The Next Seven Weeks, c/o Rodney Dangerfield

Between resubmitting dissertation revisions (for those of you counting at home it has now been a year of back and forth edits…ugh) and working five jobs this semester, life RAM and morale are pretty low these days. It will likely stay this way for the next seven weeks when teaching two courses will end. Couldn’t have said it better myself:

RIP Rodney!

Some Words for My Friend Dan

UPDATE: Good news, a memorial fund has been established in Dan’s name! Here are details from Dan’s brother Bruce:

In memory of Dan Schackman’s commitment to supporting the public presentation and review of our students’ work, and to honor his teaching, scholarship, and service, The Daniel Schackman Memorial Fund for Students has been established by the Department of Communication and Media at SUNY New Paltz. The purpose of this fund will be to defray the expenses of students studying within our Department who wish to present their academic work at a conference or submit their creative work for review or evaluation by a recognized organization. 

To contribute, please address your gift to the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, New York, 12561, or go to Be sure to specify The Daniel Schackman Memorial Fund for Students.

My friend Dan Schackman passed away a couple of weeks ago. I can’t believe he’s gone, and I haven’t accepted that I’ll never hear his voice again, that we’ll never get to co-write a paper together, that he’ll never get to see me finally graduate with my PhD, that we’ll never get to see each other grow old.

I met him about 10 years ago while working for CTCNet, a nonprofit focused on community technology and digital divide issues. He was there to serve as an AmeriCorps *VISTA member, and since I had also served a few years as a VISTA I  took him under my wing to show him around and help him feel welcome. I’ll never forget a few months later when I was laid off, in shock and feeling like the office leper, Dan brought me to the park near our office and shared that he too had been laid off before and gave me advice on how to cope. At that moment I said to him, in my own brand of high-class vernacular, “You know, I’ve always wanted a PhD and it won’t go away. This is God kicking me in the ass to go back for my PhD. Fuck it, what am I waiting for?” Dan was quiet. I didn’t know at the time that he had been bitten by the PhD bug too and may have been having similar thoughts. He later went to Syracuse University and graduated with his PhD. I edited his dissertation and he helped edit my dissertation proposal. Dan was so supportive of me and my journey. Whenever I had yet another Twitter or Facebook status bemoaning the latest PhD struggle, Dan was always there with a smile, joke, or helpful comment. That feed feels so oddly quiet now without him there.

Our ladders of success and survival nudge us to move and change and grow whether we want to or not. Our families become people we see perhaps a few times a year if we are lucky, and our family of friends, the people we may see in person day-to-day when our schedules collide or when our paths cross virtually on Facebook and the like, become so important. Since Dan’s passing I’ve been reaching out to other old friends, burying ridiculously old hatchets from too many years ago over things that, in retrospect, pale in comparison to not being involved in some small capacity in their life. Time is so precious and I don’t want to miss a minute more. Because Dan was something of a walking IMDb database, I like to think he might be chuckling at me having a ‘Big Chill‘ moment right now on his behalf.

Thank you Dan for being my friend, for throwing the greatest Oscar parties and for somehow getting everyone to dance to All That Jazz every time Chicago won yet another Oscar, for being a great cat-sitter, for introducing me to a book group of friends that I still hang out with nearly 10 years later, for being my Mad Men buddy and especially the Mad Men Suitcase episode and agreeing that it was one of the best hours on television and sharing that sense that maybe if we didn’t live in the same zip code anymore, at least we were not alone together. I miss you.

SW 2.0: Going Where the Client Is: Exploring Virtual Clinical Social Work Practice

G+ Screenshot
Folks, the next SW 2.0 column for The New Social Worker Magazine is ready! You can read it at the links below:
If you prefer, you can download the full magazine issue here.

This article profiles the amazing virtual clinical practice work of Nancy Smyth, Mike Langlois, DeeAnna Nagel, and Kate Anthony.The article also has many additional resources if you would like to explore virtual clinical social work practice.

I should also note that it is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to writing the SW 2.0 column regularly. Unfortunately, I am not able to write the column on a regular basis while wrapping up my dissertation at the same time. I will still write about technology for The New Social Worker as time permits, and will blog about technology and social work at I hope the column helped you think about integrating technology into your practice in new ways and explore the possibilities these technologies extend. I strongly believe it to be at the heart of innovative social work practice in the future, and look forward to seeing your contribution to the field. Although we won’t get to hang out via the column as often as we’d like, Linda and I are brainstorming ways to continue to provide this information, so stay tuned. Keep pushing the envelope, trying new ideas, reaching out and connecting with one another, and learning new ways to connect with clients and help them help themselves on their journey. It has been my pleasure to interact with you and explore how social workers can use technology better. Learning new things helps us grow and develop as a profession and as professionals, and a proactive attitude toward innovative practice will ensure that we are doing everything we can to help the clients we care about so much.

Updates on My Cousin Gary

UPDATE (6/14/11): Gary is leaving the hospital!

Also the Buffalo News interviewed Gary. Here is the screenshot of today’s front page:

Gary Buffalo News Front Page

Tickets for the Buffalo Bisons Benefit for Gary are still available.

UPDATE (3/20/11): Team Gary shirts are selling fast!

Team Gary Logo

Team Gary Logo

UPDATE (3/12/11): A new web site for online donations is now live at

Folks, my cousin Gary is making much progress since his accident two weeks ago. However, since he was off duty when he was hit by a drunk driver, his paychecks will stop in about a month. The Buffalo Police Department has set up a fund to help pay for Gary’s medical costs. I know times are tough right now, but please consider making a donation:

Friends of Gary Sengbusch Fund
c/o Buffalo Police Federal Credit Union
Room 103
74 Franklin St.
Buffalo, NY 14202

Please consider liking the Team Gary/2067 page on Facebook.

Here is the latest video about Gary and information about Jim Irsay’s donation

Vodpod videos no longer available.

And yes Jim, Buffalo has the greatest NFL fans in the world 🙂

Me in my Buffalo Bills T-Shirt