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It came from the sky!

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winter.jpgWhen I got up today and looked out through my window, I was greeted by a sight that I was not expecting for a while. Rooftops and vegetation were covered in light snow – just enough for a white blanket! The night before I did notice very mild precipitation, but I was expecting everything to be melted by morning. The temperature must have dropped a few degrees below zero!

That did not really stop me or anyone else, although it required a few extra minutes of getting properly dressed so that no extremities were left exposed for freezing! One lesson I must remember, however: when walking on grass with a surface layer of ice, take care not to make long strides especially when transitioning to an unfrozen surface! You will definitely slide and probably injure yourself. The latter did not happen to me, but I did get a “pre-winter” reminder when my threaded and rubberized boots gave way and, for about 3 seconds, my heart skipped several beats!

Interestingly, much of the snow has already melted already. However, looking at the skies, I am not sure there will be sunshine for a while. The drab grey overcasts can be very depressing, but I guess that comes with the season.

I hope to get some good R&R over the weekend and definitely be productive in assignment completion. I have come to expect a multitude of assignments every week. Will it ever end? I do not think it will; it is just a part of the life of a student…


Written by falcon1986

9 November, 2007 at 5:22 PM

Posted in University Life

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Approaching insanity…

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Hmmmm… Is it possible to diagnose one’s self with insanity? Do insane people know that they are insane? I’m not sure, but if they don’t then I’ll be the first one to confess!

This is supposed to be the mid-term break here at university. It runs for 1 week and during this time students usually catch up on studying and completing assignments before classes resume for the next half of the semester. It’s half-time before a spiraling homestretch toward Christmas exams. However, I believe I got more than my share of what I’m supposed to be doing this mid-term break. I have to write 3 Biology essays for different courses, 2 full lab reports and 1 brief communication, then to top that off I have a major test to study for! And all of this is due next week! I haven’t even started any substantial work on some of my essays and it is already Thursday! I guess you are asking, “You could be doing something better than updating your blog, idiot!”. Well, I know that, but that is the only thing I do other than eat, sleep and work. There is really no time to do anything else.

I have set a few goals on what I want to complete and at what time, but that doesn’t seem to be working out because my pace always slows down. However, I find that I am able to do much more work when in an environment where that is all you can do: the library! Yes, after a histology staining lab this afternoon, I will head over to the library and see if I can get more stuff done. I can almost feel that I won’t be able to meet any of the deadlines for completion of these assignments, but I guess I just have to reorganize my time and focus.

I just can’t wait until I’m finished with school altogether! Here’s looking forward to formal academic retirement! 😉

Written by falcon1986

25 October, 2007 at 12:47 PM

Posted in University Life

Mid-term break approaches

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The mid-term break is only 2 days away! Can you believe it? Well, it is not really a “break” as such, but is called a “reading week”, and believe me, that’s what I’ll be doing!

Yesterday evening I had my last test for the week so I was feeling pretty darn good when it was finished, because the rest of the week only consists of attending classes and a few labs – no stress! However, this may probably be the only break I will have because a lot of assignments are due after the mid-term break and tests tend to follow close behind. I already have to write a few Biology essays, formal lab reports and resume my bug collecting (which I hope to do soon seeing that the cool weather is here).

I wish I could just go to a movie on Friday evening, but in this small town the cinema isn’t open! Can you believe that? I thought Friday would have been the best day for business. Anyway, I’ll find something else to do; maybe something more constructive but at the same time relaxing. I really need a good long nap! I haven’t had one of those in a long time. It’s strange how a simple thing as rest becomes something I actually look forward to!

Since many other students will be going home for the mid-term break the dorms will be almost empty, which is not a bad thing as the quiet environment is conducive to studying, but at the same time it can be depressing. I’ll see how it goes…

Written by falcon1986

17 October, 2007 at 7:19 PM

Posted in University Life

My brain is about to explode!

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This weekend is supposed to be Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada when students travel home to be with their families and spend time enjoying the Thanksgiving dinner. Well, unfortunately for me, there won’t be any travelling as I am swamped with having to study for tests, doing required reading and completing assignments.

As soon as classes resume on Tuesday I will be greeted by a Biochemistry test that probably one of the most intimidating tests I have ever had to prepare for! It’s loaded with detailed chemical reactions from anaerobic glycolysis, the citric acid cycle… I can’t even remember what else, but there’s more! I only started studying on Friday last and it’s already Sunday – I haven’t even reached half way. Anyway, I hope to cram as much as I can and do my best when the time comes.

Sleeping is probably the only means by which I can escape having to worry about schoolwork. At least there I can imagine a life without all this stress! Don’t get me wrong; stress can be good especially if it makes you sharper in the academic setting. But my biggest stress is the worry that I am not absorbing the material very well. I wish there was a way you could just listen to recorded lecture notes while you sleep and learn at the same time; maybe the subconscious could learn when at rest and be able to transfer to the conscious when awake.

That’s probably wishful thinking! I better get back to studying. Happy thanksgiving to all!

Written by falcon1986

7 October, 2007 at 8:06 PM

Finally, it’s the weekend!

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stressed.jpgFinally, the weekend is here! Time to unwind and relax… NOT!!! This will probably be the start of “crunch-time” weekends for me as classes are picking up momentum and due dates are fast approaching. This is probably the first time that I will say this: I’m actually enjoying what I’m learning about in the courses I’m taking! I hope that gives me the boost to study hard and do well, a promise that is easily not lived up to for many students, especially one in the sciences.

Tomorrow, I hope to go on another bug-catching expedition, although I’m not sure about the weather seeing that today was pretty damp and chilly from rain the entire day! Furthermore, there will be rowing competitions on the university river tomorrow which will draw quite a large crowd; I’m not going to be swinging my net around just to look like an idiot! We’ll see how things go.

I also have to prepare for several tests next week, draft an essay proposal to hand in, do some work on the WUSC website and other media-related stuff. I guess I shouldn’t complain (which I’m not; don’t get me wrong) because that is what university life is all about. You think I would have figured this out by now, huh?

Written by falcon1986

28 September, 2007 at 7:16 PM

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The entomology student

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insect-ento.jpgOne of the courses I am taking this year is Entomology and it is a requirement that I make a collection of insects for study and submission later in the term. Yesterday, I got my gear together and went exploring in the bushes around my dorm building. The area has quite a bit of rotting wood and natural vegetation that I thought it would be a cinch to capture some bugs. However, it proved more difficult than expected.

My first capture was a large ant; no big deal! Ants are everywhere! Anyway, I kept it. I lifted some old rotting logs, dug around under trees but couldn’t find anything. It must be due to the cold weather or these bugs are more clever than I anticipated. Anyway, I went for the mass capture device: the net! After swinging it around in the bushes I found that I caught a grasshopper (who was very energetic!), a bee and a few bush spiders. I tossed out the spiders and took the other two, but I needed something else. That something else came in the form of a very hairy caterpiller which I didn’t euthanize because I didn’t have any equipment for storage. I still took him back to my room and while I pinned the other guys, the little hairy critter did a little exploration of his own around my desk! I tried to trap him on some wire surrounded by some sugar-water, but he was so keen on leaving that he was swimming to escape! I eventually let him go and got back to my pinning.

This morning I found another weird bug clinging to my room’s ceiling. I got out the net and whisked him into a jar quickly. It didn’t take long before I was performing another impalement! I really don’t know much about Canadian bugs, but I hope I can find a lot for my collection. Time does not permit me to travel to remote sites for gathering so I hope all these bugs either come to me or that there is a bountiful ecosystem just outside my dorm that I haven’t explored yet! Wish me luck!

Written by falcon1986

17 September, 2007 at 9:18 AM

The end of the first week of classes!

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dna-helix.jpgThe first week back to university has finally ended. It was a long week; I experienced much frustration trying to get into courses that were available and shuffling around my timetable. Thankfully, something worked out so I won’t be overloaded this semester.

This year I registered for 3rd and 4th year courses including Histology, Microbiology, Virology, Entomology, Medical Entomology, Advanced Biochemistry I, Advanced Biochemistry II, Advanced Molecular Biology, Biomedical Ethics and Chromatography.

Phew! That was a mouthful! I’m glad that I only have to take 5 this semester and the other 5 next semester. From that list you can probably guess what my general career interest is… hmmm… By my final year I’ll be taking some intense courses but I hope to chisel off any extras over the summer.

Returning to classes brought mixed feelings. Yes, I was ready to get back into the classroom and start learning about some real cool scientific stuff, but I believe some of my brain neurons were still on vacation! The pace has definitely picked up and the sheer volume of expected information has definitely ballooned. However, with proper time management and dedication I should be able to pull this one off and return again for the next semesters.

What brought the week to a close were two club meetings I attended this evening. I actually felt less depressed than usual and enjoyed the time away from the books (not to say that studying is not important!). Let’s hope I’m able to keep this feeling up for the rest of the year. I’m already looking forward to the mid-term break even though it is several weeks ahead.

For all those who returned back to school this or last week, I hope you are settling in well and getting readjusted to the workload. Achieving success is never easy, but with God at your side things will turn out just fine.

Written by falcon1986

14 September, 2007 at 9:39 PM

Posted in University Life