Posts Tagged Grad School

Goals.

So here we are, at the end of August already. I have neglected to post the past couple days since I have been busy working (yes!) and taking care of the new foster dogs that we have rescued. Looking back on the goals that I had set to complete by TOMORROW, I realized that the only thing I have accomplished is painting my bathroom, which is probably the least important thing on my list.

Next week begins a new semester, a new routine, and I’m making new goals for myself. Many of my grad school applications need to be in by November 1st so I’m going to have to work hard to make that happen. There just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything done.

Fall Semester Goals;
Finish Medical Terminology class
Study, and take the GREs
Finish applying to Graduate School
Obtain the last 60 hours of observation for OT
Get an A in both of my classes
Spend less than half of my paychecks on clothes for “work”

Let’s see how this goes!

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Rainy Days

There is something about a rainy Sunday that always makes me smile. No obligations, no pressing matters.. just a good book and some trashy tv. I managed to run a few errands this morning, and made it home in time for grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for lunch. What a wonderful surprise 🙂

I feel like the house is so lonely now that Corbin is gone. While I love this whole “being an only child” thing, I feel the need to interact with people under the age of 50. Luckily, I will be starting work this Thursday (at Lilly Pulitzer! yay!) and classes on September 7th, which will take up the majority of my week. I’m looking forward to getting back on a schedule and being productive all week. There are a few exciting events in the upcoming weeks, and I’m excited for this fall to get started!

I am going to go make use of the rest of this cozy day (and keep trying to find old school computer games that will actually work on my MacBook Pro *cough Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego*).

xx
Ashley

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On the road again

Today was filled with some of my favorite shopping of the year — back to school! I have a sick obsession with school supplies, and everything college related, so while it’s depressing that I was not shopping for myself, I still loved every minute of it. My family is hitting the road again tomorrow to go to North Carolina to bring my brother back to school (and stop and visit the OT school there!), so another 9 hour drive is in store. While I’m not so excited about moving furniture into my brother’s house, I am pretty excited to get my grad-school search started. I’m hoping to make it for a tour to see the facilities and the gyms and everything OT! Hopefully all will go well!

Hope everyone is having a great week!

xx
Ashley

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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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Where has the summer gone?

August begins on Sunday. Where have the last three months gone!? I’ve been home since May and I feel like I have been in a whirlwind. So much has happened, good and bad, and I just can’t believe that in a few short weeks, my life is going to be throw into a routine of classes, work, and internships! I just cannot wrap my mind around that.

So far this summer, I have lost my job before it began (I just love petty bullshit), been to Block Island, painted, taken a few trips to NYC, seen a few of my best friends (and a few more this weekend!), played in Vegas, and what seems like so much more. I feel like I have grown as a person (as cheesy as that sounds) since I have had to deal with so much in the few short weeks after graduation. I have lost friends, made friends, and become better friends with those who used to be just acquaintances. I have learned how to handle myself in stressful situations, as well as how to be happy with my life while I am living at home (it’s going to be easier once I get into a routine of interacting with people below the age of 50 on a regular basis). As long as I can get my life together and get studying over the next week, I will be on track with where I want to be and ready to start submitting Grad School applications in October!

It’s bound to be a busy few months, but I’m excited to see how it all turns out!

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Sunny days

This morning, I woke up, and my first thought was “I’m going to be productive today.”

WRONG.

I meant to go to the gym. That never happened.

I wanted to get through 2 chapters of Medical terminology (28 pages). I got through 5 paragraphs.

I needed to go get more picture frames to hang pictures in my wall. Didn’t get any.

I got 2 gallons of paint from Home Depot for my brother’s room, and a new case for my cell phone. Hooray?

I really need to find some motivation to actually get my life together and start completing things in my to-do list each day. Tomorrow I’m going shopping in the morning (yay!) and the rest of the week is going to be spent getting ready for the weekend visitors! I’m going to (hopefully) spend a few hours tonight with my textbook studying for my class so that I don’t fall too far behind!

xx
Ashley

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Back to normality

I spent over 6 hours in the car today. 3 hours driving to and from JFK to drop off a friend at the airport, and 3 more to drop my grandfather off at a different airport. I really don’t feel the need to be in the car anytime soon for an extended period of time.

Now that I’m finally back in my room, I have had some time to get my life together. Added 2 more grad schools to the application list (Boston University and Eastern Kentucky University) and have yet to complete even 1 hour of studying for the GREs. Luckily, Kristen is coming tomorrow for the night, so Sunday is looking like the perfect day to spend all day studying Medical Terminology and cracking open that GRE book.

Took a trip to Walmart (FINALLY), the closest one is almost an hour away, so it is a treat (if that could possibly be the right word) when we get to go. I have almost completed the re-decoration of my room, and need to pick up a few more black picture frames to hang on my walls. I’m hoping to have it all done by next weekend when two more friends are coming to spend the weekend!

This whole being back in my room thing is amazing, so I’m going to go watch Bethenny Getting Married? AGAIN and take in having my own space! Goodnight!

xx
Ashley

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It’s only Tuesday!?

I’ve already dropped the ball and forgot to update the blog yesterday. I’ve been ripping down that damn wallpaper for 4 days, and I had my internship yesterday, so by the time I was finished with dinner, I was ready for bed! Whoopsie!

Monday I woke up early and went to the rehab hospital that I’m “working” at. Unfortunately, once again, I was late, but this time because of a horrendous storm that closed half of the highway. By the time I finally got there, I was 20 minutes late and felt terrible. Luckily, my supervisor was also somewhat late so she understood.

I got to work with a bunch of groups throughout the morning, and I think I can eliminate one branch of OT.. Cardio-pulmonary/respiratory. It was so BORING compared to orthopedics and spinal injuries! The first woman I worked with had heart surgery about 2 weeks ago and we had to teach her how to stand and balance on her own. I really did not even understand why she was there, or more so, why her surgery had thrown off her balance and her abilities to stand and walk, but I guess thats just how it goes.

The second patient I worked with had a double knee replacement a few days ago, and we worked with him on getting in and out of a shower properly, how to get into a car, and go to the bathroom. It’s amazing to see that only a few days after surgery, he was up and walking around, and getting back to his “normal” self!

The third patient I worked with was t-boned in NYC. He is a NYC police officer and was hit by one of the suspects that him and his partner were chasing. He had major internal bleeding, a broken leg, ankle and foot, and had to have a craniectomy to relieve the swelling and pressure in his brain. His accident was in April, and he JUST got out of the ICU on Friday!! The most interesting thing that I learned during my time with him was that when the doctors take a piece of your skull off of your head, and plan to replace it, they store it in your STOMACH! The environment in the stomach is considered it’s “natural” environment and it reduces the risk for infection once the skull is replaced. We worked with him on his memory skills, giving him a page of common household objects to memorize and testing him 15 minutes later (to see if his short term memory was still there, which it was!) as well as a memory-prompting game where he was instructed to place cards with pictures of household items in 2 piles. One pile was things that he had seen on the sheet, and others were things that closely resembled these same items (such as a different style of dress shirt). This was to test whether or not the information was being stored and simply needed a prompt to bring out! The man did fine, and everyone was thrilled that his memory seems to be fully functional! Finally, we taught him some exercises to do in his room to build strength in his arms.

The last thing I did was observe a group OT session, where there were patients there with different problems. Two had had strokes, and one had had some sort of spinal surgery. One woman who had a stroke was given the task to separate utensils into forks, knives, and spoons. It blew my mind that she could not recognize a given utensil and put it in a group with other utensils of the same type. We had to keep teaching her what each one was, but this was only for her to quickly forget. The other stroke patient had to place clothespins on a wooden rod in a certain pattern. I noticed that his speech was phenomenal and he had great memory, he was only struggling with the use of his hands. The purpose of the clothespins was to work on his fine motor skills and get his fingers working again. Once he had successfully completed that, I placed marbles into silly putty and he had to dig out the marbles from that. You could see how his fingers were getting so tired by the end, but he felt great that he was able to use his fingers in a much finer setting where he needed more control of them.

I find that I leave the rehab center each day with something fascinating that I have witnessed or someone that I helped to get a life skill back in use. I look forward to each session because I know that somehow, I will be positively affecting people’s lives and that makes me more than excited to go to grad school. I’ll have to remember how this feels as I’m taking classes this fall and next spring, and having to leave the house at 630 every morning to get to class on time.

All of the wallpaper in the house is FINALLY gone! Tomorrow we start painting, and I’m excited for everything to be done, hopefully by September! Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

xx
Ashley

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In the process of change..

Today, against my will, I was dragged to Home Depot, my least favorite store in the world (and obviously in the big green van). My mom, grandpa and I are about to begin a huge project – re-painting the entire house, power washing the outside, and putting down new floors. Yup, heard it here first, I’m doing major housework.. lets see if I survive.

I have finally gotten back into my routine of going to the gym, thank goodness, because I am finally getting back on track of my 10k training. I’ve also finally found a decent time to go, in between the soccer moms/business men and the much-more-fit college students, and now I just have to buckle down and get my butt out of bed in the morning. I’m hoping that by the time I go on vacation (23 days!) I’ll be halfway to my goal!

As for my other goals, my Medical Terminology class is being put on the back burner.. not necessarily on purpose, but I really can’t seem to find the motivation to actually sit down and tackle the 500 page book. There are over 600 terms to learn before the end of the course, and its all kind of overwhelming since it is online. I’m really struggling, but I really need to finish before I start my Anatomy and Sociology classes in September. Any suggestions for finding the will to spend a few hours a day studying when there are so many more interesting things going on (like stripping wallpaper and steaming carpets)!?

I have recently registered for classes at the community college “near” my house (as in 45 minutes away). I need to take Anatomy & Physiology as well as Sociology to be eligible to apply to Grad school. However, I am truly missing HokieSpa at this point, because this website I have to use is the most confusing thing on the planet. I am attempting to drop my 8am class to switch to a 6pm class, but in order to switch the lecture, I also have to switch the lab, even though I don’t want to. There are no other labs open, so this is leaving me frustrated, confused, and annoyed with how inefficient the system is. Ugh.

On that note, I’m exhausted, and have to drive my dad to the airport early tomorrow morning. Luckily, I’ll get back from dropping him off during the window of time that I can go to the gym, so it looks like I’ll have a busy morning ahead of me. Goodnight!

xx
Ashley

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