This is the story of my 6 months of studying in Arizona in 2010 and subsequent travels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Did anyone say monsoon?! Time for some course reflection (Warning: Boring)

6.30 PM, just finished my Tuesday class, wanna go home... And what happens? The sky opens up and decides to poor tons of water over the desert. The whole area is almost continually lit by lightning. Way to go, monsoon season... Aaaaanyway, then its good with Internet and a free moment of time, though I should of course be home studying. Instead I have time for some blogging.

Trying think back what I have been doing for the last week, but honestly it hasn't been very exciting, adventure wise. Tuesday night I brought together 14 people for dinner and the improv show, where Hillary is now a firm and very funny part. Dinner was in a restaurant, since unfortunately there is no way I can have more than like 4 people for dinner at my home. Thats one thing I miss from Copenhagen!

The same day I learned that I had failed some homework, but I misunderstood in which class. I have the same professor in both. So I wasn't concerned until Thursday when I figured out that it was the statistics class - hence the boring week, 'cause I've been studying statistics all weekend. Sigh... But! Now I feel like I get it much better, which is great, as we have a midterm next week! I might not like to deal with the theory, but I must admit that this class will be really useful. Its Health Sciences Research Methods, and it focuses on how to recognize and create good research projects. Honestly without it I wouldn't even realize how many things I would do wrong in my thesis and beyond. :)

My other challenging class is Public Health Policy and Management. Its hard because I dont have a background in public Health, and even more because the American health care system is INCREDIBLY complex. And nothing like the Danish. I actually wanted to drop the class, but somewhat had to stay, and went to talk with the professor because I felt demotivated. Together we managed to get me back on track, with the fact that with this knowledge, I will be a big asset to any global organization later on in my career. And I have to admit that the professor's telling me that I am also an asset to the class definitely gave me a positive push as well! Afterwards the class has been a bit more fun; he is often asking to Danish aspects of the issues, and I enjoy hearing some remarkably tense political discussions in class. Last time one of my team mates refused to show up, because our team would represent a viewpoint that he strongly disagreed with... So yeah, an interesting way of studying American culture, and after all thats what im here for!

Strategic Planning on the other hand is a course that I have the perfect background for. With all the work I have done in EPSA and IFISO it is basically an option for me to get the theory behind all my practice. Open Space Technology, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, facilitation... All methods, which in class are linked to Strategic Planning, and all theories I know from practice! Its great! Maybe a little too easy and sometimes too slow for me, but with those other courses I do need a little break sometimes. :)

My last course in Quality Improvement, which focuses on how to reduce the number of errors that happen in pharmacies. This gives me some opportunity to compare the Danish and American systems, and learn more about how we can improve in Denmark. I like this course, as it brings some awareness about how to tackle various issues, and kinda puts the policy-theory from the other course into practice.

These considerations have led me to think a little bit more about where I might be going with all this. I like the Strategic Planning course the most. Not because it is easy, but for the way of thinking, the way of solving issues, and facilitating other people's thinking and learning. I think thats worth paying attention to with regards to my future steps! Like I have mentioned before, I think I am on my way into some professional development, where I can evaluate the role the pharmacists have today, and help develop the systems into something safer, more efficient, and probably also cheaper. That fits well with another personal desire I have - challenging my environments, asking why things are like they are, and try to improve. People say that I ask too many questions... Maybe that will be a strength in a role like that. :) Also great is the network I already have around Europe, with pharmacists as well as several other professions and areas. I am pretty sure that will be an asset.... Not just "as some point", which I was just about to write, but at all times from now on. :) The support and insights are invaluable!

Actually reflecting like this really motivates me for getting on with it all soon! What I can do for now is finishing off the courses here (can you believe im half way through already??), keep my provisional goal in mind, and move towards it whenever possible. Future, here I come! :)

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