- WHEN: The chats will be held on the second and fourth Thursday of each month at 9:00 PM EST.
- WHAT: An awesome new series of Twitter chats over the next few weeks discussing macro social work practice, policy, and collaboration.
- WHO: Myself and colleagues from the Association for Community Organizing and Social Administration (ACOSA), the Network for Social Work Management (NSWM), Social Work Helper, the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, the University of Southern California School of Social Work, social workers and others interested in discussing macro social work practice.
Over the past year I have written often about the findings in the Rothman Report, which you can read below. The report found that macro social work is in trouble. Schools of social work are increasingly cutting out macro focused courses, there are few macro field placements available, and faculty and administration are actively discouraging students from pursuing community practice work.
Following the publication of the report, ACOSA formed a commission that was tasked with expanding on the research in the report and coming up with solutions to the concerns raised. Recently the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy (CRISP) wrote an article about the Rothman Commision. You can find that article here.
UPDATE: Read the chat transcript here: View the story “#MacroSW Chat Recap (3/13/14)” on Storify
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:
Bravo. Brilliant! And for good measure, a friend recently gave me this shirt. ❤ Super-psyched to be teaching this semester!
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.
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:
Colbchella ‘013 kicks off Tues 8/6 with Daft Punk! So now you only have to stay up until 11:30pm EST to get lucky. #Colbchella013
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 3, 2013
Stephest Colbchella ‘013 starts tomorrow 8/6 with Daft Punk! Are U Ready 2 Rock?! Well, then, please wait just one more day! #Colbchella013
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 6, 2013
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?!):
— Anthony De Rosa (@AntDeRosa) August 7, 2013
Here is Stephen’s pitch perfect response to the whole fiasco. LIKE A BOSS kids, watch and learn:
— Stephen Colbert (@StephenAtHome) August 7, 2013
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. :)
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.
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…
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