Holiday cards were sent out a couple weeks ago. Due to limited cards, I really scaled the card list down and sent to close friends and family (especially those who may not be on Facebook such as most of Rob’s family). I did though want to post our holiday newsletter here on my blog, for those of you who did not receive a card can see a recap of what we did in 2012. Rob asked me if I would like to write the letter this year, and I accepted as it was a distraction for writing a term paper that I had been working on. We will spend Christmas here in Cleveland and then spend New Year’s with my sister and her family in Fort Campbell, KY. I am very much looking forward to getting away for at least one of the holidays!
Schumaker Holiday Letter 2012
Happy holidays to all of our friends and family! 2012 was a busy year for Rob and I, and by the looks of it, 2013 will be even busier!
Early in the year, Rob was still looking for a tenure-track position as his two-year Visiting position at Cleveland State was coming to a close. This year he had interviews in Connecticut, Tennessee, New York and Indiana. Spring Break brought good news and an offer from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). He is very happy with the position and has a large corner office just steps away from a restroom and classrooms. However, since I had another year to go on my degree at Cleveland State, we decided that I would stay in Cleveland for a year and move after graduation. Rob and I try to see each other every two or three weeks, as we alternate who drives out.
Spring and summer were filled with little trips to Connecticut, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan and a two week trip out west to Oregon and Arizona. For Spring Break, I spent some time at Fort Campbell Kentucky with my sister and her family. We spent one evening at the Grand Old Opry and found a quaint Amish general store not too far from my sister’s house. In May, Rob and I spent time with my Oregon friends and family to celebrate our five year wedding anniversary before visiting Rob’s sister in Arizona. By the end of two weeks away from home, we were both ready to stay home for a while. During the summer we managed to squeeze in three baseball games at Detroit, Cincinnati and St. Louis. The St. Louis game was insane because we drove 9 hours out, went to the game and then turned around and drive 9 hours back. That was an exhausting day but we got to check another ballpark off our list. In late fall, Rob and I traveled to Chicago for the IIMA Conference. While there we drove to Wisconsin so that I could cross off the last state in the lower 48 off my list (Rob is still missing Idaho and Wyoming). While Rob was in his conference, I went site-seeing and went to the Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower), Navy Pier and the Jane Addam’s Hull House whom was very influential in the field of Social Work. Without her our Social Policy & Welfare System would look very different. I even had the chance to sample real Chicago style deep dish pizza.
To complete my degree on time I have had an aggressive schedule of 19-20 credits for both Fall and Spring Semesters. Even with such a heavy load, I made the Dean’s List both semesters. Rob had another successful year of teaching at Cleveland State and received way above average teaching scores. Even though he is quite demanding of his students, they enjoy his teaching style and recommend his classes to their friends.
This fall I started my senior year of my undergrad degree. I am taking another 19-20 credits this term. Classes such as a basic stats class, the second installment of my Social Work Research class (basically another stats class geared for social workers), the first installment of an Interventions class which instructs how to start and complete an assessment of a client. I am also taking a required seminar class which meets once a week. The seminar class is to help integrate the classroom learning into practice while learning in our internship.
In addition to the four traditional classroom classes, I am required to complete a total of 480 hours over two semesters for my internship (roughly sixteen hours per week each semester). This year, I am an intern at Adoption Network Cleveland (ANC). When I first heard about ANC, I thought it was an actual adoption agency. I wanted to intern at an agency or an organization that was involved with the adoption world. I needed to test my personal emotions to see if I could handle being in the environment on a daily basis. Adoption Network Cleveland is not an actual adoption placement agency but rather an organization that works with all sides of the adoption triad in the domestic, public and international systems. ANC is best described as the sand between the bricks in a patio. They offer services, classes, meetings and other needs that adoption agencies in the area are unable to offer due to time, money or space. I co-facilitate a birthmother’s group that meets face to face every other month with my supervisor. Most of the birthmothers in the group are from the era where they were sent away to maternity homes for unwed mothers and were strongly encouraged to place their children into an adoption. In my first semester at ANC I have learned quite a bit and am excited to see what will happen next semester. ANC has opened my eyes and I know that it is the field that I want to work in after I finish school.
Outside of school I keep busy with three social clubs I run on Meetup.com. My “No Hats Required” tea group averages close to 35 tea events a year. My “Cleveland Book & Movie Club” averages about two meetings per month each with one book and movie event. I am also the leader of the “Cleveland Ladies Group” which is also faring well.
Rob and I are both looking forward to next year, as it is already shaping up to be another busy year. In March we are taking a seven-day Western Caribbean Cruise and will visit Cozumel Mexico, Belize City Belize, Mahogany Bay Honduras and Grand Cayman Island. We both cannot wait. In April I will help with an International Adoption Conference that is being hosted here in Cleveland for four days. I was told that I may have the opportunity to speak on a panel with one of the workshops. In May I will graduate from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. My family is planning on coming out to the graduation and I cannot wait as May is very pretty in Cleveland. In June we will start our packing and move to Connecticut. I never thought I would be sad to leave Ohio but I have made several very good girlfriends and I will miss them dearly. Lastly, I hope to start the Graduate program for Social Work at Southern Connecticut State University in August.
Rob and I do hope that each and every one of you has a very happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
Amy & Rob Schumaker