Stepping into the world of Social Work
Well, community immersion and orientation are done, and it has been a long week.
Thursday, we met in the afternoon at our assigned community – Venice, California. Some classmates and I carpooled together again, which ended up being a great idea. We visited St. Joseph’s center first, which is a large program providing services to low income and homeless individuals and families. I was very impressed with the program and what they had been able to accomplish.
We also visited a community clinic, where a social worker, physician, and a police officer discussed the challenges they face.
After that, we were divided into pairs to go out into the area and interview folks about how they felt about Venice as a community/neighborhood. Both my partner and I felt shy at first, but managed to get our assigned interviews done.
Saturday, we met at the Venice library, where we received a very nice presentation from the branch manager and then walked over to the famous Venice canals. After that, we split up to complete our interviews (each of us had to do 3, with the intention that at least one be a homeless individual). We had no problem completing the assignment on the Venice Boardwalk with all of the fascinating, colorful people that were there. It became much easier to do once as we kept at it.
We were to meet back for lunch and a final classroom session regarding our experiences as well as a bit of a writing workshop for the rest of the afternoon.
My overall impression is positive, but my carpool partners and I tended to agree that some consideration could have been given to limiting the times we had to come back to campus. As satellite campus students, we do not have parking passes, and so had to pay full parking fees. We believed that perhaps we could have arranged the class portions at our satellite location or even the Venice library. I think we all agreed that we’d have accepted the trade off of providing our own lunch for the convenience of less driving and parking fees.
It was a tiring but exciting day.