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!

 

Part 1 NBCE board results and our class half-way celebration!

The last month has been packed with rugby, exams and preparation for finals! Even though it has been really busy, I have had so much fun with my teammates during practices and our travels, and I’ve enjoyed learning more hands-on experience in classes and different techniques.

With this past month being hectic with rugby and classes, it was hard to focus the morning of October 2 – the day our Part 1 NBCE scores were announced! I was extremely nervous to look and I was too shy to check them during class with my fellow students all around. I decided during my later break between classes to find a quiet, empty table right outside the buildings and check them by myself. I’m really close with my mom so I thought it would be best to have her on the phone with me while I find out my scores. It felt like forever for the page to load but when it did I was screaming inside! I passed all six exams on NBCE Part 1. My mom and I even had a few happy tears over the phone. Of course, I called my dad and siblings afterwards to let them know the good news! It was such a relief off my shoulders to have that happy news after waiting six weeks to find out. It motivated me to finish off this trimester strong and do the best I can.

It’s common for every class to celebrate their “half-way” to finishing their degree here at Palmer, and our class decided to have a taco party and bonfire at a classmate’s house! It was so much fun to just relax and enjoy some time together joking around and eating some delicious food! Our classmate Molly, who hosted the event, has dogs, goats and horses, so it was fun to pet and feed all the animals. For some students it was more of an uncommon experience since they normally don’t see goats and horses that often, if at all. A lot of the students jumped in and played some yard games like corn hole/bean bag toss and threw around a football. During the trimester our time with each other is usually spent studying or in classes, so it was fun to be able to relax with everyone. Our class is a smaller one so we know each other fairly well, but that night we were able to get to know fellow classmates who we might not talk to as much. But since this event was right before finals, I had to make sure I spent some time that weekend studying and preparing for my classes!

My classmates and me (fourth from left in front row) at our half-way party.

 

 

Showing mom the best of the Quad Cities

With our rugby season being really busy this trimester it has been more difficult to travel home and see family so my mom decided to take a trip down to Davenport for a week to visit! We had the weekend off from rugby so I knew it would be a perfect time for my mom and I to explore the area. The only major exam I had was a practical in my cervicals class the next week but I knew I could get good practice with set-ups with my mom. One of my goals during my time in Iowa is to find the best fish fry and we found one of our top favorites that Friday.

In Wisconsin, it is common to go out to dinner on Friday nights for a fish fry. You get your fish, salad, coleslaw, bread, and usually another side of your choice. Since this is one of my favorite meals, I like to find the best fish fries in my area. I did a little research and I found a restaurant called “Prairie Grille” attached to a Best Western Hotel. They had all-you-can-eat fish fry, home-breaded fish, homemade dill sauce and the traditional sides. It was so delicious, my mom and I felt like we were in heaven! Afterwards we decided to go see “It” at the theatre to settle down our stomachs and relax. This movie has been one my favorites since I was young and my mom and I were so excited for the remake. It went beyond our high expectations; we were very pleased with the acting and the effects.

The next morning, we got up early and went to the farmer’s market to buy some groceries, goodies and breakfast! I recently won two free breakfasts with a Facebook contest at Cottage Bagels so my mom and I decided we needed to try it. We were extremely satisfied with the bagels, cream cheeses and egg scramble that we had. (See us with our great breakfasts in the photo below.) Since we were so full we needed to walk around the market to help. That Saturday the weather was perfect so we decided to take a drive to the Maquoketa Caves State Park to do some hiking. I have heard about these caves from friends here and there but we were so amazed! There were so many caves and the area was so big. We spent three to four hours visiting some caves but mostly hiking around the area. We did get lost once but we were okay with it because every direction you turn, there was more beautiful nature and scenery. By the end of our hike we were breaking a sweat! On our drive home we made a last-minute decision to do some antique shopping in Le Claire, Iowa. We were able to walk around the town and look around at some small shops. Antique Archeology is the home of American Pickers’ Mike Wolf and we made sure to put that on the list of shops to check out. Since our day was filled with adventures we decided to take it easy the rest of the night and just watch a movie back at home.

It was hard to say goodbye to my mom as she packed up to travel back to Wisconsin. She had to leave by the early afternoon so she would be able to get some stuff done around the house before a work-filled week. This left my evening open to practice some set-ups for my cervicals practical and also read through some notes for classes.

A student’s life: Exams, rugby and a wedding

Jennie stands on the right side next to her friend at the outdoor wedding in Milwaukee.

My friend and I at the wedding.

It was a hard week studying for NMS week and our other exam and practical when I knew I had my friend’s wedding coming up in just a few days. But I focused at night and studied on campus while also working with a couple of friends to practice the tests for NMS and also the set-ups for our cervical practical. Luckily,  though, I spend enough time on each subject to do well on each practical and exam I had that week.

When Thursday afternoon came, I was ready to head home and get a little family time in before my wedding travels! I was able to have some dinner with my mom and one of my brothers. The next day my friend met me at my house, and we traveled together to Milwaukee for the church walk-through and the rehearsal dinner. It went well and, with the traveling and setting up the decorations, I was so excited for dinner!

The next day we had fabulous weather for the wedding. The ceremony went perfectly from start to finish, and we were able to get pictures outside by the church. Then we went to a park to finish up the rest of the photos. While we were there, there was another celebration going on, so we went further into the park to get some pictures where it was more quiet. The rest of the night was fun with food, drinks and dancing with friends and family of the bride. I was so happy to be able to stand next to her on this special day and have some fun with my friends for the weekend.

Of course, there were exams coming up the next week, though, so I traveled back early Sunday to get some studying done. We had our diagnostic imaging exam, cervical midterm and our cardiovascular physical diagnosis quiz and practical that week. For our diagnosis imaging class we are provided with a PASS instructor, and we meet about once a week to go over class material. The instructor is a student who has previously taken the class and provides us with notes, reviews and assistance for questions we may have. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to the review for the exam so I spent a little extra time reviewing by myself Sunday night. The week went good with exams, and we also had our first rugby conditioning morning!

Our team added in a conditioning practice every Monday morning at our new gym (the Bittner Center) to get some good exercise in on top of our regular practices each week. This was the first time I went into our new gym and boy is it amazing! It has so much more useable room where there are extra workout rooms, lifting areas and room for ellipticals and treadmills. My favorite part is the track running around the second floor since I will be using it a lot! I just signed up for the Moline Hungry Turkey 10K on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I love participating in races, and I haven’t done one in a while so this run is long overdue! Hopefully with rugby and exercising regularly, I will be prepared to run this 10K in November.

Jennie

The life of a Palmer student: National Boards, rugby and travel time

Jennie's parents sitting at a table in a restaurant.

My parents when they visited Davenport.

It has been a hectic couple of weeks here in Davenport for me with board exams, classes, school exams and rugby all occurring daily. The week before National Boards was stressful since I spent every night on campus in a study room looking over the material for each subject. There are a total of six subjects being tested on one day. The subjects are spinal anatomy, general anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, physiology and pathology. When the day came, I made sure my locker was packed with lots of snacks and a little bit of study material in case I wanted to look over a few things before each exam. When the day came, I was a bit nervous to say the least! Everyone says it’s really difficult and you feel like you don’t know half the answers. I didn’t get much sleep the night before since I studied a little bit, watched a movie and I was, in general, nervous. So it took a little time to fall asleep. I woke up early and relaxed a little before the first exam. After the first few exams, I felt a little drained, but I was expecting it to be worse. By the end of the day, after I completed all the exams, I was pretty exhausted. I just wanted to relax, but we had a rugby game for the women’s team up in Minneapolis the next morning at 7 a.m.

My parents came down to Davenport after my National Boards exam to help me travel to Minneapolis that night and make it to Minnesota for the game. It was the first game of the season. My parents got to watch, and they were really excited to see me and watch me play. I tried to nap as much as possible on the way up Friday night, but I’m not very good at sleeping in cars, so when we arrived I went to bed right away!

Saturday morning, we got ready to leave the hotel, and I got my game face on and prepared for some rugby. With our team using a new strategy and set up on the field, we took this game to test it out and work out any issues. Since we changed our set up it was a little messy, but we still came out of the first half with a few tries. During the second half we cleaned it up a little bit but had a few injuries as we came down to the last few minutes. In the end, we came out with a win with a score of 40 to 15, and it really was a great game where we worked out our new strategy and practiced our communication, defense and more.

After the game, my parents and I headed out to a local pub for some quick food and then got on the road since it was quite a bit of a drive. We got home in time to enjoy some dinner and drinks at a local restaurant, Me & Billy, which is one of my parents’ favorite restaurants in Davenport. The next morning, they unfortunately had to head home since they were traveling to see my sister in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for the day. I was so thankful for them to help me out that weekend since it was one of the busiest weekends I have had so far. But the next week was “NMS Week” which is also a busy week for students so that Sunday I had a lot of studying to do.

“NMS Week” is a busy week since it includes a practical, an online simulation exam, and also an online written exam in addition to other exams or work we have in our other classes. This class teaches students about different exams and tests that we will perform on patients to determine what may be causing their abnormal symptoms. That week we also had a Geriatrics midterm and a cervical practical at the end of the week. I also have the privilege of attending one of my best friend’s wedding this upcoming weekend in Milwaukee, but I will have to leave Thursday night after practice to make sure I get to the church run-through and rehearsal dinner on time. I’m really excited to spend the day celebrating her next step in her life with her fiancé!

Jennie

Home from break

(This post is from the end of last trimester.  -the editor)

My friend Cassie and I. She graduated!

My friend Cassie and I. She graduated!

Boy, does it feel good to be home! This week was not only busy with finals but also with rugby and car problems. YIKES!  Luckily my finals were spread out enough where I either had one or two finals each day. I had a couple late nights but I did prepare beforehand so I didn’t have to worry too much during the week. Fourth trimester had finals till Thursday, but some of us didn’t have to take the final for the class that was on Thursday, so a lot of us got done on Wednesday. If you already had all the points for the class then it wasn’t necessary to take the final. It was a long week with a lot of studying, but every Wednesday during finals week we celebrate our graduating rugby players.

We usually have cake, food, drinks and presents for them while we talk about the good times we have had this past season together and the graduating players individual achievements. It is sad to see them go, but we know our players are going to do great with their careers in chiropractic. The team also presents new players with their backpacks and warm-ups. It is a “welcome” gift from the team and the new players are able to use them from then on. It was fun to relax, have some good laughs, and enjoy ourselves for the night especially as we all had finished a lot of exams in a small amount of time.

The next day I planned to head home for our three-week break to see my family and friends but it didn’t go so well…unfortunately when I was almost out of Davenport my car overheated and I needed to get it checked out by an auto shop. They found a couple things that needed to be fixed so I stayed back here for another day. The weather was so nice though so I decided to relax outside, walk to the park and see some friends while I had the time. When Friday came along I was able to pick up my car and drive home. Kaya, my cat, was pretty happy to see my family and they were indeed happy to see her too!

Now being home for the break, I plan on enjoying a lot of family time but I also will be studying for part 1 of NBCE, for the bulk of boards. There are six exams in one day that cover the majority of the classes from the first four trimesters. It is a long day and the questions can range from a variety of topics, but Palmer prepares you really well for it and a really high percentage of students here pass all the exams the first time. I’m hoping to study and prepare sufficiently these next couple weeks so I feel ready for the exams. But I will also be leaving for my road trip in a week! It will be a lot of fun and we have most of the travel details planned out. It will be exciting to explore new cities and locations around the United States with my friend. Come back soon to hear details about my trip!

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

The end of rugby season and beginning of summer

Group of rugby players standing and sitting together on the field at the All Iowa final tournament

Group rugby photo at the All Iowa final tournament

With rugby season coming to an end … we had two final tournaments to finish it up. The first tournament was in Des Moines, and we played three games on Saturday. The weather was in no one’s favor with rain and cold wind! It was hard to continuously play all day when we were wet, cold and dirty. We played as hard as we could and won the first two games but unfortunately lost the third game. We ended up with second place, but we had good games and were really happy to be able to change into clean clothes and get some needed rest when we were done!

This past week I have been trying to decide what to do during our three-week summer break. Since I will take Part 1 of NBCE (National Board of Chiropractic Examiners) testing in August, I have some free time to make plans and see friends and family. I decided to work back at home at a salon where I cover shifts at the front desk whenever I’m home or weekends that I come home.

One of my friends and I decided this week that we are going to plan a road trip traveling to the East Coast for a week during my summer break! We plan on going to Tennessee first since we have a friend currently living there, and then we will travel up to North Carolina and visit some breweries, beaches and some family members of my friend’s. This will be a great opportunity to explore the East Coast since I haven’t traveled there before. Another great opportunity I might be able to take advantage of is traveling to Connecticut to visit Dr. Piana, who I met at the Sports Symposium. It would be an amazing chance to explore his practice and to do more research in his specialty of thermography.  My friend and I have a lot of planning to do, but I think a nice, fun break will be needed for me before heading into my fifth trimester (almost half way!).

That's me on the left with my friends at the All Iowa final tournament.

That’s me on the left with my friends at the All Iowa final tournament.

We had one last tournament this weekend up in Iowa Falls and we definitely lucked out with some nice weather! The Palmer’s men team traveled up alongside us since they were playing 15’s and 7’s for the tournament.

The first game went great as we kept scoring tris throughout the whole game and maintaining a strong defense. We played our second game as the temperature picked up, and we also succeeded till the end. This team played a little dirty, but since they are in our league, it wasn’t our first time playing them. Our last game was the determining match that decided the first place winners. We struggled the whole game with maintaining our defense as they scored three tris. As the last few minutes were occurring, we stayed strong and pushed through their team to score three tris to tie the game! Since we dominated the first two games with more points, we came out with first place in the tournament!!

As we finished our game, the men found out they also won first place in their division and again won their 7’s tournament. It was a very successful, fun weekend, and it was the perfect way to end the season, especially for our players for which this was their last game.

Unfortunately I couldn’t head home for Mother’s Day and had to wait till the weekend after. Lucky for me, though, her birthday fell into the next weekend, so it was perfect timing to visit her and my family. I had a few surprises up my sleeve for her! Stay tuned for some surprises and more!

 

 

I met the Baltimore Ravens chiropractor at the Sports Symposium!

Baltimore Ravens chiropractor Dr. Alan Sokoloff and me on the rugby field.

Baltimore Ravens chiropractor Dr. Alan Sokoloff and me!

In April I was able to experience my first Dr. David D.Palmer Athletic Trust Annual Sports and Chiropractic Symposium (it was the seventh one) here at Palmer. To start off, we listened to some great alumni speakers that informed us about concussions, different methods to help correct curvature, and how to have a successful business and practice after school. One of the speakers, who discussed concussions, rugby and football, was the Baltimore Ravens chiropractor, Dr. Alan Sokoloff! Each session was educational and it was nice to hear from chiropractors who were students just like us and also played rugby. During the breaks between the sessions we were able to meet with other chiropractors attending and discuss their businesses, chiropractic, rugby and more. Everyone was really friendly and inviting, so I felt open to start a conversation with them and ask questions.

All the current ruggers and alumni together in a group on the rugby field.

All the current ruggers and alumni out on the rugby field.

Saturday is a rugby day, and we played first on the field against Minneapolis Menagerie and the men played afterwards. Our game started off great as we were communicating well, having successful scrums, and scoring tris. We were able to sub in some of the new players on the team, and they did great and kept scoring throughout the game. In the end we finished with a final score of 69 to 19! We were pretty happy with the way we played, and we were able to celebrate with our team, the Menageries and our alumni supporting us during the game. The men played after us against Chicago and came out with a close but well-earned win!

My friends and I at the symposium banquet. Three young women dressed up for the event.

My friends and I at the symposium banquet.

We all had to rush after our games to shower and get ready for the symposium banquet at the Hotel Blackhawk. Since this was my first one, I had no idea what to expect but I absolutely loved it. The food provided was delicious and filling, and we had the honor of having Dr. Anthony Piana sit with us during the banquet. We talked about his history with rugby and school and a bit about his practice that he currently has in Connecticut. After we ate, they presented awards to some alumni who have gone the extra mile or have represented our college/rugby team all over the world. It was great to see how many players are doing so well in the real world here after Palmer.

The weekend was very busy with rugby, events and some fun, but I definitely had to recover Sunday with lots of study for the next week. Fourth trimester here at Palmer is a little bit easier on the exams compared to the first three trimesters, but that next week we actually had three exams and two quizzes! With Easter coming up the next weekend, I had something to motivate me to get through the week and succeed on the exams!