Archive for the ‘public health’ Tag
Tonight I opened Google Reader for the first time in over a month. I hoped that the feed reader had not exploded with the over 100 feeds I subscribe to. The sight of the 1000+ articles sitting there awaiting my perusal inspired me to do something that I don’t do often enough: say no. I have now dumped half of these feeds. It simply was too overwhelming and frankly ridiculous of me to think that I could consume that much information on a daily basis. It is an ongoing negative habit of mine: take on more and more responsibility until I drive myself crazy.
I miss reading and talking about public health now that my brain is constantly occupied with nonprofit management and education due to AmeriCorps. I love what I do everyday but I know that the issues that I really want to explore are in public health and not education. I did not realize how difficult it would be to devote myself to both disciplines this year.
After reading on change.org about the amazing strides that Frontline: SMS has made in advancing mobile health in Malawi, I knew that I wanted to jump back in. Reading and writing about public health will bring back some of the excitement I felt about going to grad school. I have gotten in to Emory and Johns Hopkins so I definitely need to step up my game so that I will be ready next fall.
I’m not typically a proponent of New Year’s resolutions. They are typically easily made and typically easily broken. Psychologically, the beginning of the year seems like an inspirational time to set lofty goals with little or no accountability for follow through.
And in the case of blogging resolutions, the accountability is there but the temptation to set unreachable goals still remains.
So I am going to make a blogging small steps plan to start a better blogging habit. I blamed by lack of blogging before for not having anything to say, but mostly I think that I just thought what I wanted to say was not worth sharing.
1. Make a blogging schedule.
I joined a gym about a month ago as part of a plan to seriously start being healthy. I may not go to the gym everyday but I have made a conscious effort to do some sort of physical activity everyday so it becomes more of a habit.
I plan on doing the same with my blog by blogging on weekdays even if it is a couple of links to articles that I read. Integrating blogging into my workday routine will make it easier to keep up.
2. Use Twitter as a complement to blogging rather than a substitute.
Twitter can be a novice blogger’s downfall if you don’t watch out. Don’t get me wrong; I love Twitter but it is really easy to focus solely on Twitter and neglect the impact that writing more than 140 characters can have.
Recommendations are the one part of the application process where you are truly at the mercy of individual schedules. The control freak part of me panics at having to rely on others until the application process is complete. The best thing that you can do for your peace of mind is to 1) ask early and 2) remind often. Even though I requested mine a month ago, I am still waiting on a few letters because schedules fill up quickly and tend to change at a moment’s notice. Luckily, my earliest deadline is still a month away.
To avoid a midnight dash to the post office, allow at least a month for your references to complete your letters. Also, make sure to have at least one backup reference in mind in case one does not have enough time in their schedules. If your reference says that they are too busy to write a letter, if it is someone you know really well, you might want to think about offering to write the letter and asking them to review and sign it. Terrified about writing your own letter? Not everyone is a self-promotion guru. Check out your recommendations on LinkedIn to get a better feel for the tone of a recommendation.
Do your references a favor and provide them with your personal press kit. Send a draft of your admissions essay, most current resume, and other documents that might me pertinent. If your degree has a research focus, it might be good to send an abstract of a published paper.
I’m trying to take my own advice and remember that most people want to help other people. The logistics of getting recommendations might be troublesome, but people like supporting other’s endeavors.