Saturday, November 23, 2013

Work Hard, Play Hard

Epidemiological statistics is kicking my ass.

It's been a while since I've had any kind of math class - so learning statistics for 8 hours each day, then working on case studies at night is a lot to handle.  But I knew this master's programme would be intense, since it's only one year.

I changed my mind about which optional modules I'm going to take: instead of courses focused on health policy design, I'll be taking Communicable Diseases, Non-Communicable Diseases, Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Monitoring and Evaluating Health Programmes.  I think it's more important to get a background in diseases and health topics, since international policies will be covered in those modules anyway.  I've also submitted my proposal for a dissertation topic about food security and malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa and am waiting approval.  In the meantime, I can start researching the background information.

As for my class assignments, I've completed a critical analysis of a study on mental health in four African countries and I wrote a 20-page project proposal for diabetes intervention.  My next assignment is to prioritise health services (specific to STIs, pregnancy and sexual violence) in a refugee camp.

I'm in class from 9:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday until next semester - but I still try to make time for fun.  :)

International Potluck Dinner at the Health Sciences Centre

Visit to Leeds Medical Museum

Day trip to Warwick Castle and Oxford

Out to dinner at Thai Edge with my classmates

Now that it's getting colder, there are fewer opportunities for excursions.  When spring comes around, you can expect more travel blog posts.  ;)


  1. Wow, Laura, this is SO intense, SO interesting, and SO YOU! I loved reading your latest post about what you're learning, what you're working on, the new decisions you've made and what you're doing to have fun. You've made some GREAT choices. I'm sure you're quite aware, but the Clinton Foundation is focused on many of the things you've chosen to study, with Chelsea Clinton leading the way. Can't wait to see you at Christmas and especially can't wait to visit you with Kristi next summer in England! Love you!

  2. You are amazing, Laura... that is one intense workload and you sound like you're managing it with such clear sight and determination. Brava! I loved seeing the photos of the play time you've managed to schedule (shedule :), too... and how the British expressions and spellings are creeping into your wonderful writing! Thinking of you often. Love you lots!

  3. Hey! I am lying here awake in's 5:13am and I can't sleep. I have been up since 4am....oh the joys of being 34 weeks pregnant! Only 6 left...can't believe it. Anyway....sounds like you are super busy with studies but it's going well so that's good. Sorry I won't be seeing you on your trip back to the states! I miss you and we will at least talk on the phone when you come back. Love ya!