Old Dog, New Tricks

I never cease to be amazed at the capacity for technology to change the way we work.

If you were with this blog during the pre-natal period, (when it was nothing more than a stream of emails sent to numerous people) you may remember my professor, A. J. PhD, the stern faced individual who initially struck fear, and subsequently terror into my heart while teaching me anatomy.

You may not know that he’s been at this Little Southern Medical School for 33 (34?) years….and suffice it to say, has a pretty standardized way of teaching.

It usually goes something like this:

-Dr. A. J. strolls into class, 2-3 min. late, usually from some prior (clearly stressful) meeting, thumbs through some papers and says in the classing booming voice, ” Alright class, we’ve got a lot to do and not much time to do it”

-Dr. A.J. Paces the classroom, gesturing to a HD monitor, (probably 1080p?) and an identical projected image (probably 54p?) until a student bravely says  “Dr, A.J. What are you pointing at?”

At this point, Dr. A.J. will take out the laser pointer, and aim at either the HD monitor (alienating all those past row 10 / with poor vision)  or the projector (with the inverse effect) and begin describing some aspect of the human body. 

Lest I fail to stress this appropriately, these images are hardly up-to-date, but are often the drawings our illustrious professor created himself 40 years earlier. They’ve been scanned, and re-scanned…until they resemble rorschach blots.

Combine old school lecturing with poorly rendered images displayed in a dark room, and you have a recipe for the best nap of your life….and an F in anatomy.


Thankfully, one of our more forward thinking administrators decided to purchase him an iPad not too long ago, and much to my surprise, he’s taken to it like a…well, like an anatomy professor to a body. Last week, he walked into out Neuro lecture, plugged it up to the projector/HD monitor, and gave the crispiest lecture I’ve ever had in Med school. The Brain was rendered in HD….with regions isolated effectively. (Wernicke’s area was in color (purple too!) against a sea of beige,) Dr. A.J. was resting comfortably, looking at his lectern/ipad instead of arching his back to see the projector….and everyone was just-that-much happier.

Tomorrow, I teach him how to draw on PDFs, and attempt to explain why  he needs to update to iOS 5 (iOS 6 comes out in a week…)

(That one should suffer so that many might proposer)


One comment

  1. Nice to see you are teaching an old dog new tricks. What is the ancient saying attributed to Buddha – when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. So who is the grasshopper now?

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