Today i learnt that people were not hard by nature
they were taught that being hard was the only choice they had to survive
“man up or be beat by others in life”
“everything’s a competition”
“lose out once and you’d lose out in life”
something that played in every single thing they did
something that resonated with me in every single thing i did
“don’t try to be an overachiever” they told me
“you were never cut out for this” glaringly
but when my heart hardens
I hate the person I see
I learnt from that day on not to listen to what they have to say about me
because they fail to realize
that with good faith and hell lot of hard work
everything is possible when you believe
and nothing really matters
if they are not me
Better late than never but….received word that I passed my final exams in December 2016 while I was holidaying in Bali and I was over the moon. Time flies! With UNISIM being renamed to Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and some people have been asking me more questions about my time in UNISIM/SUSS, i decided to finally answer these questions before I will finally close my chapter of studying for almost 3 years in this school. (Yay!!!)
My schedule/Mods in UNSIM/SUSS
I’ve attached them below as a table but it came out a little….. messy. My comments are in the last row. Here goes!
||Essential Academic Writing Skills
||Attend the classes if you have no idea how to reference APA format essays.
||Managing Your Personal Finances
||I heard this was this easiest “math” Ucore/elective, which is why I chose it.
||The Law and You
||Accumulative class test where scores are graded, this module left me very stressed because I was always rushing to finish my paper. Only take it if you are able to score well in examination based questions.
||Read the book of Dorian Grey, loved it. Hated the other prose book, was too deep to analyze for my liking. No examination but required lots of reading.
||Introduction to Psychology 1
||Common theories that were tested:
Piaget’s children theories
Sigmund Freud’s theories
Pavlov’s theory- Classical conditioning
How all these theories can apply to the individual at a certain life stage. Use them to apply to specific life stages in a correct manner.
||Introduction to Psychology 2
||Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Birth to Adolescence)
||Human Growth and Life-Span Development (Adulthood to Old Age)
||I enjoyed this module so much because I have always liked sociology and the way the world works. It paid that I had a very good lecturer as well who was very passionate in what he taught. Fun to do the TMA’s and try out experiments on your own. The questions they usually ask also talk about how to have a ‘fair’ social test for all.
||The slides I got from class were not as informative as when I attended the lesson. So attend the classroom sessions and make notes. At the end of the semester try out their exam questions, as their testing material was not as straightforward, it was hard to spot questions.
||Introduction to Social Work and Social Services in Singapore
||Read the textbook, no matter how boring it can get. Nothing can substitute this as this module expects you to know what resources/initiatives/existing services that have been done out there in Singapore.
||Legal and Ethical Issues in Helping Professions
||Remember the 7 ethical principle screen and the tiers. Remember how to elaborate on these tiers and apply them to specific situations.
||Biological Influences on Human Behaviour
||Memorize the PNS, CNS.
During my time, this was an open book examination. Prepare beforehand your notes, print out all the answers and questions from past year papers to see the trend. The question sometimes sets out to trick you to prevent people from “copying” blindly from their answers. Eg: You wrote in your notes to answer “how does a receptor work when Susan touches the hot plate?” but the question asks, “Does the PNS or CNS become affected when Susan touches the hot plate?” Hence always read the question carefully before answering.
||Social Work Practice and Skills Lab I: Working with Individuals and Families
||Study the study guide for the main topics, then go into the textbook for specificity.
||Social Work Practice and Skills Lab II: Working with Small Groups
||Study the study guide for the main topics, then go into the textbook for specificity. For this module, also remember the different skills to manage small group discussions, eg round robin ,controlling a person who likes to “reign” over attention and topics etc.
Semester 2.2: •
||Research Methods in Behavioural Science
||This was fun! You get to design your own research from scratch. Take note how to always make it a “fair” test. Ensure confidentiality, how you calculate the results, PDPA, previous methodologies from similar studies help to substantiate your point too.
||Social Work Practice and Skills Lab III: Working with Organisations and Communities
||I had to write a report on an organization, its organizational skill and people etc. It was quite labour intensive but would be good to write about your own organization if you are in one, if not talk 3to someone or conduct a visit on your own, if the school d4oesn’t arrange for a visit for you guys.
||Children and their Issues
||Victoria Climbe’s case of child abuse
(I’m not going to lie, I did badly in this module and it was one of my greatest disappointments, I spent 6 hours on this essay and I don’t know why I got a 50+ or less) so I have no idea up to date what I did wrong.
||Understand what it means (ADL)
Know how the CPF system works, especially for retirement (including eldercare)
Know some theories of ageing, disengagement theory etc.
Apply to real life examples
||Social Work Practicum and Field Seminar 1
||Attend your compulsory classroom lessons, because you need to produce an MC if you are not around
Listen to your classmates, because their presentation will help you understand the community resources that each organization has
Hone your social work skills through practicum with your supervisor
||Families and their Issues
Where and how to get help
How to apply to a real life setting
||Social Work in Healthcare
||Know how the CPF system works on a whole, specifically medifund and medishield
Understand how other countries are handing healthcare
Remember that healthcare is the basic need of an individual/self
Apply to real life setting
To all those who are taking your social work degree now, all the best in your examinations! Being on the field so much helps you realize how many people fall in between the gaps. It might seem very tough now, but once you’re done with that final paper of your last semester and look back, you’d realize how far you’ve come- despite being a great scheduler and time manager of your own life, lol.
Looking forward to seeing all you future social workers on the ground!
“If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.”
It was quite some time ago that I wanted to share what my external supervisor had told me over the course of my ten week practicum with her that not only resonated so well with me but left me truly inspired by her. During our weekly two hour sessions, we toiled through concepts, process recordings and practical skills. Very rarely did we touch on personal thoughts, opinions and life- keeping it strictly professional.
There was this one moment where we made some small talk after the lesson had ended. She had gone to the washroom and I had to show her the way out of my office. I asked about her four year old who was now in kindergarten. She smiled and shared that her daughter was struggling with her upcoming birthday party’s choice. In local kindergartens in Singapore, some of them have a service whereby you can pay the childcare to celebrate your child’s birthday for you. “It’s usually a sum of $400, where the school will get their school canteen to cook for the children in the class something special, a birthday cake and some goodie bags for your child and his or her classmates.” She explained.
I went on to listen to her story. She shared that from the previous birthdays they had, her child’s classmate’s goodie bags included a watch that when a button was pressed-would flash cartoon characters like Spongebob or Dora pictures on a wall. It was not appealing to her as a parent at all. “$400 is a lot of money.” she chimed as I nodded in agreement. “I can’t imagine what a four year old would do with such a watch!” She laughed.
She picked her daughter up from school one day and decided to touch on this topic with her. “Mummy can use this $400 to help some poor children in Singapore.” She said. “You don’t need any new watches, right? The children you will help struggle with books and uniforms for school.” Her child was obviously adamant and disappointed, as it was indeed her birthday money. But because she had already promised her child, she told her daughter she would give her time to think about it but remained firm that the choice would still be hers- whether she chose to have a party or not.
“Wow.” I said in awe. It must have been difficult as a parent to do something like that. “Did she understand where you were coming from?” I asked. My supervisor explained that she had used simpler terms to her and told her that if she wanted to donate this money to the poor, her organization had a carnival where they will allow her to sponsor the cotton candy & popcorn machines. She will be allowed to serve the candy & popcorn to the children beneficiaries she meets on that day, should she want to donate that sum and give up her birthday party.
A week later- they were crossing the road together hand in hand, just like any other day- when her daughter turned to her and said, “You know what mummy? I’ve decided. I’m going to give my birthday money to the other children!”
I was truly inspired by such an act of parenting. It is extremely rare these days that we hope to instill such thoughts or actions at a child’s expense. It was even more heartening to think that with such a heart of a 4 year old, that such love would be this inspiring.