Friday, August 31, 2007

I've Been Experimented On

This week my roomate asked me if I wouldn't mind being experimented on. I said, "sure, why not." Her mom works in a Doctor's clinic that also utilizes varying degrees of homeopathic remedies, as well as issuing the normal drug perscriptions.

One of the homeopathic tools they use is acupuncture. Now don't get excited, I didn't have acupuncture performed on me. Her mom, Carrie, is a nurse, and she needed to practice a new computer program that utilizes the acupuncture points in your hands and feet to determine the strength and health of the energy levels flowing through the various parts of your body.

Now, I'm generally a bit of a sceptic when it comes to homeopathic remedies, etc., but this was really cool. In one hand I held a kind of wet metal rod, and with the other Carrie placed a kind of pointer-energy-reader-thing on the various points of my hand that indicate specific "energy" systems. Now, I was feeling pretty miserable Wednesday because I had a nasty cough and some awful head congestion, and this instrumentation picked up on it exactly.

It measured my lungs, nose, and upper sinus energy systems as all being weakened/stressed. Pretty cool, huh? Carrie explained to me, that a researcher in acupuncture had created the program, and he researched all over the world and analyzed and reanalyzed this computer program until he felt confident that he had it right, and it seems pretty right to me.

After they analyze your system, this information gets sent to another program, and it determines which system should be treated first to benefit your body the most. Interestingly enough, the system chose my chemical allergies system first. Carrie explained that it didn't choose the upper sinuses or the lungs because it could tell that these were only temporary stresses caused by my cold, and the allergies was a more chronic weakness.

So next comes the drops test. They have this vast supply of homeopathic drops, and they go through and determine which drops would help revitalize the weakend system. The system said that I needed the Childhood Vaccinations drops. Apparently, a lot of people's bodies respond to childhood vaccinations negatively, and this causes allergic reactions to some chemicals because of lingering side-effects. These drops are supposed to counter-balance the effectiveness of such negative side-effects. Isn't it fascinating? I'm going to go in for more practice/experimentation in a couple of weeks, and we'll see what happens to my system after I've taken the drops for this two week period.

I've never had so much fun being someone's guinea pig.

What Grad School is all About

Wow! I made it through my first week of Grad school, and I'm already grateful for a three day weekend. There's just so much to do, and so little time to do it. You know, I've always thought that I've been a pretty disciplined person in grad school, but there's a whole new level to be learned.

I'm really excited for the Clinic aspect of everything, and mildly terrified of all the course work and extra studying that's going to be involved. I not only have to pass my classes now, but I must also pass certification in specific areas within the class to become certified by ASHA (the American Speech and Hearing Association). Wow! Talk about the nitty gritty. I also have to fulfill a specific number of clinical hours in individual areas.

My best approach is going to be to plan like crazy, and take it a day at a time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fifty Things About Me

One of my favorite blogs from the Silly Witch is when she listed her "50 Things About Me". I had so much fun reading it that I hope you will enjoy mine half as much as I enjoy hers.

1. My favorite form of exercise is biking riding. I love to ride my bike. I once rode to Salt Lake from Provo, and it was so fun! One of my goals for next summer is to ride in one of the long distance bicycle runs.

2. I've only weeded my garden once this year, and it's thriving.

3. My favorite dessert is vanilla ice cream with fresh rasberries and hot fudge.

4. I sometimes think that at the end of my life, my tombstone will read: "Jack of all trades, master of none." I have a tendency to start projects and leaving them hanging for an indefinite period of time (scrapbooking, an exercise routine, blogging, etc.). I think this is the reason that I never made the Volleyball team. I really do enjoy the sport, I was just never willing to put the time into become a "master".

5. My favorite color to wear is blue.

6. My favorite color to decorate with is green.

7. Despite the fact that I have been home from my mission for over a year, I still tend to think of the day when I clean up the house and do laundry (it's usually a Saturday), as P-day.

8. I love children's books. Last year one of my professors informed me that it was essential to collect good children's literature for your clinic. I was thrilled with the news. One of my favorites: the Skippy John Jones collection.

9. I'm a girl who likes "happily ever after" movies and books. If I don't think it's going to have a happy ending I don't watch it or read it. The one exception to this rule is the seventh Harry Potter. I wasn't sure if it was going to have a happy ending, but I took my chances and read it any way.

10. I love to cook. I never feel like I have time for it, but I enjoy it when I can.

11. My favorite room in a house is a kitchen...of course it's got to have lots of windows and light like my parent's home in Montana, and the house I'm currently residing at.

12. I enjoy driving cars, especially stick-shifts. I was terrified to learn how, I think it was because I couldn't trust it if I didn't understand how it worked. I took a consumer mechanics course my senior year in high school, and I haven't been afraid of anything with a motor in it since then.

13. I love yoga. I was introduced to it by a roomate down at the Y, and I've enjoyed it ever since.

14. My most important attribute is that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His true gospel restored to the earth in these latter-days.

15. I've wondered for years what lentils look like, and I finally found out this week.
16. I speak spanish. This week I've been out in the schools in Ogden, and I've had the chance to talk with a lot of Hispanic parents. It has been so much fun, and I've been able to rev-up my skills a bit, as they've been getting a bit rusty.
17. My favorite hymn is "How Firm a Foundation." It has a great melody and hopeful words, I can't help but be happy when I hear it and sing it.
18. Don't ask me who someone famous is, I simply won't know. I was traveling down to Ogden with one of my professors and he thought he'd try the radio quiz game, to see which artists I recognized. I laughed and told him he was wasting his time...I simply don't know or care.
19. I play the piano. It's one of the most soothing and satisfying activities on the planet.
20. One of my goals: Before I turn thirty I'm going to ride in a hot-hair balloon.
21. I just started grad school on Monday, and I'm going to be VERY busy.
22. I have the best parents in the world, I'd nominate them for best parents of the year, but they'de hate to become famous.
23. I had to purchase liability insurance this month...wierd.
24. I'm a morning person. There's nothing in the world as refreshing as a cool morning breeze...except possibly a pleasant evening breeze after a hard days work.
25. A friend of mine who's an obsessive shopper, is moving to Chicago, and I just inherited a beautiful portion of her clothing. I don't think I've ever dressed so well.
26. My favorite breakfast cereal is Frosted Mini Wheats, I could eat them every single day of the week for breakfast and be perfectly content.
27. If I could eat out at an restaurant in the City of Logan, I would choose the Old Grist Mill. They have the yummiest tuna sandwhiches that I have ever tasted.
28. I drive a Toyota Camry. It's a great car, and I'm not sure I ever want to drive anything else.
29. I'm taking an Institute class on Studying the Scriptures. Because I'm a morning person I'm taking it at 7:30 in the morning. It's fabulous!
30. I like playing Scrabble. I've only ever played it with my family, and I don't recall ever winning a single game.
31. I've always wanted to get a professional full-body massage. It seems soooo relaxing.
32. I don't have any tonsils.
33. According to a teamwork test I took today, in a group situation I'm considerate and direct...does that seem like a slight oxymoron to anyone else?
34. I would love to be organized, but life always seems to happen before I get to that point.
35. I agree with the Silly Witch...ill fitting sheets are extremely irritating. If you buy twin sheets during the college sale time, you have to be extra careful not to purchase the extra long ones that they're saling because of all the freshman in the dorms who sleep on extra long beds.
36. According to the color code test I'm mostly white and blue.
37. I love being silly.
38. My favorite TV Show is Psych.
39. I'd like to live in Montana someday. John Steinbeck called it "the last best place," and I think he's absolutely right.
40. I used to be scared of disabled people. I'm taking a class to learn about them right now, and I'm gradually learning a better perspective and a lot more respect for them.
41. I speak Spanish. I learned to speak it in New Jersey, where I served as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saits.
42. Serving a mission was one of the best experiences of my life. It cemented the testimony of truth I already had, and I still constantly draw from my experiences during it. On September 29th it will be 3 years exactly since I entered the MTC.
43. I've never broken a bone in my body, I've bent one, though. I fell out of a treehouse when I was little and I got what's called a greenstick fracture. I fell out of the tree house because I slipped coming down the ladder. If my memory serves me correctly I believe I slipped because I was wearing my Sunday dress shoes. Little girls are so silly, and I was no exception.
44. I've had stitches (for things other than surgery) twice. Once I cut my finger open on a can of chili...I wouldn't let Dad take me into the hospital until he retied my Sunday dress. Once when I was playing ping-pong (also on a Sunday). Long story short: be careful capturing a ping pong ball from under a staircase when the staircase is made of metal. I had steri-strips on my chin once from a bike accident, and when I wrinkle my chin you can see the scar.
45. I loved to write stories when I was little. I once made it to the state level in reflections for a story I wrote. The only pieces I've written in the last few years, are school essays, and one poem I wrote on my mission. It's entitled, The Tag by Sister Kristy Colleen Price:
It first carried an orange dot
In a significant spot,
Announcing I was quite green
To the missionary scene.
Later on I carried two.
One seen only by the few
Hurrying on to hearth and home
Mid the nasty winter storms.
Th' other pinned to my sweater
Displayed a little better
To the ones who truly know
Why we two tramp thru the snow.
Summer comes in a short while--
Hard work missionary style
Sees the color slightly fade:
Hot sun? No matter, faith saved.
Carried for over a year,
It has seen its share of tears.
Scratches, it has a few.
Bent in service: living true.
But the most important part,
Why it's placed over my heart,
A name writ on the third line.
He's your Savior. He is mine.
46. The only reason I can write a well-written paper today is my mother. She proofread all my essays in High School, and I learned it all from her!
47. I love music from film scores, especially the orchestral parts. My roomate my last three years at BYU was a contemporary music composition major, and she introduced me to the joys of film scores.
48. I'm a research assisant right now, and a couple of our projects are in the final process right now. I never thought I could get excited over research data, but I am! I can't wait to witness the final results.
49. I'm a twin, a younger sister, an older sister, and a daughter. I've been blessed with a perspective of my immediate family from almost every angle, and I still learn something new from my siblings and parents every single time I talk to them: you're all amazing.
50. Even though I try and count my blessings, I can't. There are just far too many of them to number.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Cure for Boredom

Boredom is a condition characterized by perception of one's environment as dull, tedious, and lacking in stimulation. . If I thought boredome was going to be a problem for me this summer, I was definitely mistaken. It was really fun actually.

Last weekend at about 9:30 am Saturday I got a phone call from my friend Jolene who explained that one of our mutual friends needed to get her yard cleaned up asap or risk getting fined by the City of Hyrum. She lives in her grandma's house and her uncles and aunts are supposed to be responsible for the yard's upkeep, but that hadn't happened yet, and the city was getting a little impatient, so Missy Kissy to the Rescue! After calling as many people as I know that live in the Logan area I headed off to the sight to see what damage we could undo.

The support of friends and even a few strangers was awesome. All in all throughout the day we probably had about 15 people who came and went according to the time they were able to spare.

I've had some other fun activities throughout the summer as well: an awesome camping/rock-climbing/mountain biking trip up to Rock City, in Idaho, one wonderful week with my family in Montana (I love you guys!), and a lot of fun morning and afternoons biking around the Logan area.

This weekend I had hoped to be camping once again up in Idaho, but alas! instead of celebrating my finally being done with my City of Logan job, duty called me to finish up transcription work on the research project up on campus for my other job. It took four hours, but halleluah it's done. There'll be a lot more of it next week, though, we're going to be out in the schools doing prescreening. I'm so excited! This'll be my first chance to earn real clinic hours and gain some hands on practical experience.

The week after next? School begins, my life certainly has no room for boredom.

Friday, August 10, 2007

It's Official!

Prof. Vicki Simonsmeier and I sat down and talked over the IDT program on Wednesday, and it's official, I'll be starting in with the program at the same time that school starts! I've learned a bit more about it since Wednesday, too: I'll be taking an extra class on Friday afternoons, as well as participating in a group research project with a team of individuals from different disciplines here on campus, namely Social Work and Audiology. There are a few other disciplines, but I can't think of them at the moment.

Besides the research project, I'll also be observing and participating in several projects at various clinics throughout the Logan area. This is particularly nice, since usually first year Grad's are stuck on campus at the clinic a lot. I'll still be spending my fair share of time at the clinic, but I'm looking forward to being able to get out and participate more in opportunities outside of the typical campus bubble.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

And here comes bachelor number two!

Okay, so the title is a wee bit deceptive in that there are currently no men in my life as far as dating goes...but I have officially completed my second bachelor's degree. Yea! I am now officially certified to work as an SLP aid, and I have completed all the prerequisite course work for the master's program. So there are absolutely no worries about things left undone as I begin my first semester in the graduate program.

Another new and exciting thing has ocurred this week, too. One of my graduate professors, Vicki Simonsmeier, who I've only met a time or two, and very briefly in passing, sent me this email:


Dr. Manuel-Dupont has suggested you for a training position in the Interdisciplinary Training Program for next year. I’ve attached some brief information about this program for you to review. This program also has a stipend (usually $3000 for a first year graduate) and requires 300 hours of didactic, leadership and clinical work. Please review the information and email to make an appointment to discuss this opportunity.

Thank you.

Professor Simonsmeier

Vicki Simonsmeier, MS, CCC-SLP/A

Well, needless to say I did email her, and I'll be meeting with her on Wednesday afternoon! She told me once again that "Dr. Manuel-Dupont speaks very highly of you." And while nothing is official yet, I feel really confident that this is going to work out.

Ever since I learned about Interdisciplinary Teams (IDT's) at the end of last fall semester, it's something that I've wanted to be apart of. It means that I'll get specific training on how to organize my caseload based on a group effort. So, if a child is involved with a physical therapist, a social worker, and an audiologist in addition to myself, I'll be trained on how to work with that team of individuals so that we utilize our time most effectively and focus each of our efforts more specificially to the goals that we decide on as a team. It's a pretty awesome, (and when it works right) efficient approach to those in need of services from multiple individuals. All in all, it's a great opportunity and I'm excited for the chance to be involved in it.

About Me

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Wherever I may roam, Montana is my home.