The Discipline of Biology

One thing about nursing school is that you take a lot of classes from many different disciplines. I like to think that nursing is interdisciplinary itself. The discipline that I want to focus on is biology. The courses that I got the pleasure of taking in the discipline of biology resinated with me the most out of all the others. Freshman year, I took Anatomy and Physiology I & II which is a requirement for an array of majors at any university. Biology courses allow you to learn more about the human body and what it can do, and what other things can do to it. Biology is one of the most important and probably the most valuable discipline to be included in something like nursing.


The history of biology spans back to many centuries ago. Biology is in fact the study of life on this earth. Hippocrates, Aristotle and Galen, people of ancient times, were some of the first to study the anatomy and physiology behind living organisms. The middle ages, approximately 10,000 years ago, is when medicine was being discovered and tested. Biology takes a very large place in the evolution of science itself.

Biology is studied all over the world. Something that is interesting about biology is that it is something that Plymouth State and other college students can actually major or minor in, not just a discipline towards your major. A human body has many moving parts and mechanisms that don’t seem like there is much to them, but is actually extremely complex. That’s why there are labs that include the dissection of animals and other things in order for us as a species to learn more about ourselves. It doesn’t stop there! Biology includes things like human diseases, viruses and bacteria. Microscopic organisms that can multiply and build up resistance to our immune systems and make us sick. Without the study of Biology, we would not know what makes up a human. Our species is superior because we took the time to ask ourselves, “what makes us tick?” and we began to discover amazing things. It is amazing that we even have the time to learn everything about the human body.

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The subject of science has always been interesting to me. I find that in all of my biology courses, labs are included. I enjoy the environment, the beakers, test tubes, microscopes with slides, bunsen burners, and even the ugly goggles and lab coats. Being able to test things within the environment, look at bacteria and viruses under a high definition microscope or being able to see human cells is truly remarkable. Biology allows us to see how complex the human body really is and how hard they work. Human bodies are machines, constantly making improvements and growing into a species that is superior over any other.




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Interdisciplinarity & Me

Interdisciplinary studies was nothing that I ever knew existed. Honestly, it has changed how I think of things and allows me to explore what I really want to do with my life. After not passing a class in my nursing major, I thought the world was coming to a tragic end. But I realized something. I realized that the world was not coming to an end, and that the way I was learning wasn’t doing my any favors. I didn’t not pass this class because I’m not smart enough or I didn’t know the information.

Interdisciplinary approaches were not introduced to me until a few months ago. At first, I had no idea what it was or what it entailed. I was basically told that I could create my own major and design a major off of classes that I took and that relate to what I want to do with my life. After a few weeks of class I was sold. I could take classes from the subject of psychology, health, nursing, math, social work and anything else I thought would be necessary and build my own major. As Nissani states, “Interdisciplinarity is best seen as bringing together distinctive components of two or more disciplines.”

Interdisciplinarity has given me the opportunity to continue my education. I


thought that I was stuck, and that I wouldn’t be able to have any career I wanted. As it turns out, so many of my courses count in other curriculums of other majors, in other schools. This makes it so easy for me to go back to school and really continue doing what I want to do. A radiologist is something that I have always had my heart set on. Nursing gave me wonderful experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life and throughout my career. But interdisciplinary learning has allowed me to create my own future and help me continue to do what I love.

The beginning of my journey with interdisciplinary studies has been stressful, but a great learning experience. It is really interesting to see what some of my peers have decided to create their majors out of and the many different and amazing ideas that each student holds. The posts allow myself to be creative and using knowledge from the many different subjects that I have learned about throughout the years.

I think I still have a long way to go in order to adjust to this different way of learning. But I see myself being successful in the long run, and using all the knowledge I have from different areas of study to be the best student and future radiologist that I can be.







Making a Change to Health Science

Health Science
Ryleigh Stearns, IDS major

The title of the program I created is Health Science. Coming into college, I was almost certain that I knew what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I loved science, and I want to do whatever I could to help people in any way that I can. I ended up choosing a major at Plymouth State that was not exactly right for me, and I did that for 3 out of the 4 years of my college career. After realizing that I was in the wrong program, I wondered if it was too late for me to decide something else. I was introduced into Interdisciplinary Studies not too long ago.
The program that I created consists of a variety of classes from nursing, health education, psychology, biology, and math. I created a program with so many different areas of study because the health field is so broad and expands to great lengths. Without knowing exactly what I want for a career, having experience from all of these areas prepares me for anything that could possibly come my way. No other program could meet my needs in the way that my own program could because I cannot yet specify what I want to be doing in the next five years. My plan is to go back to school and become a radiological technician. With the health background that I have, along with the numerous hours of clinical experience, I will make a great candidate.
In my program, I wanted to include numerous biology courses that I felt I learned the most and stood out the most for me. BI 2110 Human Anatomy/Physiology I with Lab was the beginning of my college classes. This course got down to the basics of the human body; it’s bones, muscles and cells. This course, along with its familiar sister BI 2120 Human Anatomy/Physiology II with Lab, taught me all about the structure and function of the entire human body. BI 2340 Microbiology for Nurses was a class that I found extremely valuable. Diseases, viruses, bacteria and so on were the main topics in this course. It is valuable for health oriented majors to know about diseases and how humans contract diseases and how they fight them off. BI 2360 Genetics for Nurses is the last biology class I decided to include in this program. I found this class helped me better understand the human genome and severity of

certain genetic diseases.
Next I will get into the nursing classes. I thought it would be

really important for me to include certain nursing courses because I learned more in these classes than a lot of other classes I have taken in the past. NR 3052 Clinical App Patient Centered Care, NR 3090 Clinical Evidence Based Practice,

and NR 3094 Evidence Based Practice Med/Surg are all courses where I

was doing my clinical work in the hospital. This is where I learned the most and spent most of my time. Having hands on experience with patients allowed me to learn in a more efficient way. On top of that, I have taken away some very memorable experiences from working in the hospital. NR 3030 Pharmacology & Pathophysiology was one of the hardest courses I have taken, but a very valuable one. In this course, I learned all about medical drugs and their effects in general and effects on the human body.
During my sophomore year, I took HE 3220 Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living. This course shed light on a lot of things that I did not know about nutrition and preventable health related diseases that are so prevalent in the United States. HE 3230 Promoting Health Across the Lifespan taught me a lot about myself. Something that I really enjoyed about that class was being able to collaborate so much with my classmates and discuss what we learned together in class and relate it to our everyday lives. In my particular group, we learned many ways how to manage stress and provide examples as well as present it to the class. The hard work that we put in for that presentation did not get forgotten, it actually got posted on the Plymouth State Library page. The last health class, HE 2900 Disease, Safety & Environment provides me with so much information about human health and disease and goes into depth about bacteria and how certain diseases are transmitted. This course is very valuable since working in a hospital puts not only patients, but also yourself at risk.
To meet my QRCO requirement, I enrolled in MA 2200 Finite Mathematics, which is math that you practice in your everyday life such as financial equations and basic properties that you may come across during one’s lifetime. I decided to include PS 3170 Child Development in my contract form because having knowledge of all ages in important to have while working in a hospital. This course went very in depth on childhood diseases and how the mind of a younger child works. Finally, SW 3500 Health & Society is a course that I plan on taking to complete my contract. I wanted to include this course because I think social work is very important in the health field and having a class that discusses health in society would give me much more knowledge about the health in certain areas.
Although I decided to change my major as a senior in college, I feel that I made the right decision with choosing Interdisciplinary Studies. The courses that I included best represent me as a student and have helped me pave the path for what I want to do to further my education. Health Science is exactly what I want to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in. Having this degree will also help me further my education so I am able to create the future how I want.

Interview with Lynn Bates

It was humid, hot and hard to think. Luckily, I found a great professor willing to take time from her day for a quick interview. Lynn Bates teaches two classes in the Health and Human Performance department. I am grateful to have chosen a class that professor Bates teaches, for she is very knowledgable and someone that I can get a lot of insight from. Something that I found interesting that Lynn told me was that she has previous experience in themedical field which is what I had thoughts of doing. Her words are very encouraging to me, which only made me want to find out more about her.

Professor Bates got her masters degree in Health Education and does not do any current research at this time. I then asked Bates what she most enjoys about her work. She responded with “Interacting with students. I really enjoy raising people’s awareness of things that people don’t think about to acknowledge. I really like being proactive in regard to health”. I then went on to ask her what ways she likes to promote being proactive and she said with the education aspect. Professor Bate’s enjoys being proactive in situations now because after working in the health care field for 18 years, she was constantly being reactive to situations. From her experience now, she can now be proactive as much as possible.

Professor Bates is constantly working with all types of majors and scholars. There is such a wide variety of students in all of her classes that she enjoys seeing day to day. She does collaborate with others in her field in the sense of meeting and discussing different activities for her students. A challenge to this is that extra ideas and activities that they come up with is something that she has to pay for since she is not full time faculty.

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I went on to ask Bates what courses outside of her department should students take that she feels are necessary. She states, “I think all students should take some sort of communication course. A lot of people are not good at it whether it is written verbal or relational. I also think that art courses are important. Being able to tap into that creative part of your brain is really crucial to problem solving and it doesn’t matter what career you are in. It changes your way of thinking and your way of looking at things.” I could not agree more with what she states here. I personally have taken two art classes over my college career and thought that they were very beneficial to my own well being. Going to a class that you enjoy makes your day better and puts you into a better state of mind.

I ended my interview with Lynn with some more personal questions. I asked her what she enjoys doing in her free time. To me, it sounds like Professor Bates loves staying active and seeing the world. She told me that her free time consists of working out, jazzercise, gardening, cooking, drawing, traveling and watching a good movie on television. The last thing I asked was what is the favorite part of her career. Her answer was nothing short of great. She responded with, “The diversity of students that you meet in this kind of profession. They are diverse culturally, intellectually diverse, and motivationally diverse. It is amazing, the people that you get to meet.”

It was truly great to meet with a professor outside of the class that she teaches. Being able to connect on a more personal level gives you much more respect for your professor and what they teach. By talking to Professor Bates, I feel like there is more that I want to experience in life, and also gives me more to think about when it comes to my own career. I can only hope that she enjoyed this interview as much as I did. Special thanks to Professor Lynn Bates.