Tag Archives: audiology

A Look Ahead–2015 Goals, Not Resolutions

1 Jan

Last year, having a monthly post with my goals already written out was really helpful.  I liked doing a monthly accountability check–even if it was boring for you to read.

This year, I think I’m going to have less goals, but no less important.

Gorge N1 2014

2014 Maintenance Goals–keep these going!

The key is to be specific, but not box myself in a corner.  And to be mentally prepared to do it, have a plan, and establish a routine.

A]  run at least 1 mile 1st thing in the morning every day.

B]  For school I would like to read and outline all my textbooks before school begins in the fall.  Additionally, I think it’s worth mentioning (to myself) that I want to keep up on making my flash cards and study sheets as close after class as possible–for every class.  All semester.

C]  I want to be better about collecting my positive moments in a jar (minimum of 2/mo), as well as listing (in my head) what I’m thankful for daily.  As part of this, I want to appreciate nature, love, and things I already have.  Worrying can only take up a maximum of 15 minutes/day.  EVERY day.  Also, I need to remember to do my very best, but not stress out and look for perfection.  It’s a fine line.

D]  Dental health.  Floss daily, brush twice daily for an adequate time, and find a way to make the dentist happen at least once in the next year.

2015 Aspirations (in no particular order):

#1:  Get the money.  Make it, keep it.money

a)  I would like to do the 365 day money challenge where you save a dollar +1 every week of the year.

b)  Sell a minimum of 1 item on Craigslist per month and have one yard sale.

c)  Apply for every funding opportunity at UU, and go for scholarships once I’m eligible for them.

#2:  All about the AuD.Audiogram-Familiar-Sounds

a)  read the journals, e-mails, forums–and the national news (minimum of average of 1/wk)

b)  practice and prepare for the interview (at least 1 question/wk)

c)  really follow-up on observing an AuD.  I need at least 3 hours for admission to UU, and of course it’s important that I get more.  It would also be ideal to get it in a variety of settings, but I’ll start with the minimum of 3 hours and scale the goal up from there if I can accomplish it.

#3:  Cool.Spring Finals 001

This is highly dependant on Cool’s bipolar, anxiety, and medications.  I want to be more affectionate, dare I say, sweet and less judgemental.  I will look at this as a continuum though since this is very dynamic area.  I’ll try to be one level more than the responsible that I always am then Cool’s current mood state.   I define this as:  tolerant = overlook silliness, don’t engage or poke the bear.  Affectionate = say random I love yous, introduce touching (nuff said, and you get the idea).  Sweet = make a spontaneous grand gesture, do something for her, that I maybe don’t normally like or do.  So if she’s having a terrible month, being a real jerk, irritable, mean, and lazy–I’ll try to be both responsible AND tolerant.  If we’re having an awesome month without problem, I’ll try to not only be affectionate, but go the extra mile to sweet.  So I’ll rate Cool’s behavior on a level of 1 (awful) to 3 (beautiful) and try to be tolerant, affectionate, sweet in accordance with that.  This way the goal is more in my control and works with whatever is happening to Cool.  Mental illness complicates things, but I want to rise above it.

#4:  Make a menu, do a grocery list, grocery shop, and cook. I think if I start out simple in order to establish a routine, this will go better.Easter 022

a)  I thought of the 7 easiest meals I know how to cook:   quesadillas–>tacos, spaghetti–>fancy pasta, mac & chee–>add-ins, PB&J–>grilled chee, oatmeal–>add-ins, eggs–>scramble, pigs in a blanket–>snake bites.  We can start with the easiest version, then move to the more complex as we get into the groove.  If we really find success, we can branch out with new dishes.

b)  I’d like to start with 5 days of cooking per week (with opening a can of chilli, stew, hash, soup, or bag of salad for a cheat day) and hopefully grow it to all 7.  So that takes care of the menu and helps the cooking.

c)  We can grocery shop once weekly, let’s say optimally Sunday morning, but if that’s not possible Sun-Tues (to save time).  I WANT this one, it’s just hard to make it a habit.

#5:  Prepare, but don’t stress out.Laurel's pics 026

I want to do everything in my power to set myself up for the move, for school, and excelling throughout the school year.  I want to work continuously on this one, doing at least 1 thing every week towards the future.  I’ll start with a big 3:

a)  Starting all these goals

b)  Completing my taxes and FAFSA just as soon as I receive my paperwork.

c)  Finally cleaning, organizing, and packing (pick one new area every non-work day).

d)  Then set a monthly deadline for at least one additional task.

To help me accomplish these 5 new goals and maintain the 4 older ones, I’ll do a monthly accountability post like last year and make a poster I can see daily.

Best Moments of 2014!

30 Dec

It was a good year, though not in the way of travel and events.  It was just a nice, stable year (for me, Cool was swinging up and down rapidly) which is what I needed.  Here are the bigger moments that were important from 10-best:

#10:  Getting to snowboard again

EZ123 3rd snowboard 118

I love being good at things!  And the instructors said I was a fast learner, and I felt confident on the slopes.  It was good to be back in the bindings.  Cool’s accident and resulting ambulance ride, emergency room visit (and those bills) lower this 2014 moment to closer to the bottom of the list.

#9:  Bike Swap and Snowboard  Swap

bike swap 4-10-14 017

These were really exciting adventures!  The research, the shopping, the event.  And the dreams for our future sports endeavors–not to mention our purchases were super-fun.  And Cool and I got along famously at both–no bipolar issues these weekends-whew.

#8:  Finishing my post-bac at Riverpoint (and keeping my 4.0 GPA)

CN ref both flaps open

The anticipation had been killing me.  I looked forward to this for TWO years, so when it happened it felt pretty sweet.  This is low on the list because the huge accomplishment (in my mind) was a little underscored by others and didn’t receive the acclaim I felt it deserved.  Finishing 27 upper-level courses in an entirely new and unfamiliar field–WITH straight A’s is a big deal in my mind–even if it didn’t garner me an actual degree.

 #7:  Two DMB shows–with SEATS.  And Brandi Carlile to open both shows.

celebrate we will 3

Usually this would take the #1 spot–and having 2 shows with seats–it SHOULD.  But Cool and I had probably our worst fight ever the first Friday so it’s not the perfect memory I anticipated and desire.  Obviously, it still makes the list because, hello, the Gorge, Brandy opening (and acknowledging our sign), DMB, the setlist game, merch, and SEATS!

#6:  Being named a finalist in a noise-induced hearing loss prevention poster contest!

NIHL color pic

I enjoy showing my creativity, and who doesn’t like winning something?  My poster will be featured at the annual AudiologyNOW conference and may even win!  In which case I get all proceeds for the life of the poster.  It’s cool and it’s exciting.

#5:  The relief I felt when I quit veterinary assisting

retirement from vet med 013

Even though the financial consequences were scary, I instantly felt better.  Removing those toxic influences was difficult, but well worth it.  It was time to go, and I’m in such a better place since I did.  I just had enough, and it feels good to be away.

#4:  Going to MT over Independence Day and My birthday

Cool Grizz attack

This one’s slightly lower, because before we left home, Cool was an irritable turkey so that puts a bit of a damper on the memory.  Pow-Wow is always fun, but this item is down in the rank because I had a bad allergy attack.  Leaving pow-wow to stay at a hotel in Missoula was amazing.  One of the best showers of my LIFE!  The bathtub was full of dust, and my allergens (temporarily washed away).  It felt nice staying in an oversized room with a TV and sleeping in a cozy bed instead of car-camping at the pavillion.  It was partially so nice because it was an unplanned treat and everything fell into place nicely–which rarely happens to me.  Also seeing how adorable Missoula is over my birthday weekend, and dreaming of “summering” there was exciting.

#3:  Satisfaction of running 1 mile every day of the year

house-sitting post run

It’s a really big deal, because not only am I really busy most of the time–I’m lazy.  I’m very proud to remain in shape, counter my poor eating habits, and do something not that many other people are able to achieve.  I’m going to see how many days in a row I can keep this up.

#2:  My parents visited!

Dad's 70th B-day visit 020

We had a week full of family activities and my dad turned 70!  Everyone (except Aunt Linda) was on their best behavior and I felt like a real family unit.  I loved that everyone had fun and Cool was made to feel 100% part of the family.  And all the free food and fun activities didn’t hurt my feelings either 😉

 #1:  The Sky-Fest Air Show

loading docktraffic jam in the sky

Was a genuinely amazing time, not ruined by bipolar, sunburns, or lack of funds.  Cool and I were together and both of us happy and excited.  We got to spend the day outside, and tour the planes, and spectate at the shows.  We got burned and thirsty, but we were still in great spirits.

Independent Woman

16 Dec

I told Cool that if I ever lose the use of my legs or need diapers to euthanize me. That is how important my independence is to me.

So I’m very skeptical I would like to be in the military. I know full-well that the affordable housing, job opportunities, and paid tuition–come at a cost.  Once you sign on that dotted line the government owns you.  You are no longer a free agent.  Sure, they’ll say that they try to accommodate you, but when it comes down to it–you are going to do what the military tells you to do, and that’s it.

I feel guilty about being stubborn against this idea.  But I’m reminding myself that yes, it’s absolutely ok to be stubborn about your own life–I am the one who has to live it.  I don’t have to justify my choices to anyone.

Enter my well-meaning parents.  They are worried about how I’m going to pay for graduate school.  I am also super-worried.  They feel like the solution to ALL my problems is going into the Navy.  Which, I could do.  And I’d like to follow in my father’s footsteps, and I’d be honored to serve my country.  BUT the logistics just do not work out for what I want in my life.  But they won’t listen to me.  They don’t hear my concerns, they just think I’m making an uninformed stubborn choice.  And I can tell saying no about this is stepping into a landmine.  It’s going to hurt the good place my relationship with my parents has finally gotten to.  Which sucks!  It was hard work getting to this better place with them.  School funding/Navy is a point of contention, for sure.  Except–you should not join the military for someone else, and you should never do it out of guilt–which is what I would be doing.  I did look into it and here is why it just isn’t going to work for me at this point in my life:

-It’s an 8 year commitment!

That’s a long time.  That’s all 4 years of school AND 4 more.  There is a lot of opportunity for being moved around.  A lot of dealing with less then optimal conditions.  And 8 years to worry about my little family and my own survival.

-I would have to be separated from my family.  

That’s what I have.  It’s my whole support system.  Cool wouldn’t be traveled around with me (more on this later), and I’m sorry if that makes me weak and a whiner–I want to be with her.  Maybe other people can live apart from their mate, but I never want to.  Also, Kitties cannot go to bootcamp, nor to officer training, or to different countries–and moving them around to different states would be difficult at best.  After being separated from them in Seattle–I want my pets to live with me.  I love them and they are my responsibility.

-I am gay.  And this poses many problems:

–Cool and I aren’t married because I think it’s an antiquated tradition, she would ruin my good credit, and I figure why bother when the benefits depend what state you’re in at the time.  In the military, they try to ensure married couples remain together–they could care less about what the law considers a roommate.

–So She and I would have to be apart.  When and how would I see her?  And where would she live?  How would she afford it?  What if her bipolar flared up as it does and things went terribly wrong?  I wouldn’t be there.  That doesn’t work for me.

–Also, being gay may be legal in the military, but that isn’t the same thing as being accepted.  It’s a lot to ask of me to hide a fundamental aspect of who I am.  But if I didn’t I could be teased, hazed, harassed, or even raped.  I want no part of that–and who could blame me?

-I do not want to involve a recruiter

to get specific answers to my questions I have to call a recruiter.  Which I don’t want to do.  They give you the hard-sell.  They gloss over the bad parts and emphasize the good, so you really have to read the fine print anyway.  They spam you!  I don’t want constant phone calls or mailers pressuring me.

-I’m fearful about the training and expectations.  

I’m not sure I’d like getting screamed at.  With work, I could do the physical stuff, but I in no way want to take my gas mask off for such and such amount of time like you have to in the Navy.  I might be capable of doing it, but I think I would be very unhappy and stressed about it.

-I don’t like travel.  

Basic is 2 weeks in some cold, Great Lake state.  Officer training is in RI–for a month.  You have to spend such and such time per year training who knows where.  They promise you during your service they try to put you where you want to be, but let’s be real, if the government needs you somewhere they’re going to put you there, whether it works for you or not.  And on relatively short notice.  Plus, I have bathroom privacy and hygiene standards that cannot be accommodated in a military lifestyle.  I need a (warm) shower EVERY day!  And a private bathroom stall (with American plumbing) and a door and a fan.

-I don’t want stress, trauma, or long term effects like my dad (and many, many others) have

I’m sensitive,  I don’t want to undergo emotional trauma, physical abuse, and I would be suicidal if I went through the sexxual abuse common in the military and in the Middle East.  I also don’t want PTSD which is a very real side-effect of service.

-I don’t want to risk my LIFE

I also have NO interest of traveling abroad–especially the Middle East.  And I read they are starting to put Audiologists on the forefront of actions because of portable equipment.  Before they mostly did noise-prevention and VA stuff, but with accessible equipment, the government can stop sending soldiers to the closest sound booth (in Germany) after explosions and check them right on the front lines.  That means audiologists are on the front lines.

-And bottom line, the money/perks just aren’t that great.

I can get better stipends from my school, or at the very least loans that don’t involve travel and put my life on the line.  I will find a job once I’m out of school, and I could still do noise-prevention or VA work as a civilian.

I’m going to have to put my foot down to my parents, and I hope it doesn’t cause a big, ugly scene.  But better that then ruining what I want for my life.  I’ll just have to find another way to finance my education.  This is about me and what I want, and nobody–even my parents–gets to demand what path I take.  I just hope they can understand that I’m not just being rebellious, I actually researched and see many reasons why that’s not what I want. . .

Self-Inventory for the Personal Statement

9 Jul

Think long and hard about what you want to say.  Ask yourself some questions to get things started (many of which you considered in making the decision to go to graduate school):

  • Why do I want to go to graduate school?

–I want to have a better life and my B.S. isn’t doing it for me.

  • Where/when did this ambition originate? What/who were the greatest influencers in my decision to pursue this goal?

–I research different career options and audiology was not as competitive as vet med, there was a school where I prevet 041currently live and where I want to move, and the pay/stress was much better.  Secondly, there was a client at the vet hospital where I work that said how she had more work then she knew what to do with, and I liked the security of getting into school, getting a job, and having enough work–especially in this economy.

  • What do I want to be able to do at the end of this program that I can’t do with a BA/BS?

–Find a job (w/a decent starting wage that I could live on) work in a non-stressful environment that is better regulated b/c it deals with people rather than animals.

  • What experience do I have in this field?

–Very little.  Though I belong to 2 professional organizations and they update me on current events and details about the career.  I also helped with community hearing screening through my school.  And I observed a hearing aid dispenser (NOT popular w/the AuD community) to get an idea of what what their job entails.

  • What have I done as an undergraduate student to prepare myself for this graduate program?

loudness vs intensity–Aside from the afore-mentioned hearing screenings and observation, I have worked incredibly heard to maintain a 4.0 GPA.  I also took pre-vet courses such as physics and chemistry that help with my background in audiology.

  • How will I contribute to the collective experience of the admitted class?  How am I different from every other student who will apply for this program?

–My frequent moving has given me a regionally wide perspective and diversity (Indian & politics).

–I have knowledge of other professions (vet med) that gives me a different view.

–I may me older and more mature then many of my 20-something classmates.

–I am gay.

  • Why is this the right program for me?

–Colorado is the state I am passionate about, despite having lived in many other places.  I believe it fits my politics, Welcom to CO sunflowercators to my athleticism with all the nature and recreation, and isn’t too large or too small (or too expensive).

–The program, specifically, will be a great fit because I feel I have an aptitude for audiology that I never had with my pre-vet studies.  I like the repetitiveness of it, the concrete measurements, and the technical aspects of the profession.  I also like that you’re still helping people, but in a more indirect, scheduled manner.

–>this is an area I need to know more about

  • What do I know about this particular school, their programs and their faculty?

–I gather from the faculty research bios I found that this school is focused on noise-induced hearing loss, which I am interested in as a music lover, and family member of 2 close relatives (at least) who I believe got their hearing loss this way.

–From their Tumbler page, I gather the school environment is friendly and has more outreach and activities then my current school, which I like.  I want a friendly, college environment (and accessible professors!), but not a huge, huge university.

 –>this is an area I need to know more about!

-How you explain achievements that are not in the other parts of your application
-How and why those achievements or events shaped your interests, goals, etc.


-Why are you a strong applicant?

–The improvement in my grades from undergrad to current show my commitment to the program, and prove I am a place in my life to make school the number 1 priority.

retirement from vet med 013–I am also a strong applicant, because I have a hard-science background and have worked in a hospital environment through my 14 years vet assistant experience.
o What makes you special?

–I’m older and wiser then I was in my 20s

–I need to look into a typical AuD student profile and see how I’m diverse
o What is impressive about your experiences or life?

–I was born on an Indian reservation, grew up in Northern Nevada, went to undergrad in Missouri, and have lived in a big WA city, and a conservative WA city, before coming to CO.  All of those locations have afforded me different perspectives and views.

–I switched career trajectories after undergrad, which gives me knowledge of BOTH professional avenues.
o What influenced your goals?

Honestly, I liked my chances of getting into school, the career growth and security, the low stress, the very sequential way in which the job is performed, and the pay was reasonable.

o Did you experience any personal or family problems that shaped your character?

–My repeated denial from veterinary school made me take a look inward and I had to reevaluate my goals.64417_1626982438227_1346535529_1679999_4120864_n
o How did you become interested in this field?

–I researched what career would best fit with strengths I already had, the location, and job security.  Audiology made the most sense.
o How have you already learned about this field that prepares you for the next step?

–After taking 3 audiology-focused courses (the only ones my school offers) I realized I liked the material, it made sense, I could get into it and see the rationale behind it, and I have barely scratched the surface of the profession.
o What are your future goals?

–I am keeping an open-mind in regards to the avenue I would like to take in the career.  I don’t know enough about each sub-field to make any educated decisions.  The things I know for sure are that I don’t want to do research or take the phD pathway, and I don’t think I would like to do the intraoperative monitoring (too stressful).  I would love to observe and take more classes on educational, dispensing, rehab, and vestibular audiology to see which options draws me in the most.
o What skills/characteristics of yours will contribute to your success in the

Maico MA-25 audm–I am detail-oriented and like the methodical approach to hearing batteries.

–I like the system of checks and balances that is audiometry.

–find more things!

  • What your career plans include

–I am not 100% certain, but I think I might like educational audiology.  If there are available jobs–it seems like a lot of SLPs are working with schools instead.

–I have an interest in aural rehab to help people like my dad who I feel didn’t get enough of that aspect, which is why he was a non-compliant wearer for so long.  He might have really benefitted from rehab.

–Dispensing would be OK as long as sales weren’t the main emphasis.

–As for location, I want to practice in Colorado–either Boulder, Denver, or an area within reasonable driving distance would be acceptable.

  • Where do you hope to have an impact

–Coming from a rural area, I have a soft spot for providing health care where it has not been widely available.  That said, I want stability and the ability to stay in business.

–I would be happy working with children to seniors, but probably not infants, because in vet medicine I really didn’t like the pediatric model where owners are constantly looking over your shoulder.

  • When did your interest in medicine develop

I wanted to be a veterinarian most of my life, but it never worked out for me.  In searching for back up options, I came Walking about-July 2012 039across audiology and enrolled at Riverpoint.  I thought it might work becaus audiologists are in demand so I knew the profession would provide me with stability.  The choice also made sense because my father, an important influence in my life, has hearing loss.  At first, I wasn’t certain if I would be happy working with people rather than animals as I had dreamed for so long.  My first class showed me that it wasn’t necessarily animals I enjoyed it was taking a stand to help those without voices.  Communication sciences allowed me to do just that.  As I was able to take the hearing-centric coursework, my interest grew even more.  I especially like the predictable manner in which a hearing test battery is carried out.

  • How have you demonstrated your interest and commitment to a career in medicine

Aside from taking rigorous hard-science coursework while many partied in school, I have maintained employment in veterinary hospitals for 14 years.  Currently, I apply myself to my studies, tutor others in my program, and participate in conducting every hearing screening opportunity that I am able.

  • What makes you a unique candidate
  • What makes you unique, or at least different from, any other applicant?
  • What attracts you to your chosen career? What do you expect to get out of it?

The stability, career outlook, and livable wages are factors for certain.  I am also drawn to the search and confirmation of hearing pathologies, and like the many avenues the career offers across the lifespan.  I can see myself successfully helping people gain functional communication to enhance their quality of life.

  • When did you initially become interested in this career? How has this interest developed? When did you become certain that this is what you wanted to do? What solidified your decision?

It was relatively recent that I thought about audiology as a viable career option.  The profession isn’t as visible as more cliche dream-careers and I never gave it much thought.  After my veterinary run fizzled, I looked into it and thought I could make that work.  Through my classes, reading of Student Academy of Audiology scientific journal articles, and my own experience performing hearing screenings, I have gained an excitement, and dare I say aptitude, for the work itself.

  • What are your intellectual influences? What writers, books, professors, concepts in college have shaped you?

–I enjoyed learning about the hearing mechanism, pathologies, audiometric techniques, and available technologies in my three audiology-focused undergraduate courses.  I would say I have been most influenced by my aural rehab class, because it opened my eyes to how well patients can adjust, given not only the proper tests and amplification, but the more human aspects–counseling, support, and rehabilitation.  I could easily make the connection to my Dad’s poor/negative experience, non-compliance, and general dissatisfaction and the resulting communication breakdowns and lack of good aural rehab.  The course motivated me to want to help patients as people, and not just test hearing and fit an aid.

–I only watch a documentary called “Sound and Fury” that opened my eyes to feelings about cochlear implants.  I saw perspectives of the deaf community, significant others, the hearing community, and medical professionals.  The movie impacted me, because as a member of the hearing community I have not been exposed to Deaf lifestyles.

  • How has your undergraduate academic experience prepared you for graduate/professional school?

–As a student, it taught me how to study, prioritize, and set boundaries.  I learned basics of science and entry-level communication theories and practices.

–As a person, college showed me how to be more independent, unapologetic for my aspirations, and opened my eyes to different regions, politics, and ways of life.

  • What are two or three of the academic accomplishments which have most prepared you?

Auroa–I think working full time at a veterinary hospital and taking pre-veterinary course work, which entailed many labs taught me how to manage time and organize my life.  I worked under pressure constantly and learned how to manage a full schedule.

  • What research have you conducted? What did you learn from it?

–I have not conducted my own research, but I have assisted other with projects.  At MU, I helped collect temperature data and care for dairy cattle, than hogs.  I learned_____, and it applies to audiology_____

–I didn’t organize the grant money, animal subjects, or staff, but as a Senior in Animal Science I studied the impact of ergovaline on rodent populations in the environmental physiology lab I worked in.  I found the research didn’t take that long, but maintaining the animal welfare and doing paperwork was the majority of the work.  The other thing I learned was that meticulous records and procedures are necessary.  Keeping orderly, meticulous records will help me in the audiology profession to administer the correct test, track patient hearing over time, and manage the amplification payment processes.

–Typing language samples of toddlers at Riverpoint gave me insight into parent-child interactions, and exposure to different child-rearing tactics that will give me more tolerance toward patients from all walks of life.

  • What non-academic experiences contributed to your choice of school and/or career? (work, volunteer, family)

–my father’s hearing loss

–getting into a more regulated profession than vet med

–hearing screenings

  • Do you have specific career plans? How does graduate or professional school pertain to them?

–I know I was to be in the audiology field.  And I know I don’t want to go the phD route or surgical monitoring specialty.  Because I have only had 3 audiology courses, I don’t feel like I could make an informed career choice beyond that.  Before I shut any doors, I want to learn theory, observe practice, and experience more options in the audiology field.  I do want to help people enhance their communication, but I’m not sure which population I would be most suited to work with.  UNC’s AuD program is perfect to help me decide the right route for me.  The fact we will get to see both medical and educational audiologists prior to the externship will give me the necessary exposure to a wider variety of audiological specialties than other schools.

  • How much more education are you interested in?

–My finances would like me to be finished and practicing in the profession right now.  I can do the next four years, especially since 2 of those are clinical years, but I wouldn’t want to complete 8 more and go for a phD or speciality license.

  • What’s the most important thing the admissions committee should know about you?

–I am ready to work hard and when I put my mind to something I will get it done to the best of my abilities.  I have quad in snowarranged my life around this aspiration and as such I am ready to make a large impact.

  • Think of a professor in your field that you’ve had already and that you like and respect. If this person were reading your application essay, what would most impress him or her?
  1. Think of your characteristics or actions that make you distinctive. How would your friends describe what’s important about you to someone who doesn’t know you? Try writing a story about an incident from your life that illustrates one of these characteristics.
  2. Think of one of the most significant learning experiences in your life — an Aha! moment — when you finally understood something for the first time. Write about this experience and relate it to your development and your aspirations.
  3. What do you care about most deeply?
  4. What matters to you?

Ethics matter to me a great deal and I try to reflect inwardly and align my intentions with my actions.  I try to take the high road and do what I know is important and right.  Using my whole-heart along with common sense is important to me, and I’m striving to put those things to action all the time–even when it’s difficult–especially when it’s difficult.

  1. How have you spent your time in the past few years toward working to further this passion or dream?

flashcards 002In the past few years, I have gone back to school, as an alternative student, not the 20-something norm.  This required me to rearrange my priorities in such a way that I could focus my efforts on my studies and furthering my experience in a new field–which was never easy.  I had to gain independence, stop seeking the approval of others, and follow my own path.  This was disappointing to some people, but ultimately, it was imperative that I change direction and pursue what I feel is the most important thing–achieving good grades in order to succeed in school.

  1. What are your plans for fulfilling your dreams?

I plan on moving to a new state in order to matriculate to an audiology program, put finances on hold to pursue education, and invest my whole heart in learning the most I can about speech & hearing sciences so I can help create a humanistic and thorough audiology practice.

  1. Try writing about your current and future efforts, perhaps illustrating #1 or #2.

-What errors or regrets have taught you something important about yourself?

I am hesitant to look upon lessons I’ve learned as mistakes and regrets.  I did the best I could at the time, using what I knew, and what I had at those times.  Somethimes I wished things had turned out differently, but I didn’t have the appropriate tools at my disposal all the time to make that happen.  Therefore, I look at this question as what lessons I have learned–not what errors did I overcome.  I learned that I need the GPA, even over experience or work obligations.  I may not agree with it or think it’s best, but admissions into higher education programs comes down to quantitative walking at workcomparisons.  I have scaled back my work dramatically from the first time around.  I have also resisted joining a lot of clubs or extracurricular activities, even though I am a natural joiner, leader, and team-player.
• When have you been so immersed in what you were doing, that time seemed to evaporate while you were actively absorbed?
• What ideas, books, theories or movements have made a profound impact on you – be honest.
• To what extent do your current commitments reflect your most strongly-held values?
• Where or how do you seem to waste the most time?

I like organizing things

Spending time with my family
Under what conditions do you do your best, most creative work?

I do best when given clear expectations, concrete examples, plenty of time, low pressure, and positive feedback.
• To what extent are you a typical product of your generation and/or culture? How might you deviate from the norm?

• Where/when did this ambition originate? What/who were the greatest influencers in my decision to pursue this goal?
• What do I want to be able to do at the end of this program that I can’t do with a BA/BS?
• What experience do I have in this field?
• What have I done as an undergraduate student to prepare myself for this graduate program?
• How will I contribute to the collective experience of the admitted class? How am I different from other students
applying to this program?
Why is this the right program for me?

welcome 2Honestly, the cost of living and proximity to housing, school, and work is the best thing about it.  As for the program, I like the emphasis on clear speech because it relates closely to rehab considerations and working to improve speech perception–one of my biggest goals.  I also like the focus on speech & hearing science as physics and technology underlies the whole field and what allows us to provide the best patient care.  The more technology improves, the better the outcomes, and maybe one day the prices will drop because the best amplification techniques are so common they saturate the market.
• What do I know about this particular school, their programs and their faculty?

1. Personal History
Are you heading for graduate school straight from undergraduate? If so, what has happened during your undergraduate years to make you certain that you already know what you want to do with your life?

No, as usual I’ve taken the most winding path toward my goals.  I finished my undergrad degree in 2007, then moved a couple times to new states.  I switched from pre-vet tospeech & hearing sciences.  I liked the prospect of helping the underdog along with the greater regulation for humans.
Are you a nontraditional student, five, ten years past undergraduate school? If so, an interesting part of your story will be what in your adult life has led you to return to school.

My future had always been uncertain and I was always chasing schools.  I moved at least 3 different times chasing college admissions and searching for opportunities.  I wanted more stability, and career I could count on, reasonable expectations that I could find a job, work a long time, and make enough money to pay my student loans and live off of.  I found audiology as I looked for something to fulfill those criteria.

2. Personal Life
 Were there any unusual or difficult circumstances in your childhood? In your undergraduate years?
 Do you have family relatives, especially in your chosen field?
 Was there an adult in your life who was especially influential?

3. Academic Life
 Which ideas, fields of research, or problems especially intrigue you?
 Among the professors you have studied with and in reading you have done, who has influenced you the most? Why?

4. Work Life
 Includes jobs, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, and so on.
 “Real-world” work experience is major influence behind a nontraditional student’s decision to go on to graduate school – “moment of truth” in this type situation can make a compelling statement.
 Traditional students should demonstrate familiarity with and competence in the field they want to enter through their work or activities because an admissions committee might ask “What does she know about this field at the age of 21?”

-Watch out for repetitiveness. Did you already address certain experiences or achievements in another part of your application? Don’t repeat information that has already been provided. For example, there is no need to state your specific
GPA or course titles in your essay since they’re on your transcript.

-What do you think is the overall theme?

o Where is the essay most and least persuasive?
o Do the paragraphs have a logical transition?
o Do the paragraphs consistently move from issue to issue?
o Did I use appropriate adjectives in descriptions?
o Were there grammar or spelling mistakes?
o What could make my essay stronger?

  • What is special, unique, distinctive, or impressive about you or your life story? What details of your life (personal or family problems/ history, any genuinely notable accomplishments, people or events that have shaped you or influenced your goals) might help the committee better understand you or help set you apart from other applicants?
  • When did you originally become interested in this field and what have you since learned about it—and about yourself—that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to this field? This does not mean that you should write, “Why I want to be a lawyer.” Instead, tell what insights you have gained from certain experiences that reinforce your decision to go to law school
  • How have you learned about this field—through classes, readings, seminars, work or other experiences, internships, or conversations with people already in the field.
  • If work experiences have consumed significant periods of time during your college years, what have you learned (leadership or managerial skills, for example), and how has the work contributed to your personal growth?
  • What are your career goals?

-I absolutely want to focus on the human side of audiology across the span of ages, ensuring my patents’ needs are being met, that they understand the underlying issues and how to work the technology as well as have a realistic expectation for improvement, and really focus on remaining with that patient for the long term, guiding them through any difficulties and managing changes.

  • Are there any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record that you should explain (great grades and mediocre LSAT scores, for example, or a distinct improvement in you GRA if it was only average in the beginning?
  • Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships (e.g., economic, familial, physical) in your life?
  • What personal characteristic (integrity, compassion, persistence, for example) do you possess that would enhance your prospects for success in the field or profession? Is there a way to demonstrate or document that you have these characteristics?
  • What skills (leadership, communicative, analytical, for example) do you possess?
  • Why might you be a stronger candidate for graduate school—and more successful and effective in the profession or field—than other applicants?
  • What are the most compelling reasons you can give for the admissions committee to be interested in you?

-It is also important to mention field experiences, like internships, research programs, and extracurricular activities.

-Don’t simply tell me that you volunteered at the soup kitchen, because I probably can read that in your AMCAS application elsewhere. Tell me why you did that, what you learned, how that experience has affected you, and how it will affect the way you intend to practice medicine in the future.

-I taught clogging classes to people aged 4 to 64, which helped me realize I like reading people to identifying weaknesses or confusion and helping them overcome those obstacles.  It’s useful motivation for audiometry, as I will have to counsel people, educate them, and work with them over time to ensure their success.

Transforms blemishes into positives

It’s okay to have flaws! The essay is your chance to show how you have transformed blemishes. For example, if your essay theme is “overcoming obstacles” and you earned a poor grade in a class, but went to a community college at night to repeat the course, it is important for your reader to know this because it is an example of your perseverance. The reader does not want to hear complaints about poor grades or circumstances, but rather wants to know how you have overcome them.

 -Find an Angle

If you are like most people, your life story might well lack significant drama, so figuring out a way to make it interesting becomes the big challenge. Finding an angle is vital. Brainstorm for ideas that emphasize your exceptional qualities, goals, past performances.

-Concentrate on Your Opening Paragraph 
Keep in mind when composing your statement that the lead or OPENING PARAGRAPH IS generally the MOST IMPORTANT. Here you either GRAB the readers attention or lose it. If you are telling a story you will use this first paragraph to introduce the elements most relevant to that story—and the ones that will hold greatest interest for the reader.

  • Determine what you would tell an admission committee member if you had five minutes to answer the question “What is most important for us to know about you?” This exercise will force you to do the type of thinking that must precede the preparation of an effective personal statement.

Interactive Audiology Presentation

2 Jul

I had another presentation today.  This one was for one group of high school students, and one group of (cue scary music:  dun, dun dun) middle school kids.  It was also shorter–like half the time we got last week.  And I knew I could do a YouTube video, but I think that’s kind of a cop-out, especially with younger students.

I knew I wanted to get the students out of their seats, but didn’t really know how to teach ear anatomy, noise-induced hearing loss, or assisted listening devices like that.  I thought about pictionary, but that’s really for review material–not novel teaching.  I asked my mom and she said she only knew of active stuff for review and quizzing.  When I pressed her, she said she could do like 8 activities for math, but not anatomy.  Still, I asked her to give me a sample.  The very first thing she talked about was using manipulatives.  And my advisor had talked about how they had used a funnel to show the function of the pinna before with great success.  That got me thinking. . .


general ear anatomy

My Mom (maybe both of us?) came up with putting “pieces of the ear” in a paper bag and having them kids pluck them out–you know for the gross-out factor of reaching into a bag not knowing what you’re going to get.  Then I came up with all the little objects I could use to show each portion of the ear:

funnel for the pinna/outer ear

drum for the tympanic membrane/ear drum

a hammer for the malleus often called the “hammer”

I used a door stop and taped the anvil coffee logo on both sides for the “anvil”/incus

I had a tiny shoe keychain for the stapes/”stirrup” to show the footplate’s action

I put a brush in a ziplock and filled it with water to have a visual for the fluid-filled cochlea containing hair cells

and finally, a sponge was the brain

education at family weekend health fair

I had the kids pick the items and stand in the front of the room with them, in the proper order.  I moved my arms (next time, I’ll have all the students at the desks wave their arms to involve everyone) to simulate the physical sound waves, then, I went through the function of each part of the anatomy:

My ear canal/funnel person stood there capturing the sound

The drum bagged to show sound hitting & vibrating it

Setting my 3 ossicles (w/interlinked arms) in motion (next time have them hum like a kazoo to show the ossicles vibrating).

My stapes person kicked the oval window on the bag

The inner ear person created gentle waves to stimulate the hair cells to send the sound info to the brain

And my brain/sponge was dipped in the water of the bag/cochlea to show the sound reaching its destination.

loudness vs intensity

Then, we did the whole thing again, but I jumped up and down exaggerated to show LOUD sound.  Everyone exaggerated their motions, the stapes footplate stomping the oval window to create a tsunami and flatten the hair cells.  And that time the sponge (a 2nd sponge) remained dry and unhearing.  It got everybody involved, laughing, and hopefully remembering the hearing process a little better.  And I have to say I was on my A-Game, and really extroverted (not my normal way) and funny and in charge of the scene.

That allowed me to segway to the FM loop where the kids played Simon Says, one in the hallway and one in front of the group doing silly things.

fm trainer

I had a lot of fun, and felt “in the zone” rather then shy and nervous, so it was great.  I could see myself doing little activities to promote prevention as an educational audiologist in my future.  It’s not the same as having to discipline a whole class for an entire day, which is what I didn’t think I’d like about that option.  Now, if I can only track down one of the many videos of the thing so I can put it in my portfolio!

Camp Na Ha Shnee (and my presentation)

28 Jun

I cut & pasted various different articles to give you a good idea of what the camp is about.  Even though it didn’t fall on an ideal day (my Dad’s 70th birthday when they were actually visiting) I rearranged things, because this population is close to my heart, and the mission of the camp important.  Three of us presented for Speech & Hearing Sciences.  We wanted to introduce some aspects of the career (SLP’s have a very diverse scope of practice with a lot of subsets) AND simultaneously give the teens good health info for themselves.  So we focused of voice (anti smoking, tobacco,  & drinking), ears (noise-induced hearing loss, ipods in particular), and the brain (TBI = don’t drink & drive, wear helmets).  I think it went really well, and most of the students were engaged and excited.  Here’s that camp info I told you about:

snake dance 3

The result of an earlier student leadership exercise to give the summer institute a native American-sounding name, Na-ha-shnee is an amalgamation of the words Native American High School Summer Nursing Institute. It has no literal translation in any tribal language. Na-ha-shnee encourages Native American youth to explore and pursue a career in the health sciences while providing learning experiences with native health care providers as teachers and role models.Indian 1

Fewer than 20 Native Americans across the United States have earned a PhD in nursing. One of them, Robbie Paul, Native American Health Sciences director at Washington State University (WSU) Spokane, is dedicated to increasing the number of Native Americans practicing health sciences in the Northwest.  Native Americans represent less than .5% of the health care workforce, and the Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Science Institute is taking steps to engage and expose Native American students to careers in nursing, medicine, exercise physiology, pharmacy, speech and hearing, and more.

The camp is part of a larger effort to solve the shortage of health care professionals in the Native American community, said Robbie Paul, director of the school’s Native American Health Sciences program and founder of the camp.  Paul, a beadworkNez Perce member who has a doctorate in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga, said the camp aims to build confidence in students who might deal with teachers who have low expectations of them.

For more than 17 years, Native American high school students representing various tribes from the Northwest have been given the chance to participate in Na-ha-shnee. Participants in the Na-ha-shnee Heath Sciences Institute represent the Spokane, Colville, Yakama, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Lummi, Umatilla, Blackfoot-Cherokee, Shoshone-Paiute, Cherokee, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Shoshone-Bannock, Tlingit, Chippewa Cree and Siletz tribes. They come from Washington and Oregon.  The program encourages youth to try out a career in the health sciences by providing hands-on learning experiences with Native American health care providers and health science and nursing students.Montana-Nikon 247

When the camp first began in 1995, its sole focus was on nursing. However, once students began expressing interest in learning about other career areas available in heath care, the camp expanded to respond to these interests. Now, Na-ha-shnee includes workshops on nursing, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, exercise physiology, speech and hearing, and brings Native American health care providers in to be teachers and role models for the students.  The camp has grown from six to 12 days and added math, English and leadership training. Students also practice writing tiny tots 5scholarship essays and interviewing with admissions counselors.

Na-ha-shnee is open to high school students who will be entering the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades in fall. The application process includes a written essay on why they want to come to camp and also explaining their interest in health care. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA, have at least taken Algebra I, and have at least a C in their math and science classes.  Traditionally offered exclusively to Native dancer 4American high school students, the program was expanded last year to include students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Na-ha-shnee program partnered with Creating a Nursing Path, a program consisting of 27 high school students. Funded by a workforce diversity grant, Creating a Nursing Path is led by Janet Katz, PhD, RN, associate professor from WSU College of Nursing in Spokane. The purpose of this program is to address the need to graduate baccalaureate-prepared nurses from disadvantaged backgrounds

In its 19th year, the camp has participants from 13 tribes, some from as far away as Arizona’s Navajo Nation. Attendance has grown through recruitment visits to tribal and urban schools, word-of-mouth and the Internet, Paul said.  Of the more than 340 campers over the years, Paul estimates about 70 percent of them have gone on IMG_3847to college.

Paul presented the purpose of the camp as threefold: academic, leadership and cultural. For the latter, Paul uses stories to teach the students life lessons embedded in their tribal heritage.  Paul said that the experience is both an academic and social one for those in attendance. In addition to taking English, science, and leadership classes, students get to experience different aspects of college life such as living on campus, dorm life, and having a roommate.

UU AuD Research

12 Jun

As a graduate applicant you are supposed to have a research focus.  I don’t.  And I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing.  When did they teach us to come up with research questions, tell us about already having established a focus, and how do I know?

I just want to finish an AuD program so I can get a big-girl job as an audiologist.  I’m trying my best to catch up by looking at the research being done at my potential school.  I understand very little of the jargon, and I’m terrified to contact these professors and speak meaningfully about it.  I know I’ll look like an idiot.

But all the get into grad school books and blogs strongly urge students to make contact with a potential advisor before applying.  Since I don’t have an established research focus, I don’t know who the influential people doing my research might be.  So as usual, I’m doing things backward.

They should really have an undergraduate class on the application and research stuff if we are already supposed to know about it before we ever even apply. . .

CI fish

-Assistant Professor, Communication Sci & Disorders, University of Utah
-Dr. Ferguson’s research is focused on speech understanding in older adults, and how speech acoustic characteristics affect that understanding. She is especially interested in the perception and acoustics of clear speech and foreign-accented speech.
-My research is focused on talker factors that affect everyday speech understanding by older adults with hearing loss. Talkers adopt a speaking style called “clear speech” when talking to listeners with hearing loss, but they vary widely in how helpful that clear speech is. Much of the current activity in my lab is centered on identifying the clear speech acoustic characteristics that make speech easier to understand for different listener populations.

Speech Perception Lab: 

–>Articles I think are most to least interesting/relevant<–

[can’t see abstract/article] LaPierre, T.A., Ferguson, S.H., & Jiregna, M.M. (2012) Hearing loss in late life: How couples cope. Journal of the Academy of Rehabilitative Audiology, XLV, 75-97. (http://www.audrehab.org/jara.htm)

*”Effects of talker experience on perceived clarity and acoustic features of clear versus conversational speech”

* “Acoustic correlates of reported clear speech strategies”

*”Accuracy of speech intelligibility index predictions for noise-masked young listeners with normal hearing and for elderly listeners with hearing impairment”

“Intelligibility of foreign-accented speech for older adults with and without hearing loss”

Perceived sexual orientation and speech style: A perceptual and acoustic analysis of intentionally clear and conversational speech”

“Subjective ratings of sentences in clear and conversational speech”

“Vowel intelligibility in clear and conversational speech for cochlear implant users: A preliminary study”

[implications for rehab] “Talker differences in clear and conversational speech: Vowel intelligibility for listeners with hearing loss”

“Creating a speech corpus with semispontaneous, parallel conversational and clear speech”


-Talker differences, Interest Level: 3
Speech perception, Interest Level: 5
Older adults, Interest Level: 4
Hearing loss, Interest Level: 4
Foreign-accented speech, Interest Level: 3

–on google scholar:

-V intelg in convo speech hearing & HOH

-talker dif in clear & convo speech

-acoustic chara of V (clear speech)


-I study how the healthy auditory system adapts to sound; such as when a person enters a noisy environment. To facilitate listening in noise, the auditory system undergoes a series of adjustments that improve the neural coding of sound. My long term research goal is to understand how adaptation enhances perception in noise in normal hearing listeners and how altered adaptation results in degraded perception in noise in hearing impaired listeners.
-Auditory Perception and Psychoacoustics, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Physiology, Interest Level: 4
Computational Models of the Auditory System, Interest Level: 3
Speech Perception and Processing, Interest Level: 2
Pediatric Auditory Assessment, Interest Level: 1

on Google Scholar:

–>very complicated titles<– I cut part of the description for my own clarity

explore the hypothesis that cochlear gain is reduced, in a frequency-specific manner, over the course of a sound 

Abstract Masked detection threshold for a short tone in noise improves as the tone’s onset is 
delayed from the masker’s onset. 

medial olivocochlear reflex (MOCR) has been hypothesized to provide benefit for listening in noise.

–>  lots of articles about this<–

fundamental question in auditory science relates to how the perceptual dynamic range is coded in the auditory system

aud path 1

Anne Lobdell

Brooke Hammond

infant vs adult larynx

-I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Aural Re/habilitation and graduate level Pediatric Audiology. I specialize clinically in children and adults with hearing loss and using cochlear implants.
-Speech development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Language development for children with cochlear implants, Interest Level: 5
Diagnostic pediatric audiology, Interest Level: 4
Auditory training intervention methodologies for persons with hearing loss, Interest Level: 5
Auditory Processing Disorders , Interest Level: 3

on Google Scholar:

-Benefits of Early Identification and Intervention for Children with Hearing Loss.

-dx Alexander DZ w/MR

Childhood adrenoleukodystrophy

-Rett Syndrome

on CV:

[published prior to 2000]

-“Further support for the benefits of early identification and intervention for children with hearing loss”

-“Methods for learners with hearing or visual impairments. ”

-“Birth to 3: A Curriculum for Parents and Their Hearing –Impaired Children”

-“A comparison of audiometric test methods for two-year old children”

-“Language Assessment of School Age Hearing Impaired Children

Kirsti Raleigh

-early detection of ototoxicity

-tinnitus rates from chemo ototoxic

Too Much [to fit in the personal statement]

4 Jun

There are certain things the admissions committee needs to know about me that I won’t have an opportunity to present elsewhere on my application:  Clogging, community service, scholarship awards, clubs, research and sports.  All of it is not going to fit, so I’m trying to tie in things that directly relate to audiology to have strong connections.  It hurts to chop it though.  But I’ve been working most of the day and think I came up with not only a focus, but the organization (very tentatively).  I also have super-way-too much descriptions which I’ll have to majorly cut–but that comes a little later.

Spring Finals 033

Here’s what I think I’m going to do after reading many personal statements and corrections of those, tips on how to write a good PS, and reworking my info:


!my activity [my taits for stated activity]–>how it relates to AuD traits


Passion *spark*

!shopping w/Dad  [compassion]–>humanistic; aural rehab; p follow-thru



!clogging [dedicated; patient teacher]–>dedication; notice uncertainty

!community service clubs [honest; sensitive]–>diverse; compassion; counsel; flexibility; modification

!hearing screens [enthusiastic; thorough]–>refer; thorough

!tutoring in SHS [pass on love of learning; share motivation]–>teach & apply my own knowledge



!vet jobs [detail-oriented; independant; humane; tough; self-driected]–>communication, dx practice, professional, independant

!classes/scholarships [driven; determined; hard-working]–>unstd sci; foundational knowledge, ability to study; aprised of technology; current techniques

!animal science research [critical thinking; meticulous; practical]–>practical; analytical



!lang. transcription research [organized; order]–>effiecient; exposure

!speaker chara (UU emphasis + specific prof/papers) [ethical]–>implications for compliance; p benefit; QoL

!for eventual superior aural rehab in practice [loyal; follow-thru]–> relating back to Dad

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Tighten It Up

28 May

pre-essay–what does an AuD do?

-work independently to dx hearing loss and pathologies, and communication impediments, as well as ascertain quality of life, participation restrictions, and underlying mental/social issues.

-fit appropriate amplification, utilizing a patient-specific model and the best (and affordable) technology.

-provide education/counseling/rehab to patients to ensure reasonable expectations and appropriate benefit.

-follow-up with communication strategies, replaced parts, hearing checks, maint, and updates to hearing/patient situation and technology.

-work with all ages, in many different settings as a confident professional.

-keep apprised of the most recent technology in an ever-changing/evolving field and work to maint & improve current techniques.


-Show don’t tell the quality time with my dad wasn’t because shopping was fun (it sucked), but b/c we are close.

-Make explicit that Dad HAD hearing aids, but turned them down because they were a nuisance or didn’t wear them at all because they didn’t provide enough benefit.

-maybe use this area to say I didn’t give much thought to the hearing at the time, because I was busy being dedicated to vet medicine.  I was using my internal skills of _____ to help the helpless–animals.

My traits are:

–>I just realized this application does not cover extracurriculars/honors/awards so if I want the committee to know about it I must state it in my essay, sad and hard<–

organized, meticulous, detail-oriented, driven, dedicated, practical, honest, determined, loyal, independent, sensitive, tough, hard-working, ethical, a love of learning and patience for teaching.

-I can say independent for working autonomously in audiology with confidence–but knowing when to ask for help or refer.

-meticulous/organized in that I will pick and follow through with the right audiometric tests, and amplification fitting procedures tailored to each patient’s needs.

-ethical/loyal/determined/dedicated/driven to follow through with rehab and make sure communication is functional.

-learning/teaching as evidenced by my experience teaching clogging to all ages, and also tutoring my peers in speech & hearing science coursework, audiometry in particular.  This will help in educating P about hearing loss & pathologies as well as instructing them how to use their amplification.

-next, talk about why this repeated incident sparked my career interest later, after a segway through the more well-known (to children) field of vet medicine.

After veterinary medicine did not work out for me, I thought back to my shopping trips with my father, and how there was a need there I could possibly help fill.  My dad did have hearing aids but turned them down because they were a nuisance or didn’t wear them at all because they didn’t provide enough benefit.  And I could still be helping those without a voice speak for themselves–my motivation for pursuing vet medicine.  I realized by pursing audiology I could not only make amplification available, but provide more adequate follow-up rehabilitation then my dad had access to.

Vet Traits that work for AuD:

non-verbal communication, attention to detail, problem solving, think outside the box, work under financial constraints, being in a medical setting, professionalism, looking at the whole patient picture, collecting a thorough case history, paying attention to stated and unstated facts, science background, chemistry for inner ear/brain, physics for middle ear and speech science and amplification, performing diagnostic tests, autonomy, calm clients, diverse clients

-non-verbal = humane/efficient/eliminate injury w/animal; ascertain info, glean feelings, notice uncertainty, counsel ppl

-detail = use unstated facts to problem solve (ascertain correct dx sometimes w/o confirmation tests); get well-rounded idea of patient as a whole what their problem is and what needs they have.

-problem solve/think outside the box = both coming up w/most efficient way to confirm suspicions, deviating from normal procedure to assist w/specific situational problem.

-work under $ = ppl can’t/won’t always pay for gold standard txmt in animals; insurance won’t always cover every possible solution to the patient’s hearing/communication issues.  In both, you have to come up with the next best alternative, or change management/underlying behaviors.

-medical = communicating with owners/family, acting in a professional manner, communication w/other professionals, the pace/schedule, etc. . .

-how specific classes have been helpful to this new career option.

-autonomy = vet hospitals don’t take a bunch of time to train, or hand-hold for daily tasks, this serves well in audiometry where professionals work independently.

-both professions are able to build a rapport w/P & families over time, instead of immediately referring to the next specialist–both do O dx, tx, follow-up.

-both careers req professional to put agitated clients at ease

-diversity = both see patients from all walks of life/ages/temperaments/income levels

transition back to my preparation for AuD:

-screenings, aural rehab, writing about vaccines, A&P of ear, amplification, S&HS with it’s acoustics, pathologies, audiometric procedures, observing a hearing dispenser & the gaps I could fill in, seeing “Sound & Fury” documentary, looking at pictures of hearing aids & cochlear implants, reading AAA journal articles,

State intended research/career:

-tie it in to the school’s offerings

-emphasize the rehab to tie in my dad

Maico audm

OK, next blend this advise with my 1st draft

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OK, Go!

28 May

I’ve been dallying, because I am intimidated by the personal statement.  But I need to just get something down, and stop all the internet scouring, as it’s just taking time.  I’m not sure it’s all that helpful.  So in the interest of making $hit happen, here goes try #1:

UNC AuD app checklist


intro–talk about shopping w/dad and how that inspires my interest in the career

–in 1st paragraph tie in my internal personality traits that work well with audiology

Body–very briefly mention pre-vet, but generate substantial list of vet traits that relate directly to audiology

3rd paragraph/conclusion(?)–further show it’s AuD I want (not vet) by talking about hearing screenings, classes, media that inspires/educates me and how it directly relates to the specific type & population I want to work with.


OK, quick and dirty for content purposes–can be fleshed out and corrected later.  The 1st Draft isn’t SUPPOSED to be perfect (that was a note to myself)!


As a child it was always special bonding time for my father and I to go grocery shopping.  It was a time-consuming affair, but we liked to be together.  The shopping itself, was tedious and boring, but I love my dad and liked to laugh with him.  One damper on the process was checking out.  My dad could not hear his total.  It made me feel awkward and I did not like how people in line behind us became impatient.  Those people should see my dad as I did–funny, compassionate, warm, loyal, hard-working.  Instead they saw him as an impediment to leaving the store–a burden, an annoyance.  I hated to see the cashier become flustered or impatient.  Why couldn’t everyone realize my dad had the hearing loss because he is a hero?  He got this embarrassing condition fighting for our country in Vietnam.  But I felt ashamed, because I also felt annoyed and embarrassed when the check out process was slowed by my father’s disability.

It made me ashamed, because I consider myself a compassionate person.  That is the whole reason I leaned toward being a veterinarian for so long–I wanted to help the helpless.

Today, I am inspired to help people like my dad function like the heros they are.  I want to not only help hearing aids be available to patients, but make the human side, the rehabilitation, instruction for use, and communication skills to be available.

[note to self:  stop trying to make it sound perfect and be perfectly organized, and just think basic content–you can fix this stuff later, you’re getting stuck!]

Traits that I embody are organizational skills, dedication, and determination.  They are perfect for the field of audiology.  Organization is necessary to assess the patient and figure out appropriate diagnostic procedures by looking at every aspect of the problem, the case history, and the anatomy.  Dedication comes in handy when you commit to a patient’s progress and quality of life over time.  Audiologists are not finished after the diagnostic and fitting portions.  They have to follow through and make certain that the person they are working with are functional, confident, and meeting their own goals.  Determination is a skill an audiologist needs to work with a variety of people, with differing needs.  Audiologists have to tailor care to the deficits of each person, and determination to seek the correct diagnosis, find outside the box solutions and, persist in trying until it’s right is pertinent.

Because I have those traits, feeling embarrassed to be seen with my struggling father made me ashamed.  I could have such compassion, and I was letting my own emotions get in the way of that when it came to one of the most important people in my life.  It was my compassion that had led me into being a pre-vet student.  And though that career did not work out for me, the skills I gained while chasing is translate directly and nicely to audiology.

Nonverbal communication skills, essential for ascertaining animal temperaments with the twin goals in mine of keeping human and animal uninjured, and efficiently accomplishing the task at hand is directly related to audiology.  When hearing loss makes verbal communication difficult, reading postural, ocular, and other signs becomes helpful.

The detail-oriented nature that veterinary practice demands, is also necessary for audiology.  Looking at the entire patient, running the best diagnostic tests, following through with best amplification, and making sure the patient is receiving benefit from your work, is a lot of small details.  It requires meticulousness and thoroughness.

[generate a bigger list of traits used for both vet & AuD]

The desire to work in audiology was sparked by my intent to help people like my dad.  The necessary skills were honed in a different health field.  Once I got my foot in the door to the speech and hearing sciences, the knowledge of the profession followed.  Learning about anatomy and physiology gave me a good foundation for normal.  The speech and hearing sciences tied the chemistry and physics I had already taken together with the auditory and communication systems.  Learning about pathologies and amplification was interesting.  I really enjoyed the rehabilitation tactics and audiometric evaluations.  And I was able to practice them through performing hearing screenings through my school.  I liked putting the theories I had learned in the classroom to practical use on real people.

These specific examples of things we did, showed me I would like to work with the spectrum of ages in this specific field of audiology.  And of course, remembering my dad, I will emphasize aural rehabilitation and follow up with each of my future patients.

health fair 2014

All right, that wasn’t so bad.  I’ll publish this then generate some lists to make it better!

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