StephenCast Friday: Can we really ever “leave it at the door”?

I should probably skip today’s StephenCast, but I figure this is about self-care in a helping profession, so I’ll try to walk that talk today. Listen here.

StephenCast 2.0 (2)

Articles, posts, stuff:

Constance Grady writes about how the definition of sexual assault has changed: The rape culture of the eighties, as explained by Sixteen Candles:

My friend and colleague The Roving Social Worker (check out her podcast BTW) reminds us that it’s Friday.



The Disappearing Calendar: #StephenCast Friday for 9/21/18.

StephenCast 2.0 (2)For this Friday, I’m expanding on the calendaring discussion from last week, and zoning in one of the biggest problems with modern calendars. As someone who went from a static paper calendar to my Palm Tungsten in the early 2000s, to my smartphone with an integrated work calendar, I welcome how I can share my schedule. The downside, though, isn’t just a minor inconvenience. It’s a problem. However, rather than ranting about what doesn’t work about this, I just need to address what’s troubling me about this and address it.

Listen to the podcast here:

Technology nostalgia: I mentioned the Tungsten E planning device. I really, really liked it! I didn’t have a wifi-enabled version, but I did sync the device regularly to my work computer. I recall having to beg permission to get the application that allowed me to manually sync my Palm device to my computer via a proprietary cable.

I also look back fondly to my Blackberry Bold, which I carried in 2010. (I posted a response to a question posted on Twitter by Dr. Echo Rivera:


This week’s StephenCast: Respect your colleagues, say “no” to them.

StephenCast 2.0 (2)

This week on the StephenCast, I mumble my way through a quick reflection on how saying “no” isn’t just a self-care thing. Seriously, I am tired from presenting all morning.

Check it out here.




It’s Friday StephenCast time: “Put it on the schedule.”

StephenCast 2.0 (2)My short podcast experiment continues. This week, I challenge myself  (and any audience members I may have ) to put your self-care plans on your schedule.

Listen here:

The StephenCast is a way for me to share thoughts on the work of clinical faculty in a social work profession. My premise is simple: SWrs are bulit to give a lot of themselves, in a helping profession based on others. How do we take care of ourselves?

This week’s Moment of Tweet

This week’s podcast shout-outs

If you are a social worker and haven’t encountered Jonathan Singer’s podcast, it’s time to check it out.

My friend and #SWVirtualPal J started a new podcast devoted to the traveling social worker.

How do you get skilled at making a podcast? Make a second one.

I’ve been working with the #MacroSW Collaboration on a new podcast, focusing on macro social work. It’s been a goal of mine to launch this project, and I’m excited to see it finally taking shape.

There’s one detail I discovered throughout this process: almost 10 years ago, I dabbled with podcasting. I was learning about HTML coding through a personal blog. My 30 gig Apple iPod went everywhere with me, and content through iTunes included free (!) material. I was downloading whatever looked interesting: news programs, entertainment programs. A lot of stuff was paired down episodes from traditional terrestrial broadcasts, though the most interesting stuff was original material developed specifically for the platform. I was very much into the show “Lost”, and the producers of that show posted a podcast about their work routinely. I was all in on “Lost” so I couldn’t get enough of any details about upcoming episodes.

Once I learned you could create and post your own stuff, I figured I’d see how it all worked. I found the Podbean desktop web-based app, bought a cheap microphone from Radio Shack, and cut a couple of episodes. I was most proud that I’d locked in the name “StephenCast”. After a couple of posts, I got bored, I guess. I didn’t see the need to ramble on about random life experiences. I assumed Podbean would close at some point and that Apple would delete whatever I submitted.

I was wrong. As I loaded the new MacroSW podcast into the Apple Podcast Connect dashboard, I discovered my first foray into podcasting still very much existed. Of course, nobody was listening, but in fairness to the public, this was truly a podcast about nothing, and I’d abandoned it.

Except now I’ve decided to use all that old infrastructure to resurrect the feed. Podbean is still here, with a handy mobile app. I updated the attached image and recorded the first StephenCast in a decade.

Why bother? For me, this is probably the easiest way to see how I can improve the official podcast I’m working on over at I hope to learn how to make something sound good using existing, everyday technology. I could see adapting a project like this into a class, for example.

For now, enjoy…or completely skip…this side project.

(WordPress has a handy plug-in, but it requires an upgrade. Maybe someday.)

The one change I will definitely make this year (2018 edition).

I know we are deep into January. Resolutions should have been made and broken by now! I try to avoid the resolution trap. We can make small changes at any time. Here’s one.

Technology is a part of my life. I’ve adapted my smartphone so that I can access
my work, read the news, listen to music, and track my exercise. By working on healthy digital literacy skills, I hope to continue harnessing this tool to enhance my life. The same goes for social media. I read a lot of blog posts about the scourge of Twitter or the life-suck of Facebook. I have concerns about the use of these media platforms, but digital literacy is required to make sure these products don’t overtake my life. Perhaps it’s optimistic, but platforms like these require harnessing. The responsibility of digital literacy rests with me, the user.

That said, I experienced a vacation from these technologies. Literally. I traveled out of the country and left the phone in the suitcase. This was instructive. I used my phone as a camera.

What did I enjoy not having? Notifications. I don’t need them. I turned them off. Just like 2006, I can at least decide when I access information via these platforms.

I did miss chatting with friends via Twitter. I think the ability to text friends has a lot of relevance in an adult’s life. I felt a little cut-off from work, where I do derive satisfaction and identity. I missed accessing music streaming.

So, that’s the little thing I’m changing: I will create a boundary between myself and my digital, automated life.


This week at #MacroSW: Self-Care for Sustaining Social Work Practice

This week’s #MacroSW chat will focus on self-care for sustaining social work practice. Read the blog post here. Please join us at 9ET/8CT this Thursday on Twitter to engage in this chat!

Information about the weekly MacroSW chats can be found here.