University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Student Ambassador Blog | Kimberly

Kimberly

Time for Rest!

, by Kimberly

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Wow. What a year it has been! If these blogs have been any indication of what it’s like to be a student, then you know it’s a crazy, busy ride! We have now all finished the comprehensive exams, some of us are in the process of moving home or elsewhere, all are prepping for graduation, and some of us are even getting married (refer to Alix’s previous blog 😊) I have to admit it is a little strange not having days planned out to a tee with school and social stuff alike. But I’m going to try and take advantage of at least a couple days of rest before graduation. My calendar for tomorrow literally says “sleep”.

I’m house sitting all summer, so I have already moved my things into storage and am currently residing in Santa Monica. The house I’m at has a nice porch that gets some afternoon sun and is literally a 5 minute walk from the sand. It will be nice to take runs at the beach for at least a couple of months. Of couse it won’t stay quiet for too long with fieldwork on the agenda for Monday morning…but for now…rest. If there’s one thing we’ve all learned it is the importance of restful occupational engagement to refuel and keep our bodies healthy. So Happy Summer everyone! Hope you can find some restful days yourselves.

Kimberly

Hiking for OT Month

, by Kimberly

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This month the Division has hosted and helped promote a variety of events to celebrate OT Month. As students, we have done a couple of our own as well. I put together a hike this past weekend in Runyon Canyon for anyone who wanted to join. Hiking is one of my favorite occupations and so I wanted to share with fellow hikers or non-hikers alike. We all met up Sunday morning for a couple of hours and took in the California sun. Since it had rained a few days earlier, the views were breathtaking. If you’ve never been to Runyon, I would highly recommend it for a leisurely-paced morning hike. There are 3 different trails you can chose from and the park allows dogs to hike the trail as well. Definitely a needed dose of the outdoors amid end-of-semester stress.

Happy OT Month everyone! And Happy Hiking 😊

Kimberly

Living Green

, by Kimberly

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This week in my Lifestyle Redesign class we learned about the rejuvenating effects of nature on our health and well-being. We all know that it feels good to be in the outdoors, but it’s actually backed by science! Research has shown that hospital patients who are in a room with a window overlooking nature recover faster, have less pain, and complain less than patients with windows looking out into a wall or city scape. Other studies show that living in areas with more trees affects satisfaction levels, stress levels, and quality of life. Even things like having a nature scene as your desktop background can affect your day to day mood. Interacting with pets has the same effect as interacting with nature as well. So next time you take a coffee break from work or find yourself overstimulated by all of our various communication tools, walk outside for 10 minutes. Will do you lots more good than you might have thought!

Kimberly

March…

, by Kimberly

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...is awesome.  Since it is the first of the month and school is not providing me with blog material, I thought it would be good to discuss why March is such a great month! First, our spring break is in March (and in California that means beach days :coolgrin:). Second, for us sports fanatics, March is both the time for March Madness and spring training. Third, there are lots of holidays in March, the most popular being St. Patty’s Day when we all get to wear green, my favorite color. And to top it all off, March is officially the first month of spring. I love spring, mostly for the flowers. East-coasters get to experience the seasons for real, but here in Cali we still get to see all of the winter bulbs finally bloom. Walking the neighborhood becomes a colorful display…sigh…So Happy March Everyone!

Kimberly

Dog Park!

, by Kimberly

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I dog-sat for my friend’s terrier mix this past weekend. On Sunday I decided to take him to the dog park so he could get some energy out and hopefully enjoy playing around. I had never been to a dog park, or taken a small dog in my car anywhere before. The first challenge of the outing was where to put the little guy. I grew up with large dogs who always were very content and could only fit in the backseat or the bed of my family’s truck. So I at first put him on the front seat floor where he stayed for all of about 2 seconds before jumping up to the seat. Before I knew it, as we drove, he was climbing farther and farther into my lap. I tried to continue focusing on the road, but by my second turn he was sitting contently in my lap in front of the steering wheel. Since he’s so small I decided to let him stay and just continue driving (I still want to ask my friend if this is his normal riding routine or if I spoiled him a bit)...it was kinda cute, I’ll admit.

We arrrived at the dog park and walked up to the entrance gate. There was an area for large dogs and one for small dogs each with nicely manicured running space and benches for the owners. I followed other dog-owners in and let my new friend off his leash into the open space. I watched in humor as the dogs found each other, started chasing games, elicited pets from other owners, and ran incessently in the gated area. I was surprised by the stark personality differences between the dogs and what some enjoyed doing over others. My friend’s dog was very content on his own but would seek out other dogs occasionally. He wouldn’t initiate play, but seemed to like meeting all the other dogs and just being in the open space. Though the dogs were very at home, I found it a challenge to figure out what to do myself. The other dog-owners were either standing or sitting around the dog-park. Should I talk to them? Simply focus on my dog’s play? Walk around? Sit down? Run with the dogs? I had been so focused on getting the dog to the park that it didn’t occur to me to think of my own role during our time there.  In the end conversation was struck up with some of the other owners over dogs as they came up and elicited pets from us. I can see how this could easliy become a community of people and of dogs if is was a place that you frequented. Definitely a new occupational enviroment, but a very fun one to expereince.

About 20 mintues later, my little guy was tired out and we headed home. This time he climbed right onto my lap from the beginning and I had to work keeping him from jumping up onto my fore-arms to look out the window. I love dogs, I really do…but I have to say it was nice to pass him off to his owners at the end of the weekend. Maybe after grad school a pet will become more feasible. But for now, I am completely happy with the occasional chance to dog-sit!

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