Aparna in Mozambique

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Social Engagements in Beira


Every weekend I think that I am going to get so much work done. Indeed, yesterday I spent almost the whole day inside trying to finish my lecture for Monday morning. For some reason, I felt the need to sign up for a lecture on Using Data in Public Health. Actually it was my idea. And now, I am stuck having to decide what will be best to talk about, national programs, or just having to use the DHS. I think I'll stick with the simplest things. The students are already freaked out about their English language exam and about all the things that could appear on it. I know its terrible, but I just don't want them to hate me. I have no idea how real teachers do this everyday. Being a good teacher must have a little bit to do with not caring if they like you or not and also, being ok with being a bit of a know it all. Not to offend at all, mostly just to say that I am way to soft to be any good at this in the long term.

Ok, off topic. So, every weekend, I think I am going to "relax". But, relax and me don't seem to go well together for me unless I am not relaxed. Last night a friend of a friend was in town and we got pizzas. Today there is a going away party. I am making guacamole. But, the avocodo guy had sold out yesterday. I promised him I would buy them today so I have an avocado buying date with the upstairs vendor at the market, who, by the way also sells really nice bags made out of straw if anyone wants one. Oh, and I am supposed to be there in five minutes, ooops.

Plus, the other thing that is making me feel a little strange right now is that I am also booking my friends bachelorette party details. Thats right, the dinner, the place to go out. I am ordering invites online as we speak for another one of the bridesmaids to send out! Its so strange.

One big thing on my mind this week is the method that they use to teach medical students at this college. It is called PBL, problem based learning. Apparently they use it in Holland and in Canada and the big claim to fame is that they use it at harvard. Basically it sets up these problem tasks and students have to discuss them and find information in the library on their own. They have a tutor (like me) and then they have skills sessions and lectures to bring in knowledge that they can't find on their own. The whole thing is nice in theory and I think it would be really good for graduate students, but I'm not entirely convinced that it is the right thing for undergrads. That being said, I know I thought I was something special and innovative as an undergrad so maybe it can work. I know though, thought that I liked experts and I liked having black and white until maybe my 3rd or 4th year. There is some level of that in every field and especially so in medicine. But hey, these are students that will be doctors in rural posts and running their own hospitals in a few years, so maybe teaching independent thinking and making the most of scanty resources (consultant professors that don't show up and very very few in the first place) works in this setting. We will see what my opinions are at the end of the year....maybe you all can check it out online and tell me what you think??

Well, not much else to say other than after my last post, I got really really lazy with posting but I think I am back. Shockingly, today I haven't even had a cup of coffee. I think I might last another hour:)

The next time I post, I should be done with this block and ready to get back to my research and that so-called report that should have been produced a little while ago. Oops.....ah well, its still Sunday. Am going to try to enjoy the rest of the day and start worrying around 5PM later today......hope you enjoy yours too!

Um abraco,


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