It’s weird to read simplified health and fitness information, which is sometimes what I get in my bio class (which is for liberal arts students, ie, non-science majors). For instance, one of my recent labs was this:

Part I: Exercise Lab – 7 points

A. Heart Rate (6 points)
Using either the radial artery at your wrist below the thumb (use your index or third finger to measure, not your thumb because it has its own pulse) or your carotid artery (see Lab #4), determine your pulse (15 second count X 4 for the number of beats per minute) after the following activities.
1. At rest = _____ beats per minute (bpm)
2. After smoking a cigarette (IF you smoke) or after a caffeinated drink (IF you do not smoke) = _____ bpm
3. Light exercise (walking, etc) for 3 – 5 minutes = _____ bpm
4. Vigourous exercise for 3 – 5 minutes (running, jumping up and down, jumping jacks, etc) = _____ bpm
5. In general, how physically active are you? Do you regularly exercise a little, a lot, or not at all? If you exercise, what do you do?
6. You learned about your target heart rate in Lab #4. This is the rate at which your heart should beat while you are exercising, which is fast enough to build cardiovascular fitness but not too fast (so you do not pass out or have a stroke)! You may remember from “Go Ask Alice” that your estimate your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 220. To set target heart rate limits, multiply MHR by 65% - this is your lower limit. Your upper limit is established by multiplying your MHR by 85%. Calculate your MHR and target heart rate range and record the indicated values here:
a. Maximum Heart Rate = _____ bpm
b. Lower Limit of target heart range = _____ bpm
c. Upper Limit of target heart range = _____ bpm

B. Blood Pressure (1 point)
If you can, go to a pharmacy at Wal-Mart, Eckerd, CVS, etc or to a doctor’s office and have your blood pressure taken. Record here.
Resting Blood Pressure _____

Since I could do all this from memory because I do these things regularly, it didn’t take long. But, there’s just a part of me that totally groans about this. I don’t know what it is. Just, it feels… weird. Of course, so does answering a question like “what is the difference between veins and arteries?”.

Granted, I took this class to be an easy class that I could just do and not really have to work at, but it does often feel really over-simplistic. I thought it was maybe because I actually took biology in high school and so therefore I knew all this stuff, except Otto got around taking bio and still is terribly unsurprised by most of this (well, actually, he’s surprised… asked if I was just taking a glorified health class. Wonder when the cukes and condoms are coming out… :-P ).

It’s not that I’m not learning things in my classes. It’s just… most of the time I feel like I’m rehashing crap I already know and I get a few useless tidbits of trivia here and there. And in a way I’m kinda bummed, since I’m taking classes because I’m interested in learning things I don’t already know… not taking them so that I can suspect that I might know more than my instructors. Ah, at least I still have the lit classes and the studio classes… those are something new and different.

I’ll quit my bitchin and get back to my non-science science reading. At least I’ll get an A…

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