Academic Mysteries

Teaching Anatomy/Microbiology as well as General Biology to restart my academic career, this time around as a full-time professor. I am finding that when you have been out of the game for a while, there are some areas that aren’t as polished and there are some points of information that one is used to delivering have either changed or need to be reviewed. Never thought the Microbiology part of my brain would be lacking but it is a bit. I found myself stumped by a question from a student but I was stumped because I did not do my due diligence to prepare for what was a minor point of  the topic of bacterial shapes and arrangements.

In order to redeem myself for what I felt was a bad day (the Labor Day holiday must have had a bigger toll on me than what I thought) I did the research that I should have done when I taught this class several years ago. What is the difference between a tetrad and a sarcinae of bacterial growth? Originally, I thought I had the answer but what I thought made no sense so I had to relent and say I had to do my homework.  I did solve the “mystery” and I will share the solution at a later time as I get back to more of the new discovery, research and education based entries I do here.

My other major issue now with one of my courses is trying to find an interesting, interactive activity for the microbiology portion of my Health Science course. I really want to incorporate the Public Health portion into the lectures and add some practicality to the class. I think my students will get so much more out of it. I am following a Professor on Twitter who is using the site as an educational tool to discuss HIV in her class and have her students tweet in response or when they find a topic that is related (with the appropriate hash tag). I don’t know if I would require students to get a Twitter account for a course, but I would like to do something that is technologically advanced, holds my students interest and has little dependence on social networking. Not to say that social networking is not important, it can prove to be a powerful tool as each person can learn from each other. My concern  is thinking about the possible wide divide amongst my students in technological comfort as well as how much some students interact with technology. Both of those items are related but my goal is education and not to make anyone feel left out with increased use of technology. I am going to keep thinking about this, I still have some time before I start the microbiology portion but if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know.


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