Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to questions I’ve imagined you might have, dear reader. If you have a question that is not answered below, please write a comment with your question or email me. I am an open book, so I encourage any and all questions. If I feel your question is appropriate for this page (i.e. something other readers might like to know that is not too personal), I will update the page to include it here.

Where did the name for the blog come from?
Originally, the blog was only meant to document my journey as an adult student (though I decided soon after starting it to include details on my personal life as well), so “A for Effort” seemed appropriate; it’s a phrase that I use a lot, and it can apply to grades one would receive for classes and homework assignments in school.

I noticed that there was another blog simply called “A for Effort,” so I decided to throw in the “B for Blog” to distinguish myself. For a very short period of time, it was B for B---- (which was meant to imply Bitch). Then I decided that the title is the first impression people get of the blog, and I didn’t want people being turned off by a blog that was written by a self-proclaimed bitch, so I changed it.

What’s up with the post titles?
In November of 2009, I was stuck on coming up with a title for a post I’d written. I took inspiration from the blog title and named the post “A for AWESOME.” I liked the challenge offered by having to figure out titles for posts based on letters of the alphabet, so I decided to continue the trend going forward. If I’m being honest, I thought it was pretty clever.

I’ve gotten comments that it is unique, which has really encouraged me to stick with it. Maybe someday I’ll have posts for all 26 letters of the alphabet, though that’s not an actual goal that I currently work towards. (I have considered what kinds of posts I could write for the harder letters like ‘Q’ and ‘Z’ though.)

How often do you post?
I don't have a set schedule. I post when I have something to say. My class schedule will affect my posting frequency. I take two to three classes a semester, and the workload for some classes is larger than others. School has to come first, so there might be times where posts seem to be sporadic. Hopefully you'll stick with me through those times.

You sometimes talk about completing competencies for school. What are competencies?
Competencies are a way for adult students at Community College to earn college credits for previous work and life experience. They are cheaper than traditional classes, saving the student money and time. In order to complete a competency, a student completes a mini resume to illustrate their competence in a chosen subject matter. Then, the student must complete a large project or paper on the subject matter. Finally, the student usually completes the competency by participating in a large group discussion, which is led by an evaluator who collects the student's work. Competencies are graded on a pass/fail basis, but a grade level equivalent appears on the final evaluation form that is sent to the student once the evaluator has scored their paper or project.
How/why did you decide on social work?
I want to do work that matters, and for me, that means making a difference in people’s lives. I find helping people to be fulfilling, and there are plenty of ways in which social workers can help people. I’ve often been told that I’m a great listener, that I give good advice, and that I should be a therapist; all of which fit the social work mold. On a personal level, I look forward to working to help domestic violence victims and children.

My ultimate goal is to become a victim’s advocate in the criminal court system, which involves helping victims prepare for testifying in (or attending) criminal trials and guiding them through the court and trial processes.

What advice do you have for an adult who’s contemplating returning to school?
Do it! You will not regret it. As long as you’ve thought through your decision, and you have a concrete goal and/or degree in mind, you will be successful! YOU CAN DO IT!

Research your options. Do you know when it would be easiest for you to take classes? Does the school you’re planning to attend have the night, weekend, online classes you need? Is there a way for you to earn college credit based on your life experience and current skill set? I chose Community College because it had night, weekend, and online classes, but also because it had a “Competency Based Education” (CBE) program. The CBE program allows adults to earn college credit by completing competencies (usually large projects and/or papers) instead of taking conventional classes, which saves time and money.

It’s very important to be realistic. First, with your expectations; it is going to be hard at times, and it’s going to be a huge adjustment. It will take work. Second, with your abilities; do not overload yourself. Be conservative in judging how much homework you can handle each semester, and then decide on how many classes to register for based on the expected workload. Far too many people overwhelm themselves right out of the gate by taking on too much, which can end up being incredibly discouraging, single-handedly derailing your efforts.

I cannot reinforce the importance of a support system enough. You need sounding boards, cheerleaders, and supporters; they will keep you motivated and energized when you feel as though you’ve made a horribly bad decision and can go no further.

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Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for taking the time to comment! Readers like you make me want to continue writing. I will do my best to reply to your comment by either commenting on your blog or by sending you an email. In order for me to send you an email, which I really really like to do, because it's a more personal response, you need to put your email address somewhere on your blog or in your blogger profile. Also, can you please make sure to leave me a link so that I can come and visit your lovely blog? Thanks a bunch!

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