Tag: #education

The two kinds of professors you’ll meet

When I was in college, there was this one chemistry professor known for being very tough on students. He was the professor you’ve probably heard about, the one who tells the class that most of them will fail and will have to re-take the course. He said that it was pointless to try and get outside help for his class…

Face It, You Think You Know Better Than Me

There’s this person, we’ll call her “Ginny,”* who is an ardently anti-vaccine. She has multiple blogs, multiple social media accounts, participates in protests (traveling far and wide, money for the family be damned), and even thinks she leads a political party. Ginny has no medical or scientific training, per se. The closest she’s gotten is a bachelor’s or master’s or…

The two kinds of epidemiologists

One of the biggest challenges in my current work toward the doctoral degree is to reconcile the two kinds of ways that I am being taught epidemiology. The first way is as if I was going to become a researcher. The second is what I’m actually aiming for, becoming a public health practitioner. The school of public health is very,…

The nuances of language

The professor asked the class what a “confounder” was. I raised my hand and answered, “A confounder is something that is associated with both the exposure and the disease, but is not in the causal pathway between an exposure and a disease.” That is how I learned what a confounder is. That is how I explain it to people. The professor…

The blind teachers leading the blind students

I’ve been going to school since I was four years old. In those 30+ years, I’ve been the student of some very good teachers and some very bad teachers. The good teachers were good teachers not because they let me get away with not doing a homework or gave me extra credit on an exam. On the contrary, the good…

Up at the crack of dawn

Today wasn’t the first nor the last day that I woke up before the sun came out. Between my sophomore and junior year of high school, I woke up at four in the morning to be out the door by no later than 4:45am. I would then walk two miles to the nearest bus stop. I lived in the “lower…

Television as the third parent

Mom used to work late into the day when I was a kid. School usually ran from 8am to 1pm for me in Mexico, so I was alone at the house from 1:30pm to about 4pm or 5pm if my grandmother wasn’t there. Juarez, Mexico, was a whole lot safer when I was growing up there. I’d get home, turn…

“Blame it on my ADD, baby”

When I was ten years old, my mother and father decided that it was better for me to come go to school in El Paso, Texas, instead of Juarez, Mexico. They made arrangements with my aunt and uncle to go and live with them during the week and then go home to mom in Juarez on the weekends, and go…

May they remember my name

What will you be remembered for many years from now? One epidemiology professor at my school is still giving us lectures long after his death. I hope to be remembered for, among other things, my work.