Saturday, May 16, 2009

My Worst Class

Inklings posted about her worst class, so it reminded me of mine. As part of the general education requirement, I had to take Physical Science. At one point in the year, the teacher decided he wanted to veer from the textbook and teach us about "applied kinesiology". He had this friend of his come in and teach us. In my memory it felt like she taught for about 2 weeks, but it may have been a shorter amount of time.

The first day they had a volunteer come up to the front of the class. I'm pretty out going, so I volunteered. They had me hold my arm out to the side and asked me to say, "My name is..." and state my name. While I did this, they pressed down on my arm. They asked me to resist when they did this. Then they asked me to say, "My name is George Washington". This time when they pressed down on my arm, I had no strength to resist them. They talked about how when you lie, you lose strength. The next week or two was devoted to teaching us about how we could use this in our studies, and about things like not listening to the wrong music when we study.

I suppose there might be something to this, but I'm not too sure about the applications of it. A friend of mine does alternative healing using this technique to "diagnose" the problem. He will have the person hold out their arm, then he "asks" their body if they have a problem with such and such a part of function. He will say, for example, "Your stomach is healthy and strong", and if, when he presses on the arm, it goes down, he knows the stomach isn't healthy, and he then proceeds to use energy to heal it. There is something about it that seems remotely plausible, but quite frankly, I've known him many years and have never seen anyone actually healed by his treatments.

So too, this section of the class was a little interesting, but frankly I felt it was very unprofessional of him to include it. I thought it was weird, and I knew that BYU administration probably would disapprove of him including that in his curriculum.
It felt to me that he was more concerned about the "dramatic" than in actually teaching his students. One time he had a student come up to the front of the class. He had a vat of liquid nitrogen. He had her put on a rubber glove, and stick her finger down in to the vat. Then, to everyones' horror, he pulled her hand out and took a hammer and smashed her finger on the counter. Then he took off her rubber glove and showed us that she was actually holding a stick with a hot dog on it, poked up in to the finger of the glove. It was the hot dog that had gotten frozen and smashed. Dramatic, yes. A good learning experience? Frankly, to this day I'm not sure of the point of that exercise, except maybe to warn us about sticking our finger in liquid nitrogen.
I actually don't remember learning much in that class. Usually I can come away from a class feeling like I know the subject well, but in this case I didn't. I passed it though, and for me that was something anyway.


Axlle said...

So long she then taught why these things happened, I don't see a problem with this class. Sure the hot dog was kinda pointless, but I bet you've never stuck your hand in liquid nitrogen since. Sure your not going to use the arm thing, (Although it's a good way to catch your children in lies.) but I've never graphed a linear equation since I learned how to. Frankly I wish people were still allowed to do thing like that, I might of learned something from my last science class.

Lindsay-Weaver said...

My chiropractor uses the arm test as he feels my spine. He can usually tell where the weak spot is, and fix it. It's really cool, actually.