Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Words of Wisdom from the Great Bonnie Holiday

You are a very capable young woman and you WILL be able to do this program. My daughter is in the program at U of M and it has been challenging because of the demands on her time, internship, classes, working, socializing etc... It will tax your relationships however it will also give you great information about who is a TRUE support to you. When I was in my MSW program and working 30 hours a week with two small children I had people volunteer to care for my kids and some even cooked meals for me. In order to maintain a social work career you MUST have TRULY supportive people in your life. I know you have people in your life that drain you because you are easy to talk to and supportive of others. This MSW program will help you prioritize who you spend time with and how often. When I did my MSW I sat everyone down (family and friends) and said I would be unavailable for two years (my program was longer). I even tried to get out of doing Christmas. Many of my friends agreed to dispense with the Christmas gift exchange for those two years and it was VERY helpful. It was one more thing I did not have to spend my limited energy on.

Protect yourself - no one else (here on earth) will.

Doing an MSW is a wonderful growing experience. You will learn much about yourself as well as those around you. You deserve to get an MSW and enjoy it! You will meet some exciting new people and going to a secular university you will have the privilege of looking at the field of social work in a whole new perspective. Then when it is all over you are much more marketable and you will have more employment freedoms. And another benefit - maybe you could teach some classes in our Grand Rapid site (after two years of practice)!!

Hang in there. The Casting Crowns song, "Voice of Truth" helped me tremendously. We will encounter many well meaning people who speak the wrong words to us. If God has put you on this path and opened doors He too will give you the strength to proceed. In my first year of Ph.D. school I almost quit because it seemed so overwhelming. I knew I was doing God's will and that song gave me great comfort. Always pray for energy and it will be provided. Make sure God is whispering in your ear and not anyone else. God bless you. You are in my prayers.


Bonnie Holiday, LMSW, ACSW
Assistant Professor of Social Work and
Director of Field Instruction
Spring Arbor University
106 E. Main Street # 6
Spring Arbor, MI 49283
517-750-6662 FAX

Monday, April 21, 2008

Shaffing? Sweat? Dripping? Salty?

Yes, that's right folks I just ran 8.5 miles and I am very tired... Extremely tired, but ready for River Bank or I am telling myself that even if I am not..

In South Africa, it was very common to see peoople running at 345am . Here is a shot on the beach where you can see people at this time. We woke up this early because the locals told us that is when sunrise happened.. LIARS.. It didn't happen till 6 am in the morning.. None the less here are some surfers and maybe a few runners...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

So, you want to change the world?

Sometimes I get that overwheliming feeling when I see their sad faces.. Sometimes I feel helpless. Good things can happen, I just need to believe... It only takes one voice..

Today, my girl who is on my case load who was sexually abused is being re-tramitized at home.. Mom isn't seeking crisis therapy for herself or daughter. Daughter is regressing majorly from the event. Dad was sexually abusing daughter and daughter disclosed to me a month ago.... Dad is out of the home and has lost all rights to daughter.
I met with her therapist today and learned that mom may lose custody of her childern because she simply has checked out due to the traumatic experience... It is very hard because I am put in a difficult situation. At school, we encourage students not talk about those incidents on a frequent basis, but she obviously need to talk about.. I have to be careful about my role with her and let her know what is appopriate for school behavior. She is acting very sexually in school and is blurting her emotional vomit on all the students for attention because she wants to be noticed, loved and cared for.. Mom simply is not providing this... AHHHHHHH Mom wont accept any goverment assistance and dad was the income.... Mom doesn't have a job.. It is very sad... Sometimes, I think that when you feel like you're changing the world, you're also crashing the world of someone else. Safety is number one in my book for childern, but this situation stinks for the entire family... I am thankful that she disclosed the information because dad could have continued to hurt her.. Sighs..

Lately, I have been running a lot because this helps me re-focus my life.. I am getting much more lean and I can see that... Happy Dance!!! I am working all weekend! Yippie.. And I have that disabilites policy report due soon!! Yikes!!

It only takes one voice.....

Thursday, April 10, 2008


This afternoon while at Biggby I just started to cry. I don't know why. The tears just formed in my eyes and came rolling down my cheeks. I want to be happy and I have no idea wht that looks like. . I have no idea what it means to be content because I am not content with the way the world is. I am not at peace with myself or my decisions.. I don't really know anymore.

This photograph is the trash that most of the natives live in. It's not just the site of the trash, but the stench that is horrible. Its smells like a mixture of poopy diapers with running sewage water. It is horrible. The smell alone could kill one because it is so horrific. I almost passed out when i first smelled the horrific stench, but i became numb to it after while. I can't imagine all the bad toxics the people are breathing in on a daily basis.. It's unfair. PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE TO LIVE LIKE THIS!! BOTTOM LINE!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Idol Gives Back

Millions of viewers tune in every week to watch American Idol. Tonight, was no different than any other week with the exception, that the show was raising money for charity. American Idol was raising money for the AIDS pandemic, malaria and Anti-virals for HIV. While I applaud American Idol for bringing education and money to a specific issue, I also feel like the show portrayed the people as completely helpless. I think the issue is empowerment. I believe that peoeple need financial support, but more then anything they need people to believe in them. I have seen the devestation of AIDS first hand, but I also know that money cannot fix the problem. The solution is empowering people to take charge of their life and to try to find another way of living. A simple handout will not change their lives in the long run. While I am very happy with the fact that American Idol wants to give back, I was sad to see how the people were portrayed as helpless individuals. Just an oponion. While in South Africa, I saw people who were proud of their houses, gardens and families. I saw many who were so giving and generous. I wish that American Idol would have showed some of that too, but I know that the media does not show the "good", but rather focues on the negative...

This picture is of a little boys shoe. As you can see the boy has definately outgrown them, but cannot afford a new pair. His other shoe had a hole where the big toe would be. Many childern we met either had holes in their shoes or had none at all. Blessed is what I am. I have 10 pairs of shoes in my closet. Blessed... I do not even ever where all 10 of them... Once again, I ask why me? Why am I blessed? What does it look like to help? I am in the search of jobs in South Africa specifically looking at Global/ International Social Work....

The Miles have torn their worlds Apart

Recently, I have found myself have nightmares and daydreams about South Africa. It is my thoughts and in my prayers. I think that I way to privledged and I do not deserve it. I do not want to hear the cliche answer that I am blessed and I should do something with my blessing. I want to know what is right and what equality is. I am not seeing. They might not be our country, but they are our brothers and sisters. I cannot stop thinking about my trip. I think their is something to that simple statement. I cannot forget about it. It won't leave my mind, yet it haunts my mind because I want to respond....

People ask me all kind of questions and I am finding myself forgetting the info I learned and saw. I do not like it. I do not want to forget that culture, but I want to be an active part of it... Sighs.. All of this is so frustrating.. I have been looking for employment over there. I will not give up. I am very interested in working and living over there.

This is an African sunset .. Enjoy...