What drives me

Now that I have one full trimester behind me in the Academic Health Center (which houses Palmer’s outpatient clinic), I wanted to share with you what really drives me.

Turn the power on!

Looking back over my academic career here at Palmer, I’d love to tell you that the purpose and drive that brought me here has always remained at the forefront of my focus. But the reality is that there were more than a few points along the path that I found myself derailed if you will. If you want more on those derailment details feel free to ask when you come to campus for your visit (I’m a Campus Guide). But let’s get back to the topic of this blog post.

Having been in the Academic Health Center now for a trimester and starting to feel more comfortable with seeing patients from the community, I can tell you that I have been reinvigorated with a passion to help those around me understand the power of chiropractic. I want everyone to know how it can help them to have a nervous system that is functioning at its peek and thus filling their entire bodies with life enhancing energy and wellness. When I see that light come on, even a little, I know that I am fulfilling my mission in life. I am so thankful to Dr. Scott Frogley of Integrated Wellness for helping to open up my eyes to the power of chiropractic.

So when you get here to Davenport (or to San Jose or Port Orange) and start your Palmer journey, don’t lose site of what drives you. Stay true to your passion, hang in there and go out to change the world one adjustment at a time.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Yeah, it’s break time …

As a Palmer student, I love to learn and I love what I am doing, but I also love my breaks. I think they are so critical to my survival and to the survival of my fellow students. Before I started at Palmer, if I was asked what my favorite holiday was I would have told you Christmas. And while I still love that magic time of year, if you were to ask me today that same question I would now tell you that it is the break we get between spring and fall trimesters. It’s a little over three weeks of complete and utter relaxation. I love it and it is a great time to give my mind a much needed rest. It’s also a great time to visit with friends and family and reenergize my student batteries for the next trimester. I really want to emphasize the need to maximize those breaks so that you can be sure to be the best student you can as you proceed through your Palmer education. So in following my own advice, I am going to wrap this up and go become one with my sofa and watch a good movie. Any suggestions?

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

The iPad – the key to my success

It’s July 5th, 2010, and I am sitting in W216 (West Hall) with about 142 other first trimester students at Palmer College of Chiropractic as we enjoy the activities of orientation. I look around and wonder how on earth I am going to make it through this program. Luckily, I have first generation iPad with me and think that it will be a big key to my success here. Looking back, that thought was very, very prophetic. Since that day, I have upgraded my iPad a couple times and still use it on a daily basis in every class.

Now I am not presuming that an iPad is essential to everyone’s success at Palmer, but for those like me who love technology, I highly recommend one. I believe that not only will it serve you well while in school, I believe that it will have great use in my future practice with electronic health records and tracking patient care. But let’s get back to classes at Palmer and how an iPad can help you each and every day.

I want to tell you about three specific apps and how I feel they have made my life at Palmer a whole lot easier.

The first app that I use on my iPad to take notes every day with is called iAnnotate PDF. This app allows me to take notes just as if they were on paper but instead of having to print out notes from on the student portal and carry around multiple binders with note sets in them, I carry all my notes around in my iPad. I can highlight, jot down notes in the margin, bookmark important pages and create stamps for my notes. Believe me, it’s a lot lighter and more convenient. The other great thing about taking notes on an iPad like I do is that through iAnnotate PDF, I can search for specific subjects within the app as opposed to flipping through pages of printed notes.

The second app that I use is Flashcards. My first year at Palmer, I made well over a thousand flashcards. Thanks to this app, I didn’t need to carry around stacks of flashcards, but I kept them all in my iPad and even synced them to my iPhone so I always had them to study no matter where I was. And if I made a mistake on one of my flashcards, I didn’t have to throw that card away, I just edited it and kept on studying.

The third and final app that I have used through every trimester at Palmer is called iHomework. This app allows me to set up my schedule for all my classes with classroom assignments, teacher contact info and the ability to track all my grades. I always liked to know where I was as each trimester progressed, and it was especially helpful when finals rolled around.

Now the last thing that I wanted to mention is that recently Palmer invested in upgrading the wifi all over campus, and that makes using an iPad even better because now I can look up info while a teacher is lecturing on a subject if I feel I need more info rather than make a note to look it up later.

I definitely recommend that you invest in an iPad before you start. It has made my life a lot easier while I’ve been here, and I know that it will make yours easier as well.

No student is an island

No one is an island, but this one wouldn’t be bad for a day.

You may have heard it said that no man (woman) is an island, and I thought that for me. That was never more true than the day I walked through the doors on orientation day at Palmer College back in July of 2010.

I didn’t come from a chiropractic family and had just a sliver of understanding as to what chiropractic truly was and a passion for helping those around me. I felt really alone in a lot of ways, but luckily I had an amazing girlfriend who had made the move with me from Utah. So even though I felt alone, I wasn’t really.

But as 1st trimester began, I quickly found a couple fellow students who lived in the same building with me, and we formed a group that studied together, went to open labs together and stressed out together when exams and practicals came up. We rejoiced with each others successes and shared a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going our way. Looking back, I really don’t know what I would of done had I not had those close friends.

And as we quickly approach graduation this year, I honestly can tell you that the friendships that I have made will last long beyond graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything).

Once you start your chiropractic education, whether it is at Palmer or one of the other schools, I encourage you to find some fellow students and bond together. Forge a friendship to help lighten the load. Becoming a chiropractor is a great journey and will be one of the greatest things you ever do. Best of luck to you in your chiropractic journey and should you have any questions, big or small, please leave a comment.

Take care and have a great day.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Let me offer you some advice …

Wow, how time flies. I just finished 8th trimester, and as I write this, I only have two trimesters left as a Palmer student before I venture out into the real world once again.

So you are reading this and probably think that I just want to brag about where I am and that the road ahead looks so very daunting for you, but honestly that is not the case. It really doesn’t seem that long ago when I was in your very shoes thinking to myself that I will never graduate from Palmer. Well, rest assured, many have done it before you and many will do it after you are sitting right where I am.

I think the best advice that I can give to you is to follow your heart and your passion. Palmer is a great chiropractic college, and I love it with all my heart. But it is not for every single individual desiring to become a chiropractor. I would advise you to trust your gut. I didn’t need to visit every school before I knew where I was to go for my education. I visited Palmer in March of 2010 and knew before I left that it was the perfect fit for me. I would recommend that you start with a visit to Palmer, since we are the Fountainhead of chiropractic and where it all began. We are rich in history and tradition, but we are also preparing for the future of our profession. The college is actively making changes to ensure that they offer the best education for the student body and producing the best chiropractors out there.

If you come to Palmer and don’t feel the immediate click that I did, then look at other colleges. The road to becoming a chiropractor is a long and challenging one, but it is very rewarding. My time here at Palmer has flown by, and I say that with all seriousness.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, feel free to contact me. And if you find yourself in the Quad Cities anytime soon, drop by the college and lets get you adjusted in the Academic Health Center.

Have a great day and best of luck in your future chiropractic endeavors.

-Matt Sharples, 9th Tri, Davenport Campus

Oh, what a tri … I’m in clinic!

Ok, it’s been a couple weeks into the trimester, and I am here to tell you that 8th trimester is where it’s at. After seven trimesters of fairly grueling academic loads, I have been blessed with what is shaping up to be my most favorite trimester so far.

Why do I sing the praises of 8th trimester you ask? Well, let me share with you why I love it so. I now have one trimester in the clinic system down and am feeling a lot more comfortable with seeing patients and working with the clinic paperwork. And now that my nerves are a little more calm, I enjoy clinic more and feel that I am better able to serve my patients more completely.

I can also tell you that my excitement to move over to the Academic Health Center (AHC) is building. I really look forward to being able to interact with patients from the local community. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot yet to be done before graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything). I am starting to prepare for the remaining parts of boards and spending a lot more time in the clinic. And, yes, I can’t believe how fast my time here at Palmer has gone by. When you start here, you will here that A LOT and will think that everyone telling you that is slightly off their rockers. But before you know it, you will be starting 8th trimester and reveling in the excitement just as I am.

If you have any questions about Palmer and life as a student here, feel free to contact me via email at matt.sharples@palmer.edu. I hope you are having a great day and wish you the best in furthering your chiropractic aspirations.

Hopefully I’ll see you on campus before October 18, 2012. 🙂

– Matt Sharpels

Proud to wear the clinic jacket, and proud to say I chose Palmer

As of this entry, I am about 2 weeks into 7th trimester, and I am seeing why I have been told that it will be a very busy trimester.

On top of a full class load, I am starting into clinic in the Campus Health Center. I am very, very excited about this and can’t believe it’s really here.

For the past six trimesters I have watched students walk around campus in their white clinic jackets and looked forward to the day when I would have my own white clinic jacket. Well, it is finally here, and it is awesome!

I am so excited to start the process of putting what I have been learning into practice and start helping others. For me that is what it is truly all about.

As I look forward to the remainder of this trimester and the rest of my time at Palmer, I would truly be ungrateful if I didn’t thank the amazing faculty of Palmer who have given me so much.

There are too many to name them all but I want to sincerely thank each of them here. They have changed my life. In turn, I promise to take what I have learned and dedicate it to helping all my future patients to the best of my ability.

If you are a prospective student reading this today and have any question if Palmer is the right school for your chiropractic education, I encourage you to come visit and take a tour.

I love Palmer, and coming here for my chiropractic education was the best decision I could have made.

I hope to see you on campus sometime soon. If I can answer any questions you may have or be of help in any way, please get in touch with me. You can send an e-mail to campusguides.ia@palmer.edu

Matt Sharples
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Real winners are those who overcome

I am now winding down my 6th trimester here at Palmer, and as I reflect on my time here, it has been full of some great memories as well as some very stressful times. It’s hard to believe that next trimester I will begin seeing student patients. I’m excited and at the same time scared. I’ve spent the past 2 years learning so much information, and I wonder if I will be able to pull it all together and help my patients. Of course I know that I will have the help of a staff doctor as well as my fellow classmates, but I have to be honest and say that I am still a little scared.

During my time here at Palmer, I had the opportunity to re-take a couple classes way back in 2nd trimester. It was during that difficult time that I questioned if this career path was truly right for me. I loved what I was learning, and I knew that I wanted to help people, but could I really make it through this program?

The majority of my classmates hadn’t struggled with the academics—so I wondered if I should just give up and throw in the towel. Well, after a lot of heartfelt thought, and even a prayer or two, I knew that I could make it through. Since that time, I have worked really hard to get to where I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days of minor self doubt, but I know that I am on the right path. Just the other day I was talking with a fellow classmate and friend of mine. We were discussing how tired we are and in need of a break. I think that she heard a little more in my tone beyond the words I said because later that day she posted this to my Facebook wall: “The number one reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.”

Once I read that, I felt the fire and conviction to succeed come to life with renewed determination. It also reminded me of one of my favorite poems. It’s called, “The Race,” by Dr. D.H. Groberg and I’d like to share it with you.

The Race 

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
    my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
    excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
    or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
    and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
    was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.\

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!” 

I hope that this blog has maybe helped you in some way, and I hope to see you walking the halls of Palmer someday soon. If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance feel free to get in contact with me. Have a great day!

Matt Sharples
6th  trimester student, Davenport Campus

A “halfway done” reflection

Hello faithful blog readers,

Welcome to another fascinatingly fun filled blog from the king of campus guides. As I sat down to write this latest blog, I thought about what’s been on my mind as of late. Being that I am wrapping up fifth trimester here at Palmer I feel that it’s time for a little celebration and reflection.

So here we go….

Let’s celebrate first. I’m hitting a milestone at the end of this trimester and really can’t believe that I am halfway through my time at Palmer. It truly seems like yesterday that I was in the same place that a lot of you are right now. Checking out various colleges, trying to decide which college would be the best fit for me, nervous about starting the program, starting and thinking I’ll never see the end, finishing my first year and thinking how crazy it is that I was a third of the way done, etc. What’s really cool about fifth trimester at Palmer is it’s the trimester where you start some real application of what you have been learning thus far in the classroom and get your hands on some fellow students. In cervicals class you learn all the set ups for Gonstead & Diversified techniques from occiput down to T2. And at the end of the trimester you have the opportunity to work up a student patient, and if they are subluxated, adjust them while your professor is watching (of course). In fact, I had that opportunity today and it was really cool, nerve-racking, but very cool. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and diligent effort over the past year and a half. It was definitely a day that I won’t forget.

Let’s reflect a little. Palmer is, in my humble opinion, the greatest chiropractic college there is. We are where it all started. Each and every day I walk the very halls that D.D. Palmer, B.J. Palmer, Mabel Palmer and many other greats of our profession have walked. I read the quotes of B.J. on the walls and in the halls all over campus. It fills me with pride to feel the greatness that fills every nook of this campus. But don’t think for one moment that Palmer is relegated to the past. We are poised to produce the greatest chiropractors in the coming years. If you haven’t come to campus for a visit and a tour yet, I strongly encourage you to. We are the only college with a Business Development Center that will give you all the tools to run a successful and very fulfilling practice once you graduate. We have an amazing clinic that is gorgeous and
staffed with amazing clinicians who are there ready to prepare you for practice. We have amazing clubs and organizations to enhance and complement your Palmer education. Wow, when I started this paragraph it was to reflect on my time here and look at me just bragging about how great Palmer is and the fact that it’s only getting better.

Well I’m going to wrap this up, my friends. As always if you have any questions please drop me an email, or get in touch with me on Twitter (@kingcampusguides). I hope that your new year is off to an amazing start and that it has nothing but greatness for you in the coming months. All the best to you in your future chiropractic pursuits!

Matt Sharples, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

What’s holding you back?

Hello everyone, my name is Matt and I wanted to share a little bit about myself. My thought in doing so is so that you might know a little more about what makes me tick and not be too intimidated to ask me any of your questions about Palmer and life as a student here.

First of all, let me tell you that I am love to laugh and have a good time. I really feel that life is a great journey that we are all on and that we need to find joy in this journey. That being said, here is some basic info about me. I am currently in my 4th trimester here at Palmer. In case you are wondering that has nothing to do with pregnancy at all. Some schools are on quarters and others on semesters. At Palmer our terms are divided into trimesters. Each trimester is roughly 15 weeks including finals. The program at Palmer Davenport is a total of 10 trimesters.

I am the oldest of 3 kids and the son of a dentist. I will be a first generation chiropractor once I graduate and plan on setting up my office in the greater Columbus, Ohio area. I have three amazing children and am engaged to be married this fall to my wonderful fiancé. Yeah, that’s right I am a single dad with two teenagers and a Palmer student. The reason I share this with you is perhaps you may have said to yourself things such as, “I’m too old to go back to grad school,” or “How can I possibly do that and be a good spouse or parent,” or “It’s just too late for me to make that kind of change.” I know how you felt. I said those things to myself over and over again but no matter how many times I told myself these things, my passion for chiropractic kept telling me to stop making excuses and get to work. So at the age of 36, I enrolled at Palmer and will be 39 when I graduate. I know, I’ll still be just a kid.

Anyway, I love Palmer and I love chiropractic. I could tell you more about myself but I think I’ll save that for the campus tour when you come to check out Palmer. In the mean time if you have any questions please feel free to send me an email or follow me on twitter @kingcampusguide. Have a great day and I can’t wait to hear from you.

Matt Sharples, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus