Happy Birthday BSW?

~ Birthday ~

May 2012, when I begin my last semester, will mark the second “birthday” of my entry into the UVic BSW program.
I began back in May 2010, frantically planning my week on-campus in Victoria. Not sure what to expect, still buzzing with happiness at being accepted into the program. Helping my family plan how they would manage without me for a week (they did great). Feeling like I was beginning a long and interesting journey (I was).
The point I’m at now seemed impossibly distant.
Would I ever really be a fourth year student, in my last semester? Taking my last BSW courses? Doing my last practicum?
Back in my very first third year term, in class introductions, I wistfully envied those who introduced themselves as students wrapping up their degree. Would I ever get to that point? I knew that I would but it was just so far off.
Well, it’s time to bake a little cake and put a few candles on it. My almost-BSW-degree is two years old this May. My degree, framed and hung on the wall, will be a birth certificate of sorts.

Name: BSW
Weight: Darn heavy
Length: Spanning more than a few years
Joyful Parent: Tammy Thielman, proud, weary and ready-to-work

~ Now, the all-important question can be deliberated…What dress will I wear to convocation? ~




~ Like this kitten, I just want to stay where it’s comfortable! ~

~ Cup of the Day: My favourite tall fluted racehorse mug! ~

How can you be nostalgic for something that’s not over?
This term hasn’t ended, but I already have that farewell feeling. Ironic, as I have another large assignment due in two weeks. While I’ve started, it’s certainly not completed. So, my courses aren’t officially “over.”
However, we are concluding Week 9 and heading into Week 10 (of 12). I think that’s what has started my nostalgic, melancholic kick. We are submitting, or preparing to submit, final assignments. More and more marks have come in on our student grade books. Registration for next semester looms. We have a few learning activities to do, then the final one in which we bid everyone goodbye, the Closing Circle.
I’ve enjoyed my two 400-level courses immensely this semester. Both had a high level of on-line involvement, both had excellent instructors with a steady, encouraging on-line presence. Both instructors offered continual words of encouragement and open lines of communication. They were only an email, phone call, or Moodle message away – and they reminded us students of that regularly, should we need help or have questions. Not all instructors are as generous. On the Moodle course sites, there were interesting links, extra information, and encouraging messages.
Once again, as one semester concludes, another will begin soon. That’s the cycle of academic life. We’re faced with new courses, new instructors and new experiences. After a less-demanding semester (only two courses), I’m heading into what will likely be a more intense term, with my fourth year practicum and two final academic electives.
While I’ve learned to positively anticipate new experiences, I can’t help wanting to hang on to the old, too. It’s familiar, it’s comforting. It’s been really, really good.
Who would want that to end?

My thanks this term goes to instructors Betty Taylor (Social Work 400), Kirsten Mikkelson (Social Work 451) and also to other UVic staff who made this term a terrific one: Nancy Pike, a wonderful practicum coordinator, and instructor Cheryl Moir van Iersel who despite cutbacks, continues to kindly coordinate and chair student rep teleconferences and distribute the minutes of these to all of us reps across the country.


You help make the student experience a rich and rewarding one!