Are You a Warm Demander?
TAPP Radio Episode 115
Episode | Quick Take
We once again revisit deadline extensions, we discuss warm demanders and how they avoid toxic rigor, we discover which arm is best for a vaccine booster, we find out if we can grow new auditory hair cells, we get tips on how to speak more effectively while wearing a mask, and learn about a new discovery about oxygen absorption in the intestines. Can we breathe through our anus? Listen to find out!
- 00:00 | Introduction
- 01:02 | Growing New Auditory Hair Cells
- 06:19 | Mask Talk: Loud, Slow, & Clear
- 11:17 | Sponsored by AAA
- 12:21 | Which Arm for That Booster?
- 15:32 | Intestinal Breathing
- 19:40 | Sponsored by HAPI
- 21:03 | Deadlines, Death, and Due Dates
- 34:31 | Sponsored by HAPS
- 35:39 | Are You a Warm Demander?
- 50:08 | Staying Connected
Episode | Listen Now
Episode | Show Notes
[Warm demanders] expect a great deal of their students, convince them of their own brilliance, and help them to reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment. (Lisa Delpit)
Growing New Auditory Hair Cells
An optimistic headline suggesting that we can now cure neural hearing loss turns out to be less than Kevin expected. But still pretty cool. We are poised for a cure!
- New tool to create hearing cells lost in aging (press release with subtitle, “‘We have overcome a major hurdle’ to restore hearing”) AandP.info/v8i
- Tbx2 is a master regulator of inner versus outer hair cell differentiation (research article in Nature) AandP.info/md7
Mask Talk: Loud, Slow, & Clear
As the academic conference season gets into full swing, we may find ourselves trying to communicate while wearing masks. I hope everyone will be wearing masks—except in online conferences. Kevin’s experience in trying to hear conversations while hearing-impaired provides a few tips on effective communications while masked.
- Let’s Talk (Kevin’s column in The Academic Author about tips on communicating while wearing a mask; Issue 2022:1) AandP.info/b1c
Sponsored by AAA
A searchable transcript for this episode, as well as the captioned audiogram of this episode, are sponsored by the American Association for Anatomy (AAA) at anatomy.org.
Don’t forget—HAPS members get a deep discount on AAA membership!
Which Arm for That Booster?
Which arm is best to get that vaccination booster? New evidence suggests that it’s the same arm where you received your primary vaccination. Listen and find out the logic behind this strategy!
- Recall of B cell memory depends on relative locations of prime and boost immunization (research article in Science Immunology) AandP.info/mf6
- Revisiting A&P Learning Outcomes | Episode 54 (includes segment on recent research on the best time of day to get vaccinated)
Apparently mammals can absorb oxygen through the intestinal lining. At least that’s what recent research shows. This could be a breakthrough for oxygenating blood in patients that cannot be artificially ventilated in other ways. But it’s just kinda weird, isn’t it?
- Mammals can breathe through their intestines (news article in Science) AandP.info/ruv
- Mammalian enteral ventilation ameliorates respiratory failure (research report in Med) AandP.info/7pq
- “Blowing Smoke Up Your @$$” Used to Be Literal (you’re probably better off not reading this because you might feel the urge to tell this story in your class) AandP.info/oo2
Sponsored by HAPI Online Graduate Program
The Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction—the MS-HAPI—is a graduate program for A&P teachers, especially for those who already have a graduate/professional degree. A combination of science courses (enough to qualify you to teach at the college level) and courses in contemporary instructional practice, this program helps you be your best in both on-campus and remote teaching. Kevin Patton is a faculty member in this program at Northeast College of Health Sciences. Check it out!
Deadlines, Death, and Due Dates
Jerry Anzalone calls in with some thoughts on our previous discussion of extending student deadlines. And he even provides a Word Dissection of the term deadline, which turns out to be deadlier than we thought! Jerry suggests an alternative term (and why we may want one) and Kevin shares another alternative used by his friend Wendy Riggs.
- Should We Extend Deadlines? | Models & Color Codes | TAPP 112 (episode where I start this conversation)
- Skin’s Microbiome & Other Stories | TAPP 114 (episode where Heather Armbruster shares some stories about deadline extensions)
- Your ‘Deadline’ Won’t Kill You (article from Merriam-Webster about the origins of the term deadline quoted by Jerry Anzalone in his Word Dissection) AandP.info/ank
- Creating Community in Online STEM Classes (online presentation by Wendy Riggs; one of her many “must see” presentations) AandP.info/cjm
- Why deadlines are important (you can link to this blog post in The A&P Student for your own students) AandP.info/why-deadlines-c16997
- Free Parking (I dug up this old 2005 version of my Free Parking handout and it’s now available as a bonus PDF on the TAPPapp (The A&P Professor listening app) theAPprofessor.org/tappapp or search in your device’s app store [free]
Sponsored by HAPS
The Human Anatomy & Physiology Society (HAPS) is a sponsor of this podcast. You can help appreciate their support by clicking the link below and checking out the many resources and benefits found there. Watch for virtual town hall meetings and upcoming regional meetings!
Are You a Warm Demander?
Kevin shares a term new to him (but not to others)—warm demander. What is a warm demander? Is it something to avoid or aspire to? How does the term compare to toxic rigor?
- Becoming a Warm Demander (article from ACSD summarizes some important points) AandP.info/b1j
- The Teacher as Warm Demander (another good article from ACSD) AandP.info/iql
- “Multiplication Is for White People”: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children (book by Lisa Delpit) geni.us/IvXM0C
- Humanizing Online STEM (home page of the program Kevin describes in this segment: “Instructor-student relationships are the connective tissue between students, engagement, and learning… face-to-face and online”) AandP.info/ue4
Need help accessing resources locked behind a paywall?
Check out this advice from Episode 32 to get what you need!
Episode | Transcript
The A&P Professor podcast (TAPP radio) episodes are made for listening, not reading. This transcript is provided for your convenience, but hey, it’s just not possible to capture the emphasis and dramatic delivery of the audio version. Or the cool theme music. Or laughs and snorts. And because it’s generated by a combo of machine and human transcription, it may not be exactly right. So I strongly recommend listening by clicking the audio player provided.
Kevin Patton (00:00):
In her book, Multiplication is for White People, the author, Lisa Delpit wrote that warm demanders are teachers who expect a great deal of their students, convince them of their own brilliance and help them to reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment.
Welcome to The A&P Professor, a few minutes to focus on teaching human anatomy and physiology with a veteran educator and teaching mentor, your host, Kevin Patton.
Kevin Patton (00:37):
In this episode, I ask whether we are “warm demanders” in our course, Jerry Anzalone calls in with some comments on deadline extensions. I talk about growing new auditory hair cells, I ask which arm is best for a vaccine booster (and I answer that question), and I talk about breathing with our intestines. Yeah, really.
Growing New Auditory Hair Cells
Kevin Patton (01:02):
Not a lot of people realize how many people have hearing loss in our lives. The CDC estimates that in my age range, 55 to 64, about 8.5% of us have disabling hearing loss, and I include myself in that category of having disabling hearing loss.
Kevin Patton (01:23):
So 8.5%, that’s one in 12 of people in my age range. The next higher age range, 65 to 74, 25% of people have disabling hearing loss and when you get up to ages 75 and older, 50% of people have disabling hearing loss, and we’re not even looking at people younger than 55, because there are quite a few people younger than 55 that have disabling hearing loss as well. Now for them…
some of that cumulative damage to noise exposure, hasn’t gotten to the point where their hearing loss is disabling, but some of them have reached that point, unfortunately, and some have lost their hearing through complications after viral infections or complications from using certain kinds of drugs, like certain cancer chemotherapy drugs can do that, and a variety of other kinds of things can destroy those auditory hair cells that are in our spiral organ of our inner ear.
Kevin Patton (02:23):
We know that those auditory hair cells, they have cilia that are sensitive to vibration, and that’s enables us to hear. We also know that where a hair cell is along the length of the spiral organ is going to correlate to what frequencies are involved. So, my hearing loss is pretty typical in that the hair cells that I’ve lost are mostly in that part of my spiral organ in both ears, not equally, but pretty close to each other, but in both of my ears, I have hearing loss in the part of my spiral organ that correlates to those frequencies that are most involved in human speech.
Kevin Patton (03:06):
That’s not good. So I could probably be pretty good at telling you the difference between the sound in two different similar machines. The vibrations they make or things like that. Background noise, I’m good at, I can hear background noise, great. Road sounds, I’m all about road sounds. If you talk to me about road sounds, I’m only going to catch part of what you’re trying to tell me, and I hope you’re not wearing a mask and I hope you’re facing me because I’m going to be doing a lot of lip reading to fill in some of those things that I can’t catch. Some of those in between sounds that I’m just not able to hear.
Kevin Patton (03:48):
So when I saw this headline that says a new tool is available to create hearing cells lost in aging, man, I zeroed right in on that. I’m thinking, for all the work I’ve done to get hearing aids that work well for me, other devices that I supplement, those hearing aids with, various strategies that I use, like lipreading but other strategies as well to try and fill in the blanks and communicate as effectively as I can. I’m thinking I don’t have to do that anymore. I can replace those auditory hair cells that have been lost. So I look at the articles and the research that the headlines are touting. So, I find out, “Well, they’re kind of misleading.” We’re poised. We’re poised for that kind of breakthrough.
Kevin Patton (04:45):
We’re not there yet, it’s kind of a science-fictiony thing like, “Someday soon, we’re going to be able to do this,” and what the discovery is, is still interesting and useful and we are poised for a breakthrough at some point, and that is they’ve nailed down a few genes that could be very useful when we get to the point, where we could use CRISPR or some other kind of genetic manipulation in order to change the genetic code in certain cells and restore those lost hearing cells. So what we’ve done is we’ve nailed down some genes that allow us to convert another kind of cell into a hair cell. So the supporting cells that are nearby those dead hair cells that aren’t working in my spiral organ anymore, maybe we could use CRISPR or some other method to alter them genetically to reproduce and become new, fresh hair cells.
Kevin Patton (05:46):
There are genes that have been nailed down that trigger those hair cells to produce the kinds of enzymes that they need in order to become functional hair cells. Now, there’s a little bit more to this story and if you’re interested in what those genes are and what they’re called for and what they think they might be able to do with them someday, then I have a link in the show notes in the episode page. So it is a breakthrough and it’s a very encouraging breakthrough, but yeah, we’re not there yet.
Mask Talk: Loud, Slow, & Clear
Kevin Patton (06:15):
As I mentioned in the previous segment and in past episodes, I’m hearing impaired.
Kevin Patton (06:25):
Now, some of it is the impairment, most of us experience as we age, but I’ve had noticeable and impactful hearing loss for, well, as long as I can remember. Now, I was never in a loud rock band but when I was a very young adult, I worked as a sea lion trainer inside a very echoey little building with a bunch of sea lions who were barking all day or at least it seemed like it was all day. My boss told me that would probably have the same effect as being in a loud rock band, that it would someday affect my hearing. I think that’s what he told me.
Kevin Patton (07:05):
It’s really hard to hear most of what he said when those sea lions were playing, but I’m pretty sure that he said something along those lines. Anyway, we’re starting the academic conference season and some of us maybe at face to face venues, having conversations where one or all of us will be wearing protective masks. Those masks really have been shown to be effective in slowing the spread of viruses, but they also make it hard for us to hear each other. It’s worse for us hearing impaired people, especially folks like me who rely a lot on lip reading to fill in the blanks.
Kevin Patton (07:49):
It’s not easy for folks with normal hearing to converse in masks either. Some of whom didn’t know that they were hearing impaired until the lip reading became unavailable as mask wearing started. So I have some tips for masked conversation that I’ve learned as a hearing impaired person. One is to remember that it’s the person speaking that has the primary obligation to make their speech heard as loudly and clearly as possible. Another tip is that if someone asks you to repeat yourself, you’re failing in that obligation. Now, that seems painfully obvious, right? Of course, you’re failing in it, if they’re asking you to repeat.
Kevin Patton (08:41):
You know what, and you can ask any hearing impaired person the same thing, and they will tell you hardly anybody gets that, hardly anybody gets that when they’re asked to repeat something that they’re not doing a good enough job in the first place to communicate with that other person. We, as hearing impaired people often find ourselves asking people to repeat themselves and that rarely if ever results in them taking that feedback and making an adjustment and speaking more clearly, even if they do repeat what they just said, it’s going to be in the same volume.
Kevin Patton (09:24):
The same speed and the same little slurring of words that we all do during relaxed, informal speaking. What I’m suggesting is for all of us to try this when speaking to each other in masks: speak louder than usual, speak slower than usual and exaggerate our enunciation beyond our usual informal speech, especially when asked to repeat, but really always not just when we’re asked to repeat always when wearing a mask while speaking, speak louder, slower and with better enunciation, more clear or exaggerated enunciation. Now, I brought this up in a column that I write regularly as president of the Textbook and Academic Authors Association.
Kevin Patton (10:23):
I can’t tell you how many responses I got, they were all about how folks with average or better hearing just don’t understand how many of us there are and how isolating it is to not be able to follow much of the conversation around us. Now, even those with average hearing are having difficulty with masked conversation. So I guess masking up has unmasked an issue for us in being kind and being inclusive. You want to be kind, you want to be inclusive at your meetings this summer, that’s pretty easy, just speak loudly, slowly and enunciate, more carefully than usual.
Sponsored by AAA
Kevin Patton (11:17):
A searchable transcript and a caption audiogram of this episode are funded by AAA, the American Association for Anatomy.
Kevin Patton (11:27):
One of my favorite things about being a member of AAA is their journal for evidence based teaching and learning of anatomy and physiology. It’s called anatomical sciences education, and there’s something in every issue that gets me thinking and rethinking the way I teach A&P. They have a lot of other resources for teaching A&P too. I can access a histology image database, a virtual dissection database, and well, all kinds of stuff that helps me teach A&P. Check them all out at anatomy.org. Just click the Resources tab and then Teaching Resources, and you’re going to find some amazing stuff there.
Which Arm for That Booster?
Kevin Patton (12:21):
As I’m recording this, I’m looking forward to getting my next COVID vaccine booster. I already have an appointment in just a couple of days, and I already know what arm I’m going to ask them to put that vaccine into. I always ask them in any of my vaccinations to go into my left arm. The reason I do that is I’m right-hand dominant, and I know that occasionally I do get some soreness in my arm after a vaccine, not usually a lot, it’s usually very tolerable and it really doesn’t affect my everyday activity, but there’ve been one or two times when it’s gotten pretty painful. I think the most painful one I’ve had in memory is the second dose of my shingles vaccine that I had a few years ago.
Kevin Patton (13:14):
That was unexpected. Now, with the COVID boosters, not so much of that, but you never know what the next one is going to bring. So I’m going to ask them to put it in my left arm rather than my right arm. That’s why I do that, but you know what, there’s some new research that just came out recently that is indicating that maybe there’s another factor that we ought to consider when thinking about which arm to get our booster in, and that is which arm we got the first shot in. It turns out that some animal studies have shown that when you get a booster vaccine in the same limb that you had before, they’re going to right away, go to those same lymph nodes that got hit the first time by that vaccine.
Kevin Patton (14:08):
Those lymph nodes are going to have some memory-B cells in them for whatever it is in your booster that is triggering an immune response, and they’re going to be more of those particular kind of memory-B cells in that same arm, in the lymph nodes of that same arm than there would be in the opposite arm or in either of your legs or if they gave you your shot in your neck or forehead, I don’t know. The point is, is that if this research follows through and it is very preliminary, so we can’t say for sure, but it sure does make a lot of sense.
Kevin Patton (14:47):
I mean, our intuition tells us that this is probably true that yeah, if you get your booster in the same arm that you got the previous vaccinations, then it’s probably going to have a more dramatic effect. It’s probably going to be a little bit more effective and that’s probably not going to really make a whole lot of difference in its effectiveness, every little bit I’ll take. I mean, it doesn’t cost me anything to have that booster shot put into the same arm. So yeah, why not do it? Anyway, if you want to learn more about this research, I do have links to it in the show notes and at the episode page.
Kevin Patton (15:32):
If you’ve been following this podcast for any length of time, you know that I think of scientific knowledge as a story.
Kevin Patton (15:38):
In the case of A&P, it’s the story of the human body, the story of the structure and the function of the human body and its interactions with the environment and with other organisms. That’s a wonderful story and it’s a story that’s always changing because we’re learning new things and you know, that I get excited when we make new discoveries. It’s just fun to shed some light on this or that little part of the story of the human body, and if it’s something that’s weird or unexpected, for me, that’s even more fun. I love weird science and here’s some weird science for you that I just ran across.
Kevin Patton (16:17):
That is that a discovery has been made that at least in some mammals and probably in humans … we still have to verify this, but at least in some mammals, we can absorb oxygen through our intestinal lining. Now, normally, we think of the only place where that can happen is in our respiratory tract and not even the entire respiratory tract has to be the respiratory parts of the respiratory tract, where we can do that, where we have a respiratory membrane that is thin enough and is structured in a way that’s going to facilitate the absorption of oxygen. Well, it turns out that they were doing some experiment with some mammals, pigs and mice, I think were the primary mammals they were using.
Kevin Patton (17:03):
They found out that if they … well, they called it scrubbing the intestinal lining so that the mucosal layer was a little bit thinner than it normally would be, and there wasn’t any kind of intestinal material there, coating it either. So that’s kind of … well, that’s very unusual circumstances, but for the sake of the experiment, they did that and then, they did various sorts of tests to see whether … if they put some oxygen in there, whether the oxygen would be absorbed into the bloodstream or not. You know what, it can be. Now, it’s not as efficient as it would be with a respiratory membrane.
Kevin Patton (17:44):
That is an artificial situation where you’d have oxygen in the intestines and nothing else. So, that’s not going to be something we can just do naturally, but there is potential here for therapy, including in humans, and the idea is that what they envision, the researchers envision at least is maybe we can find a fluid with a very high oxygen concentration that we can instill into the rectum and have some oxygen travel across into our bloodstream. Now, you wouldn’t want to be doing this instead of using scuba gear to go diving or something, but in certain circumstances, we’re experiencing extreme hypoxia and we are having difficulty getting oxygen into the bloodstream.
Kevin Patton (18:38):
The typical ways, therapeutic ways we have of doing artificial ventilation in a patient, may not be working or may not be possible. This might be an alternative that we can do short term in order to get that patient to survive long enough for other kinds of therapies or other kinds of healing processes to have their effect, and hopefully, that patient will survive. So very interesting twist on things here. Twist on what the … what we understand about what the digestive tract can do, at least in an artificial potentially therapeutic situation. So as always, I have links in the show notes and episode page, if you want to follow the science through on this and see what exactly they did discover and how they discovered it.
Kevin Patton (19:29):
When you explore these sources, you’ll see what I’m talking about and realize that I wasn’t just blowing smoke up your…
Sponsored by HAPI
Kevin Patton (19:40):
The free distribution of this podcast is sponsored by the master of science and human anatomy and physiology instruction, the HAPI degree. In every cohort, we have a diversity of learners from far and wide. They come in with a variety of graduate degrees, including masters and doctorates, and a range of teaching experience from none to, well, a lot. What they all have in common is a desire to teach A&P effectively, by learning collaboratively about contemporary teaching practice applied specifically to A&P.
Kevin Patton (20:23):
There’s a new cohort forming right now, so no matter how advanced your current credentials are now, or how much, or how little teaching experience you have right now, don’t you want to hang out with us to deepen your knowledge and skills by joining us at Northeast College of Health Sciences? I know you do. Just go to northeastcollege.edu/hapi, that’s H-A-P-I or click the link in the show notes or episode page to find out more and ask those questions that I know you have.
Deadline, Death, and Due Dates
Kevin Patton (21:03):
Back in episode 112, one of the topics of discussion was what is our response, when a student asks for a deadline extension on a test, on a project or some other assignment or due date.
Kevin Patton (21:20):
I talked about how I’m most often finding myself being much more lenient these days compared to early in my teaching career, super-duper lenient, in fact. Go back and listen to episode 112 and you’ll see what I mean by that. Well, it’s been no surprise that this has generated from discussion among my friends and colleagues and perfect strangers. Discussions in our online community, at theAPprofessor.org/community, discussions on Twitter, where you can follow my account, @theAPprofessor and discussions out on the street. Okay, not out the street, but in random Zoom rooms and chats at online events.
Kevin Patton (22:09):
Well, as said, I did ask the question about deadline extensions inside our online network, our online community, but it turns out that I asked the question after I’d recorded the episode, but before the episode was actually released. So that was kind of weird, I don’t know why I did it that way, but that’s the way it turned out. People who saw that question didn’t really have the same context they would’ve had, had they already listened to the episode. They wouldn’t have already known what my take was on it, because it was just a general question for everybody to answer, just to see what was going on with people.
Kevin Patton (22:50):
In fact, I even … there’s the podcast hotline and looking at the caller ID, it looks like it’s coming from our friend, Jerry Anzalone, who calls in every once in a while with something interesting. I guess I’d better pick up before he hangs up.
Jerry Anzalone (23:09):
Hi Kevin, this is Jerry Anzalone, calling in regarding the question you asked about holding students to deadlines. I should have known that when you asked that seemingly innocent and straightforward question, you probably had already developed a well thought out rationale. In my response to this question thread on The A&P Professor [Community] website, I took a strong position against letting students slide when it comes to deadlines. I explained that one of my former HAPI professors, not you, refused to accept a final course project that I forgot to submit on time, and it costs me two letter grades in that course bringing me down to a C from an A. In fact that was the only C I received in any course in my master’s degree program.
Jerry Anzalone (24:08):
Even today, it still bothers me. In fact, that single experience is perhaps the greatest reason why I have remained inflexible with extending deadlines. In the case of my inflexible professor, her single sentence response to my plea to accept my late work with a great penalty was, “as stated in the syllabus, ‘No late work is accepted in this course.'” I took that response as a life lesson at that time and every time since then, I wavered on giving the student a break for failing to meet a deadline. That sentence screamed at me in my head. It formed the basis of my inflexible deadline position.
Jerry Anzalone (25:02):
I just listened to your explanation of why you don’t strictly enforce deadlines under all circumstances and although, I’m still not there yet, I am thinking about it rather than just reflexively saying no. I’ll be honest, I found listening to the first couple of minutes of your presentation on why you don’t stick to deadlines, and I thought, “Yup, Kevin is getting soft in his old age,” but deep down, I am a bit of a softie. For me, the most compelling point he made was empathy. It made me think about my professor who refused to accept my late work, even though all my other work in her course had been of a high quality.
Jerry Anzalone (25:44):
I had to acknowledge that even though she refused to be inflexible, maybe I don’t necessarily have to be inflexible too, but it might take some additional therapy for me to fully arrive at your level of understanding. However, it occurs to me that we might want to do a bit of a word dissection on the word deadline. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that the word deadline was in use from the early 1860s with the somewhat harsher definition of a line drawn within or around a prison that a prisoner passes at the risk of being shot. Some of the earliest mentions of deadline come up in 1863, preserved in diaries, kept by captive soldiers during the civil war.
Jerry Anzalone (26:42):
Listen to this description by the civil war soldier, Robert Ransom, who in November, 1863 wrote in his diary, “Before noon, we were turned into the pen, which is merely enclosed by a ditch, and the dirt taken from the ditch thrown up on the outside, making a sort of breastwork. The ditch serves as a deadline and no prisoners must go near the ditch.” That realization led me to consider another point you raised in a previous podcast about using or not using certain words intentionally with our students, because those words may convey negative connotations, even when we don’t intend them to do so. Considering its original life or death meaning, maybe we should reserve the word deadline for the unequivocal final and inflexible due date, if there is such a thing.
Jerry Anzalone (27:39):
Perhaps even better, maybe we should replace the word deadline in our A&P lexicon with due date. Well, I’ve got to get back to revising my syllabi for the summer semester. After all, I’m working under a deadline. Take care, Kevin.
Kevin Patton (27:58):
Well, Jerry, thanks so much for calling in. You always have some interesting and thought stretching questions or comments and well, this call is no exception. As he mentioned, Jerry is a graduate of our HAPI program, the master of science in Human Anatomy and Physiology Instruction, and I sure do miss his contributions to the discussions we had in our courses, so I’m glad Jerry called in on the hotline. I happen to be chatting with another friend who teaches A&P recently, and I mentioned that my thinking has evolved over time on some particular issue. I don’t think it was this one, and I love her response when I said that my thinking had evolved because she said, “Isn’t it great that we can do that, evolve?” Yeah, I think it is and Jerry brought that up too. I love the fact that Jerry included a word dissection too.
Kevin Patton (29:03):
How great is that? I’ll never think about the word deadline in the same way again and maybe Jerry is right. Maybe substituting due date or some other term may have less risk of unintentionally terrorizing our students. One of the rules I try to keep for myself is avoid terrorizing students. So maybe that’s going to help, and speaking of alternative terms for deadlines, another friend of mine, Wendy Riggs, who’s the past president of HAPS has mentioned a few times in some of the workshops that she has given recently, which are, if you ever have a chance to see a Wendy Riggs workshop or a presentation of any kind, you got to go.
Kevin Patton (29:51):
I’ve seen many of them both live and online, and I always learn a lot and they’re always a lot of fun. So Wendy Riggs, remember that name and remember to go to her presentations. Well, anyway, there’s a term that she … and I’ve heard some others use this too, but she has worked it into her presentations and that is instead of using the word deadline or even the word due date, she uses the term “best-by date.” So that soft, pedals it a little bit. The idea that you need it by a certain date that, yeah, it’s best if you do it by this date. I can go through some of the reasons why those, well, what I have … up until now, at least called deadlines, why it helps the student meet … when they meet the deadlines, it’s not just about making it easier on the teacher or making it possible for the teacher to do the grading.
Kevin Patton (30:45):
Boy, especially at the end of the semester, right? We really do have some issues with that end of semester or end of trimester rush to get everything all graded and grades worked out and posted and so on. I mean, that’s a real thing. We cannot ignore that and sometimes, we are up against the wall and we just don’t have room to be as lenient as we otherwise could be earlier in the semester or would like to be. Yeah, that’s just not possible, but if we call them best-by dates, all along the way, I think that gives the hint to that, this is an expectation. It gives the hint to that it really is best if you do it by this date, but if there’s an exception, if something comes up, we’ll work around it as far as we can. Of course, there is always that seriousness of the fact that we can’t always work around it, especially late in the term.
Kevin Patton (31:46):
Another thing that came up recently, I believe it was in a Twitter thread where someone had mentioned that they do this, and I have done this for a long, long time in my two semester A&P course, and that is offer something called free parking. The way I’ve usually done it is every student starts out with one free parking pass that they get at the beginning of the semester, and I do that in my grade book. In my learning management system, I just add a column in the grade book and everybody has a one in that column and that’s the free parking column. So, everybody has one free parking pass and when they missed a deadline on a test … and I give pretty long windows of time that students can take multiple attempts of their A&P test, their online A&P test.
Kevin Patton (32:37):
If they don’t get them all done in that window of time, or if they do their three attempts and they’re still not satisfied, they still think they can do better, then they can use their free parking pass to either get one more attempt or extend their deadline. Now, it turns out that in cases where students came back to me and had some rationale for needing even yet another extension, or yet another attempt at a test—it evolved over time—but I started to get more and more lenient with that. Yeah, okay, here’s what we’re trying to do is just have one free parking, but okay, you can have another free parking pass. As a matter of fact, when I first started it, I made a big deal about the fact that you may not trade them with one another and all this because I was afraid that some students would sell them to other students and that’s not right.
Kevin Patton (33:38):
I eventually said, if you use up your free parking pass and you really need it, just come and talk to me and I have some extras, as if they’re real things sitting on my desk or something, which of course they’re not, they’re just virtual idea of a thing. Anyway, you might think about some version of a free parking thing if you’re wanting to be lenient, but you still want to sort of have a little bit of pressure on the students to really get things done within a reasonable timeframe. So anyway, that’s some more ideas about deadlines. If you have ideas about deadlines or anything else or questions that you’d like me or someone else to address, be like Jerry. Call into the podcast, top line with your comment, your question, your story, whatever. It can be about anything. I’m looking forward to that.
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Kevin Patton (34:31):
Marketing support for this podcast is provided by HAPS, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, promoting excellence in the teaching of human anatomy and physiology for over 30 years. Did you know that when you join HAPS, you automatically become eligible to join AAA at a deeply discounted rate. When you do that, you’ll get access to AAA’s journal, Anatomical Sciences Education, and also, access to the HAPS Educator journal for A&P teaching, and you’ll unlock all kinds of HAPS members only benefits and resources such as HAPS institute courses, access to HAPS’ learning outcomes and well, that list goes on and on. You can join me as a HAPS member at theAPprofessor.org/haps. That’s H-A-P-S.
Are You a Warm Demander?
Kevin Patton (35:39):
In a previous segment, I mentioned my friend, Wendy Riggs, who is a past president of HAPS, and she teaches A&P out at College of the Redwoods in California, and in California, they have a program out there funded by a state agency, I guess it is, where they’re promoting humanizing online STEM courses, and I follow Wendy on Twitter and she had shared a presentation that was coming up, that they were doing that was open to everyone. So, I thought, well, I’m everyone, I’m part of that group. So I happened to be available at that time and so, I joined in on that presentation and it was a wonderful presentation. I really learned a lot and there were some things that kind of already aligned with some things I either knew, already practiced, but I learned some different aspects of them.
Kevin Patton (36:36):
I thought about them a little differently than I did before and then, there were some new things that I learned and one of the new things I learned … and you may already know this, but it was the first time I had run across the term “warm demander,” which they use a lot in this humanizing online STEM course curriculum that they’ve developed out there in California, in this little group. So, I was just intrigued with that term and how they used it and what it meant and something that helps us understand that term warm demander, which is somewhat self explanatory. It means you’re going to be demanding something, and this is by the way, the instructor, the faculty member as … or any kind of instructional leader as a demander.
Kevin Patton (37:20):
That is they’re going to demand certain things of the student. So they’re going to have expectations, but the warm part is what humanizes it. If you are a warm demander, then you can be kind, you can be compassionate. You can be lenient when it’s appropriate and not lenient when that’s appropriate and still be warm and you can be a warm demander. So you can hold people to certain expectations and you can help them meet those expectations because you’re warm, you’re approaching it with a warm demeanor, a warm and empathetic approach. In a previous segment, Jerry Anzalone was talking about that empathy part of it. That ties into the warmth part of this term, warm demanders, at least how I understand it, in my infancy of understanding what it means to be a warm demander.
Kevin Patton (38:15):
And they were contrasting that with the idea of what they were calling toxic rigor. So, when you understand being a warm demander is something different than demanding this toxic rigor in our course, that is rigor, that is harmful. Rigor that is unsupported, that is inequitable and not inclusive, then that’s probably not where we want to go. We’re not going to see a lot of student success, and there’s a lot of research that supports that idea. I’m not just making that up and they’re not just making this up. There’s research out there that shows that, but warm demanders on the other hand, they’re going to see the progress can be made. At least some progress can be made.
Kevin Patton (39:03):
It’s okay to set goals that are tough goals because we can be a coach. That would be an example of someone who can be a warm demander. We can be that coach, that’s going to help that student achieve that success the way a coach helps an athlete achieve their athletic success. So, I was thinking, I mean, everybody … like in this group already knew what it was or they seemed to, they were good fakers, if nothing else, and it was so new to me, and I was like, has this been around for a while or what is it? So, I kind of looked into it and found out that, “Wow, this goes way back.” It apparently has roots in native Alaskan communities. In the mid 70s, some people took that and said, “Look, this is a concept that we can apply to teacher-student relationships.” So that’s kind of what … in my understanding, what got the ball rolling and it’s been used in various contexts since that time.
Kevin Patton (40:08):
It was 2013, a person by the name of Lisa Delpit, wrote a book and you probably heard her quote at the beginning of this episode and I’ll repeat it now. She said that warm demanders are teachers who expect a great deal of their students. Convince them, meaning their students of their own brilliance and help them reach their potential in a disciplined and structured environment. So yeah, it’s great expectations but also a “you can do it” attitude. That’s I think just as important as having the high expectations, because the high expectations without the “you can do it” attitude … and of course implied in the “You can do it” attitude is “I will help you do it.” So, she wrote this book, applying some of these principles, but other people have written other things too.
Kevin Patton (41:03):
So I don’t want to get into all those things, but there are four principles that I’ve seen repeated very frequently in some of the things I’ve read. So, I’m going to just very quickly go through those four principles to help us begin our understanding of what being a warm demander is, to see if that’s something that will help inform our own individual views on how we approach teaching in our courses.
Kevin Patton (41:29):
So the first of four principles is to believe the impossible. In other words, to have a growth mindset with our students, many of our students in A&P come in and they see how much they’re going to need to learn and how fast things are going from the get go and how much they’re being expected to remember from past courses and they just don’t remember it.
Kevin Patton (41:57):
They feel like they’re not going to be able to remember it when the rubber hits the road. So, it just feels impossible. It feels overwhelming. It feels like it can’t be done, right? Of course there are different students within our course that have different kinds of things that add to that feeling of impossibility. It could be a lack of preparation. It could be other kinds of challenges in their life academically. It could be some physical or mental challenges in their life. Maybe they have some learning … particular learning difficulties, whether they’re diagnosed or undiagnosed, where they know that this is going to be an extreme challenge and it’s going to feel impossible for them. It could be something like that. It could be any of a variety of things that’s going to make it feel that way.
Kevin Patton (42:49):
If we can help students have a growth mindset, if we ourselves can have a growth mindset and nurture that in ourselves, that’s going to help us be an effective warm demander.
Kevin Patton (43:01):
The second thing that I usually see listed is to build trust. We can’t really be there for our students. We can’t be that coach that is helping students be successful if the student doesn’t trust us. So we have to do everything we can to create, to build and to maintain that trust with our students so that they will realize, fully realize, that we are there to help them. We’re not there to be the referee as much as we’re there to be the coach. We’re not there to be the judge as much as we are there to be the athletic trainer, that’s patching them up and diagnosing issues and getting them back there on the field so that they can be successful.
Kevin Patton (43:53):
So building trust is important.
Kevin Patton (43:56):
The third thing that I often see associated with being a warm demander is that we need to teach our students some self discipline. I think a lot of times we expect self discipline and we think, “Oh, I had self discipline when I was a student,” and of course when I say that, I’m just kind of making that up. It’s kind of what I want to believe about my past self, but I don’t know if I’m even there yet. I mean, I do have some level of self discipline, but it’s not really where I needed to be, at least not every day in order to get things done, just on my own. A lot of students just don’t know how to do that and for some people who have practiced self discipline for a long time, they don’t realize that at some point they didn’t know how to do that.
Kevin Patton (44:48):
They had to learn that and maybe they learned it in a way that wasn’t real obvious that it was a learning process for them, so they don’t understand that it’s a learned skill. They think it’s something that’s innate. Maybe there are some elements that can be used for self discipline that are innate, but it can be taught, I think to anyone. Anyone can at least improve in their self discipline, but there are strategies for it. What are some strategies? One strategy is building a habit and how do you build a habit? You just do it. Write it down. For one hour, every day, I’m going to do this thing, and if you do that and make yourself do that after a while, it becomes a habit and you’re not looking at that calendar or paper or whatever it is. It says, I must do that for one hour every day.
Kevin Patton (45:35):
You just do it. It’s just part of your routine. That’s part of your self discipline. So that’s an example of something that we could teach a student or help a student learn for themselves. So that puts it on us then to learn some ways to do that for our students. How do we teach self discipline in the context of our course, because the kind of self discipline our student is going to need, or that particular student, maybe we have to do some new learning with particularly challenging students when they come across.
Kevin Patton (46:07):
So that’s three principles, the fourth principle is to embrace failure. This has come up a lot in the various episodes over the years in this podcast.
Kevin Patton (46:18):
That is the idea of failure. I started out with spaced retrieval practice in my very first episode, and one of the points of spaced retrieval practice for students is that you have to fail a number of times before you can succeed. Things don’t get into our long term memory until they’ve failed. I know that more than once along the ways, I don’t remember which episodes they were in and it’ll probably take me forever to find them, but I sometimes, use the example of my Tai Chi teacher who is an excellent teacher. That was something that he was particularly focused on. Maybe it was because I was his student, I don’t know, I failed a lot. I would usually meet with him weekly for lessons, and he would teach me just a few simple moves.
Kevin Patton (47:08):
I would go home and right away practice them because I knew that if they went into my short term memory, they weren’t going to stay there long. So I practiced them right away and there would already be at least something that I had forgotten. I practiced, practiced, practiced. The next day, the next day, the next day and there were things I failed at. There were things I had forgotten, but also things that I was doing, I thought I remembered, but I was doing them wrong and I said, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I did that wrong.” He’s like, “Settle down, don’t worry about that. You have to fail before you can succeed.” That’s what he always told me. He says, “You can’t learn any of this until you fail it.”
Kevin Patton (47:47):
So I want to see more failure here, and that sounded so backwards to me, but in a lot of this reading that I’ve been doing about being a warm demander, an effective warm demander, I’ve found that that embracing of failure is really a key that yes, you failed, that’s good. Now, what is it that went wrong? How can we fix it? Let’s try it again. It’s okay, if you fail again. It’s okay if you fail a third time. It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay, because eventually we’re going to get it right, and I don’t really know any students who want to fail. Now, okay, there’s always that one in a million rare exception of some student that maybe has some kind of mental issue or something. In general, students who aren’t doing well in our class don’t want to not do well.
Kevin Patton (48:39):
Maybe they aren’t putting in the effort. Maybe they’re making mistakes in how they’re approaching the course. They’re making mistakes in their attitude. They’re making mistakes in their self discipline and so on, but they don’t want to fail. They just don’t know how to succeed. So, maybe if we can get them to embrace that failure and say, “Okay, you failed that test. Let’s look and see why did that happen? How did that happen?” And maybe they can find for themselves that it was that they didn’t put much effort into it or they didn’t put much time into it, or maybe they were one off in the wrong direction. There’s any one of a number of things that could happen but by embracing the failure, it enables us to succeed. So this just kind of gets us started.
Kevin Patton (49:25):
I was just so intrigued with that phrase, warm demander, I thought I’d share it with you and if you have things that you want to share about your experience with this warm demander approach, or maybe some stories about toxic rigor or something, then share them or if you want to come on as an actual guest on the podcast, be on an episode, bring a friend with you. That’s fine. We’ll have a group discussion, do that. Again, I’m just offering this to you as something to think about and thanks Wendy for sharing that announcement so that I could go to that presentation and hear about being a warm demander in online STEM courses.
Kevin Patton (50:09):
There’s probably something in this episode, you’re thinking that somebody you know would like to hear there’s an easy way to share this episode with a peer, just go to theAPprofessor.org/refer to get a personalized share link. That’ll get your all set up with this episode.
Kevin Patton (50:29):
You know that I always give you links to source publications, related resources and other helpful sites. If you don’t see those links in your podcast player, go to the show notes at the episode page at theAPprofessor.org/115, where you can find those links and transcripts and the captioned audiograms and a whole bunch more. While you’re there, you can claim your digital credential for listening to this episode, you can keep those credentials in your digital backpack and always have them available when it comes time to update your professional development plan, your CV or your promotion packet. Of course, you’re always encouraged to call in with your questions, comments and ideas at the podcast hotline.
Kevin Patton (51:21):
Be like Jerry and call in. The number is 1-833-LIONDEN or 1-833-546-6336, or send a recording or written message to podcast@theAPprofessor.org. You’re invited to join my private A&P teaching community way off the social platforms at theAPprofessor.org/community. I’ll see you down the road.
The A&P Professor is hosted by Dr. Kevin Patton, an award-winning professor and textbook author in human anatomy and physiology.
Kevin Patton (52:09):
This episode is for recreational use only.
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