Charles Senteio

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It’s a Running Start!

Today has been an OK day. I arrived at lecture at 7:50 and the Professor actually started a few minutes early. I was a bit shocked when he started with Lecture 3, that’s right #3! Hmmm I knew I had missed orientation but gosh, 2 lectures. Well come to find out there was a full lecture on Friday which I had missed. The good news is that it was filled with announcements and they didn’t even post the slides. Lecture is 2 hours, this is a 6 credit Anatomy course, so we go through 2 lectures in a single 2 hour lecture morning. I got through lecture fine, we are covering the back and did the breast from 9-10 today. Very interesting as Professor Rechtie (I think that’s his name) is known as a fast talker and boy does he earn that label. He really knows his stuff though as he pointed out a few errors on the slides that I’m sure the class of 200 would’ve never noticed. I glanced around the room and saw 3 other Black faces, all female. Hmmm… they also joined my lab group later that morning when we had to form small ‘teams’. Physically I got through lecture just fine and it was time to hit the lab. I JUST found out from a dude next to me I was in the ‘red’ group which met at 10:15 which meant there was no break between lecture and lab but I managed just fine.

At the lab we went through the normal introduction stuff, treat the cadavers with dignity, come on time, etc. No worries there. One of the Black girls leaned over and asked if I had my iClicker yet. “My what?”. Apparently this is a device used for in class quizzes. It looks like a remote control and has A, B, C, D E and Power buttons on it. Very simple but I had never heard of one. I went up to the Prof. as we were getting started and he informed me I was supposed to have one, and have it registered, by June 29th. Sorry Prof. He was pretty cool about it but let me know I needed to get one ASAP, which of course I did.
Lab was cool, after the intros and admin stuff we got right to it. We went into the room with the cadavers and simply poked around. Of course we had an assignment, which I didn’t know about, but I was able to pair up with the sistahs and another white girl who just asked if she could join us. Our group was set, I asked one of them, the one who introduced me to the iClicker, if they would get suspicious with the ONLY Black folks just happening to be in the same lab group and we had a laugh about that. Heck, there are 4 lab sections and we all ended up in the same one! She actually mentioned there was another Black dude who looked like he was from “East Africa” but no one saw him in lecture this AM. I’ll keep an eye out.

The cadavers were cool. They in general stay 3 years before they are cremated and the remains go back to the family. It is really amazing to see our internal organs, muscles, nerves on display like that. It was not ‘gross’ (couldn’t resist that) but actually quite enlightening. The smell was kinda bad from the embalming but overall very manageable. I learned later that the lab was an absolutely critical part of learning Anatomy. They encouraged us to spend an extra 2 hours there per day, I am beginning to see the benefits of that. We actually were quizzing each other a bit and had to call in the Professors that were milling about to get some clarity. Some takeaways:
  • The liver is HUGE
  • Fat deposits can form on the large intestine. They look like butterscotch lollipops hanging of the large intestine.
  • The brain cavity is not all that big
  • We are all of course very unique. I’m not sure if because of the dissection technique or what but the bodies, upon careful examination, can look very different in terms of the intestines and even skin.

After class our small group walked to a local Indian spot to bond a bit more and collaborate on an online quiz that is due midnight Tuesday that, again, I was just hearing about then. I wasn’t sure how I’d do with a real meal, especially an Indian meal, but the food was moderately spiced and I found myself eating the first ‘meal’ I’d had in over a week. Good stuff.
On the way back I broke off to buy a 2” binder and check out the local gym. It will cost about $25/month for a year commitment and is very centrally located. I’m gonna have to do something so I think I’ll join once this pesky virus has left me.
On the way back to campus I had a bunch of stuff to do, among them pick up the orientation packet and pay for my ‘scribe’ notes. Scribes are the notes students are paid to take from lecture. I hear they are a good augmentation to what we hear and for $80 I thought the price was right. I think they should arrive by Thursday.

After that I was out of it. It was almost 4pm and I was in the Student Services office paying for my Scribes and talking to a wonderful woman in that area who seemed interested in hearing about my first week at MSU. As I was telling her about it I must’ve been crashing as she told me I looked like I needed a break, which of course I did. I laid down and tried to gain some strength back. By 7:30 it was time to get up to attend a review session voluntarily put on by Dr. Bice… which started at 7pm. I walked in late and still trying to get some energy. The session lasted until around 8:45, was VERY useful, and gave me the necessary energy to set up my MSU Email, print the slides from lecture and other random stuff. We had a funny moment in the computer lab as two of the guys there all of a sudden said, “oh my gosh, we need to find a place to pray!” These were 2 Muslim fellas and needed to get to it. They were real cool about it and I told them they could just drop and do their thing right there, heck I might need to join them! They found their spot somewhere else and got righteous. Good for them, gotta respect the faith.

After getting kicked out of the lab at 10:30, they closed at 10:00 but I stuck around. It was back to the room to review lecture notes and try to learn.

My brain was long tired so I did some busy work; Emailing my team, coordinating my notebook, writing this. It’s time to crash and get back to it tomorrow. Thank goodness for the 4th of July, NO CLASS.


  • Hey!

    I just checked your site and see you have been busy and got the extra Murphy's law treatment that helps over acheivers not blow everyone away upon first impression.

    I am glad for you and sorry it started roughly. I appreciate your sharing it with those of us who appreciate your point of view and heart.

    By Blogger Steve, at 9:15 PM  

  • Thanks for the comment and well-wishes Steve! I am still a patient but working on it. Jim has been a terrific help and sounding board. Take care!

    By Blogger Charles Senteio, at 12:13 AM  

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