I totally had every intention of getting this blog post up during my Christmas break. If you follow me on Instagram, you know we had a pretty chaotic time. We took a vacation to the beach, since it was the only break I’ll be getting until the end of my program and Aaron had some PTO to use up before the new year. I had one week off where I was home–but it was spent getting things in order to be able to leave, seeing family, and other odds and ends. Then we were off to the beach! We had a really great time, until we he got sick, then I got sick, and then he got food poisoning, and then we got hit with that big snow storm and had to flee to come back home to WV. Before I knew it we were back into the swing of internship/every day life–and no blog post! But hey, better late than never! 🙂
The last five weeks of fall semester flew by. There was so much to cram in to make sure we were staying caught up on our hours. I also had a lot of NEP rotation, which means a lot of driving and a lot of work. But I got through it and that’s all that matters! Let’s recap!
Week 13: Nutrition Education Program aka NEP (+ some more Community Outreach)
Megan and I went to Proctorville, Ohio to speak at the Woman’s Club. We do events like this randomly throughout the internship to obtain hours towards our community outreach rotation. These awesome ladies were looking for someone to come talk to them about women’s health for 45-85 year olds, specifically bone health. Our director told us to make sure we always find a reliable handout to use for any community event, or create our own. We went with the create our own and they turned out so good! We did a 30 minute talk with a Q&A. They made food for the meeting and kept telling us how hard they tried to make sure everything was healthy. It was super sweet and the food was tasty. We made a point to remind them we enjoy all foods though. 😉
This week also kicked off squeezing in all my NEP rotation before the semester the ended! I had NEP this week, then “off” for Thanksgiving, and then three more weeks of NEP until the end of the semester. The university was closed for Thanksgiving break and there’s really no where for us to go rotation wise. We’ve were all assigned case studies to complete over Thanksgiving break. Gotta squeeze those hours in any way we can! It gave us 2 days worth of hours. It was nice to have a break to get things organized and stay on track.
The food pantry for the university opened! It had been closed for about a year. Our college wanted to reopen it. Just to get it up and running it started off in the dietetics building, but will probably be relocated later. It’s open to all students, staff, and the community. The first day we ran out of food and had to restock for the next day! This is a photo of our first restock.
The interns also had our Friendsgiving where I made my yummy massaged kale salad recipe!
Week 14: MNT Case Studies (aka Thanksgiving Break)
I didn’t have class and I didn’t have to physically go to any rotations. Score! But I still had rotation work to get done! Since I didn’t have class on Monday, I was able to go shadow my friend Whitney, an eating disorder dietitian!! It was such a great experience. It was nice to see a non-diet dietitian counsel using motivational interviewing and practice from a HAES/IE approach. I loved it so much! I found myself saying a pretty similar version of things in my head that Whitney said to clients during counseling. It was a great confidence boost. Not to mention it was great to see eating disorder experience and see what it’s like to work with such a great interdisciplinary team.
The rest of my break was spent on catching up on non-exciting internship stuff and getting as much time in with family as possible! Spending time with family and taking care of my personal to-do list was a great way to recharge.
Week 15-17: NEP
NEP is an exhausting rotation–no doubt. But it’s one of my favorite rotations. It’s not easy work and there’s zero down time, but I love teaching kids nutrition! Two of my favorite schools are taught on the same day. They’re both out in rural WV (aka no cell phone service). Teaching at these two schools for me means listening to some podcasts, unplugging, knitting, and getting some Taco Bell (because I high key love Taco Bell and because it’s one of the few places to eat out there).
Oh, and it also means getting to visit the chickens! One of the schools has an adorable garden and chickens. I love it so much.
I also got to spend a lot more time in Huntington’s Kitchen–which was really nice. I’ve talked about it before, but it was started by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. He’s obviously since left, but we still have the kitchen. We use it to do all our food prep for the tastings our kids get with each lesson. We also use it to help professors with their cooking lab classes and prepare foods for community events. I have community event class coming up at the end of January I’m so excited about!
Definitely one of the biggest perks of my NEP rotation was being in Huntington where just about all the interns live. I got to see them a lot more which was really nice. We had some knitting parties and a Christmas cookie swap! I started knitting over a year ago, fell out of the habit, but picked it back up recently. Now I have all the interns knitting too! Well, besides the boys.
I finished NEP y’all! YUP. No more NEP for the internship! You’ll still see plenty of stories/posts about the NEP program though, since my GRA position is with NEP–just no more internship related hours. These three weeks were spent teaching 1st grade lessons, preparing bags for educators, working in the food pantry, and some odds and ends.
ANDDDDD, I finished my first semester of grad school + the internship with a 4.0 GPA. Feeling so incredibly proud of myself for this one! I took 15 credit hours, held my research position, and completed my rotations with a freakin’ 4.0!!
Excited to share my spring semester with you all very soon! 🙂