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so marks the end of another season. 10 weeks flew by so quickly though the last few days felt like they were nv gonna enDDD and were filled with so much dread n anxiety. not sure if im any closer to knowing where exactly i want to work in future, but rly cant imagine being in another field. but dis iz only da beginning. T_T

first day post placement: sleeping in, yoga n lunch with a long time friend, trying to finish up CSRs, class with a dancer i respect lots n getting REKT, and cell 🙂 one of the best things of tday wld probably be getting updates from a colleague tt we’ll be applying FA for my (ex)client :-))))) never wanted to be a worker dealing with FA but after so many ‘whys’ and frustrations the past 2 weeks, am relieved 🙂 indomie n sangria to end a loOooooOng week :-))))))

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there are days i whine and rant like a child, wondering why God has called me to this, refusing to let myself free fall into His love and refusing to accept that He really does have it planned, from start to end. the journey inward has been tiring, explaining why this is even necessary to others who think they are listening, even more so. knowing something cognitively doesn’t mean acceptance, or that feelings automatically disappear. learning to sit with discomfort and feelings i dislike. thank God for a supervisor who exemplifies tough love and allows for vulnerability, for seminar classmates who understand and encourage. tired but grateful, and a looooong way to go

‘difficult only means you have to work hard’

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motivation.. self efficacy.. self concept..
why am i doing what i am doing? why do i keep looking back at.. me?

first time missing exchange aft being back. the silence and simplicity, the weather, the lack of responsibility and expectations, meeting new people but only for a moment – fleeting but so genuine. bye bye boston 😦

why does this tiredness come so suddenly
am i really self aware at all?
why does it matter how others see me
if i say i am a servant of the Lord?
why do i forget lessons so easily
and why don’t my questions have answers
why have You called me to this
when only You know all things, from start to end?
how long before this all ends

maybe i can’t do this.. but maybe i can?

holding it up

this week was tiRING……. but reminded of His sovereignty and well rested in the Lord. how nice 2 spend a few hours in worship, with others who yearn for Him as well 🙂 joy comes from Him alone. 

those days are the reason why it is so important to know why i am doing what i do…. when u feel helpless and when self efficacy iS…. haharrr missing. the road seems so long but wanting to get to the end doesnt stop me from getting distracted.. should be working so much harder- owe it to my clients and to the Lord. praying that i will be faithful in the remaining weeks and months to come…..

sad to accept that i am far too quick to judge……. but after awareness comes action for change. 不能再那么懒散了!!must not expect from clients what i dare not even expect from myself right???????? hello discipline!! the smallest things matter, like a seemingly harmless complaint or whining about your situation. // held it in during session but felt like i was cutting my heart out and shoving it to the client.. literally ‘my heart goes out to you’ dong ma?? wish i could tell him how much i respect him and his resilience. but empathy isn’t internalizing another’s feelings and emotions

articulation

one of my weakest links.

Excerpts from some interview with a v inspiring social worker for own future reference:

Interviewer: During your visits to Singapore for the various symposiums and workshops you conducted, you have been vocal in speaking out about how Social Workers in Singapore may have strayed from their true calling. In your view, what are your thoughts about the true calling and mission of Social Workers in Singapore?

V Inspiring Social Worker (VISW): You must watch the movie “3 Idiots”! I believe it answers the key question you asked. In a nutshell, we need to be passionate about what we do and reflect on the meaning of success. What is the reason for becoming who we are and doing what we do? I think an outstanding social worker has that “idiot’s” passion to be different and to make a difference. I cried buckets watching this movie. You watch it and tell me if it does anything to you?

For some years now, social workers in Singapore have been fighting for better salaries, and finding ways to educate the public about what we do. I think we have been successful to some extent. We should continue to negotiate for due recognition. But in the process, let us not forget what we should be and do. My fear is we may lose the respect eventually, and along with the recognition if we become too obsessed with looking for recognition. This seems to be happening. I recently heard about some stakeholders being unhappy that social workers in Singapore are not delivering at the grassroots level because they are not connected to the community.

Have we become too comfortable and inward looking with the quest for recognition? Or are we incompetent and separated from the people we serve? These are questions I will continue to ask myself. In fact, more than recognition, we need to continue to earn respect from the government, community and clients because of who we are, what we do, and what this profession represents…

…I believe in families [and missed my own family in Singapore too]. Using a systemic thinking, I find it hard not to think about families in social work since the family is one of the most important developmental contexts for all stages of life. And I feel compelled to work with families of the poor.

That is how I started out as a social worker, and this is what I will continue to do, particularly serving those who are caught in the systems, those who are less endowed with resources and support, and those who turned to addictions for a way out. I find it hard to fathom how do social workers expect their clients to visit social service agencies during office hours.

We need to reach out to people and reach into their world. We need to understand their living environment. We need to appreciate the arcades they hang out in. We need to get to know their peers whom they find solace in, etcetera. When we do, we will be amazed at how little we know and understand them. Believe me; there are many possibilities that would open up when we reach out. It is not what we think we know. It is a different world they live in, one that can be much more dynamic and exciting than we think or imagine.

I believe that the true calling of all social workers, not just in Singapore, is to respond to those who are have different needs, especially those who are less privileged or disadvantaged, or are highly distressed. With this focus, I believe social workers can make a difference, however big or small, in the lives of individuals, groups, families and communities, lest we become unfaithful angels who have abandoned our mission to aid and serve the underprivileged (Specht, 1994).

Interviewer: You have had extensive experiences working in Singapore and Hong Kong. How is Social Work Practice in these two developed Asian countries different? What lessons can Singapore gain from Hong Kong Social Work Practice?

VISW: In comparing social work development in Hong Kong and Singapore, I would like to just highlight one difference that is most apparent to me: Outreach [there I go again!].

…Social workers in Hong Kong do a lot of outreach work. They reach out to the poor in their homes; they reach out to the youths at risk on the streets; they reach out to the street sleepers under the fly-overs; and they reach out to the elderly in their hideouts.

They will go at the time most suitable and convenient for their clients, which often means odd hours of the night. Their supervisors and management however make sure they are given time off and reduce the personal risk they bear [e.g., going in pairs and providing handphones for security reporting]. I think we do not do enough of that in Singapore; correct me if I am wrong.

Do not get me wrong. I am not saying that we must sacrifice our family life or personal time. One of our top social work students quipped in his first social work class with me: “Social Work is about sacrifices”. The class had a wonderful discussion, and I can still remember how the student and I had much fun, disagreeing with each other.

I live a very comfortable middle class life now. I do not pretend that I don’t. But I have no difficulty drinking rainwater, using makeshift toilets with no drainage when I work in post-disaster Sichuan locality. And I definitely hope I will have little difficulty living with less if that is what life brings me to. I am proud of this latitude I have to enjoy life in comfort and thrive in poorer conditions. I love eating in the best restaurants, and I love eating off the streets with my clients and social work colleagues in dark alleys. That is my identity, one that is inclusive. And I want to be able to reach out to people of all walks.

carried

the days don’t ever seem to end….. T_T

comm mapping on tues + Meeting JM and one of the elders from our fruit packing tday made me realise that i actually quite miss placement and spending time with elders. erm wish i was less awkward about going back to visit… also talked about how one thing we took away from placement was that there is always something that can be done. if formal services don’t work out, there are informal resources, or appeals, or advocacy. gaps in the system should push us to action, not acceptance.

sent welly off last night and rly laughed till our stomachs hurt. moments like these r so rare and precious now, will miss her awkwardness and genuineness 😥

also worked with one of my favourite colleagues (not like i know everyone very well lah) last night. haven’t gotten paid but honestly don’t even mind (yet).

thought about all these while in the toilet before NHS VT today, am tired but happy, and grateful that it is the Lord that is in control of this life 🙂

/wheee thurs was another gr8 day except for the fact that i couldnt get my grey hair zzz but met n talked to a v inspiring social worker.. reminded time and again abt the importance of comm work. so grateful that from time to time, we meet workers that have so much conviction in what they do and are so willing to share them with n00blets like us. *.* i think.. there are too many people that i look up to in life HAHAH