What are the chances that upon pulling up to my new apartment in Brookline, just weeks before my first day at HGSE, the first person I would meet would be a neighbor who had just graduated from HGSE? That neighbor, who I met because my husband had blocked her car with our U-Haul and I had excitedly noticed her HGSE bumper sticker, said just one thing about HGSE to me, “You are going to be so busy!”
It’s true. The best word to characterize a typical week at HGSE is busy. What my neighbor didn’t warn me about, though, was how meaningful that busy-ness would be. In one week alone, I got to:
- Hang out with adolescents with special needs along with my developmental disabilities “cohort”
- Work on leadership skills by event planning for the Jewish Student Association and through the Multicultural Affairs Council
- Learn more about the upcoming Jewish holiday of Passover from a fellow classmate who is also a rabbi
- Connect to my independent study professor, who I consider a mentor
- Hear from an expert in autism, Dr. Stephen Shore, who happens to have autism himself
- Intern at the Learning Disabilities Program at the Department of Neurology at Boston Children’s Hospital
- Connect cognitive neuroscience to dance through an experiential field trip to the Harvard Dance Program
- Participate in a phone-a-thon to congratulate newly accepted students (Congratulations!)
- Enjoy a couple of nights out at new restaurants with my husband
Phew. All of that in one week, plus my classes and homework and running and learning to speak and read Hebrew. I’ve never been so busy in my life. And I’ve also never been so inspired.
The HGSE Ed.M. is only a one year program, but if you know what you want to learn and are willing to seek out the opportunities, or create them if they don’t exist, you can get so much out of that one year — or even just one week.