Weekends are for fun, relaxation and…ME!

As our students wrap up another successful trimester, they are setting aside their books and studies to tell us what they enjoy most about their weekends as Palmer students…

Q. What have you enjoyed doing or being involved with on the weekends since you have been a student at Palmer?

My time here at Palmer is almost over and I’m reminiscing about my favorite weekends at Palmer… I loooooved waking  up late on Saturday mornings, grabbing my mat and heading to a hot yoga class! Then I enjoyed spending some time looking at recipes online and doing some grocery shopping. I loved to make fun and more time consuming recipes on weekends and bring goodies to my friends that night, have people over or bring treats to school! I loved juicing fresh vegetables and fruits and the weekend allowed time for the rigorous cleaning of my juicer. I would often make a lot of meals ahead of time for the week. I also loved going to Scott County with friends and going for hikes in the spring, hot summer, or beautiful autumn leaves. I also looked forward to going out with a group of people to the bars of downtown Davenport: Kilkenny’s, Mac’s or for bustin’ a move on the dance floor at Carriage Haus. The Daiquiri Factory and the dueling piano bar (now Comedy Sportz) in Rock Island also provided some solid entertainment. I also loved traveling to Chestnut’s Wellness seminars, Nucca conference and a few Gonstead and Mopal seminars. I liked taking advantage of the free seminars the school put held on weekends as well like the Business modules. Hopefully my Sunday didn’t consist of too much studying, but usually it did. However I’d find something to clean, laundry to do, friends and family to call, or anything else before I resorted to my books on Sunday night to study for that hairy exam Monday morning. In my later trimesters, I really enjoyed minimizing scheduled events on weekends. I enjoyed hosting or attending dinner parties, wine nights, nail painting, or game nights at home with a few friends.  I also loved going on small trips to Le Claire or Galena, IL whenever my budget could afford it! I really loved my weekends at Palmer!

-Kaileigh Strath

On weekends at Palmer, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing things for me. All week long, I am completely committed to schoolwork, studying, things Palmer-related, but on the weekends, I relish the time to get out in nature for a run or bike ride, or time in the gym with buddies to play some basketball. It also tends to be when I eat the most enjoyable, but unhealthy things, such as pizza and ice cream. I use the weekends to re-energize for the upcoming week. Another aspect of this for me is attending an uplifting, inspirational church service on Sunday mornings to get grounded again.

-Kyle Collins

Since I became a student at Palmer I started running on a regular basis. One of my favorite things about the weekend is completing my long run for the week. I love the feeling of accomplishment from pushing your body not only physically but mentally. It is also a great way to relieve stress from the past week of school and prepare yourself for the next week.

-Katherine Melot

I like getting away from the city and going out in nature.  The Quad Cities and surrounding areas have an abundance of hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities.  Getting friends together on a day off to relax is just what I need at the end of a hard week.

-Brian Hall

One thing I love about Davenport is the Farmer’s market, open Saturday mornings. I can get tons of fresh groceries, from meat and cheese to fruits, veggies, even pasta. And going with friends makes it even more fun.

–Allison Nisbett

I enjoy spending my weekends at the Troxell Intern Program taking Sunday classes. The classes have helped me improve my palpation, technique, and visualization skills. I enjoy the opportunity to practice my Chiropractic skills any chance I get.

– Brittany Sedar

Group outings to Whitey’s Ice Cream on the weekends. There is nothing better than ruining a week of healthy eating by enjoying a full day’s worth of calories all condensed into a shake that is consumed in less than ten minutes. Yumm…ohh yeah, spending time with close friends is important too!

– Brad Francis

I love the farmers’ market on Saturday morning! Also, all of the music festivals that are going on in the summer are great! Recently, my weekends have been kept busy with the central high school marching blue devils band which I help volunteer with on the staff.

–Alec Schielke

So far, on the weekends I have been taking yoga classes at a local yoga studio, One Tree Yoga. As well, I have been attending Troxell Workshops, which have been very helpful in getting extra hands on experience. I have had fun spending time with classmates, and going out for pints at Front Street Microbrewery. I recently took a trip out to Galena with my roomates, and visited the winery there. It is a quaint little town with lots of unique shops, and beautiful views. It was great to get away. Other than that, I have been doing lots of studying!

-Chelsea Delorme

Since being a student at Palmer I have discovered many fun things to do on the weekends. A trip to the farmer’s market and a walk to the park or to the river happen almost every weekend. I love baseball so, during the summer months, I attended River Bandit games and I was on a recreational softball league.

– Jessica Richards

My favorite fall activity is planning my son’s birthday party.  This year he will be 2 on October 25.  My husband and I enjoy planning a fall birthday party.  This year his party will be at Patch’s Pumpkin & Honey Farm.  There will be pumpkins to pick, corn mazes to run through, corn pools to swim in, pony rides, hay rack rides, apple cider, pumpkin launching with their pumpkin cannon and of course Birthday Cake!  There are so many beautiful orchids and pumpkins patches to visit in Iowa and beautiful fall leaves to enjoy on your drive to any of them!

-Jennifer Katzer

Which tri is the hardest?

They say if you can get through second trimester here at Palmer in Davenport that you will be just fine the rest of the way. Well, as much as I hope this is true, I find that a month into third trimester, I am presented with yet another challenging tri.

It is overwhelming to look ahead, but I try to remind myself to take it day by day and remember why I am here. Although I believe this tri will be just as challenging as the first two, I think the one thing I have really learned to do is manage my time and apply myself much more efficiently. I now have much better study skills and much better time management, which allows me to have time to get involved in the fun things that Palmer has to offer.

I am starting to get more involved in the clubs offered on campus as well as attending seminars on weekends. This has allowed me to get more experience in palpation, set ups and X-ray analysis. Surrounding myself around practicing doctors and D.C. students continues to motivate and excite me as I go through this journey here at Palmer.

So each day I try to remind myself that, yes, each tri is going to be challenging in its own sort of way. But if I go into it with the right attitude and always remember why I am here, I can accept the challenge and succeed to the best of my ability.

– Bethany VanKirk, third tri, Davenport Campus

2nd tri: Attitude is everything

I’ve noticed these days that when someone asks me what trimester I’m in and I reply with, “Second,” his or her typical response is, “Second tri is rough.”  Yes, the dreaded second trimester is upon me. I’ve been warned that this is the hardest trimester at Palmer, and so far it has lived up to its name. However, in the midst of the negativity that surrounds second trimester, I choose to be positive. I choose to attack it head-on. I choose to look at it as a rite of passage. Yes, this trimester demands a lot, but I won’t back down. No one said becoming a doctor was going to be easy. I’m going to earn every bit of that title, and I choose to be positive while doing it.

– Brooke Peters

Classes are back … and so is the smell of freshly sharpened pencils

I have a love/hate relationship with the first day of school. I have just experienced my fourth first day of school at Palmer, and our relationship status might read “it’s complicated.” If you are currently an undergraduate or high school student, you either stretch summer as long as possible and loathe getting into routine again, or you buy school supplies in July and pack your backpack two weeks ahead of time. I am the latter, therefore if you are the latter, don’t be ashamed.

You know the part in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan gushes about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils? That’s me. The part I love the most about beginning a new trimester is the refreshing intrigue of new classes and “can do'” attitude everyone has in their heart. Not to mention, students at Palmer look much nicer when they’ve actually gotten a healthy amount of sleep for the past 2 weeks.

The part I dislike about the first day of school is reading the syllabus and not lecturing. Get out of my way, syllabus, I have things to learn! This routine is the same in every school on the first day, and many people (many with more education and fancy letters after their names) have told me that this part is necessary, so somewhere in my brain I believe them. Love or hate, my favorite part of this particular first day of 4th trimester was the collective sigh of relief and pleasant smiles as my class welcomed some our favorite returning professors.

There are instructors at Palmer that you are allowed to–and should–adore. I genuinely believe I have had some of the world’s best instructors in my first year at Palmer, and I am excited to learn from what I know will be many more wonderful faculty in my next 6 trimesters.

Finding my path

A year ago, attending Palmer wasn’t even on my radar. I had a successful career as a marketing manager, owned a home outside of beautiful Boulder, Colorado, and was living a life of adventure. I was exactly where society said I should be in my 30’s, well minus the marriage and kids part. You would think that living in such a beautiful place and having a great job would be satisfying enough, but it wasn’t. I felt a lack of purpose during the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m..

I can recall during the interview for my first job out of college how I got the feeling that the business world just wasn’t “it” for me, but student loans needed to be paid, and after I had just invested $20,000 in my education, it was time for a payoff. So for nine years I pursued marketing, knowing every day that marketing just wasn’t what I wanted to do. One would look at this scenario and tell me to just make a switch to something else. The problem is that I didn’t know what that “something else” was.

I looked at teaching, human resources and physical therapy. Yet, none of these felt like they were right. Then last summer I decided enough was enough and made a visit to a career counselor. It was through my visits with the career counselor, conversations with my best friend (a 6th tri student) and visits to my chiropractor that I decided becoming a chiropractor was the path I should pursue.

Why chiropractic? I’ve always had a desire to help people; to have a skill that will make a difference. Chiropractic gives me the ability to help people tap into their body’s innate ability to heal, with just my two hands. I can by no means heal someone, but I can aid him or her in achieving wellness. I can’t think of better way to spend my 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After finishing my first trimester at Palmer, I believe now, more than ever, that becoming a chiropractor is my “it.”  The search is over. I’m on the path I was meant to be on. Oddly enough, it was well worth the wait, and the risk.

Thoughts on lab practicals, T-shirts, personal challenge and more

Well, with finals and lab practicals literally on my own doorstep, I would be lying a little if I said I was not stressed out. I am a little. OK, more than a little. This just means that I am putting my studying mind to full-throttle and pray for the best!

Lab practicals this time around involve identifying “landmarks” on particular parts of the skeleton, identifying organs, vessels, nerves, and other tissues on cadavers—oh, and many muscles that are on cadavers. One would think that studying on cadavers would be weird—and it is for the first little while —but then you get used to it. I have had to separate myself from the specimens and think of the cadavers as just that: specimens.

A living billboard? Sure!

On a different topic, I lately have been having some random thoughts about people wearing shirts with spines on them—Palmer gear and other things like that.

Up until a few days ago I would feel weird wearing it. I am not sure why. But now, looking back at how much time I am spending on learning these fantastic bodies of ours, I feel like, “Give me a spine shirt, or a Palmer shirt to wear proudly during any day of the year.!” I know this stuff well enough to bore people with the little details that we need to know as chiropractors!

 So, yes, I am catching the fever. I’m wanting to spread the good news of chiropractic, spinal health, and knowledge!Maybe I will be able to do that during our upcoming summer break.

How many people will I be able to convince that their lives would be better if they saw a chiropractor? How many people will each student come into contact with that may be a future chiropractic patient? Everyone whom we contact who is not already one!

So, here is the challenge that I now have put upon myself: To be a living billboard for chiropractic care. “So let it be written. So let it be done!” ”

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Palmer students learn to ‘walk the talk’

On Palmer’s Davenport Campus, there are quotes everywhere. Not just the epigrams by B.J. Palmer, but from other doctors, as well. I thought I had seen and read every single one, but today I noticed one which I hadn’t before. It said something along the lines of, “It is important that a patient knows that the doctor is taking his own advice.”

This has popped in and out of my head all day as I sit next to my fellow students, and as I walk in the halls. I have been privileged to receive treatment from several doctors who I know take their own advice. It is difficult as a patient to “eat plenty of vegetables” and “get 8 hours of sleep” if you notice your adviser at a fast food restaurant several times each week.

As a newbie here at Palmer, there are several students in my trimester, and the other earlier trimesters, that carry their bad habits with them into class. It is easy to distinguish an upper trimester student from a lower trimester student, not only by the way they dress (upper trimester students are in the clinic throughout the day, and therefore wear clinic appropriate dress attire), but also by the lack of energy drinks and junk food. Obviously chiropractic is about promoting health, and health does not include chewing tobacco, energy drinks, and sugar-filled sodas.

 As an outsider, not yet completely changed by the Palmer education, it is evident that the knowledge supplied at this school has the ability to change patients into doctors as students progress through life at Palmer.

 Hannah Anderson
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Note to self: Take time for off-campus fun!

These past couple of weeks have been quite interesting. We had a break from our tests (talk about OVERLOAD a few weeks ago), and now we are bracing ourselves for another swing of exams. Studying can get very monotonous, and that is why we should have a life OUTSIDE of Palmer—or at least outside campus.

Recently my wife and I have been doing more activities together, and through this time together we have let the Quad Cities area take root in our hearts. We have been bowling at a local alley with another couple, and we had a blast! And our latest find is a hiking/mountain bike trail that is just minutes away from Davenport! Breanna, my wife, and I got so wound up in the biking that we almost felt like we were in the mountains from where we both grew up, North Idaho and Eastern Washington.

Students that say that there is nothing to do have not been looking in the right places! #1: Winter CAN be dull. It is cold, VERY cold at times, and it may seem long, but do NOT forget! Spring and summer will come! #2: Spring and summer, so far, have been great!

There are many activities in the Quad Cities that draw your attention and gets you excited to be involved. For instance, the Mississippi Valley Fair will be going on during school time in July! There are weekly races at the fairgrounds on Fridays that I *just* found out about because I heard the engines from our house! There are festivals all over the place! And, you can go ice skating all year at the Davenport recreational facility–my wife’s favorite! (For some reason, she likes to see me biff it all the time). The parks around here, for the most part, are beautiful and great places to have a great BBQ. (Oh, the tastes and smells of SUMMERTIME!)

Oh, and I guess I am getting a little excited to have a vacation from school that is coming up. As a matter of fact, I think everyone here at campus is getting a little antsy for the BIG break. It’s only three weeks, but we will utilize those three weeks to the best of our capabilities! Soak it in while you can!

OK, now back to studying. More exams—and more to look forward to!

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Keeping the end in mind

When I attended my first student council meeting, as the newest and youngest member, I was assured that the three-and-a-third years at Palmer would fly by. The ease in which upper trimester students discussed their path to graduation made it seem as though the next time I turned around, I would be in 10th trimester. Ta-da! I can assure you, I have turned around several times, and I am still in second tri.

Word on the street is that second trimester is one of the most aggressive academically, and this week especially I have truly, truly felt that. I do not doubt my success here at Palmer, but there are times when do I lose sight of my original vision of promoting and providing preventative healthcare.

It is easy to get bogged down in the beginning of this journey by the never-ending flood of core scientific information. However, I am lucky enough to have a handful of doctors in eastern Iowa that recognize the highs and lows of chiropractic school. There times when I am least excited about studying and ask both internally and out loud, “What does this have to do with anything? When will I have to explain this to patient?” It is at times like these that I contact my favorite Palmer graduates and beg to observe in their office.

Watching a practicing doctor verbally and physically integrate the topics I am currently learning (muscle origins and insertions) with the topics I would rather be learning (adjustment techniques, physical therapies), is enough to reignite the spark that encouraged me to pursue chiropractic in the first place. I would like to encourage students in a mental “rut” to contact doctors practicing in the field. However, I would mostly like to express my gratitude to D.C.s who open their doors to students. I am sure that this exchange between students and doctors nurtures the entire profession.

Hannah Anderson
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Finding balance in a busy time

These past couple of weeks have contained exams almost every other day. Within about two weeks, we had an exam in each class except Philosophy, and practicals in Spinal Anatomy II and Palpation.  It has been quite busy. Being a Palmer student can be compared to a juggling act. 

When it comes to this kind of schedule, I need to decide which classes get more attention than others.  I need to work on priorities and then make a schedule.  As I look back to my past, I have done all of those, but I have not kept the schedule. I will be working on my own accountability to make sure that I do what I say according to my studies.

The exams that I have taken haven’t panned out the way I have wanted, but what do I expect if I do not study diligently?  It is true that for some professors, if not all, that you have to study for how they test you on the material.  Some teachers have different language it seems like when it comes to taking their exams, but we have to deal with it.

For the vast majority, the information that we are receiving even now in the second tri, is to not just prepare us for their exams, but to also prepare us for National Boards, which are used to dictate if we are ready to be called Doctors of Chiropractic.

So how do I deal with all of this pressure of exams, family life, and person reflection?  I take it a day at a time. I go to bed at a decent hour. I have found that I DO NOT perform well if I cram for exams. I go to bed because a good night’s rest is more therapeutic and resourceful for my exams than cramming unknown or unfamiliar information into my tired brain.

I make time for my family.  I have made a deal with my family that I will take two hours each day during the week to be with them—no homework.  That includes time for dinner and then one hour of play with my almost two-month-old girl before she goes to bed.  If I put God first, then my wife, then my baby, and then school, what can go wrong in the grand scheme of things? Well, I guess I will find out eventually, eh? I am sure that everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out. Lives will be touched, be they the lives of my family members, classmates, or even just my own as I watch my daughter grow and watch my knowledge unfold.

What have you seen in your “study life” that has helped you avoid distractions and “bear down” to “own” the material that you need to learn?  What are some of the distractions that you have overcome?

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus