Nash Bash Rugby Festival and Easter holiday

The weekend after St. Patrick’s Day was filled with rugby – finally! We’ve been practicing in the gym due to the cold temperatures and weather conditions, but we were able to get outside a couple times to run some plays and scrimmage a little to get more real-life game situations. We traveled all the way to Nashville, Tenn., for the Nash Bash Rugby Festival. It was a long drive, but we were excited to play some new teams and to have our new players get some experience playing in the game.

Women's rugby team at Nash Bash Rugby Festival

Nash Bash Rugby Festival team photo.

Rugby is a tougher sport to learn but it is easier to learn when you get in on a game and get some experience with the team. The first team was a lot of fun to play and we broke through their defense and scored a few times! A couple new players were able to sub in and get to play with us. I was extremely impressed with their skills and aggressiveness the whole time. They blended in with our offense system and we got to run through a few plays and get through the defense! The next game we played was in the afternoon. It started off well but the opposing team’s offense was strong and they were able to break through us a couple times. It was a hard-fought game and we unfortunately lost by three points. All in all, it was a great day of rugby, but I was sure tired after those games.

We were in Nashville, though, so we couldn’t say no to exploring Nashville’s downtown for a little bit. We were able to go down the strip and visit a few famous places and enjoy chatting and dancing with our team and the Palmer men’s rugby team. We had to get back at a decent time since our next game was Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. When we were getting ready and warming up we found out the team decided to forfeit the last game, so we unfortunately didn’t get to play the last game. It was a great weekend of rugby, Nashville and some great fun with fellow players!

Luckily the week after the tournament wasn’t too stressful because it took me a couple days to recover. We got lucky since the next weekend was Easter Sunday weekend and we had the Friday before and the Monday after off. I was able to travel home to family Thursday night. I had a doctor and a dentist appointment the next day and I worked at the salon back at home, so I kept busy during my little break!

Jennie and co-workers at salon.

My salon family back home.

It was great being back at work because that business is like family to me! I was able to spend Easter with my family and I even baked a homemade strawberry apple pie, decorated like an Easter basket, for dessert. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies, so I enjoyed making the dessert for my family and they enjoyed eating it!

Me and my Easter basket pie!

It was great seeing my family, but it wasn’t too hard heading back to Davenport on Monday afternoon since they will be traveling to Davenport in just a couple weeks for my White Coat Ceremony! This ceremony is to celebrate my class entering clinic and seeing patients. I can’t wait for my family to come down and celebrate with me in addition to watching me play rugby the next day. The ceremony lines up the same weekend of the Sports Symposium hosted at Palmer. I can’t wait to see alumni that weekend in addition to enjoying the Symposium banquet Saturday night. It will be a weekend filled with fun, family, education and some rugby!

Start of 7th tri and patient care

I got to start off my 7th trimester welcoming members of Class 212 to Palmer on their Orientation Day. I love being a mentor, especially for Orientation Day, since I get to meet all the incoming students and help them with any questions they might have that day, and throughout their first few trimesters here.

Group of new students from Class 212 at orientation.

Welcome to the students of Palmer Class 212!

A lot of students travel from all over and it can be a big transition for them, so it’s always nice to have someone there to help you during the process. Each mentor is given a group of new students to follow through the tour and chat with during orientation. Throughout the future trimesters we usually get coffee with them, let them know about big events or help them get extra resources they might find beneficial when studying for classes. I had a great group to hang out with during the day. They were all chatty and seemed like they were having fun even with the abundance of information they receive during orientation.

This trimester always has a busy beginning due to St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming around the corner. I have enjoyed running the CASI’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k run each year I’ve been here in Davenport, but unfortunately due to some back issues I was having I was unable to run in it. I did get to celebrate and watch the parade with my friends! I love this parade since it starts in Illinois and then makes its way across the bridge to Davenport, Iowa. It lasts a few hours and there is always some yummy candy or necklace beads to try and catch throughout the parade. My friends and I decided to have a big breakfast at a friend’s apartment before heading down to the parade. Afterwards we stayed downtown in Davenport and celebrated at the bars for the rest of the evening. It’s fun to see everyone dressed up and enjoying the holiday.

Jennie and friend at St. Patrick's Day parade.

St. Patrick’s Day fun!

The start of 7th trimester came quickly and I started doing a lot of assignments that we had in our clinical methods course. This class helps us get prepared for clinic and seeing student patients under our assigned doctors. Some of the assignments included observing intern appointments, observing radiology reviews and practice taking notes and putting them in the system on the clinic computers. These all prepare you for clinic and help make you feel more comfortable for the first few appointments when entering clinic.

I really enjoyed going to the radiology reviews since you get to see how people examine X-rays, how to write a report and you get to see different cases that could possibly come into your future clinic someday. Our other classes have also been more clinically based with differential diagnosis, extremity adjusting, X-ray positioning for extremities and more. These classes have helped me take what I’ve learned over the trimesters and put it towards clinical situations to help me find out the problem and provide the best care for patients. It’s great to feel confident with what you know and apply it to real-life situations. These classes make me more and more excited to start see student patients in clinic in only a few weeks!

End of 6th tri and fun during break

The end of the trimester was filled with finals, practicals and a little bit of fun! We had a few practicals in our classes like thoracolumbar, pelvic, active care and more. In the technique classes we were tested on all the set-ups for listings that we learned over the trimester, and in active care they tested us on different stretches, exercises and more for working on the different muscle areas of the body. I really enjoy practicals because it makes me feel more comfortable on what I know and might show me different things I should work more on or focus on. Our finals week was pretty packed with exams, but we had two exams maximum on each day and Palmer always has a study day before finals start. This helps a lot for students to prepare for each exam but the week is still pretty busy and exhausting. Luckily at the end of the week we have a celebration for the graduating students in Women’s Palmer Rugby.

Student blogger Jennie with graduating women's rugby team members.

Me on the right with two graduating Women’s Rugby Team members in the center.

This celebration includes food, drinks, music and gifts at a local restaurant or bar downtown. This trimester we had three ladies who were either graduating, precepting or heading to a VA facility for a student rotation. It was so much fun to celebrate and reminisce on the good memories we have had with these players. Each one has had a huge impact on our team throughout the years and we are going to miss them so much. This night was a perfect way to end the finals week. Unfortunately I had one more final the next morning so I had to finish up at 7:30 a.m. and then I headed out back to Wisconsin. For break my family and I planned a trip to the Dominican Republic so we could all enjoy some time together and relax.

On Friday we drove down to Chicago since we flew out of O’Hare in the early morning. The flight was pretty long but we eventually got to our resort at the end of the night and boy were we hungry. We decided to put our stuff in our rooms and head down to the buffet so we could get some food in our stomachs! The food was delicious there and since it was all-inclusive, it was nice not having to pay for each meal.

We spent the first day just relaxing on the beach, soaking up some sun and walking down some paths to see the beach and other resorts. We took a few excursions to explore the area and have some fun. The first one we did was dune buggying around the area and a little bit of swimming at a waterfall. It was so much fun driving and we got so wet and muddy since there was a huge rainstorm the night before. We were so soaked afterwards that we had to take showers to wash all the mud out.

Student blogger Jennie on dune buggy.

Dune buggy fun!

Afterwards we took a little swim and enjoyed some sun at a little waterfall area at the location. The next excursion we took was to a cocoa, coffee and cigar plantation where we saw how these items are made and processed. I’m a big coffee drinker so I found this very interesting and I stocked up on some coffee they sold at the plantation location. The last trip we went on was a speed boat, snuba and snorkeling adventure on the Atlantic Ocean. I have never gone snubaing so I found it to be so cool and fun to swim with the fish and feed them. We were able to swim around on the ocean floor with our family and our guide showed us some sponges and coral reef areas. I had to get used to my ears popping but after a minute I felt comfortable swimming around. It was so much fun and it was a perfect way to end the trip.

Student blogger Jennie with family on boat on Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic Ocean adventure!

Saturday morning was our last time to enjoy the beach and some food before we had to head out. It was a long trip home again and we didn’t get back until about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. I was able to pack up and travel back to Davenport by Sunday afternoon to prepare for the start of 7th trimester!

Holiday break with family and looking forward to clinic experience!

With a busy winter schedule, it was nice to have a little holiday break with my family! We were able to celebrate Christmas with my whole extended family, except one of my cousins, at my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve. This was the most family members we’ve gathered in a long time, so it was nice to see everyone and enjoy some dinner and celebration together.

Student blogger Jennie's extended family Christmas gathering.

Our extended family Christmas gathering.

One of my favorite Christmas events is our white elephant exchange. Everyone brings a random gift that is usually funny or enjoyable. We all choose numbers out of a hat and go in order of choosing a gift out of the circle. You’re able to steal gifts from those who have opened a gift before you. This year there was a range of gifts like beer, car mats, army helmet, wine opener set, a weird stuffed bird and more. It’s so funny to see what people put in as gifts and what people end up getting. On Christmas Day I enjoyed a relaxing morning with my siblings and parents. We opened Christmas presents and had a delicious breakfast. It was nice to enjoy this time with family and take a break from school!

Photo of student blogger Jennie's family,missing one brother.

Family photo, missing one brother.

During this past winter break I also was able to get some hours in at work back at home. I covered a few shifts at the salon for some of the front desk receptionists. I even snuck in a few hours to study during work for a few exams we had the week coming back from break. I always enjoy coming back to work because everyone is so nice and friendly there and the extra cash is nice for extra activities I want to do here and there!

It was nice to come back to Davenport after a long winter break. We had a few exams a couple weeks in, but I was happy I prepared a little over break for them on my down time. January also is my birthday month, so my undergrad friends and I planned a trip back to our old campus to celebrate my birthday and another friend’s birthday. We were able to reserve a party bus, hotel rooms and dinner together. At the end of the night we spent the rest of the night downtown reminiscing on our old college memories. It was so fun catching up with everyone and seeing La Crosse again!

Student blogger Jennie and friends in front of party bus.

The birthday party bus group!

I had some catching up to do with school after that long weekend since we had a few exams that week. Some of the exams and practicals ended up being on the same day, but the professors were willing to change the date of one or two of them, so we didn’t have too many occur the same day. I really enjoyed having more technique classes with hands-on experience. We were able to look more into subluxations in the pelvic and thoracolumbar regions and learned how to properly correct them. Next trimester we are heading into the clinic where we will be adjusting students here at Palmer under a staff doctor. I’m extremely excited to put this knowledge into practice and be able to help my fellow students!