So much for blogging a bit over the past couple of weeks to keep me sane. Life has consisted of revise, eat, sleep, repeat for the past couple of weeks, and I think I may have gone (more) crazy. I’m still slightly in shock, both that exams are over and I can stop revising, and that I’ve finished my first year. Things are starting to wind down now – most subjects have finished exams, and although some still have projects to finish, everyone’s taking time to relax a bit. Just went down to the kitchen to get some lunch, and currently it’s pancakes and loud music.
One of the highlights of the MPH is the optional Health Systems Development (HSD) course offered by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training. When we were first told about it back in October, it garnered quite a lot of interest for its hands-on approach to professional development and health systems management. It was the opportunity to learn the operations of international health systems while at the same time maintaining a focus on the English NHS, incorporate crucial management & leadership skills, and finding out more about key stakeholder interactions within health systems that initially caught my eye.
So, I’ve just got back from Cheltenham Science Festival. It was a really fun and hectic week!
Like most volunteering experiences, a lot of the work we were doing was basic slave labour—cleaning venues between talks, getting water for speakers, clicking people in and out of venues, making tea, carrying messages etc etc. Even while doing these routine tasks however, we were surrounded by such great communicators and lovely people, from the speakers in the talks we attended to the stall holders in the drop-in zones, and the other volunteers.
There was a wonderful atmosphere of inspiration and urgency in many of the talks—most of the speakers were funny and excellent at communicating, but even the ones who seemed initially slightly dumbfounded by the large audiences, had such a depth of knowledge and passion for their subject area that their talks were really brilliant.
I’m volunteering at Cheltenham Science Festival this week and have just got back to the YMCA where we are staying after a long day of unloading chairs and tables and sofas and fridges off lorries and distributing them around the venues. I am not a very strong person (!) so this has been a tiring day, but absolutely worth it, because the venues look incredible now, and one of the things I got to help lift was a giant dinosaur head!
Cheltenham Festival looks like it is going to be a great experience– if anyone is interested in science communication I would thoroughly recommend applying next year.
It’s about 1am, I can’t sleep, so I thought I might as well blog.
The blog’s been a bit quiet lately – the opposite of everything else in my life. I can’t believe it’s been over two months – it feels more like two minutes.
Since then, ICSM will have made all their offers to potential Freshers. So, to all of you who received offers…. CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to the best medical school on the planet (I’m not at all biased…)
For those of you who didn’t, don’t give up. I didn’t get into med school first time round, so I took a gap year and worked as a healthcare assistant.
So.. recently in my course I’ve experienced some changes.
My MSc in Preventive Cardiology is a taught course where we have to do a research project worth a 3rd of our overall grade. Those who want to do a PhD or go into research after their masters understand the importance of the research project and choose something that they may like to follow up afterwards. As I’ve said in a previous post, I am interested in cardiovascular disease and mental health, and I was hoping that as part of my research project I could actually have patient contact and carry out some interviews.
My exams finally finished today!
I think they went pretty well in general, although third year exams are hard (as you might expect!)
This was the first exam season where I’ve consistently struggled for time during the exams—normally I finish with a bit of time to spare and check things over, but this year has been a mad rush right until the end for almost every exam, which was disconcerting.
Except for one day of lectures related to next year (that I am accidentally missing by going to Cheltenham Science Festival next week) and the summer balls, I am now done with uni for the year!
I am a strong believer in the study break. As the weather gets more gorgeous and my exams get closer, I think I would end up hating life if I didn’t make time to get outside and enjoy it. Some people prefer to power through the exam season in the library but that’s just not my style. So here’s a run down of my fave ways to enjoy a break from revision.
Tea at the V and A seems like something that you would only do as a tourist or when your parents come to visit but this amazing, beautiful museum is literally next door to us so I think it makes a great break from revision to have a little wander and enjoy a delicious cup of tea in the café.
Last week I was pleased to have another day of fieldwork, this time in the New Forest National Park in south England. The New Forest includes one of the largest areas of pasture, heathland and forest in south east England and the site we visited is Whitley Wood, a oak-beech wood pasture woodland with grazing deer and ponies. The Natural History Museum Soil Biodiversity Group have been sampling at this site for soil and leaf litter invertebrates nearly every month since 2002.
A 100 meter transect line is laid at random in the forest and a sample is taken every seven meters.
At first when I finished exams I was like…
And days and nights would merge into this…
And when my parents would ask me what useful stuff I was doing with my life I’d just be like..
But then the days passed, 3rd term work started and my money began to disappear…
But that didn’t bother us much and we continued to just…
Until, really, we had no money…
and we ran out of cheap things to do..
and we actually had tutorials and practicals to prepare for…
And having so much free time we all expected to be..