Semester 1, 2009
This semester sees Jonah almost completely give up trying to distract me from uni work, with Private Investigator PI proving a very time-consuming influence. Gottit ended up feeding me a huge amount of chocolate, but I'm convinced the thinking Santrock and Herbert had me doing burned off all of the calories.
Notes from this semester weighed in at... 25.7kg
And now for some art inspired by doodles drawn between units. Click on the thumbnail to view the full image.
BIOL2151, Introductory Genetics
Oh my, what a mental workout this course was. It was only when I was putting my notes for this unit away that I realized just how much I'd learned - stuff that would have crossed my eyes just a few months ago now seems blatantly obvious. I wouldn't say I found the content easy to understand, but with some extra study it all suddenly made sense. It also helped to be sitting next to someone who takes to biology like a duck takes to water (minus the beak and propensity to lay eggs).
Private Investigator PI, a shrewd man so awesome he's capable of electrophoresis without a gel or capillaries (sufficiently advanced science seems like magic... in this case it probably is just magic). On his days off, he enjoys approaching passers by in public places, taking DNA samples, and testing for the Wahlund Effect. In his younger days he was the lead of the band "PCR Brothers", known for their hit single We'll make you hot and then cold and hot and cold again (Taq remix).
Dave decided to hold a lab coat competition. I may have gone a little overboard, but hey, if it is worth doing, it's worth breaking out yellow dye, paint, and creating a hypothetical DNA base for a species that is highly caffeine dependent, right? ... I WANTED THE MARS BAR AND GOT IT *manic grin*...
PSYC2002, Developmental Psychology
This course had an excellent lecturer, fantastic textbook, and an assessment scheme that I thought was great. The catch? I really, really don't like small children. I completely lack any urge to gooze at the balls of brown adipose tissue and drool that are babies. So, paradoxically, I found everything but the content of this course top-notch. Were this not a degree requirement, I wouldn't have touched it with a twenty hundred foot pole. Though I found myself deeply apathetic about the achievements of babies lifting their heads (amazing! I'm stunned!... or not) or being able to slowly emerge from the snot-producing egocentrism of infancy, I do need to begrudgingly acknowledge that I have learned quite a bit, and yes, it will inform my perspective on adult psychology... So, ultimately, I'm glad its over, but I'm also glad I did it.
Santrock Santrock is a cute little rascal with plenty of imagination, and an umbrella. He might have some problems when he's old enough to go to school and his peers realize his godfather and namesake is a textbook, but he's securely attached to his parents and has an easy temperament, so he should be fine. Plus, he could always wallop bullies with his umbrella.
PSYC3025, Abnormal Psychology Across The Lifespan
I have a sneaking suspicion I wasn't the only one in my cohort looking forward to this unit - I think it must be impossible not to be curious about what can go wrong with the human mind. The first and the second halves of the course felt very different, but in hindsight they fit together well. I really liked the textbook, especially its plentiful online supplements (crosswords to help with revision - GENIUS!). I would have loved to learn about each disorder in more detail, but even this whirlwind tour was engaging. I found many things mentioned back in first year were expanded upon - this course really plugs into the Psychology degree as a whole.
Herbert may look a little daunting, but he's an engaging, intelligent chivalrous fellow. Grossly misrepresented by people who don't know him in person, he's not at all violent or dangerous*, and not at all deserving of the anti-hand-tentacle stigma rife in modern movies and television shows. Herbert is an expert in psychopharmocological conflicts and is well known for his special cheesecakes that even people on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors can enjoy without risk of death.
* He isn't dangerous, except on the dance floor - if he had booty he would definitely shake it
SCOM2001, Practical Skills For Communicating Science
I had no idea what to expect from this unit, yet it still managed to exceed expectations (I'm sure that statement must be causing a hole in space/time somewhere). The fact this unit was so different from anything else at ANU was very refreshing. It was sneaky, teaching you things without your noticing. I thoroughly recommend it to everyone doing anything even vaguely science - related: the practice and skills you learn regarding public speaking would be useful to anyone and everyone. The assessment is also balanced, fair and distributed, and suits a learning style of doing a little, but often.
Gottit Outthere has, to all intents and purposes, indeed got science 'out there'. Deceptively youthful, he is eloquent, exuberant, and only a teensy bit strange. Nobody quite knows why or how he has a tail, but it is incredibly useful in that it always points out the best way to phrase something. Gottit is the world record holder for most chocolates sold in a single week, and can do an incredibly impressive impression of a neuron passing on an electrical signal (it must be seen to be believed).