My experience at MiddleWay House was a watershed experience that was pivotal for my professional development. I share this information with you so that you have the opportunity to get to know your statement editor a little better, his background, where he is coming from.

The Director of MiddleWay House, when I worked there 1986-1987, was Eva McQueen. Several years later, we would loose her to cancer. I offer what follows as a tribute to my friend Eva.

The year was 1986, Springtime in Bloomington, Indiana's college town, USA. A Master's student in Religious Studies, I needed a work study job; so I went to the bulletin board where those jobs were posted and applied for the one that I thought sounded most interesting, staff person at Bloomington's Middle Way House shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. I was later told by the director that her principal motivation for hiring me was to have a male role model for the children.

I was not the first man to work at Middle Way House Shelter in Bloomington, Indiana in the 1980s, only the first paid staff position for a man. I would usually go in shortly before 5 pm and leave around 9 (earning about $7.00 for my shift). When I left MiddleWay in March of 1987, 'Maria'--pictured above with her identity hidden--was also leaving as we had found her an apartment. As one can see in the picture, Maria was obese, something that greatly aggravated her other problems, which included foot disease, subsequently walking on crutches. In addition to having a borderline normal IQ, she was also diabetic, taking a long list of medications, and pregnant with twins. The reason she came to us, however, was that her mother and her [Maria's] live-in boyfriend were torturing her with cigarette burns. The mother and the boyfriend were eating acid (LSD) together on an almost daily basis at the time that she sought refuge with us.

Before I left the shelter, I went to see Maria in her new little studio apartment. I had gotten her a radio to listen to somewhere. She was glad to see me, but not well at all. She had purchased a six pack of beer and was about half way through, listening to Country music, weeping softly. I hugged her and said goodbye.

I tell you, the applicant to a Social Work Program, this story from 1987 because I think it will help you to understand why it is that I prefer to work on behalf of social workers rather than applicants in other fields. I enjoy the heart stuff in social work statements, the triumph over misery, the battle against all odds. For me social work is romantic, perhaps the most ultimately 'humane' course of study of all fields of inquiry.

Now 55 years old, I have been drafting professional, model statements on behalf of applicants to graduate school for almost 20 years. Most recently, I have given special attention to Social Work because I most enjoy working in this area. It is the stories that I find most interesting, the life sagas of those who seek professional fulfillment as social workers on the front lines of many of the most important issues of our day, the human issues, the touchy-feely stuff that I most love. Drafting Statements for applicants to Social Work programs helps to greatly enrich my own spiritual life and to make important social and moral contributions as a result of your success.

Social Work Admission Application Help

My name is Dr. Robert Edinger.  I help applicants to social work programs from all over the world.  I only do my best, taking the time to reflect on your story and generally doing some research on your behalf.

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MiddleWay House Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Bloomington, Indiana, 1986-87

A Tribute to my sperviser, Eva McQueen (on left, with client 'Maria'), at MiddleWay House  Domestic Violence & Rape Crisis Shelter, Bloomington, Indiana, 1987. 

I was 27 years old when I worked at MiddleWay House, the half way point from my perspective now at 57 years old. I look back and reflect from the vantage point of someone rapidly becoming an old man, as well as a professional writer/editor of statements for admission to graduate programs in social work. The first of many men who would later work with MiddleWay House, I turned 28 counseling, sharing, hoping along with a dozen or so women who had sought refuge with us, along with their children, fleeing violent domestic situations. I dispensed medications, fixed things that were broken around the house, played with the children, and even answered the Rape Crises Hotline when there were no female staff around to do so. MiddleWay is now a huge organization with a lot of resources. In 1986/87 when I was there, it was a handful of people in an old run-down house on North Rogers St. For me, it was a foundational experience of critical importance for my own professional and intellectual trajectory.  I left MiddleWay in March of 1987, taking off for Latin America and going on to write my doctoral dissertation for the University of Southern California on the history of structures of violence against women in Central America from pre-Colombian times through the present.

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After leaving Middle Way House in March of 1987, I went to Mexico, learned Spanish, and translated a group of Socialist Catholic Bishops into English to finish my Master's Degree in Religious Studies from IU Bloomington. The Bishops were protesting poverty and greed and warning about violence if popular demands for social justice continued to be ignored. Already leaning as far left as I could get, this message found fertile ground and the Bishops concerns would prove continually prophetic throughout another 6 years of civil war just across the border in Central America. A struggle which I soon joined. Below, seeing me in a rebel encampment in El Salvador, one can better appreciate the extent to which I took injustice to heart. I learned in graduate school that injustice must be resisted at all costs, and I took the memory of the Middle Way House victims, particularly Maria, with me to El Salvador.