Thursday, February 28, 2008

"How are you not like a stick, Ayelet?"

I took a client to a diner for lunch today. Predictably, as do all my clients, he found the traifest thing on the menu -- smothered pork chops. I went back to the office and chatted with my co-workers about the topics we'd discussed -- his childhood in rural Alabama, his military service as a sharpshooter in Viet Nam, his varied work experiences and unusual pets, including a deer he raised from a fawn and a carp he wanted to keep in the bathtub.

"What did you have, Ayelet?" asked a coworker, Zoraida.

"Cottage cheese and fruit," I said. "Change of pace from my usual plate of lettuce."

Zoraida shook her head. "You would think you would look like a real stick, Ayelet, the way I see you eat. Lettuce whenever you go out to lunch. Red peppers. Those fruits I never heard of." So far I've exposed Zoraida to Asian pear-apples and blood oranges.

"I make up for it outside the office," I joked, although it kind of stung, and of course she left out the cookies and snacks that people bring in and I don't eschew.

However, Zoraida is very weight-conscious -- she's heavy, not happy about it, and she comments on everybody's weight, from the seriously skinny Sally to our roundest clients. And of course celebrities. "Did you see how fat J.Lo's face got? She is gonna pop those babies out any minute!" Zoraida said a few weeks ago.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Meeting with DOTS

So I laid it out for the dean. How happy I am at my current placement. How much good work I'm doing there -- the groups I create and run, the individual psychotherapy and casework I do. How much petty cash they entrust to me to spend on the clients. How my skills are at an advanced second-year level and don't require any remediation.

And how awful my first year field experience was, the repeated harassment, insults, degradation, missed hours, etc. The shelter, the agency, The Other Bad Place. The mind-fuck meeting with Dean Evillene.

I told her the only relevant factors are:

1. The time I spent out of placement was not my fault, since I offered Eleanor Feckless two other options as soon as I was removed and was told to stop bothering her.

2. They're only enforcing the 200-hour deficit to deflect blame, since it's not necessary to develop my skills. If I'm the one doing the time, then obviously I'm the one at fault.

3. Five weeks working without pay and without accruing time toward health insurance coverage would represent a tremendous loss of money, time, and opportunity. I've suffered enough.

I told DOTS she can call my program director as well as my supervisor, and they'll back me up 100%. I said she is the only person at this school who can make the internship department drop its unreasonable 200-hour demand, and I will seek recourse elsewhere if she doesn't.

She says she'll follow up and get back to me. Hopefully it'll end here -- and hopefully she'll get back to me soon. I'll keep everyone posted.

One of my classmates -- an older woman, Barb, who's always been really, really sweet and supportive -- gave me courage before the meeting and said the nicest thing after it.

"You're going to go on to do great things, Ayelet," she said. "The school is going to be proud to have you as an alum."
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Someone saved my life today

Thank Gd for clients. They're a natural endorphin releaser. One told me I look so pretty when I wear short skirts (yes, I know, slight boundary violation, but she means well -- I could be her daughter).

Another, whom I took to lunch at Red Lobster (why do my clients love traif so much? She had lobster tail and crab legs, and I had a $12 plate of lettuce) speaks with an intricate eloquence that forces me to really concentrate on what she's saying in order to understand her meaning. I wish I could record some of what she says, just because it's so unique and expressive, but people with paranoid schizophrenia tend to be wary of tape recorders. But when I listen to her, I can't be thinking about my perfidious sister, my nonexistent social life, my impending meeting with DOTS, my anxiety over my job search, or the papers I should have started writing and haven't.

When I'm slightly depressed I get earworms -- songs stuck in my head. It's part of the way depression disrupts concentration. Tonight, riding home on the train, I heard Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight." 'Someone,' in my case, is my clients.

Maybe I got so furious at Jerusha yesterday because I didn't see my clients for a full week -- I was out on President's Day, and called in sick for my other internship days. Today I was glad to be busy helping other people. This morning was very hectic; one worker just left the agency, another was out, and everyone decided to come into the office with crises of varying magnitude. And the copy machine was broken. Usually I get harried when many people are demanding my attention, but today I was perfectly calm, balancing annoyed clients against angry clients, explaining to confused clients and reaching out to dejected clients.

It is going to be very hard to leave this internship. I can't deny the ego boost I get when I walk into a room and five faces light up. I'm really going to miss them.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lust and resentment

I'm starting to feel stronger, which makes me think this weakness was the result of a virus, not my state of mind.

And my state of mind's pretty bad these days. I'm simmering with resentment. Why? Because I'm simmering with lust, and I don't have a husband to work it off with. I can't believe I've spent all these years alone. When I do think about it, I'm filled with rage and resentment. I'm a good person. I go way out of my way for other people. I'm entering a helping profession. And total bitches get married to great guys, and I don't.

It's not fair. And I know that life's not fair, but right now it feels too damn unfair. And I can't take it. Why did I wait so long to marry a Jewish guy? Why didn't I just marry a nice Italian? There's plenty of them in NYC, and they love curvy girls like me. They're good family men -- not particularly known for fidelity, but I'm certainly not perfect. And if a man's well fed at home, he's less likely to eat out.

I'm burning up. Lust and anger. I can't stand it. No one gives a shit if I never get married. No one lifts a goddamn finger. And Gd laughs at my misery.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Friday, February 22, 2008

Dizzy

I'm feeling a little better today, able to go to the store to pick up a few provisions, but still had to call in sick. Feeling drained, weak, shaky, dizzy. But no fever, no high blood pressure, no signs of any physical etiology. Is my brain doing this to me? Am I nervous about next week's talk with DOTS? Anxious about finding a job (and health insurance) after I graduate? What's the matter with me?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, February 21, 2008

In case you're wondering....

I spoke with the nice-eyed father again. He has a lot of drama going on with his kids and his ex-wife. And told me a little too much about it. I don't need to hear that he had to take his older daughter to the ob-gyn because she was growing a mustache, or that since she's been on The Pill, she's bisexual instead of the tough baby dyke she was developing into. Or that his ex let this girl, at age 14, have sleepovers with her boyfriends. Somehow it's not all adding up, and it's all too weird. I didn't need much impetus to distance myself from this guy, and now I really think it's the right decision.

I also spoke to the needy out-of-towner, and I didn't enjoy the conversation. As I've said before,

I've learned through painful experience that if I don't enjoy the initial phone call, I am going to have a miserable time on the date.

(From this post. Scroll down, it's there.)

Call it Ayelet's law of dating -- it's been proven to me so many times, I'm learning to trust my gut. If he were in town, maybe I'd have coffee with him, but I can't see letting him spring for my plane fare based on this little amity.

And I guess it had to happen sooner or later -- one of the guys I dated from Frumster is now happily married, a "Success Story." I shouldn't be annoyed -- I wasn't into him, and they both look pretty happy in the wedding photo. I'm just tired.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Weak

Woke up this morning barely able to crawl out of bed. Had to call in sick, cancel a few client appointments, always disappointing.

I don't know what's wrong. I don't have a fever. I've been eating fairly regularly, despite the tight stomach. I don't know why I should feel so weak and exhausted.

I watched the light box in the morning and at midday. I'm hoping I'll wake up tomorrow with a little more energy.

Next week I meet with DOTS to plead my case. I hope she's reasonable.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gut feeling

It might be too much light box, but I've got a very anxious feeling in my stomach. It emerged yesterday and has been bothering me ever since. I felt sad and scared -- the mean reds. Probably a mixed state. It was hard to go to class, and even harder to hang out with my friends.

A wonderful classmate of mine, Jadwiga, emigrated to the U.S. from Poland when she was a tiny girl. She spoke Polish to my grandmother yesterday -- Grandma waxes into Polish sometimes, which frustrates my mom, and when I told Jadwiga about this, she volunteered to talk to Grandma and see how she's doing.

We found out that Grandma would like to read books and watch movies in Polish, and that I'm a very sweet granddaughter (Grandma's a bit biased). Jadwiga also helped me find resources for people with visual disabilities -- who knew the Jewish Guild for the Blind has large-print books in Polish? (And Yiddish, Romanian, Russian, etc.) And she suggested that we try to find a Polish home health aide to help out with Grandma and talk to her -- as her family did when Jadwiga's grandmother was elderly and suffering from dementia. Good social work interventions all round.

It was the nicest thing Jadwiga could have done for me, and all I wanted to do was go home and pull the bedcovers over my head. I didn't want to shmooze with her. I wanted her to leave me alone. How ungrateful is that?

The days are getting longer, and I'm getting more natural light. I wish there was a more exact way to determine how long and how often I should stare into the light box. I skipped it today, but I'm still feeling miserable and anxious. Apparently it doesn't show, because I went to the bris of Shuli's son and everyone thought I was fine.

I must say that the thought of having another baby to hold makes me happy. I guess I'm lucky that my friends keep having kids, if I can't.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 18, 2008

Is Gd sending me a helicopter?

Two people I know, a blogger and a Facebook friend, posted a link to this terrifying article. "Marry Him!" the title cries. Settle, is the underlying message, or you'll end up, at age 40, an unwed mother via sperm donor. Don't hold out for passion and destiny. Marry a nice, boring guy or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

(The title of this post refers to the joke about a Jew who refuses to be rescued from a flood because he thinks Gd will save him.)

Have I really been too picky all of my dating life? That seems so unfair. The married folks I know had at least some romance and drama before settling down to raise children and build equity. I don't think any of them found their spouses repulsive or irritating during courtship; those who went into marriage calling their spouse "annoying" tended to exit the marriage soon thereafter. I'd also rather be never-married than divorced; at the very least, it's much less expensive.

I spoke with the nice-eyed father of two. He's smart and funny. I guess I could do worse. Still haven't heard from the needy long-distance fella. I'm actually kind of relieved.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Too much to handle?

Nice-looking guy writes to me online. A little older than I prefer, but not ridiculously so. I look at his profile and get nervous:

I'm someone who swims in many different seas...I have family who are among the G'dolei haDor, yet my daughters are "half-Jewish". My oldest daughter lives with me, and they will always be welcome in my home. I am yearning for someone to make a Bayis Ne'eman b'Yisro'el with me.

I'm comfortable in Passaic, Lakewood, and Brooklyn, I'm comfortable with my immediate family who're not 100% Observant, and I'm comfortable out in the secular world as an Orthodox Jew. I've published articles in national magazines about being Jewish, and I've published articles on XML. I try to find Torah in all aspects of life.

I'm very kind and caring, and I've been told that I have very pretty eyes...I would love to have Jewish children as well, but I understand that that is not always an option.

He sounds like a decent guy, but a custodial parent? That can be dicey. I write back:

You do have nice eyes, but your situation sounds very complicated. How many children do you have, and how old are they, and which live with you?

He responds:

Thanks. Yes, my situation is complicated, for sure. I have two girls, 8 and 18; the 18yo lives with me. She's very respectful of Yiddishkeit and is Shomer Kashrus in the house. There's no Xmas in my house. My younger one has real shaykhus to Yiddishkeit, she asked me for a Bas Mitzvah, even after I explained what it entails.

I do have to say that it's nice to come home on Shabbos evening from Shul, and have someone say "Gut Shabbos Dad".

At the end of the day, I find that where there's a will, there's a way.

I don't know what to do. I honestly don't. At least he's not a grandfather. But an 18-year-old stepdaughter? That's half my age!!! How do I deal with that?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Ac-cen-tu-ate the po-si-tive!

Per Bing Crosby.

Of course, I'm leaving out the good things that happened yesterday. How Malka loved the watch I gave her. How all three kids fought to sit next to me in the restaurant. How Shira begged me to stay the night and spend today with them. Thank Gd I'm an aunt.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Why I'm really so down

I should add that yesterday Jerusha, Malka, Shira, Oedipus, and I had brunch with two of Jerusha's former flower girls -- beautiful young college girls. Their older sister (another former flower girl) is getting married in a year, and Shira will be her flower girl. (Malka's too shy.) So yet another flower girl from Jerusha's wedding is getting hitched. The other bridesmaids are also all married. I'm the only spinster left from that wedding.

You'd think this would make me view the paralegal much more favorably. But he's been pestering me nonstop, and I'm getting really annoyed. Every time I sign on to my computer he IMs me. We've only spoken once! Also, his online MSN tagline is "can't wait to get married." That strikes me as a little needy. I mean, I want to get married too, but that's not how I define myself.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In a rut

Argh. I wrote to a man who password-protects his photo. He sounded cool. Then I saw his pictures and... I just can't. I can't go on another date with a man I find physically repulsive.

And Jerusha has joined a gym. Pretty soon she'll be thinner than I am. Of course, her knees aren't in constant pain, so she can actually exercise.

I'm so frustrated with my life.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Intellectual snob

I got set up with a guy. Nice guy, decent looking, younger than I am, lives in a slightly distant city. But he's a paralegal. And I'm feeling reluctant to pursue the relationship.

It's funny, because I recently rejected a guy I considered too intellectual. He had a Ph.D. in philosophy and didn't believe you could prove anything -- not even that smoking cigarettes causes cancer. I have no patience for that kind of intellectual mindplay.

Of course, Dr. Philosophical also opened the conversation by telling me how his grad school department did him wrong, which made me wonder if there might be something wrong with him. Taught me a valuable lesson, though: don't talk about The Bad Place or Dean Evillene with people I've just met. Not a flattering portrayal of me.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen, Frau Know-it-all

Schadenfreude. Such a fitting word to describe how I feel about Frau Know-it-all. My lovely classmate Ruth, who's interning at The Other Bad Place, told me that after being very dissatisfied with Frau all year, they finally bounced her. With less than four months to go till graduation.

I guess it took them a while to realize they'd made a huge mistake. Amazing how bad they are at spotting potential. They certainly misunderestimated me. Is it petty to crow about my numerous triumphs and accolades at my wonderful internship? Probably.

I'm going to spend time in hell for being so darn delighted with the way everything played out. Proverbs tells us not to rejoice when our enemies fall, and the midrash tells us that Gd ordered the angels not to sing when the Egyptians drowned in the Red Sea. I can be too vindictive.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Monday, February 11, 2008

At least she died happy

It's terribly sad to read about the bride who died at her own wedding reception. Really. She was 36 and felt like she was living her own version of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. And I would rather live to be single and 80 than get married and die before I hit my honeymoon.

But at least she got to accept the proposal, wear the shiny diamond ring, shop for her wedding dress, walk down the aisle, be pronounced a wife. A tiny part of me envies her.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

No friggin' wonder

I read today that light therapy benefits women who have bipolar disorder, but works best if used at midday rather than morning:

The women were given light boxes and used them for 15, 30, and 45 minutes daily, each for 2-week periods. Four patients used them in the morning and five at midday.

Of the four subjects treated with morning light, three developed mixed states; that is, "symptoms of depression and mania that occur at the same time -- racing thoughts, irritability, sleeplessness, anxiety and low mood"

Granted, this is based on a study of only nine such women, not exactly what you'd call a large sample. But it certainly explains why my mood, hygiene, and overall functioning have improved tremendously while my insomnia, knee/back pain, and acne -- indicators of depression -- have worsened. And it sucks; after profound depression, mixed states are my least favorite mood -- far more unpleasant than anger and anxiety. (Hypomania, while devastating for my occupational, financial, and sexual health, has the marginally redeeming quality of feeling absolutely marvelous while you're in it.)

Next winter I'm going to have to tell my workplace that I need to use some kind of light during my lunch hour. I might even get them to pay for a therapeutic lamp I can keep in my office (or, more likely, my cubicle).
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Killed my day

I don't know why I couldn't get anything done today. Didn't have much planned -- take a mascara that smeared back to CVS, which accepts opened makeup returns; write a little paper for school; put on a bra and something besides the t-shirt I slept in -- and none of it happened. Instead, I watched old episodes of "House M.D." and "The Drew Carey Show."

Maybe because I laid off the light box for a few days, fearing hypomania. Or maybe because someone else got married. I don't know. But nothing got done today except my nails. Which look pretty darn good, I must say. So I can't be all that depressed.

(I did have a decent chat with Mom & Dad, who for once didn't drive me absolutely nuts.)

On Friday I helped Elah edit her application to social work school (not mine -- a better one). Melanie, who attended the superior school, was happy to give her input, and since I'm a good editor it didn't really take much of my time. Elah wrote back:

Thank you soooooo much! You have no idea how much I appreciate your help! May Hashem bless you double for all you do for others!

Why don't I feel doubly blessed?
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Mazal tov, Friedl Liba bas Chava

Last September another older single frum woman wrote a painful essay about being alone during the High Holidays, and I totally related. She asked people to daven for her, and while I was still part of the weekly Tehillim group, I added her name to my list.

Well, I stopped praying, but others didn't, and their prayers were answered. She got married. I should be happier for her than I am.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Don't call ME "cute"!!!!

We're interviewing social workers at my internship to replace the fella that's leaving. Sally, the program director, likes to invite candidates to staff meeting and let all of us grill them. You'd think it would be lots of fun to watch people squirm on the hot seat, but it's not. Maybe because social workers are too nice to impose real hard-core stress interviews. (This doesn't include social workers employed by The Other Bad Place.)

Anyway, our first interview was a very young, very skinny girl fresh out of social work school. I hated her for being so thin and delicate and dewy, but she seemed to have a real passion for the work, if not actual experience doing everything we do. I asked her several questions about what she'd be able to handle and gave examples from my own experiences, trying to illustrate what the job is like. (Remember, while Melanie was out I was a de facto social worker at the office.) Hardly anyone else asked her any questions or spoke about themselves, so after a while I felt self-conscious.

On Monday we have another interview, and Sally asked everyone to make sure to ask the candidate lots of questions. "Yeah," I put in. "Because last time I had to step up, and I felt like I talked too much."

"It wasn't too much," said Julie, the second-in-command. "It was kind of like we were interviewing you. It was... cute."

CUTE???? That's how we talk about the CLIENTS, because they do and say very endearing things. One client asked me if I would take her to IHOP in Melanie's absence, since Melanie had promised to take her there on New Year's Day. As I was eating a $5 plate of lettuce (even the salads there are bedecked with bacon -- when I ordered I sounded like something out of When Harry Met Sally), the client looked up from her 10 pounds of pork (bacon, ham, and sausage), smiled shyly, and said, "You think Melanie's going to be jealous that you took me here?"

"If she is," I said judiciously, "then I'll take her here, too." I reported this anecdote at team meeting, and everyone thought the client was adorable and I was hilarious.

So I want my co-workers to think I'm funny, not cute! It worries me enough that they might suspect I'm as similar to the clients as I am to the staff. I brought in some candy I love -- Twerps, made of licorice filled with taffy. Completely artificial and delightful; I love the contrasting textures, and it's fun to squish the taffy out of the licorice tubes. I wanted Melanie to try them; during our long NYC odyssey, among other topics, we'd talked about our favorite candies in detail, and I started craving Twerps as soon I described them to her.

So I brought in a bag of Twerps, and had a few. Next thing, one of the other workers said, "Ayelet, you're so happy today! You're smiling, you're giggling..."

"Crap," I thought. "I'm hypomanic!" Because when you're hypomanic, everything you like, every idea you have, becomes the most incredible, magical, transcendent thing that you absolutely MUST share with everyone.

It's really difficult to calibrate how long I should use the light box each day, and it's possible I used it a little too much and over-elevated my mood. I've laid off it for the past few days, but I'm afraid my mood will crash again. I need to start watching it again -- and watching my mood.

But Sally called me into her office and told me that bigwigs from the main office would be calling soon to recruit me. (I guess I didn't make a complete ass of myself at the group interview -- and if I had, I do believe Melanie would tell me.)

The agency likes holding on to its talent, since it invests a lot of money and time in training them, and developing workers to move up the ladder. They hire many of their interns and tend to promote from within. So even if I can't stay with the ACT team, I might still get a job at the agency. If none of my other networking efforts yield fruit.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Should I take this job?

One of the social workers at my internship is leaving in a few weeks. The program director, Sally, is interviewing replacement candidates, but Melanie suggested I also give her my résumé. Which I did, and yesterday Sally and I had a little chat.

The upshot is, she has been very happy with my work and would like to hire me, but I'd have to work full-time -- i.e., put in 35 hours as opposed to 21. So I'd have to make up the equivalent of two full days, either by staying late on the days I currently work, coming in on weekdays when I'm not supposed to work, or working on Sundays.

There would be several benefits to taking this job. For starters, I'd be that much closer to having a regular salary and health insurance, which for me is a necessity. I already know the staff, clients, and computer system. I already like the staff and clients (I'm not so crazy about the software we use to manage client info).

The downside is that I'd have a lot more responsibility, deadlines, and tedious grunt work -- as Melanie correctly noted, right now I pretty much do whatever I want to do -- and I'd have to give up virtually all my spare time. I'd have to drive the vans -- eek! -- and visit clients alone in their apartments.

I also don't know if I have the mental resources to cope with finishing grad school and working full-time. I've never done both full-time -- when I was getting my first master's it took three years because I only took two classes at a time. And it's only recently that the light box has allowed me to function during the week without completely hibernating and crashing all weekend.

So I don't know if I'm strong enough to handle this job and school. Also, the social worker who's leaving has some very difficult clients, including one who is completely alcohol-dependent and prefers living in the park to living in his apartment, which can make him very difficult to track down sometimes.

I've only been job-hunting for about a month, and have a lot of leads to follow up. Part of me really wants to try to find a job that's a little closer to my ultimate goal.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

No, you really CAN'T relate

I should have educated some of my classmates tonight, and I didn't. We were reading a list of criteria for mental health and flourishing, which patterned itself on the DSM and included 'symptoms' like "has positive attitudes toward oneself and past life and concedes and accepts varied aspects of self (self-acceptance)" and "has warm, satisfying, trusting personal relationships and is capable of empathy and intimacy (positive relations with others)." There were 13 of these, and you had to manifest six of them at a high level to qualify for the diagnosis.

Obviously it's going to be really difficult for everyone to maintain all of these criteria all of the time. Conversely, people who are diagnosed with mental disorders also vary in levels of functioning, and don't always qualify 100% for their diagnoses. My clients never cease to amaze me with how well they function.

But one classmate took it a step further, opining that since none of us could be diagnosed with optimal functioning, it followed that we all could be diagnosed with some level of mental disorder. "When we were reading the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder in my clinical practice class," she said, "all of us qualified for at least one of the symptoms at least some of the time. And during finals, aren't we all really depressed?"

Naive little thing that she is, she doesn't recognize the difference between saying, "I'm stressed out, I feel so depressed," and being clinically depressed. I'm willing to bet that she never lost or gained more than a quarter of her body weight during finals week.

I, on the other hand, shrunk to a skeleton during my first major depressive episode and bulked up considerably during subsequent episodes. I took a month's worth of medication and spent a week in a coma. I didn't shower or even brush my hair for weeks. On the flip side, while I was hypomanic I had sex with total strangers; launched a number of grievances/complaints against doctors, video stores, and anyone who got in my way and pissed me off; wrote a bunch of songs that I actually thought I could sell to record labels; bought 14 karaoke tapes and dozens of CDs; and got fired from more than one job. (Don't get me started on what people with borderline personality disorder have been known to do.)

That's the difference between the average person's experience of moderate distress and serious mental disorder. But I didn't think to say anything along those lines (not mentioning myself, of course). I just joked along and agreed with the other students. And now I feel like an idiot for missing an opportunity to really educate them.

Hopefully at some point during the semester I'll be able to get that point across.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Speaking truth to power

Met with Dr. ED-DHRSJ again. She said I should talk to the dean of the school (not the deans contacted by Prof. Worried), who is Dean Evillene's boss. I emailed DOTS for an appointment, cc'ing Dr. ED-DHRSJ and Professor Fun.

The main point is that Dean Evillene insists I fulfill a letter-of-the-law requirement not because my skills require it, but merely because it's an arbitrary School [sic.] criterion. (Remember, the accrediting body for social work only requires 900 fieldwork hours, not 1200.) Since my skills are clearly at an advanced second-year level (no thanks to the internship department), I don't need any first-year remediation. I could have told DOTS that last year, but my very good first semester evaluation, demonstrating that I'm not damaged by the negligence and incompetence of the internship department, apparently bolsters my case.

I just want this to be over. But even as annoying as the process is, I'm still doing a lot better than last year. Carly is in a class with me this semester that met about 12 hours ago (terminal insomnia strikes again...).

"It's so great to see you happy, Ayelet," she said, after I spent a few minutes burbling about how wonderful my clients, supervisor, program director, and co-workers are. "After everything that happened last year, you really deserve it."
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Oy, she like me

Got a nice note from Prof. Worried on my clinical practice final exam (along with a perfect score):

Ayelet -- it was a pleasure having you in class and I hope, with shared interests, we stay in contact. Excellent work this semester.

Hooray! I'd considered sending her an email asking if she knew people I could hit up for informational interviews, but wasn't sure if she'd be open to that or if she'd have the time to respond. Especially since I totally decompensated during our last class.

I guess this is my opening, so I sent her a note. Maybe she knows some people who believe social workers can get a job in this specialized area, not just psychologists.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"