My new internship

Monday, January 31, 2011

A New Middle East?

First of all, I'd like to start out by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with the people of Egypt. Over the last week, I have been trying to stay abreast of all the information pouring in from the Middle East, specifically the protests occurring in Cairo.  For someone like me who up to two years ago had little knowledge about the area and its multiple layers of conflict, its very difficult to fully understand the complexities and century-long disagreements that have ensued between the people of the Middle East. I will humbly admit that up until two years ago, I did not know the true difference between Iran and Iraq, had absolutely no knowledge of  the Israeli and Palestinian war. However, even with my limited and newly acquired knowledge, its plain to see what is happening right now is a huge monumental turning point in Middle Eastern affairs.

My summary:
The people of Egypt, after enduring 30 years of autocratic rule under a man by the name of Mubarak, have come together to protest in the streets for his resignation. Mubarak was put into power in the early 1980's after his predecessor (name?) was assassinated, approx. three years after he signed the Camp David Peace Treaty with Israel. Mubarak, who at the time was the vice-president, took over and has continued to honor the peace treaty with Israel, and has also maintained positive ties with the US. Therefore, although the people of Egypt have been under an oppressive rule for the last 3 decades, the United States feels that it is in a very difficult situation and that decisions shouldn't be made too hastily. First, if Mubarak is ousted, the US is concerned about who will take over control, since as of now, the only other stable party is the extremist Muslim Brotherhood. Secondly, what would it mean for Egypt's peace treaty with Israel, since the Muslim Brotherhood has been known to support the Hamas, who are associated with the Palestinian people's war. In addition, half of Israel's natural gas comes from Israel.

Time will tell...

Monday, January 24, 2011

More on self care...

One of my friends reposted this article this morning on Facebook: How Much Do We Spend On Our Bodies
which says that Austin residents spend the most on self-care every month ($143) versus 100 of the largest cities in the U.S.. Washington, DC,  and San Francisco, CA, also ranked highest on the amount of money spent. All three cities have also been shown to be three of the healthiest cities in the U.S..
The people of Detroit, on the other hand, spend an average of $18/month, to which Detroit is also one of the fattest cities in the US. So, there apparently is a correlation between the amount of money spent on your self and the healthier you are as a person.
This makes sense, since people who are spending more money on themselves, be it gym memberships, massages, mani/pedis, also seem to be more into their physical appearance, so they are going to spend more time/investment into their bodies.

Well, with that said, I obviously don't think that you need to spend a lot of money to look good.
There are plenty of things you can for free or little money to be able to take care of yourself.
Some of the things I'v been doing lately are: using FREE Yoga class videos on, giving myself manis/pedis, relaxation techniques you can also find online, the gym at UT (which is included in my tuition), etc.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Importance of Self Care

This my third and final semester in graduate school (well, I still have a summer term, but I try not to think about it), and I feel like I am finally getting the hang of what they refer to in social work as "self care." From day one, our professors have really tried to pound it into us the importance of taking the time to take care of yourself since our profession requires us to give so much of ourselves to others. You would think anyone would love to be given the excuse to "spoil" yourself, however, it was something I've definitely struggled with. Grad school is supposed to hard and mentally exhausting, so I accepted the weekends with no breaks from reading journals, writing papers, meeting with groups, to the 12 hour days of class combined with my babysitting jobs. However, I soon realized that I continued going at this pace, I wouldn't live to graduate. Ok, so maybe a little exaggerated but, I knew that I might make it to graduation but then I might be at the point where I would be so "over" social work, that I might not want to work in it field at all.  Hence, run away to an exotic location, hide from my student loans, and work some mundane yet extremely low-stress job.
So I've decided to take "self care" seriously and am taking the necessary steps to do so. 1.) only booking about 10-15 hours of babysitting jobs a week. 2.) exercise, including more yoga and relaxation exercises and 3.) Doing more things I enjoy, such as reading for fun, watching movies, hanging out with friends, drinking more wine, and knitting (although my boyfriend will laugh about the last one, since he says that knitting, at this point, actually makes me more stressed).

Steps I have taken so far:

I reached out to my University Yoga club about joining for free classes. and have checked out some books of interest. Also, I have so far only booked myself for a regular babysitting gig, one day a week for about 5 hours. Let's see if I can keep it up!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Another lazy Monday...

I Have a Dream speech
Had a three day weekend due to Martin Luther King Day. I decided this year that I would use this day in a way that honors Dr. King's life. So I pulled up his famous I have a dream speech and read it for the first time all the way through. I've heard the speech many times, but actually sitting down and reading it gives it a whole new meaning.

This morning I awoke early and headed out to DSW to pick up a pair of new shoes, Nike's Eclipses II. As usual, they didn't have my size (sz 10) so then for the heck of it I opted to try their 9.5's. There was only one shoe in the box. The saleswomen and I looked everywhere and couldn't find that shoe. How does one shoe just disappear?! I took that as an omen that I wasn't supposed to own the shoes (being that I already felt guilty about spending the money) but then in a last ditch attempt I tried the "Academy" store and they had my color in my size!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Beginning of the End

In my last semester of school. Cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to almost be finished! Yes, there comes a lot of fears and uncertainties with graduation, but I am so ready to move on to the next chapter in my life.

I started my internship this week. So far, its only been a training for learning the rules and procedures of the agency. This next week, I'll begin to observe the other counselors, which will put my one step closer to seeing my own clients.