edited and produced. I have only the experience of reading to children as my guide in the area. I do know something of art work and printing so I can easily understand what limitations you set up. The poem is fifty-two lines but how many lines appear on one page is up to you.

I have been published three times in the past as a poet in periodicals. Once with my junior high school and twice in high school but have submitted nothing professionally.

Thank you for your time.

Richard Leland Neal
04/21/2010

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

To My Readers


The day has passed firmly into night and I have to get on to work but still have not prepared a letter for you. This is one of those situations where in my body just told me ‘no’ as I’ve been in bed most of the day.

I felt I could take a moment now and let you folks in on a subject that bothers me and that is some of my letters make it to you before they make it to Cassi.

What I intend to do here is build a store house of letters so that there is a six month gap between the writing and the posting and that shouldn’t be too hard as I will be writing two essays a week for school now.

However, for the next six months the letters to Cassi will remain fairly recent, but I’m going to try to post those dealing with my memories rather than my current affairs. This will give yourselves and Cassi a history of my life.

If any of you have thoughts on this feel free to give me a holler. I know you’re out there even if you don’t say so.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Get My Name Right


Okay, not much of a letter, but cut me some slack. I’ve been updating every day for nearly sixty days now and I’m working a new job so I haven’t the time I used to have.
October 22, 2010
Mr. Williams,

In regards to the letter sent by you informing me of my aunt Sarah T. Shore's death, sir, I must inform you that you have recorded my name wrong. As you can see, it is Neal with an A not Neil with an I. Mr. Shore should know the last name of my mother, his late sister, and it deeply saddens me that this typo should arise.

You of a legal profession know how important a name can be so I ask you to update you records.

With respect,

Richard Leland Neal