Friday, 19 February 2010

Reading Week

Currently listening to: Suicide is Painless - Manic Street Preachers

Update: Physiology write up - completed
Update: Immunology notes - completed
Update: Nutrition and Metabolism essay - completed

In between the horror that is a full twelve week semester at QMUL, there is an oasis, a brief respite, a cool moment of calm, a demilitarised zone between the two half terms, a break from the on-going battle to juggle coursework, attend classes, make notes and so on...

I am of course referring to Reading Week, which is what every QMUL student looks forward to and which occurs at Week 7 of each semester. Having been to my Nutrition and Metabolism class this afternoon, I am officially done with this half term, so bring on Reading Week.

The traditional way to spend Reading Week (at least in first year) was to get drunk a lot, sleep till 1PM every day and generally while away the hours until suddenly Sunday night is upon you and you realise that Week 8 will start tomorrow and you've done absoultely sod all during Reading Week except strawpedo WkD and watch a million episodes of Scrubs back to back.

This Reading Week will be different however. I think if I write down on this blog everything I want to get done, then I might actually do it. Imagine if this time in a week I came on here with my tail between my legs and admitted I'd done sod all after promising to do lots of work? The humiliation! My pride could not take such a hit!

So here I make a solemn pledge that I, Grumpy Biomed, will complete the following tasks by next Monday (1st March):

1) Finish the write up for Physiology Practical III
2) Complete Nutrition and Metabolism coursework essay
3) Get completely up to date with Immunology notes
4) Get completely up to date with Physiology II notes

You might wonder why I am studying five modules yet am only going to catch up with two? The fact of the matter is that I know I won't be able to catch up with all five modules during one week. In the past I've often made grand plans which were simply too much, which failed, and I then felt horribly guilty. So I'm going to set myself a manageable task this time and hope that everything succeeds!

Anyway, back to that Physiology write up...

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Pharmacology Mark

Currently listening to - April Come She Will - Simon & Garfunkel

Nearly 9 weeks on from when I handed it in, I finally get the mark for my second piece of pharmacology coursework...81%, a strong A!

However, I am somewhat disappointed. Not with the above mark, of course that's fantastic, but because of my average...

1st Coursework = 72% - A
2nd Coursework = 81% - A
1st Assessment = 64% - B
2nd Assessment = 26% - F

I had a serious case of exam nerves in the second assessment, I kid you not, my mind went completely blank. Combined with sleep deprivation because of my nervousness, I right royally screwed it up. So whilst my other three marks are all excellent, that one assessment drags my average down to 61%...still a B/2:1, but it could have been so much more...still, the end of year exam is the main part, I'll make sure to revise well for it. Let that be a lesson to me to never let nerves get the better of me!

In other news, I did my fourth PBL exam today...it went surprisingly well! Fingers crossed for a good mark.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Physiology Practical II

Currently listening to: Do You Remember The First Time? - Pulp

First post of February, and it's not a grumble!

Following on from the fun experience I had during Practical I of my physiology module, I woke up today feeling rather excited and hopeful, though still somewhat ill and needing copious amounts of cough sweets to get by. I'd read through the handout the previous night, so I knew it would be about ECGs, and I was devoutly thankful that I wouldn't have to deal with the horrors of a spectrophotometer for a good week or so.

I still felt ill so the enjoyability of the practical was somewhat reduced since everytime I made a sudden move, I was overcome with dizziness and felt like vomiting, but I perservered. We split into groups of four per bench. One person was the volunteer and had to strip off so we could attach the ECG electrodes and leads around their chest as well as on their right wrist, left wrist, right ankle and left ankle. The other two people on my group seemed more interested in flirting with eachother than doing work, so I was unofficially in charge of running the practical. I'm not bitter, by the way, fair play to both of them, and I rarely get to be in charge of these things, a good turn of events for all concerned!

We started off by simply recording the subject's heart activity whilst lying down, then when standing up. One of the leads was giving some rather erroneous results, so we took about a million readings to try and get a decent result, using up about a roll and a half of ECG paper whilst we were at it. Eventually I realised that it was due to an incorrectly placed electrode on the left wrist, which was too far from the pulse. Smirking to myself, I corrected this, and by happy coincidence the lecturer happened to walk past at that exact moment. Correct results aplenty and an approving look from the prof! Ahem.

Having assessed the ECG at rest, we then got the subject on an exercise bike to see how they would deal with stress. This was the really long winded part of the experiment, we had to do it three times, and after each session on the bike we had to record the ECG and respiratory rate at t0, t5, t10 and t15. Long winded, like I say, but eventually it finished.

Things to be pleased about:

Horrible biochemistry coursework has been handed in.
Practical II was fun.
Practical II's write up seems to be fairly straightforward.