Getting to Know East Perth: Uni Edition

What I’m learning at the University isn’t just about getting it right for a test or writing the most amazing academic paper.  For me, it’s about engaging with the material in a way that will be beneficial and influential both now and in the future.

It’s the end of the semester and one project is almost completed (just a final presentation on Monday).  The simplified version of what we needed to do was make a map of an area highlighting the assets in that community.  The focus was about changing the way we view a community from what it is lacking, to what it has to offer.  Since we compiled ours on Google Maps, you can view the project here: East Perth Asset Map.East Perth.jpgI’m sharing this because I thought some of you might appreciate this virtual tour of our area.  We have been living in East Perth for about 4 months and this project changed the way I view this community.  It allowed me to see below the surface and look at different assets through the lens of different people.  The asset based approach view has limitations because you can miss some of the larger problems or holes if you only focus on the positives but even with that in mind, assets are a wonderful way to approach any community.  Being able to see what people have to offer and the potentials are a beautiful way to start a bigger conversation about growth and development.

In the future I hope to use what I’ve learned to make an asset map for the Wheatbelt and the rural communities where we would love to be working in the future.  It will take time but seeing the assets in these places and having conversations around growing the good things that are already present in these communities has the potential of being a bridge to the hope that so many are desperately seeking.

Social Work at UWA

Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.55.05 PM.pngHere’s a little more of a peek into my life at UWA.  First of all, the campus is beautiful.  I will share more pictures some other time but between the roses, the trees, the lovely lawn areas and all the peacocks and ducks (currently with ducklings!) we have many beautiful things to enjoy as we walk through campus or sit outside while meeting for our group projects.Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.53.13 PMGroup projects have been a significant part of our course and I’m sure there will be more in our future.  Today we completed our first group task and this picture is from our group presentation.  Our group of 9 students read a chapter from a book, summarized the chapter, made our own reflections and presented our findings to the entire class.  Working in a group always has challenges but I love the conversations and the learning that is taking place through our group interactions.  There are some pretty amazing students in this class!Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 6.52.42 PMAnd not just a few students but 130 students!  We are typically split into two groups for our lectures but our Indigenous Studies Course has us all together and we fill the lecture hall to the brim.  I took this picture during a break when not everyone was in their seats.  There is also a lot of independent learning expected from us but I am thankful for the time outside of class to research interesting social work theories and to continue the conversations that start around our the lectures and other classroom work.Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 7.14.30 PM.pngI’m currently finalizing my first paper for this semester.  It includes reflections about how critical thinking is impacting my views as a future social worker.  While we are learning plenty of content, a lot of the course is geared towards introspection, self awareness and critical thinking.  I’m being challenged to think differently and this is only week 7 of the course!  There is still so much to learn.

Preparing for UWA

It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve been in school.  And starting next week, I will be a full time student again.  I’ve been organizing the paperwork.  I’ve bought basic school supplies.  And I even did a bit of reading at the beach for my first seminar that begins on Monday.  It brought back flashbacks of my undergrad at UCSB where I certainly tried to study at the beach but was never really successful.  Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 4.03.53 PM.pngMaybe the beach won’t be the ideal place to study for grad school either but I will not make that decision until I try at least a few more times.  Please pray for me in this new endeavor.  Pray that I would learn well and be able to understand the coursework.  Please also pray that I would connect well with my professors and fellow students.  I’m looking forward to having a student community again.  And I’ll be sure to let you know how the beach studying works out.