Sunday, 4 February 2018

Review: January 2018

Not sure I did much this month but anyway let's go. 2018? Whew. Year-names haven't sounded real since 2012 ended. 

New Year's: Watched Die Hard with Leon and Gráinne and then spent the actual first day of the year lounging about with them. Also was impressed by the Irish show for it with people in laser suits flying around above the Liffey.


The first week of January was the last week pre-Schols so I spent it reading over all my Speciation, Evolution, Biochemistry and Cell Structure notes and cramming Immunometabolism 12 hours a day as was habit at this point. 

Then it was time for the exams. I'm working on a whole post about Schols so I'll have lots more detail about that shortly, but basically the exams went better than I'd expected overall in the stress of the final week of study, in that it turned out I knew sooooooo much information. Unfortunately, my downfall was that this was the first set of Biology essays I'd ever written and so my time management was absolutely disastrous. I wrote about 3 excellent (in my opinion) essays out of 8, and the others were either middling or totally messed up by running out of time. So that'll probably have decked my chances at actually getting the scholarship but it, and the fact that my exam technique visibly improved over the four days (#4 was an issue for other reasons) and my essays got much better, bodes well for my summer exams. And it's nice that I know the material. The annoying thing is that because they're essays I have zero idea of how good they're supposed to be or what they're supposed to be like, so for all I know they could be amazing or trash, but sure we'll see. 

The y-axis on the chart (should be labelled, yes) is in pages. 

It's so weird that Schols were the second week of January -- when I was thinking about this blog post I didn't originally include them because it feels like they happened forever ago. It's definitely a weird feeling to be finished after studying nonstop for them for six weeks, and to have to be a functional human again. 


Back to college for Hilary term and into Statistics, Genetics, Microbiology and Behaviour (Ecosystem Biology & Global Change and Infection & Immunity are later in the term). So far I don't like my biology subjects this term as much as I liked Metabolism (Biochemistry) and Evolution, but then I really loved Metabolism once I started studying it properly from the book for Schols. And the modules are pretty interesting. It's definitely a change from last year when I consider a module that's fundamentally interesting but has some boring lectures 'not great', when last year I wasn't interested in pretty much anything we did. Biology is cool yall. 

Also, our Genetics labs have been cool. Maybe they're collecting our samples for government surveillance with that and our Microbiology labs though -- so far we've sampled and been analysing our DNA, fingerprints, tongue and nose. Suspicious.


Have been doing a lot of conceptual work on Lablinn and figuring out what our core goals are. Have decided on this: 

We aim to facilitate civic engagement with science and help people lead citizen science projects in their communities to expand the reach of science and help improve the world.

So we've got a lot of exciting work now to bring that to fruition, and have started on some means to achieve it. Watch this space. 


In January, I read Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of EvoDevo by Sean Carroll, The Future of Life by Edward Wilson (both for Schols), and The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I also started Behave by Robert Sapolsky and What Makes Biology Unique by Ernst Mayr. 

BT Young Scientist:

I went to the Young Scientist and saw some cool projects, including a mentee and a friend I met there years ago who's now Individual Runner-Up, which was super cool. There ended up being a lot of controversy over the winner, it was weird seeing the YS actually release a statement over it, really made it seem like a big deal. 

That's about all, I think. Leon also convinced me to play Pokémon on his DS. It's quite nice. 'Til next time.

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