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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Investigative groundwork

                          
Laura is casting about for her future, as she should. Actually, she has her future in mind. Like many fifteen year olds, getting to the future is more mysterious than not, until one actually arrives. She says her future will be social work, preferably psychological or psychiatric, using– wait for it – American Sign Language.

Instead of saying “That’s really cool, Laura, but…”, I thought I’d see if there was any future to be had here. I already have a post graduate degree in the ability of social workers to rescue little girls, from futures I cannot imagine. That is only what I’ve seen; the work of the Kendras, the Jans, all the people in outpatient care. I have no idea of the hours and hours I did not see at work, because I was not invited behind closed doors.

Enough there. We all know how Laura, and Emily to a lesser extent, benefited from people helping them sort through the mess. But, what’s this ASL business? Sign language. I sent Google to investigate. Do you ever mentally put Holmes’ deerstalker on Google when you send him out, down dark alleys, around corners?

I quickly settled on a job site called ‘Indeed’, because they had what seem to be exit interviews from previous tenants of the jobs offered. Social work is not of the rough and tumble entrepreneurial world, but definitely “institutional”. Hospitals, government, social service organizations. People are happy or unhappy about the same issues. I did find myself looking over reviews of prison guards and wondering how anyone could be happy working in a prison.

An hour or so and I had a general sense of how employees felt about jobs (satisfying, challenging) and the pay ranges (too little to a lot). So, I signed on for Indeed’s weekly listing of twenty five new social work jobs requiring ASL. I wanted to see where in this country they are. Disclosure of ulterior motive: Laura says she will cross no more than one state line to go to college. I hoped I’d activated an exploratory gene, but it seems not so, yet.

I sorted this week’s list of twenty five jobs as east and west of the Mississippi. I found seven east and the balance west. Not one in Ohio. West of the Mississippi I found places I never visited: Pueblo, Colorado. Roseburg, Oregon. Sheradin, Wyoming. Eugene, Oregon. Hastings, New Mexico. All over Arizona.  Anybody can go to Haverhill, Massachusetts. How about Edgewood, New Mexico. That part is a long way off. We are starting out no more than one state line from Ohio.

Back at home, I settled for opening the valve of the water barrel to get it emptied. We still need to get a hose attached and directed into the garden. One good thaw and freeze this winter and I’ll be dealing with an ice rink.


The black cat on guard at the edge is the latest abandoned cat. Some folk will find the eye of the needle to their heaven almighty small. 

30 comments:

  1. Laura would be a very exceptional young lady if she keeps to her career goal until she enrolls at college.

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  2. Please don't put too much trust in Indeed. I received the job phishing scam through them.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks, Watson. Good to know. I'll look some more.

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  3. One early career can easily fit into or change into a second career later. Nothing needs to be forever.

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  5. Hari OM
    ...and nothing is set in stone. It would certainly be a challenging, demanding, heart-wrenching career, but equally rewarding, uplifting and 'real'. There was actually a news item this very evening here about the wretched shortfall in qualified Social Workers. It's because the demand is so high, the support minimal, the finance practically nil and the bureaucracy a minefield. All hail the one who can traverse this path (and their grandmothers for not discouraging...) YAM xx

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  6. It is good to know what's out there and where. Learning ASL is a good start.

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  7. Roseburg Oregon is a lovely spot on the map. It has always been one of our stops on our trips from Fresno to Portland.

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  8. I learned ASL when I was a teacher's aide in a special ed class. Useful skill in many jobs. She may only cross one state line for college, but may branch out later.

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  9. Yay for Laura. And you.
    And how right you are about the needles eye. And I hope there are no 'special exemptions'.

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  10. Poor kitty cat being abandoned just when whether are about to turn cold. It's very evil people that can be cruel to the vulnerable be they human kind or animal kind. I hope Laura will be able to find a niche in her chosen field.

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  11. well, the social work may grow to encompass more than ASL but ASL is a useful language to know. I despise people who abandon animals even though that's how we have our cat and dog. I think a lot of people in this country are going to be shocked to find the pearly gates closed.

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  12. I too have thought of this -wondering how anyone could be happy working in a prison. Especially after watching Shawshank redemption.

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  13. This may all change. To imagine that one knows what they want to do for the rest of their lives at such a young age is kind of silly. My daughter is in her fourth year of university and still isn't 100 % sure (and she has a good head on her shoulders). I believe it's not about the availability of jobs, but about the determination of the individual. -Jenn

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  14. It is wonderful that Laura has been thinking of her future. She is still in high school and has a few more years to look into the opportunities that will be out there fo her. Social work is hard, stressful and underpaid but it is rewarding in so many ways. Most people I know in this field have a second job to supplement their income. With the Trump expected cuts to social services, there will be fewer people employed taking care of more people in need.

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  15. ASL is a beautiful language. It always draws me to tears when I see someone signing worship songs at churches I've gone to in the past. Now I'm curious where the jobs could be in Arizona since I have thought lately of learning ASL. I would think social work can be rewarding but also heartbreaking at the same time. I'm sure whatever Laura chooses, it will be the right path for her.

    betty

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  16. Good for Laura to be thinking of future possibilities. What will happen with the little cat ?

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  17. It never occurred to me until recently that deaf people of different countries have as much difficulty in communicating with each other as non-deaf people. I suppose I imagined signing as a type of Esperanto.

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  18. Social work is , on the whole , stressful , poorly paid and frustrating . But nothing is so rewarding .

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  19. You are a good researcher. I think these are tough times for choosing careers.

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  20. You are raising a fine young lady there......I do hope that water dries up before the first major freeze or you'll be wearing skates.

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  21. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

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  22. ASL is a marvellous idea (but she must keep the international sign language in mind as well)useful in many fields of work.
    You can see why she is thinking of social work, she has an advantage and can see what is needed

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  23. That will surely be an interesting degree.

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  24. Laura is sure ahead of where I was at that age. God knows we need more social workers in this world, I'm sad to say. I give her a lot of credit. I think glassdoor.com is another site with employee reviews.

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  25. Love your final sentence in this post.

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  26. You know, I'm just going to throw this out there: I never had a career I loved because I was practical and immediately dismissed career choices that I would've loved but that jobs were scarce. Instead of just GOING for it. And I regret that deeply. Better to have tried and failed, then never to have tried at all, and had to settle for something else, safe, instead. I'm just sayin...

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    1. Me, too. I would have spent my life digging up native American settlements all over this country. But then I had two children to support. Her heart is set on this because it is such an outstanding piece of her past. I think that is a good sense of gratitude, plus a deep love and admiration of sign language. But the wind may blow her who knows what direction. It's good to be young.

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