So I have a new job, again. Except this one I like. I'm a "research specialist" for a study that is being conducted by the Children's Mental Health Research Center. Since the Center is at the University of Tennessee, I am now an employee of UT! Which means great benefits such as free tuition. The study is a five year long project and is looking at how a certain type of intensive therapy (MST) is effective in rural areas. My job is to travel to my counties and go to juvenile court each week to find families for the study. I then interview them at that time and then again 6, 12, and 18 months later. So far I really like the job. I'm still training so I go to other courts and observe the other Research Specialists and learn from them. They're all really nice and helpful.
I bought a new black briefcase-type bag for the job. Now I feel important and official when I'm in court. Which is good because part of my job includes getting in good with the judges and court staff. I don't have to, but I'm strongly encouraged to go out to eat with the judges and others if they invite me. So far I've had lunch with two judges and their assorted staff. It's been, interesting. Definitely a learning experience about the justice system, that's for sure.