The thing about graduate school in clinical psychology is that it feels a little never ending. There is no school's out for summer, or look, it's the weekend, so I don't need to work, or woo-hoo, classes are done, that means there is nothing left to do but watch Iron Chef reruns. It is both all encompassing and totally scattered, in that you have to switch gears between the bazillion different specializations you are supposed to master. When class is out, you are running participants. When you're done running participants, you have to analyze data. Don't forget to go to your practicum, and squeeze your regular clients in there, as well as commute to the suburbs for meetings with your case supervisors. Oh yeah, and here's a pile of essays to mark when you have that break between the workshop on clinical challenges, the lab meeting, and the training you are running for the programming software. And what do you mean you haven't published anything yet this year?
It is a go-go-go kind of life, the one where you keep spare journal articles in your purse just in case you have a moment to read them. (Seriously. I do that. People make fun of me when I go to fish out a pen and pull out a jumble of stapled together papers instead.)
Sometimes, in the middle of this rushing about, I find myself wondering why I decided that it was really so important to get my PhD as quickly as possible. Would anyone really begrudge me not being Dr. Pointful until the ripe age of 30? Was it really necessary to spend the bulk of my 20s on a university campus? And why didn't I take the time to do that generic coming of age post-college backpacking trip across Europe or Southeast Asia?
Don't mind if I do!
After what seemed like years of paying lip service to the fact that we needed a real holiday, not an extra day tacked onto a conference excursion, and debating journeys across Chile and Ecuador that we both knew our temperamental theses would never allow, we decided to bite the proverbial bullet and escape for a week in Cuba.