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Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Seattle Getaway, Volunteering at School

Last weekend I went to Seattle for a physical therapy class. The class is on post-partum and pregnancy techniques for physical therapy and 75% of the class was hands on lab practice. My lab partner, Swerta, lives in Detroit and is originally from India. Because of religious and dietary restrictions, she cooked all of her food for the 3 days and brought it with her. She shared her rice/peanut dish and asparagus/brocolli calzones with me on the first day; they were amazing. On our last day, she sent me off with homemade breadsticks which I consumed when I was stuck in Anchorage for 36 hours because of bad weather in Kodiak. We had a good time sharing stories about our physical therapy practices and talking about our plans for the future. There is nothing like being in a room with so many other women who have common interests and goals professionally.

Swerta and I both have moderate amounts of manual therapy experience and we were able to give each other very concise feedback on the techniques we practiced. The 3 lab instructors would circulate throughout the room and demo the techniques on us, so we could see what they were supposed to feel like. Since being back this week, I have already used the techniques countless of times with all of my clients--with good success. Its always great to go to classes and get new treatment ideas and approaches.

On this trip, I learned the art of eating dinners by myself in a bar. The restaurants don't want to give a single person a 2 person table, so off the bar I went. The bartenders are awesome with handing me a menu and feeling right at home. It was fun to watch them madly make their they would converse with the regulars. I had dungeness crab cakes at one place, which were so yummy. I've become a big fan of crab cakes lately! Its nice to just sit, drink, watch, listen. Soak it all in. How often can one do that nowadays?

Today I started my weekly volunteering at St.Mary's and had a great time. There are some wonderful, sweet kids in Nora's class and it was fun to start to get to know her classmates! Nora's teacher had me take the kindergarteners (her class is K-1) to a different room and do some group activities with them.

At Center time, one of the kids during center time was at the chalkboard easels. She said, "Ms. Zoya, can you sit real still? I"m going to draw you." It was precious! Her drawing came out as good as I can do--a head, arms, legs, circles for hands....

Later in the day, it was a girls birthday and her mom brought cupcakes--with a frosting blanket over the top. It was a cupcake cake from Safeway where are are lots of cupcakes and a thick blanket of partially hydrogenated soybean oil frosting about 2 inches thick over the top. Imagine feeding 23 kids those and the clean up involved! Wow. There were huge globs of frosting everywhere. Made me really thankful that on Nora's birthday, I sent her off with chocolate chip cookies--nice and clean!

I like volunteering not only because I get some time with Nora, but I really will get a chance to meet her classmates and see what Nora does in school. AND help out. St. Mary's requires 20+ hours of volunteer time per family per year, which can be done in the class room, or thrift store, or committees.... I think its great that they demand the parent presence at the school throughout the year.


My lab mate and new friend, Swerta and I at our class in Seattle.

The wood-fired oven pizza van I saw in downtown seattle. Can someone please get one of these outside the brewery?! How cool would that be?!!!!

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