It's Always an Adventure...

About Me in 22 Points

Welcome! So you want to learn even more about me? I'm blushing! Enjoy my life story in 22 points...

 

  1. I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and am a huge Buffalo Bills fan. I have an older brother.
     

  2. I went to public school all my life and am a very firm believer that education can take you anywhere. I was Student of the Year in 8th grade. Once a nerd, always a nerd.
     

  3. I did a short foreign exchange program during high school during which we had the privilege of hosting my Spanish brother, Pablo, for two weeks before I spent the same amount of time in Spain. We also did a day trip to Portugal; I want to go back!
     

  4. I went to SUNY Geneseo for undergrad where I double majored in psychology and sociology. BUT, I was technically a transfer student as I got “deferred admission” and went to Buffalo State for a semester. 
     

  5. While at Geneseo, I certainly kept busy. I was really involved with the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) program as I was a Leader Mentor and then Office Manager, helped publish a book!, and earned every possible certificate. I conducted research with the Sibling and Peer Research Group (SPRG) in the psychology department, interned at an outpatient alcohol and substance abuse clinic, worked for College Advancement, was a Resident Assistant and Senior Resident Assistant, and played club field hockey and intramural broomball and floor hockey.
     

  6. I knew I had to go to graduate school but didn’t know what I wanted to go for. Social psychology? Clinical psychology? The possibilities seemed endless. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher and would spend countless hours in my room talking to my “students” aka stuffed animals.
     

  7. I received an email during my senior year of undergrad from an organization named City Year. City Year is an education nonprofit dedicated to helping students and schools succeed all over the country. I went to an info. session and applied soon thereafter. I was stuck between serving in Boston, MA or Los Angeles, CA. With a “when else can I move across the country” attitude (and a few other factors), I ultimately moved to Los Angeles for ten-months to serve as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Los Angeles. I learned more from working with the students at Gompers Middle School in South LA than I could have ever possibly taught them. It was truly an eye-opening and lifechanging experience for me and I am so honored to have had the opportunity to provide full-time targeted interventions through in-class tutoring, mentoring, and afterschool programs with a group of incredible sixth graders.
     

  8. At the time graduate school applications were due, I was pretty homesick. I had since learned of School Psychology programs and the profession of a School Psychologist. I did in fact like working with kids and in schools but I only applied to the University at Buffalo for graduate school. Towards the end of my gap year, I also applied to serve another year by becoming a Senior Corps Member. I was accepted for both, had a tough decision to make, and ultimately accepted both while I made my decision. When I called the UB Graduate School of Education to see if I could defer my admission, they informed me I could not as I had already accepted. My decision was made for me and I road-tripped across the country with my cousin to start graduate school in the Fall of 2013. #everythinghappensforareason.
     

  9. I loved graduate school and having the ability to focus on one discipline in detail. I did not love Buffalo winters. After my second year, I was finished with my coursework while my childhood best friend had just completed her graduate program at Boston College. We decided to book a trip to Alaska. We landed in Juneau and were picked up by an incredibly inspiring guy named Nolan whom we met on Couchsurfing. He not only let us sleep on his couch but he also let us use his car, took us ice climbing, and was indescribably awesome. He works half the year as a dentist and adventures around the world the other half of the year, #goals. There’s no real point to this except to say I want to be like Nolan when I grow up and that seeing the beauty and diversity of the outdoors in the state of Alaska was lifechanging.
     

  10. While in graduate school at the University at Buffalo, I worked as a Student Assistant with the Executive MBA program. The students are a bit more non-traditional in that they are executives around Western New York. As part of the program, they have a week-long international residency to bring practical global perspectives on doing business with different cultures in changing economies. Part of my role was to collect the student’s passports and visas, etc. in preparation for their week abroad. During my second year of doing this, I dreamed of submitting my own visa application. At a networking event that was part of the program, I asked my boss if they ever brought a Student Assistant on the trip with them. She said no and asked why. I told her I would love to go and would love to help with anything they needed. She said she would think about it. A few things happened and I submitted my visa application and was ultimately able to accompany the students to China, exploring the global business market and (more interesting to me), Beijing and Shanghai. I was so nervous to ask but soon realized don’t be afraid to ask as the worst they can say is no. 
     

  11. In China, I received an email that I had been accepted to the Ecuador Professional Preparation Program (EPPP), a cultural immersion experience for people in the fields of education or psychology. I was really nervous to spend a month in another country. It was during this trip that I made it a mission to “get comfortable with the uncomfortable” and did all kinds of crazy things; volunteered at a school in the morning, took Spanish lessons in the afternoon, danced salsa in the evenings, and explored the beaches to the mountains on the weekends. I went not knowing anyone yet left with a network. 
     

  12. My third year of graduate school was a full-time internship where I literally made $10,000 for the entire school year and where I more or less dreaded going every day. There were three full-time School Psychologists in the entire district. I ultimately learned how NOT to be a School Psychologist from my supervisor while I gravitated towards the School Psychologist at the High School who was a bit more radical and (I think) took pleasure in my insatiable curiosity and question-asking.
     

  13. All the while I wanted to move back to Los Angeles. I went to the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) conference in New Orleans and interviewed with the Los Angeles Unified School District. I signed my contract the morning of my commencement ceremony and road-tripped across the country yet again, this time with my brother and Mr. Bentley Cat.
     

  14. Growing up I had an orange cat, Puddie Paws Muscarella. He passed away many years ago. One day I was standing in my mom’s doorway and asked her if she was going to get me a cat. I’m pretty sure she thought I was out of my mind, as she often does. We were going to “look at Christmas lights” and she had to “stop at her employee’s house to drop something off” when suddenly her “employee wanted to meet me.” The “employee” stepped to the side to reveal the cutest little orange kitty cat who at the time was named Mocha. It turns out my mom’s employee was a random person from the internet who had a cat for adoption. Mocha soon became Bentley and the rest is history. He was a fugitive cat when I lived in the Elmwood Village in an apartment that didn’t allow cats. Every time maintenance or the landlord visited, he would be smuggled to my mom’s house. I love him! And, I’m super, super, super thankful he has a live-in cat sitter who thinks he’s as cute as I do and takes great care of him while I travel. 
     

  15. It’s hard to believe I’ll be starting my fifth year as a School Psychologist in August. During my first two years with the district, I was assigned to work in two elementary schools. In the last two years, I’ve worked as a Consultant/Compliance School Psychologist where I work with students all over West Los Angeles from Inglewood/Hawthorne to the Palisades over to West Hollywood. I struggle with seeing systemic racism and inequality firsthand. 
     

  16. I’ve found my form of self-care/disconnecting from work is spending time outside. Five months after moving back to LA, I signed up for the Wilderness Travel Course (WTC), a ten-week course through the Angeles Chapter Sierra Club where I learned navigation techniques using a map and compass, gear and clothing selection, conditioning tips, wilderness first aid, nutrition, and ultimately how to backpack, all while meeting some incredible people that I would go on to hike Mount Whitney, travel to National Parks, and explore the Sierras with! The following year I returned as a staff member and love watching the students learn and form connections, ultimately having the same experience I did. In fact, this past December myself and three recent graduates climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and the highest single free-standing mountain in the world standing at 19,314 feet. 
     

  17. Through the course, I gained the confidence to explore the outdoors solo (not something my parents appreciate). In doing so, I met the very best travel buddy. We’ve suffered on the Trans-Catalina Trail, campervanned around New Zealand, trekked to Machu Picchu, nearly died from humidity in Florida, slept in tents and luxury hotels from New Mexico to Banff/Lake Louise to three different Hawaiian Islands, laughed hysterically in Costa Rica, and visited +/-17 National Parks together including one in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, the National Park of American Samoa
     

  18. I was even somehow convinced to run a half marathon during the absolute worst time of my life but I started and finished, listened to the same song for all 13.1 miles, and subsequently signed up for the Los Angeles Marathon where I luckily listened to many different songs over 26.2 miles running from Dodger “Stadium to the Sea.”
     

  19. Even amidst the pandemic, the absolute worst time of my life is behind me and the only way to go is forward. Everything, EVERYTHING happens for a reason and I eagerly await what will be next for me, myself, and I. 
     

  20. A few things I’m focusing on during the pandemic is relaunching my travel blog where I write about my visits to National Parks and other places I’ve visited. I’ve also been hosting “Virtual Happy Hours” to talk about travel, adventure, and National Parks and a “Virtual Book Club” where we read and discuss travel/adventure books. If you’ve read this far, you should certainly join; the details are here.  
     

  21. My birthday is on December 22nd. I don’t particularly like it being so close to Christmas. I figured “22” is a good number to end with.
     

  22. Go Bills.

     

About Me

I am a school psychologist living in Southern California by way of Buffalo, New York. I'm on a mission to explore the possibilities from the coastal beaches to the giant redwoods... and everything in between.  

 

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© 2020 It's Always an Adventure

© 2020 Krista Muscarella

This site is protected by intellectual property law.

Photo Credits: Krista Muscarella unless otherwise noted.

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