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August 30, 2003: Classroom memories

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Another Friday Five. And yes it's Saturday but hey, at least it's in the same week.

  1. Are you going to school this year?

    I cannot even begin to imagine going back to school. Every once in the while I toy with the idea of taking a class in something just for fun, but so far I haven't gotten around to it. Eight years of college was more than enough school for my adult life. It'll be a long time before I have the desire to do that again.

  2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?

    Officially, I received my bachelor's in 1991. Unofficially, I left college in 1997, with all the coursework done for my masters and with nothing left to do but write the thesis. I left voluntarily, and it's something I've never regretted, but I've told that story a time or two already so no need to tell it again.

  3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?

    In high school I think my favorite subjects were math and band. I had the same math teacher all four years of high school Turns out he hand-picked his class each year and for whatever reason I was one of the ones he picked. He was a hard teacher but none of us minded, and if it hadn't been for my high school calculus notes I would never have made it through calculus in college, so obviously it all paid off. And I loved band because it was easy. I was in everything jazz band, marching, concert, and the wind ensemble. I played marimba, xylophone, flute, oboe, and piano. It was marvelous.

    In college, the bulk of my favorite classes were in physiology. In fact, it was when we got to the gastrointestinal tract in my first physiology class that I decided to switch to nutrition, just because I found it so fascinating. If they'd allowed people to minor in physiology I would have, I loved it so much. As it was I took more physiology classes than I needed to, just because it was so fun.

    My other favorite in college was physiological chemistry. Inorganic chemistry never made any sense to me and my brain couldn't ever seem to grasp the whole weak acid, strong base thing. I barely managed to pass the inorganic classes, but when we got to organic chemistry and physiological chemistry suddenly everything made perfect sense. Whereas the rest of my classmates were clutching their heads and staring in blank horror at their books (just as I had done in inorganic), I was having fun. And physiological chemistry was even better. It all made perfect sense how everything interacted in the living organism, and somehow that made up for the fact that inorganic chemistry can still reduce me to tears of noncomprehension.

  4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
    See above re. inorganic chemistry in college (and, for that matter, in high school). My brain cannot wrap itself around this topic. Also back in high school I couldn't stand P.E., which is perfectly understandable when you realize that if the sport involves a ball, I stink at it.

  5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?

    I didn't have a favorite professor in college, but there were a few that stand out. The professor who taught the basic phyisology class was such an incredibly good lecturer that at the end of the quarter, the class gave him a standing ovation. The professor for the two quarters of physiological chemistry had a cute sense of humor when he taught.

    In high school my favorite teacher was my senior AP English teacher. She was funny, she was smart, and she took a group of us every year and taught us how to write, and write damn well. I realized, years later after I heard about her death, that she is probably one of the reasons I love writing. She laid the foundation for how to do it and encouraged us to figure out the rest.

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