Results tagged “EP” from Hawk Talk - Christian

The Advanced Study in Exercise Physiology presentation was not my final obstacle before Commencement.  I had one big final that was worth 20% of my grade on my way.  In my head, I said, "Oh this is going to be cake.  I did very well in this class and getting a 50% will still give me a B in this class... so I'll be totally fine."  The only problem about the final was the day and the time... My last day of classes was on May 13th, which was a Wednesday, but my final happened to land on the VERY last day of finals in the VERY last hour to conduct finals.  So yes, it was on May 21st, 3pm.

Ridiculous huh? 

So what did I do for a week and one day?  I can honestly tell you that I didn't start studying until the Tuesday before the final.  I know, I know, bad me, but I was very productive during my mini-pre-final vacation.  I went on a super job hunt, and ended up applying at a hospital that is looking for an Exercise Physiologists, and a few personal training positions.  So far, as of May 24th, I have my second interview for Bally's Total Fitness this Tuesday, and having my first interview at L.A. Fitness on Thursday.  I'm very excited, yet a bit disappointed that I haven't gotten a phone call from the EP job yet... I had my EP cardiac pulmonary rehab clinical during the spring semester, so I hope I can continue working at a similar facility. 

So how did my final go?  Well, with my two days of studying 4 note packets full of information, I think I did fairly well.  There were a lot of easy questions, and a few tough ones, but I finished it in about 30-40 minutes.  Then that was that.  As soon as I left the room, I felt free!  After my week long wait, I finally took my final final of my final semester and IT'S OVER!!!!!  I can tell you straight out that I wanted to run down the hall and say "YEAHHHH, SCHOOL IS OUT FOREVER!!!!"  But I knew that as an UML alumni, that was not the way to act (until I left the building).  Again, the same theme from my past blogs came up again:  I can't believe I'm done.  My two EP buddies continued to say that they can't believe it either, even if one of them is heading to Physical Therapy Graduate School next semester. 

Well, now that's over, all I have left is Graduation!!!!!

AND I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Christian UML EP' 09

For those who don't have tickets to UML's Commencement, do not worry!  UML will have a live stream on May 30th, 10am.  Just click here ( to watch it! 

Also UML will Twitter the event!  Follow them on
 ... and that's what we did. 

Stop.  Think.  Realize... 

This overwhelming feeling is surreal.  It's like a dream.  Are we really... no, we're not...  It feels like there is another semester left, but there's nothing left for us to do.  We finished our papers,  studied up storms, and passed our exams since day one.  It seems like we were in a never ending cycle of semesters:  Fall and Spring, Fall and Spring... Now it seems like the cycle just ends like how a chapter ends:  ending a part of the story with a major cliffhanger.  We completed our chapter and now we are left with a cliffhanger.  What's next?  ... Wait, are we really... We are standing here with our knowledge in our hands, and the real world is on our door steps.  All I can say is, "Wow... I can't believe we're graduating..." 

Thumbnail image for buddies.jpg
Caption:  My exercise physiology buddies and I at the Senior Brunch at Cumnock Hall.

... How can I explain it?  It just doesn't seem real at all.  We all worked so hard to get to this point in our careers at UMass-Lowell, and it seems like the party is over.  No more late night cram sessions, no more typing out papers on Microsoft Word, and no more poster presentations in front of a huge lecture hall.  I remember, when I was a young, insecure freshman, I told myself that college is going to be a wild ride; there will be good times and there will be bad times that's worth fighting through.  I told myself that one day after the storm settles, I will be crossing the stage to shake hands with the Chancellor and to receive my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology.  That thought was just a blur in my head and something that was too far to reach.

Now that wild ride called college is finally coming to a close.  That naive thought I had when I was a freshmen is now 19 days away.  In 19 days, my Exercise Physiology class and I will be crossing the stage to receive our degrees and walk out as an alumni of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.  Wow, it just feels like a dream to me... pinch me please, am I dreaming?  I worked so hard the past four years and it's finally here.  My friends and I had a conversation about this today during our Exercise Physiology/Physical Therapy luncheon.  They can't believe it themselves, even those who are attending another 3 years in the Doctor in Physical Therapy (DPT) program.  My friend said that it is a major chapter in life, where we transform from "little, naive freshmen to academically seasoned seniors on our way out."

So be it, let this surreal feeling continue.  I took my one second to stop, think of what I have done in my 4 years, and realize that I finally made it.

At the end I can say that, "Our epic chapter at UML will end... so another saga will be written."

- Christian

Hello everyone,

It's been awhile since I talked about my senior year and my thoughts about it.  It's been awhile since I really had a good "vent" on this blog.  I've been long due for a good down-to-earth blog post, so here's my little speech about how things are going for me and senior year.

For the first time ever, I feel like I'm finally getting into the groove of UML and getting really involved with the community.  I know, I know, I'm in my final year as a Riverhawk student, but for some weird reason I'm finally getting used to the way of life as a UML student.  I can't really explain it.  Maybe I feel stress-free this semester.  The past 3 years seems like a tough up hill battle.  It's like climbing up Mt. Everest in subzero temperatures during a blizzard.  But now It seems like the mountain is becoming more of a plateau.  Adaptation to the rough college climate? Maybe.  And now, I'm part of a new student leadership organization - Omicron Delta Kappa.  This group contains the top students/professors/leaders of each major, job, or concentration who has the qualities of a leader.  I feel like I'm finally getting involved with something so great and I'm finally being part of the community.  Yesterday I went to my first UML Riverhawk hockey game, and oh man!  It was a great game!  The R'Hawks destroyed #6 UNH 8-3. 

See, what I'm trying to say is that being a commuter kind of pushes me away from the UML community.  It just seems like we're not involved with anything.  I don't usually stay around campus because it seems like there's nothing to do.  But now that I'm involved, there's tons of things to do around campus, great people to hang out with, etc.  I'm pretty sad that I'm now heading to the end of my UML career... I wish I got more involved with things or be more outgoing when I was a freshmen.  If I was more into the UML community, this last drive to the finish line would be a "Final Hoorah" instead of a "Rookie Celebration."  Oh well...

Another thing that pretty much shocks me is the "speed" of these four years.  These four years is just way too fast to process.  I remember my first day of college... I was sitting on the 3rd row from the right wall looking at the chalkboard around 8am in the morning.  My college writing 1 professor walks in and welcomes us to the university... Now I'm here sitting on my laptop feeling like a freshman again!  Even when this whole experience was like a drag race car going 200mph down a half mile stretch, I seriously had the time of my life.  It is true that people have the time of their life in college.  College changed the way I am for the good, and now I feel like I'm a more established individual.  I have more knowledge, more mature (okay maybe not), and just stronger than what I was before.  I have the greatest friends in the world, who are all from UML. 

Even when I have a good 6-7 months left of my UML career, I'm going to continue to work hard and enjoy what I have left at this university.  Time to create more memories with my best friends and with the rest of the Class of 2009! 

Rock On EPs!!!!!

- Christian  

Welcome Back!!!

After months of just laying around, working, coaching baseball, and other fun stuff, I managed to get myself up around 7am in the morning, eat a good breakfast, get ready, and head up to Lowell for my first day of classes.  The commute up to UML wasn't too bad.  Traffic on Rt. 128/I-95 was a bit slow, but it was never a crawl.  Overall the commute was a good 40 minute drive, which was considered a normal run up to Lowell. 

But there was one thing that surprised me the most:  I got to avoid the annual first day parking crunch.  How I managed not to get into that is just one big mystery to me.  You can say I was really lucky.  I drove into the "VIP Lot"  (check my March or April blogs about some terminology my buddies and I made up) and found my favorite parking space vacant.  (Score!)  Right away, the start of my senior year was going better than expected.  I got to see all my EP buddies again after 3 months of nothing.  We all just had this similar feeling:  surprised...  "I can't believe we're seniors."   After 3 long years with hardcore science GPA classes, we were there looking at each other knowing this will be the last semester/year together.  At that point, I didn't even feel like a senior.  It just felt like the first time we all met each other in Professor Chamberlain's Intro to EP class (and yes, the get up, get your number and address exercise). 

I had 4 classes that day:  Research Methods in EP, Exercise Prescription and Programming, Health Care Systems, and (oh man) Vitamins and Minerals.  My first two EP classes were as expected, which was just a quick intro into senior year.  We watched a video about Universal Precautions and about HIPPA (look it up).  Health Care Systems was just a quick intro too.  But there was one class that caught me by surprise:  Vitamins and Minerals.  At first, I thought it would be a general class about vitamins and minerals and its use, but it all came up to be a very detailed and structural biochemistry class.  The professor was extremely nice and intelligent, but the information that I absorbed did not match what I expected.  Besides, there were a few graduate students in there who were there because it was required.  I basically planned to take that class to fulfill my nutrition minor.  So after 3 hours of "what the heck I am doing here"  I went into the library, looked up ISIS, checked my credits for the semester and found out that if I dropped the class I will still be a full-time student.  The only bummer is that I have to wait until the spring semester to make up that one class.  My original plan was to keep 5 classes for the fall and 4 classes for the spring, but obviously that's going to get switched around.  Oh well.

I definitely have more to blog about my past weekend, the Lowell Spinners game (Thanks Elaine!), and other stuff about my first week.  So please come back and read some more!

- If you have any questions about the college or about my commute, email me 


P.S.  I found this video in one of my blogs.  It was a video of me driving from Malden/Melrose line to Lowell in a 11 minute stint.  Don't worry it's a compacted quick video:  Click here to watch my video!

It does not matter how you look at it, there's always an end and a beginning.  In this situation, my summer break is going to end and my senior year will begin in 4 short days.  This transition is sinking in pretty deep for me, especially in my family.  My sister moved back to Salem State yesterday, and my brother, who's a freshmen, will move to Salem State tomorrow.  My youngest brother had his first day of junior year in high school on Thursday.  These three events were like big reminders for me, like an alarm clock that goes off around 9am in the morning (which is going to happen in 3 minutes).  They were reminders that my possible last year of college is coming up pretty soon.  I'm sitting here on my bed with amazement and a little bit of sadness.  This really might be my last year seeing all of my Exercise Physiology buddies.  Throughout the years, I've had great memories with my EP buds ranging from afternoon sessions at the Kinesiology labs, "venting" in Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships, having fun in Introduction to Data Analysis, or just plain hanging out in the commuter room.  I'm definitely planning to add more memories to the unerasable cache in my noggin before I (hopefully) cross the stage and receive my diploma. 

Do you remember your senior year in high school?  It was the year when you were finally called an upperclassman, the big dog, the leaders of the school, or whatever you call it now.  All the freshmens in UMass-Lowell should know how it feels.  Now, the class of 2013, who were all big time big shots in their high schools are now back to square one: freshmens.  Don't worry!  Being a freshman here is a HUGE difference than being a freshman in high school.  In high school, everyone automatically knows you're a freshman due to the young face, height, and inability to find your class in the maze-like halls.  In college, no one will know who you are.  Heck, if I ever walked by you, you probably think I'm a freshman due to the young face... Ha! That was a joke.  No matter if you had a great or horrible time in high school, college is an absolutely clean slate.  You have the decision to take that slate and write your story the way you want it to be. 

So I have a challenge for all freshmen in UML.  Can you take the slate, start new, and finish with flying colors?  Can you look at every supposed "obstacle" and fight through it and not break a sweat?  (I wrote something about these so-called obstacles from one of my past blogs.  You should read it).  From my perseptive, I'm getting close to finishing my story on that slate and I can definitely tell you that I'm never going to stop writing it. 

Any questions, comments, problems, lawsuits?  You can email me at

- Christian '09 


"The baserunner is rounding third, heading home!!!!  Here come the throw from left field... and there is a collision at the plate!!! THE BALL IS LOOSE!!! The home team wins on a RBI single!!!!!  The home team is now 3-0 in the World Series and one more game to go!!!!!  That was definitely the play of the game!!!!"


Finally!  My last final (Exercise Physiology II) is done, and the doorway to summer break has opened!  It has been a rough few weeks for me (finals, other problems), but I stuck it through and survived!  This is the time where the commuter student drives back home, sit on his or her bed and finally take a deep breath, and relax!  Usually around this time, professors would correct their exams and/or papers, and post their grades on a cool online system called the Intercampus Student Information System, also known as ISIS (pronounced Ice-Is).  This system has tons of features such as paying your bill online, telling you when you have an advising appointment (and who's your advisor), checking your grades from your past semester and your current semester, your unofficial transcript, and more!  Instead of getting something in the mail (which takes forever), all you have to do is log on and see your grade right away.  It saves money and its "green" since the school doesn't waste that extra paper!  During your freshmen year orientation, you will have a crash course on how to use ISIS and your school email. 

So yeah... right now I'm waiting for my grades, and wondering if I get the Dean's List again. 

Since its the start of summer, I'm going to talk about many topics most (or all) commuters have to face right now.  My next topic is about the rising gas prices and my experience with them.

So look forward to that next week!

Right now, I'm relaxing on the couch about to fall asleep!  For all those UML students who still have finals, good luck!  For those who are graduating, CONGRATS!  And for my fellow EP juniors... we're now SENIORS (if we pass)!!!

- Christian

Today I received my grade for my EPII 2nd exam and I didn't do as bad, but I thought I would've done better.  I've notice that some college students would be "down" or become depressed about receiving grades lower than what they have thought.  Especially in such a major like this, where we have to keep a high GPA to stay in the program, and maintain an overall and science 3.5 GPA to get a type of "early invitation" to Doctor in Physical Therapy Grad School, it can be quite a bummer to receive low grades.  I myself is down about the fact that I cannot receive higher than an A- because of my performance in the last exam.  But this is not the end of the world folks (and telling myself).  Sure, being the best overall student is a goal everyone should achieve, but trying to be perfect is not the ideal.  Sure, it is great to aim for perfection, but being perfect is no good.  I've noticed that those who try to be perfect would often stress on a mistake that may be simple or complex.  Stressing on a mistake is something no one should do.  You've probably heard about a saying, "learn from your mistakes."  It is true that you can learn from what you have misinterpret or have done wrong.  It will help you fix that mistake in the future. 

It is absolutely okay to get an okay grade on your exam.  You can try harder on the next exam.  You will not fall off the face of the Earth.  There is always a better tomorrow.  I know that a particular grade can affect your overall grade which also can affect your GPA, which might affect your chances to go to a particular school.  This is why you must work very hard, study throughout a long period of time, apply resting days where you can mentally clear your mind from everyday stressors, and keep a positive attitude.

I really hope I'm making sense here...

By the way, I have a friend who I met in "Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships" name Casey Hobart.  She has tons of fantastic photography that I want to share with you all!!  Also, there are pictures of stain glass art that she made herself!  

Visit the "Adventurous" Photographer Casey Hobart in:

I hope that keeps you smiling during the final stretch of the 2008 Spring Semester!!!!!


"Quiet" Christian   

According to, a mentor is "a wise and trusted advisor," while a hero is "a person noted for special achievements in a field... or a man, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his bold exploits..."  This person I am talking about has a golden heart, a sense of humor that would make everyone smile and laugh with him (or at him depending on the joke or remark, haha), and intelligence that probably could not be measured  anything in this world.  He cares so much for his students, his fellow professors, his family, and friends.  Most of all, he is so dedicated to his work.  This blog is dedicated to my advisor and Exercise Physiology I professor, Dr. Sean Collins. 

The first few weeks ever in UML was a bit scary for me.  I came fresh from an all boys high school in Malden, MA and I didn't know what college life is like.  I would look around and see how different the college life is from private school;  I knew I felt left out.  But as soon as I met my advisor, Dr. Collins, the transition from college to high school became smoothier.  Seriously, everytime I visited him in his office, I would always come out with a smile and a chuckle (and sometimes a hold-release slip so I can register for classes).  He is a great guide, teacher, and hero through my career in UML.  As a hero, he gave light to my fellow students and me.  When he was a student, he struggled trying to improve his grades; at one point he was in academic probation.  When all hope was lost, he closed his eyes and told himself to never give up.  Next thing you know he is a professor in UML teaching one of the hardest subjects on campus.  As a student would say, he went from an almost-failure to the brightest and most respected individual on campus.  His story gave me the drive to work as hard as I can to reach for my goals.  He helped me become the student I am now - professional, well-rounded and brillant.  I can honestly say that without his help, care, and love for what he does and what he continues to give to the EP and UML community, many would not even be here in this great university. 

I remember one time when my friends and I were studying for one of his exams, I certain nickname came up for Dr. Collins:  Papa Collins.  We could tell by his personality and care for what he does that he is a family man who loves his wife and children.  Sometimes I think our classes and meetings with him is more like a father teaching his kids the lessons of life, guiding them through the storm, and picking them up when they need the most help.  He is just that father figure that all of his students needed in school.  I don't know if any of his students feel this fatherly or "best friend" figure with him... maybe its just me. 

I really hope that all of you future EP/PT (or other majors) students would get a chance to meet this wonderful man, my advisor, and professor, Dr. Collins.


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