Just testing to see if I can publish from Windows Live Writer

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I have not written in some time eh? Well that’s me finished the teaching part of my second year and boy has it flown in! I successfully passed the first semester courses, including building an organism!

I’ve not been a very good student this semester to  be honest. I have been to pretty much every lecture of Infection, Cells, Drugs and Reproduction but have been to about five of Neuroscience and one of Molecules of Life. It’s the nine o’clock starts!!!!  And as for Molecules, well if I don’t go to that lecture, I can stay in bed until 9 on Thursdays and 10 on Fridays rather than having to get up at 7!  I’ve really enjoyed the four subjects I have gone to though, my favourite being Infection, if only for Professor Kennedy who just gets so excited about parasitic worms, it’s really hard to miss!

I’m currently typing up all of my notes in preparation for studying rather than what I did last year where I was still copying up notes the night before the exam in a desperate hope the information would somehow penetrate my brain without me consciously thinking about it! So I’m all full of good intentions of having everything copied up in the next week or so and then I can get down to remembering it!

I’ve done not bad in my coursework, however I was downgraded a grade for pretty much all my class tests as I chose those 5 days to go to New York with my boyfriend. (It was absolutley fantastic by the way, well worth a few grades!) So instead of getting A’s and B’s, I’ve ended up with C’s and D’s in coursework, so I must work a whole grade harder in the degree exam!

We’ve also been thinking about which degree to go into. I have been in quite a dilemma over this! i want to go into Medicine after this degree, so have been trying to find out if any degree is more “desirable” than another for gaining entry. Turns out you can have a degree in anything to get in! So then I was stuck on whether to take a degree that gave me good career options as a back-up in case I didn’t get into medicine or whether to take a degree I would really enjoy. So I was stuck between Pharmacology for its definite career path, Neuroscience for its stigma in being a “brainy persons” subject and anatomy for the pure fun of chopping up people. To be honest, I would hate pharmacology because I have hated learning about drug metabolism etc this year and neuroscience, well as I’ve said I’ve not been to much of!

I have opted for anatomy. I wonder if I will look back on this post with regret or not…

Aside from studies, I was in my first cheer leading competition in February! We did really well, it was the first time we had entered that particular competition and we won dance and came forth in stunting so I was REALLY chuffed for us all! We have another competition in April which is a BCA competition so it’s a biggie!

I suppose I should stop blethering and get on with work!

So it’s been a month or so since University started back and I’ve already started to slack. I’m currently sitting in the library typing up my “Building an Organism” lectures as I have a test on it this afternoon and as I have slept through the majority of the lectures, I’m not too confident of my passing ability of this test. It’s a boring subject to be honest, the lecturers are good it’s just the subject that doesn’t interest me. And it’s in the Anatomy lecture theatre which if anyone knows it, is a cozy little theatre (well it’s usually ROASTING actually) where you can sit in the back row and lean back for a wee snooze rather comfortably!

However on a positive note, I have, since the beginning of this semester, only missed about 3 or 4 lectures. And mainly for good causes such as it was raining or I was sleeping. I’ve also kept pretty much on top of my lectures, I’ve not left too much unwritten. I mean I know I say I haven’t written up my Building an Organism lectures, but I have the standard lecture notes printed off from good ol’ Moodle so it’s not as if I have nothing to go on.

I’ve also had my first couple of labs and tutorials this week. The first lab – human form and function – was somewhat shocking. It was a sort of “guided tour” of the anatomy museum, which I had only heard rumours about until this week. I had heard that there was a computer suite specifically for the use of biology students where you would be surrounded by dissected penises and cyclops babies. Guys, this wasn’t a rumour! There honestly actually is cyclops babies and they are the creepiest thing I’ve ever come across! If you are not squeamish, I strongly recommend visiting the anatomy museum as it really is amazing and it’s open to all as far as I know. They have real dissections of every body part downstairs, but you will have to go upstairs to get the real interesting specimens – by that I mean the mutant babies.

My first energy metabolism lab was somewhat less interesting. Three gruelling hours of pipetting various solutions very precisely into 60 little tubes and then testing the absorbency of these at various times over half an hour. It was rather boring. If you like mucking about with test tubes in a lab then I suppose it would have been exciting, but it confirmed that I am destined as a doctor rather than a biomedical scientist to be honest!

So aside from my intense academics, I have joined the cheerleading club. Please don’t laugh. I spent many idle hours in the library looking at the various clubs on offer and finally decided I’d like to do cheerleading, so I persuaded one of my friends to come along with me and I have been to two sessions so far and I’m really enjoying it! It’s not too hard, it’s a bit scary as I am a “side” which means I am the person who, along with the other “side” bears most of the weight when throwing our “flier” up into the air. And I am also the one who is expected to catch her! We also learn dance routines which are so fast and jumpy I find it hard to keep up, but it’s a skill I hope I will learn. So far we have done the beginning of two different routines. One I can remember absolutely none of.

So as a result of my cheerleading, I will have to make closer friends with my gym membership. I have been planning to go twice or three times a week, however this week I haven’t been once but that’s mainly because I’ve had so much on such as my volunteering (explained later) and tests and such like. I went to see the “advice centre” at the gym for some advice on a fitness programme. The guy I spoke to was excellent! He asked what I wanted to gain from using the gym and tailored me a fitness programme and gave me a wee sheet to track my progress on. I’ve to do 20 mins on the cross trainer, 20 mins on the cycling machine, 10 mins on the rowing machine,1 set of every weight trainer machine on whatever weight I can lift, and lastly as many sit-ups and lower back-ups I can manage. Sounds pretty intense but it’s exactly what I need as I just need to become generally “fitter” and also build some muscle so I don’t have aching arms after cheerleading.

I am trying to keep my news somewhat related to university, however this is a bit abstract; I have organised to start some voluntary work at the Victoria Infirmary to aid my application to transfer to Medicine in January. I met with the organiser yesterday to get my badge and it looks as though it will be quite good. My role is to help out in the medicine for the elderly ward where most of the patients have been in for hip replacements and other routine surgery and have been kept in for recovery. I will be helping primarily at lunchtime where there is not enough nurses to provide one-to-one care, and a helping hand is useful, just to make sure the wee old ladies have their wee cup of tea ready to go with their lunch.

I was also volunteering with the medical school within the university yesterday. This is a much more “interesting” volunteer-ship in that I am the patient. Yep, what I do is pretend to have some illness or problem and the first year medical students speak to me to find out as much as they can about my symptoms and their effects on my life. It’s not to teach them to diagnose, it’s just so they can develop correct communication skills and can carry out a comfortable conversation with a patient. It’s really good fun, I get to give them feedback on how good (or rubbish) they were and of course it’s useful for me as if I am accepted into medicine I will know EXACTLY what to do when it comes to my own communication skills workshops.

A last note, absolutely nothing to do with university, before I force myself back to studying; we are getting a cat. I have finally persuaded my boyfriend to let us have a wee kitten to keep us company in the flat. Ideally we are looking into getting a Persian kitten as having researched into various breeds they look at though they would be the best breed to cope with being a purely house cat. We’re not letting a wee kitten out loose to the terrors of Maryhill! I shall update if we actually go ahead and get a kitten!

I have officially completed my first week back at University. I’m proud of myself to be honest… I’ve attended every lecture, spent over 20 hours writing up lectures in the library, and been to the gym three times. Okay, so this behaviour isn’t likely to last, but it’s a good start. And okay so the extensive library-visiting is mostly of a result of my own laziness – one because I’m too lazy to write neat notes in the lectures themselves so I have to write them up for them to make any coherant sense and two because I have rubbish lecture times with tonnes of time between them and I’m too lazy to walk home and then have to walk back for the next lecture.

I’m pretty much enjoying being back. The lectures are mostly quite interesting, there’s just a few I don’t enjoy enough to stay awake in. I quite like living in the library too, as it’s generally cozy and quiet and I’ve staked my favourite computer – 8th floor, at the window, overlooking the city.

Only mistake I think I’ve made this week is the fact I went out on Friday night. It was a friend’s birthday so I felt obliged to celebrate by going to Cheesy Pop. Which was obviously full of over-excited Freshers with it being the first Friday night after Freshers’ week. I was attacked several times on my way to the loo with “OHMYGODHOWCOOLISTHISLETSGODANCEANDGETDRUNK” from said over-excited Freshers! Ah I suppose that was me last year (God I sound old or something!) But aye, drank a wee bit too much and as a result not only ruined my tights by walking home carrying the shoes, but I was also late for my first 8am start at work the following morning because Jamie and I both managed to sleep through the FOUR alarms we had set!

I’m now sitting in the library in my favourite spot with nothing to do. =/ I’ve copied up everything and even read over the stuff for my lecture in half an hour so I’m at a bit of a dead loss to be honest.

Bets on how long I’ll keep my studious alter-ego alive?

Hello all, this is the token first-week-back-at-uni post where I will vow to go to every lecture, buy every textbook, study for 4 hours a day and de-addict myself from the Sims 2.

No seriously, I’m going to go to as many lectures as possible. I do have a lecture at 9am every day, and some days I’m still at uni at 6pm which is unfairly long, but I will do my best to motivate myself into getting up in the morning. I’ve also changed my hours at work to 8am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday and I’m thinking it’s actually quite good that I have to get up EVERY DAY because it’ll avoid the Monday morning syndrome where you have to get up early after having long lies over the weekend. No long lies for myself.

About the textbooks, well I’d have broken that one already. If I bought every textbook I was “recommended” to buy, I’d be spending about £500 on books. Now come on, nobody spends that amount of money on textbooks. So I’m going to do a bit of research and see if I can find some second hand books cheaper. I do already have an obscenely large Anatomy & Physiology textbook so I’m hoping that will tide me over an I’ll only need to buy a few cheap paperbacks.

I’m not going to study for hours a day, for a start I don’t have time. With having lectures, doing volunteering work, going to the gym, spending time with my boyfriend and generally having a life, there’s not an awful lot of room for study. Although having said that, I may be in uni from 9-6 but I only have 3 lectures max per day so this leaves me a lot of free hours to generally wander around campus which I imagine would be better spent sitting in the library doing some studying. Especially seeing as it’s getting colder now, the library is always a welcome roasting temperature.

I’ve kept to going to the gym to keep the boyfriend company, however I’ve decided I’m going to have a fitness plan. So my friend and I enrolled for an induction at the gym where a fit guy shows you how to use everything properly and suggests a sort of fitness plan. Now apparently I’ve to do 15 mins on the running machine, 15 minutes on the cycling machine, 8 repetitions on each muscle machine, a good few situps, 15 mins on the rowing machine and some balancing exercises before retiring to the sauna. Evidently I can’t cope with this as the morning after my induction my muscles all hurt 😦

Other news, I’ve been with Jamie for a year today. How cool is that? 🙂

Well summer is officially almost over with just under two weeks left before University life bites us on the butt again. My summer has been absolutely fantastic. My boyfriend and I bought, yes BOUGHT, not rented, a flat in North Kelvinside and have spent most of the last six weeks or so decorating, spending almost three grand on furniture and generally getting used to owning our own property which I have to say is fantastic! I’ve become quite the little housewife, priding myself in keeping the kitchen sparkling and the bed made and the ironing done and Jamie has been learning to cook some quite exotic meals as now we have a full kitchen all to ourselves rather than having to make do with a couple of shelves and one freezer drawer!

I’ve been doing lots of overtime at my job at RBS which is obviously making me lots of pennies to pay for my extravagant lifestyle however I’m looking forward to going back to University and shock horror, to studying. In our new home we have two full size desks and two computers, in separate rooms to avoid us distracting one another so there really is no excuse for not getting our heads stuck in a book this year!

I’ve also taken up going to the gym, with much nagging and persuasion from Jamie, and I really enjoy the sauna and steam room, not so much the pool because believe it or not I can’t swim… Although I am looking into getting lessons.

So all in all, a fantastic summer, and I am much looking forward to a new year )

Well yes I know I haven’t written much. Life has simply been far too exciting! I revised and sat my exams in May, and thought I’d done fine in Biology and Chemistry but Forensics was a bit of a mess because I really wasn’t ready for the exam due to stuff happening between my boyfriend and I the night before. But anyway, boy was I glad to have the exams over with!

Last week I got the results. A B2 for biology, an A5 for chemistry (OMG I GOT AN A!!! I’m a genius :D) and a D1 for forensics which wasn’t bad considering when it was broken down I got an E for the exam but as I got a C for the essay worth 50% it averaged at a D which is all I need to make it to second year.

So about second year… I’m in 😀 However picking subjects has proved to be difficult and really quite confusing. I was under the impression I would always take chemistry and biology, but then i saw my advisor and he confused me and told me I might be better taking all biology. So he picked me out a list of “recommended subjects” and sent me off to submit my decisions. But after reading up on his recommendations I didn’t like the sounds of all the genetic-molecular jazz and was more keen on the human body and disease topics. So I submitted my form with my own personal choices. But apparently I’ve messed that up too. I’ve chosen the wrong number of credits for semester 1 and 2 and I’ve also picked subjects for which there is a waiting list just to take them. *Sigh* I guess I’ll wait and see what happens in September.

So onwards with summer. I’ve got my job at RBS which I’m really enjoying and my boyfriend and I have BOUGHT a flat in the West End, Dunard Street if anyone knows the West End well. So we move in there on the 25th of July and I’m soooo super excited!

Apart from that I’ve been slowly migrating back home seeing as our tenencies at Cooperage Place end on the 30th June, so from then til move in date we’re homeless! So crashing back at the ‘rents for a bit!

I will hopefully find time in my exciting life to update, perhaps when we’ve spent about five grand on furniture and have moved into the new place!

Happy belated Easter! I’m just back from a fantastic, but hectic, holiday in Florida. It was as always a very busy holiday going to all of the theme parks etc and to be honest I’m a bit glad to be home for a rest! Of course I won’t be resting for long with the last few weeks of first year and then the big bad exams in May to study for.

Other university news, I was doing campus tours before the holiday and it’s weird to think that a year ago that was me visiting the university, time flies! It’s kind of scary that I’m almost through first year already! I was doing tours with the top-up programme and there was a section in their day where they got to “ask a student” what it was really like to be a first year, that “student” being me. I was expecting to be asked academic questions such as how many lectures I have, how hard the course is etc, but my recurring questions were; “Is drink cheap?”, “Will I get away with drinking underage?” and “Can you get away with not going to lectures?” The answer is yes to all the above by the way, but of course I don’t advocate drinking and skiving off uni!

I failed. Well, Glasgow University is so nice as to tell me I haven’t technically”failed” I’ve actually got an E2 which is apparently two grades above an actual “F”. And two grades away from a “pass”, a pass being a D. I’m not too shocked, I didn’t expect to pass it, despite the work I did put in before the exam. I guess me and maths just aren’t destined to be friends.

I have since spoken to my advisor and it turns out that I don’t need to resit it as I don’t plan on taking maths in second year (or indeed in any other shape or form in my entire future life!) I just need to get C’s and B’s in my courses this semester and all shall be well. So there you go, you can fail and be absolutely fine. I’m happy with that. 🙂

I’m helping out at a Top-Up programme thing next Friday and the following Friday, this is a scheme designed to show prospective students what life is like at University. So I get to show5th/6th years around and take them to a mock lecture and generally answer their concerns. It should be quite fun, and it has the added bonus of being paid work 🙂

I really shouldn’t have mentioned the gorgeous weather we’d been having here in the West End, because I seem to have jinxed it and it is currently lashing with some kind of freezingly horrific concoction of hailstones, snow, sleet and rain, all churned up by the kind of wind you find difficult to walk against. *Sigh* I suppose it is the middle of February…

A little update. I’m still loving university, and I’m still attending my lectures. Well, I took one day off to attend a job interview last Thursday, which I know was bad of me but I got the job so I have come to the conclusion it was an overall productive day.

I’m in the process of getting exam results back just now. I’ve found out that I got 62% in the chemistry class test which isn’t too bad I don’t think. I’m most pleased with biology, I got a B1 in coursework and a B2 in the final exam for 1A so I’m chuffed with that. I’ve yet to get maths back and I’m most definitely not going to be impressed with that. Resits anyone?

My favourite subject is still forensic medicine, and for once I’m looking forward to starting a large assignment worth 25% of the overall grade. It’s all got a bit more law-y but it’s still very interesting, and I think it’s fantastic that the lecturers are actual forensic pathologists, because they can tell personal stories and describe some of the bizarre crime scenes they have come across.

To completely change the subject – what on earth is with the weather right now? A whole week of sunshine in Glasgow? There’s something fishy going on. Not that I’m complaining, it’s been lovely! I’ve been going long walks through the Kelvingrove Park and up to the “posh houses” (Park Circus) with my boyfriend.

I’m also in the process of looking for a flat for summer, so I’ve been exploring the areas surrounding the university checking for “to let” signs. Oh how I’d love a £350,000 flat in Park Circus. Although my scabby Micra would look a bit out of place parked between a Bentley and a Mercedes.

I will update when I have my maths results, and no doubt I’ll have a long rant about the evilness of mathematics.

Semester 2 has now started, and I have been keeping to all of my resolutions regarding university. First off, I’ve switched to not having to go into uni until 2pm for lectures, to having to be in at 9am every day. I now have biology at 9, chemistry at 10, and forensic medicine at 11. You’d think this would be a horrific state of affairs, having to be awake at half seven every day, but I’m actually liking it. I’ve attended every lecture (okay so it’s only Thursday of week 1 but still!) and I’ve been revising my lecture notes every day when I come home to make sure I know it. This is the way it should have been!

Forensic Medicine. My new subject to replace the tortures of maths. I’m loving it at the moment as we’re doing a kind of introduction to the human anatomy, which of course I know pretty well from being a biology-geek. But instead of going into a lot of detail about the workings, we’re learning about when it goes wrong, causes of death, and how they show up on a post mortem. It’s very interesting! I’m sure it will get hard when it gets into the law bit, especially considering most of the class are law students, so the course might assume we all know the basics of law.

I also like being finished uni by 12. It means I can sit down and have lunch and write up lecture notes before most people start coming home and distracting me.

Sammi now loves uni 😉

Well guys, I’m one of those “lucky” people who had all their exams at the start of the exam period. I say “lucky” in the loosest possible way. I have completed all three of my exams, and although I vowed I wouldn’t say I’d failed them before I got results out, but I’m saying I’ve failed at least maths.

Biology was a lot of guesswork, but educated guesses could prove to be right so I may have done okay in biology, I’m not confident, but there’s a chance… Maths, well that was just one massive disaster. I answered only a few questions, and of those I did actually write something for, I only got a definite answer for one. So I can safely say – I have failed maths. But nobody can say I haven’t done work for it. I’ve done more work for maths than for biology and chemistry combined. I’m just naturally crap at it. Chemistry, I was sure of doing badly in, but I think it went better than biology and maths.

So… I’m relaxing for a few days, then I’m going to get on track for semester 2. This is the semester to be organised, on time, and caught up with work and revision. It’s going to work. I promise!

On a happier note, I’ve been looking at my stuff for forensic medicine. It sounds a really hard course but it sounds really really interesting. I reckon if I can keep on top of the workload I’ll enjoy it and thus I’ll not find studying it a huge chore.

Good luck to everyone still sitting exams next week!

I’ve decided I don’t like this time of year. I love Christmas and New Year when there’s that perfectly valid excuse to do no work and to just be merry. But after all that is over there’s this scary realisation that exams are looming. I, myself have my first exam a week yesterday. Well, in 5 days now seeing as it’s now technically Thursday. I also have my three exams three days in a row, leaving no “study days” in between. But it’s comforting to know that on Thursday at 4:30 it will all be over. I definitely haven’t studied anywhere near enough to convince myself I’m going to do okay.

Also, another wee bit of news, I’ve switched maths to Forensic Medicine officially. It sounds far more interesting, albeit a lot harder, than Exploring the Cosmos. But as my New Years resolutions go, I shall be going to every lecture, I shall be doing a little bit of work every night, and I shall stop being a typical lazy student.

Merry belated Christmas, and here’s to 2008.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m dropping maths in favour of something that might make sense to me. Namely, Exploring the Cosmos. I wasn’t allowed to take anything else really, it was that or Science Communication which I didn’t really know much about, neither did my advisor, so I’m going with the famous skive of excos. It sounds alright, AND it has no labs and no tutorials and it’s at 1pm rather than a hideous time in the morning. We’re all happy!

 Other news, I went home over the weekend, and did a lot of maths work. I’m actually ahead of the class in Algebra, but I’m still behind in Calculus unfortunately. But I’ll pick it up, I do plan to pass maths this semester even though I’m not taking it any further. Somehow I’m finding it easier to understand the “official notes” which are on Moodle than the lecturer himself. I think it’s because I lose attention in lectures…

It’s nearly Christmas… Yaaaay! Well it would be good, if I had any of my student loan left, which I don’t. 4am ASDA trips seem to make my bank balance pretty low. But as it’s nearing Christmas, my biology lectures have finished and I’ve now only got Chemistry and Maths up until the 14th, when I finish for the holidays. So that theoretically means I have an extra hour in bed. Joy 🙂

Yeah. Attendance. Apparently actually attending lectures is helpful if you want to have any chance of passing.

MESSAGE TO ANY PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: Seriously, go to lectures if you possibly can make it, don’t get really far behind and then have to chase people for copies of notes, and frantically have to check Moodle every five minutes in case something else has been discussed that you didn’t know about because you weren’t at lectures.

 Yeah, it’s scary when you fall behind and think you can’t catch up. I’ve scared myself into going to lectures this week as my attendance was abysmal last week. Okay so I did have a lot of other things to be dealing with last week, but I’ve decided that I want to pass this year. I’ve caught up on everything in chemistry… Biology I’m just waiting for lecture notes to go on Moodle and for maths I’m getting a copy of notes from a classmate and I know what the homework and such is, so I’m going to be okay. *Phew*

Apart from that, we got exam dates published last week. Which is scary in itself, but I’m not best chuffed with my dates. I have all three of my exams on the first three days of exam time. An exam a day for three days, then a week and a half off. I suppose I should be thankful for the time off where most of my flatmates will still be stressing about studying, but this means that I will have to knuckle down and study during New Year etc. because I simply don’t have “study leave” as such.

On another (happier?) note, I’m going to see my advisor on Thursday to discuss the dropping of maths, because I am that bad at it, and I don’t enjoy it. I love biology and chemistry, maths depresses me. So I’m considering my options for picking up another subject in January. Options so far include: Forensic Medicine, Psychology, Exploring the Cosmos, and I don’t know what else. Hmmm… *thoughtful face*

 I’m going to read a textbook. :0

I’ve decided that university is stressful. I cannot do maths to save myself, and although it’s not one of my main subjects, it seems to have taken over my life. I’m getting bad at actually attending lectures, and I’m lagging with getting notes copied up. Although to be fair I have been really quite ill this last week so I have spent a lot of time in my bed. I have this maths test on Monday which is worth 20% of my overall grade for maths, and I’m quite honestly panicking about it. I’m going to spend this weekend studying for it, amongst actually starting my lab report for biology, copying up notes I’ve missed, and maybe even trying to understand my notes.

 Maybe all this university stuff is beyond me… I don’t know. It’s hard.

So I had this chemistry test today. First test in chemistry. I was full of good intentions of getting up early and studying for it, but of course being the lazy bum that I am, that never happened. However the test was easy, well I say easy, I mean that I at least understood what I was being asked. I did mess up the last question though as I didn’t have a clue, so I drew some elaborate non-existent molecule in the hope whoever is marking my test will think I’m so much of a genius that I’ve actually invented a new substance.

Well this being my first post on my university blog, and indeed my first time using WordPress, I think it would be best to introduce myself. I’m Sammi, a 17 year old girl who has just started at the University of Glasgow as an undergraduate. I’m living at Cooperage Place which is private halls about 15 minutes walk from university, but home for me is Carluke, bet you’ve never heard of it. I’m studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths, I’m a member of the QMU and I can say quite honestly that I love university and have realised that all those 40-somethings that tell you that university is the time of your life really aren’t wrong!

 When not at university or studying hard (haha) I enjoy spending time with friends and family. The usual things really – watching TV and films, playing console games, being addicted to the internet, going out at night etc etc. I’d like to say I have a hobby but I honestly don’t think I have a “proper” hobby.  

Best thing about university so far? I know it’s a cliché – but meeting new people! Worst thing? Work. Enough said.