OS/OT Student Blog
Thanksgiving is OVER…. Back to the Grind! →
Dec 2, 2013, by Kate
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Wow! Thanksgiving break was fabulous! It was very much needed! As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I headed to Colorado for a ski weekend with my parents. It was glorious!! The mountain recently opened for the season, so only a few runs were open on the front side of the mountain. The snow was a little crusty and icy, but it was great to get out and be active in nature. The beauty of Mother Nature and the crisp air rejuvenated me. Getting some physical exercise in, even at 10,000 feet, was great. And skiing with my dad is one occupation that we have enjoyed together since I was 2 years-old (27 years of being ski buddies!). We also enjoyed cooking together and had a great Thanksgiving dinner, complete with pumpkin pie made from a REAL pumpkin! All in all, a great vacation, filled with fun, food and a little bit of studying.
That’s right, I wrote “studying.” It’s easy to forget that you have things due this week when you’re having fun. But alas, it’s the nature of the grad-school beast. First up, a test today in our Health and Wellness course! I really enjoy this class, so I am not too worried because I am interested in the material. This Friday is our last day of classes. We have our poster presentations in our class on Occupation-Centered Programs for the Community. We have been working all semester on identifying a population in need of program development, performing a needs assessment, and creating a program that would is unique and fulfills the needs of the community. We also have a final paper due on Friday in our Health and Wellness class that includes research, a case study on one health and wellness variable, and an intervention plan. Sounds like a whole lot!!! And it is. But then I remember that this is the last week of classes and finals start next week!
Thankfully, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated from my mini-vacation and I am ready to get back to the grind and conquer all that I have due this week! Bring it on!!
Here’s a picture of my dad and I getting ready to hit the slopes! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
MOvember, Thanksgiving and a White Christmas →
Nov 26, 2013, by Rob
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Holiday cheer filled the office today, as I entered to Christmas music playing from the office computer courtesy of fellow ambassador Ryan. Kim was out of the office for a meeting, so we felt completely free to carol to our hearts content. Growing up with White Christmas as a winter staple and maturing into a deep voice, I’m a big Bing Crosby fan. His songs are some of the few I can belt out without embarrassing myself.
This is a time for holidays. Thanksgiving is coming up and I am feeling very grateful for all the special people in my life. Even though I won’t be able to make it back to Chicago until our winter break, it’s going to be a time to spend with friends here on the West Coast. I’ll enjoy the few days off from school and lots of delicious food.
November is also MOvember. It’s a chance to grow wild mustaches to promote awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate or testicular cancer and mental health. As someone who has seen the impact of these challenges, I feel like we have a responsibility to share our experiences and bring awareness to these issues. Things like urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, cancer and mental health issues are often hidden conditions that can cause men considerable anxiety as they try to live with these challenges. Being supportive, non-judgmental and conscious of language can make a difference.
I grow my mustache to encourage support and understanding, not only during the holidays, but for the rest of the year too. And thank you to Ryan, my MOSista, for her contribution to this month, as you can see below!
So excited for Thanksgiving! →
Nov 26, 2013, by Ryan
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Holy Moly, am I ready for a break! This has been such a great semester and I can’t believe that I only have one more semester here at school, but I am definitely ready for a couple days off to stuff myself with family and turkey! Last week was my last day at my Level 1 Fieldwork site. I was really sad, and surprised how sad I was. At first, I was excited to have Wednesdays off for the last couple weeks of school. I brought in “thank you” gifts for all the staff and was very happy with what I came up with. During my time at the clinic, they moved locations and had a small display of plants that I wanted to add to so I brought them a beautiful orchid (that matched the color scheme of the other plants), I thought that was a nice touch. There was a day that we shared what socks we all were wearing under our scrubs and they all had crazy colored socks…soooo, I found some crazy socks at Macy’s (3 in a pack, with 3 therapists in the office…perfect!). Then on another day, a patient had found an amazing recipe for brownies in a magazine so I made a couple of copies for people in the office. Of course, I had to make the brownies…and they were amazing!!! I realized that I had put in so much time and wanted to give such thoughtful gifts for the therapists because I liked the clinic so much. I thought the therapists were very nice, fun, and relaxed especially during stressful moments in the clinic. They also did a great job at challenging me with questions and little projects throughout my time there to make my experience educational as well. The patients that came into the clinic during my fieldwork were great, too! I saw a lot of interesting injuries and impairments. I met many people who enjoyed sharing their stories as well as hearing about my own, and most importantly…what is occupational therapy. Man, in a hand clinic a lot of people came in thinking they were getting physical therapy! I was quick to tell them that was not the case. I think the therapists on site gained some new ways to explain OT in a short and concise way, too. Well, I had a great last day and I think I have made great contacts for when I start to practice. So now I am ready to finish the semester after the thanksgiving break and complete my 3 exams, 2 presentations, and 2 papers in the next 2 weeks!!! Eeeekkk! Well, I am thankful for my amazing family and friends that constantly lift me up and for finding the greatest profession in the world at the most supportive and inspiring school! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
P.S. Just wanted to share that I am listening to Christmas music in the office as I wrote this
Preparing for Electives →
Nov 21, 2013, by Jen
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In USC’s MA-II program, the final semester predominantly consists of elective courses. The classes offered include: sensory integration theory, ergonomics, hand rehabilitation, dysphagia, and many more. There are so many fantastic choices, that it is going to be difficult to decide which courses to take. I plan to work in a pediatric rehabilitation setting upon graduation, so I am going to take electives that best support my professional development in that area. It is hard to believe that graduation is only 5 short months away. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting in kinesiology meeting my classmates for the first time!
A Day with Celebrities →
Nov 21, 2013, by Clarissa
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Life at the USC OS/OT Division has been really eventful and exciting. So many things happening to update you on! It was hard but I am picking the 24th annual Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Symposium at USC occurred a couple of week ago to hone in on today. This year, the symposium focused on research on Sensory Integration (SI), which is a specialty practice area of occupational therapy. SI theory is the manner in which one’s neurological system organizes sensation from the environment for participation in occupations. Dr. Jane Ayres, who was actually a faculty member at USC, developed SI theory!
I’m currently learning about SI in my pediatrics immersion and see it practiced in my fieldwork – it was really great listening to what the big names in SI and pediatrics had to say about it based on their research. Presenters included Drs. Jane Case-Smith who wrote our pediatrics textbook, Lucy Miller who created an assessment tool (Miller Function and Participation Scales) that we learned about in class, my neuroscience professor Barbara Thompson, and the chair of our division Florence Clark. It was so cool seeing and learning from the people whose tools we use in school and practice! It really hit home just how renown the presenters, which included USC faculty, are and how lucky I am to attend such an amazing school where opportunities like these to learn are readily available. Practitioners in the audience were snapping pictures of the panelists – they are celebrities!
Here is my very own paparazzi shot of the presenters and also a photo of me and my fellow student ambassador Kate! I’d take breaks from my part-time job title of “paparazzo” (Yes, I had to Google the singular form of paparazzi) to visit her.