Results tagged “cscs” from Hawk Talk - Christian

It's been four years since I stepped foot into UMass-Lowell's Exercise Physiology program.  Four years ago, I did not know where the ulnar collateral ligament on the elbow was, nor did I know where the Recreational Center was.  Now I feel more knowledgeable, like the big man on campus.  It feels like senior year of high school. 

It's true that I've mentioned in my other blogs that I still haven't felt like the big man on campus or feel like I'm going anywhere.  I guess I feel like that because I never motivated myself to capture the opportunities for further learning or dared to apply what I learned to everyday things.  But ever since I've entered the Practicum portion of the Exercise Physiology program, I feel like I finally placed all my knowledge into something more practical (duh, that's why it's called a practicum).  Basically, a practicum is like an internship.  You can pick a site from list, which consists of research facilities, cardiac and/or pulmonary rehab clinics, athletic centers, gyms, and nursing homes.  The greatest thing about this is your choice of sites and the ability to create a site if none of those places interest you.  One of my classmates is working at a facility that supposedly trains the Boston Bruins or Boston Celtics, and she is having the time of her life. 

My Exercise Physiology Practicum site is a cardiac pulmonary rehabilitation facility.  The reason why I picked this site over an athletic center is the fact that I want to have experience as an actual Exercise Physiologist.  Many people would pick an athletic center over a site like this because they don't like the hospital setting or they can't do an exercise blood pressure (which truthfully can be a pain the butt)!  Another reason why I chose it was my interest of the "works" of the heart and lungs, and how diseases lessen its function and overall affects the body in a negative matter.  It's amazing how "bad" unhealthy habits contribute to heart, lung, and peripheral diseases...

So far, my experience is great.  First of all, the staff is amazing.  They are extremely helpful in trying to give me the full blown exercise physiologist's experience.  Another thing about them is their humor.  I've never met a group of professionals who would joke around with the patients in an appropriate and professional matter.  Oh man, the exercise physiologist over there is a riot.  His personality definitely lightens up everyone's day at the clinic.  When I first started, I thought that place would be "depressed city" due to the fact that many people are often "down" when they know they have a disease.  But it was the total opposite.  Everyone is laughing, sharing Red Sox stories with one another, talking about their family, and making fun of each other.  No wonder many patients have been attending rehab for 20 years! 

What's even better is my observation opportunities.  The clinic gave me a list of procedures that I am required to observe.  This includes an exercise stress test, pulmonary and cardiac entrance, an echocardiogram, and cardiac catherization.  Trust me, observing all those sites were amazing and very interesting!  I got to see how certain procedures work, how the staff works as a team, and how they interact with the patients so they can be nice and calm.  I honestly think that's the best part of the experience.

Unfortunately I have seven practicum days left... The semester was way too fast to grasp!  But I can say that I did enjoy my time at the cardiac pulmonary rehab.  As an exercise physiology student, this is something to look forward to!  It makes you feel like a true professional in the rehab setting, gym, training facility, research facility, and many more.  It will help you gain the experiences for future jobs.  Wow, I bet you want to be in my position... don't be jealous :-)

- Christian

 
Forget what I said for my last blog about being screwed unhappy after graduation.

Okay, maybe you still can say "I'm screwed" job-wise, but my journey to gain more knowledge?  That journey will continue for one more year at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.  So, my final lap around campus just has to wait... Sweet, huh? 

So what am I going to take after getting my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Physiology? 

After remembering a particular suggestion from my professor to get a nutrition certificate in addition to a certification in Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) and an U.S. Olympics Weightlifting Certification (no idea what the abbreviations are) all on top of my EP degree, I decided to research for schools to get such a certification.  And guess what?  UMass-Lowell saves the day once again!  UML is offering a 4-course, 1 or 2 year program for nutrition certification.  Instead of going to a different campus (and try to adapt to a new and strange environment and routine) I can just stay at UML as a commuter and enroll to get a "Graduate Certificate in Nutritional Science." 

After I read the description of the certificate program and saw the words "designed for the health professional, such as a medical technologist, clinical lab scientist, biologist, nurse, physician, physical therapist, exercise physiologist, athletic trainer and personal trainer" (and yes I do have selective reading)  all the stress of post-graduation just went away.  Oddly enough it just disappeared like that.  Sure, job-wise (as mentioned) I'm still stressed about that, but it feels like I finally got redirected to a better path.  All the uncertainty of what I want to do after graduation cleared up. 

Honestly, I'm pretty excited that I'm going back to UML next year.  UML became another home for me, since I've been there for a good 4 years.  Why should I start a new life at a different school if I can continue what I have at a place I pretty much like?  Besides, I finally got the hang of things this year and finally connected with the UML community.  I want to continue that "grasp" (even if it seems like Senioritis is killing me).

Also, my buddies are taking it with me too!!!! So nothing is going to change!  Hey, I'll take the parking problems (and yes... the $1500 fee raise) any day if my commuter buddies are part of the ride!!!!!

Great stuff!

Christian 


It's officially a diagnosed disease for seniors.

Senioritis.

What is the definition of that word?

According to urbandictionary.com, senioritis (n.) is (comically) a "virus which seems to affect mainly second semester seniors... This virus can be deadly to one's grades, as the carrier becomes totally apathetic about their grades, classes, homework etc. This results in many 'Zeros ( 0 )' or failing grades - ultimately leading to the drastic lowering of the grade in the carrier's classes. Side effects include: Failure to give a (crap), complete and utter apathy, and not graduating with the carrier's class." 

Rough stuff, huh?

Unfortunately, my diagnosed senioritis is not that serious or grade-threatening (so far).  I really don't know why I'm slacking off so much.  Is it because this is my last semester and graduating is very possible?  Is it because I'm mentally tired from 4 years of academic hardship, lack of sleep, and hours and hours of work?  Or is it seriously the fact that I don't really care anymore?  Maybe its a mixture of it all.  Truthfully, I'm just physically, mentally, and emotionally tired.  I haven't had a good 8-10 hours of sleep in months and my free time to do homework is dwindling thanks to my senior practicum and my three paying jobs that I work (even if I work one day per job per week).  Many of you have heard me recite what I want to do in the future:  work at a cardiopulmonary rehab or personal train, get my CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning) certification, then apply to PT school after.  Honestly, I don't know how well my plans will work out.  For the past few months, my self-confidence has been in an all time low, and I really don't know why.  I just feel down all the time, and it's affecting my work, which actually might have caused my overall senioritis.  I just still haven't really recovered from a few incidents... that's all.  And I guess those events have caused me to think less of myself, which made me slack off even more.  Sure, my best friend told me to knock it off because I'm doing so well, but when will I ever listen to what they say and get out of this hole?  Deep (deep deep) down I just don't feel happy.  Surprising huh?  Most of my friends and people I know would see me as the happy kid, who drops a few jokes here and there.  But I don't know.  Maybe I just need a distraction, a new scenery, or even a vacation.

Wow, some tangent, huh?

I would like to hear what you think.  Leave a comment and I'll answer back through a comment.

- Christian
 

First Day

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Today was the first day at my new job at Hallmark Gold Crown Card store in the Square One Mall.  This is actually my first time in any job in a week, because my old job at Kohl's didn't give me any hours for my last two weeks... oh well, it seems that I'm at a better place.  My new job is definitely different than the large department store atmosphere.  Instead of focusing on cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning in my store, my new job is more focused on a set way of customer service and getting as many sales and Gold Crown card members as possible.  It is a bit intimidating but this can't be as bad as taking a hard college class.  I'm still trying to find a physical therapy aide job or anything that relates to it.  Generally a PT aide job brings in more money and is closer to my major.  So you can still say I'm still in the job hunt, but not as strong since I'm away from my old job!  Orientation wasn't too bad today; there were a few exercises that were very time consuming, but it did help me get used to the store and started to get me interacting with my other coworkers (I forgot their names already haha). 

Deep down, I was a bit nervous though - a new set of coworkers, bosses, location, atmosphere, and customers.  It is still away from what I want for the summer too.  The first day of everything is always a bit nervewhacking or uncomfortable for everyone.  So I'm not letting this get me down.  I should be happy that I got a job, because the jobless rate is increasing with the bad economy.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll get a full-time physical therapy aide job or something like that, or even a better paying job?  Let's see what the summer brings.  All I know now is that I still don't have enough money to pay for my CSCS Certification exam... I haven't studied anything either... hmm.

Tomorrow I have a makeup game with our "green team" rival.  If my baseball team (Dukes) win tomorrow's game, we will be in second place and have a three game winning streak!!  I'm looking forward to another weekend full of baseball!!!

- Christian

It has been exactly 10 days since my last final, and the start of my summer.  Honestly, it feels like its been a few months since my last final.  It feels like this because I've been working a lot already... and being lazy at home.  I've made a few plans for the summer already, which includes finding a new job - most particularly a physical therapy aide job or anything along the lines, coaching my baseball team to the playoffs (we're in 3rd place), continuing my UML blog, study for my certification for the strength and conditioning specialist, and taking a trip somewhere.  While it seems like I'm going to be very busy, my definite goal is to relax, take it easy, and spend some time with my family and friends.  I'm going to spend some time playing my guitar, record some music, try to start an art piece, spend some time at the beach, and just enjoy nature with hiking or mountain biking. 

Remember, the summer time doesn't mean your learning ends for 3 months.  If you are "behind" with classes (like a lack of General Education credits) or you want lessen the load of your semester, you can take one or two summer classes.  Last summer, I took Human Biochemistry for the whole month of June, so I can lessen my load for the fall.  Sure, the issue of commuting to campus, such as high gas prices, or the urge to just sit in the beach may be an obstacle, but I think that its worthwhile.  Maybe its just me, but summer classes are more laidback and less stresful.  I think this is so, because I didn't have to take my normal class-load (5 classes), and I had more time to study. 

High schoolers, please don't look at summer classes as "summer school."  It's not a punishment!  It is a great way to stay on track for graduation, or even get a head start! 

Well, the Celtics Game 6 game is distracting me right now - the current score is 74 - 74 in the 4th quarter with 5:25 to go.  Pierce just got fouled with a 2 pointer.  He has a chance to give the Celts a one point lead... okay I better stop now before I end up writing a whole blog about the game!!

Have a good day!

Christian  

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