Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Spring Lineup

First week of spring classes are happening this week, and it kind of feels like spring here in Georgia. This semester we take five classes, plus a one week fieldwork in the realm of mental health. Previous students and professors warn that this semester is a lot of work. It is also said that a lot of practical knowledge is learned now, and it is a lot of fun.

The first class I have is mental health programming. This class is going to focus on assessments and interventions used in mental health. It appears that the big project in this class is to lead a group session. The group will consist of other classmates pretending to have different dysfunction. I am worried about this class because I feel like mental health is very emotional and that is not one of my strong suits. I feel like I am going to be challenged often.

Next we have Assistive Technology and Therapeutic Adaptations. I am really excited about this class. We have to do a home and community assessment on wheelchair accessibility. We perform this by actually taking a wheelchair out to one of our homes and somewhere in the community. We also have a family we are working with that is building a new home for their son with muscular dystrophy. We are helping design the home. The class is broken up into different groups to design different rooms. We still have to work together to make it cohesive. I am working on the son's bedroom. I am so excited. We get to do something with a real client. The families they have done in the past have implemented most of the changes that the students suggested. We also have to develop an assistive device for a real person of our choosing. There is a fair where patent lawyers will examine our devices as well as the professors. The have had seven ideas patented from past years due to this project. This project still scares me because I have no idea what I am going to do yet.

I am also taking movement analysis. The professor is making the class a lot of fun, but it is mostly a lecture and exam class. Did you know swinging your arms allows you to walk faster than if your arms were crossed in front of you or in your pockets? Also walking develops more core and leg muscle strength than running. Who would of known?

Kinesiology is my next course. The big project in this course is to make a movie analyzing a ten second movement. You never think of all the coordination that goes into a seeming simple task, such as brushing your hair. There are also a lot of labs involved in this course. I am ready to try some hands on stuff.

The last class is neuroscience. We are focusing on the anatomy of the brain first, but then we move into how it works. That is the stuff I like. This is the only time we will have a professor that is not an OT other than anatomy. It is going to offer some different perspectives.

It's a strong line up of courses. Here's to hoping I can handle it all!

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