Welcome -

Welcome to my blog about female/maternal global health. For some time now, I have been intrigued by medicine - both the history of past medical practices and the future that we are working toward. As a result, I have begun to look into the topic of maternal health - a plight that the world has struggled with for millennia. Although it has become clear that we, as a global society, have made tremendous headway in protecting women's health worldwide, there is still much to be done in order to completely eliminate the problem. In this blog I will summarize and discuss my research as well as debate/support the convictions of others. Through this project I strive to make the world more aware of the global issues surrounding maternal health and of that which each person can do in support. Thank you for visiting!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Final Reflection

Reflection: 4-2-15
Final Reflection

1. On a scale of 0 to 100 (from zero effort to the most effort you possibly could have given) what would you rate your effort level on your 20% Time Project?
          I think it fluctuated.  At first, I gave it about 50% effort... I was busy with college stuff and other schoolwork and it fell out of my mind.  Toward the end of the project - the last month and a half - it became increasingly important to me.  In order to finish my product and prepare for my presentation, I gave at least 90% effort and spent as much time as I had on it.

2. In what areas (research, planning, blogging, executing, presenting) have you given more effort or less effort?  Why?
          I definitely spent much more effort on preparing for the presentation and the presentation itself.  I think that introducing the issue to the community was almost as important as finishing the final product on time, so I focused a lot of my effort toward that piece.  I had a lot of trouble with the photo-taking piece of my project, and even though I thought a lot about it, I probably could have put in more effort to get out into the community and find photo subjects.

3. What are you really proud of from your 20% Time Project?
          I have to say, I am quite proud of my presentation.  I felt like it was succinct and that the audience enjoyed what I had to say and how I presented it.  I wasn't feeling fantastic about my project going into the presentation, but afterward I felt much more confident in my work during this time.

4. What motivated you to give the effort level that you did give?
          In all honesty, I probably gave a lot of effort toward the end, in particular, because we had an approaching deadline.  At the beginning it was more about spreading the word and helping the cause (and don't get me wrong, that has persevered), but I felt the rush of the deadline, and that got me moving.

5. If you could go back and do the project over, are there things you would try to improve?  Are there things you wish you'd done, that you didn't do?  Ways you could have pushed yourself to raise the bar even higher?
          I would definitely try to get out into the community and find more photo subjects - I struggled a lot with this portion, but I definitely wish I had forced myself to look elsewhere.            
6. What was the most challenging part of this project for you?
          As mentioned numerous times, the photo-subject-locating portion was particularly difficult for me.

7. What have you learned about the project-planning process?
          Since the 20% Time proposal was the first proposal I had ever written, it prepared me completely for the Senior Project proposal.  I think that was definitely the most helpful part of this project for me.  It trained me how to produce a successful and thorough write-up for a proposal and I expect that I will need to use this skill in years to come.

8. What in this project has made the biggest impact on your learning? Why?
          (see above..)

9. When you consider the rest of your life, what percentage of what you learned during this project do you think will be useful to you?  Explain.
          Honestly, I think that a lot of what I learned will help me later in life.  As I wrote above, I think the most important part of the process was the writing of the proposal.  However, I have also learned a lot about how to meet deadlines in a timely manner, how to avoid procrastination via more planning, and how to find creativity and innovation where there seemingly is none.  I believe all of this - maybe 70% of the project - will be useful later in life.

10. If you could turn back time and do this project again, what would you do differently?
          (this was already asked and answered in question #5..)

11. What advice would you give students who will participate in this project next year? 
          I would say that they should make sure to really, really think about the topic of their project before they choose one, and they should think long and hard about their product.  It's very easy to bite off more than you can chew, and I think students need to be wary of that fact.

12. What is something I could do in the future to make this project better?
          I definitely need to keep spreading the word and trying to present my work to others in the community.  I think I can also improve my physical product and make it look more professional - although I have to say that I rather like the student-made quality of my work.  I could also put this "campaign" on social media to help me spread the word (e.g. post on Facebook, create a Facebook page, make something like a GoFundMe page, etc.)

13. What grade would you give yourself for the quarter?  On what main factors do you base that grade?
          For everything studied so far this quarter (since January) - including the 20% Time project, contract honors work, readings, responses, debates, class participation, reflections, etc. - I think I have done really well.  I think I pulled off most everything I wrote about in my project proposal for the 20% Time Project and I have put in a 98% on the effort scale above for all of the rest of the classwork (especially in reading/responses and preparation for debates).  I am proud of the work I have continued to do even though it has been "senior slump" time and, in all, I would give myself a 96.  (I just noticed that this is the grade that you, Mark, have given to me already.  I believe that it is a very accurate representation of my overall effort and work in this class thus far.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Reflection: February 1st

Reflection: Sunday, February 1st, 2015

This week during our 20% Time Project time, I completed the dictation of the video that I will include on the final product.  In all honesty, the video is quite difficult to watch; spending so much time watching and re-watching it was saddening to say the least.  (If any of you would like to take a look at it, here is the link: http://content.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,89844377001_1994479,00.html).  I also worked to gather more pieces of information to include side-by-side with the shortened and edited dictation of this video.

I am still struggling with the photography aspect of this project.  I cannot think of anywhere to go that would have subjects suitable for such a project - I am not looking for pregnant women, as most people would think.  Instead, I am searching for subjects that abstractly resemble the subject of maternal health.  I think such photographs would be more thought-provoking than simply photos of pregnancy and small children.  However, I am finding that the places that I normally frequent are not providing me with much of any inspiration, so I spoke with my instructor, Mark, about this issue.  I will continue searching and hopefully speaking with Mark and the more art-focused students at my school with help.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Reflection: December 21st

Reflection: December 21st (and during Winter Break)

I think these next few weeks will be 20%-filled!  I spent all of break writing college essays and taking care of family business, so unfortunately I was not able to spend a lot of time taking the photos that I was planning to take for this project.  I did, however, spend some time brainstorming photo subjects and, if I am being completely honest, I am still at a loss.  I thought about it and I believe part of my issue is that I do not really go anywhere that isn't my house or school and, in these two locations, there is little to take mother/baby-related photos.  In the coming weeks, especially after exams, I am going to need to get out of the house in order to take these photos!

In order to make sure that I am making progress even if I cannot quickly find subjects, I am going to start writing up the story that I will include on the final product.  I found it a few weeks ago and as soon as I write it up and include some photos to go along with it, I will be right on my way to finishing this project on time!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Reflection: December 13th

Reflection: December 13th, 2014

Unfortunately, I haven't had time to accomplish as much as I wanted to in terms of my project this week.  I was hoping to have some time to get some inspiration for the photographs I plan to take but I wasn't able to do so.  Hence,  I am still looking for some inspiration just like last week and I am hoping that I will find some in the coming week!  However, I was able to spend some time looking for an engaging (and to be frank, somewhat depressing) story to include on my final product.  I knew I found the right story when my eyes became watery while reading it - there is no question that it will make quite the impression.

Also, Mark suggested that I take a peek at the photos of a one Julia Luckett Cox, a graduate of our high school.  I spent some time going through all of the photos on her website, although many of them are portraits.  I found a collection of photographs from her travels to Latin America with Food 4 Farmers and some of these are more what I am searching for.  My plan is to speak with Mark this week and see if I can get my hands on some more of her photos from her travels abroad.  If I am able to look through those this coming week, I will be able to take my photos during Winter Break.  Then, once we get back to school in January, I can spend one of our 20% Time periods typing up and editing the story that I found this week.  I believe that if I can get both of these things done, I will be in a good position to finish up the rest of my project right on time!

I have to say, I am quite thrilled to finally start piecing a few parts of the project together.  I am quite happy that I was able to find the perfect story and, with a little tweaking, I believe I can make it into exactly what I need it to be.  I will say that I am still a little nervous about taking the photos and that they will not be as good as I hoped.  I haven't spent time taking photos in a long, long time and until I find some inspiration and ideas for this project, I'm afraid I won't have much to go on.  Hopefully after looking through Julia's work I will feel a bit more confident!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Reflection: December 5th, 2014

Reflection: December 5th, 2014

      We're finally in the first stages of production!  I've started thinking about/researching photographs and stories to include in my final product and it's been... interesting.  I have found a few in-depth, personal stories about women who have experienced the reality of maternal health in other countries and it has been tremendously depressing.  Some of the stories that I have found are accompanied by photos of the women and simply seeing the look on their faces in some of them is enough to break your heart.  I can truly say that, although I was interested in and dedicated to this cause before, after reading these women's stories I am much more attached than I was previously.  This is yet another reason why I believe my project can make a difference.  If I pick a good story, I can't even imagine how many people it will affect when they read it while staring at some of the photos I will take.  However, as jazzed as I am about this section of the project, I am not so jazzed about the photo-taking section.  I have been pondering what photos would be best for this project for weeks now and coming up with a solid list of ideas is proving to be incredibly difficult.  Now it seems like almost nothing can, even abstractly, represent maternal health or pregnancy in general.  I think I may need to go out and find either some help or some inspiration - or both!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

List of Photographs

List of Photographs to take in the coming months:

top of a child's head
woman with child

Reflection: 11-19-14

Now that you've completed your project proposal, what are your thoughts about launching your project?  Worries?  Biggest challenges, looking ahead?  Aspects of your project you're most excited about or anticipating?


          Before completing my project proposal last night, I spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting upon what I am to expect throughout this process.  I am thrilled to see where my creativity takes the result of my work (partially because I do not typically use my artistic side during typical school-related activities) and to push myself to create the best final product that I can.  I am also excited to produce a physical item that will reside both in and out of our school before I graduate.
          However, I am concerned that my lack of creativity will culminate in a sub-par project (and I believe that this is a make sure very fair worry).  Also, I am anxious about the possibility that no outside organizations (other than Vermont Commons School) will be interested in my final product.  However, the only way that I can think of to make sure that this does not happen would be to contact all of the organizations and ask exactly what they want; I am not particularly interested in doing this, though, because I want to make sure that what I create is my own invention and comes from my own mind.  I believe that it is a gift that we have this time and I would much prefer to use this time to create something that I truly want to create.  This being said, I will be contacting my project contacts once I have a portion of my project already created to make sure that I am making something that they will be able to take advantage of.