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Crying, Learning, and Laughing by Tamika M. Murray - Book Tour

By 5:00 AM , , , ,


Tamika M. Murray

Nonfiction Social Work

The struggle is real, but the help is sincere for adolescent students In Crying, Learning, and Laughing: Why Students Visit the Teen Center.
The author recounts the stressful, but the often fun position as a case
manager in a Teen Center. Students’ daily interactions in a
School-Based Youth Services Program add color to the murky topics of
teen dating violence, child abuse, and mental health issues. The
unexpected crises don’t hinder the adolescents’ high energy, but it
brings insight for the curious reader. Interesting and helpful, Crying, Learning, and Laughing explore the often chaotic life of teens and how social workers in schools shine a light during dark times.


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Waking up at 6:00 AM never came easy for me. I loathed the process as a student and

resented it as an employee. But if you agree to abide by a company’s rules, then sucking it up becomes the norm. Living with an underactive thyroid didn’t help my body’s craving for sleeping in late.

I’d roll out of bed and move with the pace of a sleep-deprived zombie. Performing the morning ritual of selecting an outfit required too much effort, so I did it the night before.

After the usual bathroom activities, my three kitties needed their breakfast. I also made sure the trapped, spayed, and neutered feral kitties got some sustenance too.

On a good day, my skinny butt was out the door by 7:00.

But if my slow energy couldn’t push me forward, 7:15 sparked a rushed commute.

The comedic stylings of the Tom Joyner Morning Show gave me life through Shaun King news, R&B music, and Chris Paul and Huggy Lowdown humor.

Many days I arrived with just enough time to turn on the computers, unlock the cabinets, sign into the necessary portals, and review my schedule before that first knock on the door at 7:54-ish.

On a quiet day, the mental health clinician, part-time case manager, intern, and I could speak with the students while listening to music or playing Uno. If the Universe was

cranky, endless tears and loud talking teens in need of a private chat greeted us.

Life at the Teen Center followed the school’s periods, but no two days ran the same. If your school, city, or state doesn’t offer an in-school program of this kind, then your

kids are missing out.

Tamika M. Murray, better known as Mika, was born in the urban,
seaside town of Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mika is a certified social
worker, owner of Celestial Publishing LLC, freelance writer and soon to
be author. She graduated from Stockton University with a Bachelor of
Arts in Literature and a Bachelor of Science in Social Work. Since then,
her writing has appeared in over 50 online publications through
ghostwriting. Mika’s helped over 200 children and adolescents during her
career as an Adjunct English Instructor and Case Manager.

She plans to raise awareness about School-Based Youth Services
Programs (Teen Centers) and why they are a necessity in all schools
through the release of her book Crying, Learning, and Laughing: Why
Students Visit the Teen Center, releasing on September 1, 2020.

She currently resides in Southern, New Jersey, with her boyfriend and three rambunctious kitties.


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