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.
Friday, January 8, 2010
First Day of our Last Semester
TODAY OUR COHORT OF 23 STUDENTS returned to the classroom. We exchanged warm greetings and hugs as we settled in, once again, to the business of getting our MSWs. But this semester is different, for this is the final leg of our graduate school journey.
In Integrative Seminar class, a course that promises to bring all that we've learned into focus as well as help us identify our strengths, our Prof addressed us with a bit of a "reality check" lecture. He assured us that this would be our toughest class and that we would find out if we were made of the stuff that is required to become social workers. He also said that it's a class where the faculty will determine if we have the qualities necessary to make it in this field. Our Prof said the MSW is the toughest degree offered at the university, and it ranks right up there as one of the toughest of all graduate-level degrees.
It was a sobering speech, and it helped me to reassess my goals (once more!) and to reflect upon the hard work that we have all produced during these past semesters.
This has not been a cakewalk. And it shouldn't be. We will be working with others as social workers in schools, hospitals, child welfare agencies, senior centers, military bases, hospice centers, convalescent homes, assisted living facilities and drug and alcohol centers, to name a few. We must be professionals who have earned the right to caregive, help, and intervene with individuals, groups, and families.
What an order! As I looked around at the men and women I have spent the past days, weeks and years with, I felt a sense of solidarity, if you will, with the group (it's also a word that our Prof used). We've laughed, we've cried, we've disagreed with one another, and we have banded together seemingly as one. We have commiserated and cajoled one another.
And it ain't over yet! While I look forward to the day when we will walk on the stage to collect our diplomas, I know I must plant my feet in this moment, because the moment is all I've got.
~Ms. T. J.
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