Saturday, July 25, 2009

In which I desire to learn

Being in school as an adult is completely different than when I was a teenager and in my early 20s. While my husband knew what he liked as a kid (science), studied it in college (chemistry and biochemistry), and started an illustrious career in it (he's a chemist), I followed the more "traditional" path of getting a B.A. in a vague liberal-arts type of concentration: psychology, and creative writing. The creative writing has served me -- and you, dear reader(s)! -- well over the years. I write, not as much as I want, but I am satisfied with my style that I hope mixes humorous anecdotes with serious topics. But I've never used the psychology, and a bachelor-level degree in psychology is sort of ambiguous anyway.

My parents paid for my school and I'm grateful. Thank you, parents. However, now that I'm paying for my own school, I feel more INSPIRED than grateful. (Because, honestly, it's hard to feel grateful to yourself, right?) I want to milk this for all its worth. I want to get my money's worth. I want to learn while I have the opportunity and the access to teachers and fellow students.

Yeah, learning never stops, blah blah blah. But I think this a specific time in my life when learning is the FOCUS. Reading, writing papers, attending births, learning. That's going to be it for the next few years. Leigh gets a chance to read for pleasure, to see movies, to watch "The Office" with her husband. I've always got an assignment to do, a birth/midwifery/breastfeeding-related book to read, something to google.

I keep a list of things that I want to learn. It's pretty short right now, but each topic is vast. I update it every few weeks. Here's what I've got:
  • Normal physiological birth
  • Placentas
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Hormones during labor and birth and postpartum
  • Homeopathic/"Natural" cures for pregnancy-related complaints
  • Twins
  • Anemia
  • Common diagnostic tests during pregnancy, and interpreting their results
  • Meconium
  • Appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, and its effects.


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