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!

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!

‘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

Soccer, ugly sweaters and Palmer Prom

Palmer Davenport campus women's soccer club members in the indoor soccer field.

It may be freezing outside, but it’s nice in here.

First things first … we won our soccer game this week! It was so much fun, and I missed playing since I hadn’t been able to play for a couple weeks due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The two friends from my class that play with me, Sarah and Devon, did really good. Sarah scored a goal and Devon played with a hurt knee, so in my opinion they deserved the MVP award for that game! I was really sore after the game, but we were done with exams after that day for the week, so I was able to stay in and relax for the night.

I absolutely love winter due to the snow, the holidays and the activities we can do outside–like snowboarding, skiing, ice fishing, sledding, ice skating and more.

For the holiday, my friends and I decide to have an ugly sweater party where we’ll do a gift exchange. We picked names this week, and I cannot wait to get my “person” their gifts! I love giving funny but meaningful gifts to my friends and family for the holidays.

In addition, we finally got our first snowfall here in Davenport, Iowa! We were only expecting a couple inches but we definitely got more snow than we thought we were going to! The roads were very slippery, and unfortunately I saw a few accidents outside my window but I also got to witness a couple of my friends’ dogs see snow and play in it for the first time. It took a while for them to get used to, but they eventually warmed up to it and used up all their energy playing in it.

A large group of friends dressed up for Palmer's Davenport campus Holiday Dance, also known as Palmer Prom.

My friends and I having a blast at “Palmer Prom” (the Holiday Dance).

A couple weekends ago I was able to attend my first Palmer Prom/Holiday Party. It is an event held downtown where students and their significant others are able to dance the night away to great music and enjoy some tasty hors d’oeuvre and drinks. It was such a great experience, and all my friends thought it was such a blast. By the end of the night, we were all sore from the non-stop dancing! It might be a while till I can wear heels again.

We only have a couple more weeks till Christmas break, which means we’ll have quite a few exams coming up. It is definitely a good idea to prepare ahead of time so I plan on rewriting my notes for the upcoming exams and create some flashcards. I’m usually a procrastinator, so I try to prepare a little ahead of time for exams so I don’t stress out too much. There are usually a couple exams or quizzes each week, and it helps you learn how to stay on track and keep up with studying throughout the trimester.

-Jennie

Hi! I’m Palmer’s new blogger!

That's me, having a snack and sporting the Palmer gear.

That’s me, having a snack and sporting the Palmer gear.

When I started my 3rd trimester here at Palmer, I was told by many students that it would feel like a longer one due to the holiday breaks, and, boy, were they right! Within the first month, it feels like this semester is going by slowly. But I can’t complain about the holidays, because it is my favorite time of the year!

Here on the Davenport campus they offered a free Thanksgiving meal for students and their families. It sounded like it would be a delicious meal with students and friends, but I’m from Madison, Wis., and it only takes a couple hours to travel home for the holidays. I decided it would be best to drive home and enjoy some food with my family and spend some time with them since I probably won’t be able to travel home till Christmas break.

It is also nice to have a break from school work for a couple days, since we had three exams during the three-day week. It took a toll on me with all the studying! But with the preparation studying I did over the past weekend and the free time out of classes, I think they went really good for the first exams of the trimester.

Classes this trimester are a little different from 2nd trimester since we don’t have any anatomy labs anymore. I personally liked the labs because it allowed to me see information in lecture in a hands-on perspective. I’m definitely a visual learner, but a lot of the classes this trimester use diagrams and sketches to show pathways, systems and more to help assist students in understanding class material.

This trimester I feel like I’m able to get more hands-on experience with the chiropractic field itself. One of our classes this trimester is subluxation analysis and it is at 7:30 in the morning, three times a week. At first I thought this was going to be too early, but I realized I actually LOVE having it be my first class of the day. We are able to interact more and it actually wakes me up for the rest of the day. Within the first weeks we were able to work with other students in doctor-patient scenarios, and we have already been testing on posture analysis! I’m really excited to see what this class in particular has in store for the rest of the trimester.

In addition to classes at Palmer, I signed up for a couple more classes provided by the Troxell Intern Program. They are every Sunday, and they are located only 20 minutes away from campus! I’m taking two classes: X-ray and extremities. I thought this would help me get more experience with technique, and I’m able to learn about X-rays and how to identify markings and more.

I’m excited to learn more and get more hands-on experience with the classes I’m taking off campus and the ones here at Palmer! Stay tuned for updates!

-Jennie