Weekends are for fun, relaxation and…ME!

As our students wrap up another successful trimester, they are setting aside their books and studies to tell us what they enjoy most about their weekends as Palmer students…

Q. What have you enjoyed doing or being involved with on the weekends since you have been a student at Palmer?

My time here at Palmer is almost over and I’m reminiscing about my favorite weekends at Palmer… I loooooved waking  up late on Saturday mornings, grabbing my mat and heading to a hot yoga class! Then I enjoyed spending some time looking at recipes online and doing some grocery shopping. I loved to make fun and more time consuming recipes on weekends and bring goodies to my friends that night, have people over or bring treats to school! I loved juicing fresh vegetables and fruits and the weekend allowed time for the rigorous cleaning of my juicer. I would often make a lot of meals ahead of time for the week. I also loved going to Scott County with friends and going for hikes in the spring, hot summer, or beautiful autumn leaves. I also looked forward to going out with a group of people to the bars of downtown Davenport: Kilkenny’s, Mac’s or for bustin’ a move on the dance floor at Carriage Haus. The Daiquiri Factory and the dueling piano bar (now Comedy Sportz) in Rock Island also provided some solid entertainment. I also loved traveling to Chestnut’s Wellness seminars, Nucca conference and a few Gonstead and Mopal seminars. I liked taking advantage of the free seminars the school put held on weekends as well like the Business modules. Hopefully my Sunday didn’t consist of too much studying, but usually it did. However I’d find something to clean, laundry to do, friends and family to call, or anything else before I resorted to my books on Sunday night to study for that hairy exam Monday morning. In my later trimesters, I really enjoyed minimizing scheduled events on weekends. I enjoyed hosting or attending dinner parties, wine nights, nail painting, or game nights at home with a few friends.  I also loved going on small trips to Le Claire or Galena, IL whenever my budget could afford it! I really loved my weekends at Palmer!

-Kaileigh Strath

On weekends at Palmer, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed doing things for me. All week long, I am completely committed to schoolwork, studying, things Palmer-related, but on the weekends, I relish the time to get out in nature for a run or bike ride, or time in the gym with buddies to play some basketball. It also tends to be when I eat the most enjoyable, but unhealthy things, such as pizza and ice cream. I use the weekends to re-energize for the upcoming week. Another aspect of this for me is attending an uplifting, inspirational church service on Sunday mornings to get grounded again.

-Kyle Collins

Since I became a student at Palmer I started running on a regular basis. One of my favorite things about the weekend is completing my long run for the week. I love the feeling of accomplishment from pushing your body not only physically but mentally. It is also a great way to relieve stress from the past week of school and prepare yourself for the next week.

-Katherine Melot

I like getting away from the city and going out in nature.  The Quad Cities and surrounding areas have an abundance of hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping opportunities.  Getting friends together on a day off to relax is just what I need at the end of a hard week.

-Brian Hall

One thing I love about Davenport is the Farmer’s market, open Saturday mornings. I can get tons of fresh groceries, from meat and cheese to fruits, veggies, even pasta. And going with friends makes it even more fun.

–Allison Nisbett

I enjoy spending my weekends at the Troxell Intern Program taking Sunday classes. The classes have helped me improve my palpation, technique, and visualization skills. I enjoy the opportunity to practice my Chiropractic skills any chance I get.

– Brittany Sedar

Group outings to Whitey’s Ice Cream on the weekends. There is nothing better than ruining a week of healthy eating by enjoying a full day’s worth of calories all condensed into a shake that is consumed in less than ten minutes. Yumm…ohh yeah, spending time with close friends is important too!

– Brad Francis

I love the farmers’ market on Saturday morning! Also, all of the music festivals that are going on in the summer are great! Recently, my weekends have been kept busy with the central high school marching blue devils band which I help volunteer with on the staff.

–Alec Schielke

So far, on the weekends I have been taking yoga classes at a local yoga studio, One Tree Yoga. As well, I have been attending Troxell Workshops, which have been very helpful in getting extra hands on experience. I have had fun spending time with classmates, and going out for pints at Front Street Microbrewery. I recently took a trip out to Galena with my roomates, and visited the winery there. It is a quaint little town with lots of unique shops, and beautiful views. It was great to get away. Other than that, I have been doing lots of studying!

-Chelsea Delorme

Since being a student at Palmer I have discovered many fun things to do on the weekends. A trip to the farmer’s market and a walk to the park or to the river happen almost every weekend. I love baseball so, during the summer months, I attended River Bandit games and I was on a recreational softball league.

– Jessica Richards

My favorite fall activity is planning my son’s birthday party.  This year he will be 2 on October 25.  My husband and I enjoy planning a fall birthday party.  This year his party will be at Patch’s Pumpkin & Honey Farm.  There will be pumpkins to pick, corn mazes to run through, corn pools to swim in, pony rides, hay rack rides, apple cider, pumpkin launching with their pumpkin cannon and of course Birthday Cake!  There are so many beautiful orchids and pumpkins patches to visit in Iowa and beautiful fall leaves to enjoy on your drive to any of them!

-Jennifer Katzer

Taking time to smell the roses … and eat a marshmallow

(Note: This was written at the end of March)

Spring break starts today. Really it’s just a few extra days off. Most colleges get an entire week, but we only get Friday and Monday off. I think it is good, though, because as I prepare to enter the professional world, it’s not like I get an entire week off several times throughout the year.

“Charcoal” or golden brown? What’s your preference?

Since the beginning of the Trimester, I have been going and going and going. I haven’t been able to do anything really fun with my kids. I play with them when I get home from school, of course, but with recently taking (National) Boards then trying to squeeze studying for the first rounds of tests this Trimester, it has been hard to take my brain off focus mode to really play with them.

We went to the park today and had a blast. Totally worth it. The ground was still a little wet but no big deal–that is why we have a bath/shower in the house! After we got home, we roasted marshmallows over our gas stove. My girls were hilarious. I faintly remember when I liked to eat a “charcoal” marshmallow instead of a warm, golden brown, heated up marshmallow. Maybe that is the true sign and gateway into adulthood, and the gateway into parenthood is obliging your children and eating charcoal again. It was a great day.

– Dylan M Clarke

Eye-opening experience: Clinic Abroad orphanage

Over the October break at the Davenport Campus, I had the opportunity to travel to Salvador, Brazil, for Clinic Abroad. It was nice to spend a few days on the beach upon arrival. But the whole group had a real wake up call on Saturday at the orphanage. The orphanage in Salvador is different than ones I have ever heard about in the USA. The people in the orphanage all have a physical or mental disability, so their parents or guardians just drop them off at the gates to this clinic. The workers take care of the kids for their whole lives pretty much. Most are dropped off as infants or toddlers. The orphanage doesn’t get government assistance, as far as we know, so it is all by donation.

It was great to be able to help all of the kids and adults that don’t get very much attention or personal touch. The whole orphanage was very grateful for our donations and chiropractic care. It was very heartfelt because the kids were all very nice and wanted to help any way they could. It was also noticeable that many of them weren’t getting a personal touch or the attention they wanted and needed. It was a big reminder to everyone of all we can be thankful for in our lives. It was great to have the opportunity to help the kids, who in my opinion, needed the care the most.

– Christa Schefler, Class 132, Davenport Campus

Chiropractic Kids

Being raised by a Chiropractor may be a different experience than being raised by someone who is unfamiliar with the profession. Since chiropractic is a profession and lifestyle, it impacts not only the graduate but also their family. My father is a 1982 Palmer graduate, and my mother is an avid health advocate. The combination of my parents who valued health more than the average American parents led to some interesting and awesome experiences. At points growing up, I felt somewhat embarrassed for being different than my peers, but looking back, I am overwhelming thankful for the way they raised my brothers and myself.

One of the major differences I noticed between my peers and myself was our overall mentality towards health and sickness. In our family, we all knew that if we felt like we may be getting a little cold that it just meant we needed to get adjusted, drinks lots of water, have some tea and get lots of sleep. In a lot of households, name brands like Tylenol, Advil, Nyquil and Pepto-Bismol are a staple, but we just knew that we did not have them in our house or even need them. I’m not saying that all drugs and medications are awful and should not be used, I’m just saying that sometimes they are used too often or when unnecessary. We also were not vaccinated, which is a topic I will save for another blog. My brothers and I were also sick a lot less often than our classmates, except for getting the chicken pox and minor colds here and there.

School lunches were another place that I noticed our “different” lifestyle. I was sometimes disappointed with my peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, carrots and grapes in comparison to my classmate’s lunches that consisted of peanut butter and fluff on white bread, Dunk-a-Roos and Doritos. I didn’t appreciate my “boring” lunches then, but now as an adult, I am so thankful my mom fed us a really healthy diet. Also as far as lifestyle, my parents really value the importance of exercising often. They both did and still do a lot of running, biking, lifting and other physical activities. I was fortunate enough to be driven around to many dance, cheerleading and gymnastics practices since I was in preschool, which gave me a great appreciation for staying active. My brothers were also involved in many different sports including soccer, football, baseball, wrestling and lacrosse.

Getting consistent chiropractic care helped my brothers and I excel within our sports, which was awesome to experience. We were fortunate enough to come home to our Dad and say, “My ankle feels funny, can you please fix my ankle?” and “I got tackled really hard in that game and need an adjustment immediately!” There are definitely perks to being a chiropractic kid, perks I didn’t fully appreciate until I began to pursue the journey of becoming a chiropractor as well. Overall, I feel very blessed to have been raised in a chiropractic family and I hope more people will embrace the chiropractic lifestyle in the future.

A well-deserved and much appreciated break

Although I love going to class and learning several new things on a daily basis, I am always excited to enjoy a weekend away. I genuinely feel that it is important to maintain a life with family and friends outside of Palmer. Palmer is great about scheduling short breaks throughout the trimester by acknowledging important days and holidays with a day off from class.

After a busy week of testing, the Labor Day holiday was great for de-stressing.  My family and I planned a trip up to Okoboji Lake in northern Iowa for boating, swimming, kayaking and good food.

Though my pre-Labor Day week felt test-heavy, Palmer’s professors typically are great about spreading out our exams and being courteous of other scheduled exams.  Rarely do you have more than one to two exams in a day. As long as you stay on top of the material as opposed to cramming, it’s not bad.  After the first trimester, I got into a good schedule of keeping up with the material and then putting a strong focus on specific test three to four days before the exam.  This has allowed me to be successful when taking exams without getting test anxiety from cramming.

Jennifer Katzer
4th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Gratitude: For my education and my family

As I start my fourth trimester at Palmer, I am once more excited to be participating in such a wonderful program. Palmer has been more than accommodating to me in my quest towards becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic, as well as a busy wife and mother.  This is my second trimester being back from the birth of our son, Gavin, I have been able to take a reduced course schedule and allot myself plenty of time for studying and spending quality time with my family.  Both professors and fellow classmates are always very supportive and open to sharing words of wisdom of how to excel in the program with several other things going on.  Being at Palmer has further developed my multitasking skills and has taught me to make good use of my time available.

We have been very fortunate that our son has been healthy and growing like a weed during his first eight months of life and I strongly believe his regular adjustments have helped to support his health.  He usually spends his chiropractic appointments giggling through his adjustments.  He is a pretty ticklish little boy and well-adjusted all around!  It’s great to see my son interacting with fellow classmates at various Palmer events or even during study sessions with friends.   We look forward to watching him grow as we learn about the wonderful world of chiropractic at Palmer together as a family.

Jennifer Katzer, 4th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Connecting with kids through chiropractic

When I blogged last, I had just completed my first observation in the Campus Health Center. Shortly after that I had my second observation in the clinic. In the clinic, I am under a staff doctor who focuses on treating children, and this observation was one of my first experiences with children and chiropractic.

It was amazing to see how small children respond to adjustments and how the different techniques are adapted for small children. This experience gave me a new look at all the benefits of chiropractic. Of course I knew that children would benefit from chiropractic, and that it is just as important for them to be subluxation-free, but to see it all in person made it more real.

It was also really awesome to see the interaction of the different interns and my staff doctor with the children. Both the doctor and the interns amazed me with their patience and ability to connect with the children. I was excited to get into clinic before this experience, but this made me that much more excited about starting to see patients. It also made me really look forward to the opportunity to work with a great staff doctor and the children that are under her care. 

 Stephanie Tronnes
6th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Finding balance in a busy time

These past couple of weeks have contained exams almost every other day. Within about two weeks, we had an exam in each class except Philosophy, and practicals in Spinal Anatomy II and Palpation.  It has been quite busy. Being a Palmer student can be compared to a juggling act. 

When it comes to this kind of schedule, I need to decide which classes get more attention than others.  I need to work on priorities and then make a schedule.  As I look back to my past, I have done all of those, but I have not kept the schedule. I will be working on my own accountability to make sure that I do what I say according to my studies.

The exams that I have taken haven’t panned out the way I have wanted, but what do I expect if I do not study diligently?  It is true that for some professors, if not all, that you have to study for how they test you on the material.  Some teachers have different language it seems like when it comes to taking their exams, but we have to deal with it.

For the vast majority, the information that we are receiving even now in the second tri, is to not just prepare us for their exams, but to also prepare us for National Boards, which are used to dictate if we are ready to be called Doctors of Chiropractic.

So how do I deal with all of this pressure of exams, family life, and person reflection?  I take it a day at a time. I go to bed at a decent hour. I have found that I DO NOT perform well if I cram for exams. I go to bed because a good night’s rest is more therapeutic and resourceful for my exams than cramming unknown or unfamiliar information into my tired brain.

I make time for my family.  I have made a deal with my family that I will take two hours each day during the week to be with them—no homework.  That includes time for dinner and then one hour of play with my almost two-month-old girl before she goes to bed.  If I put God first, then my wife, then my baby, and then school, what can go wrong in the grand scheme of things? Well, I guess I will find out eventually, eh? I am sure that everything will work out the way it is supposed to work out. Lives will be touched, be they the lives of my family members, classmates, or even just my own as I watch my daughter grow and watch my knowledge unfold.

What have you seen in your “study life” that has helped you avoid distractions and “bear down” to “own” the material that you need to learn?  What are some of the distractions that you have overcome?

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

A season for everything

This dawn of a new trimester has come with some great changes including my perspective on life. Over the short break in between my first and second trimesters my wife delivered our first baby–Olivia Dumond. The whole experience was one that cannot be put into words. Reflecting upon the duration of the pregnancy and then looking at this little one, of whom we have been very blessed to receive, helps me realize that these short years at Palmer will soon pass by.

It is true that I am only commencing my second trimester, but I try to look at it like this: I have less than three years left to soak in as much as I possibly can through training, opportunities, and learning about the legends who walked the same halls that I do each day.

As I ponder this time in front of me, it gives me the courage and motivation to give back while I am here, hence my early involvement with Palmer Campus Guides.

Within this short involvement, I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet some of the great leaders of this school, both of faculty as well as students. I have also been able to learn more about campus and the B.J. and Mable Palmer Residence (The Palmer Mansion). The history is rich which helps us keep things in perspective that we are truly not alone in this great struggle of gaining our education to benefit mankind as a whole.

I have also had the opportunity to have lunch with a prospective student and her family. This was a choice experience that I hope I remember for all time. During the great discussion we had we got on the topic of what the philosophy of chiropractic is. While smiling and having Dr. Victor Strang’s voice in my head from Philosophy, I replied that chiropractic is about allowing the body to heal itself.  I gave my personal philosophy to help illustrate this.

We are products of Deity.  God never has created nor will ever create anything imperfect.  Thus, our bodies have the needed knowledge of how to get and stay well.  In chiropractic lingo this is called “Innate Intelligence.”  I went on to explain that at times we do need intervention from the pharmaceuticals for when need to keep in mind that “there is a time and season for everything.”  Why else would God grant unto us the opportunity to obtain the knowledge and discover the products we have?

This became all too real for me over this last break as I witnessed my wife going through labor and delivery.  She and I both were exhausted from being up throughout the whole previous night and our strength was gone.  She was not coming along very well in dilation and needed to have some help with the contractions and so Pitocin was administered.  As Pitocin started to have full effect the immense pain started to set in, which commonly comes with the “synthetic Oxytocin.”  My wife started to look at me sternly and let me know that she wanted something to help her.

I recalled how we wanted to proceed through labor and delivery as natural as possible, however I had to take into consideration some of the events that had recently taken place.  She had been administered a synthetic hormone that causes intense contractions. She was also extremely exhausted and I knew that if she was not given anything she would not have the needed strength to deliver the baby, therefore causing more problems and complicating the end goal of the last nine months: a healthy baby. 

Pain medications were administered in degrees which would allow her to rest (fall asleep actually) in between contractions as well as not feel the full effect of the Pitocin.  As I watched her fade into the sleep she desperately needed I felt we had made the correct decision.  Even though my wife did feel some of the contractions, which were getting more frequent and more intense, she was not feeling the full effect.  The interesting event was when it was time to push my wife was immediately “back in the game” and ready to get the baby out.

After only 20 minutes of pushing (which is DARN good for a first baby!) Olivia Dumond was delivered by her dad (yep, that is me!) with a little help, of course, from our midwife. =)

 This whole experience was one that awakened my outlook on medicine.  I will never forget the thought and feelings that I received sitting on my little cot-bed next to my wife while we were deciding on medication or not for the labor.  I had thoughts come to me that explained that we, in this day and age, have been blessed to have this knowledge and ability to help people when the time and season are correct.  This was the right season and the correct time for my wife to receive help.  I am forever grateful for the thought that, yes, we are blessed to have the knowledge and technology!

We cannot dismiss the effectiveness of allopathic medicine when it is used properly.  My recent personal experience has reminded me of its blessing in my life through assisting my wife during that pinnacle time in her life and Olivia’s.

When to properly use holistic or allopathic medicine is a matter of wisdom—knowledge applied at the right time and during the correct season.  It is up to us, as lifetime learners, to receive the needed knowledge through many avenues, gain the experience of applying it correctly, and be open for true intelligence to whisper to each of us when we need that extra help.

Anton L. Keller, 2nd trimester student
Davenport Campus

Part 1 boards are behind me!

Well, I just finished part one of National Boards last month and let me tell you, it is nice to have that behind me.  We all spent long days and late nights trying to cover everything possible that we thought may appear on the board exams.  I started to become anxious a couple of days before and couldn’t tell if I wanted them over with or thought I needed more time.  Friday morning on the way to the exams I put in my Bob Marley CD and, as my four year old would say, “jammed out” on the way to school realizing I was excited to see what this was all about.

As it is with a lot of things the anticipation leading up to a big event is usually more nerve racking than the event itself.  The same held true for boards.  I expected to receive several pages of paper just filled with questions and was prepared to be completely overwhelmed.  That wasn’t the case.  We received plenty of time to finish the exams and it turned out not to be so intimidating after all.

Of course everyone stands around after each exam discussing questions they thought were difficult, hoping that someone else will have answered the same giving you a little piece of mind.  But, when all was said and done, it wasn’t that bad!  The instructors had done a great job at preparing us for these exams!  I was particularly thankful for Mr. Morter, the Spinal Anatomy II teacher, and hope that we make Dr. Weinert proud with our Biochem scores. 🙂

Saturday night, my husband and I had a get together and campfire at our home where we were able to unwind and enjoy time with family and friends.  It is really hard to believe how fast the time has gone by since I started and here we are, planning our half-way party.  I look forward to all that is ahead and can’t wait to share my experiences with more prospective students in the upcoming trimesters!

Erica Boland, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus