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

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

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!

Rugby, rugby, rugby!

A few weekends ago I played in my first rugby tournament, and I loved every minute of it! We went down to St. Louis, Missouri, to play in the 69th Gateway Ruggerfest and competed with five other women’s teams. Our team traveled down on Friday since our first game was pretty early Saturday morning. That day we had two great games that both ended in shut outs. Luckily with tournaments, the games are shortened by 10-20 minutes and we’re able to continue to sub players in and out when we wanted.

My teammates and I with our rugby trophies. That's me on the left.

My teammates and I with our trophies. That’s me on the left.

I have never played so much rugby in one day, and my body definitely felt it afterwards! That night we were able to have a great team bonding experience by going out to dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory in St. Louis. We had quite a few options, and the food was scrumptious. It was nice to relax and chat with each other and have a good distraction from school and our other stresses. When we arrived back at the hotel, my roommates and I could only stay up for a little longer till we passed out. The next day we won our first game and then played for the championship right after. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but we were really happy and proud to get second in the tournament. We left right after the tournament, and I had a van ride full of studying for an exam the next day!

Getting back to academics that week was a little more challenging than I expected! I was recovering from the weekend since it took quite a toll on my body from the many games we played. Luckily I prepared myself for our biomechanics exam on Monday, but I had to practice a lot for physical diagnosis since we had a quiz and practical at the end of the week. It’s great to use friends and family to check their temperature, blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate and also finding their pulse on different arteries on the body. Our professor gives us a lot of class time to practice on our fellow students, and he helps us double-check our findings If we’re having troubles with pulses or rates. I love being able to get hands on with patient care and learn more about clinical work.

My parents with a surprise visit! So I took them to Whitey's for ice cream.

My parents with a surprise visit! So I took them to Whitey’s for ice cream.

I also got a wonderful surprise not long ago … my parents came down to visit me here in Davenport! They took a two-week road trip down the Mississippi River. Since they only came for one night, we decided just to go out to dinner downtown at Me and Billy and get ice cream at the famous Whitey’s here in the Quad Cities. We enjoyed a little movie night that also involved a little studying for me for a quiz in physical diagnosis class. All in all, they loved being able to start their trip off here in the Quad Cities!

The following weekend I attended my first Chiropractic and Sports Symposium! I was really excited for the speakers and met a lot of alumni who also played rugby here at Palmer. It was a great experience, especially since we had a game Saturday along with the men’s team. We practiced hard and played hard–which paid off because we won!

-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.!)