Social Worker

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Blah

Well, I made it through my first semester of grad school. I haven't received my grades yet, but I think I have a good chance at one A and one B, if not two As. I really enjoyed the semester and the classes. I made a few friends and learned a LOT. One thing I learned is that going to grad school and doing the job I do don't mix very well.

There are lots of things that contributed to this "blah" feeling I am having, though. My unit lost two workers and a supervisor in the span of one month, which just happened to be about a month before I started school. So, the remaining workers were overloaded and I am the tenured worker. I already had some tough cases and it was just reasonable that I would continue to get the tough ones (tenured worker and all). My supervisor says "and you were doing so well with them and asking for more"...and I think, "well, am I not doing well now?". But I know what she means. I am a different kind of worker now. I forget things. I drop the ball often. I am always needing some type of help. I am behind in documentation. It is very stressful for me because for the first two years, I did not drop the ball and was NEVER behind on documentation and always had the highest caseloads because I have been the tenured worker in my units since I was six months into this job. People tell me it's no big deal because it is typical to be behind, but it's the combination of being behind and dropping the ball and not relating to my cases and ahhhhh......

I'm also a little bummed about the dating thing. I would really like to get back into dating or at least find someone special. I thought I had found that person as you can tell in some of my previous blogs, but he's hardly ever around. And I've lost that excitement about him because I don't see him or talk to him very often. It's just not fair that I really liked him!!

Even the kitties are sensing the stress. They have been fighting every morning. They both puff up and their tails get HUGE and then they grab onto one another and roll around and scream at each other. It looks really painful and there are tufts of cat hair everywhere when they are done. I've had to separate them more than once. Now they have all these little cuts all over them from the fighting. I'm a little worried about them, but I think it's just that they need to be neutered. They are going through the dominance thing because they are both boys. Skittle has always been the bully since they were babies and now Callie is fighting back. Skittle just looks at him and seems to be a little scared at times because he isn't used to Callie fighting back. At the beginning of their arguments, it's actually kinda funny. I think I will get them neutered when I get some money in January and we'll see how it goes.

Then, speaking of money....ahhh....my lifelong curse. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I get some money, pay my bills, and have some leftover one month..and then am broke and can't pay any bills the next. Sometimes it has to do with how much I drive for work or how much I travel because of gas. I have to pay for all of my gas for work and then am reimbursed the following month so I guess it makes sense if I'm driving a lot one month I will have less money and then the following month I would have more.....I don't know. I think it's a family curse that just hasn't been broken yet. I always say it's going to be a light Christmas, but I am wondering if I will be able to buy Christmas at all this year. I have a few gifts out of the way and I'm just not sure where the rest are going to come from.

Wow, is this just the saddest, pity-party blog I've ever written. Let's cheer it up!!

In my social justice class, we had to do a group presentation. My group spoke about Social Justice Issues involving People with Mental Illness. I loved our presentation and really feel like it was the best. It seemed to be the best prepared and easiest flowing. I think we all received different grades, but I made a 94!!!! I was so proud to see an A on something I did in grad school. Then, I had this 15 page research paper due for that class. We had to use three works of art, film, or literature (and do research) on a population at risk for social justice issues. I watched "Brokeback Mountain", "Boys Don't Cry", and the first season of "The 'L' Word" and researched (duh!) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered People (or GLBT). I loved "Brokeback Mountain" and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a very romantic movie. Really!!!! Anyway, I stayed up the night before it was due until 5:30am because I waited until the last minute. I have never done this before. It was quite the experience! My professor returned the papers on Thursday when we took our final exam. When we turned in the exam, he gave us our papers. When he handed mine to me, he said "Good work, Janet". (!!!!) I only heard him say that to one other person...while I was in the room anyway. Are you ready for this??!! I made a 96!!!! I could not believe it!! He made some really good comments on the paper and didn't have much criticism. It even said in the paper "really good work". This was exactly what I needed (in addition, I was able to answer all of the questions on the final and feel really good about it) to end the semester. Like I said, I really think I'm going to enjoy grad school.

So, how am I going to solve this "blah" feeling? I talked to my supervisor and told her how I was feeling. She told me to take some time off, use some "lock in" days where I forward my phone to her, and she will hold off on assigning me new cases for now. I took a week off for Thanksgiving, but that was just before the end of the semester and I didn't really relax much. I'm on call for Christmas day and the two days following so I'll be home alone on Christmas Day and I think I'm going to sleep a lot (granted I don't get called out on anything) and then I'm taking the 29th off for a long weekend. The family has decided to have Christmas on New Year's weekend so that will be really nice. Then, sometime in mid-January I will start the semester again.

Next semester I am taking a Tuesday night class on Social Policy. It's a required class and sounds a little boring. The good thing is that the other class I am taking is only 5 weeks long. The not so good thing is that it is Friday night and all day Saturday for 5 weeks. I chose the class because it is Contemporary Issues of Domestic Violence and is taught by a very popular professor. So, after 5 weeks it will be like I am only taking one class, but that 5 weeks is probably going to be very stressful!! I'm looking forward to it and I plan to be caught up at work and better prepared this semester. I'm thinking each semester will help me better prepare for the next and eventually I will have a plan. Either that or each time I have a break in semesters I will be scrambling to get caught up at work...haha!!

Well, I think I've rambled on enough. It's been a while since I had a real post so there was much to discuss. Hope all is well with whoever reads this.

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

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