Friday, June 21, 2013

Gaining Traction

So you know how I am getting my Masters in Public Health? ( I talk about it sometimes...) That is still happening. And the NEXT BIG THING on my graduation to-do list is to decide on my capstone project. which... I don't even know what to compare a capstone too exactly. It's huge. It's a year long project doing research on a topic within pubic health; choosing an area to study, analysing data, forming conclusions, writing a paper, presenting that paper to a panel of extremely intelligent professors in the department, allowing them to point out all the things that are wrong, defend myself...and then (hopefully) pass and graduate.

 It's sorta epic.

 And I swear I feel like I have been trying to think of a topic I want to research for a year.  I know I was thinking about it at the start of the year when I mentioned my capstone goals in my New Years Resolution... so I have FOR SURE been rolling around ideas for six months.  I have no idea what is wrong with me, or why I didn't just buckle down, ask for help and WORK OUT A PLAN, but I didn't. For months I would just randomly think from time to time "I wounder if there is a way to find out the effects of infertility medications on pregnancy outcomes..."  or "I wonder how hard it would be to find the effects of GMOs on early childhood development.." , which, don't get me wrong, aren't bad ideas (at least I think they sound okay) but they had no backing, no data.  They were just thoughts that floated in and out of my head, along with about fifteen other similar thoughts.  Nothing ever taking hold, nothing ever gaining any traction as that one GREAT (researchable) idea. 

Until yesterday.

I finally sent some emails this week.  I contacted my adviser and my practicum instructor, both of whom I adore.  I told them my ideas, told them I feel a little overwhelmed and possibly confused on how you go about finding that ONE BIG IDEA to spend a year of your life working on.  I wanted it to be meaningful, but at the same time, something I could actually complete within a reasonable amount of time.  So I set up some meetings, we emailed about existing data sets, I had a two hour meeting with my practicum instructor and BAM!  Yesterday I picked my capstone project.

Or at least, I kind of did.  I narrowed it down. I have a distinct direction, I have a workable data set, and there is no doubt that I am gaining traction. I am going to hold off on mentioning what the project is, because that seems like a bad idea.  Like, WHAT IF SOMEONE STOLE IT!  (Which wouldn't really be stealing because I would be the fool giving it away for free on my blog)  Plus, it's just the start of the idea, the rough draft of the plan. But I feel really good about it.  Great even. 

It is an amazing feeling to be doing something you are passionate about.  And I find myself extremely passionate about public health.  It feels really good to feel like I may be able to make a difference in people's lives by working in public health research.  This capstone will be the first step. 

So, like every other time I start something big and new, I am going to tell you I am doing it.  Mention that it might reduce the frequency of blogs posts around here, and then basically continue to post something 3-4 times a week, just like I have for the last seven years.  I am not going anywhere, I am just adding one more important thing to my plate.  But this new thing is something I am going to (at least sometimes) enjoy... so it's all good.


1 comment:

  1. that's exciting! I had a REALLY hard time picking my capstone project but it was a really fun one to work on, in th eend. and, i am a research junkie!