Like my dramatic title there? Adele’s latest song is a very appropriate way to describe how I’m feeling now that my first quarter of graduate school is done. ↑ I’ve been in Colorado the past few days spending time with my family and enjoying the snow. A little R&R was exactly what I needed, and now I’m looking forward to spending a few days in Seattle before jetting off to Minneapolis for our annual cabin trip.
As I’ve said before, the first quarter of our program at UW is notoriously the most challenging and time-consuming of the entire program. It was fairly smooth sailing until we hit midterms (about week 4), and from then on out, it was ALL work. Those six weeks after midterms were the hardest I’ve worked in my entire life.
I also learned more in those 10 weeks than I ever imagined possible! Our cohort became even closer because there was no way we would have survived the quarter without each other’s support. Thank goodness everyone is so awesome.
For those of you applying to UW, or just interesting in hearing more about my #firstworldproblems ;), here are a few more details about the quarter:
We were juggling 7 classes (I also signed up for a TA class, so I had 8 classes), which meant that we spent the majority of the quarter in the library either studying for midterms, finishing projects, working on papers, or studying for finals. I remember looking at my schedule over Thanksgiving break and thinking to myself, “there is no way I’m going to make it to the end of the quarter.”
In the last three weeks of the quarter, we had multiple 20+ papers due, a research paper and a presentation, a debate to prepare for, an analysis plan, and three finals. We powered through, heads down, holding back tears, and did our very best to complete everything to the best of our abilities. I wish I had a photo to share of us all during finals week. We seriously looked like death and we got a lot of sympathetic looks as we dragged ourselves around campus. It’s pretty funny to think about now 🙂
So what did I learn?
NUTR 500 SEMINAR: CURRENT ISSUES IN NUTRITION
The Fall 2015 Nutrition 500 seminar revolved around the “new nutrition,” which focuses on more than just nutrients, but instead on several other elements, such as sustainability, culture, society, authenticity, ethnography, food waste, consumer choice, gender, and food movements.
I posted about one of the videos we watched at the beginning of the quarter here.
NUTR 520 NUTRITION & METABOLISM I
This was our most nutrition-focused course of the entire quarter. It was a very biochemistry-heavy course and one that I found particularly challenging. We talked about digestion, absorption, and metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and alcohol. We covered how the body generates usable forms of energy from the metabolism of macro-nutrients. We also talked about what happens when we have too little energy and protein intake, how plasma glucose levels are regulated by insulin and glucagon, and how insulin production and insulin receptor signaling become dysregulated.
One of our assignment was a protein debate, which I talk about here.
BIOST 511 MEDICAL BIOMETRY I
This class focused on statistical modeling. We covered data description and data analysis, study design, sample size calculations, probability, normal distributions, statistical inference, hypothesis testing, parametric and non-parametric approaches, and introduction to regression analysis.
EPI 511 INTRO TO EPIDEMIOLOGY
This class focused on study design and analysis, effect modifiers, confounding, bias, matched and paired analysis, measuring risk and the occurrence of disease, and evaluation of screening tests.
HSERV 511 INTRO TO HEALTH SERVICES
This class focused on the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid, food policy, longterm care, social determinants of health, health disparities, health agencies, and much more.
NUTR 561A DIETETIC SEMINAR
This class was an introduction to our dietetic internships that will take place next year. It was a fun break from our vigorous schedule and helped remind us of why we’re here 🙂
NUTR 529 NUTRITION & RESEARCH DESIGN
This class was an introduction to research design and helped us understand how to critically evaluate published research studies.
What am I taking Winter Quarter 2016?
ENV H 511 Environmental and Occupational Health
Effects of exposure to chemical, physical, and biological agents, embracing the community and workplace environments. Current issues, using specific cases from recent literature as basis for classroom discussion and written assignments.
NUTR 500 Graduate Seminar: Food Entrepreneurs
A review of current topics in nutritional science and public health nutrition. This quarter, the topic is Food Entrepreneurs!
NUTR 513 Food and Society: Exploring Eating Behaviors in a Social, Environmental, and Policy Context
This class will look at how socio-cultural, environmental, and policy factors interact with biological and psychological characteristics to influence the foods we eat, and when, where, and how we eat them. Uses contemporary readings, films, and critical discussion to explore these macro-scale influences on food, nutrition, and eating behavior.
NUTR 521 Nutrition and Metabolism II
Discussion of normal lipid components of animal tissues, with review of their metabolism and physiological functions. Topics include digestion, absorption, transport, and utilization of dietary fats, cholesterol, and fat-soluble vitamins. Discusses in-depth the roles played by lipids and various micronutrients in altering risk of atherosclerosis.
NUTR 531 Public Health Nutrition
Explores the functions and essential services of public health as they apply to assuring access to a safe and nutritious food supply. Examines the practice of public health nutrition: nutrition environment, program planning, implementation, and evaluation; policy development, implementation, and evaluation; and links between basic science and public health nutrition practice.
NUTR 545 Food Safety and Health
Presentation of emerging issues in food safety, sustainable agriculture, and biotechnology. Examines both domestic and global pressures on the food supply. Examines international policies that promote regional solutions for a safe food supply and access to nutritious foods.