Sunday, May 3, 2009

I miss OT *sigh

The sad thing about doing only two papers this year is that I feel Im getting rusty with my passion for Occupational therapy. To think I fought the biggest fight of my life (so far) which had physical, emotional and spiritual repercussions in order to even get provisional entry in the degree course down here in Otago Polytechnic then to be accepted was the greatest accomplishment Ive ever done after the hellhole of 2006. Like the Shawshank Redemption - I had to go through a dark and terrifying tunnel of shit before I could come out clean.
First year in Dunedin was wonderful - no wait, it was the most beautiful liberation ever. Although I moved away from my mother and boyfriend, I had to do it for my own growth. The papers were interesting. Some extraodinarily difficult ie kinesiology paper and a few others but most were facinating and I got good marks.

Second year was another growth period. I started flatting for the first time. Good and bad times came out of that. But it was fast paced at polytech. The third years and lecturers warned us that it was going to be our toughest year. two one month placements in the middle of each semester as well as the workload that comes with doing 7 papers no one person could not handle without at least one emotional breakdown. Quite obviously this happened to me, while becoming a social recluse and doing too many frequent allnighters which resulted in me developing insomnia at night and hysteria during the day. Not a pretty sight...
So many people dropped out that year.

Amazingly I passed all of my papers save for one which I did so bad, the marker told me it was the worst mark she'd ever given in that one paper. Pretty shameful I know, though at the time I was more concerned about my emotional state and I allowed that remark to go over me like water off a ducks back - which incidently was thrown back at me at new years.
The second semester of last year was a mixed bonfire of warmth and hell as well. I was redoing a 1st year reflections paper that I failed only by 2% then later misread the reassessment requirements (the word "doh!" is appropriate here). So all in all I was working full time at a neuro rehab clinic in auckland while doing 8 full time papers. But I organised my time much better this time and by the time I got back to dunedin my refection paper was half way done and I was much more prepared for my practical exams.

Weird thing is is that my grades did not correlate with the work I put in. My 1st paper (or so I thought) was bloody good. After all I'd read the reading material and two qualified OTs helped me with ideas and such. I handed that paper in actually believing it was A- material.
By the time was over and the summer holidays began I started to worry about that paper. I got my marks back from all but that one paper and passed. Weird thing is is that I got all A's for the papers I did only an average amount of study to and got C- for the papers I put my blood sweat and tears into. Weird..

On the day of my birthday dinner with my boyfriend, after recieving no news whatsoever about the paper I had redone, I recieved a very abrupt letter from one of my lecterers stating my expulsion from the degree course because of my second failure in that paper. Later on that evening, my boyfriend was cheated over 500 dollars for a bottle of wine he did not intend to buy and out of grief over the letter and our hard earnt holiday money being forcefully spent on a 12 year old bottle of red - I drank only half a glass of the stuff and later on had a five day hangover as well as food poisoning. My mum rechons that my stress reaction to the letter then drinking a glass of good quality blackmailed wine would definitely have propelled anyone the urge to cry and vomit continuously for five days.

A week after that, I became angry. VERY angry. Being a christian I believed with all my heart from the age of 14 that God had chosen my career as an occupational therapist. I wasnt as intellectually brilliant at OT compared my teachers at highschool choice for me of doing a Masters degree in History (which I still happily study as a hobby), but I was passionate about OT. I love how I've grown professionally over the past two years - I love studying the theory and then going out into practice with real clients and actually seeing the results of my study in others. I have loved the feeling of servitude and going home after work and feeling happy and content and feeling as if I was a part of making the world a better place. Not to mention the more I learnt about the profession of OT the more glad I was that I chose to do it instead of doing History. As my mum told me this year - In this day and age of recession, there is always a need for OTs to be employed and I would never have any trouble finding a job compared to having a Phd in History and not knowing what to do with it after graduation.

I fought tooth and nail to be let back in and after finding out I'd only be allowed to do the two papers I previously failed this year I drove all the way to Moeraki Boulders to cry my eyes out (I was still just a tad angry).

Well now its May '09. And truth be told Im glad to have had the chance to have a break. Im sleeping like Ive never slept before, I have the energy to actually exercise and am actually earning money for my last placements next year so I dont have to add more to my debt. Im socialising more and enjoying church and spiritual growth much more than I ever hoped. And now that the second half of the semester is up and running again, Im looking forward to learning OT again. I miss the bulk learning, but Im also certainly enjoying my flexible timetable and am relishing in it. By February next year I will be refreshed and ready to finish my last year of study. Goodness knows how much Ive put into it.

I love OT !!

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