Category Archives: MSW

Help me do good work.

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Help me do good work.

Please visit my gofundme.

 

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Fire walk with me…

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Fire walk with me…

I haven’t blogged in a while. It’s been a combination of not having time and not having really anything nice or uplifting to say about anything. Yesterday was probably the lowest day energy and attitude-wise I have had in a couple years. I don’t think that it was necessarily anything in particular, just a lame culmination of the last few months and the proverbial straw on the camel’s back. So as things just seemed to domino in my world, professionally and of course personally because I am not one of those cool people that can leave my job at the office…. I just kind of gave up yesterday.

 

But as I always do, I woke up this morning and decided to try again cause really that’s all you can do.

I went to work, decided no matter what I was going to have a good GD day.

And I did.

I helped a family get housed that has been in shelter since January and it was a win. I really left work yesterday sure that it would not happen for them and rehearsing that conversation of sadness.

When I went to the shelter today to meet them and have them sign some final paperwork, I was showered in the grace of the experience. Everyone there is like a family. The family I work with has been there longer than anyone else in the shelter and literally had a couple days left on their 3rd extension. Everyone was happy and congratulating them, high fives, hugs, tears, etc. Their kids? One of them was so happy he was about to burst. He couldn’t even imagine having a room of his own again. The mom who has not let herself have any hope the last few months was over the moon. I honestly had never seen her smile a real smile. She had not even allowed herself the anticipation of this house.

It was the best experience I can remember having in a long time.

And it reminded me of this song:

So I ask you….

What is YOUR fire?

Is it waiting for fuel?

Are you the fuel for someone else’s?

Whatever lights that passion in you, however briefly….

FIND IT.

FEED IT.

The fuel is out there.

Let the spin stop.

Ignore the distractions and feel the burn.

 

Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

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Oh, the places you will go!~Dr. Seuss

So I went to the placement fair to try and figure out some of the potential places for my clinical practicum…I narrowed it down to 6 places and they all make my heart glow:

Check them out:

Mission: To prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.

http://cascadeaids.org/

Mission:

Our mission is to help homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency. We are…

  • Service providers and advocates.
  • Experts in understanding adolescents.
  • A Federally Qualified Health Center.
  • A licensed Mental Health Agency.
  • Leaders in serving GLBTQ youth.

We believe…

  • In dignity, hope, and resiliency.
  • In innovation.
  • Our clients can get through current challenges.
  • Young people need trusting adults to thrive.
  • In meeting people where they are.
  • In a strengths-based approach.

http://www.outsidein.org/

Mission: The Bradley Angle mission is to offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence options for safety, empowerment, healing and hope, while collaborating with our communities to create social change.

As we work to bring an end to domestic violence, Bradley Angle embraces the following values:

  • We empower individuals and communities to take action and eliminate domestic violence from their lives.
  • We are committed to demystifying domestic violence and to giving voice to those touched by it.
  • We offer a safe, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for all domestic violence survivors, offering individualized services that meet a wide range of cultural and personal needs.
  • We believe all people, regardless of race, age, gender identity, background, sexual orientation or religion, deserve to live in a world where physical, emotional, and sexual abuse are not tolerated.

http://bradleyangle.org/

Mission: The mission of NARA, NW is to provide education, physical and mental health services and substance abuse treatment that is culturally appropriate to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other vulnerable populations.

http://www.naranorthwest.org/

Mission: In partnership with the communities we serve, the Health Department assures, promotes and protects the health of the people of Multnomah County.

  • We believe that health is a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (World Health Organization, 1978)
  • We honor the diversity of the individuals and communities we serve and value their differing approaches to health and well-being.
  • We believe in partnerships to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe the department’s actions should assist our communities in addressing underlying factors that affect good health.
  • We value effective leadership as a fundamental tool to improve the health of our communities.
  • We believe in being responsible stewards of the public trust and resources.
  • We value a diverse staff and believe our staff should be selected with care, treated with respect, held accountable for their performance and encouraged in their personal growth.
  • We believe in continuously improving the quality of our work.
  • We believe in balancing scientific knowledge and practical experience with the wisdom and beliefs of those we serve to improve the health of our communities.
  • We emphasize prevention, health promotion and early intervention.

http://web.multco.us/health

Mission: Honor America’s veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being.

http://www.portland.va.gov/vancouver.asp

I love that some places are beginning to transition and recognize different populations than they have traditionally, i.e. domestic violence shelters are beginning to recognize, anticipate and serve men and LGBTQ2S populations.

I am so excited to be able to do this part of my education out of Idaho.

No news yet on whether the VA will have any LGBTQ2S services but eventually they have to. I hope 🙂

Public Safety and the college life

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So the university that I go to has approximately 50 buildings including parking structures. I have received 3 emails from Campus safety in the last 3 weeks describing basic safety techniques and procedures because of the sexual assaults and other assaults they have had in 2 buildings. For example:

This email is to advise you that the *** Campus Public Safety Office is investigating an assault that occurred on Thursday, January 12, 2012 at approximately 8:30pm on the sidewalk near *******. The Campus Public Safety Office became aware of this report via an email that was received on Friday, Jan 13, 2012 at 10:00pm. The victim reported that she was grabbed by the arm and wrist and was able to break free after striking the suspect. During this brief encounter the victim was unable to provide a description of the suspect.
As a reminder, please be vigilant and aware of your surroundings on and off campus and call 911 or the Campus Public Safety Office at ******* if you observe suspicious behavior or if you have any concerns about your personal safety. Additional information and updates about this incident will be available on the *** Campus Public Safety website ***********.
Support services from the Women’s Resource Center and Student Health and Counseling Services are available for anyone impacted by violence. If you have any nonemergency 
concerns regarding safety issues at ******, please contact the Campus Public Safety Office at *********.

Which two buildings did these incidents happen in you say?

The two buildings I attend class in at night. Rock out with your c**k out.

YES!

I love school.

I love riding public transportation.

I am becoming less liberal everyday.

That is all.

Nevada

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I see them as they are; sad little girls

In old ladies bodies, in hand me down shoes

On their hand me down street corner stations

That the last painted lady left them

Their only precious inheritance.

A generation deluded by movies

Closing their eyes, putting on the uniform

Shutting out horrors, dreaming of retirement

Knowing their street sense is better than the last’s.

She was found behind the bar cold and dead.

While yet another sad little girl

In her very own way wronged; betrayed

Steps on the sidewalk excited; in control.

And watching for Edward Lewis’s Lotus,

She is quickly consumed by the streets.

Student loans: A love/hate relationship

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While I love the fact that student loans allow me to comfortably continue my education, I hate the fact that they aren’t as easy to maintain as they would like you to believe. Everyone says that as long as you keep them abreast of what’s going on in your life, you know personal, emotional, physical, educational, familial (as in cousin’s sister’s mother’s brother’s wife’s second cousin’s uncle’s mother’s maiden name), sexual, etc. everything is ALL GOOD.

Not true!

MAY 2011:

When I withdrew from one Master of Social Work program in one state to attend another in a different state, I called the National Student Loan Database 800 number of God. Mind you this call was made 7.5 MONTHS BEFORE MY LOANS CAME OUT OF DEFERMENT. I said something to the effect of “Hey! This is whats going on! I am going from a semester program to a quarter term program and to line up my classes with theirs I have to wait until Winter term because they are taking classes I have already taken this fall. Ergo, I will be a month outside of my grace period before I start school again. I’m letting you know now so that I can get the deferment extended or something, whatever it is you Almighty Student Loan Gods can do.”

To which I was told, “um yeah like there is nothing we can do until the month your loans come out of deferment so like call us in November. But yeah I will totally note your account so when you get your new address get it to us cause its like totally bad for you to move and not tell us. blah blah something else that is useless”

Uh, yeah, dumbasses. Like I am going to call to tell you this but try to screw you on where to send my statements.  I am not done with school. I need you to like me for now. F**K

I digress.

NOVEMBER 2011:

I, doing my due diligence, call them up. In fact, I called every single one of my individual lenders and explained it to them. They all seemed to understand and said that they would push it back until after the “census date” at my new school but that I needed to also call the National Student Loan blah blah blah and sacrifice a goat in the full moon and spread the blood all over my undergrad degrees to satiate them so that my magical forbearance would go through and mail/email/fax them proof of said ritual. Done. 3x. Literally.

Fast forward a month:

DECEMBER 2011:

I get an email that says you owe $75239785629374650345645.14 on January 7th, 2012.

This is me:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/12844/home-alone-after-shave

So I call them and very calmly explain that I am trying very hard to remain calm as a Hindu f**king cow but that if they do not help me when I have been on top of this and doing EVERYTHING they have asked almost a year ahead of time, jumping through every flaming and increasingly smaller hoop they have placed before me, that I am going to freak the FUCKKKKKKK out.

The ESL customer service clerk/hoop holder I spoke to immediately transferred me to a supervisor. Ha.

Said supervisor said no problem! I see what you are saying, HOWEVER, we never received the proof of sacrifice you made last month AKA inschool deferment form. *mind you I sent this form in triplicate*

So I say ok, send me another! She does and I fill print it out, sign it, scan it and the required proofs, faxing it to them and to my school so my advisor (who I was told needed to sign it since it is going to be arranged before the census date). Bullet dodged.

Or so I thought.

Yesterday, I get an email from my advisor saying she is not allowed to sign them, that she forwarded it to the appropriate parties to sign it and fax it to Texas. (of course, it ends in Texas. FML) So i am like ok, no biggie, sweet deal.

Then today I get an email, saying that my forbearance was denied on 2 of my 3723789465934 loans (cause they have all been sold to various lenders thank you Sallie Mae you whore) payment in the amount of $39475028450 is still due January 7th, 2012 and if I miss that payment I will not receive my Spring term payments and they will tell the credit agencies and I will not pass go, not collect $200 and will not get into Heaven. I figure “oh, they are just missing each other in the mail or the system, whateva…..”

Then about 5 hours ago I get a phone call from the school official that is supposed to be signing my form and faxing it to Texas. He says that by CONTRACT with the National Student Loan Clearance House he is not allowed to sign said form and that I will just have to make a payment before the census date makes me deferred again.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I am not even censoring myself at this point in my head I am calling him everything but a brave human man.

In real life I say “ok. Thank you for your help.”

I hang up phone and die inside.

Then I call the Almighty 800 number, pull my bitch card and cry to the student loan people. Literally, like the 16 year old girl who just got pulled over for the first time; only I really meant it. BAWAWHAHWHAHHWHHAHHWHHAHHW sob sob. This person is helpful, says she was in a similar situation and IMMEDIATELY approves me for a forbearance until 3-1-2012. (allegedly) I hang up, hope she pushes the right button on the computer cause I am positive that is all it takes and I make peace with the knowledge that I have literally done ALL THAT I CAN.

I decided it’s the f**king I get for the f**king I got, and went on with my day, then the guy from the school who couldn’t sign my form calls back. Says he talked to a few people and because of my grades and harassment and that I am registered for so many classes (uh, only full time for a grad student…) that he is going to go ahead and do it this one time so that I can continue my “new start” at their school.

Yay.

Hopefully it is all good now.

I doubt it.

Can I get a collective F**K student loans now? gees.

Praise  sweet ancient baby alien space monkey Jebus.