Wednesday, 16 February 2011


Following on from this post...

I conquered the beast that is R.

I got 88% in the end of module exam.

That's the joint 2nd highest mark out of the whole group of about 70 people (one other person got 88 and the highest was 90, so not too far off the top spot).

I'm mega proud of myself.

Statistics, you are no longer an evil to me. I have beat you and never will you trouble me with your devious ways again, muahahaha.

(I really hope I don't live to regret that last sentence...)

Monday, 14 February 2011

101 things in 1001 days: Number 23 - Give blood

Completed: 24th January 2011
Tasks completed: 2/101
Days to go: 870

My first experience of giving blood wasn't as daunting as I'd imagined.

I booked my appointment only half an hour beforehand; I'd expected there to be a long wait as I'd left it so late before deciding I definitely wanted to do it.
They made me drink 2 pints of water while I was waiting (it raises your blood pressure making everything easier)... you're recommended to have 500ml but I was waiting for about an hour so I kept getting told to drink more and more and more, and the waterlogged feeling on top of my nerves wasn't the nicest!
Turns out the nurse who did my finger prick test was born in Isleworth, and his friend used to live in the house next door to the Harvester opposite Ashford Hospital. It's such a small world, and since then I've discovered another 2 people I've met at uni have links to home. Strange coincidences freak me out slightly...
Having the needle put in hurt (obviously, as it was pretty big compared to a standard injection) but not as much as I'd worked myself up to believe that it would. Once it was in it was fine, and it only started to hurt again towards the end of the donation, but it only took 7 1/2 minutes which is no time at all so it was bareable.

I got my donor card the other day and my blood type is O- which is cool because my blood can go to anyone of any blood type, so with my one donation I could've potentially already helped save someone's life which is a really rewarding feeling :). Only 7% of the population are O- though, so if I ever need a blood transfusion there's a significantly lower chance of there being blood available for me than if I had a more common group, but *touch wood* I won't ever need blood so I don't have to worry about it. But it makes me realise even more how important it is for people to donate. It's really simple, quick (the whole thing took about an hour, but that was only because only 4 people could donate at a time and it was pretty busy) and pain-free (other than the initial sharp scratch of the needle then a sort of dull ache towards the end, but that went as soon as the needle was out). Plus you get as much free tea, squash, cake and biscuits as you want, what more could you ask for? :P

So if you've never given blood before, or even if you haven't done it for a while, I urge you to at least consider donating. Your donation will be put to good use, either by saving someone's life or being used in treatment for other conditions like cancer. I think one hour of your time is something so small and well worth giving up to give people the chance to live.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Times are changing

Things that have happened in the past couple of months:

  • I spent my entire Christmas holiday doing near enough non-stop revision. It was so hard and depressing, and I got to the point in the last week before exams where I really felt like I couldn't go on any more - picking up notes and books was a huge struggle, and even things like buying food and eating seemed like too big a task. But I got through it, just, and even though I completely missed the point of the question in one exam I still managed to pass and get a 2:1 or a first in all my modules. I got 70% in Biodiversity and Conservation ( a mark significantly boosted by using the example of how Australia and New Zealand keep their biodiversity high by strictly controlling animal/plant imports... which I learnt about on Nothing To Declare or some other program on Sky 3), 88% in Stats, 61% in Development and Diversity, and 60% in Functional Animal Ecology (which I was convinced I was going to fail because I couldn't keep the information in my head, I had no outside reading and I missed the point of the question. Yet I got credit for "creative use of examples", so I basically passed an exam based on the bullshit I came out with. Win.)
  • Chris and I broke up. It's been a while coming I think, certainly from my point of view, as I think the distance and the fact that we lead different lives now was making everything far too difficult. I don't really know if I feel happier now, but I'm trying to pick myself up and hopefully I'm making some progress.
  • Still battling on with the City & Guilds 7303 course. I'm doing my micro-teach (half an hour mini lesson) next week and I'm rather nervous, especially as we have to be videoed...
  • I'm cramming yet more into my schedule by doing the St John PTA course. If I pass the assessment next weekend I'll get to use ambulance equipment and medical gases, yay :)
  • House for next year is sorted. I'm living with Matt and Hugh, and my new room is probably at least twice the size of my current room, and it's got 2 big windows. Only a single bed mind, but it's a small price to pay for having so much extra space and I'm not really too bothered by it. It'll be nice to be able to spread my stuff out again and not constantly feel crammed in. Plus mildew's started creeping its way into my room (must've started at some point over Christmas) which is absolutely gross, and it makes the small bit of space I have even less because I have to make sure nothing's touching the front wall or it'll go mouldy :\
  • I'm still progressing with my list of 101 things in 1001 days and I'm getting there... slowly. I'll post updates of my progress in the next couple of days.
The past 2 months don't really seem like that long when everything's written out, but it feels like they've dragged on foreverrrr. I really want it to be summer so I can get out and do things on warm days, and not have to worry about uni work!