At its core, this blog chronicles the challenges, joys and discoveries of my experience in graduate school as I earn my master’s degree in occupational therapy.
About the Blogger
I believe that knowing basic demographic facts about a person can help you orient yourself to their perspectives on life and points of view on various issues. Of course, demographics can also help people put others in unfair categories, stereotype them or dismiss them as incredible or unintelligent.
In the interest of helping readers of this blog understand a little more about the posts I write and what’s behind them, I hope to make this “About Me” page just informative enough to help you get to know me, but ambiguous enough that my musings and writings can be understood and appreciated by a wide variety of people.
My name is Lauren and I am a young woman living, working and blogging in the southeastern United States. I am a Christian, and I am the youngest of two children. I speak English as my first language and Spanish at the “limited working proficiency” level. I weigh less than 100 lbs. and I am less than five feet tall, but the adjective that most people I know use to describe me is “sassy!”
My mother is a registered nurse who works in a Veterans Affairs outpatient clinic. My father is retired from a 20 year career in the military, and he is now a postal worker with his associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. He has deployed on multiple occasions to places around the world, including Germany, Korea, Kuwait, and Iraq in my lifetime. My mother’s work as a nurse and my father’s military experience inspired me to find a health career in which I could work with military men, women and families, and that’s how I found the wonderful field of occupational therapy!
I have been in a long-term and long-distance relationship with my boyfriend for over 4.5 years. We met in high school and we have been together throughout my 4-year college career. Although it has not always been the best of times, I love being with him because he always knows how to inject some rationality into my insanity and bring calm to my anxiety.
I consider myself an open-minded intellectual who enjoys meeting new people, learning about their experience of the world and traveling to see how life around the world is both very similar to and very different from what I’ve grown up with and what I know.
My Experience with Occupational Therapy
My path towards becoming an occupational therapist began back when I didn’t know what occupational therapy was. I was in my sophomore year of college, trying to find a career that combined all of my interests – creativity, health care, communications, education and psychology – into something that I would enjoy and that paid well.
After talking with my pre-health careers adviser, I agreed to shadow a few people in healthcare-related fields and see what I might like to pursue. I talked to my mom about her career in nursing, shadowed a physical therapist and even asked a veterinarian about what she did. But none of these careers were quite on the mark.
Then, in the summer of 2012, I started volunteering with the occupational therapists in the outpatient therapy department of a local hospital. After only a couple of days in the clinic, I knew that I was meant to be an occupational therapist. I couldn’t think of any other career in which I would be able to use my knowledge of anatomy and physiology, my background in cross-cultural studies, my Spanish language skills and my desire to help other people in such a unique and impactful way. And so my love affair with occupational therapy began!
Currently, I am interested in working with the growing population of veterans and wounded warriors returning from war with amputations, traumatic brain injuries and a plethora of other physical, mental and emotional disabilities. I also hope to work with children, especially those from socioculturally diverse backgrounds.
Since then, I have shadowed and interned with occupational therapists in multiple settings. I have also worked at a camp for people with disabilities and interacted with therapists who work in academia, research and private practice. In short, I have just begun to get involved in the world of occupational therapy, and I know that things are only going to get better from here!
Occupations and Interests
- Bellydancing. I started bellydancing in 2009, and I haven’t stopped shimmying since! I perform a variety of dance styles including Egyptian cabaret, urban tribal, and gypsy and I have experience dancing with a variety of props including veils, zills (finger cymbals), and a 25 yard gypsy skirt! I have bellydanced in a group, in a duet, and as a soloist, onstage and off and I love every minute of it.
- Reading. I have had less time for it since my senior year of undergrad started, but when I can find the time I am a voracious reader. I love reading historical fiction and romance, and I have tried reading Game of Thrones but couldn’t get into it. I also really enjoying reading scientific articles about occupational therapy, rehabilitation, mental health, military medicine and a variety of other topics.
- Percussion. I have been a percussionist since I was in the 8th grade, although everybody I encounter guesses that I play the flute. This probably has something to do with the fact that most people don’t consider me – a 92 lb., 5’ 1” girl – the kind of person who plays the marching bass! I’ve been on a drumline since I was 13 years old, and will never hesitate to tell you that drummers are the noisy, funny and awesome heart and soul of any musical ensemble.
- Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. For the past three years I have been volunteering with a local organization that teaches English to adults in the community. I ended up loving it so much that I minored in it! Working with people from all over the world to help them learn English and achieve their goals in life is such a rewarding and life-changing experience, and I hope to continue working with people in this regard after I relocate to start grad school.
- Watching trashy TV. Shows I have been known to enjoy include Teen Mom, Catfish, Teen Wolf, and The Bachelor. I am also SUPER into TLC’s Bride Day Fridays, and my roommates and I always make sure to squeeze at least one wedding show into our lives every week!
I hope this page helped you get to know me a little better, and I hope you’ll follow me on my occupational therapy journey!