We just completed 3 out of our 4 second year exams (last one is end of June). Pushing through to get to the end required so much stamina. Don’t get me wrong, I have done exams before and have been used to the stress of exams however these exams were something different to what I had experienced before. It was just so much volume, SO MUCH VOLUME.
To summarise what we needed to revise over easter once lectures had finished:
As much as I enjoy working at my computer analysing data, it felt good to get out to get outside and collect some data of my own recently. I was sampling earthworms in Purbeck, Dorset with the help of Soil Biodiversity Group volunteers John Chesebro and Fevziye Hasan (https://twitter.com/fezidae), Rachel Efrat of the British Geological Survey (https://twitter.com/RachelEfrat) and my boyfriend Andrew.
The study site is part of a long-term study into heathland restoration. Heathlands are found in areas of free-draining infertile, acidic soils, and are dominated by shrubs such as heather and gorse. Part of this heath was converted to agricultural land in the 1950s by the application of large quantities of fertiliser to increase nutrients, and lime to increase the pH of the naturally acidic soils.
Wow has it really been over a month since I last blogged?! I am now back at Imperial after a long Easter holiday and it’s lovely to be back in London after such a long time away. The trees are in blossom, the skies are blue, the grass is green and no one can judge me for buying ice cream on a (very) regular basis given how lovely the weather is.
I spent the first week of the holiday in Prestatyn, North Wales, at a five day Christian conference. It was great to spend some chill time with friends and go to some interesting seminars about how Christianity relates practically to different areas of life.
These were the words of the elderly patient I was looking after. I remember his eyes boring into my soul as he leaned over his zimmerframe, a heightened sense of urgency in his voice.
For all the time that I’ve been working part time as a health-care assistant in hospitals, this is a warning I hear over and over again from different patients. The worst part of this repeated warning, I think to myself, is that I can’t exactly help it!
There are two things that can stop the dreaded aging process. Death, or the elixir of youth.
As we approach the final stretch of a very busy year, I would like to take a moment and reflect upon what I believe were good and perhaps not so good decisions that I have made during its course. Hopefully this would help Freshers of 2015 and any future Imperial Chemical Engineering students so that you won’t repeat my mistakes. So, instead of a to-do list (which I think is quite presumptuous-me telling you what you should do), I compiled a ‘what-NOT-to-do’ list. Here it is:
Leave everything until the Easter break.
You might think that a month is more than enough time to catch up with 6 months’ worth of material, but, trust me, it is not.
I’ve always wanted to go, so I am really excited! It starts straight after my exams so will hopefully be a brilliant beginning to the summer 🙂
In other good summer news Alex got accepted for an internship with First Actuarial which should be great (he actually likes statistics you see). It was his last ever interview, so this should be hope to anyone else who feels like everything’s against them after filling out innumerable applications and failing many online personality tests!
Another conference, another poster! This time I was presenting at the British Society of Soil Science (BSSS, or affectionately ‘B cubed’) held at the University of York on the 7th and 8th April. BSSS holds a conference biannually for aimed at students and early post-docs studying soil sciences. In addition to poster sessions and talks there were sessions on tailoring your CV to a career outside of academia, applying for fellowships and publishing. It was also a really good opportunity to meet other students and network. Check out my Storify collating tweets from the conference below.
We are more than half way through our Spring Break already (where did the time go??!!) and it has become clear that I have fallen in the latter category: the people hibernating and pulling all-nighters. It’s just that I’ve slacked off the last month and there’s so much to catch up on and revise if I ever hope to pass the exams, now about a month away.
Despite that I still managed to slip away from the mountain of work to enjoy the long, sunny days (England is experiencing unusual weather patterns; it got all the way up to 20°C this week) and went to London Zoo to celebrate my friend’s birthday.
The medical research that is reported on in the news is generally rubbish—there is rarely any mention (and certainly never any critique) of what kind of research the stories are based on or how they fit into the overall picture of health research. Important studies (meta-analyses and negative results) are not reported in favour of easy stories that proclaim ‘red meat is bad’ or ‘this vitamin is good’ and are soon replaced by other stories claiming the exact opposite.
But you probably knew that. This blog isn’t about these things—and it isn’t even about the contents of an essay I recently finished looking at the rhetoric of how health and medical research is reported.
Just a gentle reminder in case you hadn’t realised yet 😀
When this year started I was convinced that by now I would have achieved so many things. Not “resolutions” as such, just plans I’d made – such as joining basketball, gospel choir, writing, learning Japanese, etcetera etcetera…
However as of yet nothing’s happened. I find myself getting caught up with studying and working, with little money left to do what I’d planned. However living in London has made me see that cash has little to do with have a decent time. In all honesty, all you need is great company!