The Home Stretch

With just 2 weeks of classes left and Christmas just around the corner, focusing on school work can start to get challenging.  Here are some tips I found to useful to survive the home stretch before winter break:

1. Time management is key.  Make a schedule of what day/times your finals are and manage your time accordingly.  The amount of studying you have may seem overwhelming but breaking it down into a schedule will help keep the stress away.

2. Find a quiet place to study.  Whether its the library, Loyola Science Center, or an empty classroom, find a place where you can study where you can focus on your work with no distractions.

3. Start making study guides now.  It’s never to early to start mapping out the material you need to know for your finals.  Study guides are key to organizing the important information you need to study.

4. If you have a question about something or aren’t understanding a topic in your class, ask your professor for help.  Send an e-mail or visit their office hours.  Don’t wait until last minute to ask  a question if you are unsure about something becuase finals will be here before you know it and then it will be too late.

5. Last but not least, don’t stress (or try not too) Yes, finals are challenging but you will make it through.  Remember to get an adequate amount of sleep each night so you’re brain is well-rested.

Kara 🙂

Events This Week!

I hope everyone had a fabulous and delicious Thanksgiving!  I know sometimes it isn’t easy returning to school after Thanksgiving break but there are tons of great events to look forward too!

First, tomorrow, Tuesday 11/27, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams will both be playing at home in the John Long Center.  The girls will play at 6:00pm and the boys at 8:00pm.  Come out and support your Royal athletes as they take on Cabrini College.

Make sure to save your appetite for dinner Wednesday night.  Dining services will be transforming the McIllhenny Ballroom in the DeNaples center into a beautiful restaurant.  Entrees will include Chicken Parm, Grilled Salmon and other delicious dishes.  All you need to do is make a reservation, use a meal swipe, and dinner is served.

Thursday, 11/29, USPB will be hosting a viewing of “The Dark Knight Rises”.  Free food and beverages will also be served. Take a break from your school work, grab a friend, and come enjoy a movie night.

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to get in the holiday spirit.  What better way to do that then join USPB: Novelty and Variety along with Habitat for Humanity at Christmas on the Commons following Sunday mass.  A tree lighting ceremony will kick off the event followed by a gingerbread house contest.  As always, free food and drinks will be served.

Have a great week everyone!


Fieldwork Preparation

All junior Occupational Therapy students are required to complete a Level I Pediatric fieldwork over their winter break.

Over the summer, all upcoming junior OT students are required to complete a fieldwork preference sheet, where they list their top 3 choices of fieldwork locations.  Ms. Lisa Burns, the fieldwork coordinator, spends months calling these places and finding one that she believes will be the best fit for us and where she thinks we will get  the best experience possible.

This was a very exciting weekend for me because I got the site where I will be completing my fieldwork.  I will be spending two weeks at the Children’s Therapy Center of North Jersey completing my first fieldwork experience as an occupational therapy student.

After receiving my fieldwork placement, I called the Therapy Center to introduce myself and get to know the people who I will be working with for two weeks.  When I called, I received a very enthusiastic welcome and I could not be happier about getting started.

I am both excited and nervous to begin my fieldwork this January.  It is always scary going to a new place where you don’t know the daily routine and are a newcomer.  However, I am so excited because I feel very prepared and ready to show off the many skills I have acquired as an OT student here at Scranton.

I will be sure to report back in January and share some of my experiences with you!

The help and support of the University of Scranton for victims of Hurricane Sandy has been tremendous.  A local news channel even did a report on the efforts being made by the students here at Scranton. To watch this video, click on the link below.

I would also like to take this time to send a huge congratulations to the Men’s Soccer team who defeated Colorado College 2-1 in overtime play.  The boys now advance to the top 16 in the NCAA tournament and will play this Saturday, November 17 at York College against Stevens Institute of Technology.  Keep up the great work and best of luck guys!

This Friday, November 16, the Men’s Basketball team will play its first home game of the season at 7:30pm in the Byron Center. Be sure to come out support your royal athletes as they kick off their season.  Good luck!

Here’s a picture of me and Iggy, the school mascot, at Midnight Madness showing our school spirit!

Have a good week everyone!



Giving Back

This weekend I had such a rewarding experience while completing my service learning hours.  I was helping out at 5th birthday party at the Timmy’s Town Museum.  However, this was no ordinary party.  The birthday boy had Down Syndrome.

When I arrived at the party and was introduced to the birthday boy, my first reaction was excitement.  I have worked with children who have special needs before and always enjoy it.  I was hoping that I may be able to incorporate some of my occupational therapy learning into my interactions with the boy.

Several times throughout the party, I caught the boy’s mother staring at me when I was interacting and playing with him.  We played hide and seek, colored, put on a puppet show, and played in the sand box.  I was having a great time and I could tell that he was too.

At the end of the party, the boy’s mother came up and complimented me on how well I was able to get along with the boy and keep him entertained.  She explained how she was nervous that he may act out or cause problems and was so grateful that I was able to stop that from happening.  The smile on my face when she told me this must have been priceless.

It is always nice getting compliments from people but it is even nicer when you know it’s because you were helping someone out.  Experiences like this make me look forward to working as an occupational therapist and helping those who have disabilities have the best quality of life they can have.

This is why performing service learning hours is such an important part of the occupational therapy curriculum.  It gives you an opportunity to volunteer your time, enhance your learning, while also helping you to feel great about yourself.

The University of Scranton OT/PT Department is holding a fundraiser in order to collect items for the vicitims of the terrible storm.  We have been collecting items such as clothes, blankets, food, and other essentials that the victims unfortunately were unable to retain after the damage of the storm.  Please donate whatever you can to help this wonderful cause.  Any students who are interested in helping out can contact the Office of Student Affairs at (570) 941-7680

Everyone is also invited to attend the Mass tomorrow, Wednesday Nov. 7th, to pray for those who were affected by the storm.  It is important that we come together as a community and do what Scranton does best-GIVE BACK!

On a side note, be sure to come out and support all the Royal teams tomorrow, Wednesday, for the annual Midnight Madness event.  This is an event sponsored by USPB to celebrate and recognize all the wonderful teams at the University.  All of the sports teams will be introduced and there will be special performances from the Scranton Dance Team and Urban Beats Crew.  Remember to bring a nonperishable food item for admissions to help support the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  As always, there will be free t-shirts.  Hope to see you all there!

Happy Election Day!


Life As An OT Major

Being an occupational therapy major can definitely be challenging at times.  However, it is also a very rewarding experience that can be a lot of fun.  This semester has been filled with tons of new information and insight into the world of occupational therapy.

In my Pediatrics class, we had a guest speaker who came to speak to us about Assistive Technology.  She is a graduate of the University of Scranton OT program and is now working as an OT at NYU Hospital.

Her presentation was so enjoyable.  It was so great to see a graduate from the program who is now so successful and is willing to come back and share her experience with us.  Also, her presentation gave me new information about yet another area of practice that is available to me when I become a professional occupational therapist.

In my lab this week, we worked on hand therapy for children and developing fine motor skills.  It was so interesting to see how simple objects such as dice and silly putty could be useful in aiding a child in their therapy.  I always enjoy labs because they allow us to have a hands-on experience working with each other and to actually perform the tasks that we learn about in class.

We also had a playgroup come to join us in our lab class.  A group of students with disabilities from the Scranton area came to lab and we were able to play and interact with them.  At first, I was nervous whether or not I would be able to handle actually working with a disabled student one-on-one but once the group started it was so much fun.

I enjoyed the Playgroup because it showed how much I really have learned so far.  Sometimes, it can get frustrating just sitting in a classroom learning about how to be an OT but not actaully being able to practice any of the skills.  The playgroup allowed me to demonstrate everything that I have learned so far and showed me the strenghts I have and weaknesses that I still need to work on.

As part of our final grade, we are required to submit a portfolio of our work from throughout the semester.  This is a great way to keep all our materials organized and show the progress that we are making in our learning.  It’s great to look back and see how much we have learned so far and will be a great source to have when looking for jobs or even for our fieldwork.

Also, as a reminder this Sunday, Novemeber 4th, Scranton will be hosting Open House for all prospective students and their families.  This is a great opportunity for students who are interested in attending the University to take a tour of the school and attend information sessions.

Have a great week!