The reason that I am taking this class is, first off, because of my major. I am majoring in Healthcare Studies with a minor in Biology, and this course falls under the “Research Methods, Analysis, and Communications” section of the Healthcare studies major. This class seemed to me the most interesting class offered in this section of the major, so I decided to take this one. Another reason for taking it was that my world geography class in high school was one of my favorite classes, and I have always had in interest in maps, geography, and the layout and visualization of our earth, which is something that got me excited about this topic.
There are a few things that I hope to gain from taking this class. I am not really sure what I want to do with my career after college. I am pursuing the healthcare studies major because I know that I want to work, in some capacity, in the medical field. This is where it gets fuzzy though. I came into college dead set on pursuing clinical medicine and going to either medical or physical therapy school after graduating. After becoming a certified EMT, I started doubting if I still wanted to pursue a career in clinical medicine. I then found that I was very interested in jobs that I could pursue with a healthcare major. I am very interested in things such as the medical legal, healthcare policy, as well as epidemiology, while still leaving the door open if I later realize that I want to again try to go to medical school. I feel that the ability to analyze maps and turn data that I have obtained into a visual representation would be very useful in any of these fields. Something such as epidemiology or policy creation is very reliant on data and being able to present it in an accessible way (such as a map of disease outbreaks) in order to inform the public or persuade other lawmakers about the political identity of a certain geographic area in order to create successful healthcare policy.
Other than my world geography, I have very little experience with anything related to mapmaking or reading maps. I obviously know how to look at a map and tell what it says, but I am interested to see how this class will challenge me to look critically at a map in order to pull all information out of it so I have a more complete understating of what the map says and can learn more from it than someone unfamiliar with what we will cover in this class. I am also excited to learn how to create a good map so that I can use this hopefully now and in whatever career that I end up pursuing in the healthcare field.