Class today really did a number on me. I don’t feel old but I felt old and tired in class today. I just didn’t know where to go to dig up the energy to communicate clearly and get through the day. This really gets me down because I enjoy teaching so much and I don’t like to feel dragged down by it.
As I said in the last post, we started our discussion of the first chapter of “Your Inner Fish”. All in all, this part of the class went fine. It’s a good book for this level student – of course some people like it and some people don’t. It sounded like the majority of disapproving remarks were not about the material, but about the style of the author (I admit that he does get off on tangents, but I think they are all for good reason)
No, my problems came in discussing DNA and Proteins as simple biomolecules. Each of these molecules can be very large, but they are each made of very simple monomeric units that are simply repeated again and again. I tried to illustrate just this fact by showing them each as single units and then showing how they stick together and then asking students to identify some elements of this larger molecules. See the illustration at right to see a demonstration of the polymerization of two generic molecules. Below is an illustration of the same thing, but using Amino Acids rather than generic squares.
I don’t know exactly where I lost them, but I did. I’ll be sure that they understand this before the quiz on Tuesday. I feel like it is very important to get a sense for these molecules and how they work together at a basic level before we can move on and start talking about enzymes, their activity and regulation.