Well, o-week just wrapped up and WOW what a whirlwind it's been! Days filled with welcome sessions, training sessions and paperwork... nights filled with great social events with some of the most awesome people in the world. It really is true that when you show up for o-week you feel as though you've just been introduced to 64 of your closest friends. I'd heard that was the case, but I honestly didn't expect to actually feel it. Now I know... and it's awesome! :D
The second year students who planned our o-week social events were great. They put us all at ease, answered our myriad questions, and organized some great evenings out. Stuff we did included a brewery tour (though "tour" is really a euphemism for all you can drink beers, lol), bowling followed by drinks, a scavenger hunt followed by drinks with the PT students, and a night out at a local pub with appetizers and drinks (drinking always being optional, of course). They also hosted a pizza lunch for us one day, where they gave us some inside tips about what to expect from the program and placements etc... I hope that everyone has a great team of second years to guide them like my class has had. They're wonderful.
Other daytime stuff was hit and miss. The low of the week was probably the grad student "lunch"... where we unexpectedly spent an hour drumming (I know... random, right?!) and listening to speeches with our stomachs growling before seeing any food. And the food, when it arrived, was disappointingly soggy :( That was a let down... but a very small one in the scheme of things. And in hindsight I think I could have really gotten into the drumming if not for the low blood sugar, lol. Highlights of the week were WHMIS, Fire & Safety, and Infection Control training... along with Mask Fit Training and Testing. The mask training/fitting was for the N95 masks that are used to help protect health care workers from airborne diseases, and with the worry about H1N1 swine flu this year they spent a LOT of time making sure we were clear on how to use them. Plus, there are different sizes and styles of masks... hence the fitting session to ensure you know which mask will protect you before you actually need the protection. The way it works is you try a mask on and they put a big haz.mat-style hood over your head. Then they spray either a bitter or sweet aerosol into the hood and ask you to breathe with your mouth open. If the mask works you taste nothing. If there's a gap because it doesn't fit, you get either a strong bitter or sweet taste in the back of your throat... neither of which is very nice. The pic I posted above is of me during my mask fitting so that you can see how silly it all looks. So, while it sounds quite serious (and it is), they find a way to make it fun. But, I think the biggest highlight of the week was the anatomy lab tour. If you've read my previous posts then you know I was very impressed with the anatomy lab at Queen's... well, I was equally impressed with the lab at Mac. Plus, it was a different kind of experience for me! In this lab most of the samples had not been plastinated and they definitely felt different. It was so cool to me that I could tell the difference between a vein, artery and nerve just by feeling the structure! I'm fascinated by this stuff.
Last night was our big pub night out and everyone who could attend (we have some students who commute in the class so it's not always feasible for them) really let their hair down. It was a great time! And it was funny to me how on Tuesday it seemed so overwhelming to be meeting so many new people, but by the time Friday rolled around we were all very comfortable with each other... even though we don't know each other all that well yet. It just doesn't seem overwhelming anymore. Instead, it feels like we're all one big family and, for better or worse, we're in this together! I'm really looking forward to getting started next week.
Well, I need to call it a night... but I wanted to just note two other things really quickly before I do. First of all, one of my classmates had a compound fracture of her ankle a few years back and she SET IT BACK IN PLACE HERSELF! I don't care if you were in shock Jen... that's still seriously hard core in my book (some would even say heroic! lol). The second thing is, I mentioned in a previous post that I'm a zombie-genre fan and that I was so excited to have the lead actress from Dawn of the Dead speak at my convocation ceremony... well, it turns out that one of my classmates was a zombie-extra in that film!!! Isn't life interesting? Everyone has such great stories to tell.
Enough out of me for one night. I'll post again soon about my student OT experiences and about applying for the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS)!