Thursday, January 22, 2009

Senior Seminar Research Project: Part One

I spent all of Fall semester working on my Senior Research Project, and the time has come for me to begin actually carrying out my project. Here's a rundown of what has happened so far:

  • Picked my topic
  • Began researching that topic
  • Developed a Research Proposal that had to be submitted and re-submitted THREE times
  • Gave a formal presentation on what my project is
  • Ordered my materials
Now its time for the fun part! I will be spending lots of time in the lab, perfecting my methods and finally beginning to collect my data.

My project is: The Removal of Escherichia coli from Hard Plastic: The Effectiveness of Several Sanitation Techniques.

The idea for this project came from my work in a PT clinic, and the fact that both my boss and I are germ freaks and are always cleaning equipment that comes into contact with patient skin. And I wanted to know how effective the techniques we use really are. So I'm testing a commercial sanitation spray like we use in our clinic, plain ol' distilled water, UV light exposure, microwave oven exposure, and no treatment.

I'll be sure to post more on how this project progresses!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Back At School, Back At School

Last Monday marked the start of my final semester at Saint Martin's University. My last classes. My last labs. My last everything there. It feels almost like senior year of high school all over again. And I'm not quite sure how I feel yet about being done.

I'm taking Organic Chemistry 2, which both bores and confuses me to death. Also, Pre-Calculus, which is a flashback to junior year of high school. Then there's Interpersonal Communication (a requirement for PT schools), and Senior Seminar, where I carry out my Senior Research Project (more on that in another post). I am also taking a Catholicism class, even though I don't need the extra credits. It's taught by our University Chaplain, Father Benedict Auer, O.S.B. He is who says our Student Liturgy Mass every Sunday evening, and I absolutely love listening to him. He is such an intelligent, experienced, and most importantly, open individual. I can talk with him about a wide range of topics, and feel at complete ease. He also teaches the RCIA class I am taking. I figured this class would tie in well with my RCIA class, and I wanted to develop a further knowledge of Catholicism and the Church.

For the past million years (okay, maybe not literally a million years, but it DOES feel like it) I have been waiting for this time to come. The time of graduating with my degree, and possibly being done with school forever. But now, its snuck up on me (yes, school is a very sneaky thing), and I realize how close I really am to being done. April 3oth will be my last day of class, and then I have finals, and then come May 9th, I'll make that traditional walk down the main staircase, across the Pavilion parking lot, and into Marcus Pavilion. Just like it has been done for many, many years.

And then what happens? I have applied to physical therapy school, but am still not sure I'm ready to enter another three years of college. I'm burned out on school, homework, tests, teachers, and studying. I feel like I want the opportunity to focus on other things in my life more, without the burden of school.

But I also worry about not going back. Will I miss it? More than likely. Regret the decision? Quite possibly. Will I enjoy life free from school stress? Absolutely.

So what is the right decision then? I guess that is still yet to be determined....