kepdavis

Stepping into the world of Social Work

Tag Archives: Education

What’s happening in school?

Since we have been on summer break since the beginning of May, I’ve obviously not had any classes, but a few matters are moving along for next semester.

I did receive an MSW Scholarship for next year! I’m not sure how selective the scholarships are (two of my classmates also received it) I’m proud of myself for getting it and grateful for the assistance.

My internship for next year has not yet officially been decided, but I have received a strong hint from the most reliable source available that it will be at the senior program I expected. The official notification is waiting for my advisor to receive all of the proper paperwork and apparently an initial assignment for class that are all sent at the same time.

I have also agreed to be part of the leadership of our academic center caucus for the next year. I was a bit wary of doing this, as I didn’t want to over-commit to that kind of thing at the expense of study time, but I really like the classmates who I will be working for, and it sounds like it could be fun. There are also a few practical perks, but they aren’t big enough to be persuasive.

It should be an interesting summer and a great year!

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The end of my first year….

USC Logo

USC Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Other than waiting to receive my final grades, my first year at USC is over!

After a few weekends spent chained to the computer writing papers, I e-mailed my final paper to the professor on Wednesday. It was a great feeling to be finished and be able to relax for a couple of months until the process starts again.

Besides my grades, I’m also expecting to hear within the next few weeks where I will be placed in my next year’s internship and what financial aid I will be receiving (grants and scholarships in this case as opposed to loans). While these won’t make an immediate dent in our budget next year, they’ll make a major difference in our debt in ’14 when I’m finished.

As I told the advisor responsible for placing me, I rather expect my internship placement to be with seniors. I’ve had a great deal of experience with kids and with disabled adults, and while I have had personal contact with seniors my whole life, I haven’t worked with them professionally. I am open, however, to whatever she finds for me, particularly knowing that this placement is supposed to be both orienting to the profession and also perhaps to fill in any gaps in the person’s background. I did request to be placed in the San Fernando Valley and for a placement which would pay work-study funds to make up for what I will be losing by going part-time at work.

Right now, it’s time to focus on neglected housework and some relaxation!

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What I did right

Now I’m in the thick of my first semester, I know others are gearing up to the application process for next year, so I thought I’d give some thought to what I did “right” in my application process last winter.

On a personal level, I think an important factor is that I chose the right direction. A few years ago I applied to a school psychology program, but was not admitted. After spending more than a month with this curriculum, it’s a much better fit for me than school psych would have been. Perhaps the program that rejected me also saw that.

While I didn’t start the application process until after Christmas, I did put full energy into it at that point. I made the deadlines at all three schools I wanted to apply for.

I worked very hard on my writing samples/statements of purpose/essays and am still proud of the work I did on them.

Applying to 3 schools was a good decision – not too many, and not too few. I knew one of them was a long shot and not the best match for me anyway, one was an excellent match but expensive, another was the least expensive (and really close) but perhaps not perfectly matched to my needs. I was accepted by two and chose the more expensive option but good personal match in the end. I did have a couple of other Cal States available if something had gone wrong in the other application processes.

All in all, I’m still very pleased with my decision and where I have ended up.

More later on what I would do differently…

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A quiet weekend before the storm….

I’ve got a quiet day today before USC takes control of my life in earnest on Tuesday.  Yesterday, we rescued Lucy from the roof a SECOND time yesterday, celebrated Hubby’s birthday with a dinner at a great Israeli restaurant we had never been to before, and got me a new phone (a Samsung Flight II). Gary is hiking with some friends today, so I’ve got the house to myself.

Last week, the Skirball cohort had our summer welcome reception, which was really nice. We got to see what would be our second home for the next year or two.  Someone posted pictures on Facebook (I didn’t even know anyone was doing that!) including my own ugly face, I just hope nobody tags me in them!

Three of my books have come in from the online sources I bought them from – I think I only made one mistake by getting the wrong edition, and that book cost less than a dollar plus shipping, so I think I can manage to buy another copy of the right one.  I’m still waiting for two of them to come.

I had registered for the USC all graduate student orientation on Monday, but I’ve learned that most of what I would get on Monday will be repeated on Tuesday. So I’m thinking I’ll save myself the trouble and parking fees and skip the Monday event.

After that is our mandatory Social Work orientation and the start of the “Immersion.”  Tuesday (all day)  and Saturday afternoon are at the UPC (University Park Campus – USC speak for the main campus as opposed to the medical school or other locations), Thursday and Saturday morning are out someplace we’ll be directed later. Fortunately, I’ve found a few other classmates in my area to share the ride to the main campus with, so we’ll be sharing gas and parking costs.  What I’ve gathered so far is that the immersion is a visit to a community served by social workers where we are to do some observation as the beginning of our Policy class.  I’m expecting something like a visit to a homeless or women’s shelter.  The policy class syllabus shows group presentations based on this in a couple of weeks, so it isn’t just for show.

Class starts a week from Monday. From what I can tell, I’ll get a couple of class days off in September, one for Labor Day and one for the Jewish holidays – our classes are at Skirball, a Jewish cultural center, so that makes a lot of sense. I’ve received the syllabus from one of my classes, it seems like it is all papers and presentations, no exams are listed!

My student loans were supposed to show up in my account yesterday, but they didn’t. I’m not sure what happened – I hope I don’t have to make any calls or visits to Financial Aid or the cashier’s office next week of all weeks!

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