Studying for a masters degree in science communication is a very different experience to studying for my undergraduate degree in maths and physics. Perhaps the greatest difference is in the amount of reading I now do. In addition to the weekly readings set for each module, which are mainly academic articles, you are strongly encouraged to immerse yourself in literature of every kind. This can range from popular science books to biographies, journal articles to science journalism, books about feminism to books about philosophy. Lots of books you’ll need for the course are available in the campus libraries and most journal articles can be readily accessed online through the library search.
My first term at Imperial has drawn to a close, and what better way to summarise my last few months than through the songs of one of the most-loved bands to have ever existed; ABBA.
I Have A Dream
I had a dream, and I am now living it. Two years ago I realised, whilst studying for my undergraduate degree in Maths and Physics at the University of Warwick, that although I enjoyed the science I was learning, my passion wasn’t to delve into further research, but to share my enthusiasm for the subject with others. This led me to Imperial College’s Masters course in science communication.
After a long and cold term of lectures in second year Medicine, you have this new and exciting thing called a Firm. The light at the end of the Pharm-Endo-Neuro-MCD tunnel. Basically, it’s an introductory three week placement in an allocated speciality in a hospital in London (is Hounslow really London?!) You are assigned in groups of five or so, and are given NHS ID cards for your respective hospital (major perk here). I’m going to run you through my time on my firm in the Acute Medical Unit at my hospital.
The first thing to do is get lost in your chosen hospital.
Who would’ve thought I’d be a social sec?
After plenty of support and encouragement from my peers and some members of staff, I decided to run for a committee position in MathSoc, Imperial College’s Mathematics Society. In the past the society hasn’t had the best social events, and as this was something I worked on at school, I thought this would be a good position for me to run for. (definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made!)
Last year, MathSoc faced heavy criticism (see Imperial College Secrets/Exposed) for not having enough social events so I was so excited to be able to try and change the way people perceive MathSoc by throwing some fab events and revamping our social media platforms, including setting up an Instagram account.
“Joining cheer was the best decision I’ve ever made”
“I was not proud of the bow, nor the uniform. I was proud of what it meant”
“When I initially message the president asking to join cheer late in the term, I hadn’t really left my bed in three months. I was then in hospital for about a month in December. After that, cheer was the only time I left my house for in a while. I just want to thank all of you so so soooo much for being so lovely and welcoming from the start, and just overall amazing people.
Dieses Jahr habe ich Deutsch gelernt! I successfully completed my German Horizons course last week!
Imperial’s Horizons programme provides optional, free of charge, extra-curricular courses for undergrad students. The classes for all courses are two-hours long and take place once a week on campus. Mine were on Tuesdays from 4 to 6PM in the School of Medicine (SAF) building- I’m still grateful I didn’t have to trek my lazy butt half way across campus for them.
The course is split between two terms (Autumn and Spring term); some options last one term in duration whereas others, like languages, last two. The different courses on offer fall under the following categories: Business and Professional Skills; Global Challenges; Languages and Global Citizenship; and Science, Culture and Society.
It’s holiday season, Christmas lights everywhere, happy wishes in every corner, warmth and love in every single person around and for most students time to go home.
So, since I am just like most students, I partied to celebrate the end of term, and then partied again because it’s Christmas. Which led to a few very productive days of hangover doing absolutely nothing but Netflix – like you should. With all the partying and it’s consequences checked off my to do list, it’s time to catch a flight (right after doing laundry, miracles may happen but that’s just in Easter, right now your cloths won’t wash themselves).
Last year, as part of EIE (EE + Computer Science) cohort we took 2 computing modules, which I find easier compared to EE. Looking just at coursework, my experience in computing was far better than EE. It’s possible for everyone to get close to 100 marks (all my friends have A* 80-100) whereas in EE the moment we get marks above 70ish it gets moderated down. Of course, the computing mark is pre-moderated as well. (I have my doubts that they lower it, who knows?)
I favour the computing side, not only because of the marks, but because I find some EE things slightly tedious (too much maths!), plus the exams are only 2 hours vs 3 hours long.
The guide to a perfect student Christmas dinner
So for the perfect Christmas dinner in halls, you ideally need: a good number of hungry students, at least two types of meat, a vat of gravy and a mountain of pigs-in-blankets. To be that little bit extra, like us (and the royal family), you could also add a lobster centre piece! Between 6 kitchens and 8 people cooking, we were able to feed 12 people, for only £8 each!!
Rather surprisingly, the dish that was eaten up first was the Brussel sprouts, traditionally a vegetable that gets slightly neglected! However, here are my top tips to preparing and cooking these surprisingly edible greens, in a recipe otherwise known as “sprouts drowning in bacon”.