Troubles with titles… and other musings

by Seema Jolly on March 30, 2012

For anyone who has heard me talk about this course over the last few months, you’ve likely heard me talk about how much I loathed coming up with a title for my posts.   It’s just a few words, but how can they cause so much stress?  How do you sum up a post and find a catchy (but truthful) way to grab someone’s attention?  Without a good title, aren’t the rest of your words meaningless?  While the last 10 weeks have been a good learning process for me, I still have a great deal of disdain for selecting a title.  So, in full disclosure, if any of the titles to my posts caught your eye and made you stop and read, it’s likely because of fellow MTSG blogger, Candace Rowell (thanks!) :)

Aside from my struggle with coming up with punchy one liners, perhaps one my biggest challenges throughout this semester was deciding when (and how) to offer my opinions in my posts.  At the beginning of the semester, Professor Maynard kept telling us that it’s okay to offer an “opinion backed up by evidence” but encouraged us not to “advocate for change.”  To me, these lines were and still are a little fuzzy.  How could I possibly write about something that I was knowledgeable and passionate about without advocating for change, when the reason that I’m in public health is to advocate for changes that I think are essential to really address some of our major public and environmental health problems?  So, for most of the semester, I purposely steered clear of topics that really rile me up (essentially, anything related to the food industry, our agricultural system, social injustice, health disparities, I guess the list goes on!).  I’m not sure I found the right balance, but as the semester progressed, I found myself becoming more comfortable with weaving my opinion into my pieces and I hope some of you who read these posts saw this transition as well.

The field of public health is vast and wide, and I hope my posts reflected that and shed some light to topics that may have been new to you.  Thanks for reading, commenting, offering feedback, helping me cite images, helping me edit, and most importantly, helping me build my communication skills that will undoubtedly be essential as I embark on my career in public health!