For the past 8 weeks I’ve been spending my time at the Community Cancer Center to fulfill a Professional Practice course requirement in my senior year curriculum. I’ve been reading so many journals and writing so many reports and learning sooo much (from the best) that I’ve hardly had time to do much of anything else. My experience was beneficial in every way and completely relevant for supplementing my classroom learning. The Dietitian that I shadowed helped me to connect classroom concepts in a clinical setting, challenged my thoughts, but also helped me to discover the answers to my own questions.
Early on during my Professional Practice experience she asked me to write a 500-600 word article about, “using physical activity to prevent cancer” for a local health magazine, Healthy Cells. Eager to impress, I quickly finished my 600-words-exactly editorial and gave it to her proudly. She also seemed to like the work that I had done and even complimented my ability to pull the reader in from the beginning. She submitted my article to her boss so that it could be approved for publication in the next edition of Healthy Cells. Needless to say, her superior didn’t like it. The message of my article wasn’t believed to benefit the people who read local health magazines in central Illinois. (Perhaps it could benefit LifesLemons readers?) It may have been my writing style, my long-windedness (in the sentence-structure department) or the dramatic flair that I tend to put on things (in this case, it was the benefits of exercise for cancer prevention.) Dozens of changes were made and at least three other drafts were declined for approval, but more importantly lessons were learned in the process. 1.) When writing for the general public scale back on the scientific journal citations (they tend to bore.) 2.) Perhaps don’t use such big fancy words and shoot for a sixth grade reading level. Despite the constructive criticism, I was given boatloads of encouragement and kind words. I feel more confident than ever in my decision to continue my education in the field of dietetics.
So what am I doing now? I’m laying low for a week before fall semester starts up. Right now? I’m making a big sign for our Local Honey booth at a community event this Saturday. Right this second now? I’m watering the LifesLemons drought by sharing a few words and my grilled cheesy, split-peasy rainy day soup.