Tuesday, September 29, 2009

greasy haired tuesdays

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

As I was crossing central this morning with a latte in my right hand and a toasty Chompie's bagel in the left, I found myself channeling urban chic Barbie. Well, if Barbie had greasy hair and was sporting the same pair of jeans for the third time this week. Nevertheless, the smell of my everything bagel put a bounce in my step.

Lately attending my PRM 402 class has become quite the challenge for many reasons. The first and most obvious being that it begins at 7:30 am downtown, meaning I must be out of my front door by 6:40 am to arrive on time (hence the perpetually greasy hair on Tuesdays). Secondly, the class subject is on statistics a subject I find extremely fascinating yet difficult to grasp. There is also the feeling of being on edge constantly. I feel if I react too quickly, or the wrong word is said tears will come streaming down my face immediately and with no warning. Could this be because I am nearing the end of the Twilight series and I cannot stand to know whether Bella gets her happy ending? Is it because I am over tired thus irrationally reacting to the smallest of gestures by my peers and professors? Am I harboring some feelings of hurt and regret that statistics happens to pull out of me? Despite the reason (we may never know) I was pleasantly surprised to find myself chugging cheerfully along to my lecture.

Of course, all happy stories must come to an end as mine did once Dr. Barry started in on qualitative vs. quantitative research. I looked around the room and realized I was the only person failing to nod in agreement or look enlightened, something I am thankful that Dr. Barry did not notice. Then it hit me; I may not be near as fashionable (or gorgeous) as the never-aging 60 year old but I had become the Barbie of 402. A deep fear settled in the pit of my stomach, and the bagel and cream cheese (the real Barbie would never be able to consume cream cheese) I had so anxiously snacked on was swirling around causing a wave a nausea to wash over me. Not only was I not understanding, but my semester long project was also looking like a lost, hopeless cause. Close to what I must have looked like in the third row from the back, sitting alone.

For the duration of class all I could think was, "Help! Someone get me back to Malibu!!!"

Monday, September 28, 2009

professional interview

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

For my PRM 364 class we were asked to interview a professional in the field, someone who has already received their CTRS. I chose Suzanne Prosser, a recreational therapist that works at the Arizona State Hospital in the civil unit. She specializes in mental health, specifically in adults. One of the things I found particularly interesting was Suzanne's ability to program as she saw fit. Her organization gives her the resources to create many different programs for all types of people. Her greatest joy was working with an individual that other staff members had already been working with, but to no avail. Suzanne finally reached the client through one of her programs and was able to receive a response from her client. "That's what makes it worth it", she told me.

Speaking with Suzanne really showed me the endless possibilities TR truly has to offer. Being creative and really knowing the clients helps her to make a difference in their recreational experience. She emphasized that much of her knowledge she has, was gained in the same program I am in now. I hope to utilize the knowledge as much as Suzanne and make a difference in the lives of others.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

therapeutic recreation process

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life (therapeutic rec) adventure...

The therapeutic recreation process is an overall simple concept, but implementation requires discipline, knowledge, and patience. I like to think of therapeutic rec as a never ending cycle that is continually striving for betterment of the patient. The APIE process is instrumental and the heart and soul of therapeutic recreation.

The first step is to assess the patient. This is the time to take into account their needs, strengths, and interests. It is through these three things that patient goals and objectives will be decided.

The planning process is strategic and extremely vital to achieving set goal(s) and objectives. This is the time to correctly place patients in appropriate programs and settings for rehabilitation. Also if any programming needs to be adapted, this is the time to make those accommodations.

Implementation of the plan is simply that. Putting all the plans into place and working with the patient to achieve the set goal(s) and objectives.

Evaluation is the most crucial part of the therapeutic recreation process. It is the step that continues the cycle and allows for improvement and adjustment. During this step the goal(s) and objectives are evaluated to see how effective programming and implementation are. After evaluation, re-assessment of the patient and their goal(s) and objectives takes place restarting the cycle.

In conjunction with APIE the therapeutic recreation process allows development within patients by focusing on individual strengths and interests. Maintaining a positive attitude and atmosphere are key to improvement and growth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

river rampage expeditions

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

In my PRM 364 class I am taking this semester we are currently discussing the topic of inclusion. Part of this week's assignment was to share a resource or a program with the class that is associated with adaptive recreation. To be honest, I am not currently associated with any organization that does adaptive recreation so I decided to do a little research. Upon visiting the City of Phoenix's website I found several programs offered for individuals with limitations as well as at-risk youth. Many of these programs integrate the two different groups into one.

The program I would like to share is called River Rampage Expeditions. It is a program that allows both at-risk youth and individuals with limitations to spend seven days working together as a team to get down a river. The selection process is unique, as participants are not asked to pay for the trip, but to perform a set amount of community service hours in return. I love that the program integrates individuals from all different backgrounds in conjunction with volunteers to spend a week together working as a team. This truly exemplifies the meaning of inclusion.

More adaptive programs through the City of Phoenix can be found here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

oh, bugger

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

Bad news kids. I think I have caught some sort of sore-throat, runny-nose, itchy-eye, body-aching, head-pounding, sneezing thing. To sum it up I feel terrible, but here I am blogging away. I believe catching this bug is a result of spending almost every waking hour of the past labor day weekend with my Chi Omega sisters and all of the Panhellenic community on the second floor of the Memorial Union on the Tempe Campus recruiting new members. After shaking what seems like hundreds of hands (this is probably close to accurate) and getting no more than 15 hours of sleep the entire weekend I am (exhausted) and proud to announce that we have 50 brand new baby hooters!!! (For those of you with no Greek Life experience "baby hooters" are what Chi Omegas at Arizona State call their new members. They are referred to baby hooters until they are initiated and become an active in the chapter.)

I knew I was starting to become irrational from the lack of sleep, aching muscles, and anticipation on Tuesday morning on the way to class. I was running late (of course, who ever heard of Aimee Williams being on time for anything?) and hopped on the light rail with crazy curly hair from the day before and my bid day shirt proudly exclaiming I was a Chi Omega. Lately I have become enraptured with the Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer, so I sat in the first seat I saw and shoved my nose into New Moon, the second of four books. I was toward the end of the book and came upon a part in which I thought was breathtakingly romantic. Apparently a little too breathtaking. My heart sped up and my eyes began to water. I was in shock. For one I couldn't believe that I was crying over a series I had once accused of being "too mainstream" and second it was much to early for me to be contemplating whether or not I would ever meet my Edward.

I hardly had myself composed when I arrived Downtown for my 7:30 class five minutes late. After being greeted by my first name (it's super embarrassing when professors do that, especially when you're late) I took the first seat I could find and tried to swallow the basics of statistics.

This is where I would like to interject the story and bring up the age old question: why do we run into absolutely everyone we know when we look/smell terrible? I can go a week of looking decent, my hair fairly smooth and under control and not super sweaty and not see a soul, but when my hair is bigger than my face and I'm pouring sweat I run into ex-boyfriends, awkward acquaintances, and the super hot guy from the gym. It's absolutely unfair, can't fate ever be on my side?

Not only did my weekend leave me sleepless, it left me homework-less. Apparently I missed an updated syllabus and a discussion board. Turns out I was a proposal and 3 pages of my biology coloring book short. I know I have all semester to turn my grade around, but I can't help but be completely aggravated, especially when I cling to my fairly decent GPA for scholarships.

Needless to say my week has gotten off to a rough start. I'm hoping to get some decent sleep (the doctor gave me codeine!) so I don't fall to pieces every time Edward confesses his undying love. Or when I hear a sad love song on Pandora (cause that happened too).

Friday, September 4, 2009

strength and motivation

Hello my name is Aimee and this is a real life adventure...

For an assignment in my PRM 400 class we were asked to visit a website discussing positive psychology and take a strengths and virtues questionnaire. This is what I found out.

My biggest strength is citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty. According to the survey I am extremely loyal to my team and I will work hard for the successes of my team. I think this will be extremely helpful in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. So often job requirements are that the individual attend all staff meetings, workshops, and even staff outings. By being a strong team member I will not only be enthused to participate, but hopefully I can inspire our group to work effectively and diligently with our patients to reach their goals.

My second best strength is what the website referred to as kindness and generosity. The qualities listed in this category are: never being too busy to do a favor, doing favors for individuals I do not know well, and enjoying doing good deeds. I believe it is this quality that led me to Therapeutic Recreation in the first place. I remember when I told my family that I wanted to add TR to my degree they weren't very supportive, especially when I told them I wanted to focus my work in psychiatric wards. My mentality on the subject is that we need someone to work with the mentally ill population and if I'm willing to do it, why not? Individuals in my family have had to be hospitalized in the past and if it weren't for the phenomenal staff, our family would've fell apart. I want to be a support for families like mine, dealing with similar situations.

Assessing my individual strengths has shown me the possible benefits of knowing my patients strengths. By capitalizing on things they love to do, are good at, or feel important doing I can help them reach goals they have set for themselves while utilizing their strengths in doing so. It seems that people are passionate about their strengths. For instance in my case I am a strong group member who likes to do good things for others so I want to work as part of a team to help others reach their goals. If I know what motivates my patients or what they are passionate about, I can help them do what they love while living up to who they want to be.