She Works Hard for the Money!

As we all stress and prepare for finals, the prospect of summer is swiftly approaching. I, for one, have had to think about where I am going to live, how I am going to pay for my bills, and how I am going to spend my time this summer.
Like many college students, I plan to do all of the fun summer things: sitting by the pool, weekends at the lake, ice-cream, Netflix, and vacation! In addition to that, I am also incredibly excited about what most people would cringe at… working three jobs!

My first job I am not actually getting paid for! For the first seven weeks of summer, I will be working as an intern at the Parkwest Senior Behavioral Health Unit in Knoxville. As a requirement of my Gerontology minor, I am required to complete a 200 hour practicum in a setting that focuses on older adults. I recently met with my supervisor, and I am very excited for all that I will get to learn. I will start off working with CNA’s, then with the nurses on the units, shadow the doctors, and eventually move on to working with the therapists and social workers on the unit. This will give me a chance to see every aspect of the unit, from basic care, to diagnosis, to therapy, to discharge and rehabilitation planning. I cannot even describe how excited, and especially nervous, that I am. My biggest fear is that I will do something drastically wrong, but I trust that I will be in good hands and will do well in such a good learning environment.

My second summer job is doing research. In February, I found out that I had been awarded the Colonel B. Ledford award by the Appalachian College Association. The whole process of applying, being accepted, and now carrying out my research has been a learning experience for me. First, I had to pick a research topic and plan out every aspect of how it would be carried out. After doing extensive research, I am planning to research the effects of music exposure for depressive assisted-living residents. The whole research project is very in-depth, but the basic premise is that I will go into an assisted-living facility, have depressed residents listen to music once a week for four weeks, and test whether it lowers their depression.
After I put my application together, which included a research proposal involving past research, a personal statement, and a budget, all I could do was wait a couple of months. I found out in February that I was chosen to do my research, and since then I have been ecstatic to begin. Between February and now I have been working on the Institutional Review Board application. Every University, including LMU, requires that you gain approval through the university before starting research. Hopefully my application will be approved May 1st, and I plan to start the research process during the second week of May!

My last summer job is one that I have worked at for the past two years, during the summer or Christmas breaks from school. I am an assistant teacher for Mudpies and Music Daycare in Knoxville, and will be working part time again this summer. My duties involve going to various classrooms throughout the daycare and assisting whoever needs help during the day. I often find a niche during the summer and will stay in that classroom permanently for the summer, but sometimes I float between classrooms helping everyone out. Since the daycare has ages that range from 6 weeks old all the way to elementary aged children, I can be doing anything from changing diapers and feeding bottles to teaching children their ABCs on any given day. While the job is very stressful at times, I go back every summer because it is incredibly rewarding. From the smiles and hugs, to seeing a child so excited to read a book, there is something to appreciate about every age and classroom. I have learned to adapt to the various ages easily, because when you switch from taking care of a baby to a five year old you have switch gears and focus on what the children need. The daycare has given me so many memories, and always welcomes me back with open arms. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity every summer.

So, this summer is going to be exciting, hectic, stressful at times, and wonderful. Look out for updates on my summer adventures! If you would like to share your own summer plans, please subscribe or comment below!

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Posted on April 28, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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