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Sucking at blogging

21 Apr

You guys, it’s been almost a month. I suck. But seriously, a lot has been going on and I’ll tell you all about it!

1) The Job Front – things are looking up! I’ve had a lot of phone interviews and I’m working with the WONDERFUL staff at PediaStaff. They are rocking my world. I totally recommend contacting them if you’re on the job hunt! I would tell you more about which position I’m most excited about but I’m scared to jinx it – feel free to email me if you want to know more about PediaStaff or the positions they’re helping me with 🙂 I want to tell you guys more about phone interviews and I plan to do so in a blog post or so.

2) The Thesis Front – I should totally be doing edits right now but it’s fiiiine. Ha. I defended and got my thesis passed on Monday! Woo-Woo! I have to have the completed draft in to the Graduate College by Monday the 23rd (which is why I should be working on it…) If you’re working on preparing for a Master’s defense I recommend a powerpoint – it’s the easiest and clearest way to review your whole project and you can make sure you’ve got all your bases covered.

What's that? Oh just my signed thesis.

3) The Externship Front – it has been A WEEK at my externship site. I DO NOT LIKE INPATIENT THERAPY. Don’t. Like. It. Don’t make me do it. Please. Outpatient – I wanna do it all day long. LOVES the outpatient. But my supervisor just started floating between inpatient and outpatient and frankly, I am not comfortable in inpatient and I keep messing crap up. I know I’ll get better because I hate being bad at anything speech-related, but I don’t know that I’ll enjoy it more. My supervisor and I went over my midterm yesterday and she started that most of my skills are “emerging” – which makes perfect sense. It’s halfway through my time there, I’ve never worked in a medical, adult setting before – why would I be perfect at it? I wouldn’t. But it’s still hard to hear. As a group SLPs are kind of perfectionists and any kind of criticism tends to make us run and hide. So if you’re in your first medical setting and you’re not so comfortable my advice to you is, “Take a deep breath and remember – you are still a student. You are green. This is NEW. It is OKAY to not be perfect.”

If your supervisor has told you ten times to stop or start doing something differently and you still haven’t figured it out – that’s a problem. But try to keep in mind that you are there to LEARN.

4) The Life Front – got my car back! Boys suck! I really want to adopt this dog from the APA of Missouri. I don’t think I should get a dog because my life is a disaster but like…she’s so precious.  Her name is Peanut. I’ve seen her twice in person and I just want to put her in my pocket. I loves her. If you want to adopt her please do – and then let me come play with her. I contacted the APA about her so we’ll see, maybe I’ll be making an insane decision here in the near future.

Do you love this puppy or what?

My apartment is a friggin’ disaster. Did you see the picture on the Twitter? I’ll put it here. It’s nutso. And my friend Ellie is coming to crash with me today so I hope she doesn’t mind staying in a pig sty.

This is your brain on grad school

5) The Blogging Front – I just sent in my first blog post for the Hearing Journal so look for that soon! Also I’m working on a post for PediaStaff so look for that too :). And I promise to get back in the swing of things here too.

6) The Professional Front – recently attended Missouri’s Speech-Language-Hearing Association annual convention. We won Quest for the Cup! We are here and rocking your world with our brain power.


As always, I have a lot of thoughts after attending a convention and I’ll get into that later. But please please please please JOIN YOUR STATE ASSOCIATION. I cannot say this enough. DO IT. RIGHT NOW.

Alright I’m outta here. I need to brush my teeth and I’m going to see the Lucky One. It’s going to be terrible.

NP: Matchbox 20 – Push


ranting. raving. want a job.

16 Mar

Listen ya’ll. Finding a job is hard.

Don’t get me wrong – there’s a lot of them. When people say that SLP is a field that needs people, they aren’t lying. But nobody wants CFs! I’ve lost count of the number of jobs I’ve applied to and I’ve had three interviews. I’ve applied to schools, early childhood centers, contract companies, hopsitals, nursing homes. I’ve applied to full-time, part-time, PRN. I’ve applied all over the state of Missouri but I may need to start branching out. I told the contract company I’ve done a phone interview with that I will go anywhere within a 300 mile radius of St. Louis. WANT JOB.

Even finding the open positions is hard. You have to

(1) think up the names of schools and hospitals or do a ton of research finding places in the city you want,

(2) navigate their website,

(3) find out if there are any SLP positions available,  and

(4) fill out each individual application which takes one thousand billion years.

Contract companies often just have you fill out their inquiry form and then they call you so that isn’t too bad. If you’re looking for something specific – good luck. Trying to find early childhood centers that hire SLPs is quite the undertaking.

Then you have the nasty little problem of not being certified. In Missouri I can pretty much count on one month post-graduation before I can get a provisional license. Today I had an interview and it felt good but then it came down to, “Give me a call when you have your license.” Which is completely understandable – but it still sucks. I want to know at graduation I have a job.

The whole process of getting licensed and certified is also really convoluted. Here’s a little checklist of things you have to do if you want to work in the schools in Missouri:

– 6 years of school! NBD

– Pass the Praxis II – SLP

– Get a provisional license (and then a full license) from the Board of Healing Arts

– Get a Temporary Authorization Certificate from the Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) – you have to get the go ahead from the Board of Healing Arts before you can do anything through DESE.

– Get a school certificate through DESE after you complete your CF (don’t forget – schools treat us like teachers!) called the Student Services Certificate.

– Complete your CF (36 weeks, supervised)

– Get your CCCs

– If you’re contracted in the schools you’ll need to get a Medicaid number. You cannot get a Medicaid number as a CF. So you cannot bill Medicaid.


– Maintain your certification with CEUs (30 hours of continuing education per biennium) through ASHA, Board of Healing Arts, and DESE

– PS. If you get your CCCs and THEN decide to work in the schools you’ll apply for an Initial Student Services certificate which expires in four years and THEN you get the Career Student Services certificate.

– PSS. You may also wish to be a part of your state association – so remember to pay for that as well!

Completely. Friggin. Insane.

Oh oh oh – and here’s something that is just AWESOME. In order to get a MO Provisional License – you must have a job, supervisor name, and employer name, before you can apply. Yeah. Don’t bother applying for a license unless you have a job already – but you may NOT see clients/patients until receive your license number. WHAT? So basically when you go into an interview you’re saying “Hire me now, but I can’t work for you until the end of June.”

Which is why it’s so hard to find medical placements – they’re hiring for NOW not four months from now.

If you want to find out about your state’s redonkulusness – you may do so on ASHA’s State-by-State website.

NP: Eric Church – Springsteen

It’s that time of the year…

25 Feb

As you may (or may not) know, I freaking love the annual Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association conference. It just gives me so many warm fuzzies. I get to see my #slpeeps from all over the state, some of whom I see once a year at this event. And I would love to see you there!

My potential MSHA schedule

If you’ve been to MSHA before, then you know that you sign up for presentations but you don’t actually have to go to them (much like the ASHA convention.) So this is my non-committal schedule, feel free to stalk me in a friendly-slp sort of way. If you want to stalk me and kidnap me and eat my toenails please refrain, k thanks.

I know a few of the #slpeeps on the Twitter will be in attendance such as @LaurenCreek, @GeekSlp, @annfeeya, @klevs_12, and @kubs191 (and probably a lot of others – those are just the ones I’m pretty darn sure about.) We should have some kind of Tweet-Up where we bond and eat warm pretzels together! (MSHA has a weird thing with warm pretzels…don’t ask me.) Let me know if you’ll be there and I haven’t told everyone 🙂

Okay, I’m taking a thesis break to blog this and now it is time to get back at it! Currently working on the results section – we’re at a 97 page count as of current.

NP: Rihanna – Birthday Cake (warning – explicit and also Chris Brown is in it which means it goes against everything I stand for but it is so damn catchy. A lot like Chick-Fil-A.)




this is about to be a cluster

21 Feb

Oh hey there. I’m just hanging at my mom’s. I need to go home and work on my thesis. But for now I’m blogging.

I have many a comment. Where to start. I don’t know.

Someone got to my site asking if there is a grad school that is so desperate they’ll accept anybody. Uh. Well don’t have TOO much confidence in yourself there buddy? I have no idea. I’m sure there are schools with lower standards, I don’t know which ones they are. Ask your professors where they think you can get in.

Someone else wanted to know how big guinea pigs get. WELL, Monty is a fatty but he isn’t as fat as some get. Some get GIGANTOROUS. I think it depends. Apparently you’re supposed to weigh them once a week which seems really silly. Also there is a breed of “guinea pig” known as a Capybara and they are Rodents Of Unusual Size.


OMG I want one. Imagine the snuggling!

Today I went to Missouri’s Speech-Language-Hearing Association Legislative Day. It was interesting. I was the only person there from my University so like, that was cool.

Or horribly awkward. Whatever.

I buddied up with some #slpeeps from other schools and we sat in on some House and Senate hearings which was cool. I didn’t really talk to any legislators because…I didn’t know what to talk to them about. I feel that as a student, I wasn’t particularly well prepared for such an event, and as a MSHA member I wasn’t well prepared either. I’m on the MSHA Legislative Committee and I hope next year I can help them get this thing a little more…comprehensive. I didn’t even know how to get to the Capitol, where to park, how to navigate the building. Those are things that the Association could ensure that attendees know. Once I was there I didn’t know what the current issues are, beside encouraging legislators to maintain funding for the professions and their clients.

I think it was a good learning experience and next year I’ll be able to attend the event with a little more info under my belt. And I’ll have been working for a year so I might know more about legitimate issues. It really bothers me that my program isn’t more involved in state events, it can actually be a little embarrassing.

Side note: my dog thinks my brother’s name means “toy” and it’s hilarious.

More news: I have my second interview in KC on Monday. I’m trying to decide what to do. It is the first job I’ve interviewed with, and I haven’t finished my third internship yet – so if I’m offered the job do I want to take it? It’s a great school district, and I think I’d feel a little ridiculous turning down A JOB. Like really? Who turns down a job? The unemployment rate it 8.3%. I should take the job if it’s offered to me. TIME FOR A PROS AND CONS CHART.

IT IS A JOB It is the first interview and offer I will have
They have a mentor for me It is three hours from home
New city = new adventure New city = I don’t know anyone
Good school district, decent paycheck, solid benefits It isn’t a medical setting
IT IS A JOB Haven’t finished my experiences yet
It’s only a year so I can do medical after that year I have to move again

You may be wondering why I’m NOT focusing on working on a medical setting. I’ve been pretty medically inclined all along. If you’re in the process of applying to jobs or looking forward to the job process you will find – Medical rarely takes CFs.

It happens, they’re out there. But they are certainly not easy positions to find. My plan is to do schools for a year and PRN nursing homes to maintain my medical skills. I really love working with kids so schools aren’t a punishment by any means. I just know it is harder to break back into medical positions after years of being in the schools. I’d rather get my start in medical, but I don’t mind starting a CF as a school SLP. For all I know, I’ll love it and stay there forever.

MORE NEWS: My first draft of my thesis has been turned in. I’m still editing and such but I’d like to be majorly done with the writing by the end of February. Thesis deadline is April 23rd! I’M SO READY.

NP: Over You – Miranda Lambert


making moves

26 Oct

Two things:


What the heck does that mean? I’ll tell ya. You may have noticed our economy is a hot mess. As such, Congress is making cuts – including potential cuts to IDEA funding, Medicaid/Medicare, and putting caps on therapy. #yikes

Since NSSLHA and ASHA knows that you SLPs like your clients and you’d like your clients to continue receiving services that don’t cost eleventy-billion dollars, they set up a way for you to take Action!

It seriously takes a few minutes to make sure that your legislators know that we need support. Go to The ASHA Advocacy Page and it will send a letter to your representatives. You can also add a little note and picture.

Do it. For serious.

this is what I look like when I'm taking action

2) I love lists. Obviously. Anyway.

2) Tell me what you think.

This spring I may be giving a presentation at the annual MSHA convention regarding legislative issues and how they affect our professions and patients. I want to know what your concerns are and what you’d like to learn about! Please share. Feel free to privately email me if you don’t want your political thoughts sloshed all over the comments area.

NP: Miranda Lambert – Kerosene


we got lotsa book learnin’ and such

25 Oct

@klevs12 and I went to Columbia, MO on Saturday for MSHA’s fall workshop on Communication and Swallowing Treatment for Patients With Tracheostomies.

It was a really great presentation and I learned a TON. Too bad for you if you didn’t go.

Here are some pictures of us learning:

Katie and her boyfriend, trach-head-guy

Speaking Valves and such

Tracheostomy paraphernalia












Serious bear time

Katie and a moose


the To-Do list from hell

4 Oct

Here we are in October. Last day of classes is December 8 – so I’ve got two months to make the following happen:

1. Collect data. The nursing home I’ll be doing my thesis in contacted me and said they’re getting consent forms back, now I’m just waiting for families to submit pictures so I can get started.

2. Service Learning. My University has a big ol’ public affairs mission so we often have service learning components of courses. This semester I’m volunteering at the Arc of the Ozarks for ten-15 hours. Sometime.

3. Shadowing. Before we start our medical externships we are required to shadow for seven hours. So I should probably go ahead and do that. So I should probably contact my externship supervisor. Probably.

4. Go to ASHA!

5. Go to MSHA Fall Workshops!

6. Go to Miranda Lambert! (ok so this isn’t really on my “to do” list. but still.)

7. Go to Pathways to Communication! Present on Acquired Apaxia of Speech at Pathways!

8. Turn in my apartment application so I have somewhere to live!

9. Give presentation to NSSLHA on getting into Graduate School and attending ASHA.

10. Do all my standard stuff: clinic, class, work, CSD-bonding, sleeping, blogging, watching Modern Family etc etc.

The end. I do a lot of lamaze breathing these days.

NP: Akon – Right Now


Missouri SLP Students! Pay attention

18 Aug

Good morning, this is a PSA from your favorite SLP- grad student – blogger extraordinaire

First thing on the agenda: MSHA

Just received my save the date in the mail, this year’s MSHA convention will be at Tan-Tar-A, April 13-15. If you’re planning on presenting and you’re a student, your project submission is due November 1, 2011. Get on it boys and girls. Click HERE to submit your proposal.

Second thing: MSHA Fall Workshops

I also just found out that the MSHA Workshops that take place in the fall are being offered at a discounted rate for STUDENTS. OOO LA LA. $25 a workshop! And they have a medical issues workshop taking place Saturday, October 22. I’m taking dysphagia in the fall and I think for $25 this workshop would be TOTALLY worth the extra learning experience. Click HERE to learn about registering.

just paid my $25 - includes LUNCH. I love lunch.

Thirdly: SWMO Cox Health SLP Presenter

At Cox Health in Springfield, MO there is an SLP Presentation regarding Parkinson’s disease on September 10th. The cost for students is $45 and includes lunch. Click HERE to learn more. I haven’t decided if I’m going to this or not. $45 is pushing it a little for me.

Fourth: JOPLIN

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Joplin speech-paths are still needing a lot of supplies and money to replace everything that was destroyed in the tornado. The list of supplies needed will be posted on the MSHA home page periodically (though isn’t there now from what I can tell).

 NP: Knock Three Times (I watched Now and Then last night)


lest we forget

26 Jul

do what you can folks, thanks MSHA