I absolutely love the anatomy class I am taking at CSULB with Peter Zokosky!  Not only is he knowledgable and a superb teacher, but he is having us construct a sixteen-inch, three-dimensional model of the skeleton and then we will apply all the muscles to it.  It is amazing how one’s understanding of form increases with the construction of the three dimensional model.  How did I not experience this before?

This was my first attempt.  Most of it was constructed in class, but I completed it at home.  I experienced difficulty working from the drawings in the anatomy books compared to the actual skeleton in class.  It struck me how abstract the drawings had to be in order to portray the three dimensional object on a two dimensional surface.  I have known this; I have said as much to myself and my students all these years.  However, I seem to be more aware of how I am thinking than I used to be, and I experienced this on a new level.

This is the skeleton, improved, upon returning to class and getting input from Peter.  Because I had completed details at home, I had some time while the other students were finishing up, so I drew from the model.  Once again, I experienced something new.  Instead of seeing the bones as protuberances, I began to see their shapes and to understand how they are moving through the muscles, even when I do not see the entire bone.  Granted, we have a model who is nicely toned, but I understood what I was seeing in a concrete way.

We have started adding muscles.  They have Latin names which we are learning to understand.  For example, the rectus abdominis, which is the long muscle on the front of the torso means, literally, straight, abdominal (muscle).  Other muscles are named for their origin and insertion points in the bones.  If I knew this many years ago when I took my first anatomy class, I forgot it, or ignored it when I was young and could remember things for tests.  Now that I am older, I am learning these things to satisfy my own desire for a particular knowledge.  It is harder to simply memorize words/names; but if they mean something I am able to arrive at the answer.  How different that makes the learning experience.  I am far more aware of how I am learning.

I am also having a great time with the other students.  They are almost all my daughter’s age or younger.  One young lady would have been my student at Lindbergh when I was a librarian if she had gone to her home school!   My middle school sense of humor still applies to their jokes and banter.  And they are so talented!  I am constantly impressed and humbled by the quality of their work, their dedication, and their aspirations.  It was an honor to be accepted into the class and I am so glad there was an opening!

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