A Couple of Classroom Firsts

Today was a big day!  I finished my first paper in APA format and presented my first group project in grad school.  Neither were nearly has horrible as I had imagined.  I love my supportive classmates and thoughtful professors.

I had been putting off this paper because I knew working with APA formatting was going to be a struggle.  In undergrad, we always used MLA, and I was pretty good at it.  Plus, who wants to write about babies with low birth weights?  It’s not my strongest paper.  Worrying about APA made me think a little less about my argument, but you have to start some where. I’ll definitely learn from my mistakes once the paper is graded and returned.  My husband couldn’t seem to understand my excitement went I finally finished.  I’m proud!  I won this battle against my war with APA.

I’m also proud of the group project.  My colleagues had such amazing ideas, and they were all so welcoming and encouraging.  We facilitated a group activity to allow our classmates to visualize and experience risk and protective factors of prenatal development.  Everyone participated and discussed their observations.  The class was actually engaged!  Afterwards our classmates told us we did a great job and so did Professor Rounds.  It really wasn’t as stressful as we had imagined, and we really enjoyed working together.

The moral of the story is everything’s going to be okay!  It is possible to turn in a paper and present on the same day.  People are always interested and have something to contribute to class time led by other students.  Plus, I feel safe here.  I know that anything anyone tells me or questions me about is meant to make me grow, not to put me down.  I’m looking forward to the next group project!  And APA formatting, I will conquer you!

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About Kim Swanson

Hello! I'm Kim. I'm a first year, full-time student at the School of Social Work, and I'm loving it! Classes are small, professors are very approachable, and my classmates have been super friendly. I just moved back to North Carolina from Texas after a year working as a family case manager at a shelter for immigrants through AmeriCorps. Being back in NC is great (I'm sipping Cheerwine as I type!), but being in Austin opened my eyes to the struggles of immigrant families. I learned how necessary community organizing and education are in order to ensure positive experiences for both U.S. born individuals and our new community members and am excited to be placed at the Centro para Familias Hispanas in Raleigh for my field experience. Please let me know if you have any questions. I'm more than happy to help out!
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