Do(ing) it Like a Feminist

Post-Grad Girl living in a Post-Grad World.


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The Personal is Political: Life in Social Service

Hello fellow bloggers! It has been a long time (as usual), but the life of a case worker never rests! 

I have been working at my job for 8 months now and it has taught me a lot about myself as a professional and as a person in society. Working in the foster care system is no walk in the park; it tests your mind and your spirit every day, but I am lucky to have such a strong, stable team who push me to keep moving forward. Foster Care also teaches you a lot about the systemic issues that occur within our (NYC) society. So many people say the system is broken, and in some instances they may be right, but sometimes it isn’t. If there is anything I have learned about working in foster care, it is that despite the circumstances that may arise, we are in control of our future; WE can take responsibility for our actions and learn from them. 

There is such a thin line between the personal and the political, especially when it comes to direct work/social service. We work directly with families and often times we are taught not to step over the line into personal territory. Now this is true, as a case worker, it is pertinent not to pass the boundaries, but sometimes it’s hard not to let your personal feelings get the best of you. I have worked with some of the best kids who have been dealt a bad hand in life, but when you pour your heart and soul into working with them, your desire to protect and advocate for them comes into full effect. 

People can go back and forth about the systemic issues that are failing our kids, but in essence, the life of a social service worker isn’t easy. We devote so much of our time to helping reunify families and do right by them, but no one can truly understand how much effort goes into this job. I applaud all my case workers and social service workers every day for doing this type of work and not getting much recognition for it. I just want us all to remember: let us not become jaded from the downfalls we face, but to be proud of the successes we achieve. As Robyn Brown-Manning stated, we are precious care workers. If the work is sacred, then so are we. 

I am proud of the work I do despite the many challenges. Case workers are activists too, even if they don’t recognize it as such. Let’s continue to do the work. 

 


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Guess who’s back?

Hello Bloggers! I can not believe it’s been MONTHS since I last posted. SO much has happened to me (both personally and professionally) that I haven’t had a moment to reflect (it didn’t help that my laptop officially died in April).

So to play catch up, I would like to inform the world that I am now a Case Planner for Good Shepherd Services in the Family Foster Care unit. I can’t even believe how my life has played out in the past couple of months to lead me to this amazing career. I have been working at GSS for almost three months now and I must say it is truly a tedious but rewarding job. I help find youth permanency within the foster care system and have developed relationships with amazing kids and adolescents.

It’s funny to me when I think back on my time at HWS and how it’s helped mold me to where I am now. When I graduated, I wanted to be a hardcore activist, but I didn’t really know what that looked like. I thought by being engulfed in the feminist movement online that I would find my voice and become the next Audre Lorde, but there was a bigger plan for me. I now realize that I don’t have to try to get my foot in to the movement online, but rather become my own type of activist in a field where it needs advocating. It’s kind of ironic to be going from one spectrum of feminist activism when a part of me knew all along that I would be where I am now. I can truly say that it has been a blessing in disguise and all the waiting has paid off.

Now, as I move forth into this career of Family Foster Care, I know that my activism will not fade away because it is with me every day when I am talking with my kids or advocating for them in court. Isn’t life funny?

 


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Getting on the Healthy Grind

I haven’t really been posting much lately (due to the fact that my life is wack), but I thought I would share some things that have been going on recently.

I’ve gone healthy.

Oh yes, I thought it would never happen, but not that it has, I’m not really mad at it! The only hard thing is adjusting my cooking skills to suit the new changes. I’ve been chatting with my friends about their healthy habits and have been researching A LOT of new things to try. It actually started out when I got an infection and was trying to detox my body to get it out my system, and while I was doing this, I learned a lot about substituting foods for healthier ones. I even started drinking Soy Milk (my friends *cough, CARRIE, cough* drink Almond Milk and I want to try that too).

Eating healthier does have it’s ups and downs. I’m trying to cut sweets for the time being and have been fairly successful (I had a bite of my brother’s birthday cupcake =\ I can’t resist red velvet) and have substituted for fruits and Kale. LOTS OF KALE.

It’s been quite an interesting two weeks, and even my stepmother and brother are getting in the spirit!

I bought Joshua a Hip Hop dance game for his birthday, but I’m not going to lie, it was for me too. WORKOUT TIME!

In other news:

  • I visited my alma mater this past weekend and was presented with an award for my dedication to an organization I was involved in during my time at HWS. I had been thinking a lot about HWS and wanted to visit, and once I did, it was like the obsession with Geneva slowly faded away. I now realize that I wanted to go back to see if the legacy I left behind was in tact and my successors were doing a better job than I did, to which I can proudly say that they are.
  • Selfless relationships plug: Marcus and I have been together for 9 months to the day. For anyone who knows me, this is a big deal.
  • A few weeks ago, I reunited with Carrie and my good friend Katie for some Brooklyn Hijynx: Part Deux and there were cupcakes involved.

I can’t think of anything else, but surely there are more.

TTFN, bloggers.

 


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The Blessings in Disguise

My fellow bloggers! Today has been a wonderful day full of love, compassion, and understanding which has led to inspiration.

These past few months I have been getting much closer with certain people in my family and it has led me to really think about myself and what my future holds for me. When people ask me what I want to do with my life post-grad, I usually say the same things that associate with things I’ve done in college: feminism and media work, student affairs, feminist activism online, etc. but my life after college has done nothing related to that. Granted, I’ve maintained my presence online, but I’m talking on a larger scale.

Then, I think about what I’m doing while offline: spending time with my family, helping my brother with homework, giving my cousins advice on life, love, and menstruation, having adult conversations with my friends, supporting my older cousins with their new endeavors, etc… What I just came to realize is the blessings that have been placed right before my eyes which made me think about my independent study during college: teaching young people about the things that they may not get from their parents or guardians.

I titled this blog Do(ing) it like a Feminist because I believe that everything I do is feminist. Feminism is who I am and it’s the language I speak. When I’m spending time with my younger siblings/cousins, I’m having honest dialogue about growing up and reminding them to always ask questions because I never really had someone to do that for me as a kid.

Sometimes we don’t see the blessings right before our eyes, so once in a while, it’s good to step back and understand a new perspective.


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New Years Resolutions: Real or Not Real?

When I was younger, I used to make all types of resolutions that lasted about two weeks. As I got older, I came to realize that resolutions shouldn’t hold as much weight as they do. What ever happened to just promising to be a better version of yourself? On December 31st, out come the resolutions to have a better year than the last, lose weight, cut certain people off, etc. but in retrospect, what are we doing here?

To me, New Years is about being thankful for the year you had, good or bad. We all have our share of ups and downs, but it is what makes us who we are. We need the struggles in life to appreciate the successes. I had a good 2012, but it didn’t come without its share of problems. In 2013, my goal (not resolution) is to continue being myself. As I continue to go through the days, I will come across roadblocks, but they will help me grow as a person.

I’m not necessarily saying that all resolutions are bad, but if you want to rely on resolutions to go through the new year, then I suggest creating ones that are attainable and you can stay true to. Sometimes, creating resolutions that are beyond your reach will result in failure. After all, on December 31st, you will just want to re-do it again.

Happy New Year everyone!


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The Best Things of 2012

I’ve been inspired to write about the type of year I’ve had today. I’m not one to count down the best and worst things of this year, but this is an exceptional year for so many reasons. There are so many things to be thankful for so I want to highlight a few of them here.

1. Being the first person in my immediate family to graduate from college.

(Thank you to Eppy Suarez for taking amazing pictures)

2. Being a badass Feminist Activist

Vagina Monologues 2012

Meeting Robyn Ochs

CLPP Conference at Hampshire College

Bringing Jenn Pozner to HWS

Slutwalk Geneva

(There is more but I have to keep it moving)

3. Making amazing new friends and building feminist community

Have to end it with these two lovely ladies, my advisors and academic parents of HWS.

(There are tons more but that could take the whole feed)

4. Re-connecting with family near and far

5. Finding an amazing man-partner who supports my choices and shares my views on the world.

Honorable mention: MY SEEDLINGS! I can not forget them <3

It has been a great year for me, and life can only get better.

Cheers to you 2012, you were fantastic!

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