Friday, 1 June 2018

Review: May 2018


Exams were the biggest feature of May by far. I had 11 exams between 30 April and 22 May: Chemistry, Cell Structure & Function, Metabolism, Genetics, Evolution, Microbiology, Behaviour, Multivariable Calculus, Ecology, Statistics, Infection & Immunity. I'll have a post up specifically about exams so I won't go into much detail here, but one nice thing is that I made some posters to help me study (and lots of other nice drawings that weren't on big posters). 

For Metabolism, showing the major pathways, with substrates in red, enzymes in blue, inhibitors in red and activators in green: 

For Microbiology, covering the main topics of the course except one very nebulous section I left out: Genetic Switches on the left, Fungi in the middle, Bacterial Cell Structure on the bottom centre and Viruses on the right.

For Multivariable calculus, really more of a formula sheet, but very useful on the way to the exam even though lecturer is lovely and didn't end up giving us much hard stuff.

Finally, for Immunology: 

I had my other stuff on multiple smaller sheets -- I quite liked my ones for Chemistry and for Eco. Here's part of my Eco one, for example. 


I found out I'd gotten to the interview stage for the Laidlaw scholarship, did my interview (which was during the exam period and was absolutely terrifying with the nebulous questions about leadership), and then unexpectedly found out I'd got it. So on the 22nd of May we had a welcome ceremony and got this nice photo. I'll have a residential weekend with them in mid-June and then start work.


 I then found out I'd also got a Wellcome (Biomedical Vacation) Scholarship, which was unexpected since they're apparently quite prestigious, and had to turn it down as presumably I couldn't have both. Even if I was, probably better to let the second one go to someone else. 


Things were very intense around the country in May because of all the campaigning for and against repeal of the 8th amendment. I had organised to get a postal vote in April and so in May after my Stats exam I did my postal vote, one week before polling day. I would've preferred marriage equality for my first vote but hey a referendum is a pretty good one anyway. I got pretty into campaigning (though mostly just online stuff) in the last week, especially once I was finally finished exams, and got this nice badge from Scientists For Yes from Aoibheann who kindly waited to give it to me after the DARTs massively screwed up (they weren't operating between Greystones and Bray for a week, so I had to get lifts in for two exams from Leon's family). 

I also co-signed a letter to the independent with 1200 Scientists for Yes. 


Finally got a chance to visit my dad and siblings and give them presents. Myself and Leon brought my two younger brothers to see Solo: A Star Wars Story and they liked it, so that was cool. I thought it was decent, which is an achievement because I've never seen a Star Wars story before. It did help that it was an origin story.


I used to have a big problem with relaxation in that I wasn't able to relax and felt like I had to be working on some busywork all the time. I'm proud that I've mostly conquered that and put tons and tons of work into college but now that I've finished my exams am pretty much fully relaxing apart from annoying admin things, so I'm halfassing neither work nor relaxation. I've been practising drawing mandalas, which are really fun to do, quite easy even if you don't have great art skills, and kind of require going through them slowly and calmly so are good for relaxing. These are the two I've done so far:

 In general I'm enjoying making art, I was feeling sick of exams towards the end of them so I went to the small local art supplies shop and got myself colouring pencils and playdough, and I recently got gel pens for a few euro in the Office Centre and a 24-pack of markers for about 3.50 in Lidl. Relaxation is great, and I like trying out this different way to be productive, where I'm not just scrolling Twitter but I'm not studying for an exam or working either, I'm making stuff and being creative. 

We've also had new housemates move in. As for reading, I've actually been reading one book, Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, for I think all of May and most of April, but to be fair it's over 1000 pages long and I haven't really had much time to, because I normally get my reading done on Dart rides but I've either been busy studying on them because of exams, or have been at home. Hopefully can make a bit more progress soon.

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