I absolutely love doing anything outdoors, and one of my favorite things I do every year (hopefully a couple of times this year), is being able to get some people I care about and getting out on the river and just floating. It’s slow, but to me it is so relaxing and a beautiful experience (even if we don’t get out of the water until it late in the evening.
Several years ago, I started going out for walks every night. It has been good to me. When I first started losing weight several years ago, I think that starting to have an exercise regiment (while it is not very hardcore) was what really started it. While I have plateaued in the last six months and started gaining some of my weight back, having that simple daily exercise has been good for my body. For my weight I probably need to start working more on my diet and changing my eating habits to move to the next level. Over the last year I have averaged over 10,000 steps, 38 minutes of exercise (normally it is walking, but sometimes my own form of yoga, swimming, hiking badger, and if you follow my snapchat often my bike).
Getting out and walking has been good for my mental health as well. There are some days that I just can’t leave and walk, and those days I feel like I’m going to go a bit crazy. With my crazy schedule and doing more things than I probably should (between my two jobs, family, and social life), being able to go out for walks seem like less of a nice thing and more of something mandatory.
As I’ve written about many time on here, I am an avid listener to podcasts (by the way, anybody want to make a podcast with me… I’d love to be a creator of one someday as well). I listen to some music, but I spend most of my listening time listening to a number of great podcasts. I decided that I needed to also have some input into my brain that is just fun as well. In my life, I find if I can box things around something I already do I can get really good at doing it. Basically, if I can find something that I already do regularly and just add a little bit or do something a little bit different to that… I find that I am much more able to keep those changes going in my life. Building on something that we are already doing can really make making changes in our lives much easier.
So about a year or year and a half ago, I started listening to audio books as I walk. I pretty quickly went through all of the Game of Thrones books (they are great… and I’m still excited to get HBO at some point and make it through the TV seres as well). I listen to Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, another one that I would highly recommend for a good read / listen.
As you can see, my interests tend to be pretty focused on being able to be taken to some sort of fantasy world. I’m a big fan of both Fantasy and Science Fiction genres. My latest series I’ve just made it through is the Red Queen Series by Victoria Averard. It’s another great selection to listen to. It is around a world divided by red and silver blood types and people with superhuman powers. But as always, it is more about the people that you learn to love and hate in the book and the stories that get told.
In particular, one of the things that I especially enjoy about the Fantasy and Science Fiction generes is that they can step outside of our lives and make a case for some larger societal norms and how we treat each other. Anyways, I did really enjoy the Red Queen Series.
Parenting can be difficult. I have found that to be true in my personal life, in the lives of my clients, and from what I see in our culture. Different people give different advice as to what to do and how to best raise our children. Long hours working can make being consistent difficult (or at least that seems to happen in my own life).
As a part of my role at the Pasco School District, I worked with the Bridges Program. It is a district level set of classrooms that work with students K-12th grade to help support some of the students who have some of the most severe behavioral impacts. One of the ways that I would commonly describe my role is as building a home - school - community connections.
I have spent a lot of time during the previous several years working to help support parents learn new skills, and learning from parents how they best work with their children. It has been fabulous. As a part of my role in the Pasco Discovery Coalition, I’ve been able to do some of the same. Several years ago, I was able to get trained to be a facilitator for Guiding Good Choices. It’s a pretty great evidence-based parenting program. I’ve enjoyed being able to implement training in it.
Last week I was able to get certified to implement the Strengthening Families Program for Parents and Youth 10-14. One thing that I find especially interesting and exciting about this program is it has components for both youth and parents. While Guiding Good Choices does have a component that youth participate in, the entire Strengthening Families Program is family-centered and both parents and youth are concurrently and working together learning skills. The program seems very interactive and engaging.
I’m a believer, that just like in therapy (I also just listened to a great episode of the Social Workers Podcast - Therapists as Writers: Interview with Lori Gottlieb where she expressed the same view about therapy), everybody can improve their parenting skills. We should all be trying to learn as many new skills and practices as we can.
I’m still figuring out how I want to share more personal things about my life. While I’m still currently on Facebook (and probably this post will be shared there), I almost never post there. I’ve actually turned off the notifications (other than for messenger). Sometimes I post to Instagram, but that seems somewhat rare as well. I probably most frequently post things to Snapchat, as I like that it just disappears, but I don’t really have many friends there.
Sometimes I share photos sometimes directly with people through the Sharing Suggestions in Photos, but I’m still figuring it out. I have a couple hundred photos and video’s I took while we were in the Leavenworth area over Memorial Day. I wanted to share share something, so I put together this video using the Quik App on my iPad, which is such and easy way to put together a pretty neat looking video quickly.
You can also also see some some of the photos from our trip.
We got the opportunity to stay in Jack’s Cabin, through airbnb which was a phenomenal experience. The video take you on a bit of tour, but there is really nothing like being able to walk out the back door and have a river and and little waterfall right outside.
The classrooms I get the opportunity to serve at the Pasco School District feels like a real privilege. I feel the work that I get to do is meaningful and really get to make an impact on the lives to staff and students. One of the reasons why it feels so meaningful to me is that fact that we try (while we don’t always implement) to use best practices to address our students needs.
Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to join the Washington State Association of School Social Workers and attend their annual conference. One of the presenters there from OSPI talked about the upcoming Student Support Conference and described that they would be making a request for proposals for conference presenters. I decided that I wanted to stretch myself some, although this is not the first conference that I have spoken at, and apply to present about our program and the best practices for classrooms serving students with emotional and behavioral disabilities.
It’s a little bit late tonight, but I will also say that while I didn’t get the opportunity to stay for both days of the conference (I had some other stuff come up that I really had to do), the other presentations that I got to sit in on were great and it’s good to see how much focus on both mental health and trauma there is for our students.
I had been planning writing a review about Ta-Nehishi Coates audio book, Between The Worlds and Me, which I recently listened to (and I think think this blog post will suffice). Michiko Kakutani From the New York Times provides a good review of the book which is written as a type of letter to Coates’s teenage son about the realities, feelings, and symbolism associated with being Black in the United States. There were many points that stood out to me and gave me pause to think.
When coates was talking about his years growing up, and the safety of his body, really struck me that even with all of my travels and sometimes dangerous positions, that I’ve not really lived in it and my privilege that frequently they were positions I had put myself in. I was also struck by his comments about people who “think they are white.”
All in all, it was a powerful story and well worth a read or a listen. If you do listen to it like I did (and I must give a shoutout to public libraries and being able to download audiobooks), I love books that read by the author as I feel like I get even more of their voice. I was thankful that my mom recommended it to me.
While, I still haven’t finished the episode yet, I am still working my way through listening to Reconcilable Differences - Episode 101: Duke of Bits (Overcast Link and Website). I highly respect John and Merlin and appreciate their thoughtfulness in life and the way they broach all sorts of topics. In this episode they talk about both privilege and status and it was a great listen and through provoking. It is so important, as they said that people recognize that privilege is a thing and we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. The idea that how we can be fearless to be able to go about our life, and know that everything will be ok. That is so true for me and I can highly relate to saying that many times I can be fearless where not everybody else can.
It feels like Spring is finally here. We went to the Duck Pond at Columbia Park and fed the ducks.
I will say, after I was posting about buying bread to feed the ducks, a friend reached out to me and told me about the problems related to that, so you should consider feeding them something else. Fun video though.
Video shot on my GoPro and iPhone and Made by GoPro Quick using the song Straight West.
Social workers all wear a number of different hats, or function in a number of different roles for their practice. In this video we talk about 15 different roles that social workers frequently put on. We go through and talk talk about the roles of counselor, case manager, broker, enabler, enabler, educator, facilitator, mediator, negotiator, manager, analyst/evaluator, consultant, integrator/coordinator, spokesperson, organizer/mobilizer, and advocate.
Barker, R.L. (1995). The social work dictionary (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: NASW Press.
Yessian, M.R., & Broskowski, A. (1983). Generalists in human-service systems: Their problems and prospects. Prentice Hall.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. (1997). U_nderstanding human behavior and the social environment (4th ed.)_. Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Kirst-Ashman, K. K., & Hull, Jr., G. H. (2015). Understanding generalist practice (7th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.