Hard to believe I only have 9 months left in dear old Texas and then I can come home! Home to home. And be home. It’s so exciting I could die!!!
First week has been the longest week ever. It’s common knowledge that the professors assign more reading material than is humanly possible for even the most invested students to ever read word for word, so I have 5 courses with literally more work than I could ever complete to have read, digested, and applied over the next 14 weeks with presentations, projects, and papers to prove it. The first week is such an odd mix of excitement and professor pep-talks filled with amazing examples of the completed projects that other Community Concentration Social Workers have done that we are familiar with in the Waco community juxtaposed with these syllabi that seem utterly impossible. Expecting this, I prolonged my denial that I am chained to impossible tasks these next few months and went to Colorado Bend State Park this weekend past. Here are some photos:
Ok, so there are some beautiful things in Texas. The best part was when it started raining and I was out in the woods with not a car to be heard. And the humidity was tolerable because of the rain. I Loved it! Notice the rocks in the creek? That’s the trail. Not quite forging the river- my shoes did get wet enough that they are a bit stinky. It was beautiful and oh, so peaceful. The dirty water from the rain wasn’t gorgeous, although the rain was feeding those gorgeous waterfalls. Just what I had been seeking. Until I realized I was walking in Texas where rain comes with thunderstorms which come with lightning and maybe being on top of a “waterfall” was not the best location to be when I’d driven two hours to go hiking alone. At least my parent’s phone knew where I was :)
Apparently Colorado Bend is known for some of the rock formations at the falls I did not have time to hike into. And Caves! If these little guys are any example, it would definitely be worth the 2 hour drive to get there and check out some other time. No Silver Creek, but a definitely by Texas standards. Stay in Texas over Christmas break and check them out? Come home and hike Silver Creek Falls? Hmmm….
In other news, the dogs are still awesome (Judah, the hardest working Doberman you’ve ever met is still hard at work- keeping skunks away last night. I think he must’ve killed it under my window! Can you smell it from there, too? Or is that my sneakers from the hike?), the horses are still gorgeously present, the crepe mertle I planted last fall is still alive but crispy after last week, Waco is still too hot (although this year I missed the week of 100+ degree weather- Thank God!), the School of Social Work is still more amazing than imaginable (think $2000 scholarship), the other students I have in my classes are amazing and it is indescribably wonderful to sit next to people and wonder how they will be changing the world in the days and years to come, my internship is doing some of the most groundbreaking work to fight the problems faced by unaccompanied [homeless] students here in Waco, and my kombucha scabby is super happy in my less than air conditioned kitchen. All is well! Oh, I’m also working for Dr. Yancey, my favorite professor, who asked me to work on a giant project to reinvigorate an old program for the school- yes, please! Although it meant declining a job working at World Hunger Relief Farms this year. I have to keep reminding myself that I can’t do it all.
My internship is the best ever. If you’ve forgotten, I’m at The Cove. A nurturing center for unaccompanied (kids the school district labels as ‘homeless’ but it’s more complicated than that. Check out McKinney Vento if you’re interested) students after school from 4pm-8pm. Targeting students whose safety net is comprised of others living in insecurity. Because if they are well fed, have their homework done, showered, and have their laundry done they will have an easier time finding a friend to take them in. Finding a couch to sleep on is easy if that’s all you need. It is so exciting to be on the startup end of such an amazing agency. http://www.thecovewaco.org.
Mark your calendars! May 2, 2017 is the day we will be introducing the birth of Sarah Lackner’s MSW Research. We will be celebrating the most grueling adventure I have undertaken so far. The stress, the countless sleepless nights, rigorous doctors demanding seemingly impossible tasks, endless days of hard work and plenty of labor will result in one project to be presented to the world on the second of May….
And then I can look forward to being in my happy place again: