Stepping into the world of Social Work

Monthly Archives: December 2011

Time to reflect….

I’m sure I’m not the only one making a reflective post this time of year… I thought it would be helpful to my own state of mind even if nobody reads it.

at this time last year, I had just left employment. I’ve happily fixed that situation, though the job I have is not a career builder. I’ve realized most recently that at this point I really shouldn’t even expect to find a better job, as the one I have has the flexibility to go part-time in the fall when I start my internship.

At this time last year, I was working hard on MSW applications. Happily, that effort paid off! After completing the first semester of classes, I’m very happy with my decisions in that regard. In fact, I received news recently that made me even happier that I chose USC – a former co-worker/manager with whom I did not get along would have been in my cohort (and perhaps some of my classes) at CSUN, which would have been quite uncomfortable. I’m now 1/6 of the way through an excellent program and am trying to pat myself on the back for getting in and a good showing my first semester.

At this time last year I was out of work and very angry about the situation. Having found another job and used the time out of work to get into grad school,  I can look back with some acceptance. Don’t get me wrong – I have not completely forgiven certain individuals for their treatment of me, but I can hold my head up over where I am and where I am going.

It has been a rough year – my husband is also out of work, my car was totaled in a nasty car accident, I had cataract surgery and will need the other eye done as well. We learned that my brother-in-law is in the hospital with a broken hip,  which will be a long haul for him. But I think I’m proving to myself that I can get through these things and come out better than before.


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First semester DONE!

As of yesterday, I am closing the book on my first semester of graduate school It has been an amazing start! Final papers were turned in a couple of weeks ago, and I know one of my grades for sure and am pretty certain about the other. 🙂

In Policy, our last paper was to study a social service agency and discuss an unmet need of the population served. I had hoped to do it on a Regional Center, but owing to lost e-mails I had to study my own agency. Unfortunately, management was uncomfortable giving me some of the information I needed for the paper, but since time was too short by that time I did what I could based on my personal knowledge and observation. I must have done pretty well, as the grade I received was good. I don’t know my official grade for that class, but the arithmetic is pretty clear.

The other paper, for Behavior, was actually rather fun. We were given a choice of 3 movies (others on approval) and to study one of the characters using each of the theories covered in class. I was very worried about this class since I hadn’t done all that well (by USC School of Social Work standards, anyway) on the midterm. One of the best things was that a movie on the list (Stand By Me) is one of my favorites, and one my husband likes too, so it wasn’t a big deal to watch it a couple of times. I got the paper back in the mail yesterday, and did reasonably well on the paper and in my final course grade.

My classes next semester seem to be “part two” from each of the fall courses, though I will end up with different instructors. I’m looking forward to the new instructors, as the two I had last semester were OK but not excellent.

One, my policy instructor, was a fantastic man who could tell stories about knowing Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa, as well as his time as a Freedom Rider. Unfortunately, some of these wonderful stories would get in the way of his lecture points. The other was almost certainly a superb therapist, but seemed to be too strongly invested in one set of psychological theories and ended up confusing some of us in discussions of the others.

One thing I am appreciating very much about the early end of the semester is that I have plenty of time to breathe and enjoy the holidays.  The next semester starts the second week of January, so I can rest and get some things done around the house that I’ve neglected.

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