Our last biology lesson was very unusual and very fun. We had started with human anatomy the lesson before – the digestive system, to be exact – and Wendy, our teacher, organized some pig organs for us to examine! We looked at the lungs, the stomach, the big intestine and the heart, and at one of those plastic models of a human where you can take out the organs to see where they fit in. Our group studied the plastic model first and it was quite interesting to hear, how these obviously vary in different countries: some of my co-years had never seen such a model before, and while all the plastic human models that I came across in Germany focused mainly on the ‘general’ organs, mostly excluding the sexual ones, this model at LPC did not only have an uterus, but actually a fetus inside! My co-year from the Netherlands explained that in her old school, the human model did not only have a uterus, but a penis as well – on the same puppet!
The next station let us explore the big intestine. It lay in a big bowl in the lab sink, and we untangled it, stuck one of its openings to the tab and let the water run through it. This was very interesting, as we could see the water being collected in the different sections of the intestine and then being passed on, till all the water eventually splashed out at the other end of the intestine in the same moment. We also looked at the heart, felt its strong muscles and its robust texture and examined the connections between the different arteries and veins and the ventricles of the heart. The last station was about the lung. Wendy had set up a pump, which we connected to the trachea. As we pumped air into the lungs, we saw how the bronchioles expanded and shrank!
To end the class, Wendy aloud three of us to dissect the pig heart. José, Catherine and me opened the ventricles and presented the strong muscular tissue to the rest of the class. The whole examination was shown as a sort of ‘life-show’ with the projector on the white board. This part of the lesson was particularly interesting for me. I had been part of a course for human biology and anatomy at my previous school, in which we examined and dissected different organs and small animals over the year. It had been my favorite of all courses and thus I enjoyed this recent bio lesson a lot! I think the examination of the real organs was a great opportunity for all of us to gain more insight into the nature of the human body – especially to those students who didn’t have such an opportunity and experience before.