Let the games begin!

Hi! Hope all of you have been enjoying this wonderful summer doing whatever it is you like to do.

I’m happy to report that Anatomy & Physiology II is over and it’s time for the summer games to begin for me.

Been there, done that!

Been there, done that!

It was an intense 8 weeks to say the least.  On Tuesday of this week I took my lab practical final and yesterday was the cumulative lecture final comprised of 125 questions.  I thought my head was going to explode and my writing hand freeze up when I got to the last page of short answer questions.  Or as I like to call the short answer questions “essays”.  I think I freaked my classmates out when I asked the professor questions about the essay section of the final.  Luckily, “S” was able to calm the situation and tell the other classmates how much I like the word essay.

Overall, I enjoyed Anatomy & Physiology II and learned so much in such a short period of time.  During the 8 weeks, “S” and I had a blast during our study sessions and 2 hour commute to Norwich, NY.

I did learn a few big lessons along the way as well.

Don’t leave LAB early. On the first day of lab, we asked the professor if we had to stay for the entire duration after the quiz.  The professor simply told us that we can do whatever we want.  In fact, he said we didn’t have to show up.  This was the complete opposite of the lab portion of A&P I.  If you did not want your lab grade to suffer by points being taken away if you did not show up or left early, it was in your best interest to go to lab.

Leaving the lab early the first two weeks came back to bite “S” and I in the you know what when the professor plopped a freshly dissected heart from a sheep on the overhead projector.  The task was to identify the structure or function of various parts of the heart that he pointed to.

Keep in mind, that I knew my heart anatomy (textbook diagram) inside and out and all related structures that separated the four chambers.  Once I saw the sheep heart, my heart dropped to the floor and I freaked out.  I could not identify any of the actual structures that his instrument was pointing to because it looked nothing like the glossy color coded hearts in the lab manual.    I did manage to make a couple of educated guesses; but in the end I knew that my quiz score was doomed from the start.

To make matters worse, on the next quiz an EKG printout was displayed on the overhead for interpretation of the various waves.  I skimmed my lab book on the EKG section and was familiar with the P, QRS, & T components. But in no way shape or form was I able to recollect which ones went with polarization, depolarization, blah, blah, blah..

After that quiz, I had another freak out and told “S” that it was probably in our best interest to stay for the duration of the lab.  She agreed with the new plan and it made a huge difference on the quizzes and lab practicals that were to follow.  We had to be prepared because the names of all the arteries and veins were the next up on the docket to be identified on a cat.

I definitely improved my dissecting skills with the help of the professor in this class and learned my way around the anatomy of a cat.  This professor was not a spoon feeder and did not just give you the answer.  He made me use my brain.  He would force me to think about my question and navigate me through the cat by asking me questions back so I can figure it out on my own.  Questions like, where do you think the blank organ or vessel should be? and what anatomical structure do you know? and start my search from the anatomy I did know.   Like obvious structures – the heart and kidneys.

We did manage to have some fun the Friday before finals week by taking a class field trip.  Yep, I’m not kidding, a group of A&P II students, the professor and I took a road trip to NYC last Friday to see The Bodies Exhibition in NYC.  All I can say about that was OMG-the coolest of the coolest exhibition I have ever seen.  I would definitely go back again and recommend this exhibit to you if you have any interest in the human body.  I just wished that we had one of these perfectly dissected bodies when I was learning the bones and muscles in A&P 1.

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We also enjoyed a nice lunch and some much needed cold brews at the Heartland Brewery (Seaport) before our journey in the exhibition hall.    I enjoyed a 23 ounce Farmer Jon’s Oatmeal Stout along with a blue cheese burger & fries that was all delish! It was just what I needed to quench my thirst and satisfy my hunger after the four hour drive from Norwich.  Don’t think that just because we were out of the classroom there wasn’t any bio shop talk going on as we sipped  guzzled those brews down.

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Earlier in the semester the professor showed us a youtube video of a person pouring a Guinness beer.  I’m sure that this sounds odd and you are wondering what the heck does Guinness beer have to do with anatomy & physiology.  Come to find out, Guinness has everything to do with A&P when you are learning about laminar flow.  It’s all about the infusion of the nitrogen used instead of CO2 with Guinness that makes this beer flow into a glass like the blood flows through your veins.  If you want to read all of the technical jargon that makes this happen, click here.  Another lesson learned: brews are always much smoother with nitrogen so remember to ask your bar server for a little nitrogen selection before you belly up.

It seems weird today that I don’t have a million pages of notes to rewrite combined with lab exercises to learn.  It does feel good to be done with the class but I will miss the fun with my classmates.  Although one gentleman in class said that he will NOT miss the early morning discussions  a group of us had trying to predict what the professor was going to ask on his daily quizzes.

Now all I am predicting is my final grade by plugging in various numbers into the final exam cell equation I created in Excel.  This way I know what the worst case scenerio is to keep my grade where it was before I handed in the final.  I guess I’ll have to wait and see.  As the professor kept reminding me throughout the summer session, worrying and predicting is such a waste of time because you can’t change what you just did- just move on.  Lesson – not learned!

Have a wonderful weekend and Let the GAMES begin!!