The Road to RDville: Seeing the light

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving (and a nice long holiday weekend, if you were lucky enough to have Friday off). Jeff and I (and my dad and stepmom, who were visiting from Oregon) went to my sister’s for Thanksgiving dinner, and mere words can not convey how thrilled I was when my 5-year-old niece came strolling into the kitchen, snack plate in hand, to ask for “more spinach, please.” She loves baby spinach…except the stems (my sister will put a bag of spinach in my nieces lunch and a little pile of stems comes back home with her).
I am SO thankful that my niece and nephews love their veggies!
I’m also thankful that this term is almost over. I am so very, very ready for a vacation (from school, as I still have to work). This term has been so odd, compared to this time a year ago, when I was buried up to my ears in “traditional” academic coursework: readings, papers and multiple-choice exams. Now, it’s a matter of taking the big-picture information I crammed into my head last year and plucking from it what is applicable to “imaginary” patients, in order to get us ready to provide care to real patients. 
This term has involved a lot of learning to understand how various diseases reveal themselves, what their natural progression is, and how macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) can be adjusted to treat the condition, or sometimes simply to make a patient more comfortable. In many cases, there’s no black-and-white answer for what to do in a certain situation, which can be both liberating and frustrating! Overall, it has been quite satisfying to know that I’m moving closer and closer to being able to work with actual human beings.
I’ll be spending the rest of this term wrapping up a few case study write ups (two for my maternal and infant nutrition class, one for my acute care class), finishing a paper and completing my thesis proposal. On the one hand, it doesn’t feel like a lot of work, but it’s the type of work that tends to be completed in fits and starts, so there are moments where it seems like I’ll never get it all done. But I will get it done, of course, and then I’ll have a lovely long Christmas break (3+ weeks thanks to Christmas falling midweek, and no final exams!). 
Next term, I’ll start my supervised practice experience, which I’m very excited about (and will talk more about later). It’s been three years since I returned to school (two years of science prerequisites before I started grad school last fall), and I’m finally catching a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.
In related news, I just found out (from a former SPH student), that my blog is mentioned on the UW School of Public Health page for prospective students. I was surprised and pleased!