••• Saturday, October 15, 2005

Let's Get Quizzical 

If you think my quizzies are hard, wait until you see my testies- Mar*k Lo*ndon, my Junior College Instructor, 1976.

Up until last year, my state was just about the only one in the country that didn’t require a specific license to practice in my profession. There was, however, this thing called “Certification.”

To become certified, at my educational level, one had to have two years of post-graduation experience, under the alleged “supervision” of a “certifucated" person. After which, some boxes on a form were checked and the form was sent to the state licensing bureau. Nobody checked the veracity of the information of the form. And there was lots of room for fudging. Lying, even. It was a documented system of professional nepotism.

Having this certification entitled a person to:
1) add “XYZ” to their signature credentials.
2) Sign off on someone else seeking the credentials.
3) Bragging rights to friends and family.

In other words, it meant Jack.

Two years after I was out of grad school, a co-worker, with her XYZ, offered to sign off on me. I politely declined. Although she was a nice person and all, I had more clinical experience than she did. And better skills. So if getting certified required her validation and approval, I didn’t want it. Or need it.

Last year, my state caught up with the rest of the world, and set new, stringent licensing standards. Anyone with a current XYZ was grandfathered in. Those without the hallowed credentials were fucked. Somehow I missed the memo on this.

So, as of July 5, 2005, in order to obtain the license now required for me to practice in my profession, at my current educational level, I have to take a test.

A ree-ree hard test.

A ree-ree hard test, on stuff I memorized and promptly forgot, over 13 years ago. Theories and shit. Both the Jung and the old. And the Classical and Operant and the fixed and the variable and specific distinctions between the several thousand family therapy models...(I'll take a Tank of Oxygen for 500, Alex)

On my current limited license, I can practice for seven years, without the exam. Initially, those seven years felt like a gift, but last week, on impulse, I decided to just do it. I'm planning on taking it some time in January.

Of course, the business of licensure exams is a huge racket. Several companies offer test review packets, that cost over 200.00. The recommended study prep parameter is two hours a day, for two months. That's right.

That's two hours a day, in addition to my full-time work day and family and 50 minutes of cardio and knitting and blogging and getting drunk and falling down and blogging about that.

In addition to buying a study packet (which has not arrived yet, after a week), I joined a website that allows me unlimited access to online practice exams, for 30 days. I'm starting off with this website, as it is giving a good idea on what areas to focus on and the trickiness of the questions (i.e. most of the choices are correct, depending on the context).

They also send me a dorky email, daily, with words of encouragement and a chunk of information to study. So, with the 30 day clock ticking on that paid membership, I've been spending most of my free time running through the tests.

Evidently, academia and humor don't mix, in my brain. Sorry for the bore. I guess now is as good of a time as any to be boring, what with all the worm eating, and what not.

I'm actually kind of excited to take this test. Because when I get these credentials, it's going to mean something. I just wish there was some way to indicate that I earned mine, the hard way.

I'm sure you'll be hearing more on this. In fact I know it. I hereby apologize, up front.

In the meantime, here are some leaves for La. I took this shot this morning, from my front porch, in my jammies.

Oh yeah, that Junior College instructor (a former state trooper, even), now owns and operates several strip clubs in the area. True story. Thus, the asterisks.


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