Sunday, October 30, 2011

Multiple Choice Test - Social Work Style

I miss multiple choice tests. Where you take your number 2 pencil and fill in the circle. Staying completely within the lines of the circle. Where there is always a right answer, no explanation needed. If grad school social work assignments were a multiple choice test it would look like this:

Apples are:

A. Good

B. Tasty

C. Good and Tasty

D. Neither good nor tasty

**Please list your answer below, citing your sources using APA style. Your answer should be 12-15 pages. You should demonstrate your deep understanding of the topic and should incorporate your views, your family's views (going back 12 generations), as well as theories and concepts discussed in class. Use PowerPoints, class notes, small group discussions, textbooks, and 32 outside sources to summarize your learning and insights.


'C' is the correct choice because of the following eight reasons which I have thoroughly researched. My views on 'c' are as follows: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and blah. I believe that I feel strongly about 'c' because my mother felt strongly about 'c' and her mother felt strongly about 'c'. There are definitely multi-generational patterns as to our views on apples. I’m not sure what Bowen would say about this, but I’m sure he would be impressed I was able to find the damn (oops, I mean darn) pattern. It is important for me to understand, however, that other families may not see ‘c’ as the correct answer. As a social worker, I am okay with that as each family is the expert of their own experiences, and may view apples in a completely different way than I do. That doesn't make either of us right or wrong. It just means we get to have lots of frank discussions about apples. I am so grateful for the opportunity to answer this question because it helped me not only gain insight into myself and my family, but will also inform my social worker practice and make me a more competent practitioner.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My Busy Life

Life has been extremely busy the last couple of months. I finally got a job in February working as a care manager with elderly clients. As of tomorrow I have been there for 6 weeks. It's been crazy 6 weeks, but I love it. It still doesn't really feel like a "job," which I guess is good. After my first paycheck I literally thought "Wait...they're paying me for this?" :) I think it was because it was so different from anything I had done before other than internships which, obviously I hadn't been paid for.

I have also been busy with school. This weekend was my last session of my first class. I'm a bit worried about how I'm going to handle the three classes that start in 2 weeks, but I managed before, and I'm sure I'll manage again...right?

Anyway, hopefully I'll get my act together and find more time to do all of the things I was doing before I started working reading, exercising, blogging, and cleaning!

The Great Read 2011 - February

Okay, so life has gotten crazy busy. Out of control at times. My reading is definitely not going to be at the level it was at last year, but I'm still reading a bit. In February I read 5 books. My favorite by far was Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. It was an inspiring read, and I was surprised that I was hooked from the beginning. I love World War II books but this was so much more. A definite must read!

Review from

From Laura Hillenbrand, the bestselling author of Seabiscuit, comes Unbroken, the inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. In evocative, immediate descriptions, Hillenbrand unfurls the story of Louie Zamperini - a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic-runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie's plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to the pages, eagerly awaiting the next turn in the story and fearing it at the same time. You'll cheer for the man who somehow maintained his selfhood and humanity despite the monumental degradations he suffered, and you'll want to share this book with everyone you know. - Juliet Disparte

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Great Read 2011 - January

This year I've set a goal to read 90 books this year. That's 7 1/2 books a month. Who knows if I'll make it since my life seems to be getting busier by the day, but having a goal gives me something to aim for :)

Anyway, I figured I would feature my favorite book or two here each month to help keep track of the ones I love.

So...for January, my favorite book by far was A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis, Fari Amini, and Richard Lannon. This book was exquisitely written. A definite must-read for those working with people (therapists, social workers, etc.) or for anyone who hasn't found quite what they are looking for in the self-help section of the bookstore. This IS NOT a self-help book, but it explains why people can't find the answers in them and provides a fantastic explanation of how our brains function, change, and grow and why it is we need other people in order to become truly independent, satisfied beings.

Review from
The Beatles may have sounded naive when they assured us that "all you need is love," but they may not have been far off the mark. New research in brain function has proven that love is a human necessity; its absence damages not only individuals, but our whole society. In this stimulating work, psychiatrists Lewis, Amini and Lannon explain how and why our brains have evolved to require consistent bonding and nurturing. They contend that close emotional connections actually change neural patterns in those who engage in them, affecting our sense of self and making empathy and socialization possible. Indeed, the authors insist, "in some important ways, people cannot be stable on their own." Yet American society is structured to frustrate emotional health, they contend: self-sufficiency and materialistic goals are seen as great virtues, while emotional dependence is considered a weakness. Because our culture does not sufficiently value interpersonal relationships, we are plagued by anxiety and depression, narcissism and superficiality, which can lead to violence and self-destructive behaviors. It is futile to try to think our way out of such behaviors, the authors believe, because emotions are not within the intellect's domain. What is needed is healthy bonding from infancy; when this does not occur, the therapist must model it. The authors' utopian vision of emotional health may strike some as vague or conservative to a fault, and the clarity of their thesis is marred by indirect and precious writing. Yet their claim that "what we do inside relationships matters more than any other aspect of human life" is a powerful one.

Although my "to read" list is already much longer than 90 books, I'm always looking for more. Read any good books lately?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy Birthday, Kristin!

Kristin's birthday was on January 13. She said she didn't want a party or a cake. I honored her no party request but couldn't pass up on getting the cake. I decided I would order a cake saying it wasn't a birthday cake, just to be funny. The cake people messed it up though, and this was the result:

Dumb. Not only wasn't it a cake for Kristin, but it wasn't a birthday for her either. Oh well. It was cute and tasted DIVINE, so I guess that's all that really matters.

Happy birthday, Kristin!

Christmas in Arizona

This year we went to Phoenix for Christmas! It was my first Christmas in a warm climate, and it was a little weird. I had a hard time wrapping my head around the idea that it was, in fact, December, but we had so much fun I didn't spent too much time thinking about that.

Some of the highlights included: going to The Nutcracker, me getting some quality time with Santa (or his floating head, anyway),

Kristin getting into a minor fenderbender (most would consider this a lowlight, but I got to meet Immanuel because of it which was just lovely), Kristin and me finding the perfect gift for Lon (from Ginny, of course),

Going caroling on Christmas night,

Church outside in the Christmas sun, staying at cousin Erin's house, and going to Walgreens with Ang. ;)

The trip was awesome, and I was so happy we had the chance to go! Thanks to Ginny, John, Erin, and Pat for being such wonderful hosts to all of us!

Monday, January 3, 2011

On the Upside: I Will Write About It

Reading this blog today - one I have been following for awhile. Surprised to see this posted today...probably because I've been struggling with writing. And this pretty much says it me permission NOT to write until I am ready. Which makes me feel...better. Thank you, Kellan (and hoping it's okay I'm reposting here!).

By: Kellan

I will write about it ....

when the pain subsides ....

when I mend my heart ....

when I no longer cry.

I will write about it ....

when the small child in me ...

can breathe again ....

when the woman in me ...

finds her wings again ....

when I am ...

whole again.

I will write about it ....

so others will know ....

so others will see ....

the truth about me.

I will write about ....

when I find the words.

I will write about it ....

when I no longer hurt.

I will write about it ....

one day.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Me!

I've never been one to celebrate my birthday much, and this year was no different. I wanted it somewhat low key, so we went to Beninhana's with Jehn (becoming a yearly tradition), and hung out at home. It was perfect!

Winter 2010

This winter has been harsh. And it's only January 1. It just seems that it's never-ending snow, snow, snow.

After last winter, I told Kristin we had to get a snow blower. To me, it seemed that last year was horrible, and the meteorologists were saying that this year was sure to be worse. So we found one we liked (using tips we had received from Kristin's dad last year and my brother) and ordered it. It came in just in time. Just a day or two before our first big storm.

Kristin took to it immediately and has found she loves to use it - which is great for me because I can just shove the upper walks and not have to deal with the monster of a machine!

Since then, it has snowed A LOT here. And after each storm I think "I am soooo glad we got that!" Last I heard we had already passed the total snowfall for all of last winter in December. *sigh* Looks like this week should be more dry, but very cold...nothing the snow blower can do about that. :)


I'm a bit behind, so I thought I would try to get things at least somewhat caught begin, we'll have to travel all the way back to Thanksgiving!

This year I decided to surprise my family by flying out to Utah, renting a car, and driving up to my grandparents' house in Idaho. The only person I told in my family was my sister which was a good thing since their plans of what they would be doing the night I was driving up seemed to change every few minutes. :)

Knocking on the door and seeing every one's faces when they opened it up was the best! It was so good to see the whole family, and I loved being able to spend some time with my niece and nephews, Taylor, Jordan, and Corban!

I took my camera, but it wasn't until I got home that I realized I only had one photo on it which Jordan actually took of my dad (guess I was too busy cooing over Taylor and visiting with the family!):

We had a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner, went bowling (so much fun to watch all the little ones bowl!), and helped my grandma decorate her house for Christmas!

So the night before I was supposed to fly out I tried to check in for my flight. After a few minutes of frustration I realized I had booked my return flight for February. Oops. There was a bit of panic when the airline told me it would cost $600+ to change the ticket before I found a really cheap one-way flight on Southwest!

It was a short trip, but I'm so glad I went was able to see everyone!