OS/OT Student Blog
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…
Ode to Ambassadors →
Feb 14, 2014, by Rob
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There are many great reasons why being a Student Ambassador is such an awesome job. One of the highlights is working with such a tremendous team of peers. All five of us are so different, with such diverse backgrounds and experiences, but we get along pretty well and have a lot of fun. The past year has been even more special because I got to share it with Clarissa, Jen, Kate and Ryan.
I have to give a big thank you to Clarissa. I got sick one Friday morning and was scheduled to work that day. With little notice, she volunteered to take my shift, which included a presentation at the other campus that she did admirably. Clarissa is one of the quirkiest and helpful people you will ever meet (you know this if you read her blog and look at her pictures)...I really owe her one! Also, I initially began writing this blog several days ago and somehow accidentally published it only half done – whoops. Clarissa was the first one to text me and let me know what happened.
(Hola! This is Clarissa making a guest insertion into Rob’s blog. I felt left out that he didn’t have a picture of me so I decided to take matters into my own hands and post one myself. This is us being weird together at a Friendsgiving dinner we had last year! Okay, I’ll leave Rob’s blog now)
Also, I think I need to address a celebrity on our Ambassador team: Jen. For those that haven’t heard, Jen’s face has been featured on one of the new photos that grace the Division hallways. I’m surprised she hasn’t written a blog about it yet – she talks about it all the time! I used all my celebrity photo resources to get an exclusive photo for this blog:
While I’m spreading the love, Kate and Ryan are pretty special too. I met Kate on the first or second day in the program and she was so sassy, we became quick friends. Ryan was in my group during my first summer class in Kinesiology – she had the most infectious and distinctive laugh. She has a talent for bringing a smile to people’s faces and her enthusiasm lights up a room. Here is a picture from one of our theme days during Kinesiology:
See if you can find Kate and Ryan, we all dressed up like ice cream flavors. Can you tell what flavor I was? I think I was pistachio and Ryan was peppermint. I have no idea what Kate was!
All together, these fine individuals have made this experience something I will remember and treasure for the rest of my life.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Spring is in the air →
Jan 21, 2014, by Rob
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Spring is in the air. Not just Spring semester, but the feel of Spring. An unseasonable warm period has flowers blooming, students wearing shorts, and the ants at my house on the prowl. If you live anywhere east of California, I’m sorry. I know it’s cold. My parents in Chicago sent me pictures from when the daily high was not getting above 0 degrees. That’s not normal even for Chicago.
I’ll tell you, it makes me even happier to be in southern California!
Spring is in the air. In a few short weeks, I will be leaving for Ireland for our Leadership Externship. The experience is a student-organized two-week externship, which means it can be whatever you want it to be. Some of us are going internationally and many more are staying within the United States. For me, I wanted to get more education experience and see how occupational therapy and disability are taught in another country. I’m going to be at the University College Cork for the two weeks and then I’ll have part of Spring Break to explore the country on my own.
Plus, they have a juggling team!
Our final semester is focused on electives, giving students a chance to focus on one or several areas that they find interesting. I have three general areas of interest: education, disability studies, and older adults. For the first two, I’m working on independent studies focused on teaching pedagogy and disability education in occupational therapy. My other electives are Universal Design and a course on housing and older adults through the Davis School of Gerontology.
All in all, it promises to be a fun semester.
Snow Day! →
Dec 13, 2013, by Rob
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Last Friday I was giving a tour to a prospective student when what should we stumble upon but a giant snow pile next to Tommy Trojan on the main campus.
I’m always open to the unexpected when touring students on both of our campuses – you never know what might happen – but I was not prepared for snow! Being from Chicago, snow is nothing new to me, but after almost two years of sunny southern California, it certainly was a surprise.
Turned out, they had trucked in a load of snow and dumped it in the middle of campus for everyone to enjoy.
So naturally, I indulged my Midwestern roots (and my inner child) and had a good old fashioned snowball fight. I would love to brag about how I “won,” but the prospective student somehow managed to get snow down the back of my shirt. Fortunately for me, the snow fell between my outer shirt and inner shirt, which made the situation even more comical. Afterwards, I juggled snowballs for the first time!
Such good-natured fun was exactly what I needed in the middle of preparations for finals week. We had a big project due that morning and an essay due that afternoon. I was tired and just a little stressed. After playing in the snow, none of that seemed to matter. A little bit of occupation-based snow therapy was exactly what I needed!
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!