In all honestly, I feel like this is coming and going with very little fanfare. I guess that’s a holdover from the last time I graduated from UCLA (B.S. Psychobiology ’12), in which I skipped my commencement and graduation ceremonies, and I guess had a cause/effect of people not really recognizing said “achievement” of finishing undergrad. And I guess since this graduation from Concorde Career College – Garden Grove (A.S. Physical Therapist Assistant ’16) feels very much like consolation prize or loser’s bracket for finishing, there’s even less fanfare and elated feelings associated with this. I mean, I’m glad to have finished (or officially will finish next Wednesday), and that the past 2 years of work puts me on track for a career path, this isn’t exactly the picture I drew up coming out of high school 8 years ago (c/o ’08).
Nevertheless, it’s been a tough and long 2 years, filled with very few breaks, lots of studying, and a camaraderie of 25 other peers who’ve made it through the program (like 4 withdrawals in GE and 1 failing in first term of PTA classes), so we’ve done good. And I guess my personality portends to a smaller social circle, and I’m appreciative for that small support group through this schooling phase. The studying isn’t over, as there’s still a state board exam that I’ve to complete in October, but after that, career life awaits.
My sister (unable to attend because of upcoming finals in Norcal) joked that with my track record of graduations (2008, 2012, 2016), it seems like there’ll be another one in 2020. Funnily enough, one version of my future plans aligns exactly with that. Work 2 years, get back to school in 2018 for DPT, and graduate 2020. That’ll really feel like an achievement if I can get there, what with how roundabout the past few years have felt.
I guess I should also talk about the 2nd and 3rd clinical rotations I’ve had, seeing as I really haven’t since completion of the 1st.
2nd clinical rotation was split between an outpatient facility (like my 1st, but much smaller) and an outpatient facility connected to an orthopedic clinic and a small hospital (inpatient setting). So my time was spent doing 75% outpatient (same as clinical 1) and 25% inpatient, but they were either very high level or very low level. So this was a pretty easy 6 weeks, but did not adequately give me the proper background/exposure to prepare me for what was to come in the 3rd rotation. Very nice people, and my instructor had a tendency to overextend with niceness in all areas, meaning that she fell behind schedule, and as a result, I had many days where I spent extra time after hours. Eh.
3rd clinical rotation was one of the toughest moments of my life. I only survived 4 out of 6 weeks before my school decided to pull me out and have me finish the last 2 weeks in another location. According to my instructor, I could never do anything right, and when we had a meeting with my school rep, my instructor, and my instructor’s supervisor, my instructor and her sup said they didn’t think I’d pass in given amount of time. It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard such negativity about my performance. Not that I assume I’d excel in everything/anything I’d do in life, but still a shock. Then when I moved out of the acute rehab hospital to a nursing home, and my new instructor reviewed my midterm review, he saw no basis for my previous instructor’s grading of my performance based on what he saw with me. So beyond the 4 weeks where I legit thought I’d fail the rotation and the program and lost weight through stress, the last 2 weeks weren’t too bad, and I got to experience a nursing home setting, where I think would be my desired place of employment. But. We’ll see.
Which reminds me. I should get that resume ready/sent out.