Human Anatomy at Colby

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February 3, 2020 · No Comments

As a first year, this class was not at all what I expected from my first January Term. All fall, people I met told me how relaxing Janplan can be. I was expecting to go skiing almost every weekend and have lots of time each day to simply relax. However, when combined with baseball, I had little time to relax and even less to sleep. This course demanded a lot of focus and hard work. That being said, I am extremely happy to have taken the class.

Because of the amazing amount of material in such a short amount of time, I was forced to develop strategies to study efficiently and complete assignments quickly. This led to the development of many good habits that I will continue to practice throughout the spring semester and my next several years at Colby. Learning how to get yourself in the right mindset to study is important. Sitting down with the materials is one thing, but in some courses, I will check my phone or browse the internet for 20 even 30 minutes before actually doing anything productive. In this course, the material was quite interesting to me so actually getting started was not too challenging. But this idea made me want to know what it is that will make me most efficient in classes that I don’t necessarily enjoy. Lastly, this course allowed me to understand what my priorities are and the order in which they fall. Family, school, and baseball are my first three priorities. When I had to choose to play basketball with friends or study, I would look at this list and choose to study. This system is a little too clear cut to deal with all decisions, but it allowed a starting point for managing my time.

A specific topic I enjoyed in this class was the Central and Peripheral Nervous System lecture. Briefly learning how nerve fibers work and produce these sensations that our minds can consciously process is ridiculous to me. This sentiment can be summed up in a quote that Dr. Klepach includes in his emails, “You don’t need the iPhone: you have the most exquisite apparatus in the known universe sitting right in your head – the most complex organization of matter in the entire universe. And here are we, feeling a little depressed, feeling like we’re not getting where we need to be, when really you might be exactly where you need to be” (Jon Kabat-Zinn). This quote discusses that all our lives have meaning and backs it up with a real and astonishing scientific fact that is often taken for granted.

At the end of lectures, Dr. Klepach would include topics of disease as they relate to material. These small bits of information were quite fascinating to me. It let me get a taste of the power of understanding anatomical and physiological relationships within the body. This interest of mind peaked during our Grand Rounds projects and presentations. Investigating a case and learning all about the causes for disease and treatments was quite interesting. Furthermore, hearing my classmates’ talks was also quite interesting. Never before had I been surrounded by so many people that shared this curiosity and enjoyment of medicine.

Charlie Furlong

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