A window inside life at Augustana College

Final week in Houston!

Hey all,

My summer in Houston is coming to an end, but it seems like there is still so much to do before my plane leaves on Saturday!

For our final projects, we are required to prepare a research paper as well as a presentation of our findings. While this is not necessarily that difficult (Augie has prepared me well), it is VERY time-consuming! Every little detail has to be perfect! My mentor has been great about providing me with LOTS of feedback about both parts of my project and they are coming together, little by little.

My mentor had me, our research coordinator, and our secretary over for brunch on Sunday morning which was just lovely. Her kids were adorable and it was so fun to see everyone outside of the office setting. It continues to amaze me how she balances being a nationally recognized authority on cancer psychology and being a mom at the same time. What a great role model!

I had the opportunityto job shadow again last week, but this time it was at St. Luke’s, another hospital down here in the Medical Center. Ironically, St. Luke’s is the name of the hospital where I was born and where my dad currently works in Iowa! My experiences with the SLPs there were awesome, as I got to see a lot more neurogenic disorders there than I have seen at MD Anderson, which is what I am really interested in. Neurogenic disorders are disorders that result from some kind of damage to the brain or other parts of the nervous system. St. Luke’s is well-known for its cardiology department, and sometimes the nerves that supply the speech mechanisms get damaged during heart surgery, so that’s where the SLPs come in. They also have quite a few stroke patients. All of the SLPs I have shadowed this summer (9 TOTAL!!!) have been great about not just letting me observe, but teaching me as well. It is amazing how much you can pick up in one day that would have taken much longer to learn in a classroom.

We’re still finding time to have fun amidst all of our busy-ness at work. One of the girls in our group is turning 21 this week so I’m sure once all the presentations are done that will be a good excuse to kick back, relax, and celebrate!

Well I’d love to stay and chat but I’m off to another job shadow in the head and neck center–my last one : (

I might stop by the gift shop on my way over and see what kinds of souvenirs I can bring home with me! The next challenge will be fitting it all in my suitcase! (don’t worry mom and dad, I didn’t buy another whole suitcase like I did in Thailand!)

Love
Katrina

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