Hello, fellow bloggers! I can’t tell you how excited I am for the new central region blog, the energy following theconference, and all of the promises to stay connected. Now let’s hope everyone keeps those promises, yes? I thought I’d just talk about what’s on my mind today. I can’t stop thinking about how incredibly fortunate I am to be in a community like the program at K-State. I have certainly taken it for granted in the past, but what an incredible gift it is to be immersed in a program that fosters growth, and to be surrounded by people who share my passions. I have begun to recognize that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and very soon, we will not be afforded such luxuries. One such, that I am extremely thankful for, is the ability to drive 5 minutes across town, knock on a door, and talk for hours with another person who not only understands Drama Therapy, but loves it as much as I do. For many people in the central region, alternative training has not been so immersive (I commend you, seriously), and the rest of us will likelysoon know what it is like to be a lone drama therapy ranger in our individual workplaces, towns, and for some of us- states. I mention this for two reasons… number one, I believe that we’ve been given a gift at this past Central Conference (thank you, Laura!). It is my hope that everyone in the central region makes themselves a promise– to maintain those connections, take the time to contribute to the blog, and never be afraid to pick up the phone to call a fellow Drama Therapist you’ve only met one time, just to check in. I can only imagine how important these connections will be to me a year from now, when I no longer have 10 other Drama Therapy students in earshot at all times. Secondly, I wanted to mention something that has been at the forefront of my life lately, a sort of fear and challenge for when I branch off from my “Drama Therapy family.” Here is a statement that is recurring in my life and work lately (I’m sure we can all relate): “You are so good at (insert Drama Therapy skill here)! You should become a (insert NON-Drama Therapy career here)!” The challenge has been set forth in front of me to give credit where credit is due. You see, I’m not particularly concerned about marketing “me” in the workforce. Perhaps I am entirely too optimistic in that area, but studying Drama Therapy has given me such a valuable set of skills that are a beautiful combination of specific yet versatile. The challenge I see is to be able to convince others that, as much as I’d like to take full credit for being an all- around awesome human being (J), my ability to adapt and to meet the needs is entirely due to my Drama Therapy training. More importantly, the things that you see me do in my work, the things that are unique and so effective? All Drama Therapy. I used to think that the trick to getting work in the Midwest is to be sneaky. Don’t call yourself a Drama Therapist. Just market yourself. Market the skills. Covertly insert drama into your activities. Obviously, some of that is necessary inMidwestern job-hunting. However, I am learning to be a bit braver in the job I have now, and I hope to be afforded such opportunities in the future as well. The most prominent skill that I am honing this summer is being able to point out every successful technique that is being used and stating proudly, “This is an example of drama therapy.” It’s one giant step in the right direction to be able to make a difference in the lives of the clients. That’s priority number one. And all while doing what you love?Even greater. But it would be unfair to not take the bigger leap, and also progress the field at the same time. In an area of the country where many people have never even heard the words drama and therapy in the same sentence,it seems only right to say it as many times a day as possible. Helping other people to understand and share my love, perhaps will fill the distance from Drama Therapist A to Drama Therapist B on the central map.This is my challenge, responsibility, and honestly- privilege. Until next time….