Saturday, October 28, 2006


Going to the chiropractor is really helping me. Recovery is a process, but I am getting there. I think I have mentioned before that I absolutely love the place I go to. Unfortunately I just found out I have to switch chiropractors, which makes me very sad. Someone from church referred me to this place, and at first I did not know how I was going to pay for it, but figured it should somehow be covered since my injury happened while I was at work. It was decided that Urban Corps should help me because although I was working at Americana, I was getting paid by Urban Corps at the time. They filed a worker's comp claim for me and I can get the whole thing covered. But of course there is a catch. They just called me yesterday to say the chiropractor I have been going to is not in their network and while they will cover for the treatment I have had so far there, I have to switch to someone in their network to contiune being covered. I really really do not want to switch and made several phone calls (even to attorneys!) to see if I had to. And I do. If I have the opportunity to not pay one cent for my treatment, I have to take it. So I am making my last visit on Monday and then have an appointment with a new chiropractor on Tuesday. I really hope that I can contiune a similar treatment plan there. I don't like having to switch in the middle of it. I am hoping there will be no problems, all chiropractors are trained the same, right? Fortunately, the person I talked to from the new office is really nice and I will again have a woman doctor, and it is just down the street from where I have been going. So hopefully everything will turn out fine. Stupid insurance. Really, I think it is ridiculous that they are making me switch after I have been going to the same chiropractor for five weeks now (which is over 15 visits).

Things are going a lot better at Americana now. We finally have some new staff so things are running more smoothly. Of course a little crazy at times, but that is part of the job. I now have the time to do the things I should be doing during my practicum time with the youth programs. I made several home visits this past week, which is always a little akward, but I think I am getting more comfortable with it. I had some successful visits. I have also been spending some time outside work with my new coworkers and they are a lot of fun.

School is going well too. I have done very well on all the assignments, papers and presentations I have had so far. This next month will be the most hectic, with all my big group projects and papers coming up. I won't have much of a life in November. But come December 4th I will be all done! And I don't have to return to school until January 8th. It will be a very well deserved break! I can't wait.

Last night I went to a Halloween party where costumes were mandatory, so that was fun. The only thing I had was my elf outfit that I wore when I dressed up for Americana's holiday party. So I wore that. It was a really random night and it was great. So since I had my fun last night, tonight I am going to be productive. I need to get to that now. But first I am going to take a break and use my posture pump! (which is helping, but usually makes me sore the day after and is very uncomfortable, like I said, it is a process...)

Abby Mo's Visit

As promised, I will write more about Abby's visit last weekend and I thought it would be nice to share some pictures. She arrived Friday night after I got out of class. We went out for pizza and beer with a few of my friends and reminisced about how much cheaper this was to do at the Bluffton pub! When we got back we had fun with my new posture pump. I thought it was only fair to include a picture of Abby in it as well! Abby also did some adjustments on my housemates. She stayed away from me since I am currently being treated. Saturday was a beautiful fall day. I really love this season and my neighborhood looks gorgeous right now. In the afternoon we took a walk in Central Park, just a block away from my apartment. Not as nice as the one in NYC, but still nice. Since we went out to lunch, we decided to make dinner. Abby and I cooked together then had our meal with wine out on my balcony. It was very much like we were on some romantic date, which we found amusing. Abby left early Sunday morning, which worked out because I had to go over to Americana to open the building at 8 a.m. Then I had all Sunday to dedicate to school work, along with church (our pastor has returned from sabbatical!). We went out to the Ethopian restaurant after church which we discovered has a buffet on Sundays. It was delicious and you get more for your money this way. We have to add it to our rotation.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Posture Pump!

Just looking at these pictures makes me laugh. So at my visit to the chiropractor this past Friday I was given a "posture pump." I am supposed to use it three times a week for fifteen minutes. Basically, it is to repair the muscles and curve in my neck. It is not painful to wear, but really uncomfortable. But supposedly this is another treatment that will help me in the long run. And I must say, this is the weirdest freakin thing I have ever seen! My doctor said it looks like some weird medieval contraption, and I have to agree. So my housemates and I, along with Abby Mo who was visiting (!), had some fun with this thing Friday night (don't you wish you were hanging out with us?). The color picture was taken by Abby Mo and it is her foot in it, not mine. The black and white is one of the many pictures Alisa took of me while I was posture pumping. She is quite the photo artist. She got some great pics! And they are hilarious.

I was re-examined at my visit last Friday and was told I still have to come in three times a week, although it was supposed to go down to two this week. I haven't healed enough yet. But I am feeling better, it is just a long process. Today I started my "active care" so now I have to do exercises everytime I come in. And instead of ten minutes of electric stimulation therapy (or something like that) I "graduated" to the rolling table...Abby Mo, do you know what this is? It was so weird! I didn't like it very much. Today I met with the physical therapist, which I do once a week. Imagine a ten minute massage that makes you want to cry. But, I am making progress. Some day I will be all better!

Ok I need to go to bed now, but more on Abby's visit and other updates coming soon!

Monday, October 16, 2006

In the spirt of little things...

I will follow the Abbys in my blogging style today...

I got to go home this past weekend for the first time in about two months. And it was way too quick. Arrived home around 11:15 Friday night and left Sunday early afternoon. Alisa was with me for Mo's wedding. I hadn't seen Mo for a few years. I was friends with her in high school and she went to Goshen where her and Alisa played soccer together. It was a nice wedding and it was good to see her again (although very briefly). The reception was outside in an enclosed tent with heaters, but this did not stop it from being cold!!!

Along with the weater, today was a miserable rainy Monday and for some reason I still rode my bike to campus. I was soaking wet and freezing the whole afternoon/evening and U of L has yet to turn on its heat! It was painfully cold in my classes (I wore my hat and gloves in class, although they were soaked from the rain...yeah, don't wear wool things in the rain...)

Along with the wedding, I also jammed in spending time with my family, lunch with friends, a movie with friends (don't see the Departed unless you enjoy seeing everyone getting shot), church and a mini celebration for my dad's birthday. Then I had to come back here for homework and a group meeting.

So today I had a group presentation, then a group meeting in between classes for my presentation tomorrow, and another group meeting after class for yet another presentation. There is a lot of group work in my program, but I suppose that makes a lot of sense. The last group meeting of the day was very efficient and we met at a pizza place, which is a lot better than the library.

I discovered there is a Starbucks in the library today. I really haven't explored campus very much. Coming from Bluffton, a Starbucks in the library seems amazing to me. Oh how I miss all my free drinks from that place. I spent $3.50 on a drink today, can't make this a habit. But it was very welcoming on this freezing, rainy day.

I'll stop now because I need to get some work done! It never ends....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I Hate Politicians

And here is a good example of why. So we had no knowledge of this billboard going up, and imagine Edgardo's surprise when he sees this a couple miles from the Center. Anne Northup supports Americana Community Center? Who knew?? I sure didn't! But she is using us for her campaign! If you can't read it, it says "Americana Community Center, Another local project sponsored by Anne Northup". Really, it pisses me off. Oh and for those who do not know, she is the Kentucky's current representative in the U.S. congress (and Republican). She has never given us money or really done anything to support us and it would be my guess that most of the policies she supports would hurt us more than help. (and if the Executive Director says she doesn't help us, I am sure he is correct) Where was she when we lost all our funding back in April?? I am not sure what will be done about this false advertisement. I hate election season. I am sick of all these campaign ads. Enough already! I just hate the political system in general I think. We were coming up with a lot of fun ways to protest this billboard at work. One of my favorite options was to replace her name and picture with mine. I think I have done a lot to support Americana Community Center, shouldn't I get a billboard? Or we could simply add a "not" in the appropriate place. Oh we were having so much fun with this.....

Things are Looking Up

Today was my 12 hour day at Americana, half the time working, half the time practicum, and it was a pretty fun day! I am blessed with great people to work with. I was laughing all day. Today was just one of those days when everything was cracking me up. I am happier with my practicum now. My regular supervisor is back and after meeting with her yesterday I felt so much better. And now that new staff is finally coming in, I feel I can refocus and get back to the goals and objectives I set in the beginning of the semester. I will still have to be a support for a few weeks, but not relied on as heavily and able to do other duties. I should be starting my group in the next couple of weeks and have started working on case management. So that is good. And I had my midterm today (which is basically a meeting with my supervisor and faculty liasion to evaluate me) and it went really well. I only heard positive feedback and I really needed that. We adjusted my goals a little bit to reflect what I have been doing the first half of the semester (which was basically taking on a leadership role and doing a little bit of everything!) And there are always those moments when a kid does something so random that cracks me up and reminds me why I am there. Those kids really do have a special place in my heart (awww.....) For example today Athey, the one pictured, was getting ready to go home, but first came back into the office, put his hand on my arm and said in a serious voice, with a concerned look on his face, "take care little buddy". Then he ran away. This kid is only 8 and comes up to my waist. To me this was hilarious and it still makes me laugh. What a goofy kid, he is great.

Sometimes I have fun....

Sometimes in between school, work, practicum, writing papers, reading, studying, chores, chiropractic appointments, eating and sleeping, I do find some time to have fun. I did not have class on Monday and Tuesday, which allowed me to get away with barely doing any school work over the weekend. Instead I did some fun things. The St. James art fair was this past weekend a.k.a one of the biggest art fairs in the country that brings in thousands. And it was in my neighborhood. Saturday was a beautiful day and it was fun just to walk around and look at all the booths full of art I will never be able to afford! It also interesting to see all the "tourists" brought into our neighborhood. We noticed how our area was suddenly converted to white, middle class Republicans, which it is usually far from! (I could tell people's affiliated party since politicians used this event to pass out annoying stickers) The owners of the house I rent from sold some of their art in front of the house, as well as the Somali Bantu Women's group started at Americana. Their booth is pictured. As well as some of the "crew". Saturday evening I went out to dinner and shopping with my friend Tia who I hadn't seen in awhile so that was nice (she is one of my former coworkers that was laid off back in April). Sunday I saw Rent! Alisa and I had tickets way in the back, and two of our friends happened to be there too and we could sit by them. I enjoyed the show. I really love that musical and it was fun to see it live. I had a good view of the whole stage, I just couldn't tell what the actors looked like! Monday I got back into my normal schedule, replacing classes with school work and group meetings. For quite awhile now a bunch of us get together on Wednesday nights, but I have skipped out the past couple Wednesdays. Part of this is due to the start of "Lost" but also I am just so exhausted after my 12 hour day that I do not have the energy to go out! I had a good day today, but just wasn't in the mood to socialize I guess. I also plan to have a good time this weekend. Alisa and I are going to Columbus for a wedding. A friend I had in high school happened to be a good friend of Alisa's in college, and she is getting married this Saturday. I will also squeeze in some time to see friends and family. Unfortunately I have class until 7:30 on Friday evenings and have to be back here by 7 on Sunday for a group meeting because I have a presentation the next day, so it will be a short and quick weekend. I have been trying to get ahead with my homework since I won't have much time at all to do it this weekend. I miss the days when taking a weekend trip was no problem! I learned a good tip today. Sometimes when I flip through my planner the sight of all the things I have due before this semester is over stresses me out. How am I going to have the time for all this? I was told "just tape your pages shut and don't look at them!" I don't think I will actually do this, but I am going to try not to look further ahead than I have to. I just need to take it one day at a time!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Finding the Good in the Bad

Here is a little random story for you. I am at work on a Friday afternoon, eagerly anticipating the weekend, and no one else is here except the janitor, so I can take a little break for a blog. Two weekends ago "Kentuckiana" experienced very heavy rains which caused a lot of flood damage. The basement at the community ministries next door was completely flooded, which was very inconvienent for them because that is where they do most of their services. And it caused this building to smell horrible! Over at Americana, we thought we only experienced some slight flooding in our kitchen and boiler room and we lost some janitorial supplies like all our toilet paper. Not that big a deal. No one thought to check in our basement. I suppose this should have been me since I am the "Facility Manager" but you know, I have a million other things to do. A few days later (this was last week) our pest control guy came to spray and came to me and said "uh, I can't spray under the stage in your gym because it is flooded!" Oops. It looks like the water came up quite high, over two feet. By this time we saw it was just all soaked up into the carpet and smelling quite nauseating. Mainly we used these rooms as "storage" for a lot of junk. One side was fixed up though to hold "soccer" meetings for the kids (it used to be a locker room back in the day when this was a high school). So this caused some extra work for me with calling insurance people, carpet cleaners, construction compaines, making an inventory of what we lost, etc. Luckily the insurance people were actually quite helpful as well as the construction company. When they finally came over here this week they were quite timely. The carpet is ripped up now and it does not smell down there anymore. Today they came back to get rid of all the junk for us that is ruined. They are loading it all up in a big truck as I write. And why does this excite me so much? One of my big projects this past year has been trying to get this building free of clutter and junk, which has been quite a huge job. And now there are people down there doing it for me! Some of this stuff I have been wanting to get rid of for a long time, but was told to keep it "just in case we need it some day." Although I always thought it was a bunch of crap we don't need. And now it is ruined so we have to get rid of it. Hooray!! That space is going to be so much cleaner now! One good thing came out of the flood.

Ok that entry was pretty pointless, but I am excited. However you can't always find the good in the bad. This morning I opened the building to be greeted by a police officer with some terrible news. Four Somali Bantu children were killed by their father this morning, all under the age of 8, a few miles from our community center. He was coming to see if we had contacts in the Somali Community to help translate, so I helped him with that. What a way to start off the day. At first my stomach was feeling quite sick, wondering if I knew this family and they were kids that came here. The police officer did not know the names. I have since learned that we did not have contact with this family here at Americana. Instead they went to another community center not far from here and were clients of Kentucky Refugee Ministires. Not that this makes it any better, it is still an awful situation. But I am not sure how I would handle this if I knew the family. Sorry to end on such a sad note.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Lots of adjustments

Chiropractic Update: So I decided to go to the chiropractor for a year. A lot of committment. But if what Abby Mo says is true, I think I will be in much better health all around next year. The chiropractor told me that I could see her for a month and get relief from the pain I am having, or keep coming regularly for a year and fully correct the problem. So I chose the latter. I have to go three times a week for 4 weeks (luckily only two more weeks of this - just a little hard to fit in my schedule). Then 2 times a week for 6 weeks. The once a week for another amount of time. Then ending with once every other week. The cost of all of this, including x-rays, is about $1,300 with my insurance. I am now in the process of seeing how much I can get this covered by Americana and Urban Corps since I was at work when this injury happened. Hopefully most of it, and my parents are willing to help also. I am very glad I do not have to worry about this cost. I have been to the chiropractor five times now and I am really starting to feel better. Adjustments sure are an interesting thing. And they are not just focusing on that. I will also meet with a physical therapist some of the time and I have exercises for my neck to do twice a day at home. Next will come strengthening. Who knew all this would come from a basketball in the head! Since I have back pain too in general, they took x-rays of that last week and found there is some work to be done there as well. So I am just getting fixed all over. Wish me luck.

Things aren't going the best at my practicum. I shouldn't write too much detail on here. But my practicum supervisor returns next week, who has been gone for three weeks, and I think things will get better. I set goals and objectives for the semester with her back in the beginning and I have yet to be able to implement any of them, which is obviously just a little frustrating. Bottom line, I have been relied on as a regular staff, which I was told I wouldn't be. But some unforseen things happened and that is life. We got a new person this week and she seems great so far, and another new one should be starting next week. I think I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But right now I am not in a very good place. The supervision I have been doing while my regular supervisor is gone has not been very helpful to me. I leave each session feeling knocked down and discouraged, completely opposite of how I should be feeling. I am not being encouraged to do the goals I helped come up with, but instead being told what I should do instead, and it is not what I had in mind. I should stop here before it goes on. The great staff and kids keep me going, that is when they aren't mad at me for being the "mean" Ms. Maria. However if things seriously do not get better, I am thinking of changing my practicum next semester (it is supposed to be for the whole year). I would still work at Americana though. I really don't think it will come to that though, at least I really hope so!

I have been super busy lately because I had several assignments due this week, including a ten page paper. And I still have one more paper to write for Friday (but only three pages). I decided to take the night off school work. Pretty much all I did this whole past weekend was read and write papers. Not much fun. I did take a break on Saturday to go over to our friends' place and watch a couple episodes of "Firefly." What a great show! Created by the same guy who did "Buffy." It only lasted a season though, but it is so good. Can't go wrong with space cowboys I guess. In other exciting pop culture news, the new Evanescence CD came out yesterday! They hadn't released a new once since their debut over three years ago. So I was very excited. I love it. And the premeire of Lost was tonight! I really hope they start answering some questions soon too! But it was a good one. And another thing to look forward too....I have a "fall break" soon. No classes Monday or Tuesday. I still have to go to work and practicum, but get out of 3 classes, plus doing the work I would do for these classes. But there is a lot I should catch up on. I also have some fun plans for this weekend, including seeing "Rent" which is in town! I am so excited! I am looking forward to a fun weekend because I really need it. I hope I can survive these two years.