Category Archives: Thoughts on School

I’m Bi-Winning

A lot has happened in the last week (and two days, but the specific amount of time is not really the point). The last time I wrote to you, I was 22, and now I am 23, but frankly, that’s the lowest level of change. On my 23rd birthday, I was offered a full time position with the Department of Human Services as a foster care caseworker.

Those of you who keep up with my blog should know about the giant DHS recruitment that I went to a few weeks ago. At that recruitment, I was told it would be 4-6 weeks before I heard anything, which made me assume it wouldn’t be until the end of the semester. However, on March 16 I got a phone call offering me the position, which resulted in me jumping up and down, incredibly excited to know there was a job waiting for me in August.

However, as I called the county office to discuss getting a drug test, I found out that they would need me to start no later than the beginning of May. They were basically saying I could finish up this semester, but I’d need to figure something out about school for the Spring/Summer semester. Suddenly everything was different and I felt I needed to choose between the 12 credits left to get my MSW and a full-time, full benefits job. And I was panicked…

Now, for those of you who don’t know me, you may not know how much of a planner I am. I plan out my life and my days far in advance…I like knowing where I’m going and when. Throwing a kink in that chain is incredibly anxiety provoking for me, and none of this was in my plan. The goal was to get my MSW in August and have a job waiting for me, not to get a job and have to choose between that and my Masters, but alas, this was where I was. After a lot of thought, planning, and research, I chose to take the job and finish my MSW requirements by December instead of August.

So, the past week has been a lot of phone calls, emails, and paperwork, and it’s still not done. However, I think I’ve figured out what my classes will look like and my finishing my internship will look like. Basically, all that’s left is registration and financial aid, and the latter of those is basically out of my control (though I do have one last form to fill out and one more phone call to make). Slowly, carefully, things are falling into place, and the next six months are going to be crazy, but things will get done and I will be okay. I’m hoping to even move out of my parents’ house in early September and get my own apartment.

So, enjoy this crazy journey with me. Also, I received Rob Bell’s book on Monday and have begun to read it. Keep a look out for a full review sometime in the next few weeks.

*Note about the title: In case you don’t know, this is a Charlie Sheen reference. It is not supposed to mock anyone who is bi-sexual or bi-polar…just to mock Charlie Sheen…

Crazy Days

Thursday-Sunday is going to be pretty crazy. I leave my house tomorrow at about eight in the morning and will not arrive home until about ten at night. In that time span, I will be on campus, in different classes for a total of ten hours. Thursdays are hard, but one of my classes only has two more weeks, and then I’ll have a much more manageable six hour day. Friday and Saturday I work for eight hours and Sunday I will be at my internship, helping with family sessions. I also have a great deal of homework to complete this weekend. However, this is life, and this is graduate school.

Today I did not get to see any clients, which is rather frustrating. I was in and out of meetings all day until group therapy, and then I had to leave. Sadly, it’s part of the job…

No Blizzard Picture

It turns out the snow storm that everyone worried about was not as bad as expected. Because of this, I did not bother to take a picture. However, there are people in Chicago that probably have some awesome pictures of the terrible snow storm that actually did hit them.

Today, I planned to work on homework all day. Instead, I worked on a paper while procrastinating a lot. I just finished this paper…and I still need to add my title page and bibliography. This isn’t because I put a lot of work into it, but just because I was so incredibly distracted. It was hard to remain focused. I realize a major part of this is the fact that I didn’t care much about this paper. It was just one that had to be completed for this class. But still, I feel like there was a lot more I could have done today…

The day was still fun. I watched Midnight Cowboy and Groundhog Day, since today WAS Groundhog Day. I looked through old high school yearbooks and reminisced. It’s funny how much can change in five years.

Well, I should work on this bibliography. Thanks for bearing with me as I post about boring things 🙂

As the Blizzard Rages On

Tomorrow is going to be a snow day, and provided the power doesn’t go out, it will be a productive one. I’ve been working on my paper (the goal is to have the body of it done, which should be about five pages, by the time I go to sleep tonight and work on the logic model tomorrow) and tomorrow I will have a lot of reading to get done. I’m hoping to also make some time for a movie, since Midnight Cowboy has been sitting here for almost a week. Hopefully all will go well. I’ll try to take a picture of the damage tomorrow and post it (provided I have internet access).

Fun Day

Today was fun for the most part. The only exception being working on a paper…and my policies with children and youth class probably can’t be considered fun since we watched a video on child maltreatment, but it was interesting. I saw Blue Valentine and it was AMAZING. The romantic pessimist in me was pleased. Anyway, this is quick because I’m leading group therapy tomorrow for the first time at my internship and I need to find an activity for the boys before I go to sleep…and since I have to be up at 7:30, sleep should come soon…

Thanks for All the Visits!

Today, I signed into wordpress and found that I had my busiest day. Thanks guys! I’m touched. I’m currently working on a post that should be really good, but I also have a lot of reading and a huge paper due Thursday, so it will probably have to wait until Friday (sorry, guys).

In other news, I had a fantastic weekend with Stephanie. It was nice and relaxing. I’m now looking forward to watching the SAG awards tonight with my mother and my aunt, judging dresses and winners.

A lot of the reading I’ve been doing has been for my Adolescent Behavior and Development class. I love it. I am fascinated by adolescents. They are so moldable, in positive and negative ways. I want to help them figure out who they are without the influence of society telling them what they “should” be. It’ll be difficult, but I’m up for the challenge (and already facing it in my internship…)

Thoughts from a Young Social Worker

In all of my social work classes, there has been one theme that is held as most important: avoiding burnout. Social work is hard because people are difficult. Frankly, there are no easy people, and when you have ones that are in a vulnerable situation, things are just that much harder. After all, you have to work within a system, and that’s never enjoyable. But burnout is common. Everyone needs to take care of themselves, and it’s especially important if other people are depending on you.

I often find myself passionate about helping people and making the system into one where that is easy (as sometimes the system makes it hard to give the best care, whether it’s the legal system or the organizational system). However, I have met many social workers who have been doing this for a long time who have stopped caring as much. They typically find more fault in the client than in the situation surrounding the client. I’m hoping that I never hit that point. I don’t want to ever become so burnt out that I am jaded towards everything about social work. I really and truly want to help.