Showing mom the best of the Quad Cities

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

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

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

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

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