I realized a couple of days ago that my most recent postings have been fluff with no detail. Today’s posting: regarding school. Next posting: regarding Shoes. Maybe this will help clear up some things I’ve (all right, maybe purposefully, but really, isn’t that a prerogative …;) ) glossed over.
Regarding school. “School” for me at this point constitutes 9 credit hours as I’m enrolled in a 3 year, ¾ time program. It DID constitute 7, until the school informed me that unless I took on two more credits, they would not release my graduate plus loan money. Attempting to enroll in an End of Life / Palliative Care class got me nowhere (full, full, full), so I enrolled in a Pilates class (there’s one) and a Relaxation Yoga class (there’s the other). (I needed those two credits pronto. Relaxation yoga is body awareness, breathing, mindfulness … and Pilates has already given me a foot fungus from the public mat. I should have learned my lesson from the Y in the Vineyard Town. This has already happened! And I should just know better. It’s cold and flu season … and it’s not like the mats are disinfected … ever.).
But. You know. I do more than Pilates and Yoga. There’s Social Policy. And there’s Social Justice. Social Policy has owned my life (sorry, Social Justice). You see … there’s this Policy paper … and I’d explain it, but most people start yawning immediately … so I’ll skip that part. In short, I need a social issue, a focused demographic, a policy, and then I need to retrace the policy to the federal level. I don’t have a clinical placement right now, like the 2 year students do, to draw ideas from, and the entire job thing to draw experience from … well … they weren’t kidding when they said Oregon has the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the nation. However, just today, my good friend Stacey M. from the Vineyard Town stepped in and said, “Why don’t you write about monolingual Spanish domestic violence victims that have great challenges participating honestly and fully in protection order hearings because of the language barriers? I’ll give you statistics to start with.”
Mmm. I’m greatly indebted to Stacey M. I think the era of the Policy paper owning me may be coming to an end.
And then there’s Social Justice, where we spend all of our time discussing the intersections of power, oppression, prejudice, assumptions, and how we, as social workers, need to be aware of all of this in our work. The part I like best about this class? Listening to everybody else’s stories. They’re just so … gorgeous.
Everybody in my program … we’re all so different. So different. And everybody in my program? We’re so alike. Who knew that I would end up in a program where I would be encouraged to be overly analytical and over think everything? This is me. This is them. And the bonus? Most of us value grace and compassion to the extreme.
I drown a little in the readings and I’m still a little intimidated by the Big Bad Policy paper (just a tad). But this was the right thing to do. There’s actually an MSW program in the Vineyard town, and I’ve been asked many times why I didn’t just stay home and do that program. And there’s so many answers: the program I’m in now is ranked well by U.S. News – the other program is not ranked (at least by U.S. News); Vineyard Town held a lot of mixed memories for me; I felt there was nowhere else to go at my last paid employment position.
The crux of it, though, is that I was just ready.
I was so ready.