Walnut Room this way

Walnut Room this way
Walnut Room? This way, please.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Reflecting on Reflective Social Work Practice

Several years ago, one of Rand's co-workers sketched a "super-hero" of him as Random Access.  It was a tribute to his accessibility and willingness to help with technology issues.  First of all, I think RA the person rocks, and second, RA the super hero does willingly make himself accessible--not just at work, but to his family and friends who are always calling on him for help with our computer issues.

Frankly, I am a little jealous.

As hard as I try (and I do, constantly reading about teaching and coaching and supervising and professional development and educating, and consulting and dialoging with my mentors and mentees about all those things, and researching and publishing about those concerns--3 so far in the last 6 months), I seem in a "slump" these last few weeks.  I am not only not a super-heroine, but not even a heroine.
  It reminds me of my tiger metaphor.  I am torn between wanting to jump up and attack a jugular, and the awareness of needing to lie down and wait for the prey to come to me.  Kind of reminds me of my first mentor when I started teaching social work.
Anyone who thinks teaching in a university is a plum job has never done it.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cat Light on a Dark Night

It has been another weird week around Lottabusha County.  Wearisome.  Last night I was tired and cold.  I had to catch a ride with R to work as J needed the car.  He dropped me on the corner several blocks via a long detour.  Construction.  A nightmare to drive and worse to walk.  Fences, detours, closed streets, half streets--all worsened by the multitude of folks who do not understand (or else do not care) about the rules for a 4-way stop.  Folks who cross the street by walking diagonal through the center of the street, tying up 4 lanes of traffic.  It was raining, and windy, and I had a book bag and my computer because because none of the work computers will work in the makeshift temporary classroom.

At 5, R texted to see when I would be ready.  I asked where he wanted me to meet him.  He said he could get to where ever I wanted, so I said I wanted in front of my building.  Time passed--25 minutes of it with me on the curb, in the wind, holding that heavy book bag and computer.  I put my hoodie up and stood with my back to the wind.  I watched the guys down the street loading and unloading giant dumpsters with a semi to haul off the debris from the day's demolition work and get ready for the next.  I watched them lock up the construction site fences.

I had expected it would take a while, because traffic lines are lengthy on all roads, and there are long waits at the intersections.  I finally pulled my phone out of my pocket to check with him, and saw where he had called 1 minute prior--but the phone had not rung.  "I can't get to your building."  I called him back and asked where he was.  "In the parking lot by the chapel."  I said I was on my way--trekking back the same several blocks, up a flight of stairs, down a flight of stairs as from the morning traipse.  Another 20 minutes to get off campus and 10 more to get home.

We were standing in the kitchen talking when the electricity went out and we were standing in the kitchen in pitch black dark.  I felt for the flashlight, and lit a couple of candles.  All lights were out at our neighbors (believe me, around here, it could have been something else in this house going wrong) so we sat down to wait it out.  It was a long wait.