Human Anatomy at Colby

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The JanPlan for Champions

February 5th, 2020 · Comments Off on The JanPlan for Champions

Hmm…where do I even begin to describe my experience with A&P. Well on the very first day of JanPlan, I overslept and awkwardly took a seat in the back. This was obviously not the best first impression to give your professor. As the class continued though, I felt that this month that I had was more than just a regular old JanPlan course.  It was more of a bildungsroman in a way. Professor Klepach gave insight to all of his students with his stories and practical applications in life. He essentially taught me how to maintain stress and manage time well while also studying not only efficiently but effectively.

Yeah, there were times where I just outright did not do well on quizzes or a lab test, but if there was one lesson to be learned, it was to not be discouraged. Just kinda keep your head up and in the game. Why and how? Grades aren’t the end of the world even if you’re pre-medicine like the majority of us taking A&P. Yes, it does make you feel hopeless when you don’t get the grade you expected given the effort and time you put in but improvement is definitely more important as Prof. Klepach told us. That being said, the class was not easy nor impossible. It just depends on your effort and mindset. So if you are looking for a sick JanPlan, take A&P.

-Leon

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A&P Jan Plan Experience

February 5th, 2020 · Comments Off on A&P Jan Plan Experience

Though it definitely didn’t feel like it, taking this class was one of the best decisions I have made during my time at Colby. During that first week I struggled a with the material. Despite studying I found myself unable to memorise all the necessary physiological details and anatomical structures we went over in our lectures and labs. This was quite disheartening and led to a lot of anxiety on what the rest of Jan Plan would be like. However, with every class session Professor Klepach continued to encourage all the students. he was very adamant on putting one’s health first and then adjusting academics and other lifestyle choices in a way that would cause minimum stress. I thought this was something I wouldn’t be able to do but as I continued to review the course materials and take the quizzes and labs tests, I found myself adjusting my study habits and eventually saw some improvement. I saw improvement in my life outside of class as well. I started a regular workout routine, which is something I hadn’t maintained before. This January was also probably the most consistent month of adequate sleep that I’ve had so far during my time at Colby. I usually experience periods where it’s difficult for me to sleep and I expected this to to be an issue during Jan Plan as well. however, as I fell into a routine, I found myself getting a consistent seven to eight hours of sleep every night which was quite shocking.

This class gave me a lot of hope for the upcoming spring semester. Fall semester was not the best experience due to a combination of personal and academic issues. Yet, despite the heavy workload, I find that this class has motivated me to look forward to spring semester. I have learned more about myself as a student and I really hope I can use what I have learned to do well in my upcoming courses, especially in the ones with similar difficult concepts and a lot of memorisation. I hope to consistently improve in my classes while also maintaining minimum stress. I know this will be challenging since spring semester will be much busier than Jan Plan was, but I am hopeful nonetheless. A&P also helped me to change how I think about exams and quizzes. The grade is important yes, and I hope I do well on my tests this semester, but typically I would view a bad grade as a simply that, a bad grade – a failure. With the structure of A&P I began to view a bad grade as a learning experience. I really liked the scratch off quizzes because the point of the quiz was that even if I didn’t know the answer to a question, I would know by the end of the quiz. It was an assessment, but also a learning experience. I hope to use that view this semester to drive myself to constantly improve. Fall semester, one of my biggest challenges was motivation. I wanted to learn, but I was so stressed about my grades that that anxiety ironically started to affect my performance in classes. Now that I have had a class that showed me assessments can be less stress inducing, I hope I can use a similar approach of viewing every test as a learning experience to motivate myself.

Overall, this course taught me a lot about myself. I’m really glad I was able to take it even though at times I was still very stressed. However that just means that there is always room for improvement in my personal and academic habits and I look forward to using everything my experience in this course and all the wonderful advice Professor Klepach gave to make the best use of the rest of my time at Colby.

– Roshauna

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A heavy,yet rewarding JanPlan

February 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on A heavy,yet rewarding JanPlan

Taking this JanPlan course was a decision made after the JanPlan started, which meant that my personal experience in the first week and less in the second involved immense amounts of stress mixed with fascination at the lecture material-the physiology material. I was quite overwhelmed and sleep deprived the first week. Gradually I saw myself catching up, filling up what felt like gaps in the exploration of different systems of the human body and I began to focus more on my studying techniques. I would advise everyone taking a complex and heavy on memorization Biology (or otherwise) class to follow Professor Klepach’s advice on studying methods. Going through the material prior to the class worked very very effectively for me, as during the lecture the material was not only reviewed right then, but also solidified and therefore resonated with me.

Perhaps, the most enriching activity was the visit to Inland Hospital in Waterville, that involved the tour of the hospital and the presentations we delivered. Medical cases upgrade the level of difficulty and thoroughness required to present them in an audience that may or may not know much about your particular case. Understanding and comprehending the medical case is crucial to the efficiency and clarity of your presentation and it was that part that I very much enjoyed. Immersion in the different strategies, parameters that medical doctors have to consider when diagnosing and acting accordingly amazed me in its intricacy and its abundance of possibilities. This course allowed me and equipped me to approach such an elevated topic with moderate confidence and certainly some of the necessary basic knowledge. Regarding the actual presentation, I was overwhelmed when considering the expertise of part of the audience, but I realized that if you are passionate (or at least interested in the case) and have prepared well enough, the fear/stress is needless.

Another aspect of this class that fascinated me is the histology we had the opportunity to study during the lab portion of the class. Not just physical models of different organs but also slides of healthy and unhealthy tissues were elements that we had to identify. Never before had I had interacted so intensely and closely with histological specimens and I loved the microscopic view I gained. One of the systems that I enjoyed learning about is the nervous system. Its efficiency and delicacy I had not realized to this extent before. In particular, I was very intrigued by the pathology of this particular system that I consider exploring neuroscience in the future. When it comes to anatomy, the anatomy of the ear, along with its cooperation with other systems’ anatomical features to allow for hearing was the most surprising to me. Later on, I went on to see some of the technology used for hearing loss, understanding now how the ear functions.

Finally, the cooperation of the EMS and the hospital staff was elemental in my medical case and made me consider a career of a paramedic.

-Iliana G.

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Takeaway

February 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Takeaway

This class gave me the best takeaway of any college class I have taken so far: health over school. I have been in a constant struggle with balancing my health and my schoolwork since high school. Tracking my habits over the past month made me realize how terrible and unsustainable my they are. Not getting enough sleep often leads to illness which hinders a student’s ability to stay on top of all their work and, most importantly, it makes learning miserable. Here we are at this incredible institute of education and I have just been drifting by for the sake of the grade. Realizing how bad my habits are has inspired me to invoke change in hopes that I will once again enjoy learning.

This was truly a great class, like many of the other classes I have taken at Colby, but it has taught me the most valuable lesson I’ve learned here so far. To have a professor actually emphasize wellness over learning made me realize how much I actually sacrifice for schoolwork. My habits need to change so that I can start to feel good year round and not just during the summer.

-Mariah

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Joanelle’s JanPlan 2020 Reflection

February 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Joanelle’s JanPlan 2020 Reflection

This JanPlan definitely got off to a rocky start as we were bombarded with hundreds of slides, sometimes just in one day, filled with tons of new terms and concepts to memorize. I was extremely overwhelmed, but amazed at how no one else appeared to feel the burden of the courseload and instead were eager and present in every moment. Had it not been for Dr. Klepach’s endless encouragement and repeated insistence that self-care always comes first, I would have drowned for sure. Instead, I began to internalize his philosophy and forced myself to stop measuring myself by my grades. I accepted that I was doing the best I could and tried not be as hard on myself, and I made myself take breaks away from work and studying to focus on my physical and psychological health. The most precious lesson by far that I’ll take away from this class is that it’s okay to be kind to yourself, and those who truly value your education, success, and well-being will understand that and work with you.

As far as the actual course material, certain things from A&P may have gone in one ear and out the other. However, I definitely learned a huge amount overall, and I feel so privileged to have had the opportunity to take this class. As a pre-health student with an EMT background, it was amazing to enrich my current understanding of the body as well as get a taste of what future schooling holds. The cardiology unit was by far my favorite, and the pig heart dissection was a really cool, hands-on way of applying everything we had been talking about to a tangible model. Along those same lines, the mini heart models were awesome as well; it was very thoughtful to get one for every student to take home and study.

Overall, I really loved this class and the topics that were prioritized, I just wish that we had had more time!!

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Jan Plan Course Reflection

February 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Jan Plan Course Reflection

Going into this course I was unsure what to expect. I had read some previous blog posts, and I expected that the class would be difficult, but I didn’t realize how much material was going to be thrown at us. There is quite a bit of rote memorization to do, which is something I have always regarded as one of my weak points. Even though I was not the best at the memorization piece, this class helped to convince me that I can memorize large amounts of information if I need to.

Another study technique that I will probably use forever is the idea that study sessions should be divided up into three parts. One part is looking at past material, another is looking at the material that was just learned, and the third is looking ahead to material that has not been covered in class yet. While I was not always perfect at using this method, I did better on the days that I used this strategy. Additionally, it will save you lots of time in the long run and prevent having to spend lots of time cramming before a test. That is impossible in this course because there are quizzes given almost every day.

Often the people who appear to do the best in difficult courses are the ones who get little sleep and have very high levels of stress. This class helps to present an alternative to that and helps to begin the process of learning how to retain lots of information while still doing things to maintain mental and physical health. In the long run, this seems like a great method to prevent burnout, which is especially helpful as many of the people in the class plan on going into some kind of healthcare profession. I would highly recommend taking this course if you have any interest in healthcare and are interested in developing your study skills.

-Meredith

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Reflection on Jan Plan

February 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Reflection on Jan Plan

Going into Jan plan this year, I knew that this course would be fast-paced, rigorous, and dense in material— the exact opposite of my Jan plan experience last year when I took Studio Art. While I did not have the same free time and relaxation as I did last year, I thoroughly enjoyed the course and learned valuable lessons that extended past the syllabus, and learned more about myself as a student along the way.

I decided to take human anatomy and physiology because I was genuinely interested in the subject and it was one of my favorite classes in high school. I told myself that I would give myself some leniency this month to enjoy the class as much as I can, and try my best to control the level of self-imposed stress from academics. This conveniently aligned with Dr. Klepach’s philosophy of the course, which was to learn for the sake of learning, not for the sake of the grade, and to prioritize mental and physical health.

I realized I had some unhealthy habits as a student before this class. I would skip meals and get less than 5 hours of sleep some nights, and I am now aware of how that affected my academic and athletic performance and level of stress which in turn affected my happiness. Tracking those aspects of my life this month made me more cognizant and thoughtful of the relationship between healthy living and physical and mental well being. My experience this month will affect how I approach my classes and life in the future. I truly believe that most of the time, you can strike the balance between a healthy lifestyle and achieving academic success if you put in the effort. Hopefully, I will remember this reflection when I am in the middle of the spring semester, running around between classes, activities, and spending quality time with friends.

Another point in reflecting on this past month is that I feel as though I was in the minority in terms of where my future interests are career-wise. I currently do not have an interest in pursuing a health care profession but instead am interested in law. I believe that this affected how I approached the course and helped me to “learn for the sake of learning.” While law and medicine may be two different career paths, I think that its intersection and the interdisciplinary study can be fascinating and having a brain with both schemas can help you view life through different lenses.

I had a positive experience in human anatomy and physiology and I wish the class was taught over a longer period of time so that we can learn more material at a slower pace. I am happy, however, about the takeaways from this class. I thought the grand rounds presentations were a great way to end the class and it was fascinating to learn about the various case studies researched by my fellow classmates. It would be great to take a class with Dr. Klepach again in the future— his enthusiasm for teaching and dedication to his students is exceptional.

Minori Cohan

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End of Jan Plan Reflection

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on End of Jan Plan Reflection

 I am so grateful for this semester because it drove in the truth that hard work and success and feeling healthy and well rested are not mutually exclusive. In previous semesters, by the end, I had performed academically but I was in poor health, at unhealthy stress levels, and was absolutely burnt out. Of course, I would recover during break but it was always jumping from one extreme to another; massive stress, poor eating, poor mental and physical health to complete exhaustion and using break to just sleep and repair all the damage the stress did. To a degree, that is what breaks are for, but it was unhealthy and unsustainable. I justified it because of academic performance. I also think it reflected a lack of discipline. I was disciplined enough to work hard academically, but not enough to care about myself. That is what changed the most for me this semester.
By definition, I work in a job where putting others needs above my own is not only mandatory to perform your duties but also a tool of survival. When you don’t consider your emotions while you experience others’ deep physical and mental pain, it makes treating them easier because it’s your job to be strong, to absorb their pain and to help them. It is not productive to feel your own emotions in the moment. You process them later, never in front of the patient, no matter how grizzly the call. That’s what being a first responder means. But that mentality can easily bleed into your life after the call and into unhealthy habits, evidenced by a chronic lack of care for oneself outside of the job. Giving myself the chance to step back from that and gain the tools to better manage my tendencies to lapse into chronic stress, sleep deprivation, and poor mental health was so helpful to my academic performance but more importantly to my wellness overall as a person.
I am so grateful not only for the lifestyle philosophy, but for the actual anatomical and physiological knowledge as well. Learning about the way my body works at a micro and macro level truly made me care about my body and myself in a way I haven’t before. It connected me to myself, my consciousness to my physical reality, more deeply than I’ve ever experienced. When I walked, I was aware of the muscles that propelled my legs and could name them. When I stood up after not eating for hours and got dizzy, I understood why. It also made me realize that when I choose not to sleep, when I choose not to eat, I am doing damage to all these little cells in my body, all just trying to do their jobs. It almost anthropomorphized them to me. It changed my perception of the whole composition of my body. And having struggled with an eating disorder for all of high school and some of college, I am so grateful for that perspective shift. This isn’t to say I executed these better habits perfectly in such a short period of time. This work is lifelong, but I did undergo a significant perspective shift and took a big step towards more consistent positive change (despite a few stumbles along the way) this Jan Plan. I’m so grateful to this class and Dr. Klepach’s philosophy and I know I will continue these lessons forward to develop more consistency and longer term, sustainable practices.
Alexa Peterkin

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Reflection – Calvin

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on Reflection – Calvin

Last summer I did an internship for an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) company based in Waterville. The project I completed for this company was the establishment of the procedures and policies for their in house telepsychiatry program. Over the course of the internship, I was able to shadow psychiatric nurse practitioners and gain a deep understanding of federal and state policies surrounding healthcare. Before this internship, I was interested in pursuing a career in medicine, but I didn’t know if it was for me. Having had this experience, I felt driven to take the next steps in deciding if medical school would be the right path for me. Outside of the EMT Jan plan, Human Anatomy and Physiology seemed like the closest thing to a medical school course that I could take in terms of pace and material. So I decided to give it a shot. 

When the class started it was clear that I had never dealt with this much information all at once before. However, professor Klepach framed the class as a growth oriented, low stakes trial of this type of learning so I was not worried about the material. I was confident that I would find ways to deal with the content if I gave it enough time. Over the course of the class, I learned a lot about myself as a learner and developed some more refined study methods. More than coming up with better ways to study, I became confident that no matter what the situation, I had the ability to come up with study methods to fit any material. 

In terms of the material itself, anatomical and medical jargon also became easier to understand over the course of the month. At the start, I spent a lot of mental energy trying to remember every term individually. For example, the definition of endoneurium vs that of epineurium. What I found at the end of the class was that rather than learning the definitions of terms individually, I was treating medical jargon more like a language. To continue the example from before, I would learn the definitions of endo and epi, and then I would just know that neurium referred to neural tissue. Towards the end of the class, learning terms became far easier because I would break down the terms to understand what they meant rather than memorizing the definition. 

I was a little nervous going into this class because Jan Plan has always been a difficult and stressful time for me. The cold weather and lack of sunlight during the month of January really have an effect on my attitude and health. That being said, this year’s Jan Plan was the best that I have had at Colby so far. Despite this class being demanding, I found the material to be so interesting and the whole process of learning how to learn better was very rewarding. All while leaving time for the other passions in my life. I don’t know if medical school is the end all be all for me yet, but after taking this class I feel more confident that I could handle it.

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Blog Post

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on Blog Post

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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Blog Post

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on Blog Post

I started college almost two and a half years ago with a hardline goal: I was going to graduate Colby with a 4.0. Somewhere in the depths of my high school naivety, I saw a 4.0 as a true reflection of my determination, willpower, and raw intelligence. I was ready to forgo nearly anything to achieve this goal. Now, as a junior, I know a 4.0 is simply not going to happen for me, and I am really at peace with that.

Through his Anatomy and Physiology JanPlan, Dr. Klepach has shown me what it means to be genuinely successful. I think that it is often very easy for students to blindly equate good grades with success without stepping back to acknowledge the larger life lessons embedded in every course. I will admit that as a Colby student in a largely objective major, it is really hard for me to separate my numerical performance in a course, whether it be high or low, from my brainpower, work ethic, and overall self-image. However, Dr. Klepach’s persistent emphasis on redefining how students and professors view education was refreshing, uncomfortable, and mind-blowing for me all at the same time.

A&P with Dr. Klepach was a JanPlan like no other. One of my friends in her third year of a nursing program, who has taken more A&P classes than even she knows what to do with, was stunned when I first told her about this course. She could not believe that I would really get anything out of a full A&P course in four short weeks (or three if you have the flu for one of them). While we certainly covered an unobtainable amount of material with Dr. Klepach this January, this class became about so much more than just the raw material and it was, at least for me, an immensely transformative month. Dr. Klepach’s mission to free his students’ approach to A&P from the stress of grades and a “winning” performance resonated with me. I had entered this course expecting to slave over this material, to abide by my original pledge to sacrifice all other aspects of my life for an ‘A.’ But after a few days of listening to Dr. Klepach advocate for the importance of stress management, adequate sleep, personal time, and exercise, I was inspired to change my JanPlan plan. I spent an extra week at home in early January to ensure a full recovery after a long ten days with the flu, and by the time I was back at Colby, I was skiing nearly two hours each day, nailing the NYT daily crossword, reading and listening to so many books, and still feeling prepared for each A&P lecture, quiz, and test. I am really looking forward to taking all of Dr. Klepach’s philosophy for a wholesome education with me into the new semester and I cannot thank him enough for his dedication to and excitement for every one of his students.

Abbey Sykes

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Blog Post

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on Blog Post

Going into this class, I knew that it would entail a lot of very complicated material, as well as a heavier work load than a normal JanPlan. However, I was interested in learning more about the human body and how different systems function together. While this class was challenging, with advice from Dr. Klepach throughout the semester I found different ways to manage stress, and I developed different study habits to help me learn all of the information we needed to. I found this class very interesting, specifically the unit on the cardiovascular system. I enjoyed learning about the heart and how it works together with other systems in the body to help us function. I enjoyed the pig heart dissection as it allowed us to be able to see the different anatomical structures we learned about in a real heart. I decided to take this class as I have an interest in Anatomy and Physiology, and I am not fully sure what I want to do after Colby. However, I feel that this class has opened up the idea of entering  into the health services. Some of the things that helped me realize this were the tour of Inland hospital, as well as the talk by Dr. Caroline Lafave. These two events gave me more information of what it would be like to work in health services, and made me more interested in possibly pursuing them. I also really enjoyed listening to the Grand Rounds talks. They provided a wide range of topics in either advances in medicine or case studies, and I was able to recognize and understand the cases as some of the things we had learned about in class were discussed. Overall, this class gave me a lot of information about the human body. However, it also taught me methods of stress management, different study habits, and possible careers for the future.

Alexandra D.

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End of Semester Reflections

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on End of Semester Reflections

Martyna Czarnik 

If anatomy has taught me anything, it is that the human body is anything but black and white. It is stronger than I believed, yet more fragile; it’s more complex, yet simpler than I believed. One can say, I am a walking contradiction. Coming into this course, I expected to pull all nighters, make ten upon hundreds of flashcards, and have absolutely no time to eat, sleep, and exercise. That could not be further from the truth. 

While I did study, spend hours in the anatomy class, and prepare for each lecture and quiz, I also found time to go skiing, try new recipes, and get the recommended eight hours of sleep. And yet, information was being thrown at us at an incredibly fast pace. At the beginning of the course, my stress levels were high, the usual. I was not sure if I could keep and I doubted my abilities. And then, seemingly overnight, I began to love it. I loved reading the lecture texts, studying my personal heart model, and researching case studies. I was shocked. Why made this class so different from any other fast paced, highly saturated class I had taken in the past two and a half years at Colby?  

Dr. Klepach is the answer to my long sought after question. It was thanks to him that I finally realized that my health is more important than my grades. Instead of studying for hours, I found new study techniques and adapted. I studied for Anatomy and Physiology without having to neglect my happiness and physical health. I found peace in filling out the wellness logs each day, documenting my meals, sleep, stress, and exercise. Even after this class, I will continue logging my days. This documentation guided me in making better meal decisions, wanting to get 7 + hours of sleep, and running that extra mile.

A&P, embarrassingly after 20 years, has taught me that success is not a grade. So while success may be an objective goal, it just occurred to me that I am allowed to celebrate subjective success too. I do not have to feel bad that I missed class because of a migraine or that I could not study another hour because I could not stay focused. I can celebrate logging my day, running 15 miles instead of the usual 6, being happy two days in a row, and even joyous that I have gone two weeks without a running injury.

So, Thank you from the bottom of my heart Dr. Klepach!

 

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Blog Post – Sam B

February 3rd, 2020 · Comments Off on Blog Post – Sam B

I found this course immensely enjoyable due to the fascinating subject matter, kind classmates, and the relentless energy of Prof. Klepach. I felt fortunate that I had some background in anatomy and physiology, because without that I would have found it much more difficult to stay afloat; so I have immense respect for students in this class from non-STEM backgrounds who were learning a lot of this material for the first time. That couldn’t have been easy. I also appreciate that my background allowed me to devote non-studying time to other pursuits, such as my Honors research and CER work. I liked that I didn’t have to scale back on other endeavors to spend time studying for this class. I was also able to spend a lot of time with my friends this JanPlan, which historically has not been the case. During the EMT JanPlan there was no time, during sophomore JanPlan I was dealing with an illness, and last year Pre-Med Academy had me working night shifts, so this was the first January that I got to spend whole days or afternoons spending time with my friends and enjoying myself.
I particularly enjoyed the pig heart dissection. Models and diagrams are great, but it’s different to hold an organ in your hand and understand the scale and proportions of it. I had also never thought about how much a heart would weigh until I got to hold one. I enjoyed cutting through the heart muscle to look into the ventricles, and finding the moderator band was very exciting. I also enjoyed looking at the patent foramen ovale in the heart that we all passed around; getting to apply the concepts we learned in class that day was especially enjoyable.
I got a lot out of this class and I’m so glad I took it.

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Jan Plan

February 10th, 2019 · Comments Off on Jan Plan

This Jan plan course was an extremely condensed one, with a great deal of material being hurled at us each day. However, because of the way the class was structured and Dr. Klepach’s attention to how we were living and managing our stress it was not nearly as daunting as I had previously envisioned.The highlight of the class for me personally was the trip to inland hospital. I thought it was extremely valuable to see a functioning hospital and the people who worked there. We were able to get a peak into the life of a practicing doctor, and how their daily lives operate.

Another valuable experience was our presentations of the Grand Rounds projects to the doctors and the class as a whole. I loved working on my project and being able to really dive into a specific case and the way it was treated. The project gave insight into the difficulty of obtaining a diagnosis, and what a collaborative process it is.

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Jan Plan

February 8th, 2019 · Comments Off on Jan Plan

When I decided to take this Anatomy and Physiology Jan Plan, I heard about how rigorous and accelerated the course was and I wanted to not only challenge myself with the material, but to get into a study routine that would lead me into a smooth transition for my Spring semester. That was the plan. I didn’t realize that this class had much more to offer than a study habit.

On our first day, Dr. Klepach talked about what he wanted his students to get out of his class. His goal was to help us lead a healthy lifestyle. To do this, each student was required to keep a lifestyle log. At first I didn’t quite understand why it was so important to keep track my stress levels, my sleep, and my meals, and looking back at my log sheet, I did quite poorly with my sleep and meals. Especially for the first week and a half of class, I would stay up reviewing, and stay up even later the night before a lab practical or quiz. I realized, through our professor, that this was a way for us to practice high intensity work but maintaining a low level of stress. Although I struggled with the task, filling out my lifestyle log made think more about what career I wanted to have. I really do want to continue on to medical school to become a pediatrician.  And to do that, I will continue practicing and a healthy lifestyle.

Throughout the month we covered so much material. I felt like I was being overloaded with information that I couldn’t possibly remember. I loved it. I liked learning the anatomy, the mechanisms that the anatomy is in charge of, how they do it, and then relating it to physiology and case studies. Although it was a lot, I felt a relieved that I was not only learning so much, but enjoying it. This course reassured my interests in the medical field.

I remember on the last day class,  I was feeling really nervous for our Grand Rounds since my group made some big changes to our presentation the night before. The week had already been pretty stressful, and presenting was the only thing I had on my mind. I remember feeling worried about doing better and worried about the final. I also remember, however, leaving Olin 1, feeling calm. Feeling fulfilled. That same stressful morning, Dr. Klepach had brought in a special speaker, Scott Fried.  Scott shared a powerful message with us that I will always keep with me. He shared his story and the story of his friends. He told us, he told me, that I am enough. That I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I am loved. I can be nervous and stressed, but at the end of the day, I am still lovable.  We are all lovable. As I listened to Scott, I also watched my classmates. We had worked so hard this Jan Plan and it made me me very proud of them and proud of myself. I am glad to have had this Jan Plan experience.

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Grand Rounds Bi265 013019: Ulceroglandular Tularemia

February 7th, 2019 · Comments Off on Grand Rounds Bi265 013019: Ulceroglandular Tularemia

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Grand Rounds Bi265 013019: Neurosarcoidosis

February 7th, 2019 · Comments Off on Grand Rounds Bi265 013019: Neurosarcoidosis

 

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What Did You Learn Today?

February 5th, 2019 · Comments Off on What Did You Learn Today?

This JanPlan, I took A&P and guitar lessons. I have played piano for almost all of my life, but I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Even though A&P made my schedule pretty busy, I decided that I wanted to take lessons this JanPlan to give myself a break from the academic work. Twice a week I would go to Bixler after a three and a half hour lecture on the organ system of the day and my guitar teacher would start with the question: What did you learn today?

That was a pretty loaded question considering my brain was still recovering from the rapid-fire lectures on anatomy and then physiology and I was struggling to retain any of the information that I had learned that day. Then I remembered a cool fact that Dr. K mentioned in Olin 001, like how the surface area of the lungs is 35 times the surface area of the body. Or I remembered when Dr. K explained the etymology of some anatomical structure in Arey 307. My personal favorite was the background of the acetabulum, where the femur meets the pelvis and forms the hip joint. Acetabulum literally means “vinegar bowl” since the Romans used to use the acetabulum of cattle to hold their vinegar when eating.

Not only did those stories and fun facts help to liven up the at times never-ending lecture, they helped me to remember and make sense of all of the information that is packed into the month of January. I knew that I wanted to eventually go to medical school when I first came to Colby, but this class helped to reinforce that I find the human body fascinating and I want to dedicate years of my life studying it. The fun facts reminded me of how incredibly specified and complicated the human body is, and how difficult and rewarding it is to study its form and function.

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Jan Plan 2019

February 3rd, 2019 · Comments Off on Jan Plan 2019

This semester we learned a lot of material in a very short amount of time. We were introduced to the body structure and function in a modified fashion which still was a lot of information. However the speed at which we learned this material is very reflective of what medical school will be like which is in the near future for most of us in the class. Coming into the class what I knew about medical school was limited to what I looked up online and had heard from the premed advisor. So needless to say I knew next to nothing. Being exposed to a class that was designed to reflect a medical school class was an amazing opportunity and it taught me a lot about myself.

I was able to learn that I was going to need to be flexible to other learning styles if I wanted to be successful in the future. The same study strategies I had used my entire life were not going to work with the extensive amount of material thrown at me in graduate level classes. If I wanted to do well in the future I was going to need to learn to adapt and find multiple methods in order to succeed. Also I learned a lot about managing stress. Stress is an inevitable part of being a student especially in the higher levels of education. A lot is expected of you and sometimes it is hard to manage these expectations along with a healthy lifestyle. Dr. K’s planning of the class introduced me to a class where my metal state and wellbeing were taken into account. With this method I was able to find ways to manage outside of class stress as well as class related stress while also maintaining my grades. This definitely was not easy but I think I made some steps in the right direction. I will need to use these strategies in my future class and focus on finding other strategies as well if I want to reach a point where I am able to manage my stress levels and at the same time continue to do well in my classes.

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