Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can it really be...

... that I only have 1 semester left? After completing 11 semesters and 4 months of internships it is hard to conceptualize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel... that in just 3 months I will be done with classes, and back to providing occupational therapy services (granted it's unpaid for the first 6 months).

Mike and I have been living in Ithaca for almost 5 years now. That makes Ithaca the second longest I have lived somewhere, and it will definitely be sad to leave. I must say that Ithaca has had an influence on me - environmentally friendly, organic foods, quasi-vegetarian, appreciation for grass roots agencies/ stores, an open heart for people from all walks of life, and 4-wheel drive. I will miss my awesome job, participants from work, coworkers, friends, professors, the community and the plethora of services available for people with disabilities.

Where will we go next? Well, that's a very good question. We know where we will be for the first 6 months after classes are over - Philly for 3 months and London for 3 months, both for internships. Will we stay in London? Will we move to another European/ Scandinavian city? Will we return to the USA? We have absolutely no idea where life will take us in the next year.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Family History

So, 6 months ago I thought I would be rid of facebook and more diligent with blogging. Well, goes to show people never change. Haha. So, back on facebook, yet still hoping to blog better. 

Most recent news - I finished my summer internship last week. 3 wonderful months of playing with kids and watching them grow and develop! I will miss them all terribly! I had a wonderful clinical instructor who helped me grow into an entry-level OT =D 

Now, it back to hitting the books, sleepless nights, long hours sitting in lecture, and research!

On another note, Mike and I went to the temple yesterday and did baptisms for his family. It was the first time I was able to take family names to the temple because my older sister beat me to the punch! We enjoyed our time and now Mike is a little more prepared for his first sacrament talk this sunday, which is on temple service and worship.

Friday, February 26, 2010

No More Facebook = More Blog Posts

Well, it certainly is time to re-start updating this blog. I have decided to close my facebook account. Too much time devoted to "did I get a comment on my status... do I have any emails?"And not enough quality communication between friends. So, as of today, I am of the small population that does not have a facebook acount.

With that, I am sincerely hoping to be diligent in keeping this blog up to date, and emailing all of you. Initiative in personal communication is a new thing for me... so be patient with me =)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day at Niagara Falls

We spent a wonderful day at Niagara Falls today. It was beautiful weather and we had a great time viewing the infinite rainbows over the falls. We rode the last Maid of the Mist ferry out, enjoyed Niagara's Fury, and had some pretty good candy from Pop & Lolly's. I can't wait to go back for the butterfly conservatory and botanical gardens. Afterwords, we stopped at Anchor Bar in Buffalo for some original buffalo wings. They were amazing! Here are some pictures:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Peek Into My Heart

If there is one thing I could say that I am passionate about in life, it would be helping people with disabilities. I kinda stumbled upon this field and thought I would share my story.

My Sophmore year of high school I was taking Child Development I. When I walked into the room on the first day of class, I saw round tables with name tags at the seats. My teacher, whom I had never met, approached me and said that there was a student in the class who was in Special Education and this was her chance for "integration." Her name was Sarah Murphy. My teacher told me that I was going to be her partner throughout the class. I was a little shocked but definitely willing for the experience.

The semester I spent with Sarah was lifechanging. She helped me to see life in a completely different way. She loved the simple things in life and overcame her challenges. She showed such joy when she did something successfully and I felt the same joy as I helped her along. We bonded almost instantly and became great friends.

I started spending time in Sarah's Special Ed. class and ate lunch with her and her friends. A couple memories: When we went to the circus, a girl from Sarah's class was ecstatic that she was wearing lipstick. She thought she was beautiful and said that she only wears lipstick on special occasions. She also told me that she had a boyfriend at Summer camp and "even kissed him on the cheek!" On that same trip we were on the bus on our way home and Sarah said, "Isn't it beautiful?" She was talking about the rain drops on the window of the bus. Sarah's classmates LOVED the Special Olympics. What a special day... each competetor cheered for one another, no matter if they knew them or not. It didn't matter if the person ended in first or last place, they were just so happy that they were out there competing, crossing the finish line, and having fun. One day in our Child Development class, Sarah asked me to draw her a picture. So I drew her a house. Every day after that she insisted that I draw her a picture of a house and started dictating more things she wanted in the picture, like flowers and trees. I can't tell you how many pictures I drew. One assignment we had was to take home a bab doll. It had a computer chip and recorded how long the baby cried for. When the baby cried we had a key to insert and we had to hold it there for a period of time. We split the time with the baby so I had it some days/ nights and Sarah had it some days/ nights. She was so cute with the baby, cooing and cuddling with it as if it were real.

Sarah and her classmates all had such sweet, innocent spirits. I cherish every moment we had together.

When I moved the summer after my Sophmore year, my new school did not have a Special Education program so I wasn't active in the population for some time. When I was deciding on what college I was going to and what major I wanted to go in, I had decided on Special Education. Then, I got a letter in the mail from an OT student at University of the Sciences, Philadelphia who said she too had wanted to teach Special Ed. but discoverd Occupational Therapy. I researched it and knew it was for me! I could do so much more in this field and really change lives. You have to have a Master's Degree in OT in order to practice. Ithaca College was one of only a few colleges that had a continuing Bachelors/ Masters program, so I decided on IC.

When I moved to New York to attend IC, I needed a job. I stumbled upon the Arc of Schuyler on CareerBuilder. This was my most rewarding job. It didn't pay much, but the experiences I had were priceless and will stay with me forever. I helped adults with developmental disabilities in a group home. I know I loved that job, because I honestly would have done it for free. The individuals I helped were all unique with amazing personalities. Again, they enjoyed the simple things in life. I could sing "You are my sunshine" to a certain woman and see the biggest, happiest smile. When the dandlilions bloomed a certain man was as happy as could be as he ran around trying to pick all the dandlilions in the yard. Another man loved dogs and his mom gave him a lifesize stuffed yellow lab. When I made the dog give him kisses on the check, he giggled... one of the only things that could make him laugh.

Everytime I see someone with disabilities my heart breaks and I feel so much love for that person. I hope this doesn't come off as discriminating... there is just some sort of connection that I have with this population. Time and time again, I find myself in situations to spend time and be with individuals with disabilites. I have a deep testimony that these people are very special spirits, those who didn't need to prove themselves as much as I do, because they were more righteous. I also look forward to that day in heaven when I can see them again, as perfected, able beings.

It makes me so sad to hear the stories of people taking advantage of those with disabilties. Many people become caretakers of these people and collect Medicaid as compensation. Some people do it with great intentions, and others do not. There are too many cases of abuse. That is why I am seriously considering an additional degree in Social Work, so I can work as an advocate for people and make sure they are being treated well.

Below is a video I found on YouTube that gives a glimpse into Occupational Therapy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Cure For The Litter Box Blues

A week before we moved to our new apt, I bought an automated litter box for the cats. Mike and I are so bad at cleaning the regular box every day that we felt the cats deserved a little justice. They liked their new, clean bathroom and did just fine with it.

When we moved, however, our boy cat seemed partial to the carpet instead of his litter box. What was wrong? He didn't seem stressed, as he was purring all the time! He certainly knew where the litter box was because no matter what room we put it in, he chose the carpet right next to the box! After a brand new tray of litter, cat pheromone diffuser, entire can of Resolve, emergency checkup at the vets, and antibiotics, we were still hopeless. 

It was frustrating to say the least and this cat was burning a hole in our pocket to find the answer! So, as I was moving some things in the attic, I decided to bring down the old litter box and give it a try. I filled it up and put in right beside their new automated box. BINGO! Chase is now perfectly happy to use his old box. Man, wish I knew that before the spending spree. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Additions

In the last 3 days we have really been spoiled. Mike got his Madden NFL 09 game for our XBox 360  

Then, he needed a great tv for the Madden to look good on (Plus we decided to get cable). So we bought a Vizio 42" Plasma- with Mike's overtime money, of course.
And last but not least, Jen gets her Tony Romo jersey to cheer on her boys.