Today I attended a conference day for counselling education doctoral candidates at my university. The presentations were made by counselling phd students at all stages of the phd journey – from pre-enrolment to a week away from confirmation. I attended because I am a subject/liaison librarian for the department, and it’s in my interests to both get to know the students and faculty, and to learn a bit more about what they do.
I found the day fascinating. Counselling discourse is completely foreign to me. I am comfortable in librarian, philosophy and political talks (my partner is a philosopher and I did my honors degree in pol/phil). I understand them most of the time, and even when I don’t I understand the content I at least understand the structure and goal. Today was completely different, and I really enjoyed that. Being an outsider was refreshing and interesting. Some things sounded crazy, some things went completely over my head, but they were all compelling and worthwhile (IMHO) topics of research.
It was also refreshing and satisfying to see the students in a positive and powerful setting. I generally see students when things are going wrong – when they can’t find things, have technical problems, have created messes and need help to fix them. In these cases they are often insecure and uncertain, and I am the expert. It is clear they are all intelligent capable people, but when I see them they are not at their best. Today I had the opportunity to see them at their best, in their element, and I know it will change the dynamics of our relationship (for the better) the next time they have a crisis.
Also, I had this for dinner: Parmesan polenta, rare venison, garlic shoots, balsamic shallots, roast beetroot and feta.