The wise Lao Tzu said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That step for me was to decide three years ago that I wanted to go back to school. Why? I asked myself one evening as I sat in a hotel room in Guinea capital city of Conakry, in the middle of the worst Ebola Virus Disease. Unlike many, my desire to go back to school was not motivated by the need to boost my career or to earn another degree. I have a good job and Master Degrees from two world-renowned institutions of higher learning. Why did I decide on that full moon night in December 2014 to return to study after a long time off?
My last blog entry entitled “The paradox of time” seemed like an appropriate segway to open and close my final blog on. As I’m sure most of you can relate to, time has flown by and it’s hard to conceive that October to June could be so shortly spaced together. For some students, myself included, the school year has not quite ended as we work towards finishing our thesis projects.
I am (I hope!) in the final three months of my final (third) year of the MSc in Epidemiology (distance learning). This year I took my last elective, Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases (EPM301), and also signed up for the comprehensive exam (EPM400, the “compulsory additional paper”) and the MSc project (EPM500).
Doing a master’s course is a great learning process. The four core modules form a great theoretical basis which Moodle and all the readings turn into a practical discovery and global exploration. The subsequent elective modules are more demanding as academic writing comes in! If, like me, you have not done such serious assignment writing before, it is really tough to write six essays in two years and not get desperate because of fear for wrong referencing, paraphrasing, quoting or not fitting within the strict word limits. Still, it is an ideal learning process for the project report of 10,000 words that I am about to start as soon as I get ethical approval locally and from LSHTM.
As you may have already guessed, my timeline is off for the ideal live version of my Journey to the Centre of Campus blog series. Time doesn’t make sense as it flies by, yet other moments seem to last an eternity. Examinations and final papers raced by, although at times it felt like there was never an end in site.
New MSc Global Health Policy blogger Sandra writes:
Over the New Year period I embarked on a great adventure doing a three-week nursing observational period at the famous Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Part of my afternoons I spent at their very well-equipped Degenshein Memorial Library to study for my elective modules and work on the proposal for my MSc project report, but more than six hours a day I was following nurse managers, clinical nurse specialists, registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nurse preceptors (trainers) while I penned down noteworthy observations and made the best out of this learning experience.
I’ve made my packing and to do lists and checked them off (hopefully with none missing). Here are some of my essentials that were found on my packing list that you may have not thought about: Continue reading
Psychologists say it takes less than a tenth of a second to make a first impression judgement. My goal is to capture your attention for a bit longer than this and hook you on the first entry of my ‘Blended Learning’ series. My aim is to showcase possibilities and practical resources for other distance learners who may want to or will be studying on campus.
My name is Jillian Kowalchuk and I am in my second year and final year of the MSc Public Health programme. It has been an intense endeavor taking six modules, juggling work and social obligations my first year. I am undertaking three distance courses, I will be taking two blended learning modules starting mid January, while working on my thesis project. I have structured my last year to have a bit of a ‘break’ from the distance learning and change locations and learning dynamics for a few months. Continue reading
It has been eight months since my last post, which I wrote when I was about to dive into the intense exam prep period of my second year in the MSc epidemiology distance learning program. Exams for my three classes (EPM303, epidemiology of non-communicable diseases, EPM202, Statistical Methods in Epidemiology, and EPM304, Advanced Statistical Methods in Epidemiology) went well, helped by the fact that I’d gone through LSHTM exams once already and knew what to expect. The basics—create a realistic exam prep schedule and stick to it, do a dry run to the exam center so you know where it is and how long it takes to get there, and sleep well the night before—were no different. The only thing that had changed was that I parenthetically turned 50 the day before the first exam.