Archive for tag: campus life

The Gathering

"Healing--remembering who we were made to be despite all of our life tragedies/trials, and allowing ourselves to feel unconditional love, which consists of compassion, living without fear, forgiveness, and a deep experience of peace that leaves you with joy and stability." Dr. Anthony Godfrey. 

NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The Gathering"

Opening night of "The Gathering" at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was amazing as Dr. Godfrey eloquently discussed his interpretation of the "vis," the CORE of naturopathic medicine. It almost seemed as if Dr. Godfrey was speaking directly to my heart as he made his address during the opening of the conference.

Sidney and I with Dr. Godfrey.

"The Gathering" is an annual event hosted at different naturopathic schools. It was originally created as an event FOR the students. "Elders", experienced and successful NDs from across the country/world, assemble to provide inspiration, wisdom, and hope. The weekend was definitely packed with tons of sessions where the elders had ample opportunity to penetrate into the hearts/minds of everyone around them.

Dr. Paul Epstein and I.

Dr. Paul Epstein is a very well known ND who studies the connection between the mind and body. He also happens to be the classmate and very good friend of our amazing clinician, Dr. Julie Martin! Dr. Epstein was able expand upon Dr. Godfrey's opening message. It made me realize how powerful and strong our minds, past, stresses, etc., have on our health--short- and long-term.

Throughout all the hustle and bustle of getting through classes and studying for board exams, it is hard to focus on WHY we chose this profession in the first place. Anyone and everyone who chose the ND route but can only think with their mind and not their heart will end up failing in practice. "The Gathering" was a place of rejuvenation and revival for me, and I know that is exactly what it was for my colleagues who are also in clinic. Through all the botanicals, homeopathy, diet changes, etc. that we recommend to our patients, we lose sight of the root and core of our medicine which is the vis--the healing power of nature!

Dr. Louise Edwards and I.

On our campus, Dr. Louise Edwards is our Dr. Godfrey and Dr. Epstein. She has been a beaming light and continues to carry the torch for what defines us and green allopaths. She is such an amazing person that has done so much for our new program; and after "The Gathering," I have learned to really appreciate her more! When you start the program, make sure to soak in as much goodness from her as you can just like I have. She will be a constant reminder for you of the physician you SHOULD be when you become a naturopath.

Overall, I had the most unforgettable, inspiring, and life-changing experience and it was worth the 9-1/2 hour drive, getting through Toronto traffic, and the lack of sleep! :)

Blissor: "The Gathering." Thank you for changing my life!


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CAM Day was a huge success!! CAM stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which represents all the degree programs offered at National. I am an executive board member with the Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA), and in past years, we've had SACA Day with vendors, raffles and speakers to honor chiropractic and give students a chance to take a break from classes. Well, since our school is more well-rounded in terms of offering so many different degrees that actually help with viewing health more holistically, we changed the name so that we can honor alternative medicine in general.

The team that I worked with also consisted of members from the AAAOM Club and the SUN, the naturopathic club. We worked on getting vendors such as biofreeze, chirotouch, Douglas Laboratories, Metagenics, etc. The administration also supported our efforts and gave excused absences to all the attendees after noon. We had Cynthia Vaughn come in to speak about National Health Reform and our profession in general. Cynthia Vaughn is a chiropractor from Texas, which was one of the moving components involved in getting chiropractic care in the VA hospitals!

It was an all day event that all the students responded extremely well to. We expected maybe 100 to 150 students, but we had over 300 students come to learn about multiple products, eat lunch with us, and listen to the speaker! We also had raffles that took place for the people that visited all the vendors. I was so proud of the team I worked with, and although the process was hard to juggle alongside school and life, it was well worth it!  

Getting Involved

This week, I want to discuss the topic of getting involved with school beyond playing the student role. There are many clubs to join that help with studying, adjusting techniques, community service, and help you join in a bigger cause for the profession like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club. SACA (Student American Chiropractic Association) helps with relaying the information that comes from the government into the school.

Viewing your place in your profession simply as just getting through school is very ignorant. Unfortunately, it's not that easy...even though getting through school is extremely difficult. You have to prepare yourself for the REAL world. All the simulated patients, practicing, having clinicians help you with diagnosing and treatments in clinic, etc. are only the beginning. But alternative medicine is something beyond the techniques that we use to treat our future patients. All the professions at our university suffer from scrutiny from the public and unfortunately from the government. Getting involved in clubs like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club brings those issues to light and you can take part in pushing your profession further. That is why I have been involved with SACA for more than two years now.

Miravone -2camday

The difference between getting involved in graduate school versus undergrad or even high school is that QUALITY trumps QUANTITY. Always be sure that the club you are joining is for a GREATER purpose! Do not join a specific club just to add it to your resume if you truly are not interested in it. It will waste your time and other people's time, and trust me, time is something you NEED. You know yourself more than anyone else so DO NOT compare your involvement with fellow students. What you can handle may be too much for someone or not that much for another person. The first mistake people make here at school is that they become overly ambitious and forget that they are a student! Your education should always take precedence over the clubs you choose to be a part of, so that's why you should only join the clubs that mean the most to you and in the end, will benefit you as a future doctor.

I hope this helps you decide how to manage and balance your life here at NUHS. It's really important to not spread yourself thin! It's even more important to know when to say NO. Have a great week and unpack those sweaters...the warm weather is gone! :(

Samson and Delilah

The rain is finally going away and the humidity is creeping up. I hate walking outside and instantly feeling like I've been sweating for hours! Eww! We had one exam this week but it was a scary one. Clinical cardio respiratory. It's intimidating because you have to dig deep all the way from 2nd Trimester and remember some big ideas about action potentials and all that fun stuff. It also didn't help that I remain distracted and lack motivation to even study.

After the exam was over, I felt confident and that I ended up being pretty prepared for it. I was really grateful for Ryan and some classmates that helped me understand some major concepts. It's great that we can lean on each other when the understanding isn't automatically there. 

Homecoming arrived and that also meant we got off of school Thursday afternoon and all day Friday! It was awesome (homecoming and no school)!

Miravone -2-expoExecutive board members of SACA at Homecoming

I went to homecoming to work the SACA booth on Friday, and it was great to be familiar with some of the vendors there that are available for me as a future clinician. I also got to meet with some doctors and discuss some of my goals and aspirations as a dual DC/ND. The vendors also gave away awesome free stuff that is always a plus as a student. I got a sacroiliac belt, some fruit bars, pens, topical ointments, vitamins/supplements, and free bags! SACA Day, which is tentatively scheduled for early October, will also feature some of the same vendors, so stay tuned! 

This weekend, Ryan and I were so excited to head to Michigan for some menu tasting and some relaxation. Ryan also told me he would give me part I of my birthday gifts! (My birthday is June 26th). I was so excited because I couldn't guess why he would have my gift at his house in Michigan. 

When we got there, he had me close my eyes, and there was Delilah! He got me a kitten because I always talked about how we should get a "Delilah" since we have a Samson. (Samson & Delilah are from the Bible). I was so surprised, and I fell in love right away. We both love animals and Delilah is a big ball of crazy but she's so much fun. We can't wait to add Bernard (St. Bernard) to our family one day too! 

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Overall, it was a bit of a stressful weekend because wedding talk isn't the best relaxation tool. We've been so overwhelmed lately with the finances, busy work, and time commitment it takes to plan a wedding from a long distance. I am just trying to keep up with school, working on our future marriage and life together, and staying sane all at the same time! Only two months away! I can't believe it, but I am so excited for the day to finally come. 

Next week: I will include a recipe for an amazing salad that I came up with about two months ago. It's fresh, tasty, and full of nutrients. 

Tip of the week: Lean on each other. Your classmates can be a good source of knowledge!

Sick, Sick, Sick

What a whirlwind week for me! From Wednesday on, all I can remember is being extremely sick. It hit me suddenly on Wednesday at 3am! I remember it so vividly because I woke up in a crazy sweat with my head pounding as I felt like my eyes were about to pop out of my head! Yes, it was that crazy. I had sniffles Monday and Tuesday but I just assumed with this season that it was my annoying allergies. I was very wrong.

I tried to go to class but when I got up to walk, I felt a wave of vertigo and threw up! The next three days, I attempted to go to some classes but ended up being sent home by professors because I was not at all in a functional state. Ryan was amazing and took care of me. He tried to get me to eat, but my fever was so high (102º to be exact), I couldn't keep food in at all. I was miserable. I tried to pick up notes to study since I could not go to class but instead ended up taking sleeping aids to put me to sleep because at least I didn't have to experience all the misery of my flu. Yes, I believe I had the flu. Honestly, as I am writing this, I am still coughing, can't hear out of one ear, and my nose is crazy, but I'm at the end of it. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel! I feel one thousand times better than Wednesday through Friday, but oh my, this is a tough little virus. 

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Saturday, I had to suck it up and help with our SACA annual yard sale! We did really well considering the weather was bi-polar, and I was grossly sick. 

So unfortunately, that sums up my week. Now I am somewhat stressed with all the catching up I have to do! I still don't feel 100% me and healthy, but it doesn't matter. Midterms are surprisingly near and my blood pressure is rising gradually with the anticipation. Sixth Tri is full of classes where, well you just have to get over the embarrassment of "pretending" and just do it because the professors will make you. 

When I say pretending, I really mean pretending. One of our classes consists of interacting with simulated patients and pretending to be their physician while they mock symptoms they have had. That's not the "pretend" part that I get nervous about, but it always feels weird to have to pretend to be each other's patients/doctors, and that's another class we have. Not a big deal but something I still have to get over. It's probably due to my semi-shyness. I am actually shy! People don't believe me but I am. It feeds into the lack of confidence I have when approaching these classes that strip you down so that you can be exposed - exposed of the weaknesses that might hold you back from being the best doctor. I am trying to not let my personal comfort zone issues get in the way of experiencing that. 

Other life updates I can fill you guys in on other than health and school…

Our wedding invitations are 90% close to being done and mailed out! Exciting! However, it seems like there's a new guest being added every day! Sunday, we met with our future landlords for the house we found that we're renting, and we are getting closer to signing some papers and making it ours for the next three years! It's an amazing vintage house on a ½ acre of land in Glen Ellyn where we can raise our miniature family (dog and cats) before we make the final and big move to Michigan where we will eventually practice. I am so excited for what else God decides to throw on our plate! I just hate waiting! 

Have a good week everyone and fill up on that vitamin C, zinc, and selenium! It'll help keep those nasty flu bugs away.  I can't wait to be healthy again!

Tip of the week: In school, work on stripping yourself down so that you can make sure you can soak in all the goodness that will make you the best doctor for your future patients. Some people come in NOT confident enough and some people are TOO confident. Find your happy medium!

My Whole Name Fit on the Nametag

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Thank goodness the Anatomy exam is OVER! I did great on the practical, but the written exam had other plans in store for me. I did not do as well as I wanted to but after my day of sulking, I realized that I do have time to make it better. I have two more exams that can make this first exam grade basically disappear so that is what I am counting on. As if the pressure was not already there, it is even higher now because I need to erase this grade that I got.

I talked to many people and not everyone was entirely satisfied with their grades, which I know doesn't justify my grade at all. However, it just sets in my reality that everyone has problems and not everyone is perfect. In the beginning, I struggled a lot with my insecurities because many people have more schooling and experience than me. I was afraid that I would not be able to represent myself positively, but everyone has their weak areas so I do not focus on what I lack anymore but what I have to work with.

Mira -mombrother -feb 2007

Studying so much every day and every weekend, I haven't been able to see my mom. She recently got back from California, so on Wednesday my brother and my mom came to visit me. It was the best study break that I took. They brought me food (which is a plus), filled my car with gas (which is AMAZING), and took me out to dinner (which is the BEST). I was able to speak my language (finally!), hug my mom, and just see my HOME through them. I loved every minute of it but as soon as they left, I went straight back to the library to continue my life as a student. 

Mira -White Coat Small -feb 2007

Thursday rolled around and the stress of the first Biochemistry quiz faded as the White Coat Ceremony came. Everyone got all prettied up and wore their crisp, well-ironed white lab coats. I did not know what to expect, but it was over all very rewarding. The ceremony began with the reading of excerpts from different fellow classmates' essays that were written at the beginning of the trimester. We all saw each other in a different way. We did not see each other merely as people trying to survive Dr. James Christiansen and Dr. Marc McRae's courses, but as future doctors. It was a reality check that one day we will be able to call ourselves doctors, and it was an exciting feeling for me at least. Getting my nametag with my full name that actually fit on a little nametag was even more exciting, especially after they told us to put the tags on our white coats to make it even more official.

Thursday night was not productive at all and it was a good thing. A good friend invited us over to her beautiful home to make dinner together and hang out and we had a great time. We talked, laughed, and did not study! It is a relief to be friends with people who are not uptight people who shun study breaks. It's so imperative to surround yourself with people that still know how to have fun beyond all the books.

Mardi Gras -feb 2007

The fun didn't stop on Thursday night but Mardi Gras Ball arrived on Friday night and I'm so glad it did not get cancelled! It was a great time! Seeing people you see every day in a more relaxed setting was great, because although we're all in medical school, it definitely does not mean we're boring or do not know how to have a good time. Friday night disproved all of that!  

If you can't tell by my constant rambling, this week was event-filled with its disappointments and highs but with no regrets. I learned to take it easy when I need to, but definitely study hard when needed, too. Education should be kept as a high priority but do not let it define who you are.

Tip of the Week:

Attend school events (Ex. Mardi Gras Ball). It will make your experience more rewarding. 

Have a great week everyone! Keep me in your thoughts as I head first into Dr. Christiansen's Cell Phys exam this week! EEEK!