Showing posts from 2014

(not so) Cheap Social Worker Spends Too Much Money on Disneyland Food

Last November, I had the opportunity to spend glorious three days at Disneyland with my parents and looKIMsopretty! Disneyland holds a special place in my heart since I have many fond childhood (and young adult) memories from vacationing there. Now, my family and I try to go every 1-2 years thanks to my dad's discounted military tickets.

During this trip, I wanted to try as many new foods as possible since I didn't discover the joys of Disney food until recently. While growing up, my folks would pack a rice cooker, Spam, Vienna Sausages, sardines, and precooked meals stored in Tupperware whenever we went to Disneyland. We'd then leave the park during the day and eat as many meals as possible in the hotel to save money. On top of that, I was usually too excited to go on rides to think about food as a kid!

While my parents still pack a rice cooker and various canned meats, we now enjoy more meals in the park along with snacks like churros (my mom's favorite) and turkey l…

Joking About Low Social Worker Pay

While perusing the internet for social work news, I found an old video of a Vice President Joe Biden speech.  In this speech, where he addresses an Urban League conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, Biden jokes that he wishes he had a “Republican kid to go out and make money.”  This is so he could get a "window view" when placed in a nursing home.  Biden then states, "But my daughter’s a social worker.. Graduate school at Penn and runs an at risk program — at risk youth program — for kids getting out of prison and young men getting out of prison.”

You can watch the video here: Joe Biden: I wish I had a ‘Republican kid to go out and make money’ 

When I first entered graduate school, my classmates and professors frequently joked about how we were entering a field where we would make no money.  In one lecture, my a professor joked that we ever wanted an Escalade and a house in a gated community, social work was the wrong field.  As years passed, I've lost count of the number…

A Brief Note on Depression and Suicide

A lot of great things have been said online in response to recent events.  Since this is an emotionally draining topic for me, I won't rehash what's already been said online and just share some of my favorite articles below.  However, I will toss in this brief bit:

"Victim blaming" when it comes to mental illness has always infuriated me.  However, when such behavior comes from someone in the medical field, I can't help but question the quality of education this person received in medical/nursing/social work/allied health school.  When caring for a severely depressed or suicidal individual, statements like "Look what this is doing to the people around you" and "This is a call for attention" do not help the situation. Neither is calling a family member to confront the patient (which is a potential HIPAA violation).  As medical practitioners, our focus is to provide care, not judgement.  My advice is this:  If you're not going to try to b…

Stitch Fix Review #3

For those of you unfamiliar with the Stitch Fix shopping service, please go here first: Stitch Fix Review #1

Shortly after writing Stitch Fix Review #2, I received a really nice e-mail from Kate of Stitch Fix.  She apologized for my Fix not working out and offered tips on how to improve the next one.  It was really nice of Stitch Fix to reach out to me personally, so I decided to give them one more chance!  Here's how my third Fix turned out:

Item #1: Emperia Murphy Two-Tone Stud Detail Crossbody ($38)

Nice quality vegan purse with gold hardware, which I like. However, I recently stocked up on a bunch of bags from various Little Black Bag (now Pose) sales and really do not need another. I'll have to add a request for no purses to my profile.

Item #2: Ace Swiss Dot & Floral Tie-Waist Blouse ($68)
Item #3: Pink Martini Joshua Colored Ankle Jean ($64)
I wasn't really a fan of the dot/floral pattern combinations, which seemed too busy for me. This blouse see…

TSG.TV's Pokemon Marathon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Between work and travel, it's been a pretty eventful summer for me thus far!  This week, I am in Texas helping my TSG.TV buddies with their latest video game marathon!

Also known as TheSpeedGamers, TSG consists of a group of friends with a passion for video games who host marathons for charity throughout the year.  Since 2008, they have raised over $460,000 for organizations such as ACT Today, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Heifer Internation, and Mercy Corps.  Marathons typically consist of gamers alongside commentators who engage the chatroom and perform various stunts (i.e. singing songs or eating disgusting concoctions) for donations.  I became involved with TSG back when I was in graduate school thanks to their Final Fantasy Marathon (one of my favorite video game series of all time) and consider myself lucky to be associated with such a great group of people.

For this year's annual summer marathon, TSG will be playing 168 hours of Pokemon and catching them all! All proceeds w…

The Best/Worst Graduation Speech I've Ever Heard

You know it's graduation season when your social media feeds are inundated with videos/text from various graduation speeches. A number of well-off engineers I know shared this particular speech, which resulted in strong, conflicting mixed reactions on my part. I haven't felt this uncomfortable reading something since the Any Chua Wall Street Journal article.

Here's a copy of the "speech" here: Dear graduates: Don’t follow your dreams (A commencement speech for the mediocre) 

I can't decide if this is the best or most arrogant commencement speech I have ever read. Basically, author Tim Donovan states that people should err on the safe side when making career decisions and not pursue non-financially lucrative dreams because they will most likely not succeed. In his opinion, it's better to live a stable life than risk failure, and that passions should be relegated to hobby status.

To a certain level, I can understand where Mr. Donovan is coming from. On one …

Obama Says He Wants More Young People To Become Social Workers

It's been a while since I've made a social work related post!  I'll try to do a better job of throwing in social work related material among my product reviews and shopping/deal/travel articles.  I am still a social worker after all!

Nice feel good article from Social Workers Speak, but certainly easier said than done:

Obama says he wants more young people to become social workers | Social Workers Speak

Let's face it, despite the increasing demand for (geriatric) social workers, there is decreasing incentive for students to go into the social work field.  In this economy, why would a practical student take on loads of debt to get a graduate degree in a field with low returns?

If we want more social workers, then we need to provide financial incentives for students to enter the field.  For me, that would include reducing student loan debt (which President Obama touched on)…

Thank you, LUSH Cosmetics!

As mentioned in my previous post, I won LUSH's #freshnewlush contest during Generation Beauty.  My prizes came in the mail, and I thought I'd share some pics and thoughts on each product!

LUSH sent me a total of six products: African Paradise Body Conditioner, Zeste Medium to Short Hair Gelly, D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap, Granny Takes a Dip Bath Bomb, and bar soaps in Parsley Porridge and Mangnificent.  Since LUSH products tend to have slightly shorter expiration dates because they have no preservatives, I went ahead and opened them up!

Granny Takes a Dip is an invigorating bath bomb with lemon oil, ginger, and pepper.  Its psychedelic look reminds me of a bubble gum flavored popsicle I used to eat as a kid!  I still need to clean and disinfect my bathtub before I try this out, but in the meantime check out this video of it fizzing here: Granny Takes a Dip

Mangnificent and Parsley Porridge soap bars were also in my swag bag during Generation Beauty.  Mangnificent, ma…

Proactiv Skin Purifying Mask

My skin was not in good shape last week. The combination of Amtrak/bus travel, lack of sleep, and new products tested on my face has caused me to break out so badly that I was questioned at the dinner table, despite wearing concealer. It was time of an intervention, even if meant a mask so I could eat my dinner in peace. Going through my Generation Beauty haul, I found a sample of Proactive Skin Purifying Mask.

I've pretty much struggled with acne for as long as I could remember. My childhood consisted of numerous trips to the dermatologist, tubes of various creams smeared on my face, and bottles of antibiotics down my throat. Recently, I've gone as far as having costly, painful, but effective acne extractions to keep the pesky red bumps at bay. Given the cost of acne facials and topical antibiotics (which I must pay in full thanks to my health plan), I've been looking into lower cost over-the-counter options. The Proactiv mask seemed promising because it uses sulfur, an …

Much Needed Self-Care: Generation Beauty 2014

Wow, am I behind on posts!  I think for the sake of keeping at least one blog somewhat updated, I will just write here from here on out!  I may consolidate posts from other blogs in the future, but for now I will just link to them as needed.

It's been a rough couple of months, mentally, physically, and financially.  After an emotionally draining trip to the Philippines I promised myself that I would not cancel any of my planned trips for this year, even if it meant a big dent in my bank account.  One of those trips happened this past weekend, when I attended Ipsy's Generation Beauty in Los Angeles with one of my good buddies!

Generation Beauty is essentially a cosmetics convention with workshops, branded booths, and meet-ups with popular beauty bloggers and youtube personalities.  While I wear makeup and spend way too much money at Sephora and Ulta, I consider myself a novice when it comes to anything cosmetics related.  I figured this convention would be a learning experience.…

Stitch Fix Review #2

If you are unfamiliar with the Stitch Fix shopping service and want an overview, please go here first: Stitch Fix Review #1

After some success with my first Stitch Fix, I was really looking forward to my second.  After saving up some money and looking at multiple reviews on the internet, I finally placed my order.  This time, I requested the 41Hawthorn 3/4 Benson Blazer in dark grey or burgundy, the Yumi: Wilhinina Polka Dot Belted Skater Dress in blue and yellow, and dresses.

When my order arrived, I was sad to see that my two requested items were not included, with no explanation as to why.  However, I was pleased that Stitch Fix honored my request for multiple dresses.  Here's how my Fix turned out:

Item #1: Brentwood Tiered Striped Sheath Dress

I really had high hopes for this dress.  In the past, I had luck with bandage style dresses flattering my figure.  I also liked the non-symmetrical design of the dress, which masks my scoliosis.  Unfortunately, this particular dress mad…

Stitch Fix Review #1

Seeing that part of this blog is about how I save/spend my money, I figured I should start posting reviews on the various shopping services I use.  Currently, I use Stitch Fix and Birchbox.  If anyone has recommendations for other awesome sites, let me know and I'll look into them!  For now, here's my Stitch Fix review!

About Stitch Fix
Stitch Fix is an online personal styling service based out of San Francisco.  The way it works is pretty simple:  Sign up, then complete an online profile with your clothing sizes and style preferences.  After paying a $20 non-refundable "styling fee", Stitch Fix will send you a box with 5 articles of clothing/accessories on a date you select.  You'll have three days to try everything out and ship back unwanted items in a prepaid envelope!

Stitch Fix is not cheap, with pieces of clothing starting at around $58.  You do get a 25% discount it you keep all 5 items, but that's still much higher than I'm used to paying for cloth…

What Social Workers Make

While browsing my facebook feed, I ran across an anecdote called "What Social Workers Make", a modified version of "What Teachers Make".  The gist of the story is this:  At a dinner party, a person goes into a rant about social services.  He then targets a social worker in the room and asks, "What do you make?"  The social worker's response is one I can only wish to replicate if ever asked the same question.

Social work is one of these most difficult and thankless professions out there.  It's also one that requires so much sacrifice, financially and time-wise.  With social work, there's no guarantee that you will work that standard 9-5 job, have time to spend with friends/family, and even have the money to pay the bills each month.  Most of us know this, yet choose to go into the field despite scorn from friends, family, and society.

Not all of us can handle the rigors of social work, and many of us do move on to greener pastures for emotional…

Models of Social Work Practice in a Hospital

In my short career, I've been fortunate enough to work at various hospitals as a medical social worker.  Doing so has helped me hone my social work skills and learn about the various community resources in different locales.  Additionally, I've been able to see first-hand the true versatility of this profession, as demonstrated by how the social work role differs at each hospital.

I've practiced two main models of hospital social work practice: pure social work and social work/discharge planning.  In this post I will elaborate on these two practice models and discuss the pros and cons of each.

Pure Social Work
Pure social work focuses exclusively on the psychological and social barriers that affect a patient's well-being and hinder a safe discharge home.  Social workers practicing this model focus on completing comprehensive psychosocial assessments, providing brief counseling/crisis intervention services, assisting with end-of-life situations, finding shelters for hom…