Didn’t get time to blog yesterday – so here is Thursday and Friday 🙂
I didn’t have any lectures yesterday, which I don’t think was coincidental – Wednesday was Varsity so I doubt many would have shown up if we’d had lectures. I didn’t end up going to bed early on Wednesday night, but made up for it by getting up late on Thursday morning and then procrastinated for a couple of hours … and then made a cake … so I wasn’t being entirely unproductive, but it wasn’t the type of productivity I’d been planning on. I eventually made it to the library a bit after 3pm – so much for having a ‘library day.’ Still, I got a bit of PBL done, then met my Respiratory-Lecturer-Personal-Tutor for a couple of hours to go over some resp stuff that I missed/don’t understand – it now makes much more sense!
I have been experiencing the twin miseries of house hunting and a heavy cold, my mum came down to help with the latter, but to brighten the day we also visited the Camellia show at Chiswick Gardens in west London.
Chiswick House is a neo-Palladian villa built by the third Earl of Burlington in 1729. The conservatory was originally built for growing fruit but was then given over to Camellias which were new arrivals from plant explorers in China. Some of these plants are still here, but were nearly lost when the conservatory fell into disrepair. A £12.1 million project to restore the gardens was unveiled in June 2010.
I’m sure it’s easier to get out of bed when it’s sunny, so I actually made it to lectures on time today. And I even had time to take some (sunny) photos of my walk to uni to show y’all.
First lecture was on something. Probably COPD or asthma, because that’s what Resp seems to be mostly about…. Okay, I just checked, it was actually on ‘Sensory Aspects of Respiratory Disease’ i.e. symptoms. I remember now (vaguely…)
Then we had a two hour lecture (!!) on the Acid-Base Balance.
Having a PhD funded by NERC (the Natural Environment Research Council) means that I have priority booking on advanced training courses related to their remit of environmental research. I was fortunate enough to find a place on Dirt Science: An Introduction to Soil System Science held at Cranfield University collaboration the British Society of Soil Science and the James Hutton Institute.
My background is in soil biodiversity rather than soil itself so I was pleased to be able to attend the course to learn more about soil functions and how to excavate a soil profile and describe the different layers.
Since suffering through both Religious Studies and Geography lessons every Tuesday when I was in year 7, it’s been my least favourite day of the week. The trouble with Tuesday is it’s not Monday (hence not relaxed after the weekend), but it’s still so long to the weekend.
At least it wasn’t raining this morning. I think the heating in halls has been turned down now that it’s March, but after lovely sunshine last week, we seem to have reverted back to winter. My room in halls is fairly big, so takes a lot of warming up; in the mornings at the moment it is FREEZING.
A couple of weeks ago, the MSci projects for next year were announced for us to choose from!
MSci projects are projects that you do in the fourth year if you are taking an integrated Physics Masters, though I think there is a lot of overlap in the projects with regular Master’s projects—for people who come into Imperial just for the year.
They are pretty exciting— I think you have to log in to see the choices on the website, but I took a sneaky screenshot:
As you can see they cover pretty much every Physics topic. The actual names of the projects are like ‘A Search for Dyson Spheres and Cool Astronomical Bodies using the Wide field Infrared Survey Explorer’, ‘Physics beyond the Standard Model at the LHCb experiment… ?’ and ‘The physics of cooking’ and those are just three of the ones I am applying to!
0100h: Went to bed. Really have no idea why I was up ‘til then, productivity ceased at about 9pm and I did nothing for the next four hours.
0800h: Alarm went off. I love bed. I hate alarm. Bed won.
0815h: Flolloped* out of bed. Then didn’t move for about 5 minutes whilst trying to come to terms with having moved from a supine to a standing position. (Had a lecture on this the other week – when we stand blood goes from the head to the legs because of gravity, but the sympathetic nervous system does some stuff to counteract it – unless it doesn’t, in which case you faint.)
So I’m currently at home for the weekend. It’s a huge relief.
Uni is intense. Not exactly unexpected – Medicine, Imperial – it was always going to be. It’s not just the workload (which has skyrocketed in the past couple of weeks). It’s all of it.
At the beginning of the year, a lot of students in older years told me that out of work, sleep and a social life, I could only choose two. At first I ignored this, convinced I’d be perfectly able to manage all of them. Recently I’ve come to realise that they were right – if I want time for all three I’ll have to learn to juggle (metaphorically).
When I started this degree, I was keen to get involved in a lot of things. Having missed the stalls during fresher’s week, I kept meaning to sign up for various clubs and sports that I was interested in. I have to say the majority of my plans failed, but one that I have stuck with is joining a campaign group called Mentality!
This group was formed by students who want to raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma. It also gives advice on where to seek help if you are struggling with any problems. In my previous post I mentioned research that I’ll be carrying out on the link between mental health and cardiovascular disease.
Here at Imperial we have a massive student representation through all our constituent unions. It is amazing that students can get involved in such council meetings and discussion groups with faculty and union. It actually makes me feel a lot more at peace that I could go to the President (or any other members) of Imperial School of Medicine Union (ICSMSU) if I have a query or concern about my time at Imperial studying medicine.
At this moment in time the count for voting population of Imperial is 24%, with less than 3 days to go. It is a massive shame that there aren’t a lot more people standing for positons though…would make it a teeny bit more democratic!