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Lesson 1 - Introduction

Hello there and welcome to the first lesson.

Please print or download the Class Notes provided below. I post the powerpoint lectures used in the videos as PDF's either 1 slide per page (which is great if you use an electronic device), 2 or 3 slides per page (great if you print them). Also, I suggest you print out the Preview Questions.

Then, please watch the following Lecture Videos, answer the preview questions, and email them to me ( Do this before class! You get points towards your final grade for the email.

During class, I will ask you about the questions and we will this way integrate the material. Please come prepared with questions that came up while you watch the videos.

This way, you will learn the material deeper and faster.

Class Notes:

Lesson 1 - Introduction: Full page handout
Lesson 1 - Introduction: 2 slides per page (still good to see slides; space for notes in the margins)
Lesson 1 - Introduction: 3 slides per page handout (save paper; lines for taking notes)

Lecture Videos:

Preview Questions:
(printable version)

  1. If Anatomy is the study of naming body parts and describing them, what does physiology study?
  2. The way something is shaped, determines what it can do. A heart is the body’s pump, because it is made of muscle around chambers filled with blood that when squeezed push that blood into attached pipes. Think of an example in the ‘real’ world that explains how structure dictates function.
  3. When we look at a person, we see an entire organism. To understand this entirety, we break it down into smaller parts…all the way to the chemical level of atoms. Can you list all the levels?
  4. Vitamin D (VD) is made when sunlight (UV rays) hits and interacts with the skin. VD keeps us healthy in many ways. If we don’t get enough sunlight, our body can’t make enough VD. Many of us are deficient. How else does the integumentary system support us?
  5. Bone is hard and solid, like concrete. Bones hold us up against gravity. Muscle attach to them and when they contract, they move. This hard material also protects softer tissue; like the brain by the skull or the lungs by the ribs. How else does the skeletal system support us?
  6. Muscles contract pulling the end-points closer. Give examples how the body makes use of that function.
  7. Nerves are like wires that physically connect every part of your body with the brain. The brain coordinates body functions via electrical signals. Does the brain send signals fast or slow?
  8. Glands secrete chemicals (hormones) that coordinate body functions via the blood stream. Do you think that process is slow or fast?
  9. Blood is a great medium to carry chemicals through pipes (blood vessels) and deliver them all over the body. What organ pumps the blood around?
  10. The cardiovascular system is not fully efficient in keeping all the liquid in its pipes (the vessels). The lymphatic system picks up fluid and returns it back to the blood near the heart. How else does this system help us?
  11. Our body needs molecules in the form of gases from the environment to survive. Oxygen is needed in the body to make energy (ATP it’s called in us). Where in the lung does the gas exchange occur?
  12. Food is how we nurture our bodies with particles that give us energy and keep us functioning healthily. Breaking big junks of food down into small enough pieces that the body can absorb requires that we chew and churn the food physically as well as squirt a bunch of chemicals onto it helping to digest further. Physically chewing your food well is where you consciously affect this process. Next time you eat savory food such as a cheese or meat sandwich, chew a bite for 30 times. How does this compare to normal?
  13. The kidneys filter your blood and make pee. How does that keep us healthy?
  14. What is the reproductive systems main purpose?
  15. In order to keep us alive, our body needs certain overarching functions. For example, boundaries keeps us distinct from the environment. This way we can keep our inside within very specific parameters. Just think of body temperature, or how the skin doesn’t let dirt come in. Since we need to eat, we need to move and manipulate the world around us (movement). Food needs to be broken down (digestion), so that the body can absorb the small chemicals and make energy out of them (metabolism). What other four body functions are necessary to sustain our life?
  16. Besides love and emotional nurturing, our bodies have a few fundamental things needed to survive. Our body temperature needs to be within a narrow range, the atmospheric pressure around us also has to be a certain way. What other two main things do we need to survive?
  17. It is crucial for our bodies internal environment to be stable. That goes for body temperature, but also for blood calcium levels, blood glucose levels, oxygen levels, acidity and much more. When the body is stable, it is in …. (write proper word).
  18. In order to keep that stability, the body constantly balances things out. If it gets too warm, it cools it down for example; the body does the opposite to what got it to this state. That’s why it is called NEGATIVE feedback loop. What are the components of a homeostatic control system?
  19. In a POSITIVE feedback loop, the initial stimulus becomes stronger and intensifies. Most of the time this is not helpful for the body and is associated with disease processes (pathology). There are however a few ’normal’ body processes that are explained by this process. List an example of such.
  20. Anatomy has to do with giving names to body parts. In order to reference body areas properly, we describe everything in the anatomical position. Describe how it look?
  21. And of course, since the entire world has to communicate and use the same terms, the language they are in is either ancient Greek or Latin. Regional terms start exposing you to this language. Some of them you recognize as we use them in more common language; such as ’oral’ for mouth, or abdominal for stomach. Please explain another 5 terms.
  22. Directional terms help us explain parts to one another; such as ‘above’, ‘below’, ’in front’, or ‘behind’. What are they in the ‘anatomy’ language?
  23. If we take a picture of the inside body, such as an MRI or X-ray, we have to do it in slices, since we cannot do it in 3D. Three main planes are described. What are they?
  24. Boundaries are necessary to keep different internal body environments separated. For example, the lungs need a very different environment then a gut or a brain. List the different cavities.

Please send me the answers you come up with to those questions before the class meets to Thank you.

Here are the videos answering the questions in class:

Here are the LAB handouts for this section:
Language of Anatomy LAB

Instructor Slides:

Essential Health
Lesson only
Lesson & preQ
PreQ only

I like the talks by Sir Ken Robinson. He is an expert on education and opened my eyes to it. I never had a formal 'teaching' education and his information helped me greatly in structuring this class. He heavily stresses the fact that we all should try to find our areas of talent and interests and work on developing them. Please watch his talk, you will enjoy it. He's got the dry, english humor.

Other Videos I like from Ken Robinson:

I also liked his book 'The Element'. I listened to it on audible, a format I got to appreciate over time. Even though it is easy to space out what is being read, it helped build my concentration skills...and, I can listen to a book while I'm hiking, in the car or standing in line at Trader Joe's.

This next, short talk will make you smile and appreciate your path.

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