course (change) reflections

I have shelved digital storytelling and explicit instructional design to shift into a tangentially-related career into health information and outreach. This is, in part, why I haven’t updated this blog in a while–aside from just not making time for it over the last few months. Socially and professionally (and physically) though, I have made drastic changes over the past year (or suffered changes). There will be things I’ll address in other posts, but for now, I’m concerned with trying to do now is document my progress since I am learning a new discipline in many ways.

Over the past several weeks since beginning my new journey, I’ve traveled to regional, state, and national conferences on literacy, technology, and medicine as a way to get oriented with the larger picture of public health and literacy in my geographic area. During this time, I’ve learned about the successes and inequities in the community and on the front lines of medicine just to get familiar with the terminology. Now, I’m actually trying to develop more in-depth knowledge and it begins with a continuing education course offered through the University of Illinois on Evidence Based Practice.

For the new few weeks and maybe longer, I want this blog of mine to be a learning one. School was never something I took to or figured out how to do. “Work hard” and “do what your told” was not sound advice on the part of my parents so much as inaccessible and uninspiring ideas. It wasn’t until after college that I realized that the system isn’t for everyone. I think it’s what made me gravitate toward teaching and instructional development–not wanting others to slip through the cracks and rely on privilege or luck, as I think I ended up doing. And as for myself, I realized that practice + active reflection or reflective discussion is what works best for me as a learner–that’s what I think I misunderstood as a young adult: that learning and retaining knowledge is a conscious choice that takes frequent reinforcement, not solely a rote, repetitive activity*.

*Although this is often necessary too just to understand the many iterations of an activity and for self-discovery, which is something I’ve internalized from physical practices.