Discussion: My Degree in Human Services

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hello everyone! Today for my more personal topic discussion post, I'm going to talk about what I went to school for! I don't *think* I've talked about this too much before, so this will be something mostly new and exciting for you, I hope!


Anyway, I attended a two year technical school and received an associates degree as a human services technician! The program I studied had two parts: developmental disabilities and mental health. I took the mental health option as well as a few classes on youth offenders!

Generally when I talk to new people about what I went to school for, they automatically ask something like, "So, is that the same as human resources?" No, it is not. Let me tell you about my clinical/internship experience so you can get the idea of what I would like to do.

So my first year at school was the year that we did basically all of the training and internships. The first semester we had to do 120 hours of on the job training, doing 40 hours in three different places.

The first of my clinical experiences was at the centerbase (or rather the special education classroom) at the high school I went to! I didn't do a terrible lot there really. I sat in on and observed their lessons. I played a LOT of dodgeball. Those kids were RUTHLESS! They also did special olympics bowling and I helped the kids who couldn't throw the balls themselves! That's about the extent of what I did there. I was able to look through their behavior records and such which was really interesting.

The second place I volunteered at was a nursing home! While I was there I mostly helped out in activities. Some of the duties I had there were:

-Helping set up and carry out bingo, helping some of the residents cover their spaces, etc.
-Helping set up movies and make popcorn and pass it out to the residents.
-Wrapping Christmas gifts for the residents.
-Helping decorate the nursing home for Christmas with one of the more mobile residents.
-Making a gingerbread house. (I was supposed to get some residents to help me, but they only strolled over long enough to ask me for some of the candy and then left)
-Making valentines.
-Passing out snacks.
-Visiting with residents who were stuck in their beds.

That's about the extent of what I did there. It was probably my favorite of my three clinical experiences!

My final 40 hour clinical was at the Boys and Girls Club! I helped out in the homework help room. Basically I just helped little kids with their homework. I could venture off to other rooms and occasionallly helped in the art room. But mostly I stuck to the homework room because that was the lady in charge of me who would fill out my review sheet.

I didn't enjoy this placement because the lady I helped out did NOT like me for some reason! She gave me horrid marks on my review sheet (which my teacher figured something else was going on there because I am a delight). But I think she thought I didn't do anything because I sat at the same table all day everyday with this group of little girls. But they had to read to someone for a little bit everyday and have them sign off on their homework sheet. So I had like 4-5 little girls read to me everyday and I guess that wasn't good enough for her.

Then for the second semester I had my legit internship! For some reason, I had the most horrible time finding a placement for this! I got rejected seven times! But I finally ended up at a resource center, which I absolutely loved.

The resource center was a large building that doubled as a women's shelter and supervised visitation center. Most of my time was spent helping conduct supervised visits. They took place in a playroom with a camera in it so that the person coordinating the visit can observe from a different room and record it for Child Protection Services. A transcript also needs to be typed out of everything that is said and done in the visit.

So for visits, basically this is what I did:

-Pick up kids from school/home and take them to the resource center for their visit.
-Drop them back off afterward.
-Handle the camera controls.
-Burn DVD's of the visits.
-I got to type out the transcript once.
-Clean the ENTIRE playroom.
-Sit in on a meeting with a new parent being initiated for visits.

Other tasks I got for this internship:

-Organize the donation shed.
-Sort new donations.
-Sit in on a court trial for a victim of sexual assault.
-Sit in on a meeting with someone requesting a protection order.
-Organize the entire food pantry.
-Clean and organize the cupboards in the women's shelter.
-Sit in on a meeting with the police department to set up a schedule for who would be on call when if an emergency arose.
-Typed up people's handwritten documentations of interactions they had with people while on the job.
-Searched addresses for people to send donation requests to.
-Addressed a zillion envelopes for donations.

I really did a lot there. I loved every minute of it. Maybe not so much my time in the donation shed, but everything else was so much fun.

My second year, I had to do a 28 hour service learning project. I ended up doing my time at a summer camp for people with disabilities. Anyone can use this summer camp for whatever they want it for, but it was designed specifically to be accessible to people with disabilities. It's really great! It wasn't open for business yet when I did my hours, but I did a lot of office work and helped clean the church on the grounds and a tack room/office in the barn where they keep their horses.

So, I hope that gives you kind of an idea of what human services entails!

But none of that explains the youth offenders thing I mentioned! I think that was mostly just for us to see if we wanted to go on to more schooling to deal with that, but I loved my classes dealing with that!

First, I took a sexual offenders class! It was interesting and probably the thing that stuck out the most to me was that fetishism does NOT deal with body parts. So when people say they have like a foot fetish, that's wrong. That's called partialism!

I also took a criminal justice class and a youth offenders class. Criminal justice was my favorite class! I hated youth offenders because the teacher was horrible. We took a combined field trip for those classes and went to the South Dakota state men's prison. It was fascinating! The maximum security prison was like a zoo. As soon as we walked in and they saw us (my class was all girls) they started like barking and stuff and generally being creepy, but I think it just added to the experience.

At another point, we were walking through a lower security area and we heard someone call out, "Get out of my way! I'm window shopping!" I thought that was pretty funny!

About a month after we visited the prison, a guard was killed by two inmates that briefly escaped. Scary.

I had so many other awesome classes that I took, I could go on forever, but I shall spare you.

The only thing I can say that I really dislike is that I basically just went to college for the experience. I haven't found a job that I want in that field. I have heard of some, but it wouldn't be practical for me to drive so far for the job everyday. So I'm still waiting for the perfect job. So I spent $12,000 to take up space at college basically.

I wish someone would have talked me out of it. Because of this wish, I have talked three people into dropping out of college. They're all so much happier and I talked them all into it before it was too late for them to get their money back! If you know someone who needs to be talked to about dropping out of college, send them my way! I'm three for three!

This is my class. I think the picture is missing on person, but that is everyone who remained in my class through the second year. Plus the teacher is in the picture too.

This girl was my college BFF!

So! If you're still here reading this, thanks so much! I hope you learned something interesting! In the comments tell me: What did you go to school for? Did you just love it?

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