Saturday, May 4, 2013

rabies and Camping

April 22nd – April 28th

Welp, Monday was very relaxing day. I was supposed to shadow another psychologist, but that got cancelled. :/ Instead, I got a haircut, worked out, ate some good food, and relaxed.

Tuesday was an interesting day! Well, that evening was at least. I had my last civic engagement event. We had like four guest speakers. Two of them were husband and wife who talked about homelessness among veterans from first-hand experiences. The husband was a veteran who became homeless after leaving the service, and he met his wife at a homeless shelter. She wasn’t a veteran, though. The speaker to follow them was another veteran who had experience with homelessness. At this time, he is actually homeless. He has been in and out of homelessness for a while. Right now, though, he is working on getting his education. He was a fantastic speaker! He is on his way to getting his masters degree too. The last dude was a former Major in the Army. He talked about the problems Vietnam Vets had when returning home, and he told us what he has been working on since Vietnam. Before he retired, he was an attorney who helped draft up some legislature to make sure vets who had Agent Orange sickness get treated. He also worked on other pieces of legislature to make sure veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan get better treatment. He was super interesting! The highlight of that night, however, was my run in with a homeless man, ironically. It turns out, it was the same dude who approached me at Union Station and asked to eat my food! He’s updated his story a little bit sense then. First off, he is still a smooth talker like he was before. Typically, I do not stop for homeless people (for safety, not because I am a jerk), but he is just so friendly! His handshake lingered too long, which I found odd. He’s updated his story a bit since last time! Haha No apparently his wife, who he pointed to (no one was there besides the dude he was walking with before he stopped me), needed some food. He had two bucks and he just needed help to get $4 so he could get a dinner meal at the convenience store he pointed to. A: the store he pointed to is a liquor store. B: they don’t have a $4 dollar dinner deal there. I politely declined and walked away. Oh, and to put the icing on the cake, he told me his name is Anaconda. That made my night. Haha

Wednesday was super interesting! Work was slow and we didn’t have much to do, but that afternoon was intriguing! I got to attend a brain cutting session! Well, typically they have a brain to dissect, but this time they just had microscope slides and a slide show! The reason they did not have the brain was because it was at the CDC, I believe. The brain we looked at was from a patient who had a kidney transplant around 14 months ago, and subsequently contracted rabies from the donor. It was a big deal! We had been following the case in the office since we heard about it, so it was surreal to see first-hand what we were reading about. It was interesting to see how the rabies affected the brain. I am not familiar what brain matter looks like under a microscope, so I cannot make a very good comparison of what it does. However, they pointed out what it does, and it was easy to see. Here is a link to the news article about the patient!
After work, I went to yet another performance at the Kennedy Center! They are doing a special on New Orleans music, so it has been fun! This week was a trumpet player who combines different jazz aspects with pop, rock, and hip-hop. It was really good! The band, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, was very energetic and got the whole crown involved! It was great. He had like a compact trumpet, or something like that; I had never seen such a small trumpet before! The band consisted of the a trumpet/singer, Grammy Award winning bassist, a bad-A stereotypical R&B/hip-hop drummer, guitar/singer, keyboard player, and percussionist/trombone/singer! It was a very  unique sound, but they pulled it off very well. They also managed to pull off a mash-up of Adele’s song “Rolling in the Deep” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Team Spirit.” It sounded fantastic!!!

Thursday was a quick day! I got to help out the business office answer some phones because they were short staffed; a lot of people were out sick that day! It was super easy. I felt like I was back at financial aid at RSU again. A lot of the people calling were checking on if their checks were in the mail to pay for an outsourced procedure and that their claims were taken care of, so people were somewhat stressed about that. On top of that, the answering machine was backed up 64 messages (all of which I had to write down and clear), so people hadn’t heard back because no one had gotten their message. Luckily, I was used to dealing with disgruntled people from financial aid, so it wasn’t too bad.

Friday was pretty much a blur, but luckily the weekend made up for it. On Saturday, I had to do my last civic engagement event! I had to help set up a table for the VA at the first annual LGBT Veterans Convention! Since I helped with modifying the facility policies and procedures to be more accommodating for the LGBT community and to fulfill the Healthcare Equality Index Survey for 2013, helping with the event was like seeing things come full circle. After I did that event, I booked it on out to my friends place so get could get started on our camping trip! The trip was awesome! We explored Cotoctan National Park and Cunningham Falls State Park. We wound up camping in the state park. After we got settled in our spot, we hiked around and went to the waterfalls. They were amazing!!! I sorta kinda twisted my ankle on a rock, but it wasn’t too bad. That night, all I had for sleeping was a pillow and two sleeping bags… no tent, pad, or anything. The first bag I tried to sleep in was made for midgets I am pretty sure. Eventually, I used that one like a mattress and the second one like a blanket. I slept on the picnic table for the first half of the night, but then my face got too cold so I moved to the car. The next day, we packed up, went to his place, had Chipotle, and then I went home. 

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