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I came into the Neurochemistry class not knowing what to expect. I thought that it would be like all the other classes I have enrolled in at Concordia College, where the teacher would come in dumping all this information on us, expecting us to take lots of notes and then test us on what we could cram into our brains.  Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that it wasn’t like any class I have taken.  Starting each week with a new topic and new questions led me to think about things that I would not normally take time to think about.  Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Concussions, Bipolar, Obesity, Ethanol and lastly Autism, all topics that I knew very little about until we discussed them in class.  Coming in Mondays having read the article and going through the things that didn’t make sense to us or needed further explanation than what the paper gave.  Then dividing out these topics among the class to return Wednesday being “The Expert” in the topic given that Monday.   Wednesday was devoted to presenting our topic to the class to help everyone have a more full understanding of the paper for the week.  Then came Friday, the day where we assign discussion leaders and take the topic for the week and discuss everything from ways we think we could treat the disorder to the morals of certain treatment methods to how the things presented in the paper applied to everyday life.  This day was devoted to expressing our opinions, stories, and hypotheses and seeing what the other people in the group had to say.  The discussion was not structured in any way and tangents were taken many times and that was encouraged because it kept us attentive and listening to others ideas.  It is all these things above that made this class a welcome relief to the hectic life of a college student.  It was a very intensive course that didn’t feel intensive.

I have learned many things in this class.  I have learned so much about the diseases and disorders we discussed and now have become more educated in the effects certain actions in my life have.  I feel better capable of expressing my ideas to others even though I still am very frightened to speak in front of a group as many people are.  I have become familiar with the basics of neuro- and biochemistry with regard to neurological related diseases and disorders and I feel that I can use this understanding to appreciate how the diseases and disorders are researched and treated.  I feel that even though I may not go into a field relating to Neurochemistry or Biochemistry after I graduate from Concordia, I can use all the information that I have gained from this class to help make informed decisions in my life.

The reason we have the Capstone course is to provide a class where you can discuss your experiences over the last 4 years and apply it to topics that pertain to the brain.  I believe that Neurochemistry has accomplished just that and more.  It provided an environment in which we could express our ideas and see what others thought as well.  Even though we may have had very differing ideas, the discussion never deviated into the realm of arguing and things like that.  Ultimately, what this final post is saying is that I am glad that I decided to take this course and experience discussion on such a wide variety of topics and be able to publish my thoughts on the internet for people to read and reply to.

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