Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One more final -- then bliss...

LAST NIGHT, I put the last sentences on my 10-page take-home final for Mental Health Class. Wednesday afternoon I will sit for my last final exam. That will be the conclusion of an accelerated 6-weeks of summer school.

The cool thing about summer school is getting 6 required credits under my belt. The not-so-cool thing is the intensity of the work.

Now it's almost behind me, and then, a blissful month of summer awaits me. I'm dreaming of the beach and my bicycle and watching movies and maybe reading some good fiction. I hope to relax, get some regular sleep, exercise more and eat healthier.

Maybe I'll take a road trip or two with my husband, and I'd like to take some long walks with my dog.

I've said this many times and it bears repeating: If I can do graduate school, I can do anything!

--Ms. T. J.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Death: It's just life

I am beginning to wonder if this thing called life is a test. Between you and me, I don't believe that it is, but when I get really vulnerable (hungry, angry, lonely, tired or sad), my monkey mind takes over.

Last week-end, two of my friends died. One in the city I used to live in, which is hundreds of miles away, and the other right here in the city where I now live.

Jules died after a battle with lung cancer. Jeremy died in a freak accident while "hiking" near Albany, N. Y., when he lost his footing and fell 60 feet to his death over Kaaterskill Falls. They both died on Saturday, June 13.

It's not about me.

Most people do a bit of navel-gazing when close friends and family members die. We think about our own mortality, and wonder about abstract things like what people will discover when they go through our "stuff." We mourn, and cry, and return to our navels, and venture back out, and then realize how much we love people.

I want to be a better friend, wife, daughter, sister, and citizen. I want to listen better, and help more, and care about myself less. That's why most of us go into the social work field; we want to help. People, systems, environments, legislation...

Instead of focusing on the losses I have experienced in my life, and especially this past weekend, today I want to fuel my goals and dreams with the love I feel for Jules and Jeremy. And hopefully, they'll be watching from places that we will frequent together when we meet again.

--Ms. T. J.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer School 2009

I have two classes this summer in an accelerated, six-week time frame. One class is on Friday, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., and the other is on Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

While it is an amazingly fast way to take care of two required courses, it is also a "zany-busy" way to accomplish the task.

Both classes are quite interesting, and both professors are very passionate about teaching. That is a great thing.

We have already passed the mid-term point, so we are over the "hump," so to speak. Now the tests and assignments are kicking in. I have been working in a group to accomplish the first assignment in one class, and my professor from the other class e-mailed our midterm, take-home exam today.

I am feeling okay, so far. I get anxious when I have to depend on others for a graded assignment. I am trying to let that go. I did my part, and that's all I can do.

As far as the take-home exam goes, I will do my best to follow the directions from my prof. "Give them what they ask for, and add a bit more," is my motto.

Wish me luck. And I'd love to hear about your summer classes -- past and/or present.

--Ms. T. J.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A little renovation...our new commenting system

I have just installed a new commenting system on our blog. This system allows you to include formatting in your comments, and has other features, such as e-mail notification. You can log in to post your comments using your Google, Twitter, OpenID, and various other logins.

Please leave a comment on this or other posts, so we can evaluate the setup and how the new system works. Let us know what you think of this new system.

Enjoy, and thanks!