Stepping into the world of Social Work
Here is something I wrote some time back as a joke among co-workers.
You know you’re a job coach if:
1. You’ve attended the new-employee orientation for a company multiple times but never received a paycheck from them
2. You refer to particular stores as “Mark’s Target” or “Anita’s Ralphs.”
3. If doing business at a store where you have clients, you make sure you’re not buying anything “sensitive” – feminine hygiene, underclothing, alcohol (or you go out of your way to visit a different store where you don’t have clients)
4. You have to resist the urge to “coach” your courtesy clerk when shopping for your own groceries (you’ve been a job coach too long if you DON’T resist)
5. You can state distances between various local retail centers/malls from memory
6. You know lunch/coffee options on any given route off hand
7. You visit a restaurant and note how nicely the silverware is rolled
8. You know how to do paperwork in some interesting positions – leaning against walls, check stands, etc.
9. You see an advertisement on television and immediately think of how the promotion will affect your clients
10. You have a Bachelors Degree and years of experience but make less money than at least one of your clients
Yesterday I felt like I finally became an official Trojan!
I was fortunate enough to carpool with 3 other students from my area, so I didn’t have to pay for all the gas and parking. It was also quite pleasant to have their company on the route and get to know them better.
After a very crowded gathering of all the incoming students (including those from the virtual academic center) we were divided up into smaller groups to attend various seminars on specific aspects of our next 2-4 years.
In my case, my first session was Part Time Advisement. This reviewed information I had already learned about how things would go for me the next 3 years, and some advice about balancing family, work, and school.
After that, I skipped the “getting connected” seminar with IT in order to get my picture taken for my official USC ID. At first, I waited in an extremely long line in the hot sun which didn’t seem to be moving at all. Rumors started that there was a shorter line to perform the same task at the Lyon center on the other side of campus. I took the chance to walk over there and it paid off – not only was the line shorter but I received my ID immediately. I think getting the ID was the point where I felt it was really “official.”
After that, I attended a session on medical insurance and the student health center, where I learned I could/should make a change to my insurance. The typical student insurance requires the student to use the student health center first, which makes a lot of sense. However, as a student at a satellite campus, I can choose to waive that student health center fee and purchase the off campus insurance, which is more expensive but permits me to use doctors closer to my home. It pretty much zeroes out anyway, so that’s what I arranged. I still have to make final arrangements for one more dose of MMR vaccine, since they require proof of this to avoid epidemics among students.
After that, we had a nice long catered lunch out on the lawn, and in the last half hour the student org did their best to make Trojans out of us. I was a little concerned that pictures of the event might get back to my Bruin-loving Hubby and friends!
The last part of the afternoon was what we were really there for – effectively our first class. Professor Lamb led us in an introduction to the concepts we will be using in our community immersion this week and gave us the details of where we will be going. On Thursday afternoon, we will be visiting a homeless shelter and a clinic in a community on the west side of Los Angeles. Saturday morning, we will be visiting the library and walking around some of the highlights of that community and interviewing people as pairs.
It sounds a little scary, but I’ll get through it. This experience, I am told, will be a critical part of some of my first assignments in my Policy class.
Still waiting for a couple of my books to arrive and for my loans to post to my account. From what I can tell, I signed one of my promissory notes a few days late, so I’m hoping it gets to me in the next two days!