Tuesday, 27 November 2012

CHRIS HEMSWORTH In Greenwich!

Hey guys!
I’m sure you will all be glad to know that I’m fully recovered and back to my normal happy self again (phew)! Now all I have to do is catch up with all the work I’ve missed,  finish off the various assignments that are due shortly and prepare for my exam at the end of December (something I’m not looking so forward to that’s for sure).
And I’m also sure all of you who study on the Greenwich campus are aware that CHRIS HEMSWORTH, Yes CHRIS HEMSWORTH, and the rest of the crew from Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor, have been filming various scenes for the film in the very centre of OUR campus recently (sounds unbelievable I know but it’s true!) As I am permanently based on the Medway campus, I wasn’t able to follow the filming on campus on a regular basis.  However last Friday I was lucky enough to visit the set whilst on my journey home for the weekend! Although I didn’t get a chance to see Chris Hemsworth himself ( L), I did manage to see three takes of his stunt double in action (better than nothing I guess)! There was a lot of standing around in the cold and the actual filming of the scene was over in no time….but it was well worth the wait! Now I’m just looking forward to seeing the movie complete! It is expected to release in cinemas on the 8th of November next year… I just can’t wait!
Now about uni work. Labs this year have been totally different to last year. As I mentioned before, we have a lot less labs this year… so far it’s only been based on Immunology and Physiology… however the practical’s we’ve had to do have been much more challenging! Last week, I had my first ever physiology lab for this year. Although the experiment we did on that particular day was not as challenging as usual, it was really embarrassing as it touched on a subject which usually raises people’s insecurities- Measuring Body Size and Estimating Body Composition!  It involved measuring our height and weight in order to calculate our BMI and then measuring various locations of skinfold on our body such as the sub-scapula, supra iliac, triceps, biceps, Mid-auxiliary, abdomen, thigh and calf to calculate our body density and the percentage of our body fat.  Today’s physiology practical was a continuation of last week’s practical but one which was a lot less embarrassing! We were investigating the effect of body composition on blood pressure and lung volume by measuring our blood pressure using a sphygmomanometer and our tidal volume, vital capacity and forced vital capacity using a spirometer. I found this particular practical very interesting as I was given the opportunity to gain some valuable information about my health and use equipment which I had never used before. Next week’s practical schedule is about the effect of exercise on heart rate and involves using the Electrocardiogram. 
Anyway, I better get back to my work now… I’m planning to go to the library and stay until midnight to get as much done as possible. Wish me luck! J

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Second year is going fast!

The last couple of days have been the worst few days I've experienced in a long time! I've officially been struck with some sort of virus which has made me throw up constantly and has forced me to stay in bed with a high temperature and a really bad headache. Apparently a few of my flatmates were also ill last week... and I've heard from a few others that they too experienced something similar so I guess it's been going around...I just hope you guys don't catch it too...
Second year is going just as fast as the first year, if not faster! I can't believe that there are only a few weeks left before the end of the first term and the beginning of the Christmas holidays! Then before you know it the second term will have also been over and the summer term full of exams would have begun! So far this year, I am finding the content covered in the lectures much more interesting than those covered in the first year mainly because they are either topics we have never covered before or topics that we have previously studied but in much more depth. We have a lot less labs to get through this year too but the amount of coursework we have been given is a lot more. Last Friday was the last of my immunology labs, which I thought was great because I would have Fridays off again to study all the lectures covered that week and complete my lecture notes...but the downside was the fact I now needed to do a long lab report discussing and drawing conclusions on the results I had obtained in the lab.
Labs and lectures aside, something new that we have been recently focussing on is clinical based case studies. This involves reading a brief report about a patient, trying to find out what is wrong with them based on their previous medical history and the symptoms they have reported, thinking about how we can investigate the problem further and identifying any treatment we could possibly offer them. Although I did find the problem solving side of things quite difficult at first mainly because I had not looked at any case studies like these before, after learning how to tackle such questions in the lecture and doing a few practice questions by myself and then discussing it as a group, I now feel a lot more confident working through them. I would strongly recommend all you Biomed students who are working on clinical based case studies like I am  to have a good look through the following book : Understanding Clinical Investigations: A Quick Reference Manual by Susan Ski. It is such an amazing book...I've lost count of the number of times I must have renewed it from the library!
Anyway, I better go and rest now. I hope you all take care of yourselves and wrap up warm. If anyone has any suggestions on good books that will keep me occupied whilst I'm recovering please do let me know...I'll be most grateful!