Charts! Charts! Get yo’ charts ‘ere! Anatomy on steroids

I’m drowning in scrap pieces of paper that have now taken on the role of KNOWLEDGE.



When you enter the MEP you are warned about one class: Anatomy and Physiology. And while many have already taken it, none have taken it like this.

For you see, our lectures on muscle physiology include content that people cover over the course of a year. I’ve taken anatomy, before … however, the course at Mac is like Anatomy on steroids. Why?

  • Fast pace – 50 minutes to get ALL of the cranial nerves in. Or 50 minutes to discuss ALL of the body tissues (blood, skin, connective tissue, bones). Or 50 minutes to discuss all the muscles of the thigh, their innervations, and what happens when you cut a nerve.
  • The concepts are system based, so you learn things all at once. They teach you the nerves, but they expect you to know what happens to someone if the nerve is broken — will they have droopy eyelids? Tremors? What part of the brain will be affected?

Great training, but overwhelming. I can’t imagine coming into this without a science background.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I’ve stopped taking notes. I can’t keep up with the fast pace, especially when he might as well be speaking Cerebral Cortex Chinese. Luckily for me they post the lecture audio online. So I just go on there, on my own time, and replay the lecture. I pause every 5 seconds to make sure I’ve understood, and carry on.
    My professor’s voice and I are getting very acquainted
  2. After I listen and type, I go over it again and make flash cards.
  3. While I make cards I connect like-concepts in mad-crazy-cool charts. This takes HOURS. Usually 4-5 hours per 50 minute lecture.
  4. Repeat repeat repeat. I do the charts again before finals.

When I’m not doing this at home, I’m in the lab, looking at cross-sections and specimens. This is to prepare me for the bell-ringer final exam, comprised of thirty stations, with 4 questions each. That’s right, THIRTY STATIONS. You get 2 mins per question.  They will leave a pin in a specimen and I have to be able to recognize it and answer four questions about it, all in 8 minutes. Unfortunately that means if I don’t know the specimen, I can’t get the subsequent 4 questions right.

Sigh. A real brain doesn’t look anything like a textbook brain.

Ultimately, I want to be a good midwife, but this course is really challenging me. If I don’t pass it, I won’t get to be a good or bad midwife.

Wish me luck. My exam is on the one year anniversary of my Dad’s death. How the fuck is that fair?


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