Social work school is, I think, harder than most people expect. There is an incredible amount of reading to be done, and you have to intern three days a week for the entire two years.
You’re also surrounded by maniacs.
I went to a pretty competitive school with a great reputation. One of the ones that make people say, “Ooh, that’s a good school!” when you mention you attended. And I have to respond with, “Yeah, I’m glad I survived.”
I decided to take a class called “Social Work and the Arts.” It was described as helping students to bring art into their social work practice. I thought it would help me to bring my interest in writing into my work.
What it did was give me some classic stories, that rival those of my friends who went to musical theater school. (These are people who wore masks for an entire semester, for credit.)
On our first day, we were asked to form a circle in the middle of the room. The professor decided that the graduate students needed to participate in an ice breaker. We each had to say our names, and do some kind of movement. The class would then repeat it. Hoping to leave with my dignity intact, I said my name and waved.
The disappointment in the room was palpable.
“Molly” jumped up and down. “Larry” hula-hooped, sans hoop. “Gina” took the cake by turning around and shaking her butt for the rest of the class.
Did I mention that this was grad school? And that I was expected to imitate these people?
Things only got worse when it was explained that this was one of those classes that the students would teach–halfway through the semester, the professor gives up and group projects take over.
I was in the writing group, naturally. Fortunately for me, people who choose writing are reclusive and weird, and were content to take the coward’s way out–Powerpoint. I did a charming presentation on using comic books in therapy. (Side note- if the X-Men don’t help your gay teen to accept him or herself, nothing will.)
Then there was the dance group.
First we had to pass a ball around the room, not using our hands. Then we had to talk about how that made us feel. Powerless? Creative? One girl shared that she almost passed Jack the ball with her knees, until she realized her crotch would be in his face “and I remembered you had a boyfriend.”
Right, because if Jack was single and loved the ladies, crotch-face during classtime would be a-ok.
There’s more to this, I promise. I’m trying to avoid a ‘nam-style flashback by not getting too in-depth here. Social Work and the Arts will be back, but until then, remember: I’m a trained professional.