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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Chelsea

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic >

by Chelsea

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In OT 550 “Foundations of Occupational Science” we had an assignment last week that was to attend a sporting event instead of going to class… pretty cool, right? The purpose of the assignment was to examine the components that comprise play for adults, such as intrinsic motivation, self-actualization, creativity, lack of seriousness, etc. and also to see how sporting events are representations of political, social, and religious rifts in society. Well, I decided to go to a sporting event I had never seen before: polo. The Vueve Clicquot Polo Classic takes place at Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades. Ladies in broad rimmed hats scattered the lawn surrounding the field holding glasses of champagne in one hand and a golden Veuve Clicquot sun umbrella in the other. Men in suits and wearing Panama hats lounged in their lawns chairs. Needless to say, it is quite a classy affair. For only $15 you get a day full of entertainment, socializing, and lounging in the sun! In class the following week we discussed our experiences and related them to the themes in the readings. It was so interesting hearing about everyone’s experiences and trying to collaborate with the whole class to reach an agreement about what constitutes play. Some say we work to play, and some say we play to work because without play we would get burnt out. And then there are those that get paid to do something they truly love and never really “work” a day in their lives. Once I become an OT, that will be me!

Alix

Send Silence Packing >

by Alix

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I’m looking forward to an event at USC tomorrow called Send Silence Packing. Sponsored by Active Minds, Inc., this event will include an exhibit of 1,100 backpacks on the lawn of Alumni Park, each one representing a college student who lost his or her life to suicide in the past year. The backpacks contain stories, photos, and other mementos from family members who have lost their loved ones to suicide. Mental health issues on campus can sometimes be difficult to talk about, so I think this will be a powerful way to raise awareness and promote dialogue. Best of luck to everybody volunteering at the event tomorrow.

Floyd

Career Day >

by Floyd

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What do an occupational therapist and funeral counselor have in common? We are both paired up as related professions in order to speak to high school students for Career Day.

It was great to meet so many high school students who are enthusiastic and curious about their future. This was a good opportunity to spread awareness of occupational therapy to the youth so they can have an idea of the wonderful profession of occupational therapy. At first I thought the students would ask questions relating to compensation, but I was totally wrong. Most questions were addressed to the lifestyle of an OT and the satisfaction of working with people. The students and even the teacher were engaged and very interested in learning about this profession. It is always nice to see the expression on people’s faces when they first learn about what occupational therapy is and how it can impact a person’s life and well-being.

I also learned much about the skills needed to be a funeral counselor. They work with people during times of sadness and sensitivity. Sometimes, therapists have to do the same, so it was nice to find a commonality between our professions. All in all, it was a great learning experience for all of us.

Alix

Learning How to Make Pizza >

by Alix

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One of my electives this semester is called “Optimal Living with Multiple Sclerosis.” The class, which is co-sponsored by the National MS Society, allows us (OT students) to pair up with individuals who have Multiple Sclerosis. Together, we work with the participants to maximize their health and happiness by addressing habits, routines, and activities of daily living. Today’s topic was “Nutrition and Cooking,” so we decided to make pizza in order to educate the participants about energy conservation techniques, pacing, and adaptive equipment for the kitchen. When we were planning the activity, I thought that we would buy some pre-made pizza dough, throw some Ragu on it, and call it pizza. But I was surprised to find out that one of the participants, David, is a chef by trade and knew of a great Italian grocer in Burbank. He volunteered to bring all of the dough, sauce, and cheese (I supplied the toppings), and then he taught us how to make pizza. I found out that you only need a pizza stone, which stays in the oven the whole time, and some flour to roll out the dough. Then you sprinkle some corn meal on a metal cookie sheet, spread the dough out on the sheet, and add the sauce/cheese/topings you like. Cook for six or seven minutes, and it’s ready to eat. The class went well, and we got to teach a lot of the participants how to cut ingredients with an adaptive “rocking” knife and an adaptive cutting board. And of course the pizza was delicious. (Mine was the best: pesto, basil, onions, olives, and anchovies).

Chris

Spartan Race and OT school? >

by Chris

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I’ve decided that I’m going to register to compete in the Spartan Race in Malibu next month.  For those of you who don’t know, the Spartan Race is a 3 mile obstacle course involving mud running, rope climbing, balance beams, etc.  I’ve started to kick up my training recently and it will be interesting to see if I can maintain my work-life balance.  The USC OT flag football team will start its season on friday.  Hopefully we don’t get stuck in an all male league again.

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