Saturday, 1 July 2017

Review: June 2017

I feel like I did nothing in June, but Leon tells me I say this every month and then by the end of the blog post realise oh yeah maybe I did some things. But this month definitely didn't have many big things. Which is okay, I suppose.


I have a job now! And I really like it! I'm working as a Teaching Assistant at CTYI, TAing Session 1 CAT Biotech and Session 2 CAT Medicine. It's funny -- at the time I submitted my application I wanted to do astrophysics, but by the time I started working I've started feeling Molecular Medicine, so it's pretty cool that they assigned me Biotech and Medicine. I'm responsible for lots of admin tasks like calling roll and taking lunch money, for supervising lunch and study and explaining things at said study, for helping the students with lab work and also occasionally for lecturing, which is cool! Here's a picture of me doing that last thing:

I love the casual stance.

I lectured on my Young Scientist research projects (which had lots of the students coming up to me for advice on theirs, which I absolutely encourage because BTYS is cool, yo) and then on antibiotic resistance, which was very relevant to our course.


I held workshops on antibiotic resistance with, if I recall correctly, 170 students (excluding the CTYI ones in the picture above) in nine classes in primary schools in Louth and north Dublin. Something really cool happened after the Blanchardstown one -- a 4th class girl who goes by "Fox" came up to me and hugged me as I was leaving the school, saying she was super interested and "finally got to learn about bacteria". Very cute.


Lablinn is expanding! We now have a team full of cool people who want to help promote public involvement in science and public health, plus a bunch of ambassadors. People are gradually being added to the page and you can see the team here! We'll be working on some interesting initiatives over the summer so stay tuned. 


I actually updated the blog a reasonable amount in June, with seven posts! I reviewed When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanathi (review here) and Code: the Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software by Charles Petzold (review here), talked about Spotlight ABR, working with The Walton Club and studying Harvard Business School's HBX Core and stressed about subject choices for my degree.

It was also my five-year blogging anniversary. I started in June 2012 and have been blogging continuously ever since, although darquessedreams has been abandoned as I've started putting my book reviews here.

This blog also passed 100,000 visitors! *trumpet sounds* 

I've been itching to redesign it with a much cleaner layout although this busy one is kinda charming, maybe port it over to Wordpress depending how much hassle that is. I was also gripped by the urge to start a book blog again after reading Cait's blog over at Paper Fury but you have a blog Elle, damnit, are you not busy enough? I suppose the worry is people like to read blogs about just one thing. 


I've spent quite a bit of time in June thinking about what degree I want to come out with -- you can read a whole post about the dilemma between Astrophysics and Molecular Medicine here. I'm thinking Molecular Medicine but haven't 10000% decided. 


My non-fiction book proposal about citizen science has been sent to the publisher. Also, I wrote an awesome intro chapter for it which I love because it's much more personal and less academic than the rest of the book -- I didn't realise how important it was to have that intro into who I am and why I care about this until I wrote it. 


This is that business course I'm doing with Harvard Business School thanks to the Naughton Foundation. I like it! I'm 42% through the Business Analytics course (glorious stats), 45% through Accounting and 22% through Economics for Managers (look, it's just how the module deadlines are laid out...) and I'm getting 90%+ in the module quizzes despite my constant low expectations. Seriously, every question I do (and there are money) I think oh there's no way this is right and I keep getting them right, so maybe I know something? Or am extremely lucky? We'll see in the final exam in September. 


I need to read more! I started Cosmos by Carl Sagan this month but didn't really enjoy it (also, the font really bothered me), so hopefully I'll go back to that and get more into it. I read Do No Harm by Henry Marsh, a neurosurgeon's memoirs, and loved it (review soon). I'm almost finished The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat by Oliver Sacks and I'm disappointed because I've heard great things about him but the book is awful, some interesting stories but I really disagree with his way of interpreting things -- review soon for that one too. I'm starting Lab Girl by Hope Jahren soon, which is exciting! Have I ever mentioned I adore Book Depository? It delivers cheap books for free! 


I moved out of my awesome digs with a great reference from my lovely landlady aka digs mom Viv. It was sad. i still need to go back and pick up some of my stuff. I'll be writing a blog post soon on what the digs experience is like for anyone considering staying in them. I moved out theoretically to stay at Dad's for the summer while searching for an apartment for next year but have essentially just moved in with Leon instead oops. Speaking of Leon, we saw A Dog's Purpose together and I only went because I thought he'd cry during and it would be funny, but in the end it was I who cried. Damnit.


So that was my month. Pretty good, got to relax a bit. 

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