I do wish the class was in the twice a week, hour and 15 per class format. This was my first time taking a 2 and a half hour lecture and while it was nice to have it on Monday and “get it out of the way,” it’s that exact mentality that has not suited me so well. I best retain information I learned during lecture, during class time. However, having class only once a week, my attention turns towards my other class and research throughout the week. Once the quizzes started, almost instantly did my morale flee from me. I understand the purpose of the quizzes were essentially “learning checks” to try and help ensure we were grasping the material, but boy I won’t grasping nothing but L’s all semester. I appreciate the grace in letting us drop our three lowest quiz grades, I just wish my five highest were something worth being proud of. What would happen is, either we would take a quiz at the beginning of class and I would knowingly not perform as well as I wanted, or we would get back our quiz grade from the previous week (or both) and that simply would not be the mood booster I needed to optimize learning for that day.
But enough on my quiz sob story. The class itself and much of the material was interesting. I didn’t expect to learn as much about racial disparities, inequalities, and inequities in health as I did. At it stands now, I’m not sure exactly what my expectations were in general at the beginning of the class. Much of the material I felt I was pretty well versed in beforehand, but only at a surface level. That is, I could talk about it with a degree of confidence, but I lacked depth in my understanding of concepts and of course theories. The theories and models were/are the most difficult part of the class for me. Other than the biopsychosocial model, I do not think I can very well explain many of the theories and models we’ve learned such as the Trans Theoretical Model or The Health Beliefs Model. I imagine it will surely be in my best interest to touch up on these prior to the final exam, and I will, but I am just speaking candidly. Had I been able to spend more time on these concepts outside of class and/or had we had time to go through more examples and spend slightly longer on the more pertinent theories/concepts in class, I don’t doubt I would be better off grade wise in the class, but I would also have a greater breadth of knowledge.
I don’t feel I need to speak much to the Longevity Project book and blog posts considering we did it all semester. What I will say is that due to the book’s tendency to be repetitive at some points, I might suggest to you, Professor Nonterah, to select your favorite chapters or those that you feel are the most intriguing/worth reading and discussing. Of course, it never hurts to read a whole book, this is just my suggestion and perhaps it’ll help with focusing in more and having a deeper discussion about points and findings in the study.
But now we’re at the home stretch. I’m glad we’re doing this qualitative research paper because I’ve only done one qualitative paper up until this point in my undergrad career and in that one I did not have to transcribe the whole interviews. Now I know the pain of this. But it often makes for great research so that is not a complaint. I look forward to finishing and finalizing my paper.
Thank you for your time, effort, and patience during the semester.