Calamity Jill Breaks the Cardinal Rule of Internship

calamity jill

When I was at orientation for field at the beginning of the semester the faculty running orientation said something that made me snicker because I thought it was kind of ridiculous.

She was going over some Do’s and Don’ts of professionalism while in the field. One of the items was Do NOT take off your shoes. Are we kidding? That should go without saying right? Well as I sat in my office this morning with my shoe off I thought about that lecture.

I wear flats most days at my internship because I am on my feet quite a bit and need to be able to get around, I am not skilled enough to make this happen in heels. The flats I wore today have a pretty detail on them, it is a bow with a gem stone that covers the entire toe area.

I was about 15 minutes into my morning. I was in the process of putting down my tea cup and pulling up my email when I snagged my foot on my bag under the desk. That was all it took to rip the bow detail right off of my shoe. Crap. Figures. This was not something I was going to be able to play off but I did not have time to run home and change shoes, my first patient was already in the building. Time to problem solve and fast! I ended up taking off the shoe and using tape and staples to secure the bow back on to the shoe. It was functional for the time being although when I walked you could hear the tape squeaking around under the bow as it tried desperately to hold it on.

During lunch I thought I would have time to run to a store real quick and purchase some inexpensive flats to get me through the home visit we had scheduled for the afternoon, but no such luck. About 15 minutes into my lunch break (when I was half way to the nearest Target) my supervisor texted me to let me know we added another home visit for the afternoon which meant we would be starting sooner. I had to turn around, go back, and make my shoes work for the rest of the day. What’s worse is because I was trying to cram so much into my lunch break (including eat my falafel pita while driving) I ended up dropping tomato all over myself. My shirt and pants were covered in tomato juice, gross. I am sure this is not what my orientation instructor had in mind when she was outlining the keys to professionalism in field.

When I made it back to the office I scurried upstairs, refreshed the tape on my bow hoping it would hold through all the walking I would be doing, and scooted out the door again for home visits, tomato stains and all!

When I got home from work I immediately started studying for my midterm tomorrow only breaking long enough to tell Todd my story of disaster when he called after work. When Todd got home he had a wonderful surprise for me, coconut milk ice cream. He said it sounded like I could use it after the day I had. He’s a pretty alright guy, I’ve gotta say.

Another pretty alright thing Todd did this weekend was pay 25.00 for a practically new glider our neighbor was getting rid of. We walked up to the vegan tea shop at the top of our street with Lucy for lunch and on the way back we saw this nice glider. After talking with the owner we agreed to pay her 25.00 and came back with the SUV to bring it home. This is something we would be getting in the next few years anyway for a nursery and we knew it would be hard to beat that price. I set it up in the sun room and have been drinking my morning tea in it since we brought it home.

So yeah, today was a bit of a mess in terms of cleanliness and neatness of attire but none of it seems to matter when I am sitting in my hub’s lap in a glider eating coconut ice cream.

 

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Busy Calendar

Last week my internship supervisor and I went to a training with another social work intern from UCF. It was put on by compass research and was very informative. The venue was great  too. There was an enormous resource library so after the event myself and the other intern gathered some resources.

Today the other intern and I went to a local agency that serves caregivers and learned more about their programs as well as other area resources. Again, great learning and networking opportunity. This is definitely an agency I would refer a client to. I was really impressed.

Todd ordered me some new books last week that came in today, can’t wait to start reading the first one tonight. Haven’t had a book to read since I finished my last one last week.

This weekend is the kid’s opening day for little league so tomorrow we will attend their games and after there are a few open houses we want to hit. We are talking more and more about our next home as I get closer to being done with school. The open houses are a fun way to check out floor plans and features that we may like for our forever home. College Park seems to be booming right now with new builds, we were talking about it the other week. We agreed it reminds us both of what happened before with the bubble before the economy crashed. I guess we will see what happens in the next few years.

Next weekend is Todd’s fancy banquet for work, super excited about that. The following weekend Todd and I will be attending the NEDA walk, one of my girlfriends will be sharing her story so he and I joined her team. After there is a “Bernie Music Festival” downtown. We have no clue what to expect but it should be fun.

There is also a women in the arts type event at the local art museum next week on Women’s Day that I am hoping to attend with one of my favorites. (AJR if you are reading this let me know if you want to go, I sent you the link on FB.)

So that is my current daily goings ons. The internship is phenominal, I am loving every second of it. Graduation is getting closer by the second, can hardly wait.

 

Policy Summit and Second Honeymoon in D.C.

dc nasw

In November Todd and I went back to D.C.. Part of the social work health care scholarship program I am in was a trip to D.C. for a day of advocacy as well as a networking event and panel discussion surrounding social work’s role in health care on  a macro level. It was outstanding.

I went with three other women from my program who are also scholarship recipients. The first night Todd and I went to dinner with my colleague in the BSW program. She and I had research class together and worked on literature review on the topic of physician assisted death.

The first day was the networking day at the national NASW headquarters. I ended up at a table with three other women, one from Louisiana, one from Colorado, and one from Illinois (I think). It was so interesting to hear how the laws in each of their states impact the work they do in the field. Something else that was pretty awesome about my table, all three were feminists. The woman I met from Louisiana I liked so much that I reinstated my FB account just so I could remain in regular contact with her. She is amazing.  I am in awe of the work she is doing. It was also really interesting to hear what each of their universities offered in terms of their social work curriculum. After the first day I met back up with my school colleagues and we worked together back to the hotel while we shared our experiences from the day.

The panel discussion was great as well. I have a decent undertaking of some of the roles social work plays in health care on a micro level but hearing from macro health care social workers was really interesting.

The second day we walked what felt like a million blocks (thank god for stylish flats) to the capitol to for a day of advocacy. The four of us met with our representative and discussed some bills. It went well and he was in support of our efforts.

Over all it was an exciting time, I felt super fortunate.

After my official business was finalized Todd and I spent a few extra days to celebrate our anniversary and have a second honeymoon. We revisited our favorite cafe, as well as some of the bookstores we fell in love with the year prior. We also visited some new places like Adams Morgan which is apparently a big party scene in D.C.. How did we miss this the first time around? We went to Madams Organ for drinks and I heard a karaoke cover of Drake’s Hotline Bling that was so good it gave me chills. This girl had an Erykah Badu quality to her voice, the way she sang the song was so intense it was painful, in a good way. I didn’t care much about that song before D.C. but now whenever I hear it I think of her and how stunning her version was.

dc madams organ.jpg

Anyway, hugely side tracked by that, so we did dinners and lots of walking. One of the highlights for me was the Blind Whino. Apparently there are quite a few abandoned (I don’t know if that is totally accurate to say abandoned honestly) churches in D.C. and the city’s way of addressing that is to re-purpose the buildings. This one became a nonprofit art club. It is even more incredible in person. I once read a quote that athiests love churches for the architecture.. First of all, Yes. And I feel like this stunning specimen speak s to that. While we were at Madams Organ we were on the roof and across the street was another stunning church under construction. When we asked the bartender about it she said they were turning it into a hotel. We thought that was kinda cool too.

dc blind whino

My thoughts were in a society of athiests is that what would become of these structures? Maybe. But I like the idea of taking a building that offered a sense of community to so many through religion and keeping that intention. By re-purposing the actual structure of the church into a community center you open up the symbol of togetherness to the broader community, no exclusions. I like that.

Anyway, that is my two cents about that. We had a wonderful trip. It was a great experience for me from a social work, networking, learning perceptive as well as an opportunity to relive our honeymoon one year later.

dc waterfall

 

Always in Love with a Book

A few weeks ago I went with one of my favorites to a clothing swap. It was as fun as it sounds. If you are ever invited to one, GO! Great opportunity to empty your closet and pick up a few new things for free. So this favorite that I went with falls into that category for too many reasons to list, but one of the things that makes her a favorite is books. She likes them, I like them, and I like that. Not all my friends read, and that is certainly okay, but it is really nice to have one that does to talk books with. So, while at the clothing exchange I started talking books with my friend and one of her friends.

I am sometimes a bit sheepish when discussing books with strangers because while I do read A LOT I am not exactly sure I can consider myself “well read”. I have read some of the classics, I have been known to read psychology and sociology titles, as well as books about social justice, feminism etc. But my true favorite is adult fairy tales. That is what I read and love the most. One of my all time favorite books is Watership Down. I like this genre because it is an escape. Some people watch TV/go to movies, I read fantasy.

Anyway, during the time of the clothing exchange I had been reading Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank (holy freaking awesomeness), and was discussing that with my friend and the other girl. It is kind of post-apocalyptic but the best part is it is set in Florida. The author is literally talking about College Park in the book which is the little community outside of the city that I live in. How fun to read an interesting fiction that is set in your area. After talking about that book my friend’s friend and I realized we both lean towards the same genre of books. I can’t tell you how excited I was to meet another adult who appreciates how fun this genre is to read. I have to say though, my friend that I was there with has been reading books by Aziz and Mindy Kaling and they all sound amazing as well. I plan on checking them out but I have a stack of titles I am excited to get through first.

So the book I am in love with at the moment is Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is young adult fiction and like most of my books, I am in love. It is a great story. Creepy, mysterious, very much a fairy tale for big kids.

After 9 hours at my placement and finishing my school work in the evening it is nice to have a story to be excited about. I have to say my evenings feel pretty empty if I don’t have a book to enjoy.

Panel Discussion and CAC Meeting

Today was the last Community Advisory Council I will be part of during undergrad. I learned so much from this experience. It was a first small step towards creating connections with leaders in some of the different agencies in the community and establishing myself as a professional in the field. It was interesting to hear what is going on with our program and the school on the larger scale as well. At the end of the meeting I thanked our program director for inviting me last summer and was met with a big hug. Again, I am just really thankful for this experience, it was very special.

Yesterday was our “class field trip” to APH and WPH downtown, which is part of the other major hospital system in the area. We listened to a panel discussion on social work’s role in health care, it was very similar to the panel discussion I listened to in D.C. last fall except this discussion had a micro focus and the other was macro focused. Very interesting. After the panelist hung around so we could meet with them and ask questions. One of the panelist works at the cancer center I hope to someday work at so I spent sometime talking with her. We ended up having a bit in common other than just the population we both are passionate about serving. She returned to school in midlife after being a hospice volunteer for sometime. Upon graduating with her MSW she worked at a Hospice in her area for years before moving here and starting work at the cancer center. Very similar to some of the career goals I have set for myself.

The director of social work at APH and WPH was present at yesterday’s panel discussion as well as at the CAC meeting this morning so she and I got some face time which was nice. While talking we realized that we were both at a CE event last week on suicide prevention so we talked about that for a while.

At the end of the week I am going to another CE event on the latest research surrounding Alzheimer’s disease. After I plan to stop by hospice and say hi to my friends who I have not seen since starting internship this semester. I am so excited to see everyone.

So in terms of social work this has been a great week. I met the director of the MSW program this morning as she was sitting in at the CAC meeting. She congratulated me on getting in to the program and discussed it a bit with me. I am still in a bit of a cloud when it comes to my acceptance. I am so grateful for this entire experience, it all just feels a bit unreal. Graduation is in a few months then I will start grad school and in one year I will be an MSW. I have been accepted into a Master’s program. I will have a Master’s degree. I do not take any of this for granted. I am so fortunate and so grateful.

 

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Acceptance

light

 

I just got my letter of acceptance (electronically) to the Master’s Social Work program at my university. I am in tears.

I am accepted. Nothing that happened before now matters, I am accepted. It feels really good to say that. Sometimes I don’t know how I got to this place, things were so dark for so long. I am nothing but light and gratitude tonight.

This weekend and the Week to Come

This weekend was spent outdoors with my in-laws. The weather was beautiful. We went to both of the local farmer’s markets, ate lunch at my favorite local cafe (great vegan options), went to an indie folk festival, and spent time in the park downtown. I also managed to sneak into the bookstore and get a new novel.

In the evenings we played games and talked, a lot! Lots more social justice topics. It was a great weekend in my eyes.

Tomorrow my in-laws leave and it is back to business as usual. This week my intern supervisor, myself, and my colleague who is interning at a similar agency will all visit another local resource who serves our client population. That is at the end of the week, I look forward to learning about this agency and making new connections.

Mid-week my healthcare class is taking a field trip to the other major hospital in the area to listen to a panel discussion about social work’s role in medical settings as well as touring the hospital.

Also mid-week I have my quarterly meeting with the Community Advisory Council. This is the meeting that the director of the entire social work program invited me to sit in on over the summer. This will be my third, and possibly final meeting. I am the undergrad social work student representative on the council. As I graduate in May my position will need to be filled. If the director asks me to sit on as the grad student representative I would gladly agree but I do not want to count my chickens.

It is sure to be a busy week. The week following I have been invited to shadow a social worker who works in the actual hospital for a day. So excited! She works in maternity as well as in the E.D. This will be a great learning opportunity for me as well I am sure.