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!
One thing you will learn pretty quickly when you arrive at Imperial is that everybody thinks their subject is the hardest. The chemists think that their insanely long lab hours make it the hardest degree, the mechanical engineers with their scary maths worksheets think they have it the worst, the medics getting up for placements at 6am everyday have a tough go of things and I have no idea what the electrical engineers do inside the EEE building all day but the ones I know like to complain a lot about their degrees. Everyone has a tough schedule, demanding courseworks and gruelling exams as well as other projects, commitments and compulsory extras (read about the Horizons courses – extracurricular humanties, language and business courses that are compulsory in some faculties – here!
Last Tuesday (wow, it feels like a month ago now) I attended one of the biggest events in the Chemical Engineering Department: The ChemEng Talent Show 2015! It is a fantastic opportunity for Chem Eng students to chill for a night and enjoy some great performances as well as see another side to our lecturers who always prepare a surprise performance at the end of the show; no one knows what it is but you are certain that it will be memorable.
Most of the shows were of people singing and playing an instrument. There was a gymnastics show that was cancelled last minute due to health and safety issues though it would have added greater variety to the show.
I haven’t written much lately, work and various other things has gotten in the way. Right now I find myself in bed back home for the weekend after catching the flu, perhaps or perhaps not related to an eventful trip to Amsterdam last week. The trip was for ICSM RAG, the ‘raising and giving’ society, essentially raising money for charity. I have honestly no idea how a trip to Amsterdam raises money for charity. But I’m not complaining.
Back to this post. Anatomy. I’ve wanted to talk about this since I started anatomy last month. So here it is.
Imperial is unique as a Medical School because I’m at it dissection is done using full body cadavers.