Thursday 12 September 2013

First Class

Things are gearing up in The Institute.  Yesterday we were inducting (not inducing, that's down the road in the maternity wing) and orienting (not orienteeering, that's up the mountains this weekend) our first year intake of students.  We expect that the second and subsequent years can remember where to find the library, the t'ilets and room D410.  If anyone finds D410, please let me know, because I'm scheduled there a lot this term.

Today I had my first actual class in the dreaded room E909 which is made with cardboard walls and a wonky floor and no regulation in the temperature department.  35 of us crammed in there (each giving off 100W) made it like a sauna, if a bit more decorous in the clothing department.  I gave them an Anonymous Induction Quiz to gauge how far we were apart between what they can remember from their Leaving Cert Biology 4 months to 20 years ago and what I think every person should know about themselves and how they function.  It's a Human Physiology class, so it's silly to treat it as text-book-l'arning without bringing our own experience to bear on subject.

I'll share that quiz here:
Q1 What is your star-sign?
Q2 What is your blood-group?
Q3  How many chromosomes do you have in each cell of your body?
Q4. Indicate on the diagram, where his kidneys are.
Q5. Indicate on the diagram where his adrenal glands are.
Q6. Indicate on the diagram where is his larynx?
Q7 How many bones are in a typical human body?
Q8 How many bones are contained in the red oval (one fore-arm to hand)?
Q9  How many cervical (neck) vertebrae do you have?  How many does a mouse have?  And how many does a giraffe have?
Q10  Appendix - Colon - Duodenum – Esophagus – Stomach.  Please put in descending rather than alphabetical order.
Q11 How fast can Usain Bolt run in km/h or mph?  If the last bus is moving away at 20km/h do you have  a chance of catching it and knocking on the door?
Q12 About how big is a human brain (in litres or kilos)?

Responses below the fold.

Answers.  Everyone knows their sun-sign but only a third know their blood-group.  A similar number have the right count for their chromosomes.  Their kidneys are mostly located correctly but the adrenals wander up and down the body from groin to brain: AD-renal is a clue lads!  My students' bone-count varies from 36-206, the bones in their hands from 6 to 18 (it's more than that! half our bones are in our distal limbs).  All mammals except the manatee and dugong have seven cervical vertebrae.  The digestive tracts were about half correctly named/ordered and half put the gut or part of it before the stomach.

Usain Bolt does 100m in 10secs.
In 100secs he can run 1km.
There are 3600 secs in an hour
So Bolt can run 3600/100secs = 36km/h
I can run better than half as fast as Bolt (over a short distance): did I run 100yds in 14 seconds aged 12 or is that a fantasy?  So I have a good chance of catching the bus - and saving a taxi-fare!

The brain appears to vary in size between 1kg and 10kg with a couple of the (older?) students punting for 14stone (90kg) which is about what I weigh after a fortnight of curried chips, pavlova and Vivian's Famous Buttered Rice.

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