Why Join HAPS? So Many Reasons…

Join HAPS.
Check out the list of reasons why you should be a member of HAPS.

Are you a member of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society?  If not, it is time to make it happen.  Being a member of HAPS is, without a doubt, the single most important thing I’ve done in my career to become a better teacher.  Two years ago, when I was deciding to flip my Anatomy class for the first time, I posed several questions to the email listserv, requesting input and pedagogical advice that helped define and hone my approach.  Once, I asked the list about the wisdom of comprehensive exams.  Dee Silverthorn sent me a copy of her comprehensive exam as an example.  And I can’t even count the number of times that Valerie O’Loughlin has pumped me up with enthusiastic pep talks.  My students get wide-eyed when I tell them the authors of their textbooks are answering my questions (and theirs).   To me, this alone is worth the price of membership.  And yet this is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the benefits of being a dues paying HAPSter.

We will soon begin a series on the blog describing all the benefits of joining HAPS.  You might be surprised at some the resources you have access to as a HAPSter.

As the chair of the Communication Committee, I am excited to help increase membership.  So tell me true.  Why are you a member of HAPS?

24- HAPS Listserv

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

"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!

HAPS Leadership (#28): Changing of the Guard

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…

19- Get the Conference APP!

The HAPS App!  We can do THAT!
The HAPS App!  We can do THAT!

I’m super excited about the HAPS Annual Conference APP.  This little app, which can be run on your computer OR phone, is a fantastic tool to ensure you make the most of your Jacksonville adventure, which begins next weekend.  (It isn’t too late to decide to crash the HAPS party next weekend…online registration is available until May 26!)

The APP is a power-packed wonder of a tool to keep you organized and informed at the Annual Conference.  And even if you can’t attend next week (we’ll miss you), you can use the app to keep up with what’s happening at the conference.  So let me just tell you a few of the cool things I can do with my app:

  1. I can build a personalized schedule of conference events using the amazing app!  While this will certainly keep me organized and efficient, I am already finding the process to be particularly painful, especially as I attempt to figure out which workshops I plan to attend on Tuesday and Wednesday at Florida State College.  This process is painful because during most sessions, there are at least 5-12 workshops I really Really REALLY want to attend.  Last year I found it extremely challenging to narrow down the workshop options during each session to ONLY ONE. I am optimistic that the amazing APP will help me sleep in peace as I maximize my professional development potential.  (I wonder how many times I will revise my personal schedule on my app???)
  2. With the app, you can set alarms to remind you to get where you want to go.  This will be particularly helpful for the morning sessions, because I am NOT a morning person.
  3. We can TWEET!  There is a Twitter part of the app that lets us follow the Twitter-ific commentary from other HAPSters. Just tag your tweets #HAPS2014.
  4. Have a question?  The app can do that!  There are maps, exhibitor lists, sponsor information, and even a link to this fabulous blog.

So download the app and get ready for FUN TIMES AHEAD.  See you in Jacksonville!

See you there!
See you there!

HAPS Leadership (#27): Thursday tripping to St. Augustine

The 2014 HAPS Conference in Jacksonville, Florida runs May 24-May 28, ending (officially) Wednesday with the last workshops. However, the incredible adventure is not over.

140514 (1) Saint AugustineWe always plan an optional Thursday adventure for those able to stick around and interested in continuing the incredible vibe. This year, we’ll be visiting the city of St. Augustine – a breathtaking location with so much to see and do. I asked Lourdes, our annual conference coordinator for some details.

Buses will depart from the Hyatt Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. and then depart from St. Augustine at 5:00 p.m. With a transit time of 35 minutes each way, that gives you an entire day to explore the oldest city in the nation. You need to register and pay an additional charge, so – if you haven’t yet – DO IT! It’ll be a blast. A word of advice; have a water bottle and sunscreen with you. A camera is a must, as well.

Some suggestions for the day include:

140514 (2) Rhett's Piano Bar1. A stroll down George Street to show and eat. I recommend lunch at the Columbia Restaurant. Call to make reservations, as it gets busy at lunch. Make sure you get the house sangria and the 1905 salad with your meal. You won’t be disappointed (if you cannot get into the Columbia, there are lots of great eateries around St. Augustine).

2. A tour of the Castillo de San Marcos is interesting and worth the small entrance fee of $7.

3. If you want to try deep-sea fishing or inshore fishing, there are many charter businesses to accommodate any level of expertise (they usually cover you with a fishing license and gear for the day).

4. I enjoyed the pirate museum; they have some interesting original artifacts.

5. The trolley tour is also an easy and fun way to get around the city and learn some history.

6. There are a variety of water tours that go through the St. Augustine bay area. Dolphins have been commonly spotted when we’ve gone in the past.

7. There are eco tours, boat tours, pirate tours, and graveyard tours. Ripple Effect Eco Tours has naturalist guided kayak tours ($55/adult)…no experience needed.

8. If you have a car, you can go out to Anastasia State Park for swimming, surfing, hiking, shelling, fishing, and archaeological searching (for fishing, remember to get the license).

9. The St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park is really neat (lots more than just gators).

140514 (3) El Galeon and Nao Victoria10. The Nao Victoria will be at the City Marina while we’re there. Nearly five hundred years since becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world, the Nao Victoria has been reconstructed and is now touring the major ports of Florida in 2014. You can also get a combo ticket to tour the Nao Victoria and the El Galeon (a full-sized replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon).

11. Peter will be there with his binoculars, taking advantage of a great opportunity to go birding.  Ask him nicely and I bet he’d love to share his experience and skill with you.

There are lots of great ways to wrap up your day:

We'll find a flavor just for you!
We’ll find a flavor just for you!

1. How about a gourmet popsicle from the Hyppo? With flavors like champagne mango, key lime, Datil strawberry, and pear Riesling, it’s a great spot to cool down and relax (70 Saint George Street.)

2. Whenever we are in St. Augustine, my kids beg for gelato from Café del Hidalgo (across from the Columbia Restaurant).

There is so much to do, it is hard to decide where to start, but your day promises to be fun filled and memorable! Looking forward to seeing everyone at HAPS in a couple of weeks.

Lourdes140514 (6) Lourdes Norman

HAPS Leadership (#26): Steering Committee preparations for JAX!

We're here to serve you!
We’re here to serve you!

Seventeen days until the 2014 HAPS Conference in Jacksonville, Florida and the Steering Committee is busy making preparations for our 28th annual conference. As usual, there are so many things to do at the conference, and the Steering Committee Chairs are busy getting ready for all of them.

You too can earn this much bling for your ID badge!
You too can earn this much bling for your ID badge!

The conference starts off Saturday evening with the Opening Reception. It’s a great chance to renew friendships and meet a lot of new people. Many of the Chairs will be out in force, welcoming people to the conference. They’ll be a great resource if you’re curious about the events and attractions in store for the week. As usual, Tom Lehman – president-elect – will be there with his tie-dye shirts, ready for the Shirt Swap. Bring your school gear and be ready to find something to take home and treasure.

Quick, there's a bulls-eye!  Get'her signature!
Quick, there’s a bulls-eye! Get’her signature!

Sunday morning, the Chairs will help welcome First Timers to the First-Timer Breakfast with the Presidents Emeriti. They’ll hand out Scavenger Hunt cards to the First-Timers, who’ll have the challenge of finding chairs of each committee and getting their initials on their card. As you learn about each committee, you’ll be one step closer to the drawing for free conference registration to next year’s annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Look for the Bulls-eye buttons and that’ll identify the Chairs and Regional Directors (make sure you know which Region you’re from so you can get the write signature).

Throughout Sunday, you’ll find various Chairs manning the Foundation table. Learn from them what the Foundation is and what it can do for you. Several of them will be near the posters, so there’s another opportunity for learning.

Nick furiously signing cards, repping the Foundation table, and describing the Animal Use Committee!
Nick furiously signing cards, repping the Foundation table, and describing the Animal Use Committee!

Monday morning, the Chairs will be up early and bright-eyed for the annual Foundation Fun Run. Come find them out on the Riverfront, directing participants on the Run. It’ll be a great chance to get some exercise and help raise funds for a wonderful cause. After that, come to the Business Meeting and participate in the business of HAPS. We’ve had some great discussions in the past and anticipate another lively and informative meeting.

Later that day, Shanan Atkinson and Peter English will be hosting the Vendor Raffle for amazing prizes. This will be your last chance to get Chair initials before the drawing of the Scavenger Hunt cards. Be sure to have the conference App on your Smart Phone, so you can find the pictures of the Chairs to help you hunt them down.

Why, yes I do know where the Foundation Oversight meeting is.  Follow me...
Why, yes I do know where the Foundation Oversight meeting is. Follow me…

Tuesday, we’ll be at Florida State College for the Workshops. Several of the committees are having their annual meetings during lunch on Tuesday (check the Steering Committee poster for details). That’s an incredible opportunity to learn how much the committees can do and what you can get out of (and put into) a committee.

Wow, all that in less than a week. Whew, it’s going to be a busy time, but we’ve learned in the past that it’s more than worth it. See you in JAX!

Let us help make this conference as rich an experience as possible for you!
Let us help make this conference as rich an experience as possible for you!

17- The Magic Assessment Machine

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EEG_recording.jpg
The magic assessment machine…please build it for me!

I want a magic machine that scans a student’s brain and tells me EXACTLY what s/he learned in my class.  I want the machine to accurately make all the decisions and judgement calls around grade assignment and I want it to offer rich and meaningful feedback to the student.  I want this glorious machine to be connected to the student’s brain all semester long, so it can deliver a constant stream of personalized guidance…it would be like each student would have a tiny ME in their heads!  The machine would assess the ability to THINK, so that robot-like efforts to simply check off a list of requirements would never lead to an “A.” My magic machine would be completely “BS” proof, flawlessly detecting any attempts to defraud the assessor.  My machine would not be fooled!

I really wish I had this magic machine today, because assessment is really hard.  I know that someday I will no longer feel like a “baby teacher” and I will transition into a place where I am more sure of my methods…and maybe then my classes will feel like less of a daily experiment.  But right now, as I set my sights on final exams and research papers, I am confounded by the confounding factors that blur my ability to assess whether or not my students “got it.”  Physio has been tricky this semester.  I am not satisfied with the flipped lectures, the pace of content delivery, or the in-class activities.  Frustration levels (for all parties involved) have been high and exam scores have been low.  And our culminating research paper project has been a barely salvageable train wreck (though much improved from the last time I tried it!).  I struggle between owning responsibility for the difficulties (“my fault”) and requiring student accountability (“your fault”). Many students capitalize on this ambiguity and I find lots of fingers pointing my way.  It is a fine line to walk between acknowledging your mistakes and getting pushed into a defensive corner.

Today, I think the appeal of the magic assessment machine is the way it would first shift many of those fingers away from me…but perhaps the more important value is that it would also give me confidence that I KNOW what my students KNOW and their grades absolutely reflect this.

I’m pretty sure my magic machine is a dream (regardless of how hard textbook companies are working to make it a reality!)  Maybe I don’t really need the machine at all…maybe I will someday turn into a “grown-up” teacher and find myself just sitting more comfortably in my ability to accurately assess what students KNOW.  Yeah…I think this is the more likely outcome.

HAPS Leadership (#25): 2014 Annual Conference preparations

HAPS 2014 is in 24 days! The Annual Conference for the Human Anatomy & Physiology Society starts in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday, May 24th. If you haven’t yet, start making plans. It’s a great week, full of incredible events and people. Let’s listen in on two new HAPS members planning for their first conference.

140430 (1) MinionP. Langerhans: Frank, I’m excited to attend my first HAPS conference this next month. I’ve lurked on the list-serv for a few years and read the HAPS-EDucator, but otherwise I haven’t been too involved. However, I’ve always wanted to visit Florida, so I decided to sign up for the Jacksonville conference. I’ve never been to the area, so tell me what it’ll be like.

F. Netter: Paul, The Jacksonville area is gorgeous. We’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency, which is right on the Riverfront. There’ll be a lot of neat places to see within walking distance. Best of all, the Jacksonville Jazz Festival will be just a few blocks away. Live music to sample throughout the weekend. The Marketplace is next door, with lots of great restaurants. There’s a water taxi that can easily take you to restaurants and parks across the river.

140430 (2) MinionP. Langerhans: Well, I’m glad that I found you as a roommate. I don’t know any other HAPS members, so I was worried about finding a roommate. However, the HAPS website has a Roommate Finder forum as well as a Guide for First-timers. Man, that was really helpful in figuring out what to expect. I just read that the HAPS Foundation has organized a 5K Fun Run for Monday morning. We’ll be running along the Riverwalk and over the Main Street bridge. It’ll be an early morning – race starts at 7:00 a.m. – but that gives us time to make the Business meeting.

F. Netter: I’ve been reading the Sneak Peeks at the Update Seminar speakers. There’s a great diversity of topics, so I’m curious to see how they go. I’ve also signed up for one of the HAPS-I courses, so that’ll be another great way to meet HAPSters and explore the conference.

140430 (3) Minion

P. Langerhans: Which course did you sign up for? I was curious, but was too late. I need to learn more about those courses.

140430 (4) MinionF. Netter: All HAPS-I courses are graduate credit level courses and can be applied towards a Master’s or Ph.D. program. They’re run through Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can find the list of courses on the website. New courses are announced on Facebook and Twitter. They even have financial aid available. They accept applications four times a year and the awarded scholarships may be used anytime up to 12 months after receipt, so you might as well apply now.

P. Langerhans: Good idea. I’ll check it out and apply. I’m curious to check out the Saturday reception. President-elect Tom Lehman has mentioned the Shirt Swap for that night. Bring a shirt from your institution and be prepared to swap it for someone else’s shirt. I guess he’s into tie-dye something fierce and will be bringing several tie-dyed shirts to swap. Sunday morning, we’ve got the First-timers breakfast with the Presidents Emeriti, where we get to learn about the “ins and outs” of HAPS and realize how much we can get out of a conference and the Society as a whole.

140430 (5) MinionF. Netter: You mentioned that you’re presenting a workshop. The workshops will be at Florida State College – South Campus. I’ve checked their website; it looks like an incredible campus. I can’t wait to see the labs. I’ve checked the workshop schedule and realize that I’m going to have a hard time choosing which to go to. There are so many cool ones!

P. Langerhans: I know. I was scared to present, but I’ve talked with other workshop presenters and they say it’s a great experience. The attendees are excited to learn and share. Several people said they came away with pages of new ideas to take home and try. That sounds amazing to me. I’ve even downloaded the HAPS 2014 Annual Conference app to keep track of the workshops and seminars that I want to attend. Say, are you taking the Thursday trip to St. Augustine?

140430 (6) MinionF. Netter: You bet. That place sounds incredible. The restaurants look amazing!  I was able to squeeze it into my travel itinerary, so I’m excited to see what the day trip is like. Man, I can’t wait for the conference and join the ranks of HAPS minions!

How about you?

140430 (7) Minion

 

16- HAPS Annual Conference

April is drawing to a close (whaaaat???) which means May is almost here and there are about 500 reasons why that is REALLY fantastic news.  First, it means that SUMMER IS NEAR (oh glory days)!  And second, it means that we’ll all be celebrating teaching and learning in Jacksonville in just a few short weeks.

Image
May 24-29

So sign up for the conference and meet us in Florida.  You still have 2 days to register for the conference at regular rates (late registration rates go into effect Thursday May 1). There is a conference app (thanks Wiley!) that includes the entire conference schedule as well as relevant maps and even exhibitor contact information.  The dynamic app updates instantly to keep you apprised of schedule changes and I noticed it even has a link to this blog on the front page!  (I better start thinking of some good posts to share from Jacksonville…) While I haven’t quite mastered the elusive art of Tweeting, I am hoping to become a Tweeter by the time I arrive in Florida so that even if you can’t make it to Jacksonville, you can follow our adventures using the hashtag #HAPS2014.

The HAPS Annual Conference is an amazing event and I think it is because HAPS is like a giant a family.  I was a first-timer last year in Vegas, though I’d been participating on the HAPS-listserv for about 2 years.  And it was such a kick to meet the people I’d been learning from on the listserv.

Make it happen—you won’t regret it a bit.