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February 24, 2007

Trip to California and Stormy Weather

School is definitely going to be busy these next two weeks before spring break. As I'm sure most students do right before spring break, I've got lots of assignments and tests and meetings. I'll do a more complete class posting sometime this week, but for now I think posting pictures from my trip to California would be more fun!

The Wedding Party
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The fun wedding party picture!
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Natalia and I getting ready to head off to the wedding location doing makeup and such...
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The awesome weather and the Santa Barbara beach (actually it's the Carpinteria beach, but close enough)
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Did the storm on Friday night wake anyone else up periodically throughout the night?
I'm a pretty heavy sleeper, but the wind woke me up about 3 or 4 times during the night. The wind kept shaking my windows and blowing the icy rain sleet stuff at them. Very noisy little storm. Saturday morning it was really quiet when I woke up, so I figured the snow must have started, and indeed it had! I love severe weather!

Friday night I was planning on hosting a potluck at my house with a few other students from the school of public health. But at the last minute everyone decided the weather was going to be too severe to be out driving around in it, so it ended up being just me and Jooyeon. We still had fun though! Jooyeon made a Korean spicy vegetable dish ( I can't remember what it's called) and I made crab puffs, a vegetable soup in the crock pot, and margaritas.

February 9, 2007

How I came to be here...

Well, I’ve been saying for a while that I wanted to write about how I decided to come to Minnesota for grad school and I’ve finally got a moment when I can devote a while to doing the story justice.

I started picking out which programs and schools to apply to in the fall of 2005 in preparation for starting graduate school in the fall of 2006. I ended up applying to 5 schools. The 5 finalists were University of Washington, University of Minnesota, University of Arizona, University of Illinois Chicago and Ohio State University.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to decide which programs to apply to. I knew that I wanted to apply to a school of public health masters level program, but I was pretty torn between biostats, epi, and health services. I ended up choosing to apply to the EPI MPH program because I thought it would fit best with what I wanted to get out of graduate school. After I thought a lot about what I wanted to do, I decided that what I really wanted out of my masters program was to learn as many analytical and study design skills as I can so that when I go out into the work force I can work on many different areas of public health and have the toolkit of skills I will need to do many different aspects of study design and analysis.

Looking back I’m not really sure I spent as much time choosing the schools I would apply to as I should have. I’ll admit that my first choice was not the U of M, though I am quite happy with it as my final choice. My first choice was the University of Washington because it’s a good school and I’m from Seattle so I wanted to stay there with my family and friends, but my grades weren’t quite good enough to get in there. As for the other 4 schools, I did get in to all of them, but for several reasons, the U of M definitely came out waaay on top of the other schools. The application for UofM was a million times better than any of the other schools I applied to. I heard back about my admission about a month and a half after I sent in my application and the student services office was always available for questions and super helpful in terms of directing me to people that could answer my questions. That combined with the fact that U of M is a highly ranked school clinched my decision.

I didn’t actually visit the U of M campus before I accepted my admission here because I didn’t have time to schedule a trip. It worked out fine, but I was a little nervous about moving out here having never been to Minnesota.

If you’re reading this and you are a prospective student, please feel free to leave me a message and I’ll try to answer your question or point you to the person who can!