Human Anatomy & the grad school thing

If you’ve read the About section, you’ll see that Neurons Firing is the graduate course I’d love to take if it existed as a program and was local to where I live. I easily spent the first two months of this blog’s life writing about the brain. Since then, my posts have covered the brain, learning, school, and related topics. I haven’t wandered off course so much as increased the course over which to wander. Still, missing from the mix, especially if this was to be in any way similar to a grad class, was the whole human anatomy component. Happily, that is no longer the case!

Last week my husband sent me a link to Marian C Diamond’s Interactive Biology: Human Anatomy lectures on youtube; all 39 of them! I am LOVING these lectures! Marian Diamond, who I believe was 80 when these were filmed in 2007, is a stunningly snappy professor. Dressed in a suit or a colorful dress, sometimes with a scarf around her neck, always with her gray hair perfectly coiffed, she misses not a beat and wastes not a word as she takes you through your human anatomy with contained verve. She writes notes on a green blackboard using large chalk of different colors. She tells tales about the body parts, draws diagrams, and refers to the hanging skeleton and her various skeletal props.

I often get antsy sitting still watching movies on my computer or listening to podcasts. The speaker has to be quite compelling to keep my attention so that I do not distract myself with other computer activities (and then wind up losing the entire message!) Marian Diamond is such a speaker; I am completely enthralled, to the point where I bought a new sketchbook to follow along and take notes. I am also having fun consolidating each lecture in one or more tweets, which you can follow (should you be so inclined!) @brainbits on twitter, or just scroll down this page and see my most recent tweets at the lower right.

There may be another factor playing into why I am able to sit and focus on these lectures. The middle school learning specialist at my school has, as one of the seats in her office, an exercise ball. I have sat on it a number of times and found that the physical act of keeping my balance served to channel my energy. The result was I didn’t tap my feet or move other parts of my body, because my whole body was engaged in keeping me on that ball. So, I’ve now got one at home and am sitting on it as I write this.

Since the brain is part of our anatomy, and Dr Diamond is a neuroanatomist, I am quite looking forward to her lectures on the brain!

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