Semester 1, 2008
This semester's unit mascots were a varied bunch, from the calm observations of Phal C. Parum to the 'cool street' attitude of Terminal Bouton. Jonah (the angry man on the end) failed in his goal of distracting from studies absolutely miserably. For more information and pictures of each unit mascot, see the unit pages.
Notes from this semester weighed in at... 7.09kg
This semester saw me doing four end-of-semester exams, and I thought I'd share my secret to prolonged intensive study success...
And now for some art inspired by doodles drawn between units. Click on the thumbnail to view the full image.
BIOL1003, Evolution, Ecology and Genetics
An introductory unit with enormous amounts of ground to cover, this unit was like a series of frustratingly small test-taste ice cream flavours that made you want to eat en entire warehouses’ worth of ice cream. It had pretty pictures (such as an owl in a toilet and an albino chimp), spiffy concepts (the evolution lectures reminded me of Dawkins at times, hoorah!), and, of course, made use of David Attenborough video footage. A winning combination in anyone’s book :D
Jasper is a migratory mango-loving biologist, currently studying several species of fungus (no mean feat given his lack of fingers). A gentle (if slightly manic at times) person, Jasper's favorite pastime is showing small children the beauty of ecosystems from above (he can't fly and carry large children, because they're too heavy).
BIOL2191, Ecology of Health and Disease
Having enjoyed BIOL1008 (Sex, diet and disease) immensely, this course was the next natural step to take. It lived up to expectations fantastically, balancing stomach-churning detail (pustules are never pleasant) with intriguing historical timelines and interesting societal insights. I particularly enjoyed the assessment, which was less about regurgitating facts and more about genuine engagement with course materials.
Phal C. Parum is a man of unclear origin, who travels the world following in the footsteps of infectious disease epidemics in the hope of predicting their future spread. An experimental fungus originally intended to prevent the development of asthma and other autoimmune disorders in children is his constant companion, and sometimes it almost seems sentient… Phal is an efficient but courteous doctor, and currently holds the world record for most smallpox vaccinations in a 24 hour period.
PSYC2007, Biological Basis of Behaviour
A mental workout leaving my hippocampus as buff as Arnie’s biceps*, this course somehow transformed an incomprehensible textbook into a quite understandable one. I remember after the first lecture wondering if I would ever understand it all… And now I look back and wonder how I could have found such seemingly simple concepts so difficult (scoff – of course myelinated neurons conduct signals more quickly!). Definitely a case of you get lots if you put lots in – well worth the hefty ongoing study effort to take the information presented in lectures just that bit further!
* Disclaimer: at no point did this course indicate that you could buff your hippocampus in any way, shape or form. Nor is it physically possible. But let’s ignore that fact for the sake of a good opening sentence.
Terminal had a wild youth, experimenting with all kinds of drugs and leisons. He has since settled down somewhat and gained more of an ethical grounding, building on lessons learned from his earlier days to improve people's lives and understand the way they think. His proudest achievement to date was jumping the great Optic Chiasm on his one-wheeled Basal Ganglia Mobile (a truly pimpin' ride).
PSYC2009, Quantitative Methods in Psychology
My ineptitude at maths is so astounding it would take a millennia for humankind to evolve minds capable of comprehending just how bungling my mathematical abilities are. However, this course wasn’t as horrible as I was expecting. Given the fact that much of the content had a mathematical basis, the gentle lectures, supportive tutors and handy textbook made it almost bearable. For a unit with lots of stats and the like, it was hard work for a maths idiot such as myself, but it left me with the unthinkable – I think I understood the content and actually have a much deeper understanding of the statistical elements of psychology studies. Oh dearie me, how on earth did that happen?
With a cummerbund of measurement and the croquet stick of whacking, the Great Statsby is well equipped to whollop anybody who twists statistics around to intentionally misrepresent data. His favorite pastimes include calculating variances, probabilities, and the likelihood of crumpets for morning tea.