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!
The Greatest Feeling in the World: WINNING!! →
Nov 19, 2013, by Kate
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Alongside other great feelings like being with family, making someone laugh, having a fulfilling purpose in life and studying at USC, there is the best feeling in the world when it comes to a USC football fan: WINNING. This weekend was our annual Homecoming. The USC Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy put on a bunch of different events this weekend to celebrate our alumni as well as our current students. There was a Casino Night on Friday and a tailgate before the football game on Saturday. Our football game was against #4 ranked Stanford University, and we were, no doubt, the underdog. I attended the game with three friends from out of town, whom I had met while I was an undergraduate at USC. We celebrated our reunion on campus with other friends whom I haven’t seen in a while. It was truly a great day catching up with familiar faces!
The best part of the day, however, was being there to witness USC beat Stanford, 20-17. Our Trojans played a great game against the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Going into the 4th quarter, we were tied 17-17; it wasn’t until the final 2 minutes that we scored the game-winning field goal. And magic ensued. Fans rushed the field and surrounded our team and the coaching staff. It was such a celebratory moment full of happiness, and I could not have been more excited to be there. I’m still feeling the high from being there in that amazing moment with my old friends! What a great way to be reunited!
Thanksgiving Break: 14 Days to Go! →
Nov 12, 2013, by Kate
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I am SUPER excited for our 3-day break over the Thanksgiving holiday. It will be so nice to spend time with my family in Colorado, ski on some fresh powder, and enjoy some pumpkin pie (and mashed potatoes, turkey, green bean casserole, etc etc etc). It will also be nice to have a break from school. It’s been an intense semester and I honestly cannot WAIT to wake up to no alarm clock!!
My family and I plan different activities for Thanksgiving each year. Last year, my parents drove down to Los Angeles from Seattle, Washington with our family dog, and we cooked a big dinner for 5 of my closest friends. It was so neat to have everyone in my home away from home and to act like an actual grown up with a big feast! This year, my parents are driving from Seattle to Colorado. I will fly out after my last class the Tuesday before and meet them there. We are going up to Keystone Resort, a nice little ski town about 90-minutes away from Denver. We will ski and drink hot cocoa and be merry. Of course, there might be SOME homework that I will have to conquer, but I’m most looking forward to spending time with the people I love.
Here’s a picture of Keystone at night! It is so beautiful; they even have night skiing for those people who can’t get enough during the daylight hours!
Los Angeles: Tales from a (wannabe) Foodie! →
Nov 4, 2013, by Kate
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I love to eat. It is definitely in my top three favorite occupations, alongside sleeping and shoe-shopping. One of the best things about living in Los Angeles is that you have some of the best restaurants and food available to you in one city. Some of the best Mexican food is located right near the University Park Campus. I also love to find new taco trucks; last spring, two of my classmates decided to compare their two favorite taco trucks by creating a social event out of it and asking fellow OT students to vote and declare a winner. Some areas in the city have a specialty cuisine, for example, Glendale is home to many Armenian-Americans and Lebanese-Americans, and you can find DELICIOUS places for Middle Eastern food. Korea-Town specializes in, you guessed it, Korean food, and there are a ton of great Korean barbecue places that are yummy and have a great atmosphere. With all the great options, I have to say that this weekend, I discovered one place with a life-changing pretzel. Yes, a pretzel.
I have never been a fan of large pretzels because I find the salty bread a bit odd to my palate. But, my opinion changed on Friday night when my friends and I went to a new restaurant/bar to watch the USC football game. A friend of mine ordered the “Giant Pretzel,” which I was not too excited about. I took one bite to appease my friend, and I’ve got to say, it changed my mind forever about pretzels. The pretzel was salty and the honey sauce was sweet. Just perfection! I’ve uploaded a picture of the pretzel so you all can ogle over my culinary discovery as well. I think the lesson I learned this weekend was to never judge a food before tasting it, or at least, that not all giant pretzels are created equal. Just another reason why I LOVE LA.
Choices, Choices! Aka, “What Electives Should I Take?” →
Oct 28, 2013, by Kate
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During the second semester of our second year in the entry-level master’s program, we are given the chance to take elective courses that spark our interest in the field of occupational therapy. The Division offers a variety of elective courses that provide students with a look into a particular niche. Examples of elective courses that the Division is offering for Spring 2014 include: Occupational Therapy in Acute Care, Sensory Integration Theory, Early Intervention, Universal Design, Hand Rehabilitation, Dysphagia, Lifestyle Redesign® and Motor Control. There are a lot of choices and, to some, it might be overwhelming to decide what to take versus what not to take. If only I could take all of the classes!
I’ve decided to enroll in some of the classes I feel most connected to, including Lifestyle Redesign® and Occupational Therapy in Acute Care. I have applied for the Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at USC and am very interested in pursuing Lifestyle Redesign® a bit further in order to assist my future clients with changing their habits and routines and positively impacting their own well-being. Furthermore, I am interested in marrying that area of practice with the adult rehabilitation or primary care setting. I feel that by taking these two courses, I can best prepare myself for my doctorate and for my practice.
I’m really excited to dive deeper into occupational therapy and the specific courses that I am interested in. Whenever I think about it, it amazes me how much closer I am to graduating! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone by throughout this program. Soon enough it will be a new group of students coming through these doors—maybe even YOU!!! I think the best that I can do is leave a positive legacy for the future USC occupational therapy students!