Drained and ready for a break

Thank goodness for Easter weekend! These last three weeks have been a grind … running on not enough sleep and more coffee than I thought I would ever have drank. This little break was exactly what I needed to help recuperate and prepare for the upcoming weeks.

Sometimes it just feels like you hit a wall, and you don’t think you can possibly stay focused or learn another thing, and right now that’s where I’m at. I cannot wait to take at least one night off and just not look at any books and turn the TV on and catch some playoff hockey! We do have an exam next week, but it’s only one and a whole six days away, so I don’t need to be cramming at all hours of the day and night.

The good thing about Palmer during these heavy exam weeks is that the professors communicate with each other, and many of them were once in our spots and know exactly how we feel. They know when to ease off the gas pedal in one class so we can put more focus on others by giving clinical lectures or going at a slower pace. It’s nice to feel like they are here to help us, reinforcing and encouraging us through a stressful time.

But I am glad last week is over. I am totally drained and cannot wait to get home to my couch.

Cheers everyone!


Reviewing old exams … it’s worth the time!

I took the time to go up to my professor’s office to look at one of my old exams. I would highly recommend taking the time to do this to any student at Palmer, especially if the class is cumulative because sometimes the questions you miss the most will show up again on the next exam.

So I went up to Mr. Morter’s office to look through my exam and check all the things he marked wrong on it. Now this is for Spinal 2 and so there are a lot of drawing and fill-in-the blanks on our exams. So it can either go in your favor (if you have a general idea of the answer you can usually get partial credit for writing something close even if you thought you were wrong) or it can go against you if you misspell something or forget the exact wording ( you really have to know your stuff to be able to write it back out vs. picking it out of a lineup like in multiple choice).

When I go back in to look at my exams, I usually already have a pretty good idea of the questions that I got wrong. But sometimes I’m surprised because I made a really stupid mistake because I was rushing or just said the wrong thing even though I am sure I meant to say something else.

So sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s not as good as you thought, but either way, going in and taking the time to look over your last exam will help you be a better student by correcting the things you got wrong so you don’t make that mistake again. It can also show you what areas you need to review or look over again.

Give it a try!



Practical Over!

(from Friday) First Spinal 2 lab practical is over! I am feeling pretty good about it. I definitely made some silly mistakes, but overall I’m expecting a good grade. Even though this practical is over and it is one thing to check of my list, I still have a really busy weekend ahead so there won’t be much time to relax and decompress from all the studying for the practical.

This weekend is the David D. Palmer Trust Foundation Seminar for Rugby. A lot of alumni who played rugby here at Palmer are going to be attending, so it will be exciting to get to meet and chat with some people who were once standing in my shoes and see where their achievements have taken them.

Another week is in the books for second trimester, and so far I am surviving. Next week is a short week, so I am definitely looking forward to the long weekend. But I have three exams to tackle first. Biochem, Philosophy and Spinal 2 exam 2.

Wish me luck for another crazy week ahead!

Have a great weekend everyone!



Spinal Lab Practical #1

All last week our class was completing their lab practical for Spinal 2. This class is a little bit notorious around the school for being a major contributor for the difficulty level of 2nd trimester. So it is safe to say all my classmates and I are cramming and carrying around our bag of bones so we can mark color them in and practice identifying parts of all the bones.

I heard that they were removing the spinal 1 class that I had in first trimester, which I think is unfortunate for the new trimesters coming in. I definitely feel like spinal 1 is the reason I am not stressing out as much about this practical.

The exam is 2 hours long, the first hour is in the lab with the cadaver identifying muscles and structures, and the second hour is upstairs in a classroom identifying features on bones of the vertebral column and ribs. We are responsible for knowing all the actions and innervations that go along with the muscles we might be asked to identify so it is a lot of information to put in your head.

I’m really glad that we have access to some of the bones with markings on them like they will be on the exam, it has helped immensely to be able to go in and practice on those. Also, the P.A.S.S session for this class has been super helpful. Especially the bone review, just because the way he asks questions and they way he expects us to write our answers is very unique. And if you didn’t know at all, you could easily fail this exam even though you identify the right feature.

So thank you to Afua and the P.A.S.S program for helping me out with this exam! One more night to put it all in there, and then it’s go time!

Wish me luck!



Campus Guides application

When you visit a Palmer campus, you're sure to meet a Campus Guide

When you visit a Palmer campus, you’re sure to meet a Campus Guide

I decided to apply for Campus Guides, and today I gave a tour to two people who are already Guides so they could evaluate my personality and knowledge about Palmer.  It was a little bit awkward, talking to two people who you already kind of know and who are already Palmer students but acting as if they don’t know anything about Palmer.

They sent us a packet to read over before the tour so we would know what the route is and some things they wanted us to talk about. But for as many times as I read it over and walked through the tour in my head, it still came out differently than I wanted it to. For some reasons in a good way and for some reasons not so much. I made a few mistakes and I couldn’t answer all my questions, but overall it went pretty well.

The Guides were encouraging and said that I did great! Next week I have my interview, and then I will find out after that if I will be accepted for a position as a Guide! I have my fingers crossed for this position. I think it will be a great way to meet some new people and share my experiences at Palmer with others, just as the Guides did for me when I was visiting the school trying to figure out if this was the right place for me.

And I am sure glad I had the chance to meet with them, because I am loving it here and I can definitely say they made me feel welcome and confident in my choice even before I was enrolled.



Mark it up!

Check out the spinous markings!

Check out the spinous markings!

Today in Palpation, we finally got to use our marking pencils and practice counting out the spinous processes. I feel like this is a skill that I will get to use every day in my career, and so it feels awesome to be getting to take this step in class and practice what technique works best for me.

The best thing about getting to do this in class is the variety of people to practice on. I get to palpate my roommates all the time, but I have gotten to know their bodies pretty well by now. So it’s nice to be in class and get to test out my tactile reception on some different backs. Some people are easy with very prominent features and some people are a little more difficult to feel everything on.

Today we were marking the inter-spinous spaces with a line, so everyone’s back had a bunch of lines all the way down at each of their inter-spinous spaces. Cervicals and thoracics tend to be easy to find regarding each spinous and its space, but down in the lumbars it gets a little trickier.

Once we had found all the spaces and had the correct number of spinouses counted up, we marked lines to where the transverse procceses would lie. If you didn’t know already, they are actually typically a little above where the spinous process would be for each segment. The transverse processes are the contact points for many adjustments, so it will be important to be able to find them and get to know where they are in relation to the spinous.

The transverse processes are not as easily palpable as the spinous processes, but you will know if you are on it by having one thumb on the spinous process and pushing on the transverse process to make the spinous move ever so slightly.

Overall it was a fun learning day in Palpation!




womensrugby-3-14bI have had a few requests to write about rugby, since I’m on the women’s rugby team, so here goes nothing.

This is a hard topic to describe to those who have never heard of it or seen it played before. If I had to compare it to any sport, I guess I would pick football. The ball is similarly shaped but larger and has a more rounded point. There are two sets of players, forwards and backs, and then there’s tackling!  But the rules of the game and the way it is played are very different from football.

A “touchdown” in rugby is called a “Try,” and when you pass the ball it must always be passed backward (so the person you are passing to has to run onto it). But the aim of the game is to create space in order to get by the other team and place the ball down in the “Try-zone.”

There’s a lot more to explain, but I won’t confuse everyone with all the rules in between for now. Maybe I will progress this post and go into details about more rules in the future.  🙂

WomensRugby3-14I played rugby in high school, so getting back into it here at Palmer has been fun. I was definitely surprised there was a team when I got here. I can’t believe how much I forgot about the game and how fun it is to play! The women’s rugby team practices two times a week (on Tuesday and Thursday nights). It’s been a great way to meet some new girls who aren’t in my class and have some fun!

We have games coming up at the end of March, which I will keep you all in the loop on, and we always love and welcome any girls who want to play. You don’t even have to be a student at Palmer to play, so if you’re interested, come on out to practice!



Vendor Fair … did you win $100?

Hooray for free massages! I love when the Vendor Fair comes to school!

One of the many vendors was Biofreeze

One of the many vendors was Biofreeze

On Monday in the Student Union there was a vendor fair. For those of you who don’t know what a vendor fair is, it’s when some local or big businesses come in to help share knowledge of their products with you. They usually offer free samples with brief explanations about the benefits of their products. Some examples of businesses that were at the Vendor Fair here were Biofreeze and Avon and Spark, as well as Capri College and Sam’s Club.

I took in a sample of Spark, which is a powder you add to your drink, kind of like Gatorade or Crystal Light, that is supposed to increase attention. I got a 15-minute chair massage, which was amazing, from a student at Capri College. I got a coupon for $15 off of a membership if I want to sign up at Sam’s Club, and I got a bubble bath sample from Avon as well as their catalogue that they have out right now.

I wish I’d had more time to check out more of the vendors, but I had to get to my Student Council meeting, so I missed out on a few good ones. But I did collect a few tickets to enter in to the drawing for a $100 gift card to the Bookstore, which each vendor table gives you for visiting their table (it’s something the school does to promote people going to the Vendor Fair and hearing out the vendors).

I got the email for the drawing, and I didn’t win. I was only ONE OFF from winning one of them, AHH haha. I feel so unlucky! But everyone here could use one, so I am happy for the people who won (they probably made it to more tables than me haha).

Looking forward to the next Vendor Fair!



TGIF! (kinda)

My dog

My dog

(Well, it was Friday when I wrote this …)

Yay for the weekend! There is nothing like the feeling of finishing off the day on Friday and getting in your car to head home knowing you have a few days off to catch up with yourself and relax from a busy week!

My dog must love me on Fridays because his walks are always extra long since I finally feel like I have enough time to slow down and enjoy the day. During the week when we walk, I feel like I am usually just power walking for a half hour with other things on my mind. Although I do have to say as soon as I see how much fun he is having running around being a dog, doing dog things, it puts a smile on my face and makes to want to take an extra ten minutes for him to have some fun instead of having to be cooped up at home!

St. Patrick’s day is coming up (again, wrote this last Friday …), and I am sure there will be a lot of green beer and Irish dancing going on this weekend around downtown Davenport. And also today was PI DAY! (3.14) I know my roommates both indulged to celebrate today, one with a pizza pie and the other going out for a special pie dessert, yum! I feel like I am a picky pie person. I never really crave it or want to make it, but I am always impressed when I try a new pie. Apple and pumpkin are my favorites, but this past summer I tied a rhubarb pie thinking I wouldn’t like it and ended up loving it!

I hope you all have (had) a great weekend and enjoy something green, whether it’s a beverage or some ridiculous green dyed food. Even more, I hope you have (had) some pie today to celebrate Pi Day!



The sun’s out!

Break out the shades and the Frisbees! It hit 55 degrees F today!

Break out the shades and the Frisbees! It hit 55 degrees F today!

Considering the winter we just had, it comes to no surprise the talk around Palmer today was all about the weather! I can proudly say I left my winter coat at home today 🙂 … and it felt amazing to not have to drag it around with me!

But for those of you who remember or who are still taking classes there you will understand when I say I was immediately regretting not having it at soon as I got to Gross 2 in W216. I completely forgot how cold that classroom was, and I sat pretty much numb through the entire class.  But that aside, it was a perfectly beautiful day at 13 degrees! (Or 55 for all you Americans.)

It’s amazing what a little sunshine can do to a person! I really felt the attitude in the classroom and all throughout the school was a little more happy and enthusiastic than it typically is.

This will be my first spring/summer spent in Davenport or even in Iowa at all, so I am curious as to how the summers are. I have heard nothing but good things so far and can’t wait to check out the farmers market and all the festivals and outdoors patios I have been hearing so much about! Hopefully I can find a way to stay motivated and study during all the nice weather!

In the meantime, I am going to keep my guard up just in case we have another bout of cold weather.

Cheers, everybody!