16 May 2008

Professional Development Evaluations

PS: I need proof I motivate others and that I'm flexible in unexpected situations and ummm that I inspire trust in small groups and umm that I have a firm grasp of occupation balancing and that I think learning is lifelong and that I value the role of COTAs….so if any of y'all want to share something (something true and appropriate to show professors, that is) that I can use as proof, I'll be your best friend. Like “thanks for the time you sicced a rabid dog on me so id run 3 miles instead of 1 during my marathon training…” …that kind of evidence.

PS2: I do realize that PS's don't normally start a letter…

PS3: I'm going to bed now…tomorrow is going to be a long day!!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

16 May 2008

Wow. Emo Occupational Therapist Student, anyone?

I just finished reading Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult and I was impressed…I also enjoyed The Condition…many many hours of procrastination from PDE (professional development evaluation) time. I’m about halfway done. It’s frustrating to me that we are asked to show evidence of things like “uses APA style”. C’mon…you’ve been our professors for a year and a half in a small school. You know us intimately. Tell us what you don’t believe we show proof of professionally so that we can go find evidence for those specific things. The only argument I’ve heard as to why we do it is to build up something for our future bosses…but um, what boss in their right mind wants to be shown a two inch binder filled with things like a page of citations to show we know APA style? And an e-mail showing we motivate others? Seriously? Also the professors get together to discuss us so that they can give us feedback on a little sheet. I’d LOVE to be a fly on the wall for those discussions. Mine last year basically said I was pretty cool, except that I tend to make morbid comments too frequently. Yeah I agree. I tried to be better about it this semester, although I admit I’ve had quite a few slips. So now it will be like “You’re kinda cool, except you’re still morbid and inappropriate, work on that more. And stop slouching. And project louder. .” LOL. And I’ll be like, okay, I’m still working on the whole inappropriate comment thing. And I slouch because my body is messed up, not laziness. And my ears are insanely sensitive. But I’ll try.” and then they will be like, “don’t try. DO.” and I’ll be like, “Geez louise!! Criminy crickets! Okay!” And then I’ll promptly go slouching off to speak softly about how I want to fall off a cliff.

JUST KIDDING. Today I was supposed to go volunteer in the morning but since I didn’t fall asleep until after 5am I ended up calling them to ask about coming in next week to do the database entry instead. I slept in until it was time to go to the Assisted Living facility, where I met my Tai Chi partner Julie, and then we went around scheduling people. Everyone is so nice. I ended up going to Kerri’s (who lives near by the place) for a few hours to work on stuff like PDEs, although I was exhausted enough that I ended up playing Super Mario Kart with her and reading a book. I went back to the facility at 6ish to help out with Bingo. It’s fun smiling at people and being around so many nice people. I think many “older adults” (the politically correct term these days) have a special ability to see inner sparks…lights within us that have nothing to do with age.

A few days ago I clicked on a site my friend had found that was made by a man who buys unprocessed film at like antique stores, to develop it. He put up his favorite pictures, most of which were decades ago. It made me feel odd to look at these flat images on my screen, random strangers looking into the camera, and knowing that there was an entire lifetime of history captured in that snapshot. So many emotions and so many stories that I would never know. I think that’s one reason I like OT – you get to know your clients. You get to have an intimate look into their lives, get to live a small part of their journey. You are medical enough to get to help them, but social/non-medical enough that they will tell you things they might not tell a doctor. You, if you do the job OTs are truly meant to do, have become a part of their history…not just a single sentence line in Reader’s Digest referring to the grueling months of rehab a person underwent.., but a living human being that worked with another human being, day by day, working together to help create a new fabric…I need to stop reading so many random books. I sound like an emo metaphysicist on LSD.

But seriously…I have thrown myself into OT…and it has nothing to do with wanting to do glitter crafts, or stack cones, or measure hand angles…it has to do with watching a woman’s eyes light up as she watches her daughter put on her own socks for the first time…in other words…it’s not about the skill being learned…it’s not about the job….it’s about the joy of connection, the joy of participating in activities that bring meaning. All careers have their pros and cons…but there is, at least to me, a special magic in OT…although it’s time for another Slagle lecture on why we need to not forget our roots… a famous reconstructionist aide (precursor to OT), Ora Ruggles, explained that it is the healing of the heart that is the most important…

One point of clarification since I know “Cookie Gimp” will fuss at me otherwise on how I’m talking about restoring and not about people with congenital issues….the joy of watching someone do something doesn’t have to be a physical task or gaining a new skill…it’s solely based on watching a person participate, mentally OR physically, in a task that brings that person some satisfaction or joy or enhanced quality of life…regardless of level of ability before or after. 😛

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

15 May 2008

caffeine induced insomnia

Wow…it's 4:24am and I'm still up. I haven't been up this late in years. I didn't even nap today and I only got around 5ish hours of sleep yesterday – but a few cups of iced tea today made me stay up all night 🙁 I just finished one of the new books from Brooke, “The Condition”….pretty cool. And I'm wide awake…augh! Tomorrow is gonna be tough!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

15 May 2008

Note to self: Caffeine is evil.

Southern Iced Tea, you tempt me with your sugary goodness. Then you keep me up all night. Not cool. An OT student needs her sleep!!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: 1

15 May 2008

If I were a martian with a bar I'd have a drink called martian mellows and I'd be famous…ot students shouldn't write blog entries at 1am

Today we gave our Tai Chi poster presentation. Our research mentors kindly tore it apart – emphasizing that it wasn’t bad, but it could be fine-tuned immensely. They had some good ideas and we also got a crash course on body language while standing at the poster! This was our third draft of the poster, I think. Now we have to redo it completely before next Wednesday when we do the symposium. We start doing Tai Chi assessments this Friday. The research has been somewhat interesting and I like the subject matter, but I and everyone else in this project are bitter at the gas money and time our groups have put in compared to all other groups. The gas money especially has become an issue, with every single trip out there now costing me at least $4 and for others, more like 7 or 8. That adds up really quick as a student, especially when you consider we’ve easily been there 15 times apiece, and that’s a low estimate. Ugh.

ANYWAY enough ranting. Just had to say it since I can’t sleep so I figured I’d throw out what I could. Brooke and I then had lunch before working on our PDEs at school together, which went pretty quickly. Then we went to the gym where we took PiYo, ran into low vision occupational therapist Orli, who is ballroom dancing with her husband! That’s so cool! Then we went out east so Brooke could feed some cute doggies she is house-sitting! Then we went to a barbecue place outside and met my our other friend Christa! Then we went to her house and watched American Idol! And I had fun and refused to think about the PDEs, the Diversity paper, the special blog project , the stacking up e-mails, and the other ten thousand things I have going on! Sometimes you just have to go with the flow yo! For sanity! And I sang most of the day, poorly, because for some reason I always feel like singing random songs these days like “Go the frikken speed limit you stupid blue car… la la la”. Everything sounds so much better by song. And my blogging always seems like it makes sense late at night but when I wake up in the morning I’m always like, why did I think talking about crackers and chain saws was a good idea? Hmm.

Brooke also made me the happiest person in the ENTIRE WORLD today by sharing with me a ton of free books she got from book reps…of course not to keep, but since I read fast and do a lot of skimming, she’s letting me be the supervisor of them….on some of the yuckier times in life, having a book to look forward to reading is the only thing that motivates me to get out of bed! I like immersion in the words of others as a reprieve from my own dangledoodle thoughts!

I’m happy that our semesters of schooling are almost over in the sense that no matter how interesting something is, sitting in a classroom gets tedious pretty quickly. But I’m sad because I truly enjoy (usually) my classmates and I’m going to miss the camaraderie and fun we’ve had together. In June I’ll be out of town for almost three weeks…and I start my first level II fieldwork, 3 months full-time, at a local rehab hospital, inpatient, on June 30th….so probably my June updates will be a combination of “I’m off-topic enjoying my last student vacation ever so in your face” and “I mean to write this down seven months ago and just remembered…” and “Oh my gosh I’m so scared of fieldwork” and “I just tried to transfer my friend from a chair to the bed and I’m pretty sure I broke the spinous processes off half my vertebral column”. La Occupationalie Therapistia opera: MY SPINE!! MUST PINE! FOR IT HAS LOST!! ITS BONY THOUGHTS! FOR I! DO NOT KNOW HOW TO TRANSFER! AND FOR THAT! IM SCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARED!

Delirium strikes. I should stop. I still need to write about Terri Schiavo and the beautiful little girl I met recently with haloproencephaly and spina bifida. And um, yeah. Lots coming up…I have the tendency to always be waiting for the next big event to occur, instead of just like living in the NOW..and appreciating how lucky I am to be in school….I keep thinking I need to start up a blessings journal where I try to work on my negativity by counteracting it with positive thoughts…but then I also want to become a female, less cowboy-ish version of Chuck Norris…and…and…ummm.

Tomorrow is a full day between volunteering at a Rehab dept for WEE-FIM stuff (I kept putting it off) and then spending the afternoon and evening out at an assisted living facility doing Tai Chi related things, plus Bingo! (Sarah, you are welcome to come..)

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

14 May 2008

Non sequiturs are my middle spoon

This morning I got to observe an OT at the local pediatric hospital, working in unit that handles children [usually babies] on ventilators. I specifically asked to observe him because if I want to work with just little kids, I need a lot of skills and exposure! Plus, I'd like to volunteer in that unit some, so I wanted some exposure to vents.

The first little baby we saw was absolutely adorable. He is just learning peek-a-boo and he is the biggest flirt you have ever seen. Everybody near him got some peek-a-boos. But if he gets ignored long enough, he's figured out how to unhook his vent so that the alarms go off and he gets some attention! His vent came off his trache a few times and I was like AUGHHHHHHHHHHH but the OT always put it back on immediately so it was fine. We also saw a baby that wasn't very fond of weight-bearing, a little girl with A MILLION issues, and a little boy that had a closed head injury and didn't have a very good rehab prognosis. : All on vents. It basically turns out that from a volunteer experience, it's just one more tube to be aware of…although a GIANT important one. LOL.


Tomorrow morning Meg, Katy, and I present our research poster to our research mentor, for a grade and as a dress rehearsal for next week's big research symposium. We all feel pretty confident that we know our stuff, but it's still a little nerve-wracking! I think I'll probably head to St. Jude to do WEE-FIM stuff afterward …hmmm


The other day I watched House…the really really bizarre episode involving a bus crash. After participating in that airplane crash drill, it was kind of eerie watching it…seeing the familar make-up, all the milling emergency officials, the sirens and lights…wow. Can you imagine how traumatizing it is? It's one thing to play fake victim….but to go through a traumatic event and then deal with all the lights and noises and chaos and fear….scary!!!


I have thought about blogging a lot lately…although haven't followed through. It's not so much that I'm lazy, just that I have sooooo much going through my head that it is hard to figure out something to focus on. I feel a strong urge to write a book…although I don't really think I have enough material until I've been practicing a few years…but I want to write it NOW….patience is a virtue…I dunno. Plus I have a lot to share that isn't OT or healthcare related, and I want to do some other completely random writing projects, and well, there just aren't enough hours in the day to do all those things…I feel the creativity crawling through my veins with no release…I either lack the skill or the time or both….


I'm going to stop now…my brain has emptied…professional development evaluations, two research presentations, a paper on diversity, a bunch of assessments for Tai Chi, and then perhaps that's about it left…at least off the top of my head. The next few weeks also include a few special events including watching my friend Allison do a triathlon, helping out at a family day picnic for an alzheimer's center, going to my friend Sarah's high school graduation, going to Nashville to meet my visiting Norwegian host family and then entertain them in Memphis a few days, going to my landlord's birthday lunch party, and then just the normal stuff like errands, working out, seeing friends, blah blah blah. Now it's time to set up for work. GOOOOD NIGHTTTTTTTTTTT

PS: I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog slightly…anyone have any thoughts on that??

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

12 May 2008

Random OT-related images

And now for some stolen images. Someone found this cartoon….really cool!

MOT Class of 2010 goes all out with an OT Month Bake Sale
MOT Class 2010 has lab.
It’s THRILLER!!!!!! Or a neurobiology class or something.
Check it out. At least some of the time I’m the first result, ha ha ha I laugh!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

11 May 2008

Amy Grant….

We had a presentation the other day in healthcare policy about a kid who had a stroke at a young age and was mostly non-communicative, but HATED the singer Amy Grant and could make that very clear. AHAHHA.

Also, I want to post about Terri Schiavo still, plus Second Life (cookie gimp’s suggestion), plus Facebook pictures, plus what the last few weeks of school before fieldwork are bringing…gotta get through all my ten thousand errands first though augh!

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

11 May 2008

Some random e-mail things to share

It seems like I’m always behind…I’m catching up on e-mails right now and I’m too lazy/time-constrained to make this very good, but here is stuff to share.

My friend Arnie left these two comments on some of my blogs and both cracked me up.

“A woman with no arms lived in the neighborhood where I raised my kids.
It was fascinating to watch her light cigarettes with her feet at the
neighborhood pool.

I love her advice: “Try not to be a dead person.” Come to think of it,
that’s pretty good advice for everyday living, not just emergency

Cheryl left the following validating (and scary, lol) comment on my rant on how uncomfortable the backboard was.
“backboards are *incredibly* uncomfortable- a lesson well learned in
lifeguard training. The other lesson from lifeguarding was what you
found out- that the emergency personnel may not know exactly what they
are doing 100% of the time, which could definitely kill you. scary.”


I had an e-mail exchange with a woman named Julia Fox Garrison, who wrote “Don’t Leave me This Way”, and her journey of being a young woman who has a stroke and how she deals with her journey toward healing. Unfortunately she had many bad experiences with rehab professionals, and I wrote her after reading it last week and told her how sorry I was that she had such negative encounters, and that OT is soo much more than that. Go read it! She wrote a nice response and I’m enclosing a clip because it has good advice.

Karen, please strive to keep that passion and compassion you have for your

profession. Remember the simplest gestures are what are remembered. I never

forgot the nurse who fed me a bagel from the nurses station or the aid who

sang to me.

Some interesting articles and/or blogs:



The Centennial Vision in Action:


http://funandfunction.com/index.php?main_page=wordpress blog

Category: Occupational Therapy | Comments: none

10 May 2008