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

Turkeys and Literacy Skills

imageI spend my Monday mornings providing intervention for children behind on their pre-literacy skills. There’s nothing like starting the week off playing games with kindergartens to teach them how to blend, segment, and label letter-sound correspondences.

One of our activities today consisted of “getting turkeys ready for Thanksgiving.” For every word we gave the kids, they had to tell us the first sound and the matching letter. Once they found the right letter, they tore off the corresponding feather. All the kids had a blast, especially when all of a turkey’s feathers were “pulled” off and could be passed around so they could pretend to eat the turkey.

The turkey activity was by far my favorite activity that I’ve planned with my partner thus far. Our supervisor even complimented us and said she’d pass on the ideas to other groups. The success of the activity and our supervisor’s approval was great affirmation for our work.

 

Down time on the T

imageI’m awful at scheduling productive “me” time. By “productive”, I mean pursuing something for my own sake, instead of focusing on school work, idling on Facebook, or dwelling on stress. In dealing with the pressure of graduate school, I’ve come to realize how important it is to fit in an activity to enjoy on a regular basis. I need a way to distract myself from both school and other personal concerns somehow!

I took advantage of the long T ride to a friend’s place tonight by bringing along a book I haven’t picked up in a while. I would have usually spent the time browsing on my phone or reflecting on recent contributors to stress. It was refreshing to occupy my mind with something more productive, to escape from my usual tendencies, and to enjoy a good story.

An unexpected Saturday night

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I missed swing dancing tonight on account of an ER visit to treat a second degree burn from cooking dinner. I made up for it with Ben&Jerrys (that was on sale! ) and classic Nick at Nite TV shows with the friend who accompanied me to my very first ER visit. Even though I didn’t receive much treatment, I at least got a good alternative for the rest of the night and received many promises of oven mitts for Christmas.

Girl talk

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I popped into the campus Catholic Center to meet up with one of the the FOCUS missionaries who joined the team this year. I ended up spending part of the afternoon in her company while she baked for her Bible study. I also had the opportunity to catch yp with another friend who decided to join us. It was refreshing to spend time with a couple of good women outside of the graduate student circle. We teased the FOCUS missionary of her habit of reflexively offering comments,¬† and I got a good heart-to-heart with my other friend. After a stressful week, it was pleasant to connect with two women I’ve been wanting to get to know better.