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Input please

29 May

Hey there boys and girls.

I completed my thesis today. Printed it on the fancy paper. Turned it in. Paid for the binding. EEEK. I made six copies total – 3 for the school, one for me, my mom, and my thesis advisor.

Now, I’m wondering where I could submit my research? I’ll likely submit it to the state newsletter, but I’d love to try to get it into a national publication. The title of my project is:

EXPRESSIVE LANGUAGE IN RESPONSE TO PERSONAL VERSUS GENERIC PHOTOGRAPHS: A PILOT STUDY OF PERFORMANCE IN INDIVIDUALS WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND THOSE WITHOUT

So that is that. It’s all about stimulating detailed and complex language in persons with dementia. I had a total of 8 participants. I didn’t reach statistical significance, but I was reaching statistical significance through large effect size.

Any ideas? Please share! I am all about disseminating information and I would love to tell people about this project.

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lack of oooomph

17 May

So I’m sitting in a freezing cold room (it is ALWAYS cold in here, I should have known better. Rookie mistake wearing shorts) waiting to take my FINAL final. I got to Springfield yesterday and have been pretending to study ever since. Honestly, I’m sorta over it!

After the final I’m going to pick up my review of my thesis – so then I’ll edit it and BE DONE WITH IT FOREVER. THANK GOODNESS.

I went to fill out my alumni card and I got a free mug! And I bought a window cling. Dear Universities, you should have more cling options and less adhesive options. Because frankly I don’t want to permanently stick anything to my car. (Please ignore the fact that when I was 18 I got a tattoo and permanently stuck something TO MY BODY.) And I got a little key chain. Thus ends my grad school spirit. News update: when you go to a different grad school than your undergrad you will: know nothing about the University, know where nothing is, have NO school spirit, avoid any school events unless there are free pens.

TOMORROW is graduation! Life rocks.

NP: Nothing because I’m taking a final. But I have Justin Bieber stuck in my head.

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.

WHEEEEK WHEEEEK WHEEEEK

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.

PRO! CON
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

SING CHOIR OF ANGELS

26 Jan

Yeah, it’s a Christmas song. Whatever.

TODAY IS A MIRACULOUS DAY.

Not only, did I get pulled over TWICE for the SAME THING, and I didn’t get a ticket either time.

 

I FINISHED COLLECTING THESIS DATA.

 

And, it is the last day of Professional Issues!

 

Lights! Tunnel! The end of it! I see!

I’m going to go get something to eat before class. I hope you too, are having a glorious graduate school day.

getting things wrapped up

25 Jan

Right now, as we speak, I should be studying for my Professional Issues midterm. But you know, it FEELS like common sense so I’m having a hard time “studying” for stuff I feel I should already know.

What is a Professional Issues course you ask? Well let me tell you. It is a two week crash course in….issues that affect the professions. I feel as though the last two years has been a crash course on this topic but nobody asked me! I’m pretty sure one way or another every CSD program has this course.

So what am I doing instead of studying? Listening to music, drinking tea, blogging, sending resumes, Facebook creeping, WordPress creeping. The usual.

I’m going to finish up my thesis data tomorrow and let’s just talk about that for a second.

I wanted at least eight participants with dementia, and I only got four. We added a component where we used “healthy aging” participants for comparison (and to increase my sample size). I got four of those. Then two backed out. Luckily I’ve made a new SLP BFF who works in a nursing home and she’s getting me the hookup with two more participants. THANK GOD.

Overall it has been a hassle but once I can finish with the data collection it should be good.

My thesis advisor keeps asking me if I could go back would I opt for the thesis option? And my answer is always yes. It has been a pain in the behind but, for ME, it is worth it. I want to do a Ph.D. in a few years. I love doing research. I want the real life experience of doing research. So yes, I would always opt to do the thesis. I’ve got everything set up and ready to go, I just need to analyze my data and format it. Then it is all editing from here on out.

I’m unsure as to WHY the thesis is so dreaded for advisors, especially considering the lack of clinicians interested in legitimate research. I DO think if you opt to do a thesis you need to be dedicated and motivated, it is a COMMITMENT. But stop telling people that by doing a thesis they likely won’t graduate on time! That’s an exception, not the rule! I think it is irresponsible for faculty to encourage people to not pursue more advanced research if they have a real interest.

On Monday I start at SSD-STL and I’m pretty darn excited. I talked to EBS today and I’m hoping to get in contact with Genesis Rehab about interviewing and such for my CF. My first interview is coming up in about two weeks, I really can’t believe I’m getting to the point where I can start interviewing! It is all coming together and I can’t wait to get the next chapter of my life started.  It’s about time!

NP: Vonda Shepard – Baby, Don’t you break my heart slow

i can’t sleeeeep

8 Jan

I have tried. No dice. What to DO?! Blog. Duh.

Life update: I’m living in the finished attic of friends KG and DH. They are super lovely and accomodating and without them I’d be living…no where. So basically I’m indebted to them for the rest of time. On Saturday the boyf is moving my storage unit crap to STL. Then I’m here for another two weeks!

This will be week four of the externship with my little bitties. Technically supposed to be my last week but I’m asking for more time because I AM NOT READY.

I succeeded in getting out of bed and going to collect thesis data, for anyone who doubted me. The best part of my project is asking people to “write a sentence” for the MMSE. I get the best sentences and people always look at me like I’m a weirdo at this request (I get the same look when I ask them to count backwards from 100, by seven. Dear Folstein and Folstein, NO ONE CAN DO THAT. Love, Sam). So far the sentences (or fragments of sentences) are,

1. I think this crazy.

2. I would like to make my way to Mountain Grove. (WHAT??)

3. I am going today.

4. The leaves are now all gone.

5. It’s not so bad here.

6. This is a beautiful day.

It’s like a MMSE poem.

I’ve been analyzing the data I’ve got. Nothing to write home about yet, but this weekend I plan to finish data collection and stats so I’ll letcha know what we’ve got going on.

My clinical director said to not start applying to jobs until March or April. However, two women I work with at my site heard this and were completely aghast. Apparently I should start like…NOW. I started fixing up my resume and would LOVE some input. Like, I have a LOT of stuff to put on a resume but my work experience and extra curriculars are basically irrelevant. Do I put those on there? I like to keep my resume to a page so I want to make the most of that page.

I’m putting my resume here so you can judge it:

Seriously, TELL ME WHAT TO DO.

 

I’m all about the constructive criticism. Please tell me what I can do to make this resume beautiful and miraculous. I want a JOOOOB. I also sent this to an SLP who I sort of know in Kansas City so hopefully she’ll have the hook up.

In unrelated news, I got a hamster. His name is Mr. Stoli Socks. He is a Russian dwarf. And he was a Christmas orphan. And he has a nibbled ear. And he is super cute and kind of mean. I think he is misunderstood.

"Oh hey guys. I am super cute. LOVE ME"

I couldn’t stop myself. HE WAS ABANDONED. Also, Monty needed a friend. He was getting tired of my shenanigans. Like I tried putting him in this hanging tunnel thing and his back legs and balls were hanging out because he is SO LAZY he couldn’t get the gumption to pull those body parts into the tunnel. Needless to say, he was none too pleased. The animals on the package looked so happy! But this is what he looked like:

From experience, I can tell you, this is an unhappy pig

This is apparently what should have happened if Monty wasn’t so lackadaisical.

You may be thinking, "That pig doesn't look more or less happy than Monty" and my answer to that is,"This pig's testes are INSIDE the tunnel"

I don’t put Monty and Mr. Socks in the same cage, but piggies and hammies are social critters. So when I put Mr. Socks in the ball and set Monty on the floor they engage. It is QUITE adorable.

In related news, I’m clearly insane.

While I’m an attic troll, my parental units are watching my creatures. Obviously my charms are many.

Since I’ve been back in Springfield, I’ve done the following: gone to hot yoga, gotten a spray tan, and attended a black tie wedding. Life keeps getting weirder and weirder. And awesomer. Also, I’m up to 252 clinic hours and 35 externship hours! Woop woop! 400 here I come!

I hope everyone taking the Praxis next week is having good luck studying! I know a lot of comps are going on as well. Keep your head up! We’re almost there!

I’m going to sleep.

I need to…

8 Jan

…drive to Bolivar, Missouri today to finish gathering thesis data. But you know, I went to a wedding yesterday and drank my body weight in vodka. As such, I just want to snooze.

BUT THE VODKA WON’T WIN. I’M GETTING UP. I’M DOING IT. IT IS HAPPENING. MOTIVATION.

I CAN DO ANYTHING GOOD.

thank goodness

10 Oct

Today I got my thesis data collection started! Woop woop.

(Right now there are some first years standing super close to me, yapping in my ear, and it is real annoying.)

Anyway, woop woop.

I went to the nursing home and saw my first participant, think I got some good language output out of her. The best part: at the end of the session she told me she had been a little dizzy, so I told her to hold my shoulder on our walk back to her chair. But then she held BOTH of my shoulders from behind, and she took tiny old lady steps, so we basically chugga chugga choo choo-ed through the nursing home. Then she took me to tour her room. It was precious.

And I gave her the MMSE, and on the part about writing a sentence she wrote “I think that this is crazy.”

Girl, I feel you.

NP: Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

(OK seriously first years, you’re driving me crazy – MOVE AWAY)

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