Sunday, February 6, 2011

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel...

I feel like this year is already a whirlwind, and it's not even halfway through February yet. The holidays came and went in a flash. We had a beautiful snow the night before what was supposed to be the first day of comps so comps were delayed a day. I believe I owe that one day for my passing SIX of my 7 comps. This is a huge feat I think, especially considering how no one passed them all and only one other girl passed 6. Now I have to re-write that one comp this coming Friday. The question is a little different but hopefully I can do it this time. It's on orofacial anomalies...I find out my results from the Praxis (the national exam) tomorrow...Hope I have happy news there. I am no longer dating anyone (as of two days ago), which is a good thing considering I have no plans to stay in this city after I graduate. I still need to figure out what town I want to live in though. Then I need to find a job there. Or maybe it should be the other way around--find a job to determine what town I live in. Either way I will soon need to start putting myself out there. First, I have to pass the comp this Friday, and I also need to finish my special project research paper. I'm meeting with my supervisor for that tomorrow morning. Hopefully, I'm just about finished with that. Once this week is over I feel like I'll have a lot of stress taken off my back.

My clinic placements this semester are going well but are all on-site (sad face). They had to all be on-site because I hadn't had any fluency or voice hours so the only way to guarantee I would get those type of hours would be to be on-site with supervisors that specialize in these areas. Last semester I got to be off-site for both my placements so I guess this just makes up for that. I cannot wait to be able to focus only on my clients and therapy and not on classes and projects! Only 89 days until graduation!!! Wahoo!!!

I'll keep you updated (that is if anyone even reads this) on my semester and work choices! For now I'll get back to micrognathia, atresia, and hypoplasia...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Four down, one to go

More than two months have flown by since I wrote last. It's hard to believe I have now compled FOUR semesters of grad school and am only lacking ONE semester until I have a M.A. Woah! Can I really be that grown up? Haha. However, I MUST pass comps to graduate. I will take on this endeavor January 10th & 11th. My brain literally starts hurting when I think of how little time I have to prepare for writing 7 essays in 7 subjects in 7 hours. Sounds pretty terrifying, right?! Especially considering how I have not even had classes in two of the areas. Weird but true. I have started to study for two of my comps. One of the two, Speech Science, I think I could spend all my time over break studying for. This is not a good thing because I have to take SEVEN. Sad face. I know it will all work out somehow...

In the past two months, I've been to Little Rock and back, Fayetteville and back, Fayetteville and back, Little Rock and back, and Little Rock and back. Crazy I know! I've had Razorback football games, a first birthday party, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties, and my mom's dance performance to attend. Whew! Well next semester I don't think I'll be making nearly as many trips. I've put WAY TOO many miles on my car, which means I've spent way too much money on gas plus having to get oil changes. Not to mention I already have to drive plenty is this city.

I suppose I should make bullet points of the last two months of my life (in no certain order of importance):

*The Razorbacks beat Ole Miss, which translates to beat Houston Nutt (I was there)
*The Razorbacks got the boot back from LSU (I was there)
*And most importantly in Hog Country...the Razorbacks are going to the SUGAR BOWL
*I'm dating a boy I met in cycling class
*I carved pumpkins (two to be exact) for the first time in my life
*I believe I am only 20ish hours away from the required 400 clinic hours
*I am going to the Dominican Republic for spring break to test people's hearing (and I got a scholarship that covers most of the trip)
*I along with at least 10 other girls in my class no longer have graduate assistantships (a Debbie downer I know)
*My favorite baby girl turned one year old
*All my living grandparents have had two visits each in the hospital and one is still in a skilled nursing home
*I have made some of my best cakes (7 I believe)
*My mom bought me the coolest leggings (black, red, and blue)
*I ran my first 5k (in 27 minutes)
*I've gotten to dress up (one of my favorite things) in 80s, as a princess, and twice for ugly Christmas sweaters
*I am not very good at speaking like I have ataxic dysarthria
*I now have a comps binder...
*I had some great experiences in clinic at the rehab hospital and the elementary school
*Two girls in my class found out they're pregnant
*One of my best friends found out she's pregnant as well
*I got to go ice skating at the zoo and see Zoo Lights (we were all a little disappointed in the lights)

I guess that is my life in the past two months in a nutshell. I know I'll have some more fabulous experiences to come over break even if a majority of it will be spent studying (hopefully studying).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Playoffs aren't just for sports

I finally worked on one of my papers and just finished it but not until after I let trying to figure out where I want to live consume me. Yes, I know I have until May before I gradute, but that's ONLY seven months!!! Actually it's now a little less than seven months, which it seems like a long time when I think about what all that has to happen between now and then---pass comps (ahhhhhhh!!!), pass the praxis, of course pass all my classes, finish my special project, and complete 400 clinic hours (ahhhhh again)! Seven months seems like not too long when I think about having to choose where I want to apply for a job. By where I'm just talking about choosing a state right now.

So earlier today I decided to look at different speech therapy clinics for children in different states. I have narrowed--and when I say narrowed take that term loosely--my decision down to six states. Yes, I realize that's a lot, but it's much fewer than 50 plus the District of Columbia. The six lucky states that have made it to the playoffs are... Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. These are listed in alphabetical order so none can be seen as having a higher preference than another. I do have cities picked out in each of these states for the most part.

I have always researched the idea of being a traveling SLP. That throws in a whole game in my playoffs. Stay tuned to find out where gets knocked out...

Now I must get back to the regular programming of my life...schoolwork

Where has the weekend gone?

The weekend always seems to vanish in thin air. Yes, I realize it is still Sunday and not even quite the afternoon yet. The weekend is pretty much gone now though because I should spend the next 10 hours working on my papers for autism. What I should do and what I actually do are not always the same...I deserve to give myself I small pat on the back for working on my special project this morning.

My special project involves spelling and 3rd graders. Sounds exciting, right? It actually really does interest me, which is good considering I already have spent hours and will spend more hours working on it. We (my supervisor and I) are trying to determine a pattern in spellings of 3rd graders. By this I mean, do their mistakes happen more due to orthographic change, phonological change, both change, or no change. I realize that probably doesn't make too much sense to you, but I'll explain more when we have figured out the pattern(s).

Yesterday I spent my day watching SEC football (and let me tell you it was quite a day in the SEC) instead of working on those papers...Don't worry I took my laptop and books over to my friend Sarah's house to work on while I watched the game. Too bad my light pink Sony Vaio stayed in my Vera Bradley petal pink messenger bag. Good intentions count for something, right?

Those good intentions have been around all morning too, but somehow the news and sports seem to find themselves on my computer screen. Gee, I don't know how that's happening...

Friday, October 8, 2010

4 Weddings in 4 Weeks in 4 States...Whew!

I am so glad to be able to have done absolutely nothing tonight! Well I should have been working on my papers for my autism class...(instead I've been catching up on all the episodes for this season of America's Next Top Model and chatting on facebook.) I'm just enjoying not having to travel anywhere. I've been all over the place--Texas last weekend, California the weekend before, central Arkansas the two weekends before, and northwest Arkansas the weekend before. Three of these weekends were for weddings (the fourth was in Memphis, which I came back early Labor Day weekend) and two of these were for Razorback games. Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed all of these weekends, but it's nice staying put for a change. All the weddings were beautiful! I was even a groomslady at the wedding in Cali. That was definitely a trip of a lifetime, and I loved every minute!

"Staying put" is not a literal saying so someone on the autism spectrum would probably have a hard time understanding that. I think about autism pretty often. I try to think about how a person with autism (even high functioning)may feel in a situation...when I had a majorly delayed flight back from California, in the cafeteria with only kindergardners and first graders at the school I'm at for clinic, at football games when people are cheering, the list goes on and on. Last week when I was at the wedding in Texas, where I didn't know the guests, I at first felt like I was the opposite of somone with autism because I really wanted someone to talk to me. Then I start to think about all my quirky little characteristics that really are rather odd if you think about it...having to set an alarm or a microwave on a time ending with a 3 or 7, having an obssession with checking weather forecasts for lots of different places. Ok, I'll stop there. I mean we all really have some characteristics of autism...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

So almost 3 months later...

Wow! Time sure does fly when you're in grad school. So much has happened since my last post back in June. I won't bore you with all those details. A new semester has begun. I am now really a second year. Crazy. I'll sum up what I learned over my summer semester for you:
1) I really do prefer to work with children over adults
2) Accent reduction instruction is not really what I'm interested in
3) More than I ever knew about word stress, idioms, American culture/holidays/icons
4) I have an awesome time in Little Rock
5) I really really do enjoy making cakes
6) Rope swinging from a cliff can be dangerous
7) Five to jive is the best game
8) Charleston is amazing
9) Partying like it's 1985 is rad
10)West Memphis doesn't even have a coffee shop

This semester I know I'll learn lots more, especially clinic related. I'll have my first hospital placement and my first school placement. I'm excited and nervous. Hopefully, I'll be starting those next week...

I also am excited about my dysphasia (swallowing disorders) class and my autism spectrum disorders class! I'm also taking a public schools clinic class and a neuromotor speech disorders class. I have so much to learn!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I had to sit up front in class...WEIRD

My third semester as a grad student is underway. This evening in class I had to sit in the very front row...GASP! I typically sit in the back of the classroom. It may not be conducive to my learning, but I like it. I walked in class two minutes before it started (I would have been there earlier, but I was finishing icing the butterfly cake for Maggie's birthday) to find my "typical" seat taken and the only seats still available in the FRONT row. I made my way up front and sat down in a chair that was on the left side of the room. I usually sit on the right side so this seat was completely opposite from my normal. It felt awkward!

My first two days have gone well. I actually have binders for the semester (with cupcakes on them). Score! My binders now have two syllabi and some clinic stuff in them. My goal is to continue actually putting things in the ring part of the binder. Think I can keep this up?

My aural rehab class seems like it'll be interesting but very LONG (4 hours and 10 minutes every Monday). We went through 90 slides yesterday (that's right ninety). I actually typed up an outline for these slides and even read 25 pages of a book we have to write a paper on. This paper isn't even due until August 2nd so I'm proud of myself for this early start. Eager beaver.

My langugage disorders in adults clas seems like it'll be interesting. It's only 2 hours because it's split up into two evenings a week (T TH).

Clinic this morning was interesting. I'll definitely have quite a challenge, but it should be fun! I'll get to learn about assistive technology at my assistantship tomorrow. I'm excited! I'll typically have it MWF, but my supervisor is out of town.