Archive for the ‘education’ Tag

Learn to just say no

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 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.


Recommendations make me nervous

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.


Thank you dear readers for being patient with me as I have been settling back in to life in the States. To reward you, I have a couple bits of news to share.

I will spend the next year as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member in Houston. The organization that I am working with is called the Partnership for the Advancement & Immersion of Refugees, a relatively new nonprofit that works with refugee youth to help them succeed in education. I am excited to work with PAIR to further develop their programs and build capacity in the organization.

The other piece of good news is that I with eight other bloggers will about graduate school as current and potential master’s degrees candidates in different disciplines as part of’s Grad School Blog Project. I will be blogging about my experiences in applying for graduate school for global health in addition to the usual issues of public health and social change that I blog about. Get ready to read about everything from how to find the program you want to the trials and tribulations of personal statement writing.

The US government doesn’t care about children’s welfare

Res ipsa loquitur: Latin for the thing speaks for itself and also known as a different way of saying than actions speak louder than words. Continue reading