Nash Bash Rugby Festival and Easter holiday

The weekend after St. Patrick’s Day was filled with rugby – finally! We’ve been practicing in the gym due to the cold temperatures and weather conditions, but we were able to get outside a couple times to run some plays and scrimmage a little to get more real-life game situations. We traveled all the way to Nashville, Tenn., for the Nash Bash Rugby Festival. It was a long drive, but we were excited to play some new teams and to have our new players get some experience playing in the game.

Women's rugby team at Nash Bash Rugby Festival

Nash Bash Rugby Festival team photo.

Rugby is a tougher sport to learn but it is easier to learn when you get in on a game and get some experience with the team. The first team was a lot of fun to play and we broke through their defense and scored a few times! A couple new players were able to sub in and get to play with us. I was extremely impressed with their skills and aggressiveness the whole time. They blended in with our offense system and we got to run through a few plays and get through the defense! The next game we played was in the afternoon. It started off well but the opposing team’s offense was strong and they were able to break through us a couple times. It was a hard-fought game and we unfortunately lost by three points. All in all, it was a great day of rugby, but I was sure tired after those games.

We were in Nashville, though, so we couldn’t say no to exploring Nashville’s downtown for a little bit. We were able to go down the strip and visit a few famous places and enjoy chatting and dancing with our team and the Palmer men’s rugby team. We had to get back at a decent time since our next game was Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. When we were getting ready and warming up we found out the team decided to forfeit the last game, so we unfortunately didn’t get to play the last game. It was a great weekend of rugby, Nashville and some great fun with fellow players!

Luckily the week after the tournament wasn’t too stressful because it took me a couple days to recover. We got lucky since the next weekend was Easter Sunday weekend and we had the Friday before and the Monday after off. I was able to travel home to family Thursday night. I had a doctor and a dentist appointment the next day and I worked at the salon back at home, so I kept busy during my little break!

Jennie and co-workers at salon.

My salon family back home.

It was great being back at work because that business is like family to me! I was able to spend Easter with my family and I even baked a homemade strawberry apple pie, decorated like an Easter basket, for dessert. Baking is one of my favorite hobbies, so I enjoyed making the dessert for my family and they enjoyed eating it!

Me and my Easter basket pie!

It was great seeing my family, but it wasn’t too hard heading back to Davenport on Monday afternoon since they will be traveling to Davenport in just a couple weeks for my White Coat Ceremony! This ceremony is to celebrate my class entering clinic and seeing patients. I can’t wait for my family to come down and celebrate with me in addition to watching me play rugby the next day. The ceremony lines up the same weekend of the Sports Symposium hosted at Palmer. I can’t wait to see alumni that weekend in addition to enjoying the Symposium banquet Saturday night. It will be a weekend filled with fun, family, education and some rugby!

Start of 7th tri and patient care

I got to start off my 7th trimester welcoming members of Class 212 to Palmer on their Orientation Day. I love being a mentor, especially for Orientation Day, since I get to meet all the incoming students and help them with any questions they might have that day, and throughout their first few trimesters here.

Group of new students from Class 212 at orientation.

Welcome to the students of Palmer Class 212!

A lot of students travel from all over and it can be a big transition for them, so it’s always nice to have someone there to help you during the process. Each mentor is given a group of new students to follow through the tour and chat with during orientation. Throughout the future trimesters we usually get coffee with them, let them know about big events or help them get extra resources they might find beneficial when studying for classes. I had a great group to hang out with during the day. They were all chatty and seemed like they were having fun even with the abundance of information they receive during orientation.

This trimester always has a busy beginning due to St. Patrick’s Day and Easter coming around the corner. I have enjoyed running the CASI’s St. Patrick’s Day 5k run each year I’ve been here in Davenport, but unfortunately due to some back issues I was having I was unable to run in it. I did get to celebrate and watch the parade with my friends! I love this parade since it starts in Illinois and then makes its way across the bridge to Davenport, Iowa. It lasts a few hours and there is always some yummy candy or necklace beads to try and catch throughout the parade. My friends and I decided to have a big breakfast at a friend’s apartment before heading down to the parade. Afterwards we stayed downtown in Davenport and celebrated at the bars for the rest of the evening. It’s fun to see everyone dressed up and enjoying the holiday.

Jennie and friend at St. Patrick's Day parade.

St. Patrick’s Day fun!

The start of 7th trimester came quickly and I started doing a lot of assignments that we had in our clinical methods course. This class helps us get prepared for clinic and seeing student patients under our assigned doctors. Some of the assignments included observing intern appointments, observing radiology reviews and practice taking notes and putting them in the system on the clinic computers. These all prepare you for clinic and help make you feel more comfortable for the first few appointments when entering clinic.

I really enjoyed going to the radiology reviews since you get to see how people examine X-rays, how to write a report and you get to see different cases that could possibly come into your future clinic someday. Our other classes have also been more clinically based with differential diagnosis, extremity adjusting, X-ray positioning for extremities and more. These classes have helped me take what I’ve learned over the trimesters and put it towards clinical situations to help me find out the problem and provide the best care for patients. It’s great to feel confident with what you know and apply it to real-life situations. These classes make me more and more excited to start see student patients in clinic in only a few weeks!

End of 6th tri and fun during break

The end of the trimester was filled with finals, practicals and a little bit of fun! We had a few practicals in our classes like thoracolumbar, pelvic, active care and more. In the technique classes we were tested on all the set-ups for listings that we learned over the trimester, and in active care they tested us on different stretches, exercises and more for working on the different muscle areas of the body. I really enjoy practicals because it makes me feel more comfortable on what I know and might show me different things I should work more on or focus on. Our finals week was pretty packed with exams, but we had two exams maximum on each day and Palmer always has a study day before finals start. This helps a lot for students to prepare for each exam but the week is still pretty busy and exhausting. Luckily at the end of the week we have a celebration for the graduating students in Women’s Palmer Rugby.

Student blogger Jennie with graduating women's rugby team members.

Me on the right with two graduating Women’s Rugby Team members in the center.

This celebration includes food, drinks, music and gifts at a local restaurant or bar downtown. This trimester we had three ladies who were either graduating, precepting or heading to a VA facility for a student rotation. It was so much fun to celebrate and reminisce on the good memories we have had with these players. Each one has had a huge impact on our team throughout the years and we are going to miss them so much. This night was a perfect way to end the finals week. Unfortunately I had one more final the next morning so I had to finish up at 7:30 a.m. and then I headed out back to Wisconsin. For break my family and I planned a trip to the Dominican Republic so we could all enjoy some time together and relax.

On Friday we drove down to Chicago since we flew out of O’Hare in the early morning. The flight was pretty long but we eventually got to our resort at the end of the night and boy were we hungry. We decided to put our stuff in our rooms and head down to the buffet so we could get some food in our stomachs! The food was delicious there and since it was all-inclusive, it was nice not having to pay for each meal.

We spent the first day just relaxing on the beach, soaking up some sun and walking down some paths to see the beach and other resorts. We took a few excursions to explore the area and have some fun. The first one we did was dune buggying around the area and a little bit of swimming at a waterfall. It was so much fun driving and we got so wet and muddy since there was a huge rainstorm the night before. We were so soaked afterwards that we had to take showers to wash all the mud out.

Student blogger Jennie on dune buggy.

Dune buggy fun!

Afterwards we took a little swim and enjoyed some sun at a little waterfall area at the location. The next excursion we took was to a cocoa, coffee and cigar plantation where we saw how these items are made and processed. I’m a big coffee drinker so I found this very interesting and I stocked up on some coffee they sold at the plantation location. The last trip we went on was a speed boat, snuba and snorkeling adventure on the Atlantic Ocean. I have never gone snubaing so I found it to be so cool and fun to swim with the fish and feed them. We were able to swim around on the ocean floor with our family and our guide showed us some sponges and coral reef areas. I had to get used to my ears popping but after a minute I felt comfortable swimming around. It was so much fun and it was a perfect way to end the trip.

Student blogger Jennie with family on boat on Atlantic Ocean.

Atlantic Ocean adventure!

Saturday morning was our last time to enjoy the beach and some food before we had to head out. It was a long trip home again and we didn’t get back until about 2 a.m. Sunday morning. I was able to pack up and travel back to Davenport by Sunday afternoon to prepare for the start of 7th trimester!

Holiday break with family and looking forward to clinic experience!

With a busy winter schedule, it was nice to have a little holiday break with my family! We were able to celebrate Christmas with my whole extended family, except one of my cousins, at my grandparent’s house on Christmas Eve. This was the most family members we’ve gathered in a long time, so it was nice to see everyone and enjoy some dinner and celebration together.

Student blogger Jennie's extended family Christmas gathering.

Our extended family Christmas gathering.

One of my favorite Christmas events is our white elephant exchange. Everyone brings a random gift that is usually funny or enjoyable. We all choose numbers out of a hat and go in order of choosing a gift out of the circle. You’re able to steal gifts from those who have opened a gift before you. This year there was a range of gifts like beer, car mats, army helmet, wine opener set, a weird stuffed bird and more. It’s so funny to see what people put in as gifts and what people end up getting. On Christmas Day I enjoyed a relaxing morning with my siblings and parents. We opened Christmas presents and had a delicious breakfast. It was nice to enjoy this time with family and take a break from school!

Photo of student blogger Jennie's family,missing one brother.

Family photo, missing one brother.

During this past winter break I also was able to get some hours in at work back at home. I covered a few shifts at the salon for some of the front desk receptionists. I even snuck in a few hours to study during work for a few exams we had the week coming back from break. I always enjoy coming back to work because everyone is so nice and friendly there and the extra cash is nice for extra activities I want to do here and there!

It was nice to come back to Davenport after a long winter break. We had a few exams a couple weeks in, but I was happy I prepared a little over break for them on my down time. January also is my birthday month, so my undergrad friends and I planned a trip back to our old campus to celebrate my birthday and another friend’s birthday. We were able to reserve a party bus, hotel rooms and dinner together. At the end of the night we spent the rest of the night downtown reminiscing on our old college memories. It was so fun catching up with everyone and seeing La Crosse again!

Student blogger Jennie and friends in front of party bus.

The birthday party bus group!

I had some catching up to do with school after that long weekend since we had a few exams that week. Some of the exams and practicals ended up being on the same day, but the professors were willing to change the date of one or two of them, so we didn’t have too many occur the same day. I really enjoyed having more technique classes with hands-on experience. We were able to look more into subluxations in the pelvic and thoracolumbar regions and learned how to properly correct them. Next trimester we are heading into the clinic where we will be adjusting students here at Palmer under a staff doctor. I’m extremely excited to put this knowledge into practice and be able to help my fellow students!

Busy weekends with dances, traveling trips and rugby banquet!

(Written in January 2018)

The winter trimester is always the longest!  We have a couple breaks with the holiday so we get a few extra days to travel and spend time with family back at home. I was able to go home for Thanksgiving break and spend time with my family and travel to my grandparents to see my extended family. It was really relaxing and I needed it after having a few exams and practicals right before this break!

The weekend after Thanksgiving was Palmer Prom/Holiday dance and boy was it fun! Most students wear formal dresses and suits, enjoy a few appetizers and dance the night away. My friends and I decided to have some dinner and drinks beforehand at a friend’s apartment which was close to the event’s location at The Blackhawk Hotel. They had a band from Chicago play for the night and they were very good! They played a range of different types of music and it definitely got everyone up and on the dance floor. The next day I had to get some studying done with a few more exams coming up in clinical nutrition and radiology positioning classes. We also had our first practical in the elective class SOT this upcoming week! I was really nervous since it was the first one and since it is a technique class the grading scale is raised. It ended up going perfectly, but I was happy I prepared myself and practiced the set-ups a couple times.

My friends and me before Palmer Prom.

I was so thankful to be able to take a mini-vacation with my family in Chicago the weekend after Palmer Prom. My family has been going to the Christkindlmarket since we were in high school. It is a German festival that has a great variety of vendors for food, drinks, art, crafts and different kind of gifts. I decided to head to Chicago early Saturday morning so I could visit a friend and get some brunch with her before my family arrived! We are old high school friends but with our busy schedules it is really hard to see each other, so it is nice to catch up when we do have that free time. We were able to take a long walk down the river and stop for brunch before we headed back to her place. Eventually I met up with my family downtown at our hotel and we were able to head out to the market right away to adventure around! There were so many vendors and foods but we planned on going out to dinner so we just took a small trip around and decided to grab dinner at restaurant close by since it was getting pretty cold as the sun went down. The next day we spent the morning at the market and we were able to get some German chocolate treats, hot wine, and some delicious hot food. We all had some pretzels, schnitzel, strudels, and bratwursts. We ate so much and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to eat for the rest of the day! After the market, we took a trip to Macy’s to look at the decorations and their big famous tree, while also making a walk down to their candy shop in the bottom level. Unfortunately, I had to leave late Sunday afternoon to make sure I made it back to Davenport to do a little studying before the next week of classes!

Mom, my sister and me at the Macy’s Christmas tree.

My family at Christkindlmarket in Chicago.

The weekend before break I had another event to attend which I also helped plan and set up! It was our annual men and women’s winter rugby banquet. Most of the time people see us out playing rugby all scuffed up with mud on us but this is the one night where we get to dress up and people usually don’t recognize each other! We had drinks, dinner buffet and we handed out awards to different players on each team! We have each team’s players vote separately for their team’s awards. Some of the awards include: Forward MVP, Rookie of the Year and Back MVP. We also do a couple funny awards like “most likely to be late” or “craziest post game hair.” I was so happy to receive the award “most dependable” from my fellow teammates. It means a lot to me know that they can trust me on and off the field. After the event, a lot of us decided to end the night with some downtown fun and then we headed home for a good night sleep!

Me and my award: Most Dependable.

Palmer Rugby teams.

Rugby playoffs and Thanksgiving with family

(Written in December 2017)

The past couple weeks have been filled with rugby once again due to playoffs. We were so lucky to reach the next step of playoffs and play the Grand Rapids Gazelles in Michigan. Unfortunately it was a pretty cold day with rain but we were happy it didn’t snow like our last game. We came out in the first half winning and ending the game with an even bigger lead! This allowed us to make it to the Midwest championship game the next weekend in Lemont, Illinois. Being in the Midwest we expected another cold game against the Cincinnati Kelts. The game started off rough and by the end of it we were not able to come out with a win. It was a hard-fought game but the Kelts had a great offense and ultimately played the game better. In the end, it was still a win for us since this is the farthest Palmer Women’s Rugby has gone in the playoffs, and we have the title of 2nd place Midwest champs. It was a great season and I’m so thankful for the hard work each player has put into this season.

My schedule has been very busy since our rugby season has continued, but one of my electives I chose to take started this past week. With SOT, we have learned the foundation and reasoning to how this technique works with the connections within the body with subluxations, muscles, fascia and more. I love learning more about it each day and it involves a lot of hands-on experience. With a couple weeks of this trimester under our belts, we have been rolling out a few exams already. Luckily, the professors have spread them out from other classes and work with our schedule so we don’t have too many exams on one day or in one week. A few professors like to get their first round of exams in before the Thanksgiving holiday so there isn’t time in between to forget material. With a couple practicals and exams done with, I was ready for a weekend at home with my family!

Young woman and girl coloring

My cousin Hailey and I coloring on Thanksgiving!

For Thanksgiving, we usually go to my grandparent’s place during the day and enjoy a good meal with our extended family. It was so much fun to see my cousins, aunts and uncles since I usually only to get see them on the holidays. Plus, I always love a home-cooked meal! There was so much food that by the end of the evening I was stuffed! My family and I eventually went home and had a few snacks of our own and enjoyed some quality time — ending the night with a movie. The next day I was able to spend some time with a friend and we did a little Black Friday shopping in the late morning. Luckily, I didn’t have anything specific to buy so I just got a couple small items. I enjoyed the rest of the weekend just relaxing with the family back at home. I had to get back Saturday night though because I wanted to spend Sunday catching up and preparing for the next week!

Rugby in the snow and a new trimester begins

Living in the Midwest, you don’t know what weather you’ll be hit with in the next week. This past weekend when we played our final game we realized while we traveled up to Minneapolis that it was going to be cold and snowy for the match. We knew we had to put our hearts, mind and every part of us in this game to succeed. From the start, we were letting the weather get to us and we weren’t running our system like we usually do. By the end of the first half, we were down by 10. We picked up speed in the beginning of the second half but eventually the Amazons overcame our defense, and eventually won the game. It was heartbreaking to see that happen but we later found out that the Amazons were going to forfeit their place in playoffs due to other obligations of a few players on the team. This gave us their place in playoffs in Grand Rapids, Michigan! We were so surprised, but at the same time, excited to continue our season and hoping to continue through playoffs. We are preparing this week during practices, working on our weaknesses and fitness to make sure we are at our top for this game this coming weekend.

With the start of our trimester this week, the first trimester students and the new undergrad students had orientation on Monday. Since I’m a mentor I get the opportunity to join them on their tour of campus and lunch to help them with any questions or finding things around campus. My group was a little more quiet than I expected, but after a trip around campus they talked more about where they’re from and asked questions about classes and material they will need. It was great seeing students from all over — not just the United States, but all over the world. There were quite a few students from Wisconsin, so we made connections there but usually the new students have so much information given to them in a little amount of time during that morning, which causes many to be a little overwhelmed. The first day of classes weren’t too stressful but I know I will have to get used to scheduled days again. A lot of the students in my group from orientation didn’t feel as comfortable with their way around campus yet, so during our club hour at 9:20 a.m. I took a group of them around campus to show them the different ways to get to each of their classes. Palmer has a few buildings but once you get yourself oriented, walking to class and around campus becomes easy. I can’t wait to get to know these new students more and see them succeed here at Palmer.

I’m very excited to be in my 6th trimester because I’m taking my first couple electives here at Palmer and we have more technique classes involved in our schedule. With my schedule for the winter I knew it was the perfect time to take SOT due to its time slot. Since we don’t play rugby during the winter, this allows this elective and practice to not interfere with the time of each activity. I also decided to take the activator elective to learn more about this technique and its benefits. My classmates and I will also be taking thoracolumbar and pelvic technique courses where we will learn about the set-ups, subluxations and more with the different techniques taught for these areas of the body. I’m excited to have more hands-on experience but I know this will be a crazy, busy trimester!

Playing rugby in the snow is a challenge overcome by teamwork.

Success in rugby and finals!

Our rugby season has been making history for Palmer with us being in the # 1 spot in the league so far. We even had an article in “ The Rugby Breakdown” about our success this season, in addition to a recent television interview and “practice” session with Channel 4 news here in Davenport. We showed the reporter the basics of rugby and he enjoyed learning about the sport and how our team is doing. We’ve had almost every Saturday filled with a rugby game and social with the teams this past month. Unfortunately, this season is coming to an end. We are in the Number #1 spot in our league currently, but our last game against the Amazons will determine if we stay in the top spot and go to playoffs. Since we just finished finals and we are on our break right now, we decided to have two-a-day practices the Wednesday and Thursday before the game. This allowed for a lot of players to head home or do some traveling for a long weekend. With our practices and the team’s energy, I feel like we can come out with a win this weekend and advance to playoffs for the first time in Palmer history.

Finals came upon us fast but I studied hard during the past couple weeks and did really well in all my classes. I’m one of those students who calculates their current grade and checks to see what is needed to maintain or raise my grade in each class. But I came out strong in each class of mine and this allowed me to enjoy my little break at home even more. I was able to spend time with friends and family and do a lot of relaxing. I even got to pick up a couple shifts at my job back at home as a receptionist at Studio 262 Salon in Middleton, Wis. I’ve worked there for seven to eight years now and I cover shifts for other employees during my break if they need a day off or want some vacation time. I love coming back to work because the employees always feel like family and they do amazing work for their clients. I love talking to the clients and seeing how happy they are with their finished results. But as always, break felt like it went by too fast. It’s nice to be back in Davenport for the weekend and I’m excited to finish it up with some rugby with my team!


Part 1 NBCE board results and our class half-way celebration!

The last month has been packed with rugby, exams and preparation for finals! Even though it has been really busy, I have had so much fun with my teammates during practices and our travels, and I’ve enjoyed learning more hands-on experience in classes and different techniques.

With this past month being hectic with rugby and classes, it was hard to focus the morning of October 2 – the day our Part 1 NBCE scores were announced! I was extremely nervous to look and I was too shy to check them during class with my fellow students all around. I decided during my later break between classes to find a quiet, empty table right outside the buildings and check them by myself. I’m really close with my mom so I thought it would be best to have her on the phone with me while I find out my scores. It felt like forever for the page to load but when it did I was screaming inside! I passed all six exams on NBCE Part 1. My mom and I even had a few happy tears over the phone. Of course, I called my dad and siblings afterwards to let them know the good news! It was such a relief off my shoulders to have that happy news after waiting six weeks to find out. It motivated me to finish off this trimester strong and do the best I can.

It’s common for every class to celebrate their “half-way” to finishing their degree here at Palmer, and our class decided to have a taco party and bonfire at a classmate’s house! It was so much fun to just relax and enjoy some time together joking around and eating some delicious food! Our classmate Molly, who hosted the event, has dogs, goats and horses, so it was fun to pet and feed all the animals. For some students it was more of an uncommon experience since they normally don’t see goats and horses that often, if at all. A lot of the students jumped in and played some yard games like corn hole/bean bag toss and threw around a football. During the trimester our time with each other is usually spent studying or in classes, so it was fun to be able to relax with everyone. Our class is a smaller one so we know each other fairly well, but that night we were able to get to know fellow classmates who we might not talk to as much. But since this event was right before finals, I had to make sure I spent some time that weekend studying and preparing for my classes!

My classmates and me (fourth from left in front row) at our half-way party.



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.