Archive | June, 2014

24- HAPS Listserv

22 Jun
http://www.codeservedcold.com/gmail-filters-priority-inbox/

Emails from the HAPS listserv are the FUN ones…

Summer is really here—my crew is headed out on a backpacking/water sliding/camping adventure tomorrow morning and we’ll be gone for the next couple of weeks.  So, in order to avoid packing tonight (I hate packing), I decided to organize my emails.  From the last 3 years.

That makes complete sense, right?

Of course it does.  And even though it might not have been the most productive and efficient use of my time tonight, it was really fun because my email box was FULL of FASCINATING emails from the HAPS listserv.  Honestly (and I know I’ve said it before), the listserv is one of the best parts of HAPS membership.  Aside from the fantastic conversations about TEACHING anatomy and physiology, the list is a community building PLACE where we connect throughout the year.  It was really fun sift through those old conversations and recognize people I now know in person from the annual conferences.

The email threads I sifted through were varied and dynamic.  I found references to hilarious videos (I am forever grateful to the person who shared the fantastic music video “What does the spleen do“), thought provoking cartoons (one recent discussion on technology in the classroom was stimulated by this cartoon), and dynamic interactions around current research.

So if you are already a member of HAPS make sure you join the list.  Just sign up on the website and you’ll be good to go.  It really is a cool perk of being a member.  And if you aren’t a member yet, join.  It is soooo worth it.

I won’t be posting next week—I’ll be too busy being on summer vacation.  (That is assuming I actually get packed tonight…ahem.)

 

23- A Decision

16 Jun
"Sanity" and "Insanity" signs

Hmmm…left or right…left or right?

I’m a stubborn human.  I also have some pretty grave questions about my sanity.  Because it was just this morning as I chatted with my mom on the phone during a very slow jog through my neighborhood, that I AGAIN lamented about whether or not I was going to flip Human Biology in the fall.

Really??!  Does anyone else get the feeling that we’ve been here before?

But I think this time, I really did work through the issue (though I did ask my mom to remind me of this decision should I somehow lose focus before fall).

So here’s the ultimate reason I am firmly committing to NOT flipping Human Bio this fall.  There are only 17 students enrolled in the course at this time and the course will not be offered again until next summer at the earliest.  There.  So if I were to flip the class, I would invest the ridiculous amount of flipping energy for 17 students (whom I’m sure I will love very much, and who are probably quite deserving of the educational advantages that the flip offers).  But 17 students in 1 year just doesn’t justify the time it would take to prepare for an effective flip.

I think I feel peaceful about this decision.  The true test will be to see what the blog topic is NEXT week.  If I’m still talking about whether or not to flip Human Biology in the fall, you’ll know this peaceful sense is an illusion.  But if I’ve moved onto a new topic, then we’ll all happily put this one to bed and I’ll start trying to remember how NOT to flip a class!   HA!

22- To Flip or not to Flip?

9 Jun
Fair use image of Bart Simpson.

I will NOT flip the classroom upside down…I will not…really…I will not…

I’m slowly settling into the swing of summer…and it is time to pull the trigger on a decision I have been struggling with for a couple of months now.

In the fall, I will be teaching a new class that I have never flipped:  Human Biology.  This is a non-majors course that is general bio, anatomy and physio, IN ONE SEMESTER.  Obviously, we must do a very light survey of these three courses, all of which I’ve taught multiple times before.  I do not anticipate the prep being too difficult, from a content perspective.  But I am having an ongoing internal battle about whether or not to FLIP the class.

There are a million points on the “FLIP IT!” side of the equation.  Students love it.  I have more time to work with them during class.  We can do more FUN STUFF!  Plus, I’m the flipping QUEEN, right?  I’ve been flipping all over the place for 2 years now.  I’m a flipping phenom!

But maybe I’m growing up a little bit (!) because I am not sure I can handle the stress of DEADLINES that inevitably accompanies the decision to flip a new class.  I’ve spent two years under the “gotta get a lecture recorded before I go to bed TONIGHT” mandate.  Even my YouTube students who don’t’ even know me comment on the scattered and unfocused rambling in my video lectures that is directly proportional to the lateness of the hour (and hits a peak around 1am).

Besides that, fall already promises to be a very busy semester.  It will be my first semester as a full-time tenure-track professor (after 5 years as an adjunct in this institution).  Plus, I will be teaching Human Anatomy again, which I find to be pretty intense.  Add to that the fact that we have two brand new cadavers (who will be with us for the next 3-5 years)…and I am utterly confident my fall plate will be overfull.

Every cell in my body says, “Make the smart flippin’ decision, Riggs.”  And my cells have been saying this for, oh, a couple of months now.  So what part of me is still refusing to pull the trigger and admit that I will NOT be flipping Human Biology in the fall?  I know it is time…and I know what I need to do…it just makes me sad, because I really love flipping.

So I’ll probably just end up agonizing over the summer until it really is too late to pull off a quality flip, and then the decision will be made for me.  Ask me again in August.

HAPS Leadership (#28): Changing of the Guard

4 Jun
On the road again!

On the road again!

Another annual HAPS conference has come and gone. Attendees have scattered back to their homes, either teaching, writing, relaxing, or keeping up with other activities to keep them busy during the summer. For the HAPS leadership, it’s no different.

As you are aware, we had elections this spring for several new positions on the Board of Directors. We also saw changes in the Steering Committee, as some chairs rotate off and others rotate on. Officially, the changes occur as of July 1, but we’re already going through a training and transition phase.

New Board members include Valerie O’Loughlin (past-president), Tom Lehman (president), Betsy Ott (president-elect), Karen McMahon (treasurer), Jon Jackson (western regional director), and Leslie Day (eastern regional director).

Thanks to the outgoing Board members: Dee Silverthorn (past-president), Elizabeth Becker (treasurer), Anne Geller (western regional director), and Javni Mody (eastern regional director). We know that you’ll still be active within HAPS and are excited to see how you’ll use your experiences in your future endeavors.

For the Steering Committee, the new roster is here.

140604 (2) HAPS Steering Committee roster

Thanks to outgoing chairs for this past year: Pat Bowne, Nick Despo, Christine Eckel, Elizabeth Hodgson, Karen McMahon, Lourdes Norman, and Valerie O’Loughlin. We greatly appreciate your contributions and know that you’ll help First-Timers next year as they track down those elusive Chair signatures at the next Scavenger Hunt.

140604 (3) green yugoPresident Valerie O’Loughlin and Executive Director Peter English are busy organizing for the June Board meeting. Steering Committee Chair Ron Gerrits is busy corralling his people for summertime projects. President-elect Tom Lehman has fallen off the radar, last seen entering a brewpub somewhere in southwestern Florida. President O’Loughlin has commissioned HAPS Three – a green 1985 Yugo – to be ready to pick up new president-elect Betsy Ott in case she needs to be sworn in a year early. Keep your fingers crossed.

Meanwhile, this blog theme on the HAPS leadership is coming to a close. It’s been a blast to share with you the people and positions in the administration of HAPS and I hope that it’s been fun and/or informative for you. The blog will continue. Wendy Riggs – Communication Chair – will continue to bring great entries for you. Betsy Ott – president-elect – will be sharing entries with you about the various educational resources that we have to offer through the HAPS website (there are so many great benefits to being a member of HAPS!).

It’s gonna be another great year as we plan towards HAPS 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. Keep up on all the great details as they develop!

Skully in San Antonio

I’m counting down to San Antonio already…

21-The Post-Conference High

2 Jun
HAPS Logo

Proud to be a HAPSter…

Returning home from the HAPS Annual Conference in Jacksonville, I am trying to ride the high for as long as possible (though I’m definitely appreciating being back on West Coast time) .  It was an amazing week, as usual, filled with meaningful conversations and fun, committed people.  It was particularly inspiring to observe the unique camaraderie between HAPSters.   I continue to be a little star struck by the A&P celebrities who are HAPSters and find it so lovely that in spite of celebrity status, these A&P superstars are completely committed to sharing their expertise and passion with anyone who is interested.

Multiple times,  I suddenly found myself unknowingly (and rather clumsily) in the presence of GREATNESS.  For example, the last workshop session I attended was entitled “Regional Anatomy for Undergraduate Students”  with Mark Nielson and Robert Tallitsch.  I was glued to the presentation.  Somewhere in the middle, Mark Nielson said something along the lines of “…and you all know what I do in my anatomy lab.”  I  hesitated as the people around me nodded knowingly, then engaged in an internal debate…do I ask him what he’s talking about, or do I pretend that I (like everyone else) already know?  Not known for social grace, I opted for the honest approach and raised my hand and asked Mark, “What exactly DO you do in your lab?”

Well, let’s just say the room got really quiet and everyone turned to stare at me and one brave soul informed me that all the cadaver images in my textbooks?  Well, those came from the work Mark does in his Anatomy lab.  Oh.  That.  So I guess I DO know what Mark does in his lab.  Ahem.

But instead of feeling disrespected by my ignorance, Mark proceeded to offer to SHARE  his amazing resources with me, a baby anatomy instructor.  Seriously? Of all the incredible workshops I attended, I was most moved by the spirit of COMMUNITY present in this one.  It just captured the essence of HAPS and made me feel so grateful to be part of this organization.  I’ve started my countdown to the 2015 Annual Conference in San Antonio…only 11 months and 3 weeks to go.

Skully in San Antonio

I’m counting down already…