The Road to RDville: And we’re off!

Zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds. That’s how last week felt! My second term of grad school begain bright and early last Tuesday and all memories of Christmas vacation are just that…memories.
That’s fine, though, because my current lineup of classes is already proving interesting and, yes, satisfyingly challenging. This is what will be taking up much of my time between now and mid-March:

  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Nutrition and Metabolism: Lipids
  • Food Safety
  • Graduate seminar on Food Marketing
  • Environmental and Occupational Health

Whereas last term I had lots of quizzes and tests, and relatively few papers, projects and presentations, this term I have only a few tests (although two of them will be endurance-trial take-home exams), lots and lots of papers, a major group project, a debate and three PowerPoint presentations. I started laying the groundwork for some of them this weekend, taking a break to go grab a steaming bowl of Pho:
I’m less than enthused about having to write a group paper for my Environmental Health class (trying to divide writing and research duties between FOUR people is my idea of hell on earth), but I’m working with good people, and I’m excited about the topic (antibiotic resistance and confined animal feeding operations), so there is that. Other topics I’ll be researching and writing about this term include raw milk, seafood intake recommendations for women of childbearing age, last year’s listeria outbreak on cantaloupes, the CDC’s obesity prevention programs, and some lipid-related topic to be determined later (needs to be something I can write 20 pages about and do a nice PowerPoint for). 
My Public Health Nutrition class is doing a term project analyzing survey data and creating reports for the Washington Farm-to-School program. I learned more about the difficulties of introducing change into school lunch programs in two hours on Friday than I did in two seasons of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Hint: When a program receives federal funds, they have very, very tight restrictions on how they spend that money.
It’s feels really good to just be able to dive into classes without all the “new student” minutiae taking up mental bandwidth. Have a great Monday!