Rugby in the snow and a new trimester begins

Living in the Midwest, you don’t know what weather you’ll be hit with in the next week. This past weekend when we played our final game we realized while we traveled up to Minneapolis that it was going to be cold and snowy for the match. We knew we had to put our hearts, mind and every part of us in this game to succeed. From the start, we were letting the weather get to us and we weren’t running our system like we usually do. By the end of the first half, we were down by 10. We picked up speed in the beginning of the second half but eventually the Amazons overcame our defense, and eventually won the game. It was heartbreaking to see that happen but we later found out that the Amazons were going to forfeit their place in playoffs due to other obligations of a few players on the team. This gave us their place in playoffs in Grand Rapids, Michigan! We were so surprised, but at the same time, excited to continue our season and hoping to continue through playoffs. We are preparing this week during practices, working on our weaknesses and fitness to make sure we are at our top for this game this coming weekend.

With the start of our trimester this week, the first trimester students and the new undergrad students had orientation on Monday. Since I’m a mentor I get the opportunity to join them on their tour of campus and lunch to help them with any questions or finding things around campus. My group was a little more quiet than I expected, but after a trip around campus they talked more about where they’re from and asked questions about classes and material they will need. It was great seeing students from all over — not just the United States, but all over the world. There were quite a few students from Wisconsin, so we made connections there but usually the new students have so much information given to them in a little amount of time during that morning, which causes many to be a little overwhelmed. The first day of classes weren’t too stressful but I know I will have to get used to scheduled days again. A lot of the students in my group from orientation didn’t feel as comfortable with their way around campus yet, so during our club hour at 9:20 a.m. I took a group of them around campus to show them the different ways to get to each of their classes. Palmer has a few buildings but once you get yourself oriented, walking to class and around campus becomes easy. I can’t wait to get to know these new students more and see them succeed here at Palmer.

I’m very excited to be in my 6th trimester because I’m taking my first couple electives here at Palmer and we have more technique classes involved in our schedule. With my schedule for the winter I knew it was the perfect time to take SOT due to its time slot. Since we don’t play rugby during the winter, this allows this elective and practice to not interfere with the time of each activity. I also decided to take the activator elective to learn more about this technique and its benefits. My classmates and I will also be taking thoracolumbar and pelvic technique courses where we will learn about the set-ups, subluxations and more with the different techniques taught for these areas of the body. I’m excited to have more hands-on experience but I know this will be a crazy, busy trimester!

Playing rugby in the snow is a challenge overcome by teamwork.

Success in rugby and finals!

Our rugby season has been making history for Palmer with us being in the # 1 spot in the league so far. We even had an article in “ The Rugby Breakdown” about our success this season, in addition to a recent television interview and “practice” session with Channel 4 news here in Davenport. We showed the reporter the basics of rugby and he enjoyed learning about the sport and how our team is doing. We’ve had almost every Saturday filled with a rugby game and social with the teams this past month. Unfortunately, this season is coming to an end. We are in the Number #1 spot in our league currently, but our last game against the Amazons will determine if we stay in the top spot and go to playoffs. Since we just finished finals and we are on our break right now, we decided to have two-a-day practices the Wednesday and Thursday before the game. This allowed for a lot of players to head home or do some traveling for a long weekend. With our practices and the team’s energy, I feel like we can come out with a win this weekend and advance to playoffs for the first time in Palmer history.

Finals came upon us fast but I studied hard during the past couple weeks and did really well in all my classes. I’m one of those students who calculates their current grade and checks to see what is needed to maintain or raise my grade in each class. But I came out strong in each class of mine and this allowed me to enjoy my little break at home even more. I was able to spend time with friends and family and do a lot of relaxing. I even got to pick up a couple shifts at my job back at home as a receptionist at Studio 262 Salon in Middleton, Wis. I’ve worked there for seven to eight years now and I cover shifts for other employees during my break if they need a day off or want some vacation time. I love coming back to work because the employees always feel like family and they do amazing work for their clients. I love talking to the clients and seeing how happy they are with their finished results. But as always, break felt like it went by too fast. It’s nice to be back in Davenport for the weekend and I’m excited to finish it up with some rugby with my team!

 

My first adjustment, rugby and a wedding

The new term (or tri)  just started this week, but I’m going to tell you about the end of last tri.

The week before finals is always a little stressful with exams, practicals and preparation for our finals before the break. I started off the week by adjusting my friend in our toggle class! We did our scans, X-rays and palpation findings, which led us to find a pattern and a listing for each other. I was extremely nervous since it was my first adjustment but our professors had us practice ahead of time and helped us through the whole adjustment.

Jennie hold a small Palmer Crest pin she received or completing her first adjustment

My Palmer Crest pin for performing my first adjustment!

After I performed the adjustment, we did our post-scans and analysis. My friend’s fossa reading went down a whole degree, and his leg-checks evened out. It was amazing to see how much change occurred after performing that adjustment on him. Not only did the adjustment help him, but it confirmed the love and passion I have for the field of chiropractic. I can’t wait to have more hands-on classes where we will learn about different types of adjustments and different techniques that we will use in the future with our patients. After we did our first adjustments, we got a little pin to congratulate us on the accomplishment!

Otherwise, the rest of the exams and quizzes went well, especially since we have to start preparing for our finals. I was happy to get the best grade yet in my nutrition class on our third exam, and I hope to do even better on our final!

I have accepted a new responsibility in rugby for the next year! I was voted by my fellow players to be the new treasurer for the Women’s Rugby team. I will help with fundraising, socials and other events we host throughout the year. I’m excited to help not only on the field, but also off the field for this team and help make team decisions with the e-board.

Jennie (far right) with her friends from undergrad outside in front of a background of blue sky and trees. There are three other women and one man.

Celebrating with my undergrad friends at the wedding in Rockford.

In addition to this busy week, I attended a wedding in Rockford, Illinois, over the weekend. Two of my friends from undergrad made that next step in their relationship with marriage, and I was able to witness and celebrate with them–and many friends from our undergrad years. It was nice to enjoy the weather, some dancing and a lot of fun with old friends before my long week of finals! I had to head back pretty early Sunday since I had quite a bit of studying to do before my final exam Monday morning.

-Jennie

Heading into finals … and summer!

Photo of lots of colorful flower bouquets with roses, carnations and daisies.

Bouquets of flowers seem to go hand-in-hand with Mother’s Day.

As the trimester is coming to an end, we are getting a little bit more busy with final quizzes, exams and practicals. But there is always time to celebrate the holidays. For Mother’s Day I decided not to go home since my mom’s birthday was the weekend after, and my dad would be coming home from a fishing trip on her birthday. I still wanted to do something special for her, so I had a vase of flowers specially made for her. My dad was able to pick them up and bring them home for her. She loved the surprise so much she teared up a little. I think it made her more excited for my visit the next weekend.

During the week, we had a few quizzes and assignments in class. In particular for our toggle class. We were able to analyze our own cervical X-ray films to find our possible upper cervical listings. With this we are able to test other findings with scans, palpation and leg checks. At the end of the class our partners are able to adjust us, if the findings show a misalignment. My partner and I have been evaluating each other and will possibly be adjusting one another next week. These will be our first adjustments we will be giving, so we are pretty excited!

The next weekend I was able to travel home to see my family and celebrate my mom’s birthday! I invited my friend to join me since she is from New York, and her family is far away. I also knew her new puppy would love to visit Wisconsin since she had never been, and there is so much open area around my house.

During this visit, we weren’t able to do too many things outdoors due to bad weather with rain and cold temperatures. For dinner we did a traditional Friday fish fry in downtown Madison at one of my favorite restaurants in the area, Dotty Dumplings. The morning of my mom’s birthday I was able to make her breakfast in bed and help her start off her birthday the right way! Unfortunately, I had to head back a little early on Sunday due to the volleyball league I signed up for at a local bar in Moline.

Luckily I made it back right on time for the game, and I found out we were playing two games in one night. I was pretty tired from the car ride but we won three games and lost three games. All in all, it was a fun, good time with friends and volleyball.

This week was a busy week with a few quizzes and our last practical in toggle. For the practical we analyze sample X-rays, findings and scans and with this we will decide what we would adjust and if we could adjust. Then after all the analysis, we set up on a “practice dummy” whose name is Charlie. For the practical, we focus on the patient placement, doctor set up and thrust. Also we have to make sure we have the right adjustment when looking at the films, scans and our findings. I’m nervous but I plan on practicing beforehand so I feel prepared for the practical.

-Jennie

Do you know something Davenport’s known for?

Student blogger Jennie with two friends dressed up in green for St. Patrick's Day

My friends and I had a great time on St. Patrick’s Day.

One thing Davenport is known for is the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. It is actually the third biggest location in the United States for the celebration, and this was my second time being able to experience St. Pats here in Davenport.

This year I made a last minute decision – literally three days before the event – to run the CASI Quad Cities 5k the morning of the big parade that runs along downtown. Since I’m usually playing some sport — if it’s soccer, rugby or volleyball, I thought that I was probably in good enough shape to run 3.1 miles, but I knew I was going to be aching after. But the run was a lot of fun and it was flat along the whole way, so the race wasn’t as bad as I thought! The next day, after the parade and celebration downtown, I was surprisingly not sore.

The parade is one of the bigger aspects of the holiday and it runs for an hour or two since there are so many participants and it has a long path. A couple friends and I watched half of it, which allowed us to collect a whole neck full of beads and quite a few pieces of candy! Afterwards, my friends and I were able to enjoy some “green” beer and some classic drinks like Guinness and “car bombs.” Since we were out since morning, we went home earlier than usual to get some sleep because we were all so tired. It was definitely a weekend filled with fun, friends, and tons of food and drinks.

In our classes we are already getting great hands-on experience and working with X-rays. In our physical diagnosis class, we have been working with taking a patient’s blood pressure, temperature and pulse. In our toggle class we have been analyzing real X-rays and finding the possible misalignments on our “patient’s” cervical vertebrae.

While classes have been going good so far, I decided to take another class outside of Palmer, which is taught by the Troxell intern program. This program is focused on the Gonstead technique and is there to help students get extra experience and understanding of the technique. In the past trimesters, I have taken the palpation and the X-ray courses and this trimester I will be taking the technique class. It will be nice to get hands-on experience and learn more.

We had our first rugby tournament, which was really excited. We worked really hard and made practices a little longer than usual so we could get as much practice in as possible. With the varying weather that we have here in Davenport, Iowa, our practices have been unpredictably cold, warm, wet and/or snowy, so we are ready for any weather that may come during our upcoming games. Our first tournament was in St. Louis. I had never been to Missouri before, so it was exciting to play together with my team and in a new place.

Starting 4th tri and rugby!

As always, I feel like breaks are not long enough. But it was great to relax over the last one and not have to stress over homework or exams.

This break I was able to go home and see some friends and enjoy a lot of family time. It was nice to see everyone, and they all got to meet my new cat Kaya! I came back to Davenport in the middle of break so I could play in our final indoor soccer tournament. Unfortunately, it was a tough battle in the first match. and we weren’t able to continue on. It was fun to come back and play some soccer. though, and it was a really good, competitive game!

Our last weekend of break my parents, my sister and her boyfriend were able to travel down and visit me. We explored a lot around Davenport looking at the different houses along the river and had some delicious meals. One of our favorite restaurants that we visited was Trattoria Tiramisu. It is a cute Italian restaurant, and the meal could feed you for dinner and lunch the next day! It was great being able to show them the great areas around Davenport.

So I have officially started my 4th trimester here at Palmer! I was able to join the 1st trimester students on Monday at orientation due to being a Palmer Mentor. I was asked to join last trimester, so this was my first group of students to mentor. It is a great program where we join the Campus Guides during the tour and help along the way with questions or extra information. We connect with the students within our groups when school starts, and then after school, so that they can always come to us with questions, maybe study together or even hang out outside of school. It was a lot of fun to connect with my group and find out more about them! Many of them are from different states around the country and one was even from Canada. I can’t wait to get to know them more this trimester.

Classes went great the first week! Fourth trimester really is set towards preparing you towards your first NBCE exam. There is a review class that covers and reviews most of the material you have covered in your classes from your 1st to 3rd trimesters. Two of my favorite classes this trimester are toggle and physical diagnosis. These classes are more hands on and involve practicals with doctor/patient scenarios. In toggle we will learn more about the upper cervical vertebrae, and we will be able to officially adjust our first time at Palmer at the end of the trimester!

Also that week, we started our official outside rugby practices, and I can tell already this will be a good season for our team. We are starting off strong, and a lot of the new players already have great skill and this will definitely help with during our upcoming tournaments and games in the future. We were able to do a lot of ball handing with playing ultimate rugby and some drills. We even got some conditioning in, but I think the team did really well and showed great endurance. I really missed seeing all the girls and playing rugby!

(By the way, the women’s and men’s rugby teams are playing this weekend! Come down to Centennial Park on Saturday at 1 p.m.!)

 

Returning to the balancing act

The first thing I noticed when I got back from home was the progress done on our gym here on campus! It has been under remodel this past year and should be done this in the spring. When I came back, all the main foundation was done, and they were starting to create the walkway that will connect it to one of the main buildings on campus.

When I came back from break, it made me realize how much I missed being in Davenport. Even though I love being at home with family, I really enjoy going to school here and I’m getting closer to becoming a chiropractor.

The biggest challenge after our holiday break was getting back on schedule. Luckily we didn’t have too many exams or quizzes thrown at us right away, but we definitely needed to prepare for the next couple weeks since we are getting closer to the end of trimester. It is crazy to think that I will have completed a whole year here at Palmer in a little over a month! Even with our busy schedules, it’s extremely important to go to classes due to the extra credit and/or participation opportunities, but also the professors really help students understand the material in different ways.

One class in particular that I really appreciate is Systems Pathology. Every once in a while, the teacher changes up his ways of teaching during class instead of just continuously lecturing. Sometimes he has us read over the slides, and we divide into groups and teach each other. Other times he has had questions for us to review or go over the material we have just learned. That said, it is important to be organized with your schedule here at Palmer with your academic schedule but also our extracurricular activities you participate in.

During my free time these past weeks back, I have tried to prepare for the rugby season with regular exercise and my weekly soccer game. We have had a couple wins and a loss, but all in all, the games have been fun and have had a good amount of competition.

During this past week I was able to score my first hat trick (three goals)! But we also have had a couple injuries within our team, so we are adapting to the change on the field. Last week we had a rugby team meeting discussing the upcoming season and the preparation for it. We are starting to condition two mornings each week right on campus! It will make sure we are trained and conditioned for when we are able to hit the field outside and start practicing. At the meeting we discussed attending an additional tournament during our spring season on top of the games and tournament we have scheduled already. It will be fun to play against some different teams, and it will allow us to spend more time together as a team!

-Jennie