I’m so geeked! I never say “geeked”, but there it is. Last night I finished the first installment of the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine Distance Learning Program. There are actually two courses, Therapeutics and Materia Medica, and I’m working on both simultaneously. So I was really excited that I was able to complete the first installment of both last night. It took me almost a month to the day to finish, which really surprised me. I thought it would take about two months for me to get through each portion since 1.) I’m doing both courses at the same time and 2.) I work at home full time, blog quite a bit, and raise a 3-year-old boy who likes to climb bookshelves and spit banana on the dogs when I’m not looking.
So how did I do it? I’ve given myself a schedule to try and watch at least an hour of the DVD’s a day, after said banana spitter is in bed at night. I’ve also been working my way through the Physiology Coloring Book, attempting to do at least a page of that a day. My son loves this part because I have a massive box of artist’s color pencils that I let him dip into. We sit on the floor, I show him pictures of phospholipids and sodium potassium channels, and he draws his own amoebic pictures while I learn cell structure and how an eyeball works.
One thing that has really surprised me by the SWSBM courses is how difficult the quizzes for the Therapeutics course can be! Funny thing: They’re not really graded, you’re not taking a quiz while sitting in a classroom with nothing but your memory to help you, and yet they’re quite challenging. Students are encouraged to leave their quiz questions out while watching the DVD’s, filling in the answers as they’re discussed by the instructors. Sounds easy enough, but since you’re often learning completely foreign concepts, it takes some serious listening to catch all the answers. The point of the quizzes is really to help the student know what things are best committed to memory. I’ve learned to keep a Word file open on my computer for notes and another for quiz answers. And believe it or not, I’ve even had to go back and watch several sections of the DVD’s over again just to find all the answers! That helped solidify a lot of information, which was pretty helpful to me.
So what have I been learning so far? Therapeutics took me through some Chemistry Basics, Cell Metabolism, Physiology Introduction, Nerve Function, Nervous System, Autonomic Nervous System, and GI Tract. The Materia Medica works its way through various herbs alphabetically by Latin name, as well as some coverage of things like Adaptogens, Physiology, and more. All totally fascinating, making evenings of study something to look forward to – and of course something to get really geeked about.