Taking a Breather

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In place of doing some homework today, I got around to taking care of some errands. I popped into TJ Maxx to find some decent oven mitts to offset any more risks of burning myself. I left the store with a couple of new sweatpants and the slippers above. It was refreshing to go out and do something for myself by running errands. I also spend little on myself, so I was pleased to make the essential purchases I made today, particularly the slippers.

Keepin it fresh on DWTS

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Throughout high school, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars was part of my Monday and Tuesday evening routines. I loved the dynamic entertainment proving that anyone can learn to dance on a professional level. I always enjoyed imagining myself knowing how to dance as well as the performers and watching the animated judges firing their comments with bursting enthusiasm after each dance.

Tonight I happened to tune into the current season’s finale. I was thrilled to learn that Alfonso Ribeiro, who portrayed Carlton Banks on the 90’s show Fresh Prince of Bel Air, was in the top three contestants left. I caught his flawless performance, which was a fusion of the Cha Cha and the Argentine Tango to Walk the Moon’s Shut up and Dance. I was giddy in waiting for the announcement, enjoying reliving that anticipation that I would also experience when watching the competition in the teens. I was ecstatic when Ribeiro’s name was announced as the winner. It was moving to watch him receiving the mirror ball trophy, emphasizing how he had waited ten years for the opportunity. Way to go, Ribeiro!

An early taste of the holidays

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I popped into Star Market to buy some ice cream for my roommate and me. We both needed a sweet dessert to treat ourselves to while we powered through our work for the evening. I easily picked out a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Therapy for my roommate, while I struggled to choose something for myself. I fluctuated between a B&J flavor or a Haagen Daaz sorbet. As I was skimming through the ice cream aisle for the umpteenth time, I came across a limited edition flavor: Haagen Daaz Peppermint Bark. It was the perfect companion for studying since it offered an early taste of the holidays and a reminder that winter festivities (and break) are just around the corner!

Recharging through Mother Mary

imageThis weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Pembroke, MA for a silent retreat led by members of Opus Dei. It was a much anticipated escape to take some time to recharge my spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental batteries.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was praying the rosary on the retreat grounds with the five other women I was with. As we prayed, we followed the road around the retreat center, soaking in the rare warm November air and the beautiful New England scenery, to a grotto hidden within the nearby forest. I had experienced spiritual dryness and frustration the night before during the retreat, but the rosary walk lifted my spirits. Most talks I’ve heard by Opus Dei, including the ones during the retreat, have always concluded with emphasizing the importance of finding Christ through Mary. Praying the rosary affirmed this point for me, and led me to the resolution of asking for Mary’s motherly guidance as I move forward in learning about the faith and trying to figure a few other things out along the way.

 

A congratulatory dessert

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A sweet, sweet friend surprised me today with a cake made of my favorite combination of ingredients (PB and chocolate) to celebrate wrapping up with my first client. Not only did it give me a chance to actually celebrate being done with my clinical work for the semester, it also reminded me what an accomplishment it was to have managed working with my client for 10 weeks. Thank you!

Gravity experiments and Laughs

imageI spent my morning experimenting with gravity in my English literacy class. I love the opportunities for hands-on learning with my students because it’s a way to engage all my students, no matter what their English proficiency is. It also gives me the chance to be a little more entertaining with my students and to get a laugh out of them.

One of the corners of my table is infamous for gossiping in Spanish. I tried to engage them in joining me in hypothesizing which of two objects would fall faster when dropped at the same time. I was feeling mischievous in getting their attention, so I grabbed one of my student’s phones and pretended that I would drop it in my experiment. The classroom teacher panicked when she saw me posed, ready to drop the phone. My little threat got a good laugh out of my learners, and at least caught their attention for the rest of the activity.

The Emerging Clinician

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Today I had my final session with my first client in the graduate student clinic. It was a great and challenging semester that tested my creativity skills in coming up with fun ways of getting my client out of his shell and providing articulation therapy. My experience affirmed that I want to work with kids and pursue this area in speech therapy.

The last session was a success, especially since it was the most that I was able to tease my client and get him to smile and laugh. After debriefing with his mom, she gave me the card pictured above with warm wishes for my studies. Throughout the semester I had been nervous about whether I was making enough progress with my client, so it was nice to receive a token of appreciation for my work with him