University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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OS/OT Student Blog


Friday Quicktakes →

Oct 24, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

Happy Friday!

Today I wanted to share some snippets about my week, so here are a few photos.

This past weekend was OTAC! So great to see our faculty and alumni win awards, give presentations, and participate in the learning/networking experience!
In the student track, we got to play with some toys and make our own for pediatrics OT!

Also, here’s a shout out to Rob, one of our former student ambassadors (transformed into Rose King in support of our 2017 OT Centennial Vision float!) and Caitlin, also an occupational therapy student in the USC program!

This week, our adult rehabilitation class did an activity analysis activity. Our team was assigned to do an activity analysis on “making a snack.” We shared a lot of different yummy ideas, perused Pinterest, and decided to make some Jack-O-Lantern quesadillas to reflect our Halloween spirit!

Did you know our classroom walls are actually giant white boards? We were practicing goal writing and developing treatment plans; our teams put all our ideas on the board and our professor gave us feedback. I secretly hope someone will come into our classrooms and leave beautiful drawings one day, like these.

Have a good weekend! smile



Oct 15, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

Greetings from my kitchen table! I’m working from home and nibbling on a delicious lemon tart that my friend made (baking is her new occupation, to my delight!). Anyway, it is our one full week of Level I fieldwork, so our courses are actually paused for this week. I always look forward to the one full week of fieldwork during the semester! It is a very valuable experience for us as students to see what our fieldwork site does the rest of the week. You get to meet other clients and therapists, see other therapy sessions, participate in other groups, and learn a whole ton! My current Level I Fieldwork is at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. I am usually with my clinical instructor in outpatient occupational therapy and today I got to visit inpatient occupational therapy, followed by attending an aquatics group in the afternoon. So much fun! Fieldwork is definitely one of my highlights of the entire USC OT program. It’s great to see the things that we learn in the classroom come to life in real life applications. I commend our USC fieldwork team for working so hard to match us up with sites around LA and all around the nation – even around the world! Have a great week everyone – hope see some of you at the OTAC conference this weekend!


(Un)balanced? →

Oct 10, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

The school semester is well underway – we are about halfway done! Hang in there, folks! One goal that I made for myself these two weeks is to work on LIFE BALANCE. (life balance? what is that?). In OT534: Health Promotion and Wellness, we discussed the importance of lifestyle balance and healthy routines. We did an activity using the Balance Wheel, which is a worksheet that helps you categorize how you spend your day in one hour time slots. The categories include Leisure, Individual care, Free/unscheduled time, and Effort in school/work activities (LIFE). Looking at my completed worksheet, I realized that my Balance Wheel was very much unbalanced – it consisted of Individual care (mostly meaning sleep) and Effort in school/work, with very little leisure and free time. I also noticed that I was frequently stressed and my buddies often commented that I looked tired.

So in my new initiative to be in a better state of health, I went OT on myself and started to pay closer attention to where all my time was going. I downloaded an app that allowed me to track my day by the half hour, and over the course of last week, I noted what I did, my productivity and satisfaction level. At the end of the week, I made a few goals for myself: waste less time browsing on my phone (this really added up for me!) and get in more studying earlier in the week to prevent high stress later. This week, I am making an effort to change my study habits in order for me to be less stressed and more pleasant around others. The method seems to be working now that I am making more conscious decisions on what I do with my time. Work and school, leisure, rest, and spending time with friends – these are all very important! I am happier now knowing I don’t need to choose one and sacrifice another by managing my time better!

I always have to remind myself that if I want to help others live their life to the fullest, I have to be healthy and taking care of myself as well. For others who are also feeling overwhelmed, maybe this is a helpful idea for you! Even just take a step back for fifteen minutes and breathe, meditate, take a nap, exercise… and you will feel more refreshed!


Yay USC undergrad OT classes! →

Oct 3, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

Today’s a shoutout post to all USC undergraduate students taking OT courses! A couple weeks ago, Leila and I had the privilege to visit OT classes at the main UPC campus to talk about the Occupational Science minor program. I was also lucky to give a HSC tour with some Bachelor’s-to-Master’s OT students earlier this semester. You guys really rock! As a current Bachelor-to-Master’s OT student (last year already, wow!), these assignments mean a lot to me personally. It was super exciting to see this year’s classes and see how much they have grown. In my freshman year (that was back in 2010!), I took OT310x Creativity Workshop and OT250 Introduction to Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. I remember a student ambassador coming to talk to us about Occupational Therapy, and it’s so crazy to see everything come full circle. Not only that, that year we had about almost ten students signed up for the Friday morning class, but this year, the class is now double its size! Thank you to all the students for hearing our spiels about how amazing occupational therapy is and how much we love USC OT, and I had so much fun answering any questions that people had. USC Pre-OT club is having their first site visit – go check it out!! Best of luck to all USC undergrads – hope to see you at other USC OT events or at the Master’s program!


New name, new initiative! →

Sep 26, 2014, by Claire · email · Leave a comment

Last Wednesday was a super exciting day for USC OT! With a $20 million dollar naming grant, our division is now called USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Students, faculty and many distinguished guests including former AOTA President and USC alumna Mary Foto, who I had the honor to escort. President Nikias came to make the announcement, along with our marching band (it’s not a big event without our Trojan Marching Band)!

As students, we received the invitation to attend the “historic announcement” a couple weeks before the event. Leading up to the announcement, we were all wondering what it would be: a new building? a new program? TUITION WAIVED?!

It was really inspiring to hear USC Trustee Ronnie Chan share his vision to unite efforts with USC to expand OT to others areas in the world, such as China. We could all tell this was a very special moment for their entire family. Having studied abroad in China during my undergrad and interned at an occupational therapy department in Taiwan, I would really love to see occupational therapy and East Asia come together even more closely. Our global initiative has really taken off with the MAI program and this past summer’s first international language exchange program, and I’m excited to see how this outreach will continue to grow!

This event made it to our USC headline news, and it was also really exciting to see how this announcement is gathering a lot of attention from other USC students. “Oh you study OT? Didn’t you guys just get a huge donation? That’s awesome!” It has been a great way to have a conversation about what OT is and why it’s awesome!

Because of our new name, all of our social media usernames are also being updated. If you haven’t been following, you can check out all the social media links on our website. We like to instagram smile

Also, how does everyone like our new website? The photos are of our actual students and faculty — many of my classmates were going through and finding themselves on the website. (Leila made it in! Can anyone find her? raspberry)

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