Tag Archives: public health

Speaking at the #Latism13 conference! Should I bring my cane?

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I’m speaking at the #LATISM national conference for the second year in a row- very excited about this opportunity. LATISM stands for Latinos in Social Media and it’s a wonderful group of people who are engaged in supporting each other and having an impact. I’ll be speaking on a panel about Latinos and obesity that will focus on the generation of solutions. Our families and children need healthier outcomes, and they need them NOW. I really hope that many people will attend both the conference and this panel. Register here and get 15% off with EARLYBIRD code until August 1st. Yay!

Now on to my other question! Should I bring my cane? Conferences are huge and confusing and you’re constantly navigating in unfamiliar spaces. Since I have been embracing being open about Usher Syndrome, it might be a good personal challenge for me to bring my cane with me. It would open some dialogue and connections with others in a new way. This will be my third time attending the conference, so there will be that awkward moment of “hey, you’ve seen me before but without a blind cane.” There are many repeat attendees who I already know.

One young woman is very inspirational in being open about her disability. Her name is Laurita Tellado and she has spina bifida. She’s an advocate for awareness and has a great blog. Sometimes, she’ll attend an event in a wheelchair and sometimes she won’t. Everyone loves her and interacts with her comfortably, no matter what. It’s a great example to see.

I wonder what it would be like to attend with a cane. It would be easier to navigate the space and the crowds. I don’t have enough experience with it at the moment to feel confident using it, but I am due for more training this summer. I think it takes courage to use the cane as well, since you will appear different and not everyone understands that there are degrees of vision loss other than complete blindness. I will definitely continue to think about this.

What do you think I should do?

Thoughts on Grad School Orientation

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Tonight I attended my grad school orientation. Wanted to share some quick thoughts.

If I had any doubt about my decision to get my MPH (my second masters!), they are definitely gone now. I feel completely sure that this is the next part of my journey and I almost wish that classes started sooner! I know that I want to finish the degree as quickly as possible. One timeline mapped out four years of part-time study- way too long for me. I was advised by a current student to take it slow and enjoy the experience. I’d like to utilize my time well and graduate within a reasonable time frame, but I do understand the student’s point. I’m older now and look at this experience from a different perspective. I’m excited about the prospect of learning and I really do want to deeply immerse myself in my coursework. This might require me to go a little slower than I might want in order to maintain the quality of my experience.

Picking courses forces you to imagine your life in the future. Which schedule would be best? You don’t have all the information, but you try to make the best decision. I already look ahead and can tell that eating a healthy & robust dinner is going to be a problem. I’m traveling to school right after work and I will need to plan my meals carefully.

One class was offered as a hybrid class, meaning it’s both online and in person. I wasn’t sure if that was the best fit for me but the time works well with my work schedule. Then I thought about how much I love social media & the fact that online education is definitely where everything’s headed. So why not? I’m going to give this hybrid course a try. Maybe it will be amazing.

One thing I HAVE to mention is that I was stunned to find a lack of consistency within the school of public health about having healthy food. There were vending machines offering snacks and sodas, and the refreshments included diet soda, cookies, and Lays potato chips. I didn’t like it at all. That’s the only thing I didn’t like. I don’t know if I’m being too hard on them or if it’s not something that should be expected from the school, but I feel like it’s common sense. It made me appreciate our Wellness Policy at work. We hold everyone accountable to this policy, even for special events. It’s a cultural expectation and norm.

Other than that, I was excited to get ready for school! It will be a new path- finally getting deeper academic training in the health field. Looking forward to it.