Graduation Glory

“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.” -Tom Brokaw

Wow! Can’t believe I am an intern graduate with the whole world ahead of me. Graduation was such a great time to hang out with some of my closet friends, although it was very hard to leave many of them…I wish we could have had an extra week or so to just hang out…without the graduate classes, homework or internship competencies!! Is it depressing that I am already looking forward to a reunion?!

Anyway, here are some pictures from the momentous occasion!

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XOXO, Danae


Brain Mush

As a continuation from my last post….

The second half of the week (last Thursday through Saturday) was our internship RD exam prep course through Breeding and Associates. We met on campus for 8 hours the first two days and then about 6 1/2 hours the very last day pretty much reviewing all our nutrition courses from the past 5 years!! I definitely think a lot of us went brain dead, and would have much rather hung out and talked then listen to the information, but I did think it was very beneficial  I have a lot of information to review before the exam, which I take in a little under 3 months!

On Thursday, it rained. all day. Coincidentally, we had our internship picture day, which was supposed to be outside. Instead, we had to take it inside. The location of the picture was fine, but outside would have been better. It was also “freezing”, both outside and inside out classroom. I actually ended up bring my Snuggie the next two days, because it was cold. After our class on Thursday, our director had all of us over to her home for a crawfish boil! I got to touch a live crawfish, and then eventually got down and dirty with them. Even though it was cold outside, I think all of us really enjoyed time to relax and kick back. I think we have been very blessed that we all get along with each other (for the most part), and I don’t know if all dietetic interns can speak to that. The night ended with a bonfire and s’mores before everyone heading their separate directions. Kelly and I brought Chrystal and Grey home with us and they were our house guests through Saturday. We really enjoyed having house guests!

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Me and my crawfish, Theodore Roosevelt.

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Trying crawfish with Kara and Kelly!

Friday was another day. We managed to get some sunshine and warmer temperatures compared to the day before. After the class was over, I was able to indulge in some great sushi at Rawz Sushi with Gwen, Nate and Derrick. After dinner, I came back home and watched Sister Wives with my favorite girls while we ate Funfetti Brownies, made by yours truly!!

Saturday was the last day of a VERY long week. I was bummed I had to miss my cardio kick-boxing class, but I guess cardio kick-boxing won’t help me pass the RD exam, so maybe it was beneficial that I was there. After class was over, Chrystal stayed with us an extra night. While Kelly was at work, Chrystal and I had a girls night!! We spent about an hour and a half in TJ Maxx perusing the aisles and exploring. We then made our way over to the mall, where we visited Kelly at work, and wandered in and out of stores, making a few purchases along the way. Before heading home, we grabbed some Chinese food to go from the food court and rushed home to watch…yup, more Sister Wives.

I felt like overall, it was a good week. Time is of the essence right now, so I really enjoyed just hanging out with some of my best friends and enjoying each other’s company  During this time, I was in-between internship rotations, so I didn’t have any competency stuff to worry about, I just had to worry about learning, which was sort of a breath of fresh air. I am enjoying being at Glenwood right now, but more about that later.

So in the end, I’m a couple under dollars shorter, yet an extra 22 hours smarter…I hope everything pays off in the end!

XOXO, Danae

Countdown to Graduation: 28 days! (wow….)

Hot for Teacher

This past Monday I taught a 100-level class at LA Tech on eating disorders and fad diets. The class contained 21 students, all from different grade levels as well as different majors.

I had the opportunity to teach this class because of a competency requirement. I had to complete a community education requirement, so this counted for that.

My zebralicious number I wore to teach my class.

My outfit I wore to teach.

I think everybody gets a little nervous when they are about to get up and talk to a group of people. I mean..public speaking is the number one fear in most people. I got a little bit nervous before hand, but I actually felt comfortable doing this presentation. I think my only complaint (at least from me) was that I talk fast. It is not even because I get nervous..I just talk fast. People may say its because I am from the north, where everything is fast paced, but I know I talk fast normally. However, this time around, I did a pretty good job. I feel like when I talk to a group of people I don’t know, I don’t get nervous, but when I talk to those I do know, I get nervous. It is like I don’t want them to think less of me after giving my talk. You would think I would be more nervous in front of people I didn’t know, because I would want them to have a good first impression of me. I don’t know…..maybe I’m backwards. I did get “talk fast” written on my evaluation form though….guess I just can’t shake it.

The talk discussed fad diets, like the Macrobiotic Diet, the Baby Food Diet, the Cabbage Diet, the raw food diet, the master  cleanse and much more!! I also had an activity that went along with this subject matter. Check out Everyday Diets for a huge compiled list of diets.

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

Weight in the eyes of an anorexic

I then led into eating disorders, who is affected by them and described different eating disorders, like anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating. Signs were also talked about for each disorder. An activity where they had to spot signs of an eating disorder in three scenarios. I left the students with basic healthy weight management tips and guidelines for weight loss. Overall, I thought the class was successful and I really enjoyed the added experience.

I haven’t written of teaching as a career path, but I think it would be cool to teach college in the future. The possibilities for my career are endless.

XOXO, Danae

3 more days until the end of the quarter, then “Spring Break!”

Does Someone Need a Hug??

Well, I have just finished my first week of floor supervision at St. Francis. I am so glad to be on my own. Don’t get me wrong, I like the dietitians that I work with, but I was ready to get into my own groove and not work with people over my shoulder. But they still have to sign of on my chart notes, but that I can handle. Just can’t wait until I get to be the one in charge, writing notes like no body’s business.

The hospital has been fairly busy, what with the huge flu/influenza A breakout. There are so many patients that are under precautions. I have to either where glove, a gown and gloves, a gown and face mask, or all of the above. In addition to the flu theme, this week’s theme is old people. You got it…old people.

I love old people. They have so much to tell and enjoy it when you stop and say hello. I had several patients that were over the age of 70 this week. Many of them were very friendly. I had this one old man who was so cute, I just wanted to hug him. He was just crackin’ jokes left and right. But I went from someone like him to this 97 year old woman who is essentially dying. She just lays in this bed all by herself. Her breathing is labored, she can barely talk and can’t hold her head up without shaking. It just breaks my heart. I know I can’t cure any of their diseases, but I try to be pleasant with them and make sure they have a great day.

I also had some other things going on during the week. I was asked to give a talk on healthy eating to the Pilot Club of the Twin Cities, a service oriented club that is run by women. They are most known for organizing the Taste of the Twin Cities and the Fleur de Lis, Miss Heart of Pilot and Miss Taste of the Twin Cities pageants. I talked to the 20 women about the importance of healthy eating and what to look for at the grocery store. I don’t mind public speaking, but it is when I can’t read the crowd that I get nervous. I even tried making a few jokes. They laughed, but they all looked so serious, I couldn’t tell if they liked me. But after my talk, they did give me a little gift, so it was much appreciated. It was good experience. After my talk, I stayed for the meeting. It was interesting to hear what they were planning, but when you get 20 southern women in a room, GIRLLLLL, they never stay on topic  everyone is talking over each other and they are loud. I am a woman, and I was starting to go crazy listening to everyone…

Last, on Saturday I drove over to Ruston to help with a grant project called Youth4Health, in hopes to correct childhood obesity and get families to eat more meals together. We had families come in to get weight, measured and nutritionally interviewed. I was in charge of measuring their height and then helped the younger kids fill out surveys, they were way to extensive for them in my option. Information covered included attitudes toward food, their self,  eating habits and environments and family medical history and family social issues. We also did a 24-hour recall with all the kids. I really loved working with the kids. I was amazed by how open the kids were with me. Some questions talked about how they felt their parents felt about them and how they feel about themselves and how others treat them.

So ready for this next week to be done and completed. All I have left is my final case study presentation and my final evaluation, then 3 day weekend (Thx MLK, Jr.)!! So ready.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. On Thursday, it will be 4 months until I am done with my internship! It will go by so fast!

Danae: 1. Research Proposal: 0

Well, I did it.

My research proposal that I have been working on since August is finally complete!!! All 58 pages of it. It was the best feeling to handover that stress inducing assignment over. 🙂 It was a highlight of my quarter.

Fresh off the printer!! Feels soo good!

Just so you can see how thick it is. A paper clip wouldn’t even hold it together.

Friday was a seminar class, so myself and all the other interns met up in Ruston for class. Our guest speaker was a dietitian, Shelly Marie Redmond, who is the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of College Lifestyles Magazine. She talked about social media, marketing and writing articles and recipes appropriate for online and print magazines. I have the opportunity to write a recipe for their magazine, which is really exciting, so when something comes of that, I will be sure to inform you. I also found out my rotation schedule for the winter quarter. I will be finishing off my clinical rotations and floor supervision at St. Francis Medical Center, hopefully spending a week at the LSU Medical Center Burn Unit in Shreveport  and then EA Conway Hospital for some clinical and some management rotations. This will take me through February. Then its just three more months until I am home free!

We also had a CPR/First Aid certification class to take a part in. So, I am now certified to save a life.

In addition to the research proposal, I also had a last assignment and final in my Childhood Obesity class. I submitted my assignment on Friday and took my final on Saturday (oh the joys of online classes). So now, I am pretty much home free until I go home. Besides a two concept maps, my final evaluation and other internship-related competencies to complete, I am in a really good spot.

With some extra time to chill this weekend, my roommate Gwen and I made cupcakes AND cookies because we were craving frosting. I also worked in the nursery at my church again. I just loving working with the kids. They are so much fun and I have a really good time playing with them! Although today, we had five kids and out of no where, they all start crying at the same time. There was only myself and another worker there, so thankfully the nursery coordinator and another help came in to help. Thankfully we had a bubble machine, so they entertained them for a little.

Hope everyone has a great week! I am loving working at the diabetes center, but I am REALLY looking forward to some time in Chicago!!

XOXO, Danae

6 Days Until Home!

Diabetes & Presidents

Hey all. It’s Thursday. More specifically, “Cussing” Thursday, according to my co-workers. It is the day to let loose and say all the swear words. Say how you feel. Hold nothing back. No judging.

Well, I will thank you very much.

I just need to vent about the recent presidential election. (This is my personal opinion, it is not meant to offend anyone). I do not think the right person was put into office. I feel like the individual that was elected has done nothing but lied to the American people and the american population are blinded by his talk of change and hope. Well guess what, the economy has gotten worse, gas prices have gone up and employment rates are higher than ever. I thought change meant making a difference. I see no change and I have no hope. I was hoping to have a job after I get done with this internship and now I will be lucky if I do. And don’t even get me started on healthcare. As a working healthcare professional, I see individuals that come into places that I have worked who believe they are “entitled” to things (i.e. WIC and food stamps). I do not appreciate having my tax dollars spent on people who do not apply themselves, do not have  a job, have tons of kids and receive handouts. I feel like this country is going to go down hill and in 4 years, it will be really hard to turn it around. (Random Thought-  I will be 27 in 4 years. Soo old…..). As a Christian though, I know that God is in control of all of this and for some reason  this is in His plan, even though it is hard to understand. I have to trust in Him.So all in all, we are totally screwed and I think I will move to Canada. Whew….good to get that off my chest.

Anyways, I am finishing my first week at the outpatient diabetes and nutrition center. I have really enjoyed myself. I work with two dietitians and two nurses, all of which are certified diabetes educators (CDE). I hope to be one of these someday! I have my own nickname- “Mocha Latte” and I have my own make-shift office.

My very large corner office. You like?!

I have already gotten to do some educations. On my second day at the facility, I did a gestational diabetes education. I have found these to be the most dedicated clients and the best listening clients because there is a secondary party involved. They will do anything you tell them to do. It is refreshing. I really loved doing it and I figured out I love community. The setting is so relaxed and I love just talking with the clients as much as I love educating them on diabetes. I could sit and talk to them forever, I forget we have to talk about diabetes. I really enjoyed it. I then did another GD education yesterday. I am getting the hang of it.

Yesterday, I also taught a cardiac rehab class. It is a really laid back setting where I talked with individuals who have many types of heart issues, like hypertension, aortic aneurysms , coronary bypass surgery, stent placement, pacemakers  heart attack etc. I had four listeners and the topic was “Healthy Holiday Eating”. I discussed tips on how to stay healthy during the holidays and how to prevent unintentional weight gain,rise in blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose levels. The conversation went from that to talking about diabetes, reading labels and discussing the pathophysiology of diabetes. It was a good talk, and having my preceptor there allowed me to bounce ideas off of.

Then today, I just got done observed a speech therapist to fulfill one of my competencies. I have had to also observe an MD, a nurse, a occupational therapist, a physical therapist and case manager. Speech therapy was the last on my check list. It was interesting. The client was a child that was deaf and couldn’t read or really talk. Over the course of many sessions with the therapist, she was in the office today reading simple words, pronunciations and sounds. She was very hyperactive, but if she actually focuses, she can do a lot.

So, that has been my week. Tomorrow I go to Ruston for seminar class. I find out what I am doing for the Winter Quarter and I turn in the death of me AKA my Research Proposal. The Research Proposal will eventually [Key Word: EVENTUALLY] turn into a research trial which will then turn into a Thesis! Gahh…Friday will be the day it is turned in! I am so excited! Safe to say I will have a good weekend.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. I learned how to change my background, so now it is the more appropriate “Autumn” theme. At least I have a little taste of fall now.

9 Days Until Home!

Fall Community Rotation Part 2 of 3: Completed!

This past week was probably the easiest week I will ever having in my dietetic internship. I split my time between Eat to Lose, a private practice, and Louisiana Surgery Center at P & S Surgery in Monroe, which is a bariatric center. Both of these places had really lenient hours. The longest day I worked was probably 4 hours. It was amazing! I learned things, but I still had time to work on my research proposal, which is due this coming Friday and another assignment for my childhood obesity class. It was wonderful. I loved both dietitians I worked with. I think opening up your own business would be a lot of work and it takes a lot of man power and devotion, but I think I would like to open my own practice. I love the ability to work with people one on one and really follow them to monitor their progress. You can’t do that in a hospital: they are in one day and out the next.

Tomorrow I start at the St. Francis Diabetes and Nutrition Center. They specialized in diabetes outpatient counseling, but also do some bariatric and weight loss counseling/education. I am there for two week and then its off to Chicago for some much needed R&R. I haven’t been home since end of June…starting to miss it!

In other news, this weekend was LA Tech’s Homecoming! My roommate Gwen and I made the drive to Ruston and went to our first football game where LA Tech vs. University of Texas San Antonio. It was awesome. We got in for free, sat on the 40 yard line about 12 rows up. It was sunny and hot for a good portion of the game, but thankfully we had some fans.

FYI: Ms. Louisiana Tech (a pageant on campus) was there at the game. She is the 2nd Ms. Louisiana Tech who has also been named Ms. Louisiana. Look for her at the Miss American pageant this coming January!

This game had everything: parachuters,  band geeks, smoke machines, a cameo from Terry Bradshaw, drunks, frat boys, Gangnam style and arguing football players. Also, we won! 51-27. LA Tech is now 8 and 1. According to my brother, we will most likely be in a bowl game. That would be cool! Below are a few pictures:

Parachuters game in from the sky!

Football players getting ready to run onto the field!

This guy (from the other team) had crazy Troy Polamalu hair

Game time!

On Sunday, I forgot about daylight savings time and woke up for church an hour earlier than I planned. And before I realized I was up an hour earlier, I got ready and everything. So, I just laid and went back to sleep.

Then, on my way to throw out the trash in the dumpster, I threw my car keys into the dumpster. Luckily, my neighbor was walking past me and she held me by the legs as I am hanging in the trash can reaching for my keys. It was a great way to be introduced to my new neighbors. I am an idiot.

Have a great week everyone!

XOXO, Danae

13 Days Until Home!

How the LA police thought I was smuggling drugs

So I have no idea if this story is okay for me to put on the internet, but I am doing it. No names are used anyway.

This story will show you how sometimes my common sense flees my mind…

So I am driving from Ruston to Monroe on my way back from the LA Tech pool. Its about 7pm and I am by myself wearing a tank and shorts, my aviators and my leopard face hat (complete with ears). I am about 13 exits away from my exit and I see these flashing lights that say “Warning: There is a police trap coming up in a mile. Checking for narcotics. Drug dogs will be here. ” There are two of these signs.

Well, I got a little nervous because I may or may not have had a flask that had a little bit of rum in it. I didn’t want to cops or the drug dogs to smell it, so I got off at the exit before the supposed police trap to dump out what was left of my flask. Welp, easier said than done. There is a cop SUV in the median of the road. I just keep driving and I end up on this dead end road. The cop turns around and follows me and eventually puts on his lights. In my head, I just go “Crap Crap Crap“.

So the guy gets out (a nice and somewhat good-looking cop thank goodness) and walks to my window and starts talking to me. He sees my plates and notices that they are out of state.  He asks me for my ID. I give him my school ID (FAIL). I give him my drivers license then. He small talks with me. I tell him I am from Chicago and here for a dietetic internship through LA Tech. He asked me where I thought I was going and I said the worst possible answer: I am looking for a bathroom. Uggg! Then he explains to me this whole drug thing: they are looking for big loads of drugs. If I had something in my car and confessed, I would get a ticket, but if I denied it and they found it, worst could happen.

I am pretty sure he could tell 1 minute after talking to me that I would be the last person in the world that would have big loads of drugs, or any drugs for that matter. He still asked me if I had any and of course I said no. He says thanks for stopping and “You won’t find a bathroom down this road” and walks back to his car. I embarrassingly turn around and right before I get back onto the highway, i see 3 cops cars all just hanging out plus the guy that pulled me over following me. He probably wondered why I got back on the highway and not venture down the other way down the road to find a bathroom.

Then the rest of the way home, there was no more signs of a drug stop. I tried to avoid the trap and ended up driving right into it. At least I wasn’t speeding.

Lesson Learned: Alcohol is not a narcotic AND don’t do drugs…ever.

XOXO, Danae

Weekend (and more) recap!

So, this past weekend was my first real weekend in Ruston. Just me and the other interns. Well, half of us anyways. Between this week and next week, all 19 of us will have gone to Diabetes Camp in Leesville, LA. Half of the others left this past Saturday and the other half of us leave this coming Saturday. Among those that left on Saturday was my roommate Katelyn and our neighbors Grey and Kelly. So, needless to say, Aswell Third Floor has been pretty quiet. Derek, Gwen and I are holding down the fort here on campus.

Friday night was pretty low key. Gwen and I were good students. We worked on some homework after class then treated ourselves to sun time by the pool. That is, until it rained on our parade. After the pool, Derek, Gwen and I drove to get LA’s famous Drive Thru Daiquiris. We also tried to save a dog that was on the side of the highway, but he just ran right back home. Since Katelyn was probably already in bed, we just went back to Derek’s dorm room to hang out. People who also joined the party was Derek’s two engineering roommates and a girl Catherine, who is friends with one of the roommates. (Think Penny to a Sheldon, Leonard and Howard). So we were chilling, chatting and watching youtube videos (watch “Share it Maybe“). Then in Olivet fashion, were were kicked out at midnight.

Saturday we also spent doing homework as well as some stress relieving exercising. The real fun happened later that night. It started of with Gwen, my roommate, and I singing karoke in our room to Mac Miller, who is a white, really fast rapper. Then Nathan (a fellow intern native to LA), and his friend James (who I call Twix) picked Derek, Gwen and I up for a night out in Ruston. We first went to the Dawg House, which is your typical college bar. We played darts, listened to 90s music and chatted up some of the locals. After about 2 hours there, we moved to this other bar/dance club just outside of Ruston. No idea what the name of it was, but the outside of it reminded me of a barn or shed. We get and find out drinks are buy 1 get 3 free…well played Ruston. We hung out and walked around a little bit. Then, I decided to get to know a few locals. The first guy was a local and was dancing by himself. I felt bad so I decided to go up and dance next to him. We danced like a couple of idiots for about 20 minutes. Then M.J’s “Billie Jean” came on and that guy danced himself into a coma. He was in the zone. The next guy I harassed danced with was a guy who I thought was a blind, mentally retarded man. (Turns out he was neither). He was by himself with a green light saber and I thought it looked like he needed a battle partner. So I just went up to him and started fighting him with my arm. That lasted about 10 minutes.

For some reason my friends think I am weird.

We spent the rest of the night hanging out and dancing. Sunday was used to recuperate.

Monday I gave my first presentation. I talked about BMI. Being at Olivet really helped my with my presentation skills. Giving a 10 minute presentation was no sweat, and I could tell I was more prepared then other. I also decided on a topic to do my practice research proposal on! PROGRESS!

Tonight is Tuesday. I was supposed to pick up Kara, a fellow intern, from the Monroe Airport at 4:45pm. (Her fiancee’s father was in critical condition and then sadly passed away). She has a connecting flight in Atlanta but Atlanta is having awful weather, so she has been delayed for a long time. Right now she is supposed to get into LA at 9:54pm. It is going to be a late night, but anything for a friend 🙂

XOXO, Danae