Yeah, it’s break time …

As a Palmer student, I love to learn and I love what I am doing, but I also love my breaks. I think they are so critical to my survival and to the survival of my fellow students. Before I started at Palmer, if I was asked what my favorite holiday was I would have told you Christmas. And while I still love that magic time of year, if you were to ask me today that same question I would now tell you that it is the break we get between spring and fall trimesters. It’s a little over three weeks of complete and utter relaxation. I love it and it is a great time to give my mind a much needed rest. It’s also a great time to visit with friends and family and reenergize my student batteries for the next trimester. I really want to emphasize the need to maximize those breaks so that you can be sure to be the best student you can as you proceed through your Palmer education. So in following my own advice, I am going to wrap this up and go become one with my sofa and watch a good movie. Any suggestions?

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

The iPad – the key to my success

It’s July 5th, 2010, and I am sitting in W216 (West Hall) with about 142 other first trimester students at Palmer College of Chiropractic as we enjoy the activities of orientation. I look around and wonder how on earth I am going to make it through this program. Luckily, I have first generation iPad with me and think that it will be a big key to my success here. Looking back, that thought was very, very prophetic. Since that day, I have upgraded my iPad a couple times and still use it on a daily basis in every class.

Now I am not presuming that an iPad is essential to everyone’s success at Palmer, but for those like me who love technology, I highly recommend one. I believe that not only will it serve you well while in school, I believe that it will have great use in my future practice with electronic health records and tracking patient care. But let’s get back to classes at Palmer and how an iPad can help you each and every day.

I want to tell you about three specific apps and how I feel they have made my life at Palmer a whole lot easier.

The first app that I use on my iPad to take notes every day with is called iAnnotate PDF. This app allows me to take notes just as if they were on paper but instead of having to print out notes from on the student portal and carry around multiple binders with note sets in them, I carry all my notes around in my iPad. I can highlight, jot down notes in the margin, bookmark important pages and create stamps for my notes. Believe me, it’s a lot lighter and more convenient. The other great thing about taking notes on an iPad like I do is that through iAnnotate PDF, I can search for specific subjects within the app as opposed to flipping through pages of printed notes.

The second app that I use is Flashcards. My first year at Palmer, I made well over a thousand flashcards. Thanks to this app, I didn’t need to carry around stacks of flashcards, but I kept them all in my iPad and even synced them to my iPhone so I always had them to study no matter where I was. And if I made a mistake on one of my flashcards, I didn’t have to throw that card away, I just edited it and kept on studying.

The third and final app that I have used through every trimester at Palmer is called iHomework. This app allows me to set up my schedule for all my classes with classroom assignments, teacher contact info and the ability to track all my grades. I always liked to know where I was as each trimester progressed, and it was especially helpful when finals rolled around.

Now the last thing that I wanted to mention is that recently Palmer invested in upgrading the wifi all over campus, and that makes using an iPad even better because now I can look up info while a teacher is lecturing on a subject if I feel I need more info rather than make a note to look it up later.

I definitely recommend that you invest in an iPad before you start. It has made my life a lot easier while I’ve been here, and I know that it will make yours easier as well.

No student is an island

No one is an island, but this one wouldn’t be bad for a day.

You may have heard it said that no man (woman) is an island, and I thought that for me. That was never more true than the day I walked through the doors on orientation day at Palmer College back in July of 2010.

I didn’t come from a chiropractic family and had just a sliver of understanding as to what chiropractic truly was and a passion for helping those around me. I felt really alone in a lot of ways, but luckily I had an amazing girlfriend who had made the move with me from Utah. So even though I felt alone, I wasn’t really.

But as 1st trimester began, I quickly found a couple fellow students who lived in the same building with me, and we formed a group that studied together, went to open labs together and stressed out together when exams and practicals came up. We rejoiced with each others successes and shared a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going our way. Looking back, I really don’t know what I would of done had I not had those close friends.

And as we quickly approach graduation this year, I honestly can tell you that the friendships that I have made will last long beyond graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything).

Once you start your chiropractic education, whether it is at Palmer or one of the other schools, I encourage you to find some fellow students and bond together. Forge a friendship to help lighten the load. Becoming a chiropractor is a great journey and will be one of the greatest things you ever do. Best of luck to you in your chiropractic journey and should you have any questions, big or small, please leave a comment.

Take care and have a great day.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Let me offer you some advice …

Wow, how time flies. I just finished 8th trimester, and as I write this, I only have two trimesters left as a Palmer student before I venture out into the real world once again.

So you are reading this and probably think that I just want to brag about where I am and that the road ahead looks so very daunting for you, but honestly that is not the case. It really doesn’t seem that long ago when I was in your very shoes thinking to myself that I will never graduate from Palmer. Well, rest assured, many have done it before you and many will do it after you are sitting right where I am.

I think the best advice that I can give to you is to follow your heart and your passion. Palmer is a great chiropractic college, and I love it with all my heart. But it is not for every single individual desiring to become a chiropractor. I would advise you to trust your gut. I didn’t need to visit every school before I knew where I was to go for my education. I visited Palmer in March of 2010 and knew before I left that it was the perfect fit for me. I would recommend that you start with a visit to Palmer, since we are the Fountainhead of chiropractic and where it all began. We are rich in history and tradition, but we are also preparing for the future of our profession. The college is actively making changes to ensure that they offer the best education for the student body and producing the best chiropractors out there.

If you come to Palmer and don’t feel the immediate click that I did, then look at other colleges. The road to becoming a chiropractor is a long and challenging one, but it is very rewarding. My time here at Palmer has flown by, and I say that with all seriousness.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, feel free to contact me. And if you find yourself in the Quad Cities anytime soon, drop by the college and lets get you adjusted in the Academic Health Center.

Have a great day and best of luck in your future chiropractic endeavors.

-Matt Sharples, 9th Tri, Davenport Campus

Campus Guides fundraiser at Applebee’s

This past Saturday, we had a great event to raise money for our West Campus Guides. We had spent the previous two weeks selling breakfast vouchers for pancakes and bacon at Applebee’s. Those folks were nice enough to open their doors three hours before they normally open to accommodate breakfast to all of the people we sold vouchers to!

It became a great inter-club competition. Guides brought out their best salesmanship skills, and it was fun selling against my fellow peers. Once at Applebee’s, we set up the entire restaurant and then served everyone who bought a voucher. We had a great turn-out of almost a hundred people!

Folks were well satisfied, and although we didn’t get enough contestants for the all-you-can eat pancake challenge, we are hoping next year that will come to fruition. All in all it was a successful event in that we raised money for our club, provided an affordable and delicious breakfast to our customers, and we got to have fun talking to people on a beautiful Saturday morning. I’m excited for next year’s event and hopefully I can sell the most tickets!

Looking back on my first year at Palmer (West Campus)

I am finishing up another quarter here in the next couple of weeks, and I have to say I couldn’t be happier it’s almost over. It’s funny, I think I say this every quarter.

Looking back on my first year, I have realized how important Chiropractic is to the health of the human body and how very happy I am that I chose Palmer (West Campus). I have friends attending other schools, and, in fact, I was scheduled to start my Chiro schooling at a school in Texas. Not that I think that school would have been better or worse, just different than here. The kind of friendships that I have made here so far are awesome in the fact that we spend so much time together, there doesn’t seem to be much of another way than to get along with the majority of people. Over this last weekend, we had our school’s Campus Guides host a breakfast fundraiser (pancakes!) at Applebee’s, where we paid a small amount for a breakfast that should have cost way more. It was a lot of fun to hang out with my friends from school and meet their families. This is just one example of many things that our school often does.

– Shawn Larkin, West Campus