Juggling the Act of Juggling…

…by Mark / from the United States / MSc Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases / Online Learning Graduate 2018

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all well. Please accept my apologies in lacking any posts since the end of last year. I hit quite a few roadblocks and unfortunately needed to divert my time towards more of my personal and work tasks. As of this weekend I can finally take a breath, and am here now to catch you all up on what I’ve been up to.

The first course of the year was Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases. I found the course to be quite enjoyable and recently, relatable as I began to travel at the end of last year. It is important to keep healthy while abroad as you are no longer in a familiar environment and essentially will need to fend for yourself. I certainly felt this when I traveled to Norway for my birthday last year, and the first airline ended up losing my bag, so I spent a week in below-freezing temperatures without my winter gear! In the spirit of class, what kinds of detrimental factors had I been exposed to? I am glad I spent the latter portion of my undergraduate education in Alaska, as I was able to improvise, but I digress…

Average temperature was -10°C to -12°C!

Class-wise, I found the content enjoyable. My favorite parts included written assessments that were different compared to the assessments I have seen in my program so far. This involved reading a fictional travel blog and following the adventures of two travelers, culminating in a report on what diseases they exposed themselves to and how they could have avoided it. The final assessment required writing a recommendation to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic committee to reduce any health hazards that may occur during the summer Games. I felt like I was writing a fictional e-mail/story as opposed to a formal essay and I quite enjoyed it. I hope there will be some more variety in future assessments like this.

The second course of the year was Molecular Diagnostics of Infection, but unfortunately I was not able to completely focus my attention to it. At the beginning of March, I was selected to participate in licensure training at my work, which I was elated about since landing a spot is quite competitive. The caveat was that as opposed to a full-time program, it would entail part-time participation while still going to work until the afternoon, and then needing to travel to various county laboratories for hands-on activities. This is on top of listening to lectures after work and studying (average of 2-4 hours every week night) while still trying to keep on top of my Masters program. Naturally, this was incredibly difficult. In the end, I missed the deadline for my discussion boards and was dejected for a while until my Tutor encouraged me to submit a Special Circumstances form to see if it could be reversed. Honestly, there is no shame in doing so, and I was able to prepare sufficient evidence and submitted it before going on to complete my final written assessment, which was a poster. It seems my wish from Travel Medicine had come true, as I also enjoy creating posters and I created a few in the past during my undergraduate research fellowship. Again, this was a nice change to the usual essay we are assigned. Confident I did well on my poster, I went ahead to the current course, which is on HIV Infected and other Immunocompromised Patients.

Probably the most difficult thing I experienced was just trying to juggle everything. Work had been at surge capacity due to the severity of this year’s flu season but it seems to be finally winding down. I was able to keep myself afloat simply through creating a schedule for each day of the week and making sure I stuck to it. Naturally, I was still exhausted and found myself falling asleep while I listed to the pre-recorded lectures so I just did the best I could. Thankfully, I was able to pass a grueling 3-week intensive unit on Parasitology and can rest for a good month while focusing on my HIV class! For any one else trying to handle multiple things at once, make sure to outline a schedule! It really is a big help.

I figured this would just be a quick catch-up blog but I will write more now that I feel like I’m back in the swing of things. I hope everyone’s year has been going well!

– Mark

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

css.php

Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.

  Cancel