I step on to the floor. It is my first day as a Youth Care Worker. It reminds me of my first day at high school in that new town.
I am excited, stimulated, overwhelmed, scared. As soon as I step on the floor, I have to make a decision — which way do I go? Out to the living room to talk to the few kids there? Down to the games room to see what is going on? Into the kitchen to find out what’s for dinner? I don’t know it then but my shift is going to be filled with decisions like this — and others more complex, serious, demanding.
I decide to go to the living room. Three kids are there. Who do I say hello to first? Do I approach or wait for them to acknowledge me? Stand in the doorway or take the empty seat? Say hello or say nothing? More decisions. I can’t find any room in my head to think about answers. It is too filled with questions.
Someone told me this was like learning to ride a bike. Crazy, confusing, complicated at first. I think it is more like learning to ride a bike while balanced on a huge rolling ball floating on deep water.
I step on to the floor. It is my first workshop. I am excited, nervous, stimulated. It reminds me of my first day as a Youth Care Worker. How do I start? Do I start personal or launch into the didactic? Will I do okay? Will they like me? How far is it back to where I came from? This is a new bicycle but it’s still a bicycle.
I step into the large room to meet the staff. It’s my first day as the new Director. How should I start? Will I do okay? Will they accept me? Can I offer what they need? It reminds me of so many previous experiences. I ride along.
It is the day of my first column on CYC-Net. Where shall I start?
I step on to the floor. It is the first day of my second year as a Youth Care Worker. It reminds me of my first day at high school in that new town. Still. But different now.
I am excited, stimulated, anxious, but not overwhelmed. As soon as I step on the floor, I have to make a decision — which way do I go? Out to the living room to talk to the few kids there? Down to the games room to see what is going on? Into the kitchen to find out what’s for dinner? I know that my shift is going to be filled with decisions like this — and others more complex, serious, demanding.
I notice that the fear is gone. That I know more about what is to come. I know what’s for dinner. I asked at shift exchange. I sort the questions that run through my mind. I do the tour.
Things stay the same. Things change. We notice both. We are Child and Youth Care Workers. It’s what we do.
It's a minefield
Did you ever go into someone's house — a house where they had stayed for a very long time — and all over the place there are piles of things which have accumulated over the years? It happens with newspapers and magazines and papers. They get sorted into a pile. Then another pile is made. Then the second pile gets piled on top of the first pile to make room for the third pile ... and so on. One day the owner will want to refer to the November 23, 1947 issue of Time Magazine, and something nasty is going to happen.
Our web site is getting like that. If we get through our present financial crunch and are able to continue CYC-NET, one of our first tasks would be to unpile the piles and clear the navigation routes so that people can find their way around again. Let's see.
But in the mean time ... we are very conscious that every month in CYC-ONLINE we are fortunate to have a group of regular contributors who offer a most contemporary viewpoint on issues related to our field. And we are afraid that this writing will get buried in the piles! So we have started a new pile where we have archived all of the writing of our “regulars” and we invite you to visit ... HERE