An enjoyable day at the university


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February 16th 2009
Published: February 16th 2009
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I got up early, but it was already hot and muggy. There was no congee this morning and I didn't want to eat fish soup, so I mostly ate fruit. I took a tuk tuk to the university and walked around a little bit until my escort met me and took me to the classroom. There I met the first year psychology students. The classroom was so hot even the Khmers were sweating. I sweat so much that the sight of me is intolerably funny for them.

I spoke for a little over two hours on using a person-in-context descriptive model as a more culturally-proficient and client-centered technique than what many people get trained with. I had an excellent translator, and the students asked good questions. Tomorrow's talk is on Type II Diabetes, of which Cambodia has a disproportionate rate. Then it's on to HIV (a very hard topic for me to condense into a 2-hour talk when even the 40 hours I teach it every summer is not sufficient).

After class, I met with the members of the psychology department and some students. It was fun to see books that my department has donated on their shelves. Through a discussion of mindfulness in psychotherapy, we wound up talking about automatic writing and some of Natalie Goldberg's tricks for getting past internal censorship. You TTS graduates--I also told them the metaphor of lizard brain.

I then met my student Maddy, who had just arrived from Singapore. We took a walk down Sisowath Quay. We stopped for lunch, then walked south past the palace and Silver Pagoda, peeked at the Independence Monument, and went into Monument Books, where I'd picked up some materials for the psychology program earlier in the week. We returned via Norodom, stopping to look at silks, ended at Wat Phnom where we watched monkey babies.

I then retired to my room to begin writing the HIV talk, which I'm still working on. I paused only to eat some cuttlefish coated peanuts (so not worth it--they hardly tasted of cuttlefish at all) and a room service bento box, which had an unfortunate amount of fishy-smelling fish on it. Wish me luck--I did eat a couple of pieces of sashimi I can't identify.

Now back to work.


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