OS/OT Student Blog
Feb 26, 2014, by Kate
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As more and more students are admitted for the upcoming school year (which begins in June), I am fortunate to be in contact with more and more of them. I feel so lucky to be in the position to connect with the newcomers in our program, the class of 2016, and share my experiences and knowledge with them. I’ve received many questions about housing. “Where should I live?” is a big question I get almost on a daily basis. I always reply with the same answer – it depends on what you’re looking for! That’s one of the best things about Los Angeles: there are many neighborhoods that offer a variety of different things. My classmates live all over the greater Los Angeles area, some as far as Orange County! Many people look for a shorter commute than that, and so Pasadena is a great option. Some people like to be closer to the beach areas, so they look into Brentwood or Santa Monica. It really all depends on what is important to you in a place to live; the best thing is that Los Angeles offers a lot
Another question I have been receiving frequently is about student life. “What is student life really like?” people have asked. I mention my blogs and those of my fellow ambassadors and I hope prospective students have read our posts. We are 5 very different individuals whose interests and tastes differ. I hope that these blogs give readers a diverse perspective on what it is truly like to be a student in the program, and that the readers can identify with one or some of us. In my opinion, student life is great! I make sure that I have balance in my life, meaning equal time commitments to work/productivity, leisure, rest and self-care. I make time for friends and I make time for my studies. I make time for myself with an hour spent at the gym and an hour each night reading a book for fun. I stay updated on my favorite TV shows (Real Housewives on Bravo). I have two internships this spring and I work as an ambassador representing the Division. I love my life and I’m a really happy graduate student. Of course, there are stressors; but with preparation and dedication, I stick to my routine in how to combat them. There are things I wish I could make more time for (I’d love to cook more!!); but I know that will come. I take things week-by-week and try to not sweat the small stuff.
I hope I have given you a glance into my life as a student and my thoughts about where to live in Los Angeles. Life isn’t shabby as a USC student
Preparing to Travel →
Feb 25, 2014, by Jen
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I cannot believe how fast this semester is flying by. This Saturday I will be leaving for a two-week externship. The goal of the externship is to build leadership, communication, and professionalism skills and independently explore topics that have been presented in our Leadership Capstone course this semester. This is different than another fieldwork or clinical experience. The externship allows you to create your own unique experience. Many people use this as an opportunity to travel abroad. I have many classmates that are going to Africa and working witch children with disabilities. I also have classmates that are traveling to Asia and Europe. I decided I would stay on this continent for my externship. I will be heading to Alabama to explore research within Auburn’s School of Kinesiology. I am very excited for this experience. I have never flown outside of California on my own before, so it will be a little out of my comfort zone. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and cannot wait to share my experiences with you when I return!
I Love Dogs! →
Feb 24, 2014, by Kate
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There is no denying that I am a dog-lover. I grew up with a big Alaskan Malamute in Colorado. He was like a loveable wolf. When I was learning to read, I tried to teach him the alphabet, and later, I took him on my runs during high school lacrosse practice. Misha was a great dog, and the month after I left for college, he passed away from a heart attack. A couple of months later, my parents adopted a Golden Retriever and named her Ladri. I always joke that this dog replaced me as the “favorite blonde” in the family. My parents spoil Ladri like crazy! It’s so great to go home and visit my family with a great puppy who knows who I am even if I’m not always there. Recently, Ladri was diagnosed with cancer, and a couple of weeks later she had a stroke. Her facial muscles were greatly affected, so she has trouble closing her mouth completely. Her muscles above her eyes no longer work, rendering her effectively blind. However, Ladri is still loving life. My parents have “OT-ed her,” by raising her food dish off the floor and leading the way to certain areas with kibble. Ladri still loves to go for walks and play with her toys. She doesn’t love baths, but that’s to be expected for a canine. She is a member of my family through and through and I am so glad she’s still with us. When I graduate in May, I’ve discussed getting a dog because I’ve never owned one since becoming an adult. Since I live in a small apartment, I’d get a smaller dog. It is definitely something to think about and consider – what’s my lifestyle like and which breed would do best for me? I hope I’ve narrowed it down to a couple breeds that have rescue shelters locally.
This past weekend, I was able to dog-sit for one of my best friends. Izzy is a 4 year-old Yorkie who weighs 6 pounds. She is feisty and fierce; however, when no one is looking, if you rub her paws, she will melt. Izzy is a great companion and it was great to spend time with her this weekend. I’ve included a picture so that you can see us snuggling. Woof woof
Black College Expo →
Feb 24, 2014, by Ryan
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This weekend I was worked at a table representing USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Black College Expo in Downtown Los Angeles’ Convention Center. It was a great event for anyone who is interested in going to college. They had tons of colleges there as well as seminars for parents, such as how to apply for financial aid. I was amazed at how many people were there. I just wished that I had this when I was thinking about college because it is such an overwhelming process. I was happy to tell them about my experience at USC, but also about the amazing field of Occupational Therapy… because, of course, a lot of people didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know what OT was until after I graduated from my undergraduate program. I was so glad to be a part of this and inspire perspective students!
Adventures in baking →
Feb 24, 2014, by Rob
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I recently had the opportunity to do some hiking and baking the same day, combining two of my favorite occupations. We started off driving up north of Pasadena to Eaton Canyon, a beautiful waterfall hike not too far from the city. The path was jammed with families, school trips, and people out to enjoy the weather and scenery. Fortunately, we know a little secret cutoff that takes hikers above the first falls and away from the crowds.
To get there is a little intense (read: FUN!). I mean, my frontal lobe is mostly developed, right? So I would be scared if there was real danger and I should exhibit good judgment (I just hope my mom isn’t reading this). We scaled a rocky area and edged along the cliff (see picture) to get to the next leg, which involved rock jumping along a stream bed, my favorite part. The reward was a deserted pool of clear, cold mountain water. Of course we jumped in!
That afternoon we baked double chocolate cookies stuffed with salted caramel, both made from scratch. I love to bake – it is a very therapeutic activity – and I’ve found that as I do it more and more, I get better at improvising. We mostly followed a recipe for this one (you can find it here) and they were tasty. It was probably the best double chocolate chunk cookie dough I have eaten. I don’t usually eat the dough, but I snacked on this one the whole time! Try it out and share a favorite baking recipe with me if you have one…