A poem for trauma-anger

A poem for trauma-anger

For anyone who has worked with teenagers with trauma histories, what sticks out for me is the pain that is anger, defensiveness, which lies just above a deep-seated craving to be loved and believed. I wrote this for the strength and healing that lies in anger, for the protection that lies in defensiveness and for … Continue reading

Sorrow you’re allowed

Sorrow you’re allowed

A social worker’s guide to the Israel-Palestine violence, July 2014** Gaza. Israel. I’ve seen just about every opinion from all sides, editorials, pro-Israel rallies, Free Gaza demonstrations. Each side has equally passionate claims. If the conflict were clear-cut, we wouldn’t be here. As I see other social workers posting strongly worded content about the current … Continue reading

On seeking employment

On seeking employment

“You start to question your self worth” in the silence, and short emails, and meaningless “thank you for applying” replies. My friend Laura and I are eating bagged lunches on the Elevated Acre in the financial district, over the East River. I’ve told her I’ve stopped allowing myself excitement. Laura relates how she doubted her … Continue reading

Humans.

Humans.

This is FoodSpark. In February, it was snowing on our cars outside and the streets were slushy in the neighborhood. We dragged chairs up from the basement. We mashed ingredients together.  We  talked. We made things. At this FoodSpark, I mostly-not-seriously mentioned the idea of doing a Humans of St. Louis page modeled after the Humans of … Continue reading

snowfall.

snowfall.

On the plane home to Saint Louis from my family on the east coast, I am two days delayed and anxious. Planes sliding off runways and polar vortexes prompted thoughts of never getting home. Then, there was the thought of my bags not arriving at the airport, the fifteen minute walk from my metro stop through … Continue reading

The trouble with trafficking

The trouble with trafficking

“It ought to concern every person, because it is a debasement of our common humanity. It ought to concern every community, because it tears at our social fabric. It ought to concern every business, because it distorts markets. It ought to concern every nation, because it endangers public health and fuels violence and organized crime. … Continue reading

heartbreak Thursday

heartbreak Thursday

Snow and vacation has left me wide open. On train station platforms and in grocery lines, I’m talkative. I meet a man from Florissant in the snow of the metro stop at Lambert Airport, a woman from Atlanta in between Civic Center and Union Station after work, a woman in Schnucks, a man under the … Continue reading

ABC

ABC

As many of you know, I volunteer weekly at the International Institute as a citizenship literacy tutor. I have done this for over a year now. In the past year of volunteering, I often would call in when school got busy or take a month off volunteering around finals. This semester, in late September, I … Continue reading

One semester.

One semester.

Every semester we write our major papers, turn in our projects, give our presentations and breathe a sigh of relief. As MSW, MPH, and dual degree students, we have been working part-time jobs, going to 240-360 hours/semester of practicum, keeping up with our self-care and social life as best we can, and taking classes where we … Continue reading

25 years

25 years

A year ago, I brought in age 24 relating and laughing about this song. “Growing up is tough. Got to hit the gym because I’m losing my agility.” Oh, white boy. This year, I like to pretend I’m having a crisis because I can rent cars now. Twenty-five years old! Milestone! Instead of crisis, though, … Continue reading