Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Essays, Deadlines and oh the Hindu Society!

So after working very hard on my Cervical Cancer essay for over two weeks, I managed to finish it well in advance of the deadline for the first time everrrrr!!!But don't ask me why I didn't do what I'm about to tell you, but I left it 'til the very last minute to check the plagiarism of my work on 'Turn it in' and hand it into the coursework hand-in room! (I know...it wasn't my cleverest of moments!) 

About 2 hours before the deadline, I logged onto the university website (Moodle), thinking the plagiarism check will take at the most 5 minutes and then I can make the necessary alterations and hand my work in, when suddenly the website crashed!!! My friends and I were all sweating in the library...worried we were going to miss the deadline, when finally the website started working again an hour later. But little did I know....that wasn't the end of my troubles that morning!

My plagiarism was pretty low so feeling happy I didn't need to make any alterations to my work I went to print my coursework out... and this is when things just got worse! First the ink had run out in the printer that was connected to my computer... after 10 minutes running around the Library trying to find a free computer (and this is the Medway library...the longest library in EUROPE I am talking about...so not being able to find a free computer easily just shows how annoyingly overcrowded it was that day), I finally managed to log onto a free computer! But this particular computer hadn't been connected to a printer for some reason! With less than 15 minutes to go... I managed to get one of the library technicians to sort the problem out and get my coursework printed! I ran as fast as I could to the coursework hand in room...but ended up waiting a while in a lonngggggg queue leading to it.  

After all the problems I faced that morning just to hand in a piece of coursework I had actually completed well in advance of the deadline, you'll be pleased to know I managed to hand it in with just one minute to spare! Phew!!!  So what is the moral of the story I hear you ask? NEVER LEAVE IMPORTANT THINGS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!!

Apart from that very eventful morning, the rest of the month has run pretty smoothly. The timetable for the summer exams are out and I'm so happy that my three exams are evenly spaced out this year unlike last year. I have been attending lectures as usual, completing various pieces of coursework and working on my final year project (which I was soooooo pleased to find out  is now due on the 14th of April instead of a much earlier date!) So far I have handed in a draft copy of my introduction to my supervisor and finished my methods and results section. My target this week is to complete the discussion.  

Ohh and I did go to the Hindu Society's Dinner and Dance Event I mentioned in my last blog. Although the food wasn't so great, the music and dance performances were amazing! And everyone made a real effort to dress up in their cultural clothes which was really nice to see! :) 


Monday, 24 February 2014

More Science Experiments & Joining Societies

I'm sooooooo happppyyyyyy that I've finally completed all the labs needed to write up my final year project. Last week we had a meeting with the NMR technician to discuss the NMR results. Although the NMR experiments didn't produce the results we were looking for initially, after repeating the experiment several times, we have finalllyyyyy obtained the results we expected! (Phew!) As for the TGA and DSC results, we are yet to have a meeting with the PhD student who was helping us with it... hopefully these results are just as good (fingers crossed)!

Apart from working on my final year project, I've been trying to get stuck into all the coursework that are due this month. The first deadline is tomorrow! A 1500 word essay on 'the benefits, limitations and methodology of population screening for cervical cancer'.  I've written the majority of it already, so all that's left is to write the last few hundred words, proof read it, reference it and check the plagiarism of it through 'Turn it in'. Once this essay is done, there's no rest as I have to move onto the Advanced Immunology case study which is due next week and then complete another case study this time based on Haematology and Blood Transfusion which is due mid March.

The Refreshers fair took place this month and as per usual there were many weird and wonderful societies present! I've been part of St John's Ambulance and Badminton Society since the first year of university. And although there are only a few months of university left now, I just couldn't resist but sign up for The Hindu Society and Art Society as well. The Hindu Society were promoting a Dinner and Dance event they are hosting next week. Most of my friends are going to this event...so I will probably tag along too! And as for Art Society...well Art was one of my favourite subjects at school... I was pretty good at it too having achieved an A in GCSE (wooohoooo)...but I've never done anything 'Arty' since...there just hasn't been any time for it..so I thought the Art Society would be a great opportunity to  get in touch with my Artistic side once again...( I just hope they host an event soon...well before I finish university at the least!)


To end...I thought I'd share the final piece I did for my Art GCSE. The title set by the examination board was 'Barriers'... I chose to base my piece on Emotional Barriers...


Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The Very Last Teaching Term...

I still can't believe this is the very last teaching term of my entire degree!!! This term, I have had  9am Monday morning lectures on 'Haematology and Blood Transfusion', a 2pm Monday afternoon lecture on 'Advanced and Clinical Immunology' and a Tuesday morning lecture on 'Cellular and Molecular Pathology'. You might be shocked I've only got two days of lecture this term...but trust me...the final year project is guaranteed to keep me busy for the rest of the week!

To tell you the truth, I'm feeling really nervous about all three modules taught this term. Why do you ask? Well, apart from the obvious (these modules are the very last modules I will be studying on this course so can make a HUGEEEE difference to my overall grade), 'Haematology and Blood Transfusion' and 'Cellular and Molecular Pathology' are two areas of science I haven't really covered before. As for 'Advanced and Clinical Immunology'...'Immunology' which I studied last year was hard enough...now ADVANCED Immunology??? (The title of the module speaks for itself!)

But on a more positive note, the first lecture we had on 'Cellular and Molecular Pathology' was really interesting!!! We learnt about the various methods of carrying out biopsies and watched You Tube videos based on these methods. And Dr Maan Al-Gailani saved the best video 'til last...an Autopsy!!! It was so shocking for those of us who had never seen an autopsy before, (including me I must admit), we were beginning to feel a little queasy after a while...one girl (not naming any names), bless her, couldn't help but run out of the lecture theatre! If the first lecture is this interesting (and eventful)... I can't wait for what else is in store for us in the lectures to come! 

As for labs, the DSC and TGI experiments have been run and all the samples for the NMR experiment have been made...all that's left is for these samples to be run on the actual NMR machine... then I can begin to analyse the results and repeat any samples which have produced an odd result ( hopefully there won't be too many samples like this). My write-up is coming along nicely as well! I know I've done them in reverse order...but chapter 2- the methods section is almost complete...chapter 1- the introduction is well underway...

The finishing line is in sight now and it's work, work, work until I cross it!!!

Friday, 24 January 2014

January exams..

So it's 2014 and what with all the life changing events that are about to happen this year (graduating in the summer and waiting to hear the outcome of my med applications for a start) I sure hope this year is the best yet!

The holidays, well I rather call it... the 'study leave', went super quick as ever!!! I pretty much spent most of the three weeks studying for the January exams and tried as best as I could to do some work on my final year project. Apart from that, I spent Christmas day with my family and friends- we all had a really lovely Christmas lunch together and watched almost everything on tele (the Christmas special of Eastenders being my favourite!) 

And as for New Years day, well, we went to the temple as usual and then went to the New Year's party over at my cousin's house in the evening. I did manage to do some shopping over the holidays too... last minute Christmas Shopping with my mates in Oxford Street on Christmas Eve and then hitting the sales in Westfield on Boxing Day! 

Oh you would never guess what happened whilst shopping in Oxford Street? I only went and bumped into Singer Arjun in Topshop didn't I!!! Some of you may not know who he is yet as he is only just getting into the music industry...but watch the space...he is going to make it big (YouTube him and see for yourself!)

Source: http://arjunofficial.com/

And as for the January exams, I'm not quite sure how to feel about them... the Cancer Biology Exam went really well... but the Biochemistry exam on the other hand was a totally different story! It went so bad...I'm really worried that this exam has pulled my overall grade for the year down! :( I revised soooo hard for these exams... so I can't exactly blame myself for not revising enough... I just don't feel like I answered the questions as well as I could have....I can't really explain it actually...except...bad days...bad papers... just happens I guess...something I know I really can't afford in the final year of my degree...but something that just happens sometimes...It's onwards and hopefully upwards from here on... lets hope all the other exams this year go well!


Until the next blog, hope you all have a lovely few weeks ahead! :)

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Final Week of Term :)

It's officially the final week of term and I just can't wait to go home and spend a few days relaxing and spending time with family/friends before I crack on with the revision. This week hasn't been as hectic as the last two weeks I must admit! This week, as I mentioned in my previous blog, is revision week - on Monday we had a  Medical Biochemistry revision lecture; the lecture for the other two modules were cancelled for self-study. As for labs, well, I only need to go in for two days this week to finish off the final series for the NMR experiments. So in the spirit of Christmas, we decided to throw a Christmas party at my friend's flat which was really fun! My secret Santa this year was one of my close friends...so she knew exactly what I love and hate (pretty lucky for me I guess!) And as expected I loved my present...a chocolate fondue set...which I just can't wait to use! :)


It has been a very busy first term...but I do have exams coming up in January...so regardless of the festive fun I am bound to get caught up in...here's my 'MUST DO' ( not 'To Do') checklist for the next three weeks:

1. Revise all lectures and attempt all past paper questions for the Biochemistry exam; go through all lectures and the designated text book for the Cancer Biology exam.

2. Start writing up my final year project (i.e. the 10-15 page introduction)...which means reading...reading...and dare I say it...READING as many journals as I can!

And this shouldn't really be something that should go on the checklist...but something I still need to do...Purchase all my Christmas gifts/ wrap them up in time for Christmas!!! (And maybe I'll make a promise to myself right now that if I make a start on number 1. and 2. of the checklist sooner rather than later... maybe I can take a day off from revision and go shopping on Boxing Day to find some treasures for myself in the Boxing Day Sales...retail therapy helps relieve stress right? ;) )

So all that's left for me to say is: GOOD LUCK to those of you who also have January exams coming up... for those lucky few who don't have exams...well...here's hoping you have a well deserved rest!

And of course...


"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!" :)

Saturday, 7 December 2013

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The Christmas season has officially begun!!! The Christmas lights are up in town, the Christmas tree has been put up at home (this year….a Winter Wonderland themed tree... covered with white, sky blue and silver decorations) and preparations for the Christmas party (both with friends at uni and family at home) is well underway! All that’s left to do now is purchase all the gifts, wrap them up beautifully and leave them under the tree… but what with all the uni work that I've been buried under recently… I’m beginning to think Christmas Eve is the one chance I’ll get to do some last minute shopping!

Source: a wonderful tree from theinspiredroom.net
Nearing the end of term, I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to just a little too well, means finding that last bit of energy and motivation buried deep within ourselves to finish off all that needs to be done, before the long-awaited break. So that's exactly what I've been trying to do all week! Except what makes it just that little bit harder than usual is the thought of having exams straight after the break! I've been going to labs every day this week so that I can finish preparing the samples for the NMR experiments. As well as preparing these samples, I have had to repeat the experiment for an entire series I prepared last week as it hadn't produced the results that was expected. After all the hard work  I've put into labs recently, I'm really hoping I won't have to repeat any more series...

Apart from that, I've had two timed online phase tests recently... one on Microbiology and another on Medical Biochemistry. I did revise a lot for these two tests and there were no 'big' surprises as such during the test itself, so I'm quite confident that I've done well in both of them (let's just hope I haven't jinxed anything now that I've actually said this!) And as for the phase test on Cancer Biology I mentioned in my last blog... well the results were put online just yesterday and I'm happy to say I passed with a 2.1!


Next week is officially the last week of lectures and then the following week will be purely revision lectures. Although I've enjoyed learning all three modules this term, I will particularly miss the lectures on Cancer Biology as it's one area of science I really am interested in! Let's hope the modules taught next term will be equally as interesting!

Friday, 6 December 2013

Exams :(

This month is flying past so fast I can't believe there's only a few more weeks left until we officially break up for the Christmas holidays!!! Well, I say Christmas holidays but it's more like a three week study leave because I have two exams...one on Cancer Biology and another on Medical Biochemistry straight after the break which I am soooo not looking forward to right now!!!

The final year project has been taking up most of my time lately. You might think this is nothing to be shocked about, but when you have had so much free time in your hands just last month and now so busy you don't even have time to go through lectures taught that week and make notes just to ease off the pressure closer to exam time, it won't be just me who would feel worried right??? But enough about the complaining and more about how amazing labs have actually been ( honestly)!!! So far I've been working in the NMR labs, preparing the NMR samples and learning how to use the NMR machine in order to gain the NMR spectra for each sample. So far, so good!!! I have obtained really good data for one of the amino acid families...just another three to go now!!! I did however find the solubility of the second group of amino acids I worked on today quite difficult so I need to do a bit of reading around this before my next lab on Friday...


Apart from starting labs, uni has been the usual... a 9am start  every Monday morning, lectures throughout the week and plenty of coursework to get on with. Next Thursday is our in-class phase test on Cancer Biology! We have to review a journal, based on a cancerous gene, which was set by our lecturer and prepare ourselves for an exam based on this journal. When I first looked at the journal...I must admit I thought I was reading another language...but now that I have read through the journal several times...I feel I understand it a lot more...I'm actually quite optimistic about it (not that I want to jinx anything!) We also have an on-line MCQ style phase test on Medical Biochemistry in a few weeks time...so once I get this Cancer Biology exam out of the way...it hurts me to say...there is no rest at all...maybe a day of relaxation at the most and straight back to the books...and of course labs! It's the final year...the last lap of the race...and I want to get the gold!!!