September 11, 2008

Social Workers and Community Organizers

Seven years ago when the United States was attacked, it was a strange time on the Berkeley campus. As a country, we were not used to being attacked and not many students or faculty knew how to react. By the time classes started here on the west coast, the towers had already fallen and students were going to class stunned and out of sorts and it was a difficult time. A few days later, I got this email from a Social Welfare student. Itís one of the best emails Iíve ever received and I think it describes the Social Welfare major so well:

"Sherman, I just want to write to tell you how wonderful it is to be a Social Welfare major. On September 11th, I had two classes prior to Professor Grossman's SW 102 lecture. At the first class, no one even spoke about what was happening on the east coast. It was a business class and everyone just acted normal and sane, as if the world wasn't ending. I was frustrated and confused and when I went to my second class that morning, I tried to engage the professor and students in at least acknowledging what was happening. But the professor just said "Yes, it's a sad day for all of us" and then went into the lecture he planned for the day and the other students followed his lead and started taking notes. I couldn't understand how easily they were taking the news when I was very distressed. Then I went Cory Hall for Prof. Grossman's class and I learned why I love being a Social Welfare major. Of all my classes that day, Prof Grossman was the only one to toss away the planned lecture and let us open up and talk. He was the only one to let us acknowledge the pain and confusion we were feeling. Instead of being in a class full of people who did not seem to care what was going on, I was surrounded by other Social Welfare majors who were also upset and hurt and confused. I am so grateful to be in a major that cares so much that it hurts. I am so happy that Social Welfare majors are not afraid to admit that they care and hurt. I love being in a major that knew that day wasn't normal or sane and refused to act like it was. Thank you Sherman for helping me declare this wonderful major. God bless us all and keep us safe."

Posted by sherman at September 11, 2008 01:39 PM