Wednesday, June 6, 2012

End of Year Reflections, Human Anatomy and Physiology, June 2012

Compilation from Human Anatomy and Physiology Classes

June 6, 2012


            This June, for the first time ever, I asked my students to write a personal reflection on their year in Human Anatomy and Physiology.  They have written about the anatomy and physiology they have learned, what they have learned about themselves, and what lessons about life they will take with them when they are graduated from West Windsor – Plainsboro High School South. 

            I always find the end of the academic year to be terribly bittersweet.  By the last week of school, my students and I have grown close through daily interaction that can be intensely intellectual as well as at times quite emotional.  We have had our good days and bad, our days of epiphany and days of ennui.  Together we have shared and grown into the people we are still becoming.  I feel exuberant elation that the summer is upon us; I feel deep sadness at the loss of the daily classroom experiences of discovery and joy that will never happen in quite the same way again.

            This year was a tough one for me.  My beloved father, Dr. Richard M. Heavers, a professor of physics, passed away on November 14, 2011.  To be with my family, and to say goodbye to him, I missed nearly three weeks of school.  But I knew that I had left my students in the hands of their class secretaries, who kept the learning going.  When I returned to school at the end of November, my classes were in relatively tip-top shape and I found myself wholly content to continue with the routine of my teaching life.

On March 30, 2012, I defended my dissertation for Rutgers University in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education, officially becoming Dr. Katherine M. Heavers.  While my father was no longer alive to praise me for this accomplishment, my students took over the job, showering me with praise and accolades, eager to call me “Doctor.”

In a year of deep loss juxtaposed with personal triumph, my students and I learned a tremendous amount about ourselves and one another.  The reflections in this compilation will speak to that in some profound ways.  I hope you enjoy the read. 

Philosopher Maxine Greene, Professor Emeritus at Teachers College, Columbia University, says, “I am what I am not yet.”  She reminds us that we all are always becoming.  And we are.  We know this at the cellular level, and we know it in our hearts and minds.  We are forever new.

-Kate Heavers

Amina Khaliq, Period 2
            If there is any one thing that I will remember about Human Anatomy, I have no doubts that it is that structure determines function in the human body. This was a recurring theme throughout the entirety of the course and one that would be hard to forget. It was amazing to see how even as we studied more and more complex organ systems, there was always a commonality among them in that, in every system, structure determined function. Another aspect of Human Anatomy that I will always remember is that all these organ systems that we studied work together to maintain homeostasis in the body. If even one of these organ systems has a fault then the body’s homeostasis can be thrown off entirely. This knowledge only reinforced something I learned about myself from this class – that it is necessary to care for oneself internally in order to be healthy externally. One thing that I always go back to when I need to remind myself of this is the graph displaying the stages we are in when we are faced or not faced with a challenge. We are either bored, in flow or panicked. The graph is a constant reminder of my mind’s automatic reaction to panic and a reminder that if I just relax and perhaps practice some ujjai breathing I could easily find myself in flow. This graph, along with the daily yoga we do in Human Anatomy and the numerous quotes we discuss in class, worked in conjunction to remind me that worrying about the future and dwelling on the past is not living. Only this moment is my life. Being present in Human Anatomy reminded me that I should not fret over the past or the future when I can be in flow, doing everything to the best of my ability, in this moment.

Anonymous Student, Period 4
            What I learned about the human body most importantly is that structure determines function. We learned how all the different systems in the body are all connected and they work together to keep us up and running and also keep us in homeostasis. These lessons will definitely stick with me throughout future years to come. Important for college, I learned about the negative effects that smoking and drinking can have. I learned that smoking burns the cilia on your lungs and that drinking beer can give you a beer gut. Not that I was thinking about doing either of those things, but that was just more motivation to not do these things.
                What I learned about myself was that I am a very diligent and motivated person but I could stand to revise a few areas of my school practices. Such as studying. If I would have studied more for tests I would have probably gotten an A in the class and I wouldn’t have had to take this final! Studying for exams will be crucial for college seeing as though your grade is comprised of basically exams. And if I do what I did in your class the end result of college will not be good for me, and I won’t be able to become the vet I want to be. So for college I definitely need to get on that ASAP, but you definitely provided us with the advice and tips to do it I just have to put them into effect. This course has impacted me and will impact me long term because I know that you cared and pushed each and every one of us to become a better person and to succeed not only in your classroom but in life. I truly appreciate that. Also last but not least you taught me the difference between healthful and healthy, and that eating healthful foods helps to keeps you healthy of course when paired with exercise.

Joanna Gochuico, Period 2
This year was the perfect year for me to take human anatomy. I learned an enormous amount about myself, and how my body. When it comes to my studies, I learned the most important principle of human anatomy, which was structure determines function. When I think of SDF, I tend to think about my muscular heart, my strong bones and my elaborate brain. I have to maintain these structures, in order to maintain their functions. This is so important because I completely control my future. I will make the choices that keep me heathy and alive (and happy). My body will only fail me if I fail my body, if that makes sense. Through this course, I learned a lot. While I learned a lot of information about the human body, I did learn a little about myself. I learned that by maintaining my physical well-being, I can be happier. I think a lot of people are looking for the key to happiness, and it seems as if I found one of the "keys" as a seventeen year old.  Lucky me. Also as a junior in a predominately senior course, I learned how to interact to with people I didn't really know. This class forced me to converse with others and share ideas. I had never experienced that in a classroom full of students I didn't know, and I think I successfully transitioned into someone capable of that kind of interaction. It was a skill that took time for me to develop, but I'm proud of how far I have come in regards to that. There's always progress to be made but I'm happy as of now. In regards to life, I think I learned that it goes on. And more importantly, I'll get what I want from life if I put that kind of effort in. Effort isn't just physical effort, but effort in establishing relationships, staying healthy, both physically and mentally, and staying motivated. If I put in that kind of effort, I'll hopefully live a long, healthy and happy life.

Chukwudubem Ezeigwe, Period 5
            My experience in Human Anatomy was the highlight of my high school experience; it was the only class that did things differently from all the classes I have taken throughout high school and I think it is going to be one of my most memorable classes in high school. In HAP, we were taught about how the different parts of the human body are and how they function. What I learnt in the class over the span of 8 months is that we as human beings are amazing, down to the smallest parts of the body. From our cells up to the organism (human) itself, everything works in unison and in order and the distortion of this order even by a little can dangerous to the Human health. I also learnt that every structure and function of the body complement each other. The most interesting thing about the human body that I learnt is that Brain is what is responsible for everything that goes on with our body and for the most part controls the way our whole system works, so without the brain, we are basically nothing.
               In the beginning of this course, we were given qualities of character and my quality was of justice. And I think that this character describes me very well because I would like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t judge other people based on appearances or things said about them so I try to accept people for who they are.
               Some of the things I learnt about life are that first impression matters, because I remember in the beginning of the year, Ms. Heavers now Dr. went around the class and shook the hands of every student and also memorized our names. She actually memorized my full name, which I realized, that no other teacher that I have had classes with in the school with the exception of teachers in the art department try to memorize because its too long or too hard to pronounce. I also learnt that being yourself in every situation gives you peace. I also learnt that in order to succeed we have to be determined to be the best in what we want to do and also that the key to success is happiness.

Noopur Shah, Period 2
I had an amazing year with you. I didn’t only learn about human bodies but I also learned some things more valuable like qualities of character that we started learning since the beginning of the year would help me wherever I go. Most importantly, I made new friends and I love to be with them. I am less nervous if I am told to present in your class than other classes because of that environment. At the first day of our class I didn’t get the point of bringing peace to our bodies and our brains but as time passed by it was really helpful especially before the tests and presentations. The best thing I like about our HAP class is that we learn a lot more than just about our bodies and the quotes that we did every D days inspired me a little bit more to learn something from them and to be a better person. I took this class because I wanted to learn something about myself and I could do that by learning about my own body, it always interests me and so I decided to do my major in Nursing. My favorite chapter was the cardiovascular system and it was so cool learning about the heart. The best part was running through the heart. I would miss everyone after I graduate all my friends and especially you. Thanks a lot for everything and also thanks for helping me for my final project. I will miss you!! But I would definitely come to meet you. 

Truman Levine, Period 2
Over the past year in human anatomy I have learned a lot about the world and myself. The thing that stood out most to me was the qualities of character. I thought it was amazing how you were able to integrate nearly all of them into the curriculum in some way. You also managed to make STR a huge part of the year also. I think this is especially important because in life it goes a long way. With professors in college and bosses later in life, it is vital that we learn to establish good relationships with them. You have taught us good ways to do that. I have also noticed that a lot of the things I have learned in your class, I have retained longer than 3 months. I know a lot of things about my body which will help me be healthier. I also learned that being healthier actually makes you happier. I plan to use this knowledge throughout my life to live better. Since this year I have stopped drinking soda, because you told us in the beginning of the year how much healthier it is not to. I feel better since I stopped and I have completely broken my caffeine addiction by now. Thank you for being an awesome teacher and thank you for an amazing and fun filled learning experience.

Anonymous Student of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Period 5
I have learned a lot of things from this course this year, but the things that will stay with me for more than just the end of the year will be more the structural part of the body more than how everything works. This is only because in my everyday life when I’m playing sports and working out I have to know how each thing is working so I don’t destroy myself in what I am doing. The first part of the year is where this comes from. All the bones and ligaments and muscles and where they are connected and what they do is where I learned the most.  That was the place where I was most engaged because it was the part I needed the most. From playing sports and watching them I already knew some of the structure of the body just by listening to injuries and things of that nature, but it was great to learn where they are connected in the body and how each of them affects what the others are doing. This helped me understand why things hurt and move the way they do during the games and other activities that I do. After going through this course, there is not a lot that I learned about myself from just this course. You would always try to make us get the most out of our selves throughout the year and it seemed like that with most of the class you got more out of them then they thought could happen. However I did learn a lot about life and people from this year but just not directly from this course. I learned more about trust and loyalty then I ever thought I would. Learned how people react to certain situations show really what they think about you and how they feel towards you. It was a tough year but after everything settled I learned who my true friends are and who I can count on at the end of the day.

Khelsea Sealy, Period 5
Keep Calm and Carry On:
A Reflection on HAP with Dr. Heavers

Walking into HAP I had no idea what to expect, I signed up for the course because I was interested in Anatomy from a plainly educationally point of view. Little did I know the things I would remember about the class would not center on anatomy or physiology.
            Overall, HAP was a learning experience for me. When it came down to the nitty gritty science and minute details I found that I was the figurative sponge. Nothing was said in class that I didn’t understand. To me it was all fascinating and perfectly clear. But what stands out? What’s the one thing I will absolutely remember as starting my love affair with Human Anatomy? Certainly not histology! But maybe it was muscles, or the Integument, definitely the nervous system right? But then the endocrine system was quite fascinating as well. The truth is I can’t really pick one. So what it really comes down to is which system caught my eye because of all the mysteries that were unraveled before my eyes. The nervous system. It’s one thing to have people always tell you about your growing brain and what it needs or what I have to do to maintain my mental health, but it’s completely different to learn about it and apply it to yourself. For me it was interesting to learn more about my brain, the organ that I think of as defining much of who I am. I was enthralled from the first day we walked into class and there was a giant neuron on the floor. It was love at first sight. The more we learned about the mechanics of action potentials and the chemical messengers, the more my self-awareness grew. It was eye opening to think of how my sleep patterns affected my brain and how I learn. I never thought of it before because I never understood my brain. I didn’t truly understand myself until we studied the nervous system, it’s the reason why the lessons I’ve learned throughout the nervous system will remain with me for life.
            HAP isn’t just about the anatomy though. There is an entirely different element that’s brought to the table taking human anatomy with Heavers. It’s really a great course because it’s a “search for self” course. Many seniors that came back and talked about their experience in HAP didn’t mention much about the academic aspect. At first I doubted being in the class. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a class that wasn’t focused on the curriculum. I always enjoyed taking challenging classes and would hate to waste my time in a class that would be too easy. But then Ms. Heavers came up to me, sitting in the front row, and shook my hand. I don’t remember what she said about my handshake or what was so funny at that moment, I can’t remember that entire lesson but I do remember the look in Ms. Heavers’ eyes. Then the unexpected happened. “I have to close my eyes for a minute of silence? Did someone die? No Khelsea, don’t be such a nay sayer, you never know.” You never know. It became the theme of the year for me. I learned many things about myself this year with Ms. Heavers. The most important thing I learned was that I can choose to be happy. I could be thrown into a situation that was completely chaotic and stressful but close my eyes and smile because I can, because life goes on. It was a year of trials, hard work and many disappointments. I was broken and at times I felt beaten. I didn’t know I could get back up and keep going. Keep calm? Yeah right, my world was tumbling down around me and you’re telling me to smile? But I did smile, I woke every morning and I did it because after two hours of pretending to smile I began to smile. I began to close my eyes, breathe and be happy, because I could.

Keren Ribansky, Period 2
            There are several things that I learned about the human body and its structures and functions. First off the bat, I will always remember that structure determines functions, that's a given. An example of something that I will remember in my future is that your integument system covers everything that is exposed to the outside world and the integument system includes the outside of our bodies and the "outside" of our insides (the outermost layer of our organs). Another thing that I will remember is the muscle and skeletal unit. The structure of a certain muscle immediately determines its function which is to either abduct, adduct, rotate, extend, flex, and/or all other types of movement. the muscles structure and their certain function are in sync with the structure and function of the skeletal system. The way that we move is directly reflected with the unison of these two system, better yet, the person that we are is a direct reflection with the way that all of our systems work together in unison and ultimately the goal is to reach homeostasis. Another thing that I will remember about the muscle system is the microanatomy of it and how the myosin head attaches to the active site of the tropomyosin and pulls forward and when all of this happens the sacromere is engaged and a muscle contraction occurs. It's fascinating to know that millions of little contractions happen at the same time and continuously at all times and it's cool to be able to understand how it all works.
            What I learned about myself is that I pretty much continued to be myself with differences in some areas. Awhile ago I noticed that I had difficulty saying what I want to say; I couldn't find the words fast enough to form sentences that didn't include "uhh". Throughout this year i noticed that I had this problem and I have been working on it. Now when I want to say something or tell a story, I literally try to think my sentences out in my head before I say them so that I could avoid saying "uhh" or pausing too often. I am confident that I have improved in that area. Another thing that I learned about myself after having taken this course is that I am stronger than I think. A LOT has happen this year and as hard as some things were I got through them and built myself a stronger foundation with these experiences.
            Life is life. I don't know what life really is and although I can list things out like saying that life is about experiences, life is about happiness, I don't want to. I'm going to live my life and make my own definition of it at some other time because right now, life is changing at every moment and instead of taking time trying to find words to describe it, I'm just going to live it.

Anonymous Human Anatomy and Physiology Student, Period 4
            During the year I learned a lot about the human body and mind. In the beginning of the year I learned the names for relative anatomical positions which will be used in almost every part of biology I study. The integument and the related structures and growth of the parts will also stay with me in the future. The idea of structure relates to function will definitely stay with me in the future as I use the concept in more detailed scenarios.
            Throughout HAP, I learned how delicate and sacred the human body is. Our bodies need constant maintenance and attention to run to their fullest. I learned that when I stress out my body suffers adverse affects and I must learn to control that. While studying the nervous system and sleep cycles, I learned that I feel very relaxed after a small nap during the day. After the minute of silence every morning, I started to have my own silent periods during the day whenever I felt stressed or needed to calm down. This taught me to at least reduce the stress I would go through at times.
            HAP has taught me that life in general is the result of what we make of the opportunities given to us. Whether it is a simple homework assignment, a presentation or a final, you should always give everything you level best and strive for nothing else. Always stay honest with yourself and what you expect from yourself. Be responsible for your successes and your failures – for both are key in the end result.

Jeevitha Anthony, Period 2
            I learned a lot about the human body and its structure and function this year. But, some of the things that will probably stay with me throughout my future are:
  • The structure of brain and how the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body and vice versa.  
  • The structure of heart and how left side of the heart is bigger than the right side of the heart because it has to pump the blood to the body with great pressure.
  • Brain, the memory jungle and how our short-term memory is really short and we usually forget things in four months if we don’t keep reviewing them.
  • The structure of skeletal system and how it supports the body and gives shape to the body.
  • I will also remember that structure of heart (diagram on the floor) and the path of blood flow through heart.
  • The structure of ciliated columnar epithelial cells determines its function of sweeping the mucous, blocking the pathogens from entering the body
  • The locations of major organs in the body.

            The most important thing I learned by taking this course is how to study/take notes and which method suits me the most. I also stopped procrastinating especially studying for the tests and that really helped my grade. I learned that I can do better if I start studying earlier for the tests. I think this is one of things that will help be successful in the college. I improved in presenting, I say a lot less word crunches and try to look at the audience while presenting. I also reduced the junk food I eat, and started eating healthful food. I started to exercise at least three times a day. I also started to eat breakfast every morning, after learning about nutrition and digestion.
            I learned many things about life in general in HAP. The one-minute silence especially before the tests helped me and I will probably do that in college too. The quotes are very inspiring and somehow related to me almost every day. I will always remember what you said; “whatever you do, have fun doing it”. I tried to have fun doing work that I didn’t really like or want to do and it worked. Your quotes and mini lectures on life were very inspiring. Overall, HAP is the most fun and the best class I took in high school. I am glad I took HAP and I will take with me many valuable things I learned in this class. The people in my class are amazing, very friendly, and helped me gain a positive experience from this class.

Alex Sandgren, Period 4
            I learned a lot about structure and function of what happens in the body. What will stick with me the most at the end of this year would have to be learning about the effects I can inflict upon myself with the choices that make in my life. I also think that learning about that heart put in perspective structure determining function because it is one of if not the most important part of the body and the structure of it is overwhelming with all of the different parts and I think that will probably stick with me the most out of everything. This class made me realize a lot of things about myself, but I think the major thing I realized was that I have poor work ethic even when I am in a class that I am actually interested which is quite rare. I also realized that my brain can work better after relaxing for a couple minutes and taking a break from what was going on in the day. I learned that life isn’t based on one class and it’s not all about what shows up on paper but what a person is actually like, and I also learned to stress the little things because in the long run that’s not what actually matters.

Michael Soskind, Period 2
            I have learned about many things throughout the school year. However,
the most important idea that I have learned is the fact that structure
determines function. In every unit that we looked at this year, you
always referred back to this simple and seemingly obvious statement
from that first day of class this past school year. It has kept with
me this entire time, and I will never forget it. On that day, you also
said that architects are taught the opposite, but I think that they
would encounter many problems. This is because the structure that an
architect builds also determines its function, meaning how it is used.
For example, a man who builds a house with no room for a bed would
cause the owner to undergo tremendous amounts of stress, because they
are unable to rest well at night. I think that both function
determines structure and structure determines function in both
architecture. However, this can also be said for the human body,
because the function of an animal (which is determined from the
necessity to provide for itself) is determined by its current
structure, and the structure to become "fittest." I think that both
structure and function are both intertwined as one, and that both
determine one another in a mutual relationship. I have learned many
things about myself this year, but most importantly, I have learned to
talk to others. I have grown as a participant in class discussions, as
well as a presenter. I had hopes that I would learn how to orate my
ideas effectively, and with the practice and constructive criticism
that I gained during the presentations and final project, I did just
that. I also learned that no matter how hard or stressful life may be,
there is always time for ujjai and the breath of fire. I know that I
must do both of these exercises more in order to lower my stress,
especially as I begin to undertake the stresses of college
applications, and the other monumental tasks that await me in my life.

James Vancheri, Period 4
            Of all the curriculum based matter that I have learned in Human Anatomy and Physiology, there is one thing that I will remember for a very long time.  It is the fact that we can remember things for four months without reviewing them and I find this rather ironic.  Sure, I will likely never forget “to the body!” or the location of the xiphoid process but the four month rule seems like it should be the honorary third theme of the course.
Of all the details I learned about myself, it is what I have reaffirmed that is the most important to me; I care greatly about the people around me.  I have learned so much in HAP and in High School in general but what I will remember these for is the people and not the curriculum.  I firmly believe that if you are a good person and have many friendships then you will succeed in everything else.  This leads me to something that I have learned in HAP.  If you stay positive then you eventually have no choice but to be happy, and if you are happy then those around have no choice but to be happy as well. 
            Finally, I have learned that we are all very powerful.  We have the power to change each other for better or for worse.  I think that we have changed each other for the better.  We are more confident, understanding, patient, responsible, relaxed, and cohesive than at the beginning of the year.  And throughout this great year we helped each other get through it all by supporting others in many different ways.  I will remember this for the rest of my life and will always work towards achieving this kind of harmony that I wish for.  If everyone strives for that harmony then our lives will truly be extraordinary and we will always know our purpose. 

Austin Gioseffi, Period 5

Dear KMH,
            Choosing human anatomy and physiology was a life changing decision and your class has forever changed how I see the world around me. Throughout the school year you have helped me evolve my brain and alter the way I conduct myself.  Your life lessons that you have shared with us like yoga techniques and quotes have made me a better person, and I can only thank you for what you have done for me.  I will never forget how vulnerable we were able to be in your class, the classroom climate allowed us to be ourselves and not have a defense up.  I commend you for this and I can say that my vulnerability allowed me to completely immerse my self in what you were teaching.  If you were to tell me that I would be able to close my eyes and breathe in a class and not be judged for doing so, I wouldn't believe you.  Your life lessons along with you being open with period 5 is what made our class so elite.  My single and only complaint about HAP is that every teacher that I have in the future will be subconsciously compared to your teaching style. You set the bar so high that I dont think any professors will be able to compare to you.  Also, I have taken the yoga positions and breathing variations and used them in my life to eleviate stress and be a better person.  You are a roll model for role models and I had an amazing experience in your class! Thank you so Much for everything you have done for me.
See you next year!
Austin "GIO" Gioseffi

Rachel Epstein, Period 4
I have learned so many things in Human Anatomy and Physiology that it will be impossible to remember everything in the years to come.  However, there are many things that I know I will remember forever.  One thing that this course has solidified for me is that everything in the human body is inter-related.  It is extremely important to take care of every aspect of your body because if not, than other parts of your body will suffer.  The most important thing I have learned about the structure and function of the parts of the human body is that they maintain homeostasis.
I have also learned a number of things about myself from this class.  For example, on the first day of school when I was given the quality of character, “assertiveness” I was a little wary because I am definitely not an assertive person.  Since the first day of HAP I have been on a little mission to be a more assertive person.  I think that over this past year I have become more assertive and I am really proud of myself for that.  I have also learned about which study techniques work best for me and I’m sure that this will help me in college.  I have also learned more about sleep patterns and how to manage my time and schedule better in the future.
About life in general, I have learned on major thing this is very simple: “Always believe in yourself.”  Although these words are simple, they are incredibly meaningful and I think they sum up everything you need in order to be successful in your life.  I know that as long as I keep this in the front of my mind for the rest of my life I will be able to accomplish anything that I want to do. 

Jessica Innis, Period 2
My project was on habits as it has continued to be. My project is, however, not over. I have continued my experimentation. Since I was one of the test subjects in my project, I understood how it was to deal with a habit and trying to overcome it. I was not the only one to recognize this change. Three out of the other four test subjects are also still working on their goals to not procrastinate. I have talked to them recently about it, and they believed that my project was a great learning experience that will continue to affect their lives. I know how they feel because it personally affected my own life. Although I am writing this the day before, this is probably one of the earliest times that I have started my homework since the school year began.
            My project interested me so much that I want to continue my experiment. I want hundreds of people to partake, so that people can learn to replace their habits. Although the data in my project show that all of the people had failed the experiment, they did not fail to realize what they had done wrong. They had slowly begun to realize. In the end, their enemy was not the computer or the television; their enemy was themselves.
            Thanks to Benjamin Libet, I know that I know what I am going to do before I do it. Thanks to the Life Hacker, I know that I cannot expect to replace a habit right away. Everything takes time. This project was something that I was interested in. To me, it was more than just a social science project. My project was on how our brains and the actions that we do repeatedly inhibit our daily lives. I could not get my work done or even take the time to do it. I fear failure, and I am a perfectionist. I knew that I feared failure, but I did not know that I was perfectionist until recently. I want things done my way: perfect. I can get in my own way of my success. Then, I realized that this behavior needed to stop. I was not going to continue on like this for the rest of my life. Procrastination is not going to help me once I enter college. Instead, it will be my greatest foe and my hardest challenger. I am okay being in a one-on-one battle against procrastination because I know that I can win.
            Thank you, Dr. Heavers for allowing me to do this project. I was able to learn so much more than I ever did before. No matter if I do well or not, I believe that the best thing I can do is to learn from this experience. I thank you for allowing me to have this chance. I thank you for allowing me to embrace a part of me that I believed was unimportant. Lastly, I thank you for allowing me to be myself and comfortable at where I now stand. Thank you.

Sana Nambiar, Period 5
Throughout the whole school year in HAP, I have learnt a lot of facts that not only educate me but also inspire me to be a self-directed learner, have confidence, enthusiasm, flexibility etc. All the things we learn everyday has made an impact on my thinking skills in some way or another whether it is a PowerPoint lesson or sitting nervously on the hot seat waiting for people to throw questions at you. I have also developed good STR skills after I realized how important a student’s and teacher’s relationship is throughout the whole year. All the human anatomy and physiology lessons starting from the Vegoeple cuts to learning all about the digestive system has been a wonderful learning experience. Structure vs. function is something I didn’t know was really important in our bodies. Now, I know that each structure in our body is made for it to function accurately. I also didn’t know what atherosclerosis is until I took HAP this year and researching about it was really interesting to me. Some things that I will always remember is walking around and naming the parts of the heart and having those exciting races around it. The dissections of the turkey wing and the pig will is something I will never forget as it was my first time cutting open a living organism.  I really loved all the quotes we read out each day in class as it was really inspirational and interesting. Another thing I will never forget is not to use word crutches while giving a presentation this I think is going to be very helpful for me in college as I am majoring in Business Management. I was really bad at this in the beginning of the year but I feel like our whole class improved on this by being careful while presenting. The moment of silence and the stretches is something we never do in any of our other classes and to get up and do it everyday kind of woke me up and helped me calm down after a stressful day. I really am considering doing yoga on daily basis as I have heard so much about it from this class and my friends. I have learnt a lot from this class which I think will stick with me throughout my life and it's all because you are an amazing teacher! Thanks a lot for educating us all about the human body and motivating us by giving great advice and inspirational speeches.

Camila Peña, Period 4

ANATOMY: Too much to learn in a small time

              I remember my first day in anatomy. Me, a junior, surrounded by seniors (and some juniors), but the truth is that anatomy is my passion. I chose this class because I want to be a doctor when I grow up, and I have always been interested in the human body. Of course my expectations of the class are still the same, but I did not know that anatomy was such a big subject and so hard. I always knew that anatomy was a complex subject to study, but I did not know that only a high school class was going to take that long. IT WAS A GREAT AMOUNT OF INFORMATION IN A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME! First I have to admit that learning the names of the parts of the body was my favorite part of the class, but I will talk about that later. Before that we learned about qualities of character and student teacher relationship. My quality of character is integrity. Integrity is a really broad quality if character, but in a summary is having strong principles or morals. Integrity shows people what kind of person you are and the person you will become in the future. Without integrity people will morals will not exist for this reason I think my quality of character is one of the most important ones.
            As I said before, learning the name of the parts of the body was my favorite thing to learn. It was simple, but something I have always wanted to know. Like learning that the elbow had this weird name called olecranon, it was the best! Also to learn that the knee is also called patella was really cool. I wish I could write in this reflection all the parts of the body I learned, but it would take a lot of space and time too. Well, we also learned about the dimensions of the body and how your left is the actual right when you are reading a body diagram and that your right is actually the left. We also learned about the cuts of the body. These were small things that I remember, but I think they will always stick in my mind. After that we learned about the cells (I am going to go in a faster pace now), we learned about the tissues, and then about the systems. When we were learning about the tissues we made this AWESOME histology lab. It was great seeing all the tissues and all the different shapes between connective tissue, fluid, cartilage, adipose tissue, and much more! The tissues was not a hard topic for me J I liked it.
            After learning about the tissues is when things started getting a little “icky.” The integument system was a little bit complicated, but it was never a pain in the neck. It actually taught me a lot of things like how the things you eat are the ones that make up your beauty in the outside and how the sun can be too dangerous for a person. Also how many products lie to you about what they have and about what they do. Anyway, the integument was very interesting topic to learn.
            After the integument was the skeletal system and I loved it. This system was my favorite from all of the systems we have studied. It was complex, but also interesting and I found that I really like bones and their shape is just amazing. How they all fit perfectly against each other due to their shape is great. Also learning about all the fractures you can get was kind of shocking and how severe they can be. I have never gotten a fracture in my life (knock on wood), but learning about the fractures was very interesting.
            After the skeletal system was the muscular system and let’s just say that from this system on everything started getting complicated. I do not want to talk about this system because this system was the hardest of all. I think I had struggles with this system more than any of the systems, so for my future I have to know that I cannot be a muscle doctor at all.
            After the muscular system we studied the nervous system, if I’m not wrong. And I really liked this topic, even though my test was not the greatest, but it taught me a lot. Like all the neurons and the pathways to the brain. How the brain is such a small part of the body compared to all of the massive parts, but it controls the body in a way that is impossible in other living things. Also all the diseases that the brain can give to the body are CRAZY! Such as the one that you can feel pain, when there is nothing wrong with you was a shock to me (that your ankle hurts, but there is nothing wrong with it), or the one that you can see colors or taste things when people say some words. It was a great system to study.
            The next one was the endocrine system and this had a lot of hormones and I thought it was really interesting, but not my thing. Learning about the hormones was really cool. To know how they work with the body to regulate calcium and other substances was really good to learn, but not my thing. The next one was the cardiovascular system. GREAT system. Very complex because the heart is very complex too, but the way that the blood travels throughout the body is beautiful. I feel like the body could not be more perfect than that. How everything has its own way of moving through one place to the other. I think this system made me realize how lucky we are to have bodies such as these ones. We do not have to make any effort at all to make all of this happen inside of us, we just have to eat healthful food and take good care of our body to just keep it safe. Many disease of the heart can kill you such as heart attack, atherosclerosis, or arteriosclerosis and that is only because you did not take care of your body right.
            Oh! Also a great thing I learned was the stress is a killing factor! Too much stress can give you a heart attack. Next was the respiratory system and it was great. I learned a lot of things during this system like the parts of the respiratory system such as the epiglottis, which is the small flap that prevents food from coming in to the lungs. Or the gas exchange that occurs in the alveoli when oxygen comes in and carbon dioxide comes out.  Then the last system was the digestive system. Interesting system, but not my favorite and it was really complicated, but still I survived through it. We are still studying more systems and this year I don’t expect to learn more from anatomy because over all my class it was the class I covered the most in one year. I still hope I learn more because as I said before anatomy (medicine) is my dream and my passion and one day I hope I can be an orthopedist.
Extra facts: the trip to the body exhibition was a great experience. I had never felt so close to an organ before. It made me very happy.  Structure determines function!

Nikki Ross, Class Secretary of Period 2
            This year, I learned to appreciate my body for reasons much more valuable than simply how it looks or the attention it can get.  I believe this is an invaluable lesson to have learned. I've come to appreciate it for all of the precise, synchronized, and insanely complicated processes it performs every second. When I started feeling tired during that 400m run, for example, I actually thought about how hard my lungs and heart were working, where the blood was flowing, how the Actin and Myosin fibers in my muscles were pulling together, whether or not slow twitch or fast twitch muscles were being used. Knowing how my body works makes me appreciate what it does so much more. Going to the Bodies Exhibit solidified this admiration for my body and brain and reignited my appreciation of its beauty and abilities.
            Learning about the anatomy and physiology of my body has also encouraged me to keep it happy, healthy, and safe. Because of what we learned about the Endocrine System, I now try to open the blinds or spend time outside in the morning to get some sun to help me wake up. Having learned about the Muscular System, I am now much more aware of maintaining good posture and of which back and abdominal muscles I use to do that. Yesterday when I lay out by the pool for a bit, I made sure to apply (and re-apply) sun block to protect my precious Integument!
            There is so much I can say about what I have learned about myself and life in general, but I will keep it short here. I have learned that I can learn an incredible amount when I really dedicate myself (and get enough sleep!). I have learned how to present in front of a class without feeling nervous. I have learned how to present myself professionally (something that helped me greatly during the college interview process especially.) Possibly most importantly though, I have realized that I can take on challenges (such as public speaking) and with a little perseverance, thrive. 

Michael Washington, Period 5
            During this past year I had the pleasure of taking the course Human Anatomy and Physiology taught by Ms. Heavers. It was one of the most eye-opening and influential courses I have ever had in my entire life and one that I will probably never forget for the rest of my life. What I will take away from the actual lessons the course had to offer is that no matter the outside influences I need to take care of my body. Not only in my diet and sleep habits but in how I carry myself and act around other people. Without a happy, joyful, and productive life style I myself will never accomplish what I want to in life nor will my body live up to or operate at its full potential.
I learned how everything has purpose in the human body. How certain muscles affect different parts of the body and how they move. I learned how different bone shapes and densities hold muscles, fat, and organs along how with how they are formed. Also I learned how every system in our bodies compliments one another in a way that creates perfect harmony. These things will stay with me forever.
I can no longer see a future where this class will not have played a role in my decisions. Throughout this year I have been able to uncover some of the layers that is my personality and a great deal of that progress has come from this class. Ms. Heavers helped me see not only my flaws but how I have affected others over the years and how to make myself a better person. I have a long ways to go until I become the man I want to be, but when I finally become that man I will know that it was due in part to my senior 2012 Human Anatomy class.
  I now know life from here on out will be grueling and in many ways unaccepting, but hearing about only some of the constant trials Ms. Heavers has gone through throughout her life with two major ones happening during my senior year I know anything is possible. One thing that will always stick with me that I learned in this class is that no matter how hard life hits you, you can always choose to keep moving forward and come out on top. The only reason I know this to be true is because my teacher is the example of a life time. Without having watched the way she carries herself on a daily bases even after everything she has been through none of these words would be true. I commend no person more. She lost someone most precious to her and never once faltered, she is the kind of person that can look negative criticism in the eye and says “BRING IT.” She is the only person I know that challenges themselves daily to be a better version of them, and I can say I have watched her grow this year.
When Ms. Heavers comes to mind I cannot say or do enough to express my gratitude towards her. The only reason I am concluding now is because I feel like I could write an entire novel on how this woman has changed my views of life and how she has made me want to become a better me. In many ways she is the kind of person I want to be and I am glad to have been a part of her life, if only for such a brief time.

Andres Jaime-Cavanaugh, Period 2
            I originally wanted to take human anatomy because physics sounded really boring. However, I did not just get a pass from physics; I got a classroom filled with great and people and an experience like no other. Part of what makes human anatomy so great and so applicable is that not only do we learn about the body, but also how to be a better person. Although it isn’t required for us to learn that I feel that at times I have gained more from that then the actual material we are supposed to learn. Each quote and each little mini- kate heavers speech provided some food for thought and the more I dwelled on something more I began to see how close my life pertained to that moment in HAP. Perhaps that will stick to me with for the rest of my life and may become use full later when I am stuck down the road. If it isn’t those moments; then it would have to be the people who have talked to this year. During the beginning of the school year, I may have only kind of known 1 or 2 people but has the weeks rolled by I got to know everyone and just see how lucky we are to have such wonderful and different kinds of people in one room for one hour 4 times a week. It’s the moments that you have with these people that are just between you and them that make for a great reason to reflect and look back years later. I have to say human anatomy was more than just excuse not to take physics; it was an enjoyable experience and I wish I could look forward
to another one.

Anonymous Human Anatomy and Physiology Student, Period 5
            I've learned that our body is a complex and amazing thing. It works for us, and sometimes against us. I've learned that we have things like eyelashes, hollow bones, and beating hearts for a reason. Our body has these features for a purpose. Our heart is an amazing thing. The fact that the heart is able to pump blood through the heart and the whole body in seconds so we don't die, relates to structure and function.
            I learned that I have the ability to work hard and achieve things that I want. I wont get anywhere without hard work.
            What I've taken away in this class are mostly from the quotes in class. I think a quote that best describes what I've learned is, "If you follow one rule, let it be this one: be yourself. The really strong relationships are based on what people are. Not what they pretend to be."  I've learned I have to be me.

Michael Leong, Period 2
I've learned so many things in this class that range between human anatomy or living life. One phrase that I will remember for the rest of my life is that "structure determines function". Throughout this year it has been one of the main themes for all of our lessons. For instance, the way that the skeletal system is composed makes it so that the movements we would need most for parts like the elbows are easier. Shapes like the ball and socket allow for easy flexibility so that we aren't restrained from doing things like throwing a ball where it requires the ball and socket capabilities. We also having pivoting joints, located in the abdominal region, to allow for a turning motion. Having a pivoting joint in the center of our body allows us to turn for traveling or just looking around. I believe the skeletal system represents structure determines function the best because we see that the more flexible pivoting joints are located in places that we need to use the most.
Taking human anatomy has allowed me to grow as a person more than any other class has. Beginning the year, I found that I was a lazy student and not as out going as I could be. The sound of presentations made me sick to my stomach and I had yet to experience a high level class like HAP. Taking this course opened my eyes to a whole new level of education and I matured as a student in the process. One of most helpful things I learned from this class that I am proud of is how to speak in front of people whether it be a large amount or just a small group. This year I not only learned what to do when presenting, but also how to prepare so that I wouldn't feel as nervous. After presenting more than I have in any other class, I built a sense of comfort with speaking in front of people and I'm glad to have acquired this skill because I know it will drastically benefit me in the long run.
Human Anatomy and Physiology has taught me the most life lessons I have ever learned in any other class. The fact that you are able to incorporate both lessons about life and the human anatomy(both extremely complicated topics) makes the class feel even more worth everyone's time. My favorite lesson that I picked out from this class is to live in the now and not to dwell on the past. Many times I have spent time regretting things I have done in the past but I now realize that realizing one's mistakes is alright, but don't let it prevent you from continuing what you want/need to do. Life is too short to think about what we have done, it should be spent on what we are going to do. Thinking back, I realized that all the quotes we read each lab day really helped me think about my outlook on life. I can't write about all of them, but I will always remember the lessons we learned from HAP about building relationships, hard work, and every other point we've made throughout the year.

Anonymous Student of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Period 4
            This year’s class of Human Anatomy and Physiology has been one of the most informative classes I have ever taken. Not only have I learned about the topics we have covered this year, but I have also learned about myself.  One of the courses topics was how structure determines function and that was shown through almost every topic we covered as we moved through the body. For example the skins multiple layers are there for protection and the rebuilding of damaged areas. The flow of blood through the heart is still very prevalent in my memory from the in class activity on the floor of the classroom. How everything we eat, drink and put into our bodies affects various systems and what we eat in our teen years has a great impact on our future health. I have learned about how healthy and unhealthy some of my own personal food choices are and what I can do now to prevent future health problems. I have also learned about my how my family’s lifestyle at home has affected who I am in terms of exercise, food, etcetera, and how my mother’s food choices at birth impacted what foods I like and dislike. Our daily moment of silence I have come to enjoy and I now know that a twenty minute nap each day could reduce my risk of a future heart attack. Aside from the curriculum I have also learned about myself through what Dr. Heavers has shared with us through her own personal experiences. One of the biggest things she has taught me is that stressing over things will not help me or the end result. The only thing I can do is prepare myself and try my best. Everything I try to accomplish is determined by the mindset I have and I realize that sometimes I go into situations already thinking I cannot do it. Although I have learned a lot about the bones and muscles, my biggest take away from this year will be what I can do to take the best care of my body.

Chris Campbell, Period 5
            When trying to choose a science course to take last year when scheduling with my guidance counselor I honestly had no clue what to take. I heard from students who took HAP that it was hard and “a lot of memorization”. I decided that human anatomy was the best option for me and looking back at it as a senior who is going to graduate in a week I know that I made the right decision. I came into this class thinking that I would only be learning about the subject matter addressed. I never once thought that you would teach me such valuable and important life lessons. I know that I will take these lessons with me throughout college and later into life. Like you have said so many times before, it is important for us to learn the subject matter because that is one of your jobs as a teacher. But what you strive to do that many other teachers do not is to teach us life lessons. You prepare us for the world outside of high school. I know that if I had not taken this class I would be at a disadvantage after I graduated. You have taught every one of your students that if you work hard you can succeed in life. I came into senior year thinking that I could slack off and breeze through it. However after meeting you I realized I did not really want to do this. Sure I slacked off slightly in some areas but seeing how much you cared about your students and our accomplishments made me want to continue working hard to make you proud of us and happy.
            If I had to say one thing that you could try and improve on is that you are greatly affected by everything your students say. It is awesome because it shows me and other students how much you really care about us, however sometimes I think that people say things just to be stupid and think they’re funny. Don’t take it to personally because you are really the best teacher in this entire school.
            Thank you so much for making my senior year so enjoyable and a year that I will never forget in my entire life.

Janice Lin, Period 4
Structure determines function, this basically conclude how the whole human body works. Every system is interconnected to each other, it can directly or indirectly affect how, when and what the body works. I learned that breathing plays a huge part on our mind. To keep our body healthy we also need to take care of our mind. For example, when I feel nervous, I always remind myself to take deep breath and try to think of something happy or even not think anything at all.  The peace of mind helps the secretion of hormone that slows down my body and eventually my heart.
I acknowledged that not only my body but also who I am as a person. I found it amazing and satisfying that everything I learned about: social, mental and physical have to do with my body. This course allows me to have a deeper understanding of how each system of the body effect on my life. I learned that having a well social life with my family and friends could affect both my mental and physical health. The definition of health is the well state of both mind and body. My mind can also control my body from the endocrine system, which secretes hormone and chemicals that changes other system the way it function. Many phrases such as “You are what you eat” are all explained in a microscopic and macroscopic way throughout the course. While taking this course, I also learned tips to succeed in college (taking quick notes from a hundred pages of book), how to study (or cram; less is more!), how to present myself in front of others (giving a smile and a firm hand shake when I first meet someone) and many more that I am yet to improve and had improved.
                       I still have a long way to go. Life is not over when I trip over by a rock. I learned to live in today and not to worry about the future or fret for yesterday. Worrying doesn’t take me anywhere but most importantly is to see what is in front of me and move forward, step-by-step. Keep an optimistic mind will bring me far for I can always find a way to solve the problem instead of lingering on my mistake and not be able to move on. I learned not to dawdle in small details but also not to overlook big pictures. I learned that life is not easy but that’s what makes life so interesting and worthwhile for we all need some challenge to push us forward. Giving myself just enough stress to improve but not to fail myself. I learned that life is not just about school or career but how I choose to live so I will not regret and will be proud of. I learned that high school is only a part of my life and I still have a long way to go so when I graduate, it just means that I am one step up the infinite stair.

Anonymous Student of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Period 4
            I have always been intrigued by the human body for a variety of reasons. The major reason is because of my fascination of how the body can perform such complex tasks that no other living or nonliving organism can. My interest in computer science and robotics led me to always wonder why so far there isn’t a computer or robot that could be as intuitive and responsive as the human body, and taking this course, I hoped I would find a reason to this and I certainly have.
            The structure of the human body allows it to perform tasks like no other organism. The often overstated but most important statement, “structure determines function” summarizes that. A good example is the structure of bones throughout the body. The hollow spongy bone allows flexibility while hard compact bone on the outside allows strength. The hybrid of these two creates the beautiful frame of the human body which allows us to be constantly active without having to worry about damage to ourselves. What will stay with me in the future is the ability of bone to adapt to its environment. When you work out a bone for long periods of time such as your leg bones by running, your bones will build themselves to be stronger overtime and will help you run for longer and with more stress. Prior to taking this course, I did not know that bones were similar to muscles in what they do when subjected to stress from working out and now I know they are living just like muscles and other cells in the body.
            From the experience of this course, I have learned more about myself. I now know more concretely that I am a visual learner and I enjoy doing hands on activities. I also figured out how much of an interest I have in anatomy. At first, I thought I would just take it easy in this course and study only what was necessary to score well on tests but I often would find myself researching outside of topics to learn about how the human body works. For the final project, I was interested in depth perception by the eyes and brain based on my love for basketball and the information I gained as a result of researching was invaluable.
            Besides human anatomy, I learned more about life in general from the off-topic conversations we had as a class with you about your life experiences. I learned that the people you meet and help are more important that what you are actually studying. What I took away most though is that thinking positively in all aspects of life is key to live happily. Whether it is thinking positively before a test or in the future when getting a job, being positive is a sure way to success and happiness, and it also rubs off on other people helping them along the way whether or not you know it.
            Thanks for all the things you taught me and the rest of the class this year in human anatomy and physiology, whether it was related to the course curriculum or about life. 
Will Gilbertson, Period 5
            Going into my senior year of high school I already had a plan. My plan was to become a nurse. Knowing this I knew that taking Human Anatomy and Physiology was the way to go.  Over the past ten months of HAP I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. I wanted to come out of this having a solid foundation of knowledge to the mystery that is the human body. In my opinion I have achieved that and then some. Yet if I had to say the thing and or things  that will stay will me forever, I would have to stay it come down to three things.  One, the importance of sleep to the body. Two, the Cardiovascular system. Three, the respiratory system.  I chose these three topics because they have really stuck with me. Not that I don't remember anything about the other parts of the year but there is just something about these three topics that just clicked. The other day My sister's best friend came back from college. She is studying to become a biologist at Penn State. We caught up and then before you know it we started talking about the human body. My sister said to me "Wow, well I never knew you were this much of a nerd." Now I can see how one feels when they say they are in that state of  "flow" when they are speaking. it was awesome.  Being able to use what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to life in the real world sent the biggest wave of happiness and joy through my body. During the past year I have also learned a lot about myself as a person. Not only in the sense of how I work (as a human being) but how to better myself. When you do the little things like the Breathing exercises, having a minute of silence to calm yourself and allow yourself to be fully attentive in the moment,  or taking that twenty minutes nap everyday really adds up. I also learned the best and most efficient way to study so that the brain can absorb the information you need to the way it was meant to be.  That will definitely help in college when all  of my friends are cramming and I won't have to. This class has taught me so much more than curriculum from a textbook. This class has taught me how to be a gentleman and a respectable person of society. And to that I thank you Dr. Heavers.  You have really shaped me into the man I am today. I've only know you for a short period of time but It feels like I've know you forever. I really do truly wish we stay in touch after graduation.

Anonymous Student of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Period 2
            To me, Human Anatomy and Physiology was a very different course than my previous science courses. Even though I did not do so well in this class, I learned more life lessons from this class than any other course that I have taken in high school. I know that my grades were horrible in this class and it seems like I didn’t get anything out of this class, but I actually learned much more than what my current grade shows. This class was not only about learning the human body and the structure, but about how learning the body and functions can help me stay as a healthier individual.
            Through this class, I learned that being informed of the human body is paramount to living a healthy, fun life. I learned that constant exercise can greatly help slow the process of deterioration and that without exercise the body will deteriorate that much faster. I learned to appreciate what my vital organs do to keep my body constantly functioning: my heart never skips a beat and my brain retains all the memory, even forgotten ones.
            From taking this course, I learned that I could take so much better care of my body than I previously did: I know that I did not get enough sleep, I did not eat the daily recommended amount of fruits/vegetables, and now that I have stopped doing sports, I did not get enough exercise. Since taking HAP, I have tried to eat healthier and to exercise more often. I feel that since taking HAP, I have become a much healthier person.
            Overall, even if I barely passed this class I am happy that I took it. Even if I do not have evidence to show that I learned something in this class, I learned something and I’m grateful that I had you as a teacher. I enjoyed your lectures and how you incorporated life lessons into them.

Justin Ragone, Period 4
Years from now it is going to be difficult to remember specific details like Sarcomeres and goblet cells but I believe, I have learned a lot of material about the Human Body this year in HAP. A few examples would be most recently just how important the digestive system is in maintaining the body. It helps with balancing hormones and maintains muscles/bones. Before taking the course I didn’t think too much about each individual system and how it affected one another. By taking this course I have a new appreciation for all my body does for me, without even knowing. Another example of Structure determines function that is embedded in my brain is a red blood cell.  How its Biconcave structure allows it to maneuver through tight spaces. 
            I learned a lot of material and a lot about by myself. I will always remember the speech you gave me the day of the my cross country race. I was stressed because I wanted to do well not only for myself but my family and also my grandfather who was watching over from a better place. He has also been someone I looked up to and I wanted him to be proud of me. I appreciate this pep talk you gave to me, you showed me by taking time out of class to specifically talk to me that you cared about my success outside of the classroom as well. The message was to belief in yourself and to have confidence that I will be one of the best runners in the county. The last part of the message was don't settle for second. I also believe I have gained presentation confidence, by you forcibly making me a group leader or having to talk in front of class. This has helped me become a better public speaker, which is necessary for the future. My study habits have changed from taking this course. I now study for 1-2 hours with no distractions at all just pumping in the info into my brain. This has changed from studying 3-4 hours but being distracted a lot of the time. Also I go to bed a somewhat early hour to be awake and then I study during school to refresh my brain on the material. 
            Over the course of my Senior year I have changed a lot for the better. I have become more vocal when it comes to projects and pushing people to get stuff done especially with our Final Project. I have become a leader not a follower except when Dr. Gupta is in my group because then I just follow his lead. I have more self-confidence although its difficult at times when I competing with people that naturally are brilliant. It’s frustrating at times that I need to work so hard to memorize info or learn material and they can just look at the book and know everything. I’m confident in public speaking which will be vital to my success later in life. I learned that as much as you try you can’t please everyone and accommodate for everyone. Sometimes you just gotta lay down the law. I appreciate the extra mile you go to when teaching. I appreciate the pep talk you had with me because it truly meant a lot. I know I get on your nerves for in appropriate comments or mentioning Shivam’s name too much in class. I apologize for that but I also make you laugh so it balances out.  All in all I believe we have had a great STR relationship throughout the year and hope it continues down the line. You are a great person/teacher and I want to thank you for everything Doc. 

Aaron Wu, Period 2
            Since the beginning of this year, I have been very excited to take this course once I found out I had Dr. Heavers as my teacher because of all the stories my brother has had in previous years. The main theme this course has significantly revolved around figurative and literal relationship between structure and function in relation to the human body. What I have learned about the human body and its structure and function is that the specific structure of bones and their development controls the structure of all of the other organs that are encased within the thoracic cavity, skull, face, etc. How the evolution of bone development its hardening from cartilage to bone in the skull dictates and regulates how compact and large organ systems can be. Bones ability to do this plays a lot in the role of protection in the body and it also explains why other organs such as the brain and intestine are so compact and able to use their "compact-ness" to increase its surface area in order to fit into the skeleton's form. I have also learned how muscles work and about the different layers and how they grow and work together to provide movement and the ability to exert force to the body. This knowledge will stay with me in the future because it exercise lays a large part in  my life and the reasoning behind my body's limitations can be answered through human anatomy and physiology.
                Throughout this course, I  have learned the importance of having a good student-teacher relationships and how important trust and communication is between human beings. I have learned that I have many good student teacher relationships that I have built over the course of my high school career and I am grateful for having them.  Throughout this course I have also learned that I am a very independent worker and I like to lead instead of just being an active team member. Though it is fun being the leader, I have also taught myself to work well with new people I have never met with and trust them with shared-work experiences.
                With this course, I have learned that life is full of learning opportunities and experiences that can be connected with the human body. Through the quotes, the moment of silences, and the stretching, I have learned that in order for me to bear the stresses of balancing the needs and desires of others, I must take a deep breath and just keep going and focusing on what is happening in the present moment and not worrying about what is to come in the future. This course has greatly impacted me and I look forward to continuing studying the importance of human anatomy and physiology in college and broadening my views and prospective in life. 

Rewa Atre, Period 5
            One thing that I will remember about the human body for the rest of my life is that our brains are influenced by light exposure. After our doing research for our Hormone presentations, I learned that Melatonin production in the brain is directly affected by the amount of light it  receives. I'll remember always that when light hits a retina in the eye, a pathway between the eye and central nervous system is stimulated, and the secretion of Melatonin in the brain is inhibited. As a result, one would  feel more awake and alert. I'll use this knowledge in college for when I need to stay awake to study, and I'll know to expose myself to bright lights. I will also remember that sugar does not actually make a person hyper, in fact, consumption of sugar can cause a person to be inactive and lazy. I know now that this is caused by insulin secretion, which lowers blood sugar and causes the person to feel sluggish. 
Throughout the course of this year, I've received tips on maneuvering through life and tips for keeping myself physically healthy. One particular quote will stay with me for a long time, “AA man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else” by Pre Fontaine. This quote comforts me on many levels, because I have so many anxieties about going to college and living on my own, and because I want to succeed both academically and socially. Learning about hormone function and nutrition made me reflect on my own eating habits. I now know that in order to keep myself mentally sound during college, I have to keep my body energized, which means that I  have to exercise regularly and reduce my sugar intake. I will definitely remember to sneak in some 60 seconds of silence into my routine if I ever feel stressed, which I know will be often.   As cliche as it sounds, I learned to internalize my quality of character, honesty, this year. I will not cite specific experiences, but I will say that I learned firsthand what it means to be honest to yourself and other people. I've learned how to appreciate honesty and constructive criticism from other people, and I've also become more honest in my dealings with other people. I've had several experiences throughout the year where a “friend” got mad at me for sharing my honest feelings with them, and at first I felt regret at having rocked the boat in the first place and causing hostility between the two of us, but then I realized that if a person cannot appreciate your honesty, then that person is not worth confiding in or even being your friend. I used to be so worried about my peers and friends disliking me, that I would try to please people and take blame for disagreements between me and others. While I can't say that I don't care what others think, I can say that other peoples' opinions now have less of an effect on my actions and self-esteem. I know now that being honest with other people is the only way to discern true allies from false friends.

Divya Ramesh, Period 2
            Honestly, I don’t think that thirty years from now, I will remember the difference between hyaline and elastic cartilage, able to distinguish pictures of each unless I pursue a career in biology. But, I will remember the overall theme of this course: that structure determines function. 
I will remember that the sensory and motor neurons of our central nervous system respond to external stimuli. That if their function is to transmit nerve impulses, fat on the nerve cells is beneficial. Then, the action potential will only occur at the nodes. 
            I will remember that the stomach with its churning and release of enzymes like pepsin participates in mechanical digestion. From this I can backtrack to the necessary structure of the stomach, lined with smooth muscle, gastric pits and mucus membranes to protect the lining, release enzymes and churn. 
            And, I am not sure where to put this, but there are two facts that I will never forget:
            -that oxytocin is released with 20 sec. hugs 
            -that a person will forget what she has learned after four months with no practice. 
            After taking Human Anatomy this year, I realized that I often underestimate myself. I remember the first day when we received our textbooks, I saw all the units and thought, “There is so much to learn; I don’t know if I can keep everything straight, if I can remember all the names and locations of all the bones, muscles, and whatever else we are going to learn.” 
            I realize now that my initial nervousness was unnecessary because I learned to make connections between the units, learned to ask for help when I needed it, and learned to make peace with the fact that there were only 180 school days to learn over 500 pages of material. Learning one thing well is much better than learning many things superficially. 
            This year, I also learned that I had a crippling fear of presentations. I was scared of speaking in front of the class and used word crutches and rapid speech to hide the fact that everything that I had understood while in my seat was suddenly fragmenting in my brain. Yet, over this 10-month school year, I see that as having changed. Maybe it is because I grew comfortable with our class, and saw supportive friends in the audience as I spoke, but I grew more confident. I started speaking slower; silent pauses replaced some of my word crutches. And best of all, I learned to move around while speaking, making analogies, rephrasing myself when I slipped, no longer rooted to one spot on the floor. 
            Because of the moment of silence that we do every day, I have learned the importance of taking the time to relax. Honestly, before HAP this year, I never was the type of person who set aside time to “bring peace to my body and brain.” Yes, I would sit in a quiet room and stare out the window at the snow falling, but my mind would be racing at the same time. I would be thinking about what I had to do the next day, or writing the first line of a story or poem in my head. Now, in June, I notice that my moments of silence are truly silent; I am able to spend sixty seconds thinking about exactly nothing, and such minutes can have a cathartic effect.
            On an entirely different note, I remember that you once said that there were only two people that needed to accept and appreciate you as a person: yourself and one other person of your choice. Gradually, over time, you would lean more on your own faith and less on that of the other person. (I hope that that explanation seems somewhat logical). That life lesson of yours will always stay with me because it will remind me that I only have to be proud of my own choices and make sure that my grandmother (the person of my choice) is proud of them too. 
            Sometimes, people see me as the culturally confused child—the one who tries to participate in religious functions and cultural events in earnest only to make minor, but embarrassing, mistakes. I realized that if I can still be proud of myself (even with my two left feet) it does not matter what everyone else thinks. In short, I think what I am trying to say is that I grew a thicker skin this year, less sensitive to the hurtful things said by others.  

Anonymous Student of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Period 2
The many thoughts that we have shared, the many smiles we have seen and the skills of life that we have obtained all came from Dr. Heavers. In order to pursue my dream career in the medical field, I was willing to take Human Anatomy and Physiology course this year. I am grateful I had Dr. Heavers as my teacher. Never in my school years have I enjoyed or found interest in science until the year of H.A.P. In Human Anatomy and Physiology my life has been changed. It is not an ordinary class with an ordinary teacher. I have never spoken much of any teacher to anyone except this year's H.A.P teacher. The main theme of this class is "structure determines function". This theme was used constantly throughout the year for every body system and its structures. This idea helped connect all the body systems together. While learning the structures this theme helped us understand that each structure of the body is made a certain way out of certain tissues and into different shapes with specific features that determines what its purpose is in the body. For instance, the structure of the teeth determine its functions. The incisors or sharp teeth are used for cutting food or tearing it; however, the molars are more flatter teeth and used for chewing. In class we also heard quotes on almost day to day basis. At first, the idea of quotes seemed unnecessary and time wasting until the day when the teacher mentioned a quote that said, "Confidence comes not from being right, but from not fearing to be wrong," (anonymous). I have often been told by various people I have to be more confident, but I did not know exactly what it was and how to attain it; however, this quote 'brought it home' for me. I am still trying to get into the mindset of not fearing to make mistakes and will attain it hopefully sometime in my lifetime. We start off class with peace time and stretches. I enjoyed these moments the best and hope in the future more teachers would understand its importance and include it in their curriculum. The peace time allows us to clear our head of many things bothering us during that day and moment and start class fully refreshed giving us ability to focus on what we need to learn in class. I've always wondered if Dr. Heavers ever felt sadness. It might sound weird that I ask this, but her smile is very inspiring and she does it all the time. She is a role model for me because of how she handles different situations and does not allow little things to bother her. Her confidence reflects the quote that had an effect on me; she does various things to help us understand the concepts, no matter how embarrassing it may seem to other people. One of the things that will be stuck with me the rest of my life is probably the 'memory jungle' where it explains that if you don't keep your eyes on the animal(thought) you will lose track of it or forget it. It has had a profound effect on me that helps me understand my memory and how to improve it. Although there are many enjoyable things we do in class, human anatomy course is also very challenging. In the beginning of the year I felt confident that I would be able to memorize human structures, unfortunately as the year went on and we got into more detail of the human body, my views changed. Also, when the teacher spoke rapidly when explaining us the systems I slowly started falling behind, and was afraid to raise my hand and ask the teacher to slow down because other students seemed content with the pace. It was a realization of what might happen in college if I don't get used to fast speaking professors. Human Anatomy and Physiology course was the most enjoyable, adventurous, and life changing experience that I will never forget. Thank you Dr. Heavers for all your hard work and inspiration. You will always remain in my memory jungle and heart. You will never leave my arteries, and your thoughts and teachings will always be oxygen to my brain. Much oxytocin to you. Thank you.

Daniel Robert Smith, Period 5
            This class was more about filling in the gaps for me and about introspection more than anything else. I already knew some anatomy and physiology because it interests me so much that I just remember anything about it from the discovery channel or school. But I didn't know a lot. You never know everything. And I learned something new in your class every day. I learned as much about the body as I did about being a good person, and although sometimes I disagreed with some ideas presented in the class I never stopped learning from those ideas or you. This class was as much about being a better person as it was about learning about the human body. I remember a few days ago when I was talking to you, you asked me what I learned in this class, and I responded that this class is the only place in the world to learn some things and that if somebody didn't learn anatomy well enough they could learn it somewhere else. But learning the things that we could only learn in this class has made it what it is; this class. I'm not gonna say that we or I were the best class or student you ever had, but I'm also not going to simply relinquish the idea that this class and our student teacher relationship weren't special. We can butt heads sometimes, but what is key is that we learn from each other and my classmates and that that learning is what makes us a better person. I hope if you save this for later a good luck from Dan smith 2012 would give you a frame of reference, but I also wish that this email itself from me doesn't need a time date stamp and could rather just be a really deep philosophical conversation. Keep being awesome Ms. Heavers, because people like you more than make up for the things that are wrong with this world and give us a reason to keep on striving to be better.

Sarah Sasson, Period 4
Throughout the year, I have learned more about the human body, life, and myself, than in any class I have ever taken. Not only did I learn about the different body parts, or where my sternum and my anticubitis are located, but I also learned about the different significances of each structure in my body. For example, the structure of the heart is crucial in determining its functions. It pumps blood throughout the body because of the way the abdominal aorta is placed and makes the lub-dub sound due to the structure of the different valves. The left ventricle is thicker than the right in order to be able to pump blood throughout the entire body. Other ways in which structure determines function includes the simple structure of a leg or the fact that we have knees. The theme of structure determines function will stay with me forever. I have learned that the only way to survive is to maintain a controlled and regulated body- this includes keeping our bodies healthy physically and mentally. Each structure of the body that is kept healthy will continue to perform the right functions and keep us alive and fit.
One thing I learned in human anatomy this year that I could never forget is the importance of sleep to the human body. Being well rested does not only help the brain, but the heart as well. Getting a good night sleep the night before an exam is as important as sleeping well the night after learning something new. In addition, a 20-minute nap everyday can reduce the risk of heart disease by 30 percent. A body functions correctly based on what and how it is used. Throughout the year I have learned that the human body relies on several different factors in order to stay healthy.
By taking this course, I learned many things about myself. I learned that I have to calm down and not be worried all the time. Being worried can damage the body. It can raise blood pressure and harm the heart. I also learned that my studying habits must improve, which they have already throughout the year. This year, I have grown as a student, and as a person. I found that cramming or studying when tired will not do anything except make me even more tired and less prepared for the exam I am trying to study for. I will take this knowledge with me to college and remember how to prepare for an exam. From the experience of taking this class, I learned that I could succeed at something if I really put my mind to it. I have always believed that something’s were just impossible, such as understanding a difficult topic or memorizing over a hundred body parts. However, after studying with other classmates and studying at home when I’m not tired, I have realized that it is definitely possible. I did not realize how stressed and not calm I truly was until taking this class.
            In Human Anatomy I learned various things about life in general I did not know before. I did not know heart disease was so common in America. I also did not realize the importance of exercise, nutrition, and sleep. I will honestly never forget all of the life lessons I learned in class this year. The minute of silence everyday has taught me how to bring “peace to my body and mind”. It is truly a skill to be able to sit for a full minute in silence without moving any part of the body other than the eyes. I also learned the importance of stretching and taking care of my body physically rather than just mentally. In order to be healthy, we must not only exercise frequently and eat healthy, but also try to stay calm and happy, and sleep as much as we can. These are life lessons I will always remember and take with me wherever I go.

Jenny Donovan, Period 4
            You taught us this year that if you don’t review material you will forget it in four months. That being said there are definitely some things in this class that I will never forget. One of the things I learned this year is how important it is to have a healthy diet and exercise because heart disease is way too common. If you eat poorly than you arteries can be clogged up with hardened plaque and your blood pressure will rise and you could die. I also have a better understanding of my digestive tract. I will not remember specifics, but I will definitely remember my overall anatomy better, especially after dissecting this fetal pig. A couple units stand out to me: our nervous system, our integument, our cardiovascular system, and our respiratory system. I will always remember that our nervous system affects our entire body. We have nerve sensors everywhere, and some areas are more concentrated than other areas. I will remember that if I exercise more my breathing will improve and so will my cardiovascular system. One thing I actually didn’t know that I will always remember is that arteries bring blood away from the heart and veins bring blood back to the heart. One of the big things I’m taking away from this course is that stress hurts your body mentally and physically. (way more than I knew it did!)All of what we learned will help me in college. I am going into kinesiology, so I will be learning more about our body’s movement. I will definitely be taking another human anatomy class in college.
            I have learned a lot about myself in this class. I have learned to be a better team player. I usually hate, actually despise, group projects but I have definitely become more open to them in this class. Also, I have learned to be a little more patient with other people. I needed to learn that because sometimes I get frustrated when I understand something but the rest of my class doesn’t so I get annoyed that we aren’t moving onto other topics. Another thing I learned about myself is that I can be a self-directed learner. You let us be quite independent in this class. I have had to study more on my own in order to do well on tests and ask a lot of questions in class to better understand everything.

            Some things I have learned about life in this class:

            Breathing deeply (controlling your breathing), closing your eyes, relaxing your muscles, and sitting still and silent helps you to distress and relax                       
            You shouldn’t waste your time worrying – it gets you nowhere
            Everyone is equal
            You are what you eat
            Student teacher relationships are very important
            Be confident
            Have fun, but work hard
            Don’t procrastinate – it isn’t good
            Stress could be the cause of your death
            Respect each other

Sueah Kim, Class Secretary of Period 5
            This past year in Human Anatomy and Physiology, I’ve learned so many things. Not only about the human body and the bodily functions but also about me as a person and about life in general that I will definitely take with me the rest of my life. First and foremost I learned that health starts from the inside out. No matter how many creams, oils, or treatments I put on my integument, nothing will compare to feeding my body with the proper vitamins and foods that will make me look healthy from the inside out. What I learned about myself from this experience is how much of an impact I can have on other people and how other people can have an impact on me and my learning. After being elected class secretary, I had no idea what use I would be to my peers of Period 5. I knew that I wasn’t the most intelligent or knowledgeable candidate but I wanted to make our time together mean something and discover the reason why HAP has the reputation it does. As the year went on, I slowly saw why HAP was and is such a meaningful class for South students. It provides the right amount of personal challenge to each person that he or she must face and grow stronger from while learning to lean on his/her peers to fill in the categories they lack to overcome that challenge. The sense of community and love that we shared made me realize that how “successful” a class or experience is, is based on the open-heartedness of myself and the people involved. The saying “it takes a whole village to raise a child” or in our case to get through the “itis” definitely proved to be true this year and is something I will always carry with me for the rest of my life.

Cathy Yin, Class Secretary of Period 4

When my friends found out that I was taking Human Anatomy & Physiology instead of another AP class, they stared at me in disbelief and asked why? Why, after I had already taken AP Biology? In fact, they asked why so much that I began to ask it myself as well. Was I taking the class because it was supposed to be easy?
But no, that was not why I had originally signed up. I had an aptitude in biology, sure, and was fairly competent at memorizing facts, but it was more than that. What had sold me was the idea of having a fun teacher for a change. I already knew about Mr. Trefz (and never was there a more loaded statement) and I had heard nothing but wonderful things about Ms. Heavers. It was truly a win-win situation. Of course, doing yoga every day wasn’t my idea of fun, but people seemed convinced that it was the first sign of greatness in a teacher. And after my last disastrous attempt to contort my limbs into strange shapes at the behest of a friend during summer camp a few years ago, I was sure that nothing would change my mind on that front.
Naturally, I was wrong. That is the unfortunate result when one makes absolute declarations without qualifiers. I still don’t really enjoy yoga and I highly doubt I will keep up the tradition in the coming days and months and years. Thankfully, that wasn’t the only morning ritual we had. I will always treasure that deep sense of calm and stillness that utter silence imbues. And I will always remember with great fondness all the inspirational quotes recited each day before class. Whether the words of a sage or a celebrity, or even a fictional character, quotes carry subtle nuances in meaning that make their power upon the mind so great. Because of this class, I keep a notebook of quotes I think are noteworthy to give me strength through borrowed words when I lack my own. These are the things I will take with me through my life.
“HAP, Period 4” has gone down in my memory as one of the few classes that caused a pivotal change in my life. It has caused much reflection, which has led to epiphanies of self-realization, discoveries of flaws and the intent to change them, and goals towards a new equilibrium. The first time Ms. Heavers told me, “You’re like me. You’re tactless”, my initial reaction was instant denial. But then I thought, why deny when she hadn’t said it to hurt me?
I hadn’t always been tactless, and I assumed that I had already fully matured and thus would no longer change even though somewhere in the back of my mind I knew that wasn’t true. The loss of a loved one leaves a deep mark. I had never escaped that truth even though I thought I had. Somewhere down the line of my life, I had lost interest in little white lies that would have smoothed over conversations, platitudes that would have soothed small discomforts, and pretended signs of empathy when I didn’t really care or understand. I realized there was a void in me and this class, as well as Ms. Heavers, helped me fill that void. I had lived in denial for so long that I had ceased to see who I really was. I see much better now and I have found the will to change the little things that I can.
So, in the end, all I can really say is that I’m glad I took this class against my friends’ expectations. There was certainly something almost magical in finding out how things on the cellular and molecular level, which I had studied in AP Biology, reflected in the bigger picture of the human body. I had already learned about cellular respiration, but then I learned how that affects the muscle cells in our bodies, how the calcium ions and acetylcholine and actin and myosin all come together to give our bodies the gift of movement. I already knew about nerve impulses, knew about thresholds and transport pumps, but now I know the wonder of the human brain and how all of its separate components perform separate functions that are still all interconnected. Because of this class, I have experienced the joy of giving new meaning to old knowledge and gaining new knowledge at the same time. So it is only fitting that a subject with a main motif of homeostasis has helped me discover some measure of balance in my life.

Shannon Mackay, Class Secretary of Period 2
Dear Dr. Heavers,
            Throughout the year I learned how structure determines function and how these two things are intertwined in every single part of the human body. I found that there is a purpose for the way everything in the body is put together, as well as each individual microscopic structure. For example, the left ventricular wall is thicker than the right because it has to pump blood to the entire body! One particular experience that will stay with me forever is our visit to the bodies exhibit. That trip made everything we learned this year come to life and was a fantastic culminating experience for the class. Seeing all of the different body systems and organs was incredible. Also, I was such a great feeling walking through the exhibit, looking at different parts and thinking, “Wow, so that is what the digestive system looks like in real life!” and “I know the name of that, where it goes, its structure and its function!”
            This year, I honestly learned more things than I ever thought possible. With the beginning of each new unit, I never thought that I would be able to remember massive amounts of information contained in them. However, at the end of each chapter, I knew the information and was able to do well on the test. From taking this course, I learned that I can do whatever I put my mind to, such as learning the names of many different muscles and bones, and the path of blood through the heart. The key is to believe in yourself and work hard. It definitely does pay off. I also learned that when you focus on improving something about yourself, it is completely possible. An example that I found in myself this year was how I progressively used fewer word crutches in my presentations.
            In general, I learned that everything you consume and do affects the way your body works. I have learned that life is a beautiful gift, and that I should do everything possible to prolong my life. I now have it further engrained in my mind the importance of taking care of my body. I really think that it is further engrained because I now know why it is so important and the harmful effects of not taking care of my body. I also learned how reading an inspirational quote, can actually inspire you and doing ujjai breathing really does calm you down. You taught me how stretching is very important to your body, and how sitting for a moment of silence really will bring you some peace of mind. 
Finally, I want to thank you, Dr. Heavers, for enabling me to learn everything that I just wrote about and more. You really have changed my life for the better. I am so glad to have had the chance to be in your classroom this year. I enjoyed your exciting personality and believe that you helped me to not only become a better student, but also a better person.
            I can't wait to see you at your 100th birthday party many years from now! 

Ambika Paulson, Period 5
            This past year in HAP was amazing. I learned so much this year about human anatomy as well as myself. The one thing that I learned about human anatomy that will always stay with me is what I learned from my final project. Learning about pheromones and the MHC complex was incredible. This little piece of information shows just how truly amazing the human body is. One thing that I learned about myself while taking this class was that I could possibly enjoy a career studying anatomy. I liked learning about most of the stuff we learned this year thought it was mostly interesting. This class also taught me a great deal about life. I learned that every single decision that I make would affect my life and the quality of my life. I also learned that to fully enjoy life I must live it to the fullest while maintaining good character. Through all the crazy things that happened to me this past year, I learned that life never goes how you think it will and that you need to take whatever comes at you in stride. My favorite day of the year was when the seniors were away at Disney and the remaining people talked about happiness. The discussion that happened that day was very insightful and it was nice to just have a conversation about life. That is a day that I will remember for a long time.  I truly enjoyed my experience in this class and I will definitely miss HAP. 

Ally Altiero, Period 5
Dear Dr. Heavers,
       I cannot even begin to explain everything I learned in your class and
all the fun I had. I guess I will start with what I learned as far as
the curriculum goes.
       I will never forget the brain, particularly memory and Alzheimer’s.
It is quite the contrast seeing as how Alzheimer’s is about losing
memory, but after seeing my Grandpa with really bad Alzheimer’s for
the first time, it was quite upsetting. Mainly because I know exactly
what is happening to him, and I know there is nothing that can stop
it.  He says that he recognizes me though, so I still have a smile and
       Something that I learned about myself (or in relation to that I
guess) was how to be comfortable in class.  Compared to my other
classes, I participate a lot more and I am more myself.  I am less
afraid to be a quirky-oddball person in class, and the only other
class I can say that for is band. It is probably the first class where
I have been able to do that, all because of everyone else in it.
Everyone was really relaxed and non judgmental and I think that made
all the difference.
       As far as life in general goes, I think I learned to appreciate
living in the moment and not dwelling on the past.  I mean, I still
dwell on the past like most people do, but I have learned that stuff
happens and you just need to let it go.  The past cannot be changed.
The past is just a memory, nothing more, nothing less.  The only
things to do are live in the moment and look forward to the future.
And hopefully with that, good memories will be made.
       Thank you for making this year so amazing and wonderful Dr. Heavers.
I will never forget Period 5 HAP.

Anna Tadej, Period 4
            I learned a lot of things this year in Human Anatomy & Physiology
that will stay with me for my entire life (hopefully not just for four
months). The main focus of the class, obviously, was the study of the
human body. I will remember many things about the human body but most
I will remember how we memorized the blood flow through the heart. I
will also remember many bones which I did not know before. Another
thing that will stay with me is our debate on heart disease, and
things we learned through the study of the body to maintain a healthy
lifestyle.  Through this course, I also learned a lot about myself.
Through a test that we took one class, I learned that I have a good
short-term memory. I  also learned why my leg twitches so much, how to
be a more confident presenter, made a note-to-self not to use word
crutches, and many other things. Something that will stay with me just
from the class experiences is definitely the value of the "sixty
seconds of silence", and also the reading of encouraging and inspiring
quotes. As far as life in general, I feel as though this course, led
by the example of Dr. Heavers, has taught me a lot. I have learned
that we need to make the most of life, and that you must always put
your all into everything. I also learned a lot of ways to make sure my
life is a long and healthy one, as far as the parts that are within my
control. As I go off to college next year, I will be sure to greet all
adults I meet with a firm handshake, which we practiced in the
beginning of the year. I will also be going to school with improved
study habits, thanks to this course. I am very glad I took HAP, and
would definitely recommend it to all other students.

Megan Fitz(patrick), Period 5
            I’m not gonna lie and do not take this personally at all but it is very unlikely that I will remember very much from the human body. What I will remember is the impact that sleep has on the body and how important it is. Also I will remember the memory jungle. For some reason that image is very strong and it makes a lot of sense to me. I am not sure if it is because the digestion unit is the last thing we did or if it was because we taught the large intestine but that song and the function of the large intestine is not going anywhere as well. Finally I will always remember that your body is like a machine all parts are important and work together even though they are separate parts. You have to think about what you put into the machine (what you eat) because it matters.
            When I walked in on the first day and I saw the many quotes on the wall and Ms Heavers saying the quote that her yoga teacher said,  “I am who I am and I love being me,” I knew that I would love the class. Little did I know that the amount that I would look forward to period 5 and the moment of silence. At the beginning I knew that human anatomy was not my thing. I was going to have to try to keep up with all the super smart people in the class. People who knew the whole chapter before we even mentioned the topic, who knew the answers to the questions before they were even asked. I came to the conclusion that there was no hope that I was never going to understand the human body and it was just useless trying. That thought lasted about a day then someone said something along the lines of “everyone has their own gifts, some were made to boggle your mind with their facts and brains and some were made to make you smile and pick you up when your down” So I learned that in life you’re not going to be good at everything you try unless your one of those gifted people which period 5 has many of haha. However as long as you be yourself and do what makes you happy and give it your all that’s the key to life.  Sometime in the early half of the year we were told to write inspirational quotes at random points in our agenda. I wrote 7 different messages and my day was made 7 times throughout the rest of the year. I decided to put messages on my mom’s calendar on her iPhone so that they would randomly pop up. The first one popped up on May 3rd and she came home and just hugged me and I was so confused. She said as she started tearing up “ I was having such a bad day and then I looked at my phone and I couldn’t stop smiling.”  I knew then what the power of words could do. I know that sounds super corny but I remember many times walking into hap thinking ugh this is the worst day ever I just want to go home and then we do the quote and it gets me thinking or smiling and my whole day is turned around. I think if I had to take one thing from this class it would be to be yourself, love yourself and never wish you were someone else because there is no one made to be you other then you.
                 I know Dr. Heavers said that this was not a teacher reflection, but the energy and passion that she brings to the classroom and to everything she does is definitely another, if not the most important, thing that I will carry on with me in the future!

Jonathan Ting, Period 5
To be entirely honest with myself, I took HAP this year for a couple reasons. Firstly, I ran out of science classes to take and I couldn’t fit Princeton science classes into my schedule, which was a slight disappointment. Secondly, the one exam I scored below a B in AP Biology was the human anatomy test, which may have been due to my lack of studying, but it motivated me to prove to myself I don’t suck at HAP. I half expected HAP to be easy because it wasn’t an honors class, and half expected it to be easy because I had heard many things from my friends who took the class in previous years. But after taking having the HAP experience for a whole year, I can truthfully say that HAP challenged me in more ways than just intellectually. Sure, I learned a lot of cool things about the nervous system, like how people remember and recall things. The memory jungle and why the Nodes of Ranvier help propagate electrical impulses. The smallest structures even correlate to the central theme of structure relates to function. I also learned about the digestive system recently. I know I’ve had nutrition problems my entire life so by learning about different aspects of diet and how my body breaks things down, I think I can effectively plan out my future diets to live a long and prosperous life. I found out last year that I might have a congenital heart defect (a valve that doesn’t close completely) and after learning about the heart this year I know why this could be so detrimental. Blood that needs to be re-oxygenated flows back from the ventricle to the atrium making each pump of the heart less efficient.
But yet again, to be completely honest, learning the actual anatomy of HAP is trivial. As Dr. Heavers has said many times, all of us could teach ourselves human anatomy through a textbook. What’s different about HAP, to me, is the experience every day in class. If I didn’t take HAP, I wouldn’t have concluded that I am truly an auditory learner (I’m still working on eye contact during lecture!) I wouldn’t have been able to practice being humble as the ambassador of humility. I know, especially freshman year, I was arrogant because I took advanced science classes. This year when working with my peers, I found it fun to take it slow and review. I found out that teaching the same thing over and over again, whether it is in physics or HAP, helps me review for my exams. So in the end I didn’t have to ever study, I just had to help others a bit.
One of my personal goals starting junior year was to learn how to think on my feet. Many times teachers ask questions that are extensions of what we already know and demand the student to apply concepts to places they aren’t 100% familiar with. Dr. Heavers constantly challenges us with conceptual questions that I wouldn’t be able to find in a textbook, but just thinking through the problem slowly I will be able to start moving in the right direction. Mr. Field once told me to “Study smart, not hard.” I interpreted this as learning concepts, not route memorization. By learning HAP concepts, especially structure determines function, I have been able to progress through the class rather smoothly and I find it amusing when confronted with a challenging question I don’t immediately know the answer to.
            Overall, I was definitely surprised by how challenging this class was in many ways. Dr. Ruddiman once told me “There are people who can 'do' school, but those that do school can’t necessarily ‘do’ life”. After a year in HAP, I can definitely agree with this statement. The course work is challenging, but what is more rewarding in HAP is what I have learned about myself. 

Chris Evans, Period 2
            This year in Human Anatomy & Physiology has been one of a kind. I have learned many things that have stimulated my brain in a whole new way, and have learned to see life differently as well. I learned that all of the structures in the human body determine the specific function that a particular body part carries out. I will never forget that a red blood cell can bend and fold in order to flow through the bloodstream, and to fit through potentially tight spaces. Throughout this course, I learned that I do not do everything possible to take care of my body, so that I can live healthily. My diet consists of many foods that are high in fat, and other bad things that do not benefit the health of my body. I need to be more cautious of what I put into my body, so that I can live happily for a long time to come. In general, this class has taught me much more than just “HAP”. Our moment of silence and our daily quotes at the beginning of class are both things that will stick with me as I graduate. I have learned how to think, and learn properly, as well as how to study effectively. From this class, I have learned to try to always have a positive outlook on life, because the happier we are, the healthier our brains and bodies will be. A much deserved thanks to you, and the rest of period 2.

Natalia Barker, Period 2
What I've learned about the body and its structures from this course is that all the systems are interconnected.  Before I had taken this course I didn't know or even think about how all the systems in the body were connected to each other in one way or another. The systems were separate in my mind but now I can't think of one system without thinking of how it connects to another system of the body. This course has also helped me grow as a person. Along with all the outside influences I've received, Pd.2 HAP including Dr. Heavers especially has changed how I think about my actions as well as my own health. Helping me to make more healthful decisions by controlling my stress levels, watching the hours I sleep more closely, or simply with ujjayi breathing and yoga. Over the past year I've grown more open about the differences in people.  I've also grown to be more open with my emotions. Though I'll be honest, I definitely still have a ways to go before I'm actually fully comfortable with myself and all my emotions. New challenges are always there waiting but I can say that my experiences in my HAP class have helped prepare me for them more than any other class I've taken. The atmosphere has also affected me greatly. It could be because of the very accepting and loving air that Dr. Heavers creates in her classroom, or the students who trustingly go along with her antics, but the atmosphere of the classroom has helped me become happier. It very well may be all the yoga and minutes of silence we have partaken in or the advice I have received about how to keep my body and mind healthier.  I just know I've come out happier about myself from that class. What I've learned about life from that class is that things don't always go the way you want them to. People tend to forget that anything can happen. One minute you may be cruising in your car to class and the next minute another car crashes into you.  You have to take life's small tragedies in stride. I've asked myself over this course if I had the chance to redo this year and take an easier science class would I? And the answer is always no. Despite all the stressful moments and mentally draining times I'd never want to not have the experiences I've gained from this class. They're  too much a part of who I am today to forsake.

Jenn Rabbino, Period 5
            I remember walking into HAP on September 6th, 2011, not quite knowing what to expect. I had heard the scoop about Dr. Heavers being one of the best teachers in the school (and I’m not just saying that…I really did hear that), but other than that I wasn’t all too sure what would happen. Megan and I, along with two or three others, were the only ones who assumed we would have lab on the first day of school, so we sat in a room with mostly empty chairs and our new teacher, who asked us this question.
            “Ask me anything. About this class, about life, anything you want.”  And that was how the year in Period 5 HAP started. When it comes to a close on June 11th, I know I will have learned more about anatomy, myself, and life than I ever could have imagined I would have on that first day.
            Walking into lab on September 6th, I knew the main body systems and some of their organs and functions, just a pretty basic understanding. But since then, I have come to understand the extremely close and important relationship between the structure and function of body parts. There is a reason for the way every single cell in the body is structured, whether the cell be simple squamous because it has to be thin enough to let air through or mucous-lined because it has to be slippery enough to let chyme slide around. I never realized how finely specialized the cells, organs and other bodily mechanisms are, and this class taught me all of it. I l also learned how all the systems connect and are vital to one another’s existence and well-being—for example, even though the endocrine system and the digestive system seem wholly unrelated, hormones released by the endocrine system often control the activity of the digestive system, or the activity of other systems that then impact the digestive system. Lastly, though this seems cliché, I hardly had a grasp on how truly incredible the human body is until this year. Every single cell has a purpose and was built to execute that purpose. Not only are there cells built to carry out jobs, but there are cells, mechanisms and organs built to regulate systems and ensure that homeostasis is always maintained—it is like the body has its own repair system. It amazes me how the body can know when something is wrong and immediately fight to fix it. There are always millions of processes occurring in the body at any given time, but each and every one is crucial to a healthy existence as a human. 
            Walking into that classroom on September 6th, I knew I had so much ahead of me—college applications, job applications, sports tryouts, etc., and balancing it all was going to be a challenge. Amidst a few breakdowns along the way, I came out knowing more about myself than I ever had before, largely due to conversations about ourselves and our lives in HAP. One important thing I learned is that I am, more often than not, too high-strung. I treat too many small incidences as though they are catastrophes, and I need to have a better perspective on life. Reserving truly severe stress only for times that call for it keeps my body healthier, as it keeps my hormones at a normal level, therefore impacting my blood pressure and overall bodily stress. I am a perfectionist by nature and it has definitely been weird to feel a bit of ‘senioritis’ setting in, but I need to balance my time better so that I am more efficient when I work and hence can set aside time to really take a breather. This is something I have worked on over the course of this year and am improving upon. 
            I have struggled, and still struggle, with my perception of my own body. In the past I have taken more extreme measures to get myself to a weight that I thought was acceptable, but I also felt chronically tired and sluggish because I was giving my body too little nourishment to operate at its full potential.  In HAP, I came to appreciate that my body, inside and out, is special and I must treat it with respect. This class has taught me that there is so much more to the body than just how it looks. My ‘skinny’ instincts sometimes recur, but I try to remind myself that, as long as I stay active and keep giving my body the proper nutrition and rest it needs, I will be a healthy person. I was able to learn about the different body systems and how they must be taken care of in order for them all to function properly. Before, I did not know as much about the body and did not consider how I was negatively impacting my entire body by not giving it what it needed, especially after hard workouts. Since this is somewhat a state of mind and not just a choice, I’m definitely still working on it. But I have come a long way and have started to think more about what is best for me and not what will allegedly look best to the world.              Lastly, I feel that period 5 has a connection unlike many classes I’ve ever been in. There is a strong sense of cohesiveness in this class and many of its members are extremely mature people, and this situation has helped me find my niche in the social realm. I have had a group of friends for a few years now, but we have all agreed that, though we don’t dislike each other, over this past year we have found ourselves drifting apart. It is not anything any of us did, but rather the fact that we are all maturing at different speeds and along different paths. My very best friends are not a part of this group, and I consider these people the ones that I can hold a conversation with for hours on a topic we are both interested in or just talk to and laugh about anything at all. This class has helped me realize what I look for in a friend and the kind of person I am most attracted to, because most of the people in period 5 fit the bill!           
            When we were asked to ask Dr. Heavers “anything at all” on the very first day of school, I’m not going to lie, most of us just sat there blankly, having no idea what to say. Who was this person opening herself up to kids she has known for all of forty minutes? But when we were asked the same question on Friday, June 1st, 2012, it was quite different. We knew we could ask her about life in general, and it is because of this that I have thought more about life as a whole during the course of this year.
            The quote I brought in earlier in the year was “Unbeing dead isn’t being alive,” and I think that is a quote that has applied to many of our discussions in class. We have talked a lot about the fact that it is important to plan for the future and make responsible choices, but at the same time, don’t forget to enjoy life as it happens. Don’t let special moments pass you by, and even the smaller moments or some quality time to yourself are worth taking full advantage of. I sometimes let my busy mind get in the way of enjoying occasions, but thanks to this class, I have tried harder to let my mind truly be in the present day when the moment calls for it.
            Dr. Heavers has told us that she initially thought she wanted to become a medical doctor, but then changed her mind and pursued what has become her passion for teaching. Even at the beginning of this year, I felt sure that I wanted to pursue a major in economics, but over the past several months, I have reconsidered a bit. I do still want to pursue a major in psychology, but I am not as sure about economics. Dr. Heavers has told us so many times that, though she certainly does not make as much money as she would have made as a doctor, she is doing what she loves and that is more important. I have heard many people say, “ I’m not sure what I want to do, but whatever makes the most money is what it will be!” and this is not my philosophy.  I am proud of people who want to major in drama or music theory for not thinking so much about the money and thinking more about where their heart lies. Ten months ago or if I had not taken this class, I would have been scared to change my mind; I thought I had to stick with what I told people I wanted to pursue. But I want to find something I love, whether it be economics or something completely unrelated, and pursue my passion, regardless of the paycheck or the opinions of others.
            I know this was extremely long-winded, but my experience in Period 5 HAP has been unlike any classroom experience I have ever had. It was not just a class—it was a community. I felt at home in this class and I have become a smarter, stronger, and better person by building relationships with those around me. As our time as a class comes to a close, I know I will miss it. But I also know I will remember it and take my experiences with me for years to come.

Nora Owens, Period 5
I feel like this whole-reflection thing might be a bit easier if I wrote down the things that I didn't learn as opposed to the things that I did. But on a more serious note, coming into the class this year I wanted to challenge myself with learning how to memorize things, since I knew I wasn't too great at that. I also expected to take away a lot from the class, and was happily surprised when what I got out of the course was more than what I anticipated. Obviously I'm pretty darn interested in the human body and how it functions etc. This class gave me an excuse to start spouting off random facts about the body and how it works to my teammates and my family. I may have driven them a wee bit crazy, but Caroline and I ended up having a few intense conversations about the body. Since she takes AP Bio and would have loved to be in our class, we got to geek out about our interest in the human body and bio on runs and bus rides together. When I had to try and memorize the parts of the body that we were learning I resorted to thinking through everything in my head while running. It's so easy to relate HAP to running since it really encompasses everything. And on runs you have tons of time to think about whatever the heck you want. I initially expected to be enthralled by the influx of new knowledge about the human body. What I didn't expect was the things I learned from the fact that I was part of period 5 HAP as opposed to another period class.
            A big part of our HAP class was the fact that the students were from all different levels of classes. When I think about the assortment of kids in our class, it's pretty random. But together we've made sense in period 5. A lot of classes I've had the students tend to separate themselves into cliques after a while in the class. We settle into where we sit, who we do projects with and so on. But the fact that we changed seats and groups and who was leader so often allowed us all to grow. I think one of the hardest thing with personal growth is the fact that it involves change. So many people are so resistant to change. Especially as teenagers we're all seeking a self-identity. We think that our surroundings define who we are. We define ourselves as the kid who sits in a certain place, and talks to these sorts of people, and does this sort of work, and gets these sorts of grades. But really, the best way to define any of us is that we are a work in progress. I think the particular mix of personalities and ways of thinking in our class helped me to continuously see things in different ways.   The introduction of quotes and stories we all shared brought in many other peoples’ ideas to all of us.  I know that all of these have helped me to become a better student and be more self-reflective. Because of this it's difficult to point out what exactly is different about myself. Some things I won’t understand for a while that have changed. But I know that our class's enthusiasm about being together and our love for the mish-mashed wonderful period 5 class we've been for the past 9 months won’t be forgotten. Now, let’s bring peace to our bodies and our brains.

Katelyn Salerno, Period 2
Dr. Heavers!
This is my reflection about our year in human anatomy. I am afraid an email isn't really long enough for me to detail everything I've learned this year in your class, but I think that I can force myself to make an appropriate enough synopsis. Just this once.
One of the major ideas of this course has always been how structure determines function. In anatomy I have learned many examples of this, but specifically I identify the concept with the skeletal system. The different types of joints are constructed in such a way that they perform their own specific movements. The ball and socket joint's structure allows it to give my arms full range of motion, whereas hinge and gliding joints have different structures to give different ranges of motion. I find this example to be the simplest to understand and the easiest to demonstrate to myself when I was studying the skeletal system.
The extent of my education in this class didn't end with the actual anatomy or the scientific philosophy. In anatomy I've come to learn that I can be a little more at ease in the classroom. I learned that it is okay, every once and a while, to make a generally acceptable joke to lighten the mood. This is the result of, what I believe is, the strong student relationship that I share with you. And through having you as a teacher for two years for both HAP and Genetics, I have come to be more open to relationships with my teachers and, in extension, general adults. This will go with me throughout my life and I believe I will be able to form stronger and more reliable STRs with my professors in college.
This class has also given me a plethora of information about life in general. Every quote on the wall has some truth that has shaped how I have viewed life over the course of my senior year. I've learned to love myself and others as much as I can. I've learned that courage isn't necessarily the absence of fear and that worry is pointless. I hope that I take these ideas and apply continue them to my current life and bring them into my future.
Personally, I am extremely grateful for everything you've taught me and everything you've done for me. I'll miss you and your class when I go off to Amherst! Hopefully people there take to hugging as well as period 2 did.

P.S. feel free to show this jewel to everyone you meet.  Or, you know, you can put it in the compilation with my name.  Either way.

Avik Khaneja, Period 4

           Here I am, only nine days away from graduation. It’s amazing how much I have changed the last seventeen years. Not anatomically, but spiritually. After taking this class, I was able to analyze my life more clearly than before. I had more insight to who I really was. You see, I was adopted when I was born. Originally a citizen of India, I was brought to Plainsboro, New Jersey where I had been given a much better seventeen years than I would’ve had I not been adopted. So you think I would be grateful for this opportunity to have a more modernized life than I would in an orphanage and that I would try to make the most out everything.
Unfortunately, up until I had taken this class, I was a very undisciplined kid. I would make stupid remarks in class, not do homework, ignore my teachers, not study for any tests, and the list goes on. I was simply lazy and had no motivation. In fact, Human Anatomy and Physiology (HAP) was a class that I originally did not want to take, because it seemed like a very challenging course that consisted of mostly memorizing and book reading.  In a nutshell, I was probably as lazy as you could get. But before I begin, let me just tell you that taking this class was the best decision of my life.
            I remember walking in the very first day and Ms. Heavers asked the class to bring peace to our bodies and our brains and indulge ourselves in sixty seconds of silence, which I was not able to do as I looked to Shivam and Justin and broke out into laughter. In fact, most of my peers were not able to sit still or even take our teacher seriously as she sat there with her eyes staring at the ground not letting a single person in the room discourage her. We continued this ritual for the entire year and every time I did it, I became better at clearing my thoughts and focusing on absolutely nothing. After 4 marking periods of practice, I am able to successfully sit still for sixty seconds and clear my brain of almost all thought. This is a habit that I will continue to do for the rest of my life because it has helped me stay calm throughout the day no matter how bad things were sometimes.
            As a senior, this was a class I expected to breeze by in simply because I assumed Ms. Heavers would give up once we would get infected with the ever so popular “Senioritis Disease.” I have never been so wrong in my life. As second semester started, Ms. Heavers rocked us with projects and labs. However, instead of feeling stressed out, there was something in my brain that was making me feel like I wanted to do all this work. And I’ve finally figured it out…THE CLASS WAS FUN. The curriculum was designed and altered from lame regulated textbook reading to dissecting vegetables, fetal pigs, and other stuff that made me want to learn. Right now as we do the fetal pig dissection, I’m able to take all my previous information ranging from types of surgical cuts all the way to the functions of almost every organ in the body and understand what exactly we are doing. In fact, a great example of this would be when I went to the Bodies Exhibit in New York three years ago with my family and I had absolutely no idea what anything was. At the time I probably just wanted to be home playing video games. But when (who would then be a Doctor) Ms. Heavers handed out field trip permission slips to our class to go see the same exhibit I became PUMPED. I was more excited to go to the exhibit and apply all my prior knowledge than to go play in my lacrosse game later that afternoon.
            Now a doctor, Heavers has pretty much prepared me for college better than the school system has. There was a student teacher relationship that developed from day one to today. I mean at first, she wouldn’t even call me Narjdawg! Now she calls me that on a regular basis. But she has also helped me in more technical ways. For example, I avoid using word crutches in any presentations I have, making excuses for any mistakes I make, and losing motivation. I have become mentally, physically, and spiritually stronger thanks to Doctor Heavers and she has granted me the perseverance to get through anything in life.
            The class may be about bodies, organs, and life. But if you pay attention and really understand what the Doctor is telling you, one can understand that she is simply telling us to love who we are and to take care of ourselves. Whether it’s by getting oxygen to the brain by going on a long run, or embracing ourselves in sixty seconds of silence to find peace and forget about the fight you got in with your best friend. If you remember from the beginning of this story, all I told you about me was the fact that I was adopted, undisciplined, and lazy. After taking this class, I have become a mature human being that can take on the world with motivation and respect.

Cameron MacArthur, Period 5
            Ernest Hemingway once said:  “If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.”
             I take comfort in that quote, because I know I’ll never be able to articulate everything that I know I learned from a year in HAP.  I absolutely won’t be able to do it in only 200 words, even if I “omit things that he knows”.  Hopefully you understand how much taking this class meant to me, how much I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and how much I learned.  Here goes nothing.
             I knew close to nothing about my body before taking this course.  I knew a couple random facts about the weight of my brain, how many bones I had, interesting things about some of the organs.  I didn’t understand my body though.  I’ve been living for 18 years and up until this point I was in the dark about how I worked.

            “Then his eyes were opened,. . . and he saw everything clearly.”

            The first thing I learned about the human body and its structure and function that will stay with me throughout my future is that I have more than one rectal muscle.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered my Rectus Abdominis and Rectus Femoris.  At that moment I realized how little I knew.  Now I will never forget that structure determines function, that Acetylcholinesterase fills the synaptic cleft to stop synaptic transmission, and that blood is actually fluid connective tissue.  Tetanus now has two meanings for me, as does “Atlas”.  When I feel like punching something, now I visualize the aldosterones being sent through my system.  I understand why people are overweight, not just the reasons Jenny Craig gives, but really why.  I know why my heart goes lub-dub, and what makes it go lub-dub faster.  I now understand why a baby has 305 bones, and an adult has 206.  The Islets of Langerhans are not a tropical location, and HCl is kept as two separate ions before being combined in the stomach.  I could literally ramble on for pages.  Hopefully you understand that when it comes to the human body, I soaked up everything you taught like a sponge.  I retained more purely academic knowledge from your class than any other, and I found it all fascinating.  So thank you.
             Returning to Mr. Hemingway’s iceberg analogy, if all the knowledge I got from your class was an iceberg, the prodigious amount of anatomy that I learned is the part above the water.  In your class over this year I learned so much about myself, others, and the world.  In trying to take your class I learned that if I want something so badly that almost anything is worth giving up for it, I can achieve any goal.  I also learned the value of backing off and not always demanding your way.  If I had spent highschool stepping on toes I don’t know if I would have been as successful when I really needed to play hardball to get into your class.  I also learned (granted, this one is a work-in-progress) that not everything I have to say is the most important thing to be heard, and that sometimes shutting up is the best thing to do.  I really saved myself one time when I was about to come to Dan’s aid over an argument he was having with all the girls in our class after a slightly misogynistic comment he made.  I realized that making a great argument wasn’t worth all the anger it would cause, so I stayed quiet (and let Dan get torn apart).  My life and how I see the world has also been forever changed.  I sleep, eat, breath, and live differently because of this class.  I mean that in the most literal sense possible.  I learned that there are more important things than proving to someone they’re wrong, or being the person to show them the hard truth of the real world.  More often than not, if you can always act to bring people more peace and happiness, you’re making more of an impact.  I learned about flow, and how to be in it, and that has really guided what I want to do with my life.  I figured out that a successful life will come from my being happy with what I’m doing and not how much I make.  It is too hard to show in writing how much you’ve opened my eyes to the world and life from a different angle, just know that that knowledge is the part of the iceberg under the water and it’s freakin’ ginormous.


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