Sep 12, 2007

Sonic, My Love...

That's Sonic Foundry, not Sonic the Hedgehog.

I'm not sure what other terms it applies to, or if it'll apply to immunology when it starts next week, but the school has started something for Neuro and Physio that I absolutely adore.

Now, I've mentioned that they're videotaping the lectures before, but it is only in the last couple of days that I've truly been making use of this feature, and OMG, how on earth did people become doctors before this? How did I pass last term???

With this feature, not only does it tape the lectures themselves, which could seem of limited usefulness because *watching* a professor talk doesn't tend to be all that more useful than simply listening to him/her on a tape recorder, a tactic students have been making use of since... oh, the late 1400s... give or take.

BUT, the lecture slides play next to the lecture video, which then rotate in time with what the lecturer is saying. All that's missing is the little red dot of the laser pointer. You can blow up the slides to be big while the prof is talking and they still change at the appropriate intervals, or you can click on the slide to start that particular slide over... over and over and over...

Ahhhh... maybe it's just that I'm addicted to television, but it rams things in my head so much better, and that's not just for lazy lecture-skipping, but I can pause it, get drinks, or, in the cases of difficult concepts, simply keep clicking one slide over and over again to make the virtual professor repeat himself so many times that I can recite that part of the lecture, much like I can recite old quotes from the X-Files (not proud).

Of course, I was just watching a neuron lecture with Dr. House where he threatened that if we misuse Sonic by like... giving away our Angel (the interactive website for all your classes) password and letting other people view it (because non-medical students like nothing better than to watch med school lectures, because having the 'interesting' bits summed up by family members isn't mindnumbing enough), they can take it away at any time...

Please... please never take away my Sonic Foundry. Though I've only known of how absolutely incredibly cool it is lately, having it withdrawn at this stage would probably cause me to go into the sort of downward spiral as Kermit in that "Hurt" video. I'd probably keep watching a blank screen in the hopes it would come back. I would camp for weeks outside the administration office begging for a fix. I love Sonic. I love it more than nutmeg ice cream and Carib.

It's also weird that it's so well put together because with the exception of Angel, which I think actually works pretty well except for its annoying tendency to log you out after 90 minutes of "inactivity", which often consists of going through power point lectures, a lot of the school's stuff tends to produce error messages and be difficult to use, but this thing is... well, it's just awesome. I'm wiping a tear away at the thought... have I oversold this enough?

So enough with gushing about that. I am a bit behind in my lectures, which I'm trying to catch up, not helped at all by the fact that I skipped lecture today to try and catch up the very gradual sleep deficit I was building, plus I was feeling increasingly kind of icky, temperature sensitive, off feed, and antisocial so I figured I was coming down with something and took the day to kind of watch Sonic and unwind/chill/heal, also figuring I might have gotten socially overloaded and needed to hole up for a day.

Apparently not. I don't know if I have a sinus infection or what that's been causing me to feel kind of wiggy, but around 5 I flipped out from the weird prickly isolation (and fell asleep during Dr. House's lecture, causing me to have really bizzare dreams about wandering around my apartment, and sort of subliminally buried the properties of neurons into my subconscious) and ran over to Nina's apartment to eat pumpkin daal, ice cream, and drink tea. She's gotta blog too.

So that's all good, and I'm about to head for bed... I have yet another final exam on Monday (damn these two week classes!) but it's for community health, which is really hard to be passionate about, because for the most part I've just been preached at to not smoke... which I don't, but after having it so completely shoved in my face for the past two weeks, I'm thinking about taking it up. Some of the profs have been okay, but in the meantime it seems more like... well, evangelizing political beliefs to a captive audience. Can't wait for that final. I suppose it's karma for bitching about ethics so much.

What's weird is that the best class I've had so far for community and preventative health was parasitology. While it could be a bit scattered, it was incredibly interesting (and disgusting), relevant, and without being preachy, showed a direct cause/effect relationship between community health improvement (even more than smoking, 9 out of 10 doctors recommend not defecating in your water supply) and the, in some cases, overwhelming positive effects certain control programs have had on certain communities. Parasitology actually got me excited about the huge numbers of people that could be helped through simple action. Community health gets me excited by the prospect that if I pass the exam on Monday, I don't have to deal with the class anymore.

It just has a tendency to piss me off (who me?). Oh, and in a crowning moment, while public health is apparently the only *real* medicine, most of us are going to specialize because of the money. Excuse me??? First of all, I believe the majority of SGU grads go into primary care. Correct me if I'm wrong. Second of all, what was that, QUARTER MILLION DOLLAR school? Money bad? Someone's doing something for money? Third, there are plenty of reasons to specialize besides money... like perhaps liking that field of medicine a lot and excelling at it. If you're good at cutting things and anatomy, and bad at statistics and financial planning, maybe public health *shouldn't* be in your future. But being in a graded class and being told essentially that we're all in it for the money? Not cool.

Oh, and don't smoke. Because smoking is bad. And I can't believe that there are students that smoke on campus that want to be doctors because smoking is bad, and doctors never do things that are bad for themselves, but especially not smoking... because smoking is bad, and should have extra taxes put on it, and people who smoke should be fixed so they don't pass on their deleterious broken smoking genes to other people. Okay, maybe I made that last part up.

But if you're knocked up and miss your obstetrics appointments, it's society's fault. Unless you're also a smoker. Then, you probably missed your obstetrics appointment to score cigarettes.

Did I mention I'm not a fan? Teach it like parasit, dammit! Or, I can't believe I'm saying this, bring back the patient interview part of clinical skills. That was actually useful.

Neuro and Physio are kind of running into each other which is cool, because it creates an inherent redundancy that gives me a "I've heard this before" feeling of deja vu for material that you've only recently covered, which really helps me enforce the material, a particularly good thing since the overlapping bits are the scary physics bits. It also means that I'm hoping it'll make me a little less "behind" in the material.

Neuro also has weekly small groups which to me are intrinsically more helpful than a lot of the other small groups were for me last term (which may have more to do with the fact they're in the afternoon rather than content), and we get to do case studies, which I like. Wernicke's aphasia (you can speak fluently but you talk gibberish so no one can understand you) sucks more than polar bear worms, though I don't have a cute graphic for it. We also play with the plastic brains, not only nice for visualizing three dimensional structures, but you get to play Hannibal Lecter with them. What?

1 comment:

esa said...

Hi - just wanted to say everyone here at Sonic Foundry loved your post (I'm ericasATsonicfoundryDOTcom). Hope you are feeling better and good luck with your exams!