Today I have bot med, otherwise known as botanical medicines. As a naturopath, I know that bot med is something that I want to be very skilled at, and an area that I’d like to focus in. For the past three years, I’ve also been hearing that the teachers are disorganized, that there are gaps and overlaps in the material, and that the teachers run through things at about a million miles a minute. What’s a girl to do?
Well, the first thing I did is think about how I want to be able to pull the information up later on, studying for boards or in practice. I want to be able to pull things up to study by the individual plant name, by the family, by the type of plant that it is, and finally by condition. This means that I need all of that information as a scaffolding before I ever get in to class. I’ve been working on getting that set up in my little vdp wiki for botanical medicine. Next, I added pictures of all of the plants that we’re supposed to cover for the entire quarter, so if a slide comes up randomly I’ll have a shot at getting to the right page even if the teacher doesn’t start off with the name “because everyone already knows what This is, right?” .
This gives me several advantages: 1, I already have a plan. Having a plan is critical for synthesizing information in this quantity. 2, I already have the scaffolding for notes for an entire quarter. Adding details to a plant is only clicks away. Even if an herb comes up randomly weeks early or late, is talked about twice or not at all, all of my notes have a designated place to be and I already have a decent amount of information written down about each plant. 3, it will be easy to see where the holes are, to study in my own time.
Sometimes we forget that as students, we can only get out of a class as much as we’re willing to put in. Having a wonderfully organized and eloquent teacher makes getting a lot of information and learning out of a class easier. Having a good work ethic and plan gets a good framework even with a bad or disorganized teacher.
We’re playing for keeps, folks. This isn’t about passing classes anymore, it’s about helping people live the most healthy and best quality life that they can have.