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This weekend, I need to:

  1. Edit my thesis.
  2. Re-write and edit the Discussion section of thesis so it’s ready to turn in on Monday.
  3. Edit my write-up of my externship experiences so I can email it on Monday.
  4. Fill out the stupid paperwork for the stupid review board.
  5. Figure out the number for and plan what I’m going to say when I call RIC.
  6. Identify new approach for contacting / impressing the places I have applied for jobs and will apply for jobs.
  7. Game plan for the final 30 days of my internship to ensure I am AWESOME and ASSERTIVE (the later probably leading to the success of the former.)
  8. Take a hike on the south trail.
  9. Soak up the sun.



Thesis returned today with a much better response overall than the last draft.  (How fast is my advisor at turn around?  Unfreakingbelievably fast!)  Now to tackle the final portion of the thesis and then hopefully….

I have also been job trawling again.  I’m a little frustrated with my search right now, but I’m recently realized I should cut myself a little slack.  As I continually refine my cover letter with each submission, I remind myself, this is my first time ever applying for a real, true professional job.  As I screw up my follow-up timeline for each job, I am trying to forgive myself since I have never made follow-up calls and the etiquette and not-actually-weird-ness of doing so is new to me. I’m learning this as I go along (perhaps in a less graceful and adaptive manner than others, but there’s still a learning curve to getting into the job market).

The internship continues apace.  My ‘A’ sections on SOAP notes are getting better, but are still not consistently perfect.  (I’ll have two perfect ‘A’ sections in a row and then a set of FAILs.  Grrrr.)  I took forever on a bedside swallow evaluation while CI lurked outside and let me.  (And I don’t mean that in a negative way; that’s how you learn things.)  I have reduced but not eliminated my word vomit while speaking to doctors and still suffer from a somewhat disorganized presentation of information.  I continue to lack adequate assertiveness.

I try to cover both my ups and downs while externing here (see:  me dropping papers down the stairs and on to patients’ heads; running into doors; writing bad ‘A’ sections; grabbing the wrong jello and never living it down; etc.).  It’s just the truth of the matter:  sometimes you do great and feel awesome and sometimes you do stupid things that make you feel ridiculously embarrassed and/or self-loathing.

I prefer to laugh rather than cry; I usually feel better afterward.  But sometimes you need to cry.

I got my most recent draft of my thesis back a couple of days ago and the short version is:  MAJOR FAIL on the particular section this draft focused on.  I felt I wasn’t being assertive enough at the hospital, my ‘A’ sections had a couple of days of being more lackluster than usual, I was getting my application and cover letter for a particular job I am coveting, and, of course, it was time for my midterm evaluation.  It was a bit much, and a lot of one insecurity (my making a major mistake on my thesis) feeding into others (finding a job, those damned ‘A’ sections, general worry about doing well at my internship) and it’s kind of a vicious cycle.

So after a lot of flailing and general acting/feeling like I have never succeeded at anything in my life, I got home, had a good cry for about fifteen minutes, returned to my laptop, and (fingers crossed) fixed the mistakes on my thesis and re-submitted it.

The point is to pull it together, push forward, and try again.  (And maybe find something to laugh at to cheer yourself up.)

It has been really rainy where I am this past week, but tomorrow promises SUN and so I’m very excited about it.  The hospital I am at has the giant, gorgeous windows that allows at lot of sun, so I will be able to see it tomorrow despite actually being at work.

So, I continue to enjoy things immensely.  There’s still been a low number of new consults, so it has been kind of slow.  I am watching my hours like a hawk and trying not to have a panic attack over it.  (I still have 8 weeks left.)  (…But when I say that, it doesn’t sound like a lot.)

Today, I actually got assist in a cognitive-linguistic eval for a new consult, which was really nice.  I love the language and cognition stuff.  (My CI loves swallowing, which is awesome because I think you learn more from people who are passionate about their subject.  So I’m learning to be likewise awesome at swallow evals.)  Anyway, I got to help T with a cognitive-linguistic eval which was really cool.  All the cognitive-linguistic stuff goes to T because none of the other SLPs are interested in it  (CrazyIknowright?).  I’m excited I’ll get to follow her around when CI isn’t here.  (Or maybe even when she has a super-awesome cognitive-linguistic eval to do like today!)  T uses an interesting computer program for some of her eval.  I like it, because it’s a lot quicker than a lot of the cognitive stuff out there.  Although, in a hospital setting, you’d just have to pick and choose subtests anyway.  There’s hardly a test you would have time to give in its entirety.  But, as I said, it’s quick and dirty, and you can jump around to something else if it’s pretty obvious it’s an area they are not having difficulty in, or that they are having a lot of difficulty in.  I’m not recalling the name, but I’ll be sure and get it tomorrow and post it here.

I have also been working on my thesis in the evenings which has cut into my blogging time.  I just turned it in, and because my advisor is awesome, she turned it back around in a couple of days.  Now I have to work on it again, though.  Plus, apparently I completely failed to correct mistakes from the previous draft, so my advisor attached the last set of notes she sent me as well.  How stupid and embarrassing.  Even my idiocy at the extern doesn’t compare (e.g. running into walls, constantly dropping my pen, getting lost on the first floor, etc.).

Anyway, I promised I would write about stuff I’ve been doing.  Modified barium swallows, perhaps.  (Have I mentioned I love those?)  But not this evening…tomorrow!  The thesis/ job hunt awaits.

Approximately 13 hours until my hospital internship starts.  While I am by no means the mess I was while I was traveling (see:  previous post), I still definitely feel a nervousness that I did not feel for my school internship.  I don’t know if it’s because I had met my supervisor before starting my school internship, or that I really want to work with adults and in hospitals, or what, but I am quite antsy.  I’m trying to remember when I wanted to not screw up this badly.  Hm, probably on that phonology presentation I gave last semester where I apologized to the whole class for a stumbling start because I was “kind of nervous.”

And geez, I even know what’s coming tomorrow.  It’s all orientation to hospital policy things and they sent me an outline of what that would entail…and yet I envision sleeping poorly tonight.

In any case, over the past couple days I have worked on adding things to the literature review section of my thesis, subject section, and procedures section.  I’m hoping to go over and edit it with fresh eyes Monday and/or Tuesday and then email it off to my supervisor before the month is out.

Today I also:

  • reviewed the sections of the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Exam (BDAE)  (it has the most unintuitive and cumbersome marking for the naming section; since when does “v” represent “semantic paraphasia”?)
  • reviewed the scoring for the Ross Information Processing Assessment (RIPA) (more intuitive, still somewhat cumbersome)
  • the muscles and nerves for swallowing (it’s almost like I think there will be a test the first day)
  • reviewed the 8 levels of the Ranchos Los Amigos Levels of Cognitive Functioning Scale (Ranchos scale)
  • reviewed the scoring and levels of the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)
  • packed my purse with the paperwork for my Clinical Instructor (CI), my paperwork for the hospital, my clipboard, my stopwatch, my flashlight, some paper, some pens, and gum
  • made the sandwich to take to work tomorrow

Yes, the life of a SLPing intern is filled with excitement!  Perhaps more thrilling tales after tomorrow….

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been experiencing quite a lot of panic in the last week.  I feel things can best be explained in list form, so.

  1. Desperately getting hours in at the schools
  2. Running a slightly more difficult and demanding subject
  3. Trying to schedule a third subject
  4. Realizing there is only so much insanity a girl can take and NOT scheduling a third subject since timing wasn’t working out
  5. Getting all my papers from my hospital to fill out, including the expectations for the next 10 weeks (the paperwork alone is worth its own post; I’ll work on that)
  6. Having an eye appointment so I can now order contacts before I run out
  7. General panic over my thesis
  8. General panic over my hospital internship
  9. General panic over the Praxis II (note to all reading:  the downloadable program ETS offers you for $24 is not Mac compatible.  Save your money.)
  10. Trying to organize/pack/get rid of stuff before going on my hospital internship
  11. Running around like a chicken with its head cut off (this is a favorite past time of mine, I’m ashamed to admit)

What can I say?  The insanity is my own doing.  On the up side, I am now back to making detailed T Do lists to follow.

I am writing a masters thesis.  Sometimes this is awesome.  Sometimes this is less awesome.  I am finishing running subjects over the next couple weeks, then it will be time to analyze the data, write it up, and then defend it.

This, of course, cannot all be accomplished before I leave for my out of state hospital externship in less than four weeks (and I’m not expected to complete it all).  I am feeling the time crunch, though, in running back from my school externship to run subjects at my dear old department.  (My building saw fit to welcome me back by jamming everything I tried to print.)  It is nowhere near as hectic as my time spent as a graduate student and clinician.  I am trying, however, to cram in both as many hours at my school externship while still having enough time to drive back to university.  (Thanks inclement weather!)

I am ready to get to the writing-the-thesis bit.

Today’s post was brought to you by the emotions Anxiety and Worry.  In a few days, a post with actual substance and thought will presented on my experiences with the SLP who works with children with more severe disorders.

In the meantime, go forth and sign a letter to your local members of Congress about Medicare therapy caps!  It’s easy, it’s fast, and it advocates for better patient care and your future as a SLP.