My phone has an incredible navigation app that speaks road directions to me while I drive. It lets me speak my destination to it as well so I don’t have to type while I drive. It comes in a lot more handy than I expected. I’d used a map application on my old phone that gave pretty good directions, but it was up to me to pay attention to road signs and distances. I never look at my odometer to gauge whether I’ve gone a quarter mile or what have you, so I missed the odd turn here and there. I don’t know if any of you have this problem but in NC, many roads are missing visible signage, especially in deeply rural places. The new talking navigation app makes missing signs much less of a problem.

Needless to say, out here in the country side, I use that nav app pretty well all the time. The environs are a lot more rural than I’ve known for any great length. Right now I’m enjoying the scenery and the wide open spaces. I’m not enjoying how far I have to drive to see my new clients, though. My fuel bill has been suicidal. Each of my clients is at least a half hour drive from wherever I am. But that’s really the only drawback. It’s a significant one, though, considering the price of fuel against the meager stipend my employers pay us. I’ll need them to raise the stipend. Chances are we don’t have the budget, but I’ll ask anyway.

Gotta say, gas prices aside, I really love this line of work. I’ve asked some of the psychologists at my office what degree track is necessary to continue in this field and advance in the ranks. I’m interested in studying teenaged psychology, prescribing courses of treatment and diagnosing mental conditions. I’d also like to clear up whether a kid truly needs a diagnosis (and therefore a pill) or just better nutrition and a safe place to grow up. To that end I’ve paid close attention to my own health and nutrition, and focusing not just on the kids in my caseload but their parents and home circumstances. Economic circumstances dictate the quality of food a kid gets, and a junky diet contributes to a junky psychology. And like begets like. There’s more to it than that, but enough that I want to investigate the benefits of a raw foods diet. I see the parents of my clients giving them potato chips and syrupy candies from the ice cream truck. I can’t judge. They have to feed their kids what they can afford. Even if these parents were educated about the benefits of a better diet, they’d never be able to afford it without a massive lifestyle overhaul, nor would they likely stick to it after knowing and loving junk foods for such a long time.

Basically, what I do now is help parents and kids compensate for wrongs they didn’t choose, but which strongly influence the course of their lives. It’s tough ‘cause I’m well spoken and have an education. I drive a car that at least looks nice. I’m from a different world than most of my clients. Many of them listen to me ‘cause they’re so used to social worker types meddling in their lives (they’ve had ‘em since they can remember). I’ve never felt unsafe in any neighborhood. Maybe a tad freaked out approaching a client’s house, but never have I felt danger. If anything I feel like I’m in the way, as though it shouldn’t take an educated stranger from a different upbringing to fix someone else’s very personal problems. But I love it anyway. We’ll see where it goes.

As for the Stupid Creatures™, my 2 year sabbatical may actually take the 2 years I originally committed to camp. The new book I’m writing is due in October and though a lot has been accomplished, I feel as though I’ve barely begun. I won’t be getting much into art for art’s sake till that book is done and in the can. I do look forward to making my creatures again, but I’ve changed a lot since camp. I just don’t know what kind of work I want to make now. At least with the recession in full swing, I don’t have to worry about making my stuff affordable anymore since nobody’s buying art anyway. I’d like to get really dynamic and intricate with my new creatures, and price ‘em to attract the drippingly wealthy. They’re rolling around naked in tax cuts anyway so I may as well get some of their money. Ha!! Wouldn’t it be fitting if I drew my income from both ends of the tax-break spectrum?! Social work and art for the rich. How neat.


At any rate, It’s time to grab some lunch before seeing a client.

More soon!!