MY Short rez
Work has been another big and often weird piece of my story. The means to all my wandering loose ends, I guess you could say. Full-time, part-time, on-call, in fancy restaurants, night clubs, furniture delivery, schools, non-profits, state governments, you name it, I've done it.
I tended bar on the beaches of Cape Cod, on the ski slopes of Jackson Hole, and in the wild golf lands of Scottsdale, for example. I also got through school running my own little pool cleaning company. You should have seen it.
I have gone to school a lot too. Taking eight years or so to find my niche in studying philosophy, of course, I was floored to get my bachelor's degree in integrative studies, with a concentration in counseling and philosophy. Kind of weird but that is because I am.
From there I earned both a Master's in Public Administration and Master's in Social Work with a concentration in children, youth, and families. In translation, I take a more humanities-rich approach to social work, which is actually quite rare in a more socially scientific discipline. It also highlights how I love thinking and doing.
More relevant to my current trades as an author and educator, I worked as a Research Analyst who helped the state of Arizona develop curriculum, write reports, evaluate over 40 federally-funded programs, and other things as fun as they sound.
I have also worked with refugee families from Iraq, worked on suicide prevention initiatives, been a Director of a non-profit serving great folks with various mental illnesses, and I have served as a group counselor serving court-mandated clients on the issues of domestic violence and substance abuse.
And now? I found my calling. I teach in higher education. I was given my first break by Jackson College and I will always be thankful. For them, I taught World Religions and other general education courses for at-risk students including in a prison outside of Detroit. Which, my friend, was an experience that is by far my singularly most favorite thing I have ever done in my professional life. It changed me.
Most recently, I am beyond fortunate to be an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Spring Arbor University. My students and colleagues are absolutely amazing and I love it.
In sum, it took much heartache, soul searching, and mental unrest to get here but teaching and writing as a philosophizing social worker is an amazing experience that lets me serve others and keep sharpening my skills. It's my niche and it feels great. Nay. It is fully enlivening. And I love it.