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.!)

 

My big decision

Kaya the tabby kitty in her cat bed

Kaya, my new cat!

As the trimester was coming to a close, I decided to make a big decision! My friend, Callie, was over at my apartment and brought up that her friend from La Crosse, which is where we both went to undergrad, was looking to re-home a cat. I have been interested in getting a pet of some sort since I’m a big animal lover. I decided to contact her friend and get more details, which made me come to the decision on re-homing her cat to my apartment!

Since she was located in my undergrad city, I thought I would visit my friends who still live around there for the time being. So this past weekend I traveled up to La Crosse and had lunch with my friends and we explored our old campus since the UW La Crosse has finished construction on a few buildings since we graduated. I didn’t get to spend too long with my friends since I was traveling back home with my new cat to Davenport that same day. It was really nice to catch up with my friends and to explore our old campus together and reminisce on our old memories.

This past week my new cat has been exploring the apartment and getting comfortable with her surroundings. Luckily her past owner let me bring her cat tower along with her so she recognized it in my room and uses it all the time still. She is getting lots of play time and has gotten many more toys in addition to the ones she was given to take along. We have already created a good bond together, and I think it will be nice to have her around, especially when I’m stressed.

We have been having our usual rugby morning practices at 5:30 a.m., and I have been able to see a real improvement with our team in fitness and also ball-handling skills. I think the new players on the team are doing well and will advance really fast once we are able to get on the field and practice more together. While rugby has been keeping me active, our weekly soccer games have been going pretty good, but we haven’t been able to come out with a win these past couple weeks. This past week we were close, but it ended in a tie. Hopefully tonight we will be able to step it up and come out with a win before finals start.

With finals coming this next week, I have started studying slowly and hope that I don’t have to cram as much later on. I am fortunate the exams are spread out over a few days but it still is a lot of exams in one week. Luckily my friends and I have plans to relax after our final exam and help a couple people move into a new house for the next year. I think we are excited to have a week off to take it easy and prepare for the next trimester of classes. It is crazy to think that after this trimester my class will have completed one whole year already here at Palmer! It feels like it was just yesterday when we started!

-Jennie

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

‘Twas the week before break …

Student blogger Jennie and her friends posing for a group photo in front of a Christmas tree during their Secret Santa/ugly sweater party

My friends and I at our Secret Santa/ugly sweater party.

The week before Christmas break was a whirlwind of events, exams and lots of fun! First off, we had a few exams, since it was midterm time and we had a two-week break for the holidays.

One thing I really appreciate with our professors is that they usually look at our exam schedules with our other courses, and they try to not overload exams on the same day but spread them out. Once in a while they are many clumped together just due to other events or holidays that come up, but it doesn’t happen too frequently.

I was really happy with the amount of time I spent studying, because it really showed off with the exam grades! I was able to study quite a bit during the week, but I also got to go to my weekly indoor soccer game, have an ugly sweater party with friends in my class, and attend intramural bowling with my team.

The soccer game was really intense and competitive. Both teams were around the same skill level, so it was a close game. My friend and I joked around earlier in the day that this game was going to be the one where we finally scored a goal. I wasn’t expecting to score, though, since I play more in the defense position. During the game, I was able to play as a forward for a bit, and I was actually able to score a goal! I was so happy, and it was an extra bonus since it was the game winning goal. I was fully awake after that exciting game, so I used some of that energy to finish studying for the exams the rest of the week.

Thursday was the big Secret Santa/ugly sweater party where we all brought some food items, wore our ugliest sweaters and exchanged gifts. The gifts ranged from clothing and candy to a handmade wooden sign and a winter beanie. I choose my friend Jake for Secret Santa, and I know he loves Sriracha, so I decided I had to get him Sriracha socks and to-go Sriracha keychains. The best part about the gift exchange was that I found out my friend, Jake, chose me and got me a Sriracha shirt! Everyone thought it was really funny how similar our gifts were to each other. After the party we attended our weekly bowling game! Almost every team was wearing ugly Christmas sweaters due to the holidays being the next week. All in all, we did really good in our three games and ended the night with some fun!

-Jennie

Transitioning from 2nd to 3rd trimester classes

Coming from 2nd trimester to 3rd trimester there is a change in the course load and timing for the schedule. It is a relief to be done with anatomy labs, but you spend more time in lecture throughout the week. Most days we have classes back to back so a lot of the professors use methods during class to keep us students engaged. This week in Physiology III, we were able to listen to a heartbeat while matching up the different pressure values that occur to open the chambers and let the blood flow in and out of the heart. It allowed us to interact within the classroom while still understanding and learning the material. I know this trimester will keep me on my feet with class material but the professors are helpful with understanding the material and the extra tutor sessions help review and assist you with any problems you may have.

Since joining the Rugby Club here at Palmer, I realized I wanted to continue playing sports during the off season. When I started my third trimester, I decided I would play indoor soccer with a few friends in my class! I knew it would be fun, it would be good exercise and also continue to help maintain a good schedule when balancing my health and academics.

When we had our first game, boy, was I nervous! I hadn’t played soccer in a couple years, so I had a strong feeling I would be rusty for it. I started playing the game as goalie, since it was my position throughout my undergrad years and it went much better than I expected. Most of the teammates are also going to Palmer, and as a team everyone works really well together on the field. We started off on a good note at halftime as the score was 3 to 0. During the game everyone subs out when needed and each player usually plays different positions.

I was surprised on how versatile each player was on the field, and it really encouraged me to get out of my comfort box while playing. We finished the game strong by scoring a couple more goals and ending the game with a final score of 5 to 0. It felt great to be back in the sport again and also having fun with students in different classes at Palmer. Plus, it was a perfect end to the night with a win!

Over my first few trimesters here, I have come to appreciate the students I go to school with and have learned what a great community Palmer is. While playing sports here you get to connect with students that you don’t get to see or connect with everyday due to the different courses for each trimester.