Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brazen Careerist: Common Mistakes To Avoid Before Starting Your Career

This advice applies to all college graduates and graduate students in their early-to-mid 20s.

Avoiding these common mistakes can make that transition much smoother:

  • Trying to be too independent
  • Being too adult too soon
  • Ignoring your health
  • Screwing up the job search
  • Putting off savings

DetNews: Michigan Legislature approves 4-year cap on welfare

Michigan Legislature approves 4-year cap on welfare, affecting 11,000 families to lose state aid. Keep in mind that the state of Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and has been in a one-state recession since the early 2000s. I am not sure where these families will find jobs to cover lost emergency income. The pro-wealthy, Republican-dominated Michigan Legislature should be ashamed of themselves.
Lansing— The state Legislature on Wednesday passed a 48-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits expected to cast more than 11,000 families off the welfare rolls on Oct. 1 — including more than 29,700 children, according to state officials.

The cumulative time limit will save $77.4 million in the budget year that starts Oct. 1, but Democrats and child advocates said they fear it will cause a humanitarian crisis as social agencies are flooded with families who can't pay for rent, utilities or other essentials.

Gov. Rick Snyder, who proposed the cap as part of his 2012 budget, is expected to sign the bill into law.

Monday, August 22, 2011

CHE: Using a Blog in a Independent Study

Although I never did blogging during my independent study times, I thought this could be useful for other students and practitioners who engage in research and social media. A graduate student at Washington University in St. Louis posted this article.

Access and Permanence: Whoops, where did I put those lab notes? Umm, what did I call that file, and where on earth is it on my computers? If only I could read my handwriting. . . . The fact that you’re publishing the material onto the internet, making it both semi-permanent and accessible, is a huge advantage.

Organization: Closely related to permanency, blogs can keep thoughts organized. For me, this is best achieved by keeping one thought or article to one post. Posts will be organized by date which is great for seeing the evolution of your study. You can also add tags to your posts to keep them organized by subject.

Ease: Blogging is pretty darn easy. At sites like (which I use, on my professor’s recommendation) and Blogspot, posting is no harder than composing an e-mail or Word document–in fact, students can even often blog directly from Word, reducing any technological friction. There are many free blog hosts out there, so students should be able to find something that matches their style, budget, and technological sophistication.

Advanced Features: While blogging is easy, most providers also have advanced features that students can use as they become more comfortable. You can often schedule posts to appear at a specific date or time; you can make some posts private, requiring a password to see; and you can use analytics to see who is reading your blog (Hi, mom!).
Visibility: Independent studies are, almost by definition, lonely enterprises–but you’re often studying a topic that many people study. If you’re regularly posting your research to a public blog, eventually someone else in your discipline will find you, which can set up interesting conversations.

Accountability: It’s all too easy for independent studies to slip off of the radar of faculty member and student alike. Regular updates to a blog, however, provide a handy way of keeping this from happening, and, at semester’s end, your blog’s record of when everything was published is a perfect way to make sure the proper credit is awarded.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

CHE: Women Value Higher Education More Highly Than Men Do

I found these survey results on the Chronicle of Higher Education:
At a time when women are consistently outperforming men in college enrollment and completion, women tend to value higher education more highly than men do and believe it has had a more positive impact on their lives, according to the results of a survey that was released on Wednesday.

The survey, of more than 2,100 Americans, was conducted by the Pew Research Center in March as part of a larger project on public attitudes toward higher education. (Earlier results were released in May.) Slightly more than a third of respondents to the survey held a bachelor's degree or higher.

I also feel as though women must attain additional education for financial self-sufficiency and respect. It is common knowledge that some occupations earn more than others and men with bachelor's degree can earn equal or more than women with master's degrees. If women are not careful, they are saddled with large student loan debts for careers in lower-paying but traditionally female occupations such as social work and education. What do you think of this trend?

Monday, August 8, 2011

MSW Graduation

I have recently earned a Master of Social Work. I am so happy and thrilled to complete another important milestone in my life. School is over, and I will take this time to relax, reflect, and . My next steps are applying for administrative job positions in my practice area and waiting for my limited master social work license. As a future macro social work practitioner, I am proud of my academic accomplishments and look forward to more achievements in the future.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alternet: 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back

I found this Alternet article, 8 Reasons Young Americans Don't Fight Back: How the US Crushed Youth Resistance, which rings so true for many Americans under the age of 35. As a social worker, it concerns me because I am committed to social change and social justice. The corporate elites have made more difficult-to-impossible to fight the status quo and restore equality to this nation. Here are the eight reasons:

1. Student-Loan Debt
2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Noncompliance
3. Schools That Educate for Compliance and Not for Democracy
4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top
5. Shaming Young People Who Take Education—But Not Their Schooling—Seriously
6. The Normalization of Surveillance
7. Television
8. Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism