Saturday, June 16, 2012

the one where i didn't get an A

well folks, spring term is officially over. i have now officially experienced BYU's attempts at squishing a 14-week class into 8-weeks. it was hard and it was a lot of work. i may or may not have studied for 15 hours straight in attempt to cram all of that information into my little tiny brain nugget of mine.

was that effective? no, not especially.

i knew that i needed at least an 88.5% on the final to get an a- in the class. there's nothing worse than a b+ as a final grade. it's like the b+ just sits there and taunts you and tells you just how close you were to a status, but no, you failed. 

anyway, point of the story is that i did NOT get an 88.5. in fact, i got a little bit lower than that. it was not my finest hour in the testing center. i mean, not terrible, but definitely not wonderful. will i be getting an a or a- in the class? nope. but you know what, for once in my life, i am okay with that. because what i got out of this class was so much more than a stupid grade on a stupid college transcript that i won't even remember in 5 years. heck, i won't care about them in 2 years.

nutrient metabolism. 

this is what byu's academic catalog says the class is:
        chemical structures of nutrients, their food sources, requirements, digestion, absorption, transport, metabolism, functions, storage and excretion; metabolic consequences of nutrient deficiencies, interactions, imbalances, and toxicities.

this is one of the most amazing classes i've ever taken at byu. (#1 being, hands down, human physiology from dr. rhees.) i know this might sound silly, but this class kind of changed my life a little. 

not only did i learn every single detail about vitamins, digestion, metabolism and the likes, but my perspective on nutrition has completely changed. the foods that you eat, the foods that you don't eat, really do matter

some really cool random things that i learned this semester:

  • salad dressing and salad - what is the healthier choice: regular dressing or low-fat/non-fat dressing? people eat salads to be "healthy". salads are generally a great source of the fat-soluble vitamins: A, D, E, and K. BUT because they are fat-soluble vitamins, it means that unless you eat fat with the meal, you don't absorb any of the nutrients. so does that mean that a salad without any fat is pointless? YES. it does. eat good fats with your salads, otherwise you're just munching on calorie-less greens.
  • increasing your calcium can decrease fat stores. yeah, buddy! it's kind of counter-intuitive, because increased intracellular calcium actually promotes storage of adipocytes. vitamin d is needed to sort of shuttle the calcium into the cell so it can start fatty synthesis. but it turns out that increased dietary calcium decreases blood vitamin d. so more calcium = less vitamin d = less calcium uptake by cells = less adipose synthesis = less body fat = increased weight loss! (*note... this is not a scientifically proven way to lose weight, just a few fat cells*)

i was just going to also describe joseph goldberger's "filth" parties in detail, but then decided that describing how a man willingly injected himself with blood from pellagrous patients and swallowed nose droppings from the sickies who had pellagra was a little gross. yeah... but kudos to the man who was willing to die for science, though. (he did not get pellagra though, thus proving, to himself at least, that pellagra was not infectious) (**also kudos to you if you know what i'm talking about!)

anyway, all nastiness aside, nutrient metabolism has been one of my favorite classes ever. the fact that i didn't get an a+ in the class will not matter in 5 years. it probably won't even matter in 2 years. all i will remember is how amazing the class was and how it completely changed how i eat. and that my friends, is worth more than an a any day.

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