Semester 2, 2010
... Nearly there... Nearly done... *stumble*
Notes from this semester weighed in at... 4.1kg
And now for some art inspired by doodles drawn between units. Click on the thumbnail to view the full image.
BIOL 3192 - Human Nutrition and Population Health
If this course was a chair, it'd be the comfortable couch in your mate's front room: a nice place to sit if you're on your own, but the possibilities are endless if you've got some friends around. Strip the cushions and build a fort (by which I mean, take concepts from lectures and rearrange them in interesting, novel ways via the assessment items). Have a cushion fight (by which I mean work together well in discussion groups). Remember to look at the couch as a couch, as well as the chair bit and the cushions (by which I mean keep in mind the dichotomy and complementarity of both a reductionist and holistic approach to both the course content, and how you study for the final exam). I was lucky enough to do this couch... Um... course with a great group of people, and that really let me get the best out of the lectures and discussion groups. If you don't know anyone when you start the course, make friends early on, and you too can enjoy yourself. Just be warned, once you've done this course you'll be physically incapable of not noting whether a given foodstuff is fortified with something.
Nellwyn Darin is a down-to-earth, practical woman with an easygoing nature and seemingly endless supply of fresh vegetables. She lives in a giant pyramid with projectors trained on each side, which project images of the latest food intake proportion recommendations (updated frequently).
PSYC3011 - Perception
Often, I've watched joggers jog by, and noted their gasping and obvious strain. Why on earth, I wondered, would anyone voluntarily push themselves to such exhaustion, and later report they enjoyed it? Roughly halfway through this course, I stretched after a four hour block of metaphorically smushing my brains into a seemingly implacable wall of hypothetical vector space*... And realised I was doing precisely what bemused me so much about the joggers.
Oh. Now I get it.
This is one of the most intellectually demanding, and rewarding courses you could have the pleasure/pain of doing. I can guarantee that the final exam revision will be torture if you don't give it your full attention as you go, but just like those mad joggers, if you often do small amounts of study (or just ponder), you'll get a lot out of this course. It won't help you shed kilos, it won't damage your ankles, and it won't give you buff (yet shapely) calves. It will, however, get you thinking about how you see the world (literally), and if you're lucky like I was, it'll keep you thinking long after the exam-hand ache disappears.
* Yes I'm still struggling to grasp this concept, there shall be no rest until it is understood!
A lot of people find Antigone inscrutable when they first meet her, but an ongoing acquaintance reveals her subtle wit. Disliking busy crowds, she often goes for long walks at night, lighting her way with her hands, which glow inexplicably by will. She used to use the glow to explain colour opponency, but this turned out to be an unsuccessful stratagem as it can be difficult to concentrate on psychophysics when someone looks like they're about to throw yellow fire at you...
PSYC3018 - Advanced Research Methods
AHHHHH STATS. Aaaaaahhhhh. Ahhhh. Ok, better stop screaming.
Unless you're one of those blissfully strange few people who enjoys the finer points of statistics, this will likely be in the top of your most-dreaded courses list. Well, you have to do it, and I promise it isn't that bad. The key is hard work. Emphasis on the hard. Even the most incomprehensible formula can be untangled with the help of a friendly tutor, and a clear lecturer. You will drown in revision when the exams turn up unless you make sure you've got at least a passable grasp on the concepts each week. Each week I spent at least five hours outside of tutorials and lectures just going through what was covered, and that was enough to keep me from complete confusion. And if someone as mathematically impaired as I am can make it through with an understanding of the concepts and a respectable grade, everyone can.
Although, I am still having nightmares where a gigantic humanoid ANOVA is terrorising the campus, getting larger as each person violates its assumptions, and our fearless lecturer and tutors are trying to fight it in a giant robot but are having a hard time as they also have to protect the fleeing students oh dear oh no it has seen me AHHHHH aaaahhhhh aahhhhhh...
Perhaps the most manic vampiress in history, Countess Statula draws her energy not from blood, but from the frustration of psychology students attempting to understand ANOVA and multiple linear regression. Wherever possible, she terrorizes students just prior to final statistics exams, increasing their maths anxiety to a point where she can fill up on the nervous energy and sustain herself until the next statistics unit is taught.
PSYC3020 - Health Psychology
Doing this course will make you very aware of how healthy, and unhealthy, you actually are. It is a curious mixture of the 'hard' scientific methods of medicine and clinical psychology, and an important emphasis on how it is the subjective, rather than objective, experience of illness and health that really matters. Sadly, I didn't give this course all of the energy it deserved. For the whole semester, it was sandwiched between the time sinks of PSYC3018 and PSYC3011 (both demanding courses), and the final exam was the last of four, so pushing through the exhaustion to give it my full attention was quite difficult. The variety in topics covered was great, though any fellow biology students who have done some human health and disease will feel they're re-treading old ground a bit. I took this course and BIOL3192 (Human Nutrition and Population Health) together, and they matched well; I would recommend the combination to anyone who is thinking of taking any two third year psychology and biology courses.
Kyon is a stolidly cheerful lass who can often be seen running about and multitasking. Her caring nature shines through a honed critical faculty, and she often gives her best advice with the caveat to keep an eye out for new discoveries. Kyon is an excellent nurse owing to her sweet bedside manner, and a biochemistry sufficiently distant from human that she is immune to most diseases.