Hey! Lisa posting here, again.
I spent most of Friday the 13th inside my personally-constructed bubble.
I was doing the things that I needed to get done. Most of the time I was listening to albums (yes, played in the LP format!) on my headphones. Listening to Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath & Paranoid, Cream's Disraeli Gears, and The Stone's Let It Bleed--my playlist from Friday--just never gets old.
In some ways, it seems to re-center me. I compare the me that existed when these songs were new, to the me who exists now, and realize I still have the same core ideals. I still want to make a difference in the world. I still want to speak for those who can't. I still stand up to bullies. I still believe in equality. I still want to save the wolves, the whales, the earth. I still reduce, reuse and recycle. I think globally, act locally.
I am still an idealist, but one who has been tempered by ennui, pragmatic and harsh realities and real world mundanities.
Later that night I left the Lisa Bubble Universe. I ventured onto the interwebs, and discovered that on the evening of 13 November, all hell broke loose in Paris. I began reading about the horrific acts of terrorism. The simultaneous attacks in six different locations around Paris was called an "act of war" by the French President. The Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the carnage. The eight suicide attackers, all had explosive belts, were sent in to the pre-selected targets in retaliation for France's air strike campaign against the IS in Iraq and Syria. Estimates given on 14 November, place the number of dead at 128, with over 300 injured, and 80 of those in critical condition.
Harsh reality, indeed.
It is the idealist, optimistic me that came back to school. I still want to go forth and do good, thinking globally and acting locally. However, we all live in the real world, and the pragmatic, realist me dictated my choice of classes. Because I was pursing a second degree, my general education requirements had been met already.
I would be able to customize the emphasis in my degree, because I had electives I could take and still would fulfill the degree requirements for my BFA. The idealist wanted to take the studio art courses. The pragmatist took courses like Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Public Relations, and Web Design, so I would be able to combine the knowledge and skills gained from those courses with those from my past work history.
Another great opportunity afforded to William Woods students is the "Internship." This semester I have had the opportunity to work as intern with the social media strategist for William Woods. I am gaining invaluable experience and course credits. In addition to "job shadowing," I also am learning, by example and from research, methods and metrics for engagement in social media channels. While I may have worked as a web server administrator in the past, none of my past job duties included these kind of activities.
I also have a social media project. The Show Me Innovation Center is a non-profit entrepreneurship and innovation center that fosters the development of home-grown businesses and encourages the spirit of entrepreneurship in Callaway and surrounding counties. It makes startup capital, business services, mentorship, and training resources available to community entrepreneurs. My challenge is to enhance the website, develop and update content, increase its visibility, and to increase engagement and readership via social media channels and its Internet presence.
I am already making a difference, going forth and doing good things. I have the guidance of a seasoned, generous WWU staff member, who encourages me and is my safety net. I get to work independently, and I get the benefit of benevolent oversight.
How great is that?!
I wanted to take the time to post a little something extra about myself and maybe give everyone a deeper look into who I am and why I am a social work major here on campus. Just like we start all of our classes with some sort of icebreaker, I figured I would do the same for this blog.
My name is Ryan Stocker and I am a social work and psychology double major with a juvenile justice minor. I am what some call a special case here on campus since I am majoring in two giant helping professions, which takes up a good chunk of my life. Luckily, I'm able to combine these two amazing majors due to the fact that they complement each other so well. I'm able to apply the things that I learn in my psychology courses while in my social work courses, and vice versa. When I changed my major to Social Work, I sat down with my advisor and we created a plan for how I could earn both degrees and still earn the minor in Juvenile Justice! The professors here are amazing and are so willing to work with students so that we can remain focused on our class work and balance how we plan to graduate on time!
A little more about me; I am from Fenton, a suburb of Saint Louis. I am the oldest, with one younger brother, Matthew, and my parents, Wendy and Steve. I went to Lindbergh Senior High School, graduating with almost 600 students, so coming to a school like William Woods was a total culture shock.
I went through high school convinced that I was going to another university and major in computer engineering or design. I worked a lot for the student IT department and fully planned to continue on with my goal until my senior year of school. During that time, one of my extremely close friends dealt with a lot of serious behavioral and psychological issues and standing beside them gave me a lot of insight into the social work profession.
I came into William Woods wanting a career that works with children and teens dealing with self image issues, self injury, and other behavioral problems, and as time has progressed, I found that social work has many opportunities to help that demographic!. In a world with increasingly more and more issues facing families, communities and society, social workers are needed more and more; so hopefully by the time I graduate there will be a perfect spot for me to fit into and help kids in my area.
Over the next semester I plan on covering everything from a day in the life of a social work student, to having some of our current social work seniors write as guest bloggers about their current experiences in their field internships. Feel free to contact me with any ideas for things that you would like to see more of at email@example.com and I'll do my best to include them in a post or two!
When Freshman Advantage was over at the end of June, it meant that I was to go on to the next adventure in my life - being an intern at Fox 2 news in St. Louis.
I've had internships before, but this one felt....different. I was excited and nervous (of course) but more than ready to prove myself at a place where I knew I was going to learn and grow so much.
Side-note: I may or may not have driven to Chicago after FA to visit a friend before I started my internship. I may or may not have done it because I was so
nervous excited about starting. And it may or may not have been planned less than a week before I went. Hey, I'm a college student...road trips are to be expected!
I'm lucky enough to have family in St. Louis who graciously housed me during my internship, which lasted until I came back to school for Community Adviser (CA) training. That was about six weeks of having another adult (that's not a word I associate myself with just yet - eek) living with and wreaking havoc on your normal routine, even though I promised they wouldn't even notice me. Kind of hard to hide in your room when your adorable niece and nephew are yelling up the stairs at you to come down and play (just saying). But I digress. My sister and her family were awesome in letting me interrupt their lives for the summer and I really appreciated it (still do).
My sister is also the reason I was even able to have an internship to begin with - she has worked at Fox 2 for quite a few years now as a producer/writer/director and I am in no way ashamed of the fact that she helped me land the internship - thanks Peggy! If there is any advice that I can give someone, it is to not feel bad about networking with someone! As long as you put your best efforts forward and work hard, people will not mind putting a good word in for you.
The experience was amazing and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I was able to work with so many different people and personalities, gain knowledge in news broadcasting, and network. I worked with producers, directors, editors, writers, reporters, and pretty much every other job one could have at a news station; the one area I spent most of my time in however, was with the web crew.
I learned how to upload content, updated all of the social media sites, and learned new media aspects - it was an invaluable experience. Definitely showed me that I would love a job doing interactive web media or something along those lines. I now also get this awesome internship to put on my resume which I'm hopeful will prove useful in the (very near) future.
So that was basically my summer, in two blog posts! What did you do over the summer? Make sure to comment down below!
Have a great Wednesday!