Author Archives: daydreman

Hack-a-What?

Hello, I’m Meredith!

This is a blog. And a smart way to start a blog is with an introduction. Here’s what happened when I tried to think of how to do that:

Screen Shot 2014-10-19 at 11.40.33 PM

Phew, thank goodness that’s over.

“What’s with the Google notebook?” 

I’m so glad you asked!

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5 RULES TO SURVIVING AN OPEN HOUSE

Some people love the idea of a graduate school open house.

Or so I’m told.

I am not one of those people. If you rewind the tape back to an hour before I attended my first open house last year, you’d catch me giving myself a Blind Side style inspirational speech. It’s a lot of pressure! An Open House is the equivalent of a first date, except you want to get married and they don’t know your name yet.

At least that was the mindset I had a year ago. And then I went to the BU, BC, MSPP, Harvard, Adler and Columbia open houses. Here is what I took away.

5 RULES TO SURVIVING AN OPEN HOUSE

Rule #1: MAKE A FRIEND

The best advice I ever heard was this: make a friend when you walk in. Walk over to the bagels, mention something about cream cheese, and break that ice. As soon as you have one person to talk to, the room isn’t as big anymore. And those conversations may end up being the most valuable part of the day.

Rule #2: ASK A QUESTION 

Ask anything. Even “Where are the bathrooms?” counts. Like #1, the point here is to get comfortable seeing what happens when you engage in this new environment. You want to find a place that encourages you to speak up- so test the waters a bit! This isn’t a museum. It’s a potential setting for the next phase of your life.

Loosen up and speak up! You’re not in a museum.

Rule #3: …BUT DON’T BE THAT GUY

The guy (or girl) who keeps talking to hear their own voice. You know him as the one who asks a ridiculously long-winded, specific question (or is it a summary of his resume?) that only applies to his exact situation. Other “that guy” markers: asking questions during group sessions that Google could easily answer or letting you know how far ahead he is in the application process.

Modesty: You’re doing it wrong.

The difference between #2 and #3 often comes down to timing. Ask the small questions offline, rather than in a group.

Rule #4: BE ON YOUR BETTER BEHAVIOR 

Business casual is always a safe bet for clothes and humor. Put your cell on silent. Be respectful to the space around you by taking care of your trash (you’d be surprised how many people don’t do this). Don’t trash talk other programs. Don’t brag; you want friends, not admirers.

Don’t make Tina Fey call you out.

Rule #5: KEEP AN OPEN MIND

Keep an open mind walking in. At this point in life you’ve probably realized things aren’t always what they appear on the internet. So take in how the students act, how you feel asking questions, and what the campus space is like.

Maybe you’ll walk away knowing it is exactly what you want.

Maybe you’ll be exhausted and need more time to think.

Open House Recovery

Either is legitimate. Thumbs up to you for surviving an open house!

You made it! Only 10 more.

Meredith Dreman is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Prevention Science and Practice Program. She is passionate about psychology and reframing the perception of mental health. She loves stories, odd connections, strong coffee and Google Calendar.

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Brown Bag Lunch with Dean Ryan

I was in class when an email popped up inviting students to a brown bag lunch (BBL, as the email said) with Dean Ryan.

I wanted to meet Dean Ryan. I eat lunch. I didn’t know what the brown bag format was all about, but I jumped on the chance to find out. These events fill up in minutes.

RSVP yes….aaaaand send.

What is a BBL?

Twenty-five students and Dean Ryan sat in a classroom with our chairs in a circle. We introduced ourselves.

Hi, I’m Meredith. I’ve never greeted someone before.

And then Dean Ryan brought up a question for us. What did we think of the common reading that had been suggested (strongly) to all of HGSE (students and professors) over the summer? The reading was Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steele, and while there was a positive reaction to the book itself, there were a few challenges in how to structure follow-up conversations and actions as a community.

What surprised me most at the BBL was how genuine Dean Ryan was. He put forward a problem and really wanted us to come up with the solution.

The talk opened up to other student concerns, including mention of The Moth, a storytelling event where people get a chance to share a story with the audience. I love the Moth and storytelling in general, which leads to the interactive portion of this blog post:

Would you (readers of this blog) be interested in a HGSE Moth podcast? Please leave a comment!

At the end of lunch a friend mentioned that a selfie with Dean Ryan had been on her bucket list. We asked and he kindly agreed while noting it was the thousandth selfie request of this year. What a trooper.

Selfie with Dean Ryan

#DeanScene

Meredith Dreman is a Master’s of Education candidate in the Prevention Science and Practice Program. She is passionate about psychology and reframing the conversation around mental health. She loves stories, odd connections, strong coffee and Google Calendar.

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