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The Teachers

February 24, 2014

Some respect, c/o The Teachers:

All of you former students: you did not design curricula, plan lessons, attend faculty meetings, assess papers, design rubrics, create exams, prepare report cards, and monitor attendance. You did not tutor students, review rough drafts, and create study questions. You did not assign homework. You did not write daily lesson objectives on the white board. You did not write poems of the week on the white board. You did not write homework on the white board. You did not learn to write legibly on the white board while simultaneously making sure that none of your students threw a chair out a window.

You did not design lessons that succeeded. You did not design lessons that failed.

My favorite teaching moment from last week:

In both of the research methods classes I am teaching this semester, we are operationalizing variables, a phrase I have trouble saying out loud properly because I  get nervous sometimes while teaching and seriously, operationalizing is a crazy word to try and say. Basically when operationalizing a variable, we indicate how we define the variable and identify indicators so it can be tested or measured. I put social conformity on the board and asked the class to operationalize it. From the corner of the room a student yelled out:

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Bravo. Brilliant! And for good measure, a friend recently gave me this shirt. ❤ Super-psyched to be teaching this semester!

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2013 in Review

January 6, 2014

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 23,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Back to School Guide for Social Work Students eBook Published!

September 10, 2013

Update February 2014: Now available in the iBooks store!

Update: We got a wonderful testimonial from a reader!

“As a former admissions director in a school of social work, I spent lots of time looking for resources to best prepare incoming students for their studies and new careers. Years later, I’m delighted to discover this recently-released publication by Linda Grobman and Karen Zgoda. Contained in this book are the kinds of resources I’d tried to assemble for new social workers becoming acclimated to the scholarship and service of the profession. Needless to say, I’ll be sharing this important publication with colleagues and students enrolled in my social work courses.”
– Jeff T. Steen, LCSW, PhD student, adjunct instructor, New York University

The NEW SOCIAL WORKER® Magazine’s Back-to-School Guide for Social Work Students eBook is now available! I’m so excited to share this new eBook with you!

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Here is a word from the Publisher:

If you are a social work student, we have the new guide you need…our “hot off the press” THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Magazine’s Back-to-School Guide for Social Work Students, edited by Linda Grobman and Karen Zgoda. This e-book is available now in Kindle format at: http://www.amazon.com/WORKER®-Magazines–School-Students-ebook/dp/B00EZAXVJ8/

You can download the e-book in other formats at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/355823

You can read contributions from:

  • Jonathan Singer, TIP: Go the Distance
  • Erlene Grise-Owens, Traveling Toward a Social Work Degree: 10 Road-Tested Trip-Tips
  • Allan Barsky, TIP: Ask for Honest Feedback
  • Liz Fisher, Nicole Reed, Loran Stough, and Matt Tracey, Making the Most of Field Seminar
  • Kryss Shane, TIP: Get To Know Your Classmates
  • Marian Swindell, 11 Tips for Professional Behavior in the Classroom
  • Addison Cooper, TIP: “So What I Hear You Saying Is…”
  • Ellen Belluomini, TIP: Minimize Distractions to Increase Your Focus and Attention
  • Brad Forenza, TIP: You Can Get Clinical Licensure With a Macro Concentration
  • Mozart Guerrier, TIP: Focus on Your Purpose and Imagine Your Perfect World
  • Karen Allen, What Is an Ethical Dilemma?
  • Sonya Hunte, TIP: Build Authentic Relationships
  • Kathy Black, Considerations in Writing a Literature Review
  • Dorlee M., TIP: Got Therapy? We All Have Wounds…
  • Stephen Marson, TIP: When in Crisis, See Your Advisor
  • Denice Goodrich Liley, TIP: If I Could Do This Over
  • Jerry Finn, To Once and Future Research Students
  • Mike Langlois, TIP: Change the World
  • Jeff Baxter, What I Have Learned About Learning
  • Ogden Rogers, TIP: Get the Ticket—Take the Ride!
  • And yours truly :)
    • SW 2.0: How to Communicate Effectively With Your Professor
    • Back to School Resolution: Avoid Common APA Mistakes
    • (Ctrl + C) + (Ctrl + V) = Homework NOT Finished

The photos on the cover are from my dissertation stream on Instagram.

Please share and help spread the word to all social work students. Hope you enjoy this new guide and find it helpful. Have a great semester!

How to Respond to Professional Disappointment and Setback

August 8, 2013

I’m currently in a revise and resubmit cycle with my dissertation committee. In brief the dissertation is written and will take some major work to complete to the satisfaction of all committee members. Mind you, I found this out 4 days prior to a scheduled defense date, so my body told me I needed to spend some time licking wounds before starting revisions. It’s amazing what a two week migraine cycle will teach you about self-care (hint: DO IT), friendship, and trust amid professional disappointment and setback. I can’t thank all my wonderful friends and colleagues  enough for their support and encouragement and laughter and love during this time.

Coincidentally, it seems that Stephen Colbert  also experienced his own work-related WTF this week.  Daft Punk was supposed to appear on his show:

Wouldn’t that have been amazing? MTV, however, had other plans.  Apparently MTV had exclusive performance rights for Daft Punk because they would be performing at the VMAs (side note, since when does MTV fight for music to be shown on MTV?!):

Here is Stephen’s pitch perfect response to the whole fiasco. LIKE A BOSS kids, watch and learn:

May Stephen Colbert and Bryan Cranston and Jon Stewart Charlie Rose and Jeff Bridges and the Rockettes turn any disappointment you encounter into a star-studded roller disco. Now go get lucky, punk.  :)

Dissertation Update & Stat Check

March 2, 2013

Update 3/22/13: Summer defense or bust!

It’s moving along. I’m writing and it’s moving along. A May graduation is still totally possible at this point but it means this week I’ll be writing when not eating, sleeping, or working to pay for it. So more of the same except in hyperdrive mode.

So here’s where it currently stands:

  • If I get a ton of writing to my advisor by Friday, and it’s in good shape, defending in April and graduating in May is a real possibility.
  • I’m adding to and refining the Findings section which is currently at 40 pages.
  • The entire dissertation, with many edits and revision to make before handing in, is currently 108 pages.

Here’s a sample from this morning’s writing in the Findings chapter:

Client outcomes: Real visibility and improvements for Charlestown residents and agencies

Five respondents discussed the positive changes they witnessed in Charlestown as a result of Charlestown Connects both as residents and as individual community agencies. These positive outcomes dealt with better relationships with city agencies and thus improved access to city services, as one respondent stated:

But the fact that we were able to create an environment of safety, because this building was perceived as not safe and it had every right to have that perception, the lights were not on in the front of the building, the field lights, the safety lights, were not being left on, like there were things that were wrong, and through NRT, so street lights were out, things like that, but through responding, okay, to things like that, we became visible.  So now first it became visible, right?

This sense of improved visibility cannot be understated. Also evident after the Charlestown Connects intervention was a palatable difference in a sense of neighborhood in terms of better communication, working together, and more pleasant experience living in Charlestown overall. One respondent expressed this as, “the entire community has been able to grow and work together in a way that would not have possible without Charlestown Connects.” Another without much exposure to Charlestown Connects expanded on this idea and stated:

See a sea change going on. Has seen a lot more people asking what can we do to make Charlestown stronger, from retail and residents, trying to push community pride and effort and funding into making Charlestown more pleasant for residents to live in. Charlestown is forgotten neighborhood in Boston. My grandmother was from Charlestown 100 years ago, was community of hard-working people. Affluence equals attention. I love where I live, don’t want to put words in the mouth of those townies who lived during hard times when neighborhood was difficult, but over 20 years neighborhood has really improved.

Coffee donations and random words of kindness and support welcome. Always.

The No Asshole Rule in Academia

February 13, 2013

Karen Zgoda:

Required reading for academics. Love the book “The No Asshole Rule” by Robert Sutton!

Originally posted on The Thesis Whisperer:

Two of my favourite people in the academic world are my friends Rachael Pitt (aka @thefellowette) and Nigel Palmer. Whenever we have a catch up, which is sadly rare, we have a fine old time talking shop over beer and chips (well lemonade in my case, but you get the picture).

Some time ago ago Rachael started calling us ‘The B Team’ because we were all appointed on a level B in the Australian university pay-scale system (academic Level B is not quite shit kicker entry level academia – that’s level A just in case you were wondering – but it’s pretty close). I always go home feeling a warm glow of collegiality after a B team talk, convinced that being an academic is the best job in the entire world. Rachael reckons that this positive glow is a result of the ‘circle of niceness’ we create just by being…

View original 1,309 more words

January 23, 2013

Originally posted on Social Work/Social Care & Media:

karen_zgodaBarely a month has passed since 20 children aged 6 and 7 were killed in their classrooms at Sandy Hook elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. It is also disturbing that for many children in the United States, such gun-related violence has long been a sad fact of life due to structural poverty, economic decline, and crime.

One of the most popular calls for action in the wake of this tragedy is for more gun control. In fact, President Obama has just released a plan to reduce gun violence.

According to a poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS, these shootings in particular have heavily swayed US public opinion towards stricter gun control laws. Other sources show similar support for gun control and the National Rifle Association has been upfront in their opposition.

Some facts on gun control:

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