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Author of The Pornographer's Daughter providing commentary on pornography, life and much more.

Filtering by Tag: Social Work Month

Five Things I Learned as a Social Worker

Kristin Battista-Frazee

I’m a marketing professional and author, but also a social worker.  I earned an MSW degree from Columbia University and since graduation my career has taken many interesting turns. I was a geriatric social worker who moved on to marketing and communications roles in Washington, D.C., and this fall I will publish my memoir, The Pornographer’s Daughter.  I have always relied on my social work skills to move forward in my career.

Social work is not confined to working for the government or counseling. It’s a multi-faceted profession with many different opportunities within your grasp.  In honor of Social Work Month (a little late), here’s the top five things I learned as a social worker.

  1. The world is a big place. We don’t exist in a vacuum and realizing just how diverse the world is will bring you needed perspective in your career and life. Understanding the importance of cultural competency in social work practice is also applicable to functioning effectively in a growing global economy. Cookie-cutter approaches don’t work and a better understanding of how someone’s culture impacts their beliefs, behaviors and viewpoints makes products and services more accessible to a boarder audience.
  2. People are complex. Understanding the complexities of human behavior will give you the upper hand. Learning clinical skills and the impact of mental illness, culture, trauma, addiction, divorce, discrimination, socioeconomic status and host of other things will help you better recognize someone’s underlying motivations and actions.
  3. Small things make a big difference. A smile. An understanding gesture. Writing to your Congressman.  Signing a petition. It’s these types of small things that can develop rapport with a challenging client to move a project forward, build a counseling relationship or even start a movement to right an injustice. Do all the little things you can, they add up.
  4. Things are not always what they appear to be. The world is unpredictable and situations are inevitably various shades of grey. And not just black or white, good or bad, right or wrong but a mixture of everything in between.  The more comfortable you are with uncertainty the better. 
  5. Take a risk and bend the rules. As a social worker, someone else’s well-being is often dependent upon you taking a risk or advocating on their behalf.  This skill applies any type of career and bending the rules, if done ethically, has value.  If you want to learn something new, don’t wait for someone to teach you. If you see an opportunity, take it. If someone needs help, do something to help them. It’s quite simple, social work, or any great career, has always been about getting your hands dirty, jumping in with both feet, doing something you feel passionate about, and just plain fighting for what you believe in.

These are skills social work has taught me and so far, they have served me well. I hope you thanked a social worker in the month of March for all the fantastic things they do.

Stumbled Upon - the Week of March 3

Kristin Battista-Frazee

There’s never a shortage of stories out there that can inspire or cause you to stop and think. Also I’m lucky to know so many amazing people doing great things. Here’s some interesting items I stumbled upon this week. 

Murray’s Tribute to Ramis

The Oscars is famously known for the couture gowns worn by beautiful actresses and inspirational acceptance speeches and this year's show had great moments. Matthew McConaughey’s  “alright, alright, alright” was quirky and Lupita Nyong'o and Jared Leto looked beautiful and spoke so eloquently and with great humility. But my favorite moment was when Bill Murray paid tribute to Harold Ramis while presenting the Oscar for Cinematography with Amy Adams.

Even though Murray and Ramis had a falling out years ago, the connection between them was still evident and Murray acknowledging this publicly was touching. It’s true that once you connect with someone in a special way, no matter what happens or how much time passes, that never changes. Think of when you visit with a good friend you haven’t seen in years and feel like no time has passed at all. Good people become a part of you.

Italian Women Called to Share Their Story

Calling all Italian Woman, like my family members, check out the Italian Women Project by Samantha R. DeMuro. It reflects what many of us strive for —to tell and discover our family’s story.  I’m fascinated with the idea of creating an online space for Italian Women. And I have to say, we’re a unique bunch.   I’ll be sure to throw some “odds and ends” to this project and if you’re an Italian woman, you should too. The    @ItalianWomenSay

Running for Your Life

You might have read about Kayla Montgomery, the high school runner with multiple sclerosis who has become one of the fastest distance runners in the country. When Montgomery was diagnosed she said to her coach, “I want to run faster— don’t hold back.”

This is an inspiration for anyone feeling down on their luck. And the running seems a symbolic and defiant act in the face of adversity. This running scene (above) from Forrest Gump I think illustrates this point in a comical, yet poignant way.  So whether you are running towards or away from something, just keep running, and things will work out.  

Relaunch of The Complete Linda Lovelace

I was sorry to miss Eric Danville’s book relaunch party this week for The Complete Linda Lovelace which was held at The Cutting Room in New York City. Danville has served as Managing Editor for High Times, Masters of Rock, Screw, Penthouse Forum and The Girls of Penthouse. He’s also author of The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists (BackBeat Books). Good luck to Eric and check out my interviews (part 1  and part 2) with him from a while back.

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It’s Social Work Month, to honor the contributions of social workers everywhere. This is a profession close to my heart so I’ll be blogging about this later and I hope you participate in this observance. This year’s theme, All People Matter, invites social workers to tell their stories online using the hashtags #allpeoplematter and #socialworkmonth.  For more information visit NASW’s site.