By far this course has been one of my favorite at Concordia. I looked forward to going to Neurochemistry every day.
This course was a place where we could put our chemistry expertise to use and explore real world problems. It was so fun to have discussions surrounding real world science with fellow students and be able to apply our various backgrounds to the discussion.
Throughout the course we delved into various neural disorders that worked to incorporate the five goals of liberal learning Concordia has set forth as the cornerstone for capstone experiences.
Instilling a Love for Learning
Each week we explored a different neurological disease. Each week we worked to understand the science of the disease with each other through discussion Mondays and speed dating Wednesdays.
The love for learning was so easily instilled as we worked together to understand each piece of the puzzle. Not only was it immediately interesting to us all, but it was collaborative learning that made the class so exciting.
The atmosphere was full of students who cared about the subject material and were excited about learning all we could about the disease and the best ways to treat and/or cure it.
The exciting real life learning we did in neurochemistry instilled in us a passion for learning and discussing the things we learned with one another, and also to share what we had learned with the larger population through our blogging.
Developing Skills and Transferable Intellectual Capacities
What made this course so great was the ways in which it was applicable to daily life. We all had heard of the diseases we discussed, and had an interest in figuring out what chemically was causing the diseases.
By having these vested interests, it was easy to study the diseases in depth and then use the knowledge we acquired to write blogs to share the information with the broader community.
Blogging was one of my favorite parts of this course. It was a chance to put the complexities of chemistry we had researched throughout the week into an understandable story for people outside of the Cobber Chemistry Bubble to engage.
The skills we developed will be so useful in our professional careers as we are required to explain complex science to people who have a various array of scientific literacy.
As a physician in particular, I find the skills I have developed in this course to be essential to relating to patients and making them feel comfortable in their health journeys.
Developing Diversity of Disciplines
Our class had a wide array of expertise. Many of us were chemistry majors, but we also had several biology majors and psychology majors. This variety aided in our collaborative learning immensely.
I have very little understanding of psychology, and very little interest in it. By those who live and breathe psychology were so helpful to me.
They were the ones who understood the papers about schizophrenia, bulimia nervosa, and autism best. They were the ones who could explain where clinical treatments currently lie, and speak from experience in working with individuals who suffer from these diseases.
In this way, the course has instilled in me the importance of interdisciplinary work, and the invaluable resource that is new perspectives.
It is always humbling to be around someone who’s strengths differ from your own. I was blown away by the different perspectives in this class and how they shed light to the problems we were discussing. They helped me to understand the diseases and solutions in new and deeper ways.
The interdisciplinary work in this course helped me to understand my own abilities and where they are helpful as well as where they fall short in looking at health concerns. I will carry this awareness and value with me as I venture into the world of medicine.
Cultivating Holistic Self-understanding
As I have already touched on, the interdisciplinary work we did in this course helped me to understand how my training in chemistry has both prepared me, and in some ways hindered me in my abilities to solve problems.
With a chemistry brain I am very good at deduction and problem solving, but terrible at memorizing specific bits of information for each disease. In this way, I relied heavily on my biology and psychology classmates to fill in the missing pieces.
It was also through this course and collaborative learning that I became aware of my great training in taking lots of information and organizing it into a helpful and useful format.
As an aspiring physician I found this class to be so applicable to my future career in medicine. I found the ways of discussing both the science and the societal norms surrounding each disease we looked into to be asking the deep questions of what this information means to the world.
From this experience I have gained the ability to critically engage scientific research and the ways in which understanding the deep chemistry of the problems can help in developing treatments and prescribing medicines.
As a chemistry major, graduating from Concordia College in just four short days, I feel so prepared to be a thoughtful and informed responsibly engaged participant in the medical profession, both locally and globally. Both this course and all those I have taken at Concordia have prepared me so well for the future ahead.