Sui Generis

August 29, 2006

Reality is creeping in…

Filed under: Life — by Joyful Girl @ 9:52 pm

“Other people may be there to help us, teach us, guide us along our path, but the lesson to be learned is always ours.” ~ Unknown

Wow…two days into MSW program and I’m already wondering how I am ever going to get through the next two years in one piece!  Don’t get me wrong, I am so excited and feel very positive that I am exactly where I am supposed to be.   But now I have a better sense of the work-load that is expected and I get the feeling that there are going to be periods of time in the semester when I am not going to be very easy to be around…

There is so much to learn, read and do….in a way, I can see these two years flying by.   I guess I was a little naive prior to starting school, in my thinking that this program will not be too intense.  I had wavered for a while before applying to the MSW program, not quite sure if I wanted to pursue the pure academic route by getting a Master’s in Sociology or going with a program that offered more clinical, hands on experiences such as the Master’s in Social Work.   I chose to go the MSW route figuring this would be the more marketable (and flexible) degree to have in the end.  I also had this notion that the course work would not be as heavy as the Sociology graduate level.  I sure was mistaken!

One thing that especially intimidates me right now is the whole idea of technical writing.  I’ve always been comfortable with the writing and research process, but at this level, all bets are off.  Papers have to be written in APA style, and the professors seem really strict about this.   I bought an APA Publication Manual, as everyone and their brother strongly suggested…and I know I have my work cut out for me big time.

But the challenge is invigorating.  I feel so at home in the university culture.  This is a very exciting and life-changing time….I look forward to this journey and am grateful to be able to take it.

August 18, 2006

Back to the business of writing

Filed under: Life — by Joyful Girl @ 9:13 pm

Writing is the only socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. – E. L. Doctorow

Its been a whirlwind summer…hard to believe its already winding down.  I’ve been consumed with a couple of projects, mainly the business of updating and renting out the apartment above my parent’s.   Earlier this year, my parent’s (who are getting up in age) transferred ownership of their duplex home to my brother and I.   This summer was the first time in over 20 years a new tenant would be needed for the upper flat.   So, there has been a good deal of updating and repair to be done on the apartment, as well as the somewhat arduous process of screening for tenants.  I never really wanted to be a landlord, but it has become too much for parent’s to deal with on their own.   Naturally, my brother always finds a way to avoid getting involved in family affairs that require him to do actual work, so basicially my husband and I have been running the show.       Needless to say, it has been a trying project at times.   Thankfully, the new tenant moves in in a couple weeks and I hope things run fairly smoothly…keeping fingers crossed.

I’ve also been busy with the business of getting ready to start graduate school on the 28th.   For the last couple of weeks, I have been in the process of interviewing and finding the proper placement for my field work/internship.   I am going to be at a large local agency that services developmentally disabled individuals of all ages.  The program I will be involved most in for this internship is one which works with young adults who are in need of transitioning from the role of high school level student to college.  Its a day program held on actual college campuses in the community and I will work as a social work intern assisting with developement of life skills, interpersonal issues and providing one on one when needed.  It is a big switch from the population I have been working with over the last ten years, the elderly.   I am glad for the opportunity though, because I want my field placements to help to stretch my boundaries and offer new experiences and chances to develop various new skills.  I am a little intimidated, but excited nonetheless.

So, between the apartment and school, I have been MIA for the most part on here.  I want to return to my blogging adventures, and in fact, I am going to post a few back dated entries from items sitting in draft for the last couple weeks.

Hope the summer of 2006 has been good to you…

April 26, 2006

Beginning

Filed under: Life — by Joyful Girl @ 9:03 pm

Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it’s the middle that counts. You have to remember this when you find yourself at the beginning.”   ~ Sandra Bullock

I used to be afraid of beginning new things, but truth be told, I actually look foward to beginning anew these days.   Sure, there is an element of the unknown, and plenty of opportunities for second-guessing oneself abound.   Still, there is something exuberant about walking into the “unknown” and learning new things.  Call me a perpetual student, but if I am not able to learn something new constantly I feel a more than a little stagnant.   Every day there is something to be learned, something to take with me and potentially expand upon.

This is an especially exciting time for me, as I prepare to begin graduate school.  I will begin working on my Master’s Degree in Social Work this fall.  I am looking forward to this new chapter in my life and for the opportunity to further develop my skills and education as a social worker.

I’ve been working in long term care for over 10 years.  It is my desire to become more adept in the field of geriatric social work and possibly explore the area of grief and bereavement counseling.  I truly enjoy working with the elderly and have learned so much about myself, relationships and the world we live in through my years in this field.

Join me here, as I reflect on my journey and experiences from the social work field, from school and from my daily interactions.  

January 29, 2006

Lazy Day List

Filed under: Creativity/Fun,Life — by Joyful Girl @ 2:11 am

Feeling: Somewhat refreshed | Hearing: The rain

Today is the perfect lazy Sunday.

For the last couple of hours I have been listening to the rain pitter-patter outside the window, scatter down the gutter, and drip drop off the roof.  I am home alone with my three cats and life is serene at the moment.

For the last several days, I was wired…frustrated…scared….preoccupied and on the verge of snapping.  Last night I had a difficult time getting to sleep again, I was so restless and consumed with thoughts about my job, my parents,  their home and living arrangements, my responsibilities to them and to my family in general…I could not clear my mind for 10 seconds.  I ended up getting out of bed and retreating to the couch with George, the kitty who recently underwent bladder surgery, and watched some tv.  I dozed at some point, maybe around 2:30am…finally I went back to bed at about 4:30.

Strangely I am not so tired today…at least not so far.  I am still sipping my coffee, taking my time and feeling a little more positive than I have been lately.   Why is it that things always look better in the daylight?  Last night I was tossing and turning, fretting over this and that and feeling so out of control of my life…and when I awoke this morning, while  I am still not certain of many things,  I am more comfortable with this uncertainty today than I was yesterday.

This is the kind of day I love….no true obligations…I don’t have to be anywhere or necessarily “do” anything.  I can just be with myself.  Enjoy the quiet of the house.  Think and reflect, create and make plans.  Be lazy, stay in my PJ’s, relish the return to a more balanced frame of mind.

I am starting a list here…

“Things to enjoy on a lazy day….”

Have breakfast in bed

Cuddle the cats.  Kiss their foreheads.  Rub that spot behind their ears.

Work on a crossword puzzle or any kind of puzzle, word game, trivia game, riddle, etc.

Walk in silence.  Preferably through a forest or wooded area.

Listen to the chattering of birds.

Write in my journal.  Write poetry.  Write creatively. Write abstractly.   Write something every hour.  Write with a new, funky pen.  Write with crayons, pencils, gel pens, markers…use lots of color.

Make tea sandwiches and brew some English Breakfast or herbal tea for brunch.

Dust the bookshelves.

Listen to classical music all afternoon. 

Sit in a sunny spot.

Create a new mantra.  Use it regularly.

Shamelessly nap.

Wear something fleecey.

Make soup.

Eat ice cream.

Document/record  new insights that come to me.

Read all the magazines that have piled up. 

Sort through, cleanse,  and meditate on the various stones/gems in my collection.

Read the comics.  Clip out especially poingant ones.

Make homemade sauce.  Let it simmer for hours.   Relish the scent.

Read old favorite children’s books.

Research a topic online/at a library, etc.

Wear new, colorful socks.

Make popcorn.

Get a massage.

Eat left-overs for dinner.

Do yoga.

Listen to CD’s at random.

Bake a cake, pie, or bread.

Breathe deeply.

Dance and sing.  Sing and dance.

Learn to be my own counselor.

Light a candle for someone or for myself.

Let things unfold in their own time.

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