Saturday, October 24, 2009

First Week of the Rest of My Life

It was with both excitement and some resignation that I began my first real full-time job this week. I was excited becasue I can finally put those 20 years of schooling to work and start making some money but on the other hand I get to do this for the rest of my life. During my not too horrendous but still long commute home I took some thinking time and I'm still not sure that I ever thought I would get here or really wanted to get here. Yeah I don't miss the homework or the tests or anything like that, but I will miss the long vacations and being able to just not go to class if you just don't have time or don't feel like it (not that I really did that much). But I guess it's time for me to be responsible and "grown up" now. I think it'll just take me a while to get used to not having the end of something in sight...end of semester, year, program, etc.

My first week on the job was pretty good. I was basically observing for the whole week. I have lots of experience with kids but not a lot of experience with sensory integration, the primary frame of reference used at this clinic. So I felt like a fieldwork student again as I was following the OTs around and trying to get used to everything. But the difference came on Friday afternoon when one of the OTs had to leave early and asked me if I would be comfortable taking her afternoon kids for her!! My first thought was "oh my goodness, it's my first week" but then I realized that I would have to jump in some time and it might as well be now. It helped that I was co-treating with another therapist from a different specialty though. So at least they knew the kids already. It went fine though. I'm not sure, actually I am sure that I didn't know completely what I was doing but the kids didn't have any major meltdowns and I think overall things went quite well. And after being informed earlier that day that my California license had gone through I could write my own daily notes on the kids and sign them with OTR/L and not need anyone to co-sign. I guess that really is the mark of being a working professional.

So the first week was a whirlwind of learning names, where things are, how to do everything and all that. But I'm beginning to remember some things and it should only get easier from here, I hope.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Real Job

This morning I accepted my first real OT job (actually my first real job of any kind, working for the attorney for 6 months after I graduated from BYU just wasn't real). Anyway I decided to work for the Child Development Institute in Woodland Hills. I will be primarily working with children ages 0-3 who need occupational therapy. I will also have some older kids as well. I guess I'll know better in a couple of weeks what it's all going to be like. But I'm glad to have a job. Since the commute won't be too bad I can stay in my apartment here which is great. I love living here and have great roommates (even if Danielle is getting married in December ;) Well that's my exciting news for the day, maybe for the week!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mike and Zahra's Wedding

This past weekend I got to experience my first Indian wedding. Mike and Zahra got married in the San Diego temple Friday morning, had the Indian portion of the festivities Friday night and then had a ring ceremony/reception on Saturday night too. It was quite a party. Friday morning was amazingly beautiful in San Diego.
Such a great day for a wedding. I would definitely recommend an Indian wedding reception for lots of fun. We had the Mendhi Friday afternoon which is where all the girls get together and talk and get henna done. The bride typically has her arms and legs done, but Zahra opted just to have her hands done. It can take up to 6 hours for the full bridal henna! Then all the boys joined us later for the Sangeet which was full of food and dancing. Mike was a good sport and did this awesome dance for Zahra. I wish I could have captured the whole thing on video. All the Indian clothing was so beautiful too. It was so colorful and really a celebration.

Saturday we went back for the ring ceremony and more partying.
Congrats Mike and Zahra!


After finishing up my fieldwork, work on the research study at USC, and taking my OT board exam I took off for Oregon for a much needed vacation. It was great to be home. I took in 4 soccer games which my siblings participated in. Susan, Steven and David each won a game and Susan tied another game.
It was nice to see them play. As I'm never home during the Fall I haven't seen them play in a while. As is typical I spent the whole time cold, but what can you expect after several years in Southern California? I've become a softy to the cold. I visited my old high school for a football game and was again thankful that I'm not there anymore. As is true to tradition they lost the game. After a week at home I flew off to North Carolina to visit Carolyn and Nate with my mom and Laura. It was a very fun trip. Our activities included:

Latta Plantation (old plantation house)

Downtown Asheville, NC (we spent out evening checking out the downtown and finally found somewhere to eat that wasn't a bar; quite a feat at 9:00 at night I guess)

The Biltmore House (largest privately owned home in America)

Mt. Mitchell (tallest mountain east of the Mississippi)
Blue Ridge Parkway (too bad the Fall colors weren't out too much yet)

Bennett Home (where the last peace talks of the Civil War took place)
Duke Homestead (where the whole tobacco thing was started)

Life and Science Museum (highlight being the butterfly room)
Raleigh capitol building (oldest capitol building in U.S.)

Raleigh History Museum

Raleigh Science Museum
Duke University (gardens and and the church were amazing)

It was a fun filled trip definitely packed with activities. But we had time to lounge around for a bit too. I even got a thunderstorm one night, much to the chagrin of those wanting to BBQ. But it stopped and we got to BBQ anyway. Seeing Carolyn and Nate was fun and it was great to explore a new part of the country. Tons of trees and so green. It was beautiful. But the humidity might get to you. It wasn't too bad while we were there but word on the street is it's pretty bad in July and August (yes there was a reason I didn't go in the summer)

Yes this is what our clothes are made out of. I got to see cotton growing on the bush for the first time! Pretty cool.


I did it! While I was on vacation at home I got word that I passed the national exam I had to pass to become an official Occupational Therapist. Now I can actually have those letters after my name. I guess it was all worth it. The best part is knowing that I never have to take that test again!!! And now I just have to pay California some more money and I can be OTR/L (registered and licensed). Then I can actually get a job. All the formalities. And here I am 2 months after being finished with school and I can finally legally work. Hurray for paperwork!