I definitely can say that I underestimated this class. I know I probably should not say this, but I originally took this class simply because it was an online class that would close up my bioethics minor. What I did not realize is how influential health can be from a variety of perspectives. This includes the health of both men and women independently as well as together. During this class, I have also learned how to analyze how gender goes hand in hand with cultural models of health, medicine, sickness and the body. Furthermore, I have learned how influential the lives of women are by cultural, social, political and economic fact. I learned a lot about the ideas of authoritative knowledge and intersectionality. Lastly, I learned how the country of Jamaica, as well as many others, is vulnerable to gender related health issues such as HIV/AIDS. With all of this knowledge, I was given the opportunity to take a step further and learn how this issue intersects in a plethora of different ways.
I really enjoyed the set-up of the class. Not only did eliminating exams give me more time to complete my work, but it allowed for me to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the material. I felt as if I was doing my studying and making attempts to learn because I wanted to. Moreover, I felt that the discussion posts were opportunities to apply my knowledge instead of busy work. To add to that, I enjoyed how the discussion posts were split between blog and activity posts. This allowed for a slow build up towards our final project/ blog with our activity posts, and this allowed for us to explore additional material with our blog posts. I really enjoyed and appreciated the decent amount of extra credit that was available as well. It allowed for quite a bit of recovery if something was not originally clear in our assignments or if any of us did not fully understand the actual expectations of the class.. I also enjoyed the additional research that we could do for the assignments. I usually hate citing sources and looking for references, but this class had taught me a few new techniques on how to find reliable academic journals as well as advocate bringing our own ideas or views to the table. I loved how the lectures had both a video portion as well as a script, and I enjoyed how sometimes you had options on what you could write about. This goes hand in hand with the feeling I described about not feeling like I was forced to do work.
Obviously we always have to watch what we say as a lot of us go through situations that the rest of the class will never understand, but I also enjoyed that I was finally able to speak my mind. I was actually able to open up on a variety of topics such as how I suffer with body image issues as well as how I sometimes make unhealthy decisions trying to reach my ideal body. It saddens me that this is the truth, but this class made me take a step forward with my issues. In other words, this class allowed and encouraged me to make progress regardless on my gender.
If I were to change anything about this class, I would add additional content. Yes, there were many sources of information, but I would love to see an opportunity to apply these models in a homework like fashion. It does not matter if the homework is graded or not, but I believe it would help many people truly understand the material. I still believe that I have a few questions on the individual perspectives, and I feel like additional work could have maybe cleared up some of my confusion, so I would not have to bother any of the professors or TAs. Do not get me wrong, I originally loved having no homework, but I am a firm believer of applied learning. The discussion were ways to apply learning, but it is only one way and when it comes to me, variety is always better while learning, and I am sure it is probably the same to many others.