Spring term started two days ago, and is going really well – I’m on top of everything so far (NB. two days ago was Saturday. I’ve not done anything yet. So I’m actually on top of nothing… except the chair I’m sitting on…)

I’ve made some New Year’s Resolutions with the intention of being a bit more productive this term. So…

1/ Get more sleep at night i.e. stop napping in lectures.

2/ Cook more (healthy stuff) – I could definitely have eaten better last term, but when I’m busy it’s so easy just to get some fast food junk stuff. And I’m waaaaaay too addicted to sugar.

3/ More yoga 🙂 I love yoga, but finding the time/energy is, like, effort.

4/ Write up lectures a bit sooner. I spent a large part of the Christmas break writing up MCD. Ugh.

5/ Walk more – during rush hour it takes as long to get the bus to Charing Cross Campus as it does to walk, so I’ve not really got an excuse.

6/ Make the most of London. A couple of friends and I have written a ‘Bucket List’ of stuff to do while we’re living in such an amazing city. And I’ve got tickets for a couple of gigs this term too 🙂

Lectures start again tomorrow, with *drum roll* ENDOCRINOLOGY! So hormones and stuff… after MCD last term *yawn* I’m looking forward to it – hopefully I won’t have changed my mind after tomorrow – all six hours of it.

This term we’re also starting neuro, cardio, respiratory, the Human Life Cycle and probably some other stuff that I can’t remember. And also, probably one of the most highly-anticipated (academic) parts of first year – with excitement, dread or in my case, both – anatomy with CADAVERIC DISSECTION.

We’ve already been to the Dissection Room and seen cadavers – in our first week. Until that point, I was really excited, thinking of how interesting it would be, how useful it would be for understanding anatomy. But shortly before going in I started to think about how these were real people, dead people. Seeing them was overwhelming. Emaciated, reeking of formaldehyde, with plastic bags, held in place by elastic bands, covering their heads. I think I’d expected/hoped that they’d look more peaceful. Some people – the wannabe surgeons – were straight in there, apparently unaffected by the bodies, examining the organs exposed by the incision along the thorax and abdomen. I was one of the ones who held back, not quite sure how to react. I felt much more comfortable examining the heart and lung prosections – it’s easier to not think about how they’re from a person when they aren’t with a body.

That was three months ago, and my first dissection session is just over five weeks away. I still can’t work out how I feel about it. I’m as excited and curious to learn anatomy like this as I was before seeing the cadavers, but with that are a whole mix of other emotions: sadness, that they died; gratitude and respect, because they donated their bodies so that people like me could gain a better understanding of anatomy; responsibility, to fully appreciate their donation by learning as much as I can; and fear, because I don’t know how I will cope, how I will separate knowing I have to cut their bodies open from knowing that these were people who talked and laughed and dreamed, loved and were  loved, lived.

Luckily, I’ve got the distraction of lots of non-academic stuff to look forward to this term. Music Soc, Light Opera, RAG week, being forced by a friend to watch Lord of the Rings…

Term 2 of 18 – starting with a formative exam this afternoon… Bring it on!!

Em xx

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