Barely recovered from the First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference in Dijon I was back to France the week after to attend the Joint Annual Meeting of the British Ecological Society (BES) and the Société Française d’Ecologie (SFE), in Lille Grand Palais, Lille, from the 9th to 12th of December. This time I was not only presenting my poster but attending as a BES student helper which not only gave me free entry but would increase my confidence as I would have a ‘job to do’ and be working with other student helpers (my supervisor calls this ‘activity-based socialisation’ and it is ideal for introverts and those with autistic leanings).
To-do list: • MATLAB coursework due on Friday • Thermodynamics deliverable due next Friday • 3 Problem sheets to be completed this week • Complete Mastery Sheet 2 • Revise for Christmas test • Figure out Properties of Matter
With every passing day, my work pile grows exponentially (my Maths lecturer should be proud that I am using his lingo). I do not even know where to begin. Should I waste five hours puzzling over MATLAB and going nowhere or should I try to comprehend quantum physics? It seems that both tasks should be made into one of those Mission Impossible movies.
One week left before Christmas holidays! 🙂
Bad things: mice and confusing quantum
The last couple of weeks have been… interesting. To start with the negatives, mice have invaded my house. They have chewed though the sink (!) and broken it, as well as tore up the bin in the bathroom and woken me up in the night with their horrible scratchy mouse feet partying in my bedroom. Our landlord has ordered us some electronic mouse repellers which I am slightly sceptical about so I have ordered in addition a whole host of things designed to get rid of mice.
I would like to do an experiment to see which ones work as they have so many mixed reviews, but the fact they are in my bedroom adds a level of urgency and drives out all thoughts of being a good scientist, so I will be deploying all methods at once!
This was my previous ‘About me’ section from a year ago:
My name is Emma and I am a second year Physicist. I love reading and writing all kinds of things and have recently become interested in science journalism. I come from a little town called Bridgnorth in Shropshire (which is not in the north but yeah, OK fine is kind of close to Birmingham), and love living in London.
I play clarinet, want to use too many smiley-faces in semi-formal writing, and like to cook over-ambitious things. I’m not terribly sporty, but go running, climbing and play tennis with my boyfriend, who I should probably thank for making me do all these things!
It’s barely two months into my PhD research and I have been to an international conference in France to present a poster on my research. This was the First Global Soil Biodiversity Conference held at the Palais des Congrès in Dijon, for four days between the 2nd and 5th of December. I find conferences really scary, which is part of my motivation to attend as many as possible during my research to increase my confidence in presenting my research and networking. The week before I attended a very helpful course on networking organised by the Imperial College Graduate School so was armed with techniques to get the most out of the conference and to reduce my anxiety.
As a ritual of the usual first post shenanigans, let me introduce myself to Imperial College London’s blog readers.
I’m a current Master of Public Health (MPH – Global Health) student here at ICL from…wait, don’t ask me that. I won’t be able to tell you my hometown…you see, I’ve been moving around too much and am a typical Third Culture Kid (TCK) where I identify with too many places as home. So my usual formulated response to people is that ‘I’m Singaporean, but Indian at heart and went to college in the USA’.
If you think I must be sick of moving around by now, not quite.
Technically, this is my second blog post.
It’s the first one you’ll be reading.
Well, I could pretend I’m the next Chris Nolan and that this is all part of my grand plan to create an anachronic blog which will eventually make sense when someone in the far future decides to piece it all together. In reality, it’s more an administration issue and this blog will most likely continue in chronological order after the first two posts.
With that out the way, I’m proud to say that I’m officially an Imperial blogger! I’m Abhishek, an aspiring mathematician with a list of interests far longer than it should be.
I think I might be the only person I know who wishes Christmas wasn’t so soon.
Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE Christmas. Christmas trees are appearing everywhere (including one that randomly appeared on the kitchen table today); Secret Santas are being arranged; and I’m having lots of Christmas dinners in the next few weeks with lots of lovely people. But I still don’t want Christmas to come.Kitchen Christmas Tree 🙂
By Christmas, I will have finished my first term at medical school.
Meaning that I only have 17 terms left, which suddenly doesn’t seem very long to learn a lot of stuff.
“This is Victoria”, the now familiar recorded message says as I step off the train at my namesake station. “Yes. Yes, it is”, I think to myself.
I am one of 28 students starting PhD research at Imperial College’s new Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet (SSCP) Doctoral Training Programme. This is hosted by the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment, although most of my research is at the Natural History Museum, one of the SSCP partner institutions, where I was based for my MSc last year. I will be modelling human impacts on soil biodiversity, combining two of the things I love most: playing with computers and digging for earthworms!
As I wave goodbye to my tearful mother, it finally dawns on me that I am actually going to live all by myself in a completely new environment, that I will have no choice but to become independent. Which means washing the dishes, grocery shopping and (gasp!) doing my laundry all for the first time. You might think I should add ‘cooking for myself’ to that list but-I am not going to lie to you- I cannot even boil water. Therefore, throughout my three weeks in London, I have depended on cereals, sandwiches and pizzas-in short the diet of a typical student.