Sunday, 31 January 2010

Biochemistry Busywork

Currently listening to: The Drugs Don't Work - The Verve

What's worse than having a sore throat and a headache?

Having a sore throat, a headache and a long, deeply boring and pointless coursework to complete.

If you're not in the mood to read one of my moans, this post isn't for you, but forgive me, why would this blog exist if it weren't to provide me with a place to moan and grumble?

Tuesday saw me sitting in the lab, as ever, frantically trying to complete the billions of assays, dilutions and general scut-work that are just a normal part of practicals in the biomedical sciences degree. The experiment was split into five parts, each more long winded and boring than the previous and to top it all off, it had zero relevance to anything we had done in class.

The focus of the practical was on thin layer chromatography, spectroscopic analysis and Lambert-Beer law, none of which we had ever studied before. I have scoured the lecture notes for the past three weeks as well as the ones for the rest of the term, we have not, and will not be taught any of this formally. So what does SBCS do? Why, they set us an enourmous write up on these very concepts!

I know that the point of university is to gain self reliance and not to be spoon fed, but surely the point of practicals ought to be reinforcing the concepts taught in lectures? In class we've covered blood biochemistry, buffer systems, digestion and protein structures and the practical is about, er, spectroscopic analysis, which we have never covered. The reason why this coursework is taking forever to complete (aside from my headache) is that none of it makes sense, because it's all new, and requires copious amounts of researching.

So not only does the practical need an insane amount of self teaching and research before you can attempt any of the answers, but it's also biblical in length, I kid you not, it's 14 pages long, and there's god knows how many graphs to include as well. It's due in on Tuesday. I've emailed the lecturer and I'm praying that he has a spare hour tomorrow so I can go and get some help with the calculations, which are really doing my head in.

After only four weeks, I've concluded that I really, really, really, hate this module. Not only are the classes a disaster, it's boring, long winded and ultimately pointless. Give me strength.


  1. LOL been there, my friend. I graduated from biochem at QMUL last year, and I remember that very practical!

    Joey :)

  2. Ah~ Experiments! ... how i don't miss these at all ^.^, and for "an insane amounts of self-teaching", just wait till you hit the PBLs! >.<

  3. Joey:

    I'm glad to know that it's not just us biomeds that are subjected to all these wacky practicals!

    Welcome to the blog btw :)


    QM Biomeds do PBL during years 2 and 3, so I know where you're coming from, but I do prefer the PBLs we've done over practicals, maybe cause it doesn't focus on self teaching of maths/chemistry...e.g. Beer-Lambert law? Yuck!