Back to school

Posted in NaBloPoMO, School by

Back to school, hope that I don’t look like a fool. It has been quite some time since I set foot into a classroom. Longer than I would like to admit actually.  On of my main goals for next year is to be back in school. I’m not getting any younger, time is passing quicker and I’m still not a nurse yet. Until then, I have signed up for a few classes with Coursera. If you have not heard of Coursera it is a free online “college” that allows you take classes taught by real professors from real schools, catch is that currently they don’t offer credits for the classes they teach. I, personally am OK with this, as it has been a nice refresher to getting back into the swing of school, not to mention I am taking a class that I would never have the opportunity to take at a school in this area. Coursera is constantly adding new classes with different subjects to study, so if you have some free time, check it out! Here is what I am currently taking and what I am signed up for in the future:

  • Drugs & The Brain : What happens in the body when a person smokes a cigarette? After several weeks of smoking? When a person takes antidepressant or antipsychotic medication? A drug for pain or migraine? A recreational drug? Neuroscientists are beginning to understand these processes. You’ll learn how drugs enter the brain, how they act on receptors and ion channels, and how “molecular relay races” lead to changes in nerve cells and neural circuits that far outlast the drugs themselves. “Drugs and the Brain” also describes how scientists are gathering the knowledge required for the next steps in preventing or alleviating Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, and drug abuse. [Currently Enrolled]
  • The Social Context of Mental Health and Illness : This course is an opportunity to explore how social practices and ideas contribute to the ways in which society, families and individuals are affected by mental health and mental illness. We will look at issues like why some people think mental illness is a myth, how people think about mental health and illness in different cultures, who gets mentally ill and why, how families are affected by mental illness and what interventions are available to treat mental illness and promote mental health. [Starts January 2013]
  • A Beginners Guide to Irrational Behavior : Behavioral economics and the closely related field of behavioral finance couple scientific research on the psychology of decision making with economic theory to better understand what motivates investors, employees, and consumers. This course will be based heavily on my own research. We will examine topics such as how emotion rather than cognition determines economic decisions, “irrational” patterns of thinking about money and investments, how expectations shape perceptions, economic and psychological analyses of dishonesty by presumably honest people, and how social and financial incentives combine to motivate labor by everyday workers and CEOs alike. This highly interdisciplinary course will be relevant to students with interests in General Management, Behavioral Finance, Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, and Marketing. [Starts March 2013]
  • Introduction to Pharmacy : This course will answer these questions and provide a comprehensive introduction to this profession. We will explore the history of pharmacy and its evolving scope of practice; examine educational and career pathways; tackle issues relating to medication safety and adverse drug events; gain insight into the regulatory and ethical considerations in pharmacy practice; and more. [Starts September 2013]
  • Cardiac Arrest, Hypothermia, and Resuscitation Science : This course will explore new breakthroughs in the treatment of patients during cardiac arrest and after successful resuscitation, including new approaches to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and post-arrest care. Topics will include: (1) the underlying challenges of cardiac arrest in public health, (2) the important role of chest compressions and ventilations, and new thinking about how to improve these approaches in resuscitation care, (3) the role of defibrillation and the exciting growth of automatic external defibrillation (AED) programs, and (4) the new science of targeted temperature management, also known as therapeutic hypothermia, to improve brain function after circulation is restored. This course is designed for a broad audience including the lay public, emergency medical personnel and other health care providers. [Date to be announced]

Not all of the classes that they offer are as heavy as the ones that I am taking, they just happen to interest me. Today I spent about 5 hours camped out at my local Starbucks, chugging Chai and studying for my first test for Drugs & the Brain. It has been an exceptionally long time since I have had to take massive notes, let alone study for a test. This class is a bit over my head, but since it is not impacting a GPA, I figure even if I don’t do well, I will have still learned something. Wish me luck on my test tomorrow!

Have you taken any classes with Coursera? How was your experience?

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Are you happier when you’re working or when you’re relaxing?

I think the answer to this question is a little bit of both. Working of course nets you money, which allows you to do fun things while relaxing. But working also allows you to learn new skills and meet new people that enrich your life. Both of these things can bring happiness. Relaxing is always great because you can explore new things and meet people as well.

13 December, 2012
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