Homework for lecture

Hey everyone! Here is the homework for Thursday, September 18th.

Remember as you are doing these, that these questions might appear again somewhere… ***wink wink***

Same rules as before. Due by Sunday, September 21st by 11:59pm

I am thankful for everything pumpkin. And that soon, everything will be peppermint! Yummy!

Note Taking Skills

One of the best things students can do to increase their grades and be more prepared in school is to develop good note-taking skills. My friend Vicki Davis wrote an amazing article that covers these skills.

Here are two of the videos she discusses:

Go check out her article. If you’ve ever felt like your notes aren’t helping you study, or that you simply never take good enough notes, there are always ways to improve!

When you are always looking for meaning, it meets you in amazing places.

This morning, two Jehovah’s Witnesses knocked on my door. Sometimes they come at EXACTLY the wrong times (like the time my then four-year old son Guppy told them I was pooping), but I always like to hear what they have to say. No matter what your religious beliefs, I always try to look for meaning, and guidance for my life.

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Today, the normal man who comes to my house, who is an older, African American gentleman, was accompanied by an 8 year old girl. I had picked up Tipsy (above), so she wouldn’t run out the door, and the little girl who was outside my door wanted to see her SO BAD. I invited the two of them into my home, and we started chatting while the little girl played with my dog.

Continue reading…

Getting to Know You REVEALED – My class is amazing!

Over my gigantic cup of coffee this Saturday morning, I needed to look at my homework survey in a more detailed fashion. I spent close to 5 hours statistically analyzing tests on Thursday, and so I needed to give the surveys a bit more attention. Let me say, it was an emotional experience for me. Let me tell you why….

Professors, by nature, are really critical. That’s how they became the experts in their fields. I work with a lot of professors and students. I am sometimes surrounded by complaining, which can be very taxing on my soul. To hear professors complaining about everything (their jobs, their research, their students, their co-workers), and then to have my students coming at me from the other directions (complaining about reading, writing, doing math, going to class, studying, doing homework) – it can be exhausting! I, by nature, am a pretty happy person. I like to encourage people, motivate, and share my love of science and teaching. And the answers you shared with me on the survey re-affirmed why I love teaching!

I’m going to share with you all of the answers to the survey. I didn’t edit or remove any of them. I left the original spelling and grammar. I want you to see the full range of answers. I did bold some items, which I’m going to talk about with you as the semester goes along.

Thank you all so much for the kind words! I am humbled and lifted up by the things you described. I felt the same way that many of you did about those slides provided by the book manufacturer.  They are boring text on a screen, and don’t really hold students’ attention. Even though it’s a lot of work, I’ve used Canva.com to create beautiful slides that students want to look at. Every day, I’m Googling “beautiful nature photos” or “beautiful cells pictures” or “funny science jokes.” I have folder after folder of pictures to share with you. Because that is what students remember – what the picture looked like, how the picture made them feel, and how much effort the professor puts into their presentations. I strive to create an experience for you, and I’m glad you appreciate that.

I’m going to talk more about the survey in the next few weeks. I’ll be asking you more questions, because I care about your opinions and needs. I plan to write you a few short e-books about test anxiety, how to study, how to take better notes,  and how to memorize. Stay tuned!

And thank you to whomever said they liked my shoes. I LOVE SHOES! Not every scientist wears ugly, boring shoes. Teachers can rock stilettos too!

Dr. Renna’s Neuroscience Class in The Biology Department at The University of Akron Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge


Given the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it seemed only fitting for our Neuroscience students, their professor Dr. Jordan Renna, and the Biology Department Chair, Dr. Monte Turner to take part. Over 100 liters of ice cold water were dumped on the students and professors. The entire spectacle was filmed by the UA Media Relations Department, and posted to Youtube here. Dr Renna also encouraged Kent State’s students to take the challenge. Over $330 was raised by the students, which will be matched by UA Biology Faculty and Staff.

A little bit of Biology to go with the challenge – similar to if you were to fall through thin ice in the winter, the icy cold water hitting your body sends your body into “cold shock phenomenon.” This phase can last one to three minutes, if prolonged exposure to ice water occurs, but in our case, the cold water only lasted a few seconds. Cold shock phenomenon is characterized by gasping for air (which we saw!) and a huge expenditure of energy by your body as it attempts to thermoregulate. As soon as the water hit, everyone jumped, and began moving around. The blood vessels vasoconstrict, and the heart pumps faster to move blood throughout the body. Thankfully, there is no chance of hypothermia, which takes over 30 minutes of cold water exposure. Here is a great article about body physiology and cold water exposure (think: distance swimmers who exercise in the cold).




More on the next page.