We have not been as faithful to our blog as we were the last time we were here. We were talking to Oleg and Vitali about that and we all decided maybe it is because we are use to the Moldovan way of life and so things are not new to us this time.
One thing I have noticed that I didn't remember from our last visit is how many people smoke. It seems like most people you see on the street have a cigarette in their hand. There are small shops all along the streets where you can buy cigarettes. Oleg also said that are not many restaurants that have non-smoking sections. If they do have one you have to walk through the smoking section to get to it. I have gotten so use to there being no smoking in various places that it seems unusual to see so many folks who are smoking.
The girls came over Sunday night and Lucia had dinner for all of us. She cook lasagna with home made noodles. It was delicious! The girls had a chance to visit with the family and we all enjoyed being together. They are coming back tonight and Lucia is cooking pizza with her home made dough. We are going watch some episodes of "The Bachelor" that Megan has downloaded. Got to keep up with our TV programs!.
I (Preston) was thankful for the weekend. Teaching a full course in a week took a lot out of me. I think it was especially hard since the course is not one that I usually teach. I guess it was OK though because they all got their program evaluations designed and actually applauded at the end of class. We were so tired that we slept in like a couple of teenagers to 10 AM. Eat your heart out Bob Baird.
We are really enjoying the BSSW interns. As Genie said, they had supper with us Sunday night and we were going to watch a movie but ended up just talking with them and the family. They are really pumped about their Moldovan adventure from riding the trolleys that are packed like sardine cans to visiting an underground winery to walking places like the Moldavians.
I had my official liaison visit with them yesterday. I met with them and their American supervisor first in a group to do an overall assessment of the placement. The School faculty had agreed we would only use international placements if we could provide the intern at least as good training as they would get in the USA. Realistically, these students will have to be able to practice a high level of social work in the jobs that get after graduation in May where ever they may be. No need to worry! These students are getting great social work experience. I believe that they are practicing with more autonomy, although with good supervision, than do most of our interns. They simply have to! They are also required to be more flexibility and resourceful than most interns.
Gaynor Yancey, I hope you are reading this because these young women are just as much a credit to our undergraduate program as they are to the graduate program. They give a lot of credit to their community development concentration and Jon Singletary's teaching, but they are also drawing heavily on their generalist knowledge and skills. I'd say that what they are doing is really advanced generalist practice. Their work includes doing community development in a 3rd world village, consulting with an international agency, developing programs for transitional youth, empowering the handicapped, consulting on program evaluations, doing advanced case management with at least one youth and doing research on Moldovan social workers. People here see them as experts and dog gone if they aren't performing as experts. WOW! Can you tell that I'm impressed.
I learned 2 important lesson this morning; see, old dogs can learn new tricks. I have been terribly worried about how to do internships for the CTE MSW students. I consulted with Jon Meyers yesterday hoping to get a lead on some MSW's in Moldova who might provide some field instruction. We were unable to identify any and I loss some sleep worrying about it last night. For those of who are not social workers field education is where all of the class work and skill training comes together in social work education. It is the heart and soul of social work education.
The first lesson I learned (again) is that social work education in Moldova is not going to immediately or ever look like SW ed in the USA where we have been at it for over a hundred years.
We cannot duplicate the field program Helen and Erma and Ester have created at Baylor, but I must say you ladies are in my head all the time along with CSWE rules. As we worked on this today Vadim, Dean of the CTE social work program said, "This is an experiment and we students are apart of the experiment." By the way, have I told you that the dean is also a student in this program?
As we talked about how to do field education, Vadim pointed out that the students in the MSW program are among the most educated and experienced social workers in the country. They all have at least 4 years experience and most have created and direct social work programs. They are the field instructors for the undergraduate students. They cannot leave their jobs to work in another program; so, they must be allowed to do their internships where they are. And if they are the best of the best who is going to supervise them?
It's time for the interns to come for supper so I talk about lesson later.