The Road to RDville: Things I’m thankful for

Thanksgiving is more than a month away, but anytime is a good time to give thanks, IMO. With two-and-a-half weeks of grad school under my belt, I feel like I’m just starting to get into a groove (I probably just jinxed myself by typing that, but whatever). So here’s what I”m thankful for, class by class:
  • Biostatistics: I’m thankful that I only have to take one term of biostatistics, that the data software I have to use for that class is feeling easier to use (it was kicking my butt last week, which is the main reason I skipped some blog posts), and that when I do my thesis, I won’t have to run my own data. Whoo-hoo!
  • Epidemiology: I’m thankful that this class is already helping me identify flaws in published scientific research, and that I came into this class already understanding concepts like “just because two things are associated with each other, doesn’t mean one of those things causes the other.” I really like this class, even though we’re getting into some math-type stuff that makes my eyes cross after a while.
  • Health Services: I’m thankful that I’m taking this class! I love this class…and I never would have registered for it if it hadn’t been a required class for all MPH students. Last week’s lecture on access to health care was so informative, especially with the attempted health care reform going on now. It’s also illuminated what I sort of knew already: Our medical system is way too focused on treatment at the expense of prevention!
  • Nutrition & Metabolism: I’m grateful that I took biochemistry just last year (as opposed to several years ago), so that this class is not Greek to me! I have learned so, so much about the many (many!) factors that contribute to our metabolic rate and our body weight. Oh, and a little tip to anyone who’s waiting with bated breath for a pharmaceutical treatment for obesity that works without nasty side effects? It’s never going to happen (not that the drug companies aren’t trying, they are…hard!).
  • Dietetics Seminar: I’m grateful that the RD exam will apparently be easier than I thought. In fact, what I’ll be learning in grad school is so above and beyond what’s on the test that I’ll spend my test prep time studying remedial things like food safety and how many number 10 cans fit into a hotel pan. Nope, not kidding.
  • Research Design: I’m grateful that I now have a much clearer idea about what the thesis process looks like.
Let’s see, what else? I’m grateful that my fellow nutrition students are fun, smart people. I’m grateful that I have access to a bajillion scientific papers for free through my university’s online subscriptions. I’m grateful that I get to spend so much time on a pretty college campus this fall…there is just something about old brick buildings, turning leaves and crisp air that cannot be beat.