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!

Road trip to Tennessee, North Carolina, Kentucky and beyond!

Jennie at Nashville Pride Fest holding up an orange-yellow Pride Fest shirt in front of herself. The festival crowd meanders behind her.

Our first stop on the road trip was Nashville, where we went to the Pride Fest.

The weekend after finals, I was finally able to make it home and see my family. My dad and brother actually came back from their trip to Canada the same day I got back, so it was a nice reunion with the whole family.

The first thing I did was take my brother’s dog for a long walk in the country woods. It’s definitely one thing I miss the most about home. I decided to relax and help around the house with chores and outdoor cleaning for the week before my road trip. I knew I needed to stay busy because I like to have things planned or things to do every day. With my trip coming up, I had to make sure I had everything packed, all the AirBnBs scheduled and sites or events planned for each city we went to. This was my first road trip, so it was difficult deciding what to pack and remember everything I needed along the way. I knew with driving though, unlike flying, we would have a lot of space with whatever we wanted to bring along.

When Saturday finally came, my friend, Jamie, and I left early in the morning so we could arrive at our first destination—Nashville, Tennessee. Our friend who currently lives in Memphis drove down and stayed the night with us to explore the city. We found out our time in the city was the same weekend as the Nashville Pride celebration was so we decided to stop in and see the vendors, music, drinks and food. There was a men’s league rugby team there selling T-shirts, so I was able to talk with them for a little bit about the sport and where they travel to for their league.

a wooden table at the Nashville Brewery with a beer, snacks and "Clue" board game on it

At the Nashville Brewery, we enjoyed beer and board games.

It was a lot of fun exploring the event, but we decided to continue our fun in downtown Nashville for the night. We spent the night dancing and enjoying the music at various bars. I enjoyed the live music and the big dance floors, but my feet were very sore the next morning! Our friend had to travel back to Memphis the next day, so we decided to keep it more of a relaxed evening with some beers at the local breweries and, of course, delicious ribs and brisket. Our favorite stop was a brewery that had some vendors who sold jewelry, plants, clothing and other various items. In addition, they had tons of fun, old board games and popcorn, so we spent the rest of the night playing them.

Our next destination was to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jamie’s family has a friend who is a resident down there, so we were able to stay at their house for the night. They live on Lookout Mountain, and the view was spectacular. The residents know a local restaurant owner so we decided to try it out for dinner–and we were not disappointed! They had delicious burgers, and I enjoyed the unique combos of toppings they had chosen. Our visit wasn’t too long here since the next day we traveled to Asheville, North Carolina.

A selfie Jennie in front of Biltmore Estates

This is from our visit to Biltmore Estates.

Our first stop was the Biltmore Estates, and we were surprised on how big it is! There were so many rooms including around 42 different guest rooms. The gardens were very pretty, and you could tell they still regularly maintain and clean the property. We also wanted to check out the restaurants and downtown area, since a lot of people recommended to us to stop here on the road trip.

Jennie and her friend Jamie smile at the camera on top of Mount Mitchel with a beautiful view of the area and blue sky with fluffy clouds

Jamie and I at the top of Mount Mitchell.

The next day we were able to travel all the way up to the top of the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains, Mount Mitchell. The elevation is 6,684 feet above sea level and the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. We were able to see all the different mountains peaks on each side. It was hard to leave since it was so beautiful and the weather was perfect! Our next stop was to the Outer Banks area of North Carolina, which meant a long day of driving. It was a struggle getting down the mountain since our GPS took us on a one-car width gravel road for 11 miles. It definitely was scary, but with a few tight squeezes between cars, we made it to the bottom and got back on the interstate.

With the long day of traveling, we stopped to have dinner with Jamie’s relatives on the way! It was so kind of them to feed us, and we played with their dogs (I was definitely missing my pets at this point). We made it down the Outer Banks and arrived to our destination—Avon, North Carolina.

The next day we traveled to Okracoke Island which involved an hour-long ferry that had a breathtaking view the whole time. This was my favorite spot of our road trip. The Island was small and cute, but it had everything you needed. There were so many local shops with arts and crafts, gifts, food and more. It was hard to resist buying everything! I was able to get my family some souvenirs, fudge and taffy here.

Jennie standing at the top of Hatteras Lighthouse with the view of a green landscape and the ocean behind her

Me at the top of Hatteras Lighthouse. What a view!

Our whole trip we had the best weather we could have hoped for, so while on the island we were able to enjoy the afternoon on the beach. The next day we spent the morning visiting the Hatteras Lighthouse, which we were able to climb to the top of and see the amazing view of the coast. In addition, we learned about the history of the town and also the move of the lighthouse away from the coast due to the ocean moving upon it. We didn’t want to leave since we really enjoyed relaxing and getting some sun, but we knew we had to get on the road again.

The Louisville Skywalk over the river at sunset

The Louisville Skywalk at sunset.

Our second to last stop was to Louisville, Kentucky, and this was during the Fourth of July weekend. We decided when we arrived to go out for dinner, go downtown and celebrate the holiday. I was able to meet a local bartender in Louisville, and we had a great conversation about my attendance to Palmer and chiropractic in general. I found out she was in a horrible car accident a long time ago, but she went to her chiropractor afterwards on a regular basis and she said he helped her get back to her normal self again. For her accident, she felt her chiropractic treatment she received helped her more than the physical therapy she was receiving. I enjoyed learning about her story and her interest in chiropractic as it continues to push my love for the chiropractic field.

We enjoyed dancing the night away downtown, but we knew we had an early morning due to our planned events the next day. We went to the Slugger’s Museum and the Evan Williams Whiskey tour. We loved learning about the history of baseball and how baseball bats are made. We even got our own souvenir bat! It was also nice to learn about the process of making whiskey. I never knew the little details to it, and I realized how complex it really is. By the end of the night, our feet were tired from walking all around the city and throughout the city, so we decided to take a nice slow stroll over the walking bridge. It was absolutely beautiful as the sun was setting and the weather was perfect.

The next day we traveled to our last destination in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to visit our friends from undergrad who recently got married. We decided to do a peddle tavern since we all have been wanting to do one and haven’t gotten the chance to yet. It was fun to travel to all the different bars but it was more work than we thought! It made it worth it that’s for sure! We enjoyed the rest of the night with dinner and fireworks.

The next day we traveled back to good ol’ Cross Plains, where we were greeted by my family and pets. We had so much fun traveling to all the different destinations, but we were really exhausted once we finally got back!

The next day I went back to work, working at the front desk of my hometown salon. The rest of the break I picked up shifts at the salon and spent as much time with my family as I could. It was an enjoyable, long break – but I always want it to be a little bit longer. 🙂

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

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