Posts Tagged College

Hokie Football and Best Friends

It’s only Tuesday, but it already feels like it has been the longest week. This past weekend was spent with some of my favorite people in the world. I could not have asked for better weather (even though the sunshine resulted in quite the sunglass and flip flop tan), better friends, and a better football game. I didn’t realize exactly how much I missed Blacksburg until I got there, and I need to get back there more often.

This week is going to be busy with work and school, but, for the first time since labor day weekend, will be HOME this weekend. I’ll have lots of time to catch up on school work, and get things done around the house that have been put to the side since weekdays give me no extra time to get big projects done.

I hope everyone had a great weekend, here are some pictures from my trip to Blacksburg!

Virginia Tech vs. ECU, Orange Effect 2010

Tailgating before the game

Tailgating before the game

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Thursday.

So the week is ALMOST over. Thank goodness! It has been crazy, and my life is about to get even more crazy this weekend (YAY!). I have been running around all week going to class, taking tests, working, going to my internship (last week is next week! eek!), and getting ready to go to BLACKSBURG this weekend!

Monday I headed down to Burke and was on the Stroke floor all morning (which, oddly enough, has become my favorite unit of rehab). I worked with 3 patients and then in a group therapy session. The first woman was in her early 50’s and had a stroke a few months ago. She had the most inspirational attitude and was more than determined to be able to live at home again. She has little to no use of the right side of her body, but she has been able to learn how to use a walker to take small steps and how she can re-arrange her house and lifestyle in order to be able to move independently throughout both. She was determined to not have to have a live-in nurse or healthcare provider and rely on her friends and family for the support that she needs to live at home again. I have seen time and time again that the patients with the supportive families are the ones that have the best outcomes. I hope that when I am older, I can have people that can motivate me to work hard to reach all of my goals.

The second patient I worked with was an older man, in his 80’s, who had a stroke a long time ago and had been in rehab for a few months. He didn’t speak any English which made things hard because it is very difficult to communicate your needs to someone who wont open his eyes and can’t understand what you’re saying. Not to mention his native language is RUSSIAN, so there are obviously very few people in this area that are fluent in Russian. However, we were lucky that his daughter came to the session and could act as a translator, which was WONDERFUL. During this session, I was working with 2 OT’s, one who was older, and a girl who had just graduated from OT school. It was great to work with someone so young and close to my position. I could see how all of the other OTs were supporting her during her first week there, and it made me really excited to embark on this journey! While she struggled with this patient (I think its crazy that they would give HER this patient who didn’t speak any English as one of her first patients), trying to get him to move his legs with her assistance, the other OTs would give her help and show her how things worked. Luckily, with the help of his daughter, we were able to safely go through his therapy session, and even get him to walk down the hospital hall to his room!

The third patient I worked with had a stroke on top of a ton of hip issues. He was fairly young, and was nearing the end of his stay at the hospital. Most of what we worked on with him were endurance in walking with a cane, as well as transfers from wheelchair to walking to sitting and how to maneuver around his home so that he can live independently again. We also showed him all of these different tools that he could use to pick things up off the floor (since he can not bend down because of his hip precautions) and stand for a longer period of time if he needed to (like while cooking).

The final slot of the day was spent in a group rehab session. There were 3 stroke patients, and during most of the 45 minutes we did various exercises that will get the blood moving throughout their bodies and keep them as agile as possible. We also played a game with a balloon that practiced hand-eye coordination. The spectrum of abilities after a stroke. Some patients are incredibly willing to work to be able to live independently or at least with minimal assistance around the house, while others have accepted being “vegetables” and do not work at all in their sessions.

While I only have one more week of observation at this hospital, in October I’ll be observing at the Elementary school near my house and am looking forward to seeing a different side of Occupational Therapy!

I’m glad that this week is almost over! I hope everyone had a wonderful week and have some fabulous plans for the weekend! I know I sure do 🙂

xx
Ashley

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Football.

While the weather is not as crisp as I would have liked, tonight marked the beginning of fall for my family and I. The first college football game is on our tv, and everyone is in a great mood. I have to admit that while cheering for Ohio State is okay right now, I am counting down the hours until I can cheer on my HOKIES on Monday against Boise State. I’m jealous of all of my friends who are going to the game, but with class at 8am on Tuesday morning, there was no way that I would be able to make it home from Maryland in time (or great shape) to begin class on Tuesday.

I will be proudly wearing my maroon and orange all weekend in anticipation and will be jumping up and down to “Enter Sandman” while my parents laugh at me. While my living room doesn’t quite compare to FedEx Field (or later on, LANE STADIUM), it’s the best I can do until the end of September when I will be back in Blacksburg! Finally!!

Hope everyone has had a great week! Happy Labor Day weekend!

xx
Ashley

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Blacksburg withdrawal

Today marked the first day of classes for VT, and everyone’s status updates and twitter posts have made me realize how much I miss living in that sweet little town. When I graduated in May I always knew that things would be different, but I never realized how weird things would feel. I don’t start my classes for another two weeks, so until then, I’m stuck here killing time while many of my friends will be heading to ABP for lunch, Sharkey’s for happy hour, and Lane Stadium for football games. I am still grasping the fact that life in Blacksburg goes on without me (weird, I know), but I’m hoping that my little dose of VT Football in a few weeks will be just what I’m looking for. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the past 4 years;

Fall 2007 after Virginia Tech beat Florida State and we all rushed the field!


Fall 2007, my suite in my dorm and the boys' suite across the hall during our Christmas party


Spring 2009 when Mallory and I decided to "get away" and didn't tell anyone that we were going to Philly for the weekend :)

New Year's Eve with some of my favorite people in the world


My XΩ family after Big Sister Reveal 2010


Spring 2010 Seniors before formals

The Senior Crawl


GRADUATION.

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Errands, errands, and more errands

Today was filled with lots of running around to get things together for the trip on Friday! I got up early with my brother, and went to drop off some job applications, and pick up some last minute things at Target. By the time we got home at noon, we were both so exhausted and ready for a nap when we were sent out to pick up some more things, and Corbin wanted to get some new video games for the car ride down (14 hours is going to be loooong). Finally picked up our cornhole set to bring to the beach with us! So excited to have lots of things to keep all 20-something of us busy all day while we crisp up in the sun 🙂

I finally have everything straightened out for classes this fall (except for a parking pass and a student ID card…), which is a relief since this particular college is a pain in the butt to deal with! I’m eager to begin this new phase of my life in a few weeks!

Tomorrow is going to be crazy, but completely worth it once we get into the car at 5am (yikes!) on Friday morning!

Goodnight!
xx
Ashley

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Busy, busy couple of days

What an eventful few days it has been! Such a change from the last few weeks!!

This past weekend, a few friends from VT came to visit, which was such a nice treat! I picked up Carrie from the airport and went to get Lesley in NYC from the BoltBus Stop near Chinatown. It was definitely an adventure getting down and back, but luckily, my Dad drove, so I did not have the opportunity to get us seriously lost or even killed, haha! We got back to my house and obviously immediately started the festivities of pong on the deck, and catching up. It felt so wonderful to actually have people my own age around (not that I don’t love the company of my parents), and be able to just have fun! It was a late night, but completely 100% worth it!

Early Sunday morning all of us headed into NYC to have lunch and take Lesley back to her bus. The trip downtown was great, and we got there quickly, however, the return trip was not as easy. We ended up walking over 5 miles around NYC looking at shops, and little restaurants, getting Lesley back to her bus, and then attempting to find a subway to take us back to Grand Central. All of the uptown 6 trains were not in service unless you wanted to go on a wild goose chase to find one, so we attempted to take a cab, which ended up sitting in traffic for $5 worth of our time before we realized we were going to miss our train anyway. At that point, we took our time wending our way back uptown. Stopped at Magnolia Bakery in Grand Central for cupcakes, and finally got on the train. Getting home from that point was uneventful, but since we had missed our early train, we had to rush to get back down to LaGuardia to get Carrie to the airport! Luckily, the drive down was quick and easy, but, I had no such luck on the way home. It took almost 3 hours to make the drive that usually only takes about 40 minutes. So not fun. Needless to say, I was completely exhausted when I finally got home, and went straight to bed!

Yesterday was the 3rd week of my internship at the rehab hospital. Every time I walk out, I realize how much I love this field. The feeling of being rewarded everyday is something that I look forward to when I finally get through grad school and get a full time job. I was lucky to be able to pick which unit I wanted to observe in! I love the spinal cord and brain injury unit, so I jumped on the opportunity to stay there for the morning. The first patient I saw (with the CUTEST OT ever! such a crush!) was an elderly woman who had had a stroke in 1994. She did not have the ability to speak, and she was definitely not all “with it.” The OT fitted her for a brace for her hands, because her brain is not sending the right messages to her hands to let them unclench on their own. Therefore, her hands are stuck in a fist position and she cannot really move them on her own without having someone stretch them first. The brace that we ordered was one that would allow doctors and nurses to stretch her fingers, and then place the brace on her wrist and hand so that her fingernails would no longer be digging into the palm of her hand causing breaks in the skin, and eventually infection.

The second patient I saw had suffered from a heart attack and was in a coma for almost two weeks before he came out of it. He was in OT to work on his balance and his endurance while standing, walking, and doing other daily activities that he would need to put himself back into the community. It was remarkable that he had only been in rehab for two weeks and he was making such progress. We did activities like sliding across a bed in order to build upper-arm endurance, as well as stepping on a block to build the endurance in his legs. I could visibly see how tired he was after each of the tasks, but he was determined to finish so that he could be healthy enough to go home as soon as possible!

The next patient I saw had a flare up from his MS. He had lost almost all of the feeling in his right hand (mostly his fingertips) and it was his first day at the rehab center, and I worked with the OT to do diagnostic tests to see where he was at, and compare his right and left sides to see what needed to be worked on. We did a timed test to see how long it took each of his hands/arms to grab 9 pegs and place them one by one into slots. He was timed on each side to compare the coordination. In his case, there was not much difference, which was good for him. He was then given a test where he had to close his eyes and we placed different objects in his hands and he had to feel around to see if he could figure out what they were. In his left hand, he was able to identify every single object, and pretty quickly (they were mostly easy things, such as a key, or a coin, etc.). However, his right side was not so great. If things were placed in an area where he had lost feeling, he could not even feel the objects in his hand. The final test was for him to close his eyes and he had to decide whether we were poking him with the sharp side of a pin, or the soft side. It was incredible to see how different his responses were depending on which arm/hand we were working on. He was quick to respond to everything on his left hand, but he had a lot of hesitation on the right side.

I really really love going to my internship every week. Like I said before, I am SO excited to be able to do this for the rest of my life (provided I actually get into a school somewhere!). I just wish that I could do this NOW and I did not have to go through all the applications and standardized testing and pre-requisites before I could begin on this journey!

Today was also quite busy, getting everything together for my classes at community college this fall. I’m taking an Anatomy & Physiology I course (and the lab) as well as Intro to Sociology. I had to gather tons of different documents for registration, so I spent most of the day doing that. The afternoon was spent with Corbin running errands and getting things together for our vacation on Friday!! I got a new iPod Shuffle so that I can use it when I run (the iPod Touch is SO inconvenient for exercising!), so I’m excited to get back to that routine! Tomorrow is going to be spent running even more errands and getting more things together for vacation! For now though, I’m beyond exhausted!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!

xx
Ashley

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Sunday Funday

I can honestly say that after this summer, I have absolutely NO desire to paint a room ever again. My bathroom was FINALLY painted today, and I have to admit that I’m super excited to start decorating it! It’s a pea-celery green which is a huge change from the ocean theme that it was before (whoever let a 4th and a 1st grader pick out wallpaper was seriously insane!). I’m getting a black and white designed shower curtain and getting black and white gerbera daisy prints to put over the towel racks. Then, I found a great idea for the bathroom (seen here) with a backboard painted black with a pink, yellow, and white gerbera daisy in the mason jar, these shelves (from Target) to put the radio, and all of my hair products (and I guess some of my brother’s stuff) above the toilet, and finish it off with some big, fluffy black bath mats! I’ll be sure to post pictures when I’m done!

Besides home improvements, I may have scored a second internship at a pre-school down county. It would be working in the Occupational Therapy department within a community center, which would give my applications for grad school a little diversity. I would love to have the experience of working with adults, children, medical settings, community settings, etc. when writing personal statements this fall. Hopefully this opportunity will work out, and I’ll be starting that on Tuesday!

I’ve got lots of things to look forward to this week, but a lot of work has to be done before then! I’m off to clean my room, aka find the floor. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

xx
Ashley

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Suddenly, I’ve got a life!

This summer hasn’t been very eventful, but I can’t say that it’s been completely boring either. I’ve graduated from college, gone to baby showers and bridal showers, taken a trip across the country to Las Vegas, stripped wallpaper, seen one of my best friends at least once a week, gotten lost in New York City (complete with totaled car)and have spent a ton of time with my family. BUT, none of these events can replace the days spent lounging in the sorority house; watching movies, being hungover, but best of all, being surrounded by my favorite people in the world!

Over the past 2 days I have been able to make plans with many of my friends and sisters to see one another, mostly within the next two weeks! I have adventures planned to romp in the city, have a summer bbq on my deck, and lay in the sun on one of my favorite beaches in the world.. all before the end of August! Once this vacation is over, I’ll have to get back into the swing of classes, working, completing my internship, and best of all, visiting BLACKSBURG for HOKIE FOOTBALL!

Lots of things to look forward to in the upcoming months! Hope everyone enjoys their weekend!

xx
Ashley

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Another beginning…

This is the first blog that I have had, so I’m still trying to figure out what works, and what doesn’t. I should start off by saying that I graduated from Virginia Tech in May, with a job. This job quickly ended before it actually began as a result of some cattiness within the organization that the job was associated with. I quickly re-structured my life and am now taking courses, working on an internship, and studying for the GRE’s in order to get into Graduate School (hopefully). As I said before, I graduated from Virginia Tech, but, I live in New York and the majority of my friends live a minimum of 6 hours away. My car was totaled by a dump truck in NYC last month, so essentially I am stranded, broke, and dying for something to keep myself occupied until classes start in September.

I guess this blog is a result of summertime boredom, loneliness, and a need to have something to keep me on track with all that needs to be accomplished this summer. A small list of things that need to be done before September 1st (which I’m sure will be added to on a weekly basis):

Complete Medical Terminology class (ugh!)
Finish 5k training in order to start 10k training
Complete OT internship, and keep record of every visit
Study at least 5 hours per week for GRE
Paint my bathroom (and re-do the floors)
Post on this blog everyday

Let’s see how this goes!

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