and I passed woohoo! That means only two exams to go in July and this year is done!
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Rainbow S. Sparks has written 32 entries about this goal
since the last entry. I’ve been so busy with the past courses that I had hardly any time for social activities :(. So, time for a little update. The third period of the year already ended, I had exams for the two courses in which I was enrolled (molecular basics of disease and medical biotechnology) and also I had to re-take the immunology exam. I have the results in for immunology and medical biotechnology and I passed both! However for the molecular basics of disease mark I’m still waiting :(. It really takes a long time, as it has been some weeks already since I took the exam. I do expect it any moment soon :).
The best thing is that I now have enough credits to have completed the official bridging course I needed to take. I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but since my bachelor and master didn’t quite overlap each other (or at least uni seems to think so) they told me to gain 30 ECTS in a bridging course program before I could officially enroll in the master. So, FINISHED! As of next year I’ll be officially a master student :D. I am allowed to take the extra credits I earn with courses this year with me to the masters program as elective courses.
Time has been going so fast, I can hardly believe I’m already in the last period of this year. Even better, in 8 weeks I already have summer holiday! First I do need to focus on my last two courses: evolution biology and human embryology.
and surprisingly I passed them weehoo! I really was expecting to have failed the oncology exam, but I ended up with a 7. Given the time and effort I put into studying for it the mark is good. The other exam, functional genomics, I ended up with 6.5. Not really a great mark, and I would not be happy about it normally, but the teacher wrote an e-mail saying that the average grade is a 6. Given that fact, I guess I scored a little above average which makes that 6.5 not that bad. (Maybe my yellow lamborghini drawing got me extra points ;))? Right now I’m just really happy that I only have to retake one exam next period, the immunology exam. I am also confident that I will pass it if I study well for it. I’m just very relieved that I did pass two out of three exams and did not fail them all as I was afraid. (I do feel that the marks itself are a bit on the low side. I just cannot be proud of myself getting a 6.5, but I guess it is nearly impossible to pass everything with grades 8 or above. At least it is for me ;)).
So, now I’m busy with the next courses. I don’t know if I mentioned them before? I’m taking a course in molecular basics of disease. Seems to be a nice course, but it also is ‘easy’, in the way that it is a very global course and does not go that deep into a lot of the diseases. Hopefully I will not have any difficulties with the exam either. Than there is medical biotechnology. So far the course has been fun, eventhough it is time consuming. We have to do a project (10 students per subject) and present it to a farmaceutical company. My subject is about gene therapy for Alzheimers. We’ll start next week on the projects, for now it is still reading articles. It sounds challenging though and I’m not so confident in having to present our project in front of experts from a farmaceutical company :S. To be honoust, I thought we just were going to visit that company and see how they work, like an excursion. But they will make us work hard for it :P. And than, there is this philosophy course. We have to take one course in philosophy, as an obligatory course. It is that I have to take it, otherwise I would not go ;). It is boring and in my opinion philosophists think too much about things that don’t really matter. I’m more of a practical person and thinking about the meaning of life seems wasting time to me. Even if you solve that riddle, does that make you happier? Probably not, so don’t waste too much time on it I’d say. Maybe I’m just too down to earth for these kind of things. And if people like to think about it, than go ahead, but I’d rather not be forced to think too much about it ;). Well I’ll just have to sit this course out, we have to write an essay for it as the final examination, so luckily no test.
So, to summarize it, I’m quite busy at the moment, but I’ll have a holiday (one week) in two weeks! I hope I finally get some time to invest more in social activities as I haven’t had that much time to do so lately :(.
and I didn’t pass :(. It wasn’t really unexpected, so it didn’t come as a big surprise. I ended up with a 5 (out of 10) and 6 is required to pass (or sometimes 5.5). It was the immunology exam, with multiple choice answers. The did ask questions that were pretty precise, while I studied the more global principles. Sometimes they named ten diseases in the book and they listed specific factors involved in any of these diseases. I learned about the factors, but I didn’t remember which factor was present/necessary for which disease :S. I mean, if you know what each factor is responsible for, what do the diseases matter? I’m studying to become a biologist, not a doctor. For me the process is more important than the outcome. Anyway, I now know that I do need to remember all those things! So, I think the next time I take it I’ll do just fine. Eventhough I’m kind of bummed that I need to study this again (it isn’t really my favourite subject I found out, although I do think it is good to know) I know that I’d be happier getting an 8 the second time I take it, than I would be passing it with a 6 the first time. I can’t really be happy about the mark 6. Yes, then you passed, but it isn’t really a great mark. Generally I don’t think I did well if I score below 7, 7 is ok, 8+ is good :). So it’s a bummer, but better luck next time :).
The results of the other two exams aren’t in yet and I don’t expect them to be for 3 more weeks. One week ahs passed since I took them and they officially have 4 weeks to correct them, which means you better not expect any grades within 4 weeks :P. I do hope I passed functional genomics, eventhoguh I also didn’t really feel good about it :(. I already gave up on the oncology exam :P. It would be really crappy if I failed all the exams this period. Then I might as well have taken a holiday of two weeks instead of learning haha.
Sigh… just a very very deep sigh. The 2nd period is finally over! The exams are done for now… Phew… I don’t know what it is, but I’d been living like a bird kept in a cage, locked away from society for days. Just learning, learning, learning. Needless to say this did not have a great impact on my mood. To make things worse, the exams didn’t go that well. The first one, imunology was a multiple choice exam, in which I kept on having the same problem, doubting between two answers :S. Great! Since they also reduce points for guessing I just don’t know what to think of this one. Today I had another two exams, oncology and functional genomics. I did study hard for functional genomics, but the exam seemed to be filled with things I didn’t encouter. Or so it seems to be. Vaguely I remembered them, but somehow my brain wasn’t really cooperating. One question was about yeast and I remember the teacher saying that yeast is like the lamborghini of model organisms, fast and elegant. So I drew a lamborghini and wrote that next to it… Well, I wish it looked really like a lamborghini, it was more of a renault station car, but the intention was right. Oncology was doomed to fail anyway, since I hadn’t really learned that much (I focused on functional genomics).
So, what now… I was expecting to feel really relieved that it is over, but I’m actually feeling a bit sad. Not because it didn’t go as I planned, but hmmm I’m not sure why actually… Ever since I got home I felt so tired, like all the tiredness is now coming over me, because I kept on working and somehow the stress also wants out… Blah! I’m having friends over this weekend, so I hope they can cheer me up :). And I’ll respond to all your messages soon :). I didn’t find time to do that yet.
Last week I figured out my next exams are already lining up. First one to knock on my door is the immunology exam, which is tuesday the 18th. So a little over a week to study for it. The good thing is (at least I hope it is a good thing) that it is a multiple choice exam. The teacher said something about the exam also being multiple answer, in which more than one answer can be correct. I have no experience with tests like that so far, so it may be a little tricky. It will certainly make it more difficult to guess the correct answer when in doubt. Still, I feel that if I learn the theory properly this exam shouldn’t be that bad.
Friday the 28th I have another two exams (functional genomics and oncology). It isn’t really great that they planned two exams on one date, but well it’s not my decission, so what can I do about it. These exams are more difficult as I predict it. The functional genomics one has theory mostly based on scientific papers. Furthermore we did a lot of computer practical work, which also needs to be learned. Oncology is even funnier. We only had lectures, no practicals or tutorials and all these lectures where presented by different teachers every week, with varying topics within the field of oncology. It is kind of a puzzle to me how they will manage to make 1 exam out of this. We didn’t get any papers or books to read, so I don’t know what else to learn but the powerpoints from all the presentations? My classmates aren’t so sure about this either. I guess we’ll see what this exam will lead to. It is the least important one of the three, but of course I still want to pass it if possible :).
Just today I started learning for the immunology exam, already did one chapter out of 9 and I’m doing another one later today. If I’ll manage to do 2 chapters each day I’ll show up prepared enough for the exam. I’m glad there is enough time between the immunology exam and the functional genomics one to learned them seperated. I hate it when they plan two big exam only a day after eachother.
After the exams the new courses will start. This means I’m already half wya through the year. I can’t believe this is going so fast :S. Before I know it I should also start to focus on my internships. I’d rather not think about that right now though, exams first!
And guess what, for the other exam I also managed to score a 7.3! So I passed woohoo! Funny that I got the same grade on both tests. I’m really happy I passed them both. That means no re-taking any tests and only 3 exams in january!
The courses immunology and functional genomics have been fine so far. They do make us practice a lot of things on the computer what is kind of annoying, but well it needs to be done ;). I also really dislike our immunology book. Somehow it is written in a very strange way. It is not difficult, but it continually refers to other parts of the book, which is just annoying me. Otherwise the courses are fun :).
After this week I have a christmas holiday :). I’m really looking forward to it, because it is the first holiday since the start of the year in september :).
and I apparently managed to score a 7.3 for the exam alone. I’m relieved that I really did pass the exam. Normally I’m not excited by joy of a 7.3, eventhough it is not a bad mark either, but right now I’m just really happy that I don’t have to retake the exam! And like I said before, it was the first exam on the new university, accompanied by lots of getting used to anything. So far, I have not found the topics discussed difficult, but we have to read a lot more than I’m used to. That also contributes to my happiness, at least I don’t have to go through learning all this matter again.
There were 6 questions on the exam and the average of points for every question was the final mark. I am especially happy that I managed to score the full 10 points for one question, which was a practical question to see if we’d understand what we have learned. A lot of people did not so well on this one, so I’m extra proud of myself ;). Another thing I’m a little proud of is that I managed to make no spelling mistakes. Yes, I’ve been made fun of all day, but I do really care about the way I write and spell. Some people are so terrible at spelling in their own language :S. I won’t say that I never make mistakes, but I do check my spelling. One of the teachers that corrected the exam probably was very annoyed by spelling mistakes, because he corrected them for everyone and I had none ;).
(Yes, my English spelling could be much better, but it still counts as a foreign language for me, so I’m prone to mistakes ;)).
THe other exam still isn’t in yet :(.
And I’m relieved, but confused as well. For one of the past courses I was awarded 7.5 out of 10. Which is an ok score, but considering it was my first test at a new uni, a new way of learning and such, I think it is pretty good. But, the strange thing is, this 7.5 is not my mark for the test, but the average of the course (average of the test, my presentation and my practical work). The true mark of the test only is not listed :S. It is strange. Others have this all as well (we got an e-mail from the professor saying the final mark was in). And somehow I don’t believe that it can be this 7.5. My feeling right after the test was maybe I passed, maybe I didn’t, which is between 5.0 and 6.0, but certainly not 7.5. Now I’m really scared they made some mistake or something and they wrote the wrong mark down. Maybe they confused my students number, or name, with someone else. The mark was there yesterday, and it was here today as well. I will keep a close eye on it and I even made a print screen of the page (yes, I’m paranoid like that haha). Actually the print screen was an idea of my classmate who was awarded a 7, but had the same feeling as I did. She is also afraid it is a mistake. Our other study friends were awarded 5.0s, which means they didn’t pass :(. Only us two passed out of the 7 of us. What also is strange is that one of them studied at least as hard as me (she was busy learning for 1.5 weeks straight as well) and when we talked about some of the subjects she knew a lot, even explaining me some things. So why did she get a 5.0 and I a 7.5? It somehow doesn’t match, because I know her a bit better now and she is not stupid or anything. I don’t understand it one bit. Next tuesday we have the opportunity to take a look at our exams and I will go there to make sure the mark is right. Until then I will keep my eye on it ;).
Which is a good thing, wait… no it is great! After almost two weeks of full time studying I got really grumpy. The downside however is that I don’t really know how the tests went. First of all, the questions were not as hard as I thought they would be. That’s a good thing! But still, I did not do really well, but not really bad either. It is a typical case of wait and see how it went. It will probably take some weeks before the results are in, but hey what else is new. Teachers are not the quickest beings around ;).
As of tomorrow I will go into the 2nd block of courses. This time immunology, functional genomics and oncology are my subjects. All topic which I think are nice, judging them by their names. Hopefully we will get kind of an idea how the courses are arranged this week. I’m actually quite looking forward to it!
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