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09 February 2011


Alma's Flowers
 "Each day is God's gift to you.  Make it blossom and grow into a thing of beauty."

     I'm a bit obsessed with quotes.  I have them written in my planner, on my computer screen, hanging on my walls, and on the bathroom mirrors.  It's nice to be reminded of things in someone else's words.  There are many things in life that we take for granted and many moments that we miss out on because we lose sight of what's truly important.  On a really stressful and long day of school when I come home and there is no end in sight.... I need a reminder that it'll all work out... that people have survived this... and I will too.  When my heart breaks at the lives and challenges of others I need a reminder that it's not all in vain.  When I hear of beautiful children in a fight for their lives because of diseases and a horrible thing called C.A.N.C.E.R.... I need a reminder.  When I hear on the news of people abused, horrible tragedies, fighting, and wars.... I need a reminder that it's not all bad.  I need a reminder that amazing people come out of the turmoil...                    
         The classes this semester are REALLY challenging and overwhelming.  I'm also balancing being a PT patient twice a week and tutoring twice a week.  There is homework from all of the above and the stress to meet the challenge is increasing.
         Most mornings I get up ready to face another day.  Other days it's a struggle to get out of bed... a struggle to get in the shower... a struggle to pack my three meals.... a struggle to bundle up for the cold... a struggle to get on the bus... and a struggle to walk in the front door of the school and then the classroom...  One of those days occurred recently and on that day.... I paused a moment before walking out the door to turn my quote calendar to the day... and the above quote was there.  It was exactly what I needed.  God knew that I needed it and there it was.    
       I thought of two things:  A little glass etching from my Dad many years ago that says "Bloom where God plants you." and the painting in the picture.  The flowers were painted by my Great Great Aunt.  Her name was Alma Anderson (affectionately known as "Anna" by her great/great great nieces/nephews.  This is one of my favorite paintings by her and my amazing mom sent it to Boston with me.  It hangs over my bed now.  Anna and her husband Bubba (given name "Norman") were two loving people.  She was a loving  Southern lady (with the cooking to reflect it) and Bubba was a gentle giant who would do anything to get a smile out of us kids.  This painting is one of my most prized possessions... it's a reflection of the love and support of a great family, the dreams yet to be gained, the possibilities of each day, and amazing hope for the future....
       What do you cherish?  What reminds you of your roots?  What do you do each day to remind yourself that you are loved, you are cherished, and you can do this?

06 February 2011

Recently Found Quotes...

"To be truly happy is a question of how we begin and not of how we end, of what we want and not what we have." -Robert Louis Stevenson
  • What do you want?  What are your goals? What are your aspirations?  Do you have dreams?  More importantly-- do you reach for them?
"Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind." -Prov 21:5
  • I'm working on this one.  I am now typically 30min early rather than taking the chance of being late.  However no matter how hard I work I always seem to be behind on my studies, my housekeeping (we won't even go there), my cooking, and my laundry...
"I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow isn't looking so good either."
  • I'm a bit ashamed to say that by the end of the week this is the way I feel and some days during the week.  It becomes a matter of survival when the expectations are HUGE and coming from all different directions.
"Laughter is the brush that sweeps away the cobwebs of the heart." -Mort Walker
  • Laughter is in fact good medicine and can be heard often at school.  We laugh at ourselves, we laugh at each other, we laugh at the things we are expected to do and the positions those expectations require.
Be sure to smile and laugh some today.... It will lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress, and improve your outlook on life ;)

05 February 2011

An Update on the Here and Now...

It's been a long time since I've posted.  I went on a trip to Martha's Vineyard with a classmate after the summer semester.  I spent a few weeks at home.  I rode from North Carolina --> Boston in a moving truck with my Dad.  I moved into a new apartment with a great landlord and maintenance staff.  

Niki on the beach
I began my Fall semester of classes.  My classes included Functional Anatomy, Fundamentals, Neuroscience I, Critical Inquiry I (research & statistics), Seminar, Practicum, and Pharmacology.  I spent a month sleeping on the floor or a camping cot while I waited on IKEA to get mattresses in on a day that I could actually get there.  My bed was delivered and I put it together myself (stupid mistake that has me in PT as a patient).  I survived the Fall semester and passed my classes.  I didn't do as well as I wanted to do but I survived and this semester is a new semester.  I spent the holidays at home.  I was in Wilmington with family, Myrtle Beach with family, Chapel Hill with Laurie, Burlington with Christy (to celebrate the New Years with lots of dancing), and a couple of days with my parents and then back to Boston.

And so now we reach this semester.  I'm now in my Spring semester.  My classes include: Musculoskeletal: Extremities I, CardioPulmonary, Critical Inquiry II, Neuroscience II, Musculoskeletal Pathophysiology, Health Policy, and Seminar & Practicum.  As you can tell... It's a full semester.  We've now been in classes for a month.  Due to snow days we have yet to meet for our Health Policy class and our days have gotten longer due to added hours for make up days.  In undergrad you look forward to snow days.  In grad school they are a bit terrifying because the amount of information in one day is astounding.  So... onward... and upward...  

Yesterday and today I met many of the students interviewing to begin in the program this summer.  I was asked two questions repeatedly:
  1. "Did you like the cadaver lab?"  YES! YES! Yes!!!!!  I loved it!  (the looks on their faces-- interesting)
  2. "Is this program hard?"  Umm--- YEAH!  (Just a hint-- but if you need to ask me this question repeatedly... you probably shouldn't be here....)
So now with mounds of snow everywhere and more snow in the forecast for Tuesday and Thursday...  I must hit the books once again.  

Enjoy the Pictures!

the first snow

the recent snow storm... my walk to CVS

my walk home from CVS- This used to be a sidewalk

the Naval Yard - where I go to school- This was the 1st snow