Tonight I went to a talk by the Physics department’s artist-in-residence Geraldine Cox. I’d somehow never been to one of her talks or exhibits before, though I had seen some of her paintings around Blackett.
I was actually kind of sceptical about her work at the start of the talk, because although I love poetry and plays and novels and all those kind of English-y ‘arty’ things, I am not really comfortable with ‘art’ in general—paintings and sculptures and such. My knowledge of art amounts to knowing that Monet might have been able to see UV light after he had surgery for his cataracts, and that that might have made his later paintings more blue, and also that Turner did some good sea.
Given the academic rigour and critical thinking required of Masters level degrees and being in such a time-intensive course, I would say we are off at breakneck speed towards the realm of Public Health. I’m halfway through the course already (that’s insane!), and needless to say, little breathers are always welcome. The sun’s out, and I’m in class…sounds a little horrifying to me (on second thought…never mind, the sun is barely out in Londontown anyways. #cheekyplug). In a city like London that is such a cultural and historical feast to the eyes, and constantly lures my gastronomically crazed tastebuds, it is cruel to be indoors the entire time.
Last Wednesday I helped giving a tour around campus for 6th formers here for medical interviews. It was a lot of fun, but above all really nostalgic. Memories of my interview and applying to Medical School in general came flooding back. This gave me the idea to write a bit about my experience, and what the experience is like in general applying to Medical School. I hope current medical students can read this and think back to their own experience whilst prospective students can see that they’re not alone. Any one else not studying Medicine can read and see the ordeals we suffered.
Sadly I still have two assignments to hand in this Thursday, and I must say, this exam season has been an all-time low in terms of stress. It’s like the stress was so much that I literally shut down and my mind couldn’t concentrate on anything. Usually I’m the annoying one who’s still reading right up until the last minute. Yep, I’m that person who enters the exam hall still trying to get some last minute information in, prepared to keep reading until the examiner says, “Put your flashcards away!” That’s me.
Dorset is the location of some fine geological sites, known as the Jurassic Coast, and designated as a World Heritage Site so we spent a day there with Richard Twitchett, a geologist from the Natural History Museum. The evening before Richard gave an overview of some geological concepts and an introduction to the geology of the area.
Richard explains stratigraphy (rock layers)with the help of beer mats
The rocks of this area are the sedimentary type, which are formed by accumulation of material compacted and cemented together over millions of years. These type of rocks may contain fossils of plants and animals that died and became trapped and preserved between the layers.
When we last left our intrepid hero, he was deep in the catacombs of Maple coursework, fighting to factorise some worryingly large semi-primes. Now, suddenly, it’s suddenly 2015.
Wait, it’s 10:49.
After the initial wave of panic that I had missed my morning lecture passed, it dawned on me that it was still on winter break. Gone (at least temporarily) were the days of running to morning lectures whilst gorging through a mystery mix of whatever fruits I could find in my kitchen shelf. No more having to micromanage laundry, dinner, and problem sheets on a daily basis.
The Natural History Museum organises a field trip in Dorset for its postgraduates each year, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get out of London and spend a weekend in the countryside. A group of PhD students and post-docs from a variety of disciplines set of to the Old Malthouse on the Isle of Purbeck (which is not a proper island but a sticky out bit of the southern coastline of Britain).
After settling in at our accommodation and being fed a good lunch we set off to Hartland Moor National Nature Reserve with Museum botanist Fred Rumsey. We were introduced to the plants that inhabit the Moor, and I was particularly excited to meet Dorset Heath Erica ciliaris, a type of heather, which I had not seen before.
To start with, here is a picture of a strange quark holding a glass of champagne:
This is my second week back at Imperial after Christmas, and this term is looking set to be a brilliant one. For a start, I have only one lecture course this term, as all my options happened to be last term. This lecture course is called ‘Physics of the Universe’ and is about particle physics and astroparticle physics, and the lecturer is a completely inspiring man who literally flies out from CERN to teach us, and who you can just tell absolutely adores his job.
Guess who finished her exams this week guys… IT’S MEEE! I am so happy to have finished for this exam season. I had a great Christmas at home with the family but studying and having a horrendous cold at the same time was kind of sad. Last Thursday I sat my final paper for this exam period which was Genetics. I was expecting an absolute nightmare of a paper but it ended up being much better than expected so I’m very happy with that.
One thing that can be hard about starting university, especially at Imperial, is that you basically lose your holidays.
I really enjoying learning how to identify wildlife, so not only do I spend time identifying soil invertebrates as part of my PhD project but I like to attend identification workshops and courses in my leisure time. On Saturday I was at a workshop organised by the British Entomological and Natural History Society (BENHS) learning how to identify land Heteroptera with Tristan Bantock and Jim Flanagan. Many people use the term ‘bug’ to refer to any invertebrate but in strict entomologist sense a bug is a member of the order Hemiptera. These are characterised by having a straw-like mouthparts (a rostrum) which they feed on fluids of various kinds, often plant sap but some on other insects and even blood.