September 5, 2008

Thoughts About This Semester

While it still doesn't fully feel like the semester has begun, there have been some thoughts gathering in my head.

So here are my thoughts about each of my classes.

Family Therapy Class

I'm looking forward to the Family Therapy class, but I'm also dreading it a little bit. Social work classes tend to give people permission to air their dirty laundry for everyone to see, and while I think that this can contribute to the discussion, it rarely does. If the information is relevant and can lead back to the theory, then bring it out. Otherwise, bottle it for your own therapist. People really tend to find one little lead-in and then take off from there. Stick to what you're supposed to be talking about!

In our first class, this happened already. To start our classes, we go into a circle. In this circle, we go around and each person gets a chance to speak. The instructor said to introduce yourself and say a bit about who you are. Keep it short, they said. Well, this one person did that and then some! I won't get into the details, but needless to say, I'm not sure it was necessary to talk about.

This class should be great, but it's really a set-up for these types of situations. THAT is what I'm not looking forward to.

Aboriginal History

I'm really looking forward to this class. To know the history of Aboriginals in this country is of utmost importance, as they are extremely overrepresented in our social services and prisons. If you are a social worker in Canada, you can be a better social worker by knowing Aboriginal issues.

If you don't know the history of residential schools in Canada, it's worth a look. There is a good site HERE. A short bit from that page summarizes it nicely:
In 1928, a government official predicted Canada would end its "Indian problem" within two generations. Church-run, government-funded residential schools for native children were supposed to prepare them for life in white society. But the aims of assimilation meant devastation for those who were subjected to physical, sexual and emotional abuse. Decades later, aboriginal people began to share their stories and demand acknowledgement of — and compensation for — their stolen childhoods..
This is just a piece of the history of how this country has treated the original occupants of this land, but it's an extremely important one.

Advertising as Commentary Class

As I have not attended this class yet, I don't know too much about it, or what to expect. The one thing I do know about is the instructor. I have heard that he is young, exuberant, irreverent and a lot of fun. Great! I need a class like that after the past few semesters. On the downside, he likes the group work and really wants everyone to be involved with each other. As someone who is a bit antisocial, this is a bit of a problem. It's definitely going to be a semester of growth.

I'm looking forward to the end of my BSW, so I can look back and see what courses I gained the most from, as well as which were most memorable. I don't think it's fair to make that assessment right now, so I throw it to you. And let's not keep it just to social work classes. Any and all classes.

What college or university class did you gain the most from, and which one was most memorable for you?


Still Dreaming said...

My family therapy class was hard. We had to do a lot of analysis of our own families, which was annoying. But, we didn't have to share it, which was nice.

My aboriginal policy and practice class was really good. The person who has become my mentor taught it, and she is an aboriginal woman who was apprehended during the sixties scoop. She's awesome and I learned SO much.

I think my favourite class was Human Behaviour in the Social Environment. We wrote a paper in which we compared our lives to major developmental theories and it really helped me see myself in a new way. My intro to counseling class was really great as well, because it gave me the basis for most of what I do today.

antiSWer said...

The woman that taught my Aboriginal Social Work class was also apprehended in the '60s scoop. Well, she taught it half way before she was unjustly fired. She was a great teacher. I wonder if it was the same woman? ;)

cb said...

Strange as this might sound to you, when I was doing my undergraduate course, I took an elective in Canadian Studies. It was really interesting as it shared teaching between the politics, literature, Geography and Sociology departments. I remember seeing the shopping centre in Edmonton on an slide and thinking that I must go there! (I got to Edmonton but never made it to the shopping centre!).
As for my MA - we had a separate Counselling part of the course. We had to come back to university four weeks before the beginning of the term and studied 9am - 5pm for four weeks - just counselling skills. I do very little counselling now - I resented learning it at the time, objecting to my tutor that if I'd wanted to be a counsellor I would be studying to be a counsellor, not a social worker.. but in retrospect, I've looked back on that part of the course a lot.
Also, the sociology, culture and identity parts of the course were especially useful/important.

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