My Last First Day of School

Carrie Rheingans

Today’s my last first day of school and it’s been a great one so far! It’s sad to think that this long journey will be over in eight short months, but I know I’ll be happy to be done and start applying all the wonderful knowledge and skills I’ve learned in my two degree programs, public health and social work.

I always feel so optimistic at the beginning of a new semester – like maybe this time I can actually do all the reading! I’m very excited about my two public health classes this semester (EHS 500 – Principles of Environmental Health and HBHE 622 – Program Evaluation in Health Education). The environmental health class interests me because of the material and my background in the biological sciences, and the program evaluation class because it’s a valuable and transferable skill in the field(s) in which I’ll be working upon graduation.

I’m also excited to start teaching again. Last semester was my first being a graduate student instructor (GSI), and I really learned a lot, both about being a teacher and about being a student. I gained a lot of patience and improved my skills for speaking publicly and making sure people are following what you’re saying. I also learned how to better manage my time as a student, as well as what amount of work goes on behind the scenes in the classes I take. I also learned that while teaching is fun, grading is NOT fun. The worst part is that my midterms are at the same time as the ones I have to grade – which doesn’t make it easy to study for my own classes.

The other exciting development this semester is my field placement for social work. I’m working with the Washtenaw County Public Health Department to help develop a Latino community center for our community (Washtenaw County, the county in which the University of Michigan is located). Currently, there is no such organization that caters to people of Latino/Hispanic ethnicity or Spanish speakers.

I hope to write posts this year about my public health and social work classes, my field placement, teaching, and my passion, HIV and AIDS. Stay tuned!

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