Tuesday, 5 April 2011

It's getting closer now

Sorry about the lack of posts guys. As you can see here I don't really have the spare time to blog about my daily escapades and to make it worse the past 2 days have been a long 9am-9pm expidition. Hardly any time to take a breath.

But never fear, I only have a little over 1 week of this semester to plow through before I hit a holiday break, a much needed holiday break. As a small celebratory act I have decided to change around this dusty old blog. What do you guys think?
Can you tell I like books? 
Speaking of which, my fiance Corrin just recently bought a book about the crazy happenings and shenanigans that happen in the ER for me. It was a pleasant surprise coming home from a long day at uni to see her standing at the door telling me she has a present for me waiting on the counter. I was shocked to see it was a book since she wasn't so receptive towards my investment of $120 of second hand books only a few months ago.
How can you not want this many books?

Sorry for the short post. Hopefully when I reach my well needed break from uni I can spend some more time on my blog.
 Thanks again for being so supportive and taking interest. Have a lovely evening.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Too many things

I don't really know what to say, other than I'm simply too busy. I drew up a timetable of my school/work/volunteer commitments so you guys kinda know what I'm up to.

"Want to have a team meeting on Friday at 12:00?" "Dear God no."

So, as you can see, I'm a busy man. A few notes on it though. The class and lecture slots are only for the three nursing subjects that I'm taking. The chemistry subject has an internet lecture and a couple of chapters each week, and the physics subject has two internet lectures and a chapter or so a week, plus a bunch of questions (questions which, for a student new to the subject, take a long time to answer). So you can see how all those free-looking slots start to fill up with crap. One other thing is that the work I do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only happens once every two weeks, so I do have time to do school stuff on those weekends.

In other school-related news, I present to you this letter, which I received on Friday:

Yolanta is one of my favourite lecturers, we call her Yoyo.

It basically says that I had the highest grade in my year last year. I was quite elated to find that I had achieved it, and also very happy with the money they're giving me.

Oh! This week I had my first session in the in2science program. I visited the grade seven class I will be with for the rest of the semester and it was pretty interesting. First off, I don't think the chemistry teacher likes me. I hypothesize that it has something to do with him being a physical education teacher and not actually a science teacher. Nevertheless, I went around to all of their little tables and was helping them with their posters they were making on the properties of solids, liquids and gases. 

It was frustrating though, because 12 year old children really have no interest in doing school work. I would sit there and ask if anyone knows any properties of gases, and get responses of silence. I then basically forced them to know what some properties were by using really simply examples like saying "what does a small amount of gas do when you put it into a open area". So I basically ran through a few different things in that manner and went to another group. When I got back to the first group they hadn't put anything on their poster, so I made sure they all knew what the properties were and went away again. About ten minutes later I return; again, no work had been done. I naturally have a calm demeanor, so it was easy not to let my annoyance physically manifest, but on the inside I was like this:

No, I do not want to know why you two are the besterest friends in the world.
Even so, it was still a great experience. I go back every week on Tuesday for the rest of the semester and I'm looking forward to it immensely. Sorry again for not being more active everyone. Semester is only seven weeks long, and I'm just about to start week four, so even if I'm not that active for the next few weeks, I will be soon thereafter.

Thanks again everyone for taking interest.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I have returned!

Okay, so I wasn't away for that long, but it felt like millennia. I haven't really been anywhere, it's just that I realized that I had about two weeks of physics and chemistry work that I haven't even started, so I got to it over the last few days. It wasn't really complicated stuff, as it was just an introduction to both the subjects which mainly meant mathematics, atomic theory and scientific method and measurements revision; easy stuff. On the subject of beginner physics, I bring you my newest comic.

Probability of someone making a portal-related cake joke; 95%.

For those of you who don't know the Σ symbol means sum of and the F means forces. When something is not moving, the sum of all forces acting upon it are not netting any movement in any direction, so ΣF=0. So the comic is saying that the sum of forces (choosing between the cake and the ice cream) acting of the little fatty is equaling zero. Funny, right?

That's enough of that, I now come to last posts' winner; Burger! Burger correctly stated the venturi effect in regards to my drawing in my last post. A quick explanation about the effect is this; when a substance is traveling at a faster speed, it is at a lower pressure and the venturi tube (as illustrated) demonstrates this. When a non-compressible fluid is traveling through a pipe of a particular size at a particular rate and then subjected to a narrowing of the pipe, the velocity of the liquid must increase to maintain the same rate of flow. As a result of this increase in speed, there is a notable decrease in pressure of the fluid, as is evident in the difference in levels of the fluid on the vertical pipes.

As promised, I drew a picture just for Burger. I apologize for not doing anything more intricate, I really could not think of what to do. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Never thought of practicing calligraphy on the computer. Oh wait, I was suppose to type something witty here... Mission accomplished.
I think it's time to get back into physics for a little while before I get some sleep. Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Books!

First, I want to apologize for not getting a post out yesterday, I worked until 10pm and just didn't feel like using the computer when I got home (although it's not that valid of an excuse because I worked just as late tonight). Anyway, I'm not going to do a huge post tonight as I have to be at the Wodonga Middle Years College in the morning to meet with the teacher that I'll be spending the semester with during the in2science program. Exciting, to say the least.

I also got my physics and chemistry books that I've been craving oh-so badly. The semester for both subjects technically started last week, but the book store is slow and I haven't had any books, so consequently couldn't do any reading. I was happy to sit down and read the first couple of chapters of the chemistry book, which made me think of tonight's comic. I really wanted to do something simple because, as I said, it's late and I need to be up in the morning, so I hope you guys enjoy it, or at least get it.

And before you know it, she'll want to have quarks!

I've also decided not to join the Golden Key Society, as I've heard far to many bad things about it to justify risking 90 of my dollars on it when I can barely afford food. Thanks to everyone that offered advice on the subject, I appreciate it.

So to finish off the post, another competition! It's simple enough, and I'm sure someone will get this very easily; just name the phenomenon that this picture is illustrating. I would also appreciate a short description on what's going on.

I'm all up in your planes, makin' dem fly, yo.
As always, a personalized picture for the winner! Have a lovely evening everyone.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

This is science

So after a painstaking three hours, I'm finally finished with the drawing that I promised Layman Researcher for winning my competition a couple of days ago. I'm pretty proud of it, I was thinking about what I wanted to do for it all day while I was at uni. A couple notes, I refer to the pseudoscientists and the mathematical fallacy, as Layman Research has posts about them on her blog. Be sure to check it out btw!

In other news, my birthday went pretty good. My wonderful fiance made me a great breakfast before I left in the morning, and made a fantastic steak dinner tonight. She's also making a delicious smelling cake as I'm writing this. It really made my day, as I'm not a huge fan of spending nine hours at university on Monday, but I got through it alright. 

On the subject of uni, I thought I would ask the advice of my fellow bloggers. I received a letter from the Golden Key International Honour Society on Friday congratulating me on my good grades last year and inviting me to join their little club. Great, I'll be in this cool club for smarties, one problem though; they want 90 of my dollars. I looked around on the net a bit and found that some people don't recommend going with them, as you never get anything in return. So I was wanting to hear from all you lovely people; has anyone joined the society? Why? Why not?

Some of my earlier followers may remember that I had signed up to participate in the in2science mentoring program. Basically, it involves going to a high-school and spending a few hours in a class once a week. My role there is to try and inspire young minds with the intrigues of the scientific world and encourage them to become future scientists. I brought this up because I'm meeting the teacher that I'm going to be with on Thursday to go around the school and get orientated. I'm really really excited about the whole thing and can't wait to inspire young minds.

As one last thought, and just in case I ever look back at this blog years from now, I finally cleaned out the bowl of potato salad that has been in the fridge since Christmas. Surprisingly, it didn't smell at all, but was unfortunately filled almost to the brim with bacteria spores. I wonder if my lawn is going to benefit from having so much bacteria spread all over it.

I'll be off now, thanks for all of the fantastic birthday wishes and interest. I really want to try and keep up with comics, but it does take time and I'm a busy person, so please stay tuned!

One last sentence so the text lines up with the bottom of the picture, because I'm crazy like that.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Happy birthday!

It's my birthday today! I'm now 23 years old and feel no different than yesterday. However, let me not get too hung up on minor details; I love a great birthday, and love celebrating it with people I care about.

Well, enough of that. In the meantime, I've been making up for lost progress after having lost a bunch of work on photoshop. I still haven't done a picture for Layman Researcher, but the one I did for Siphil is done and ready to go. Sorry for those of you who haven't seen the movie, but this is based on "2001 A Space Odyssey". Siphil's blog is called "2011 A Space Odyssey", so I thought I would tie that into a comic for him. I am surprisingly proud of myself for the center image.

When was the last time you battled evil computers and went through crazy colored tunnels of light? Hmm?

Some of you may notice that I have an awesome new site design, this is thanks to the lovely nerdspiffy that made it for me out of the kindness of her heart. Check out her blog if you haven't already; she's got a lot of great posts and is working on a graphic novel called "Vexing".

I think that's it for tonight, I won't have a competition for this post, as I'm still behind one drawing and I have nine hours of uni tomorrow, which will surely wear me out enough as it is. So I'll leave with an opening sentence of a book that I'm never going to write (it's kind of my hobby to think of great lines in books that will never be written or great scenes in movies that will never be filmed).

"The expression on his face reflected the degree of uncertainty in the approximation he had just given."

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Oh man, oh man

So, I was working on a way good comic for about two hours, and bam! Photoshop crashes and I haven't saved it once. I'm so unbelievably mad right now. There was no slowing down, or me clicking weird things, it was my in the middle of drawing a line and then "photoshop has stopped working, would you like to get mad or explode into oblivion?". So I guess I won't have a new comic for you tonight.

Regarding yesterday's winner, Siphil, I'll try and have a picture for you tomorrow, I apologize for the delay. On the topic of yesterdays competition, carbon, I just wanted to talk about it for a brief second. In atomic theory, electrons orbit the nucleus, however, they're not just orbiting all at the same level, there are shells. As you can see in my drawing of carbon, the smaller ring is the inner shell, and the bigger ring is the outer shell. Each of these shells can only hold a particular amount of electrons, for example, the first shell has a max of two, the second has a max of eight (the third gets more confusing, as it can hold 18, but not without first putting some into the fourth, but you get what I mean). 

Now, all atoms want to become stable; and if an atom has a full outer shell, it is considered to be stable. If it has only 1 electron in its second shell, it wants to lose that electron, and become stable. If it has six electrons in its outer shell, it wants to gain two and become stable. I hope this is making sense. To illustrate this principle better, I drew a picture. Here you see two atoms that have only one electron in their outer shell, therefore they're considered unstable. In between them, you see an atom with six electrons in its outer shell, again, therefore it is unstable. For all of these atoms to become happy and stable, they do what is called "covalent bonding", or electron sharing. By sharing in electrons, both of the smaller atoms (hydrogen) and the larger atom (oxygen) all have full outer electron shells. Most of you have picked up already that this is water!

Lemme at some 'dem 'lectrons.

Now, back to the reason why carbon is so special. Carbon has four of a possible eight electrons in its outer shell. This means for it to become stable, it either needs to lose four, or gain four electrons. This is exactly the reason it is so special, because it can bond so well with many different things, and is exactly why it's the basis of all life as we know it, and why we are called carbon based life forms.

I think that's enough of that for now. For our competition, I want to give science a break, and go with a movie. What movie is this screen shot from?

Probably the only movie I've seen where it looks actually like they had someone do it properly.

Enjoy your evening!

I'm up too late

No, I will not let you profit.
I really am up too late. I finished work at about 9:30 pm and it's about 1:30 am now. The silly thing is that I have to work in the morning at 8:00 am. Oh well, I really wanted to do this comic today, as this happened to me when I really needed my printer.

I found that for my physics subject, I had an assignment due at 4 pm. I only realized that I had the assignment at 1pm. So I proceeded to print out the assignment so I could do the work, scan it and send it in. However, my printer decided that I had gotten enough value out of it and wanted to reiterate the fact that while all other aspects of technology have improved in the last 30 years, printers are still archaic pieces of crap.

I made my way to the local office supply store to buy some toner. As I was walking the toner to the checkout, I spotted a pile of the exact same printer that I own for sale at $65. I found this interesting, as the toner I was holding, the very same toner inside that $65 printer, cost $129. That's not even including a replacement drum ($195) if that happened to break. So I made the easy choice and just grabbed the new printer.

As I put it down on the checkout counter, the lady went on and on about the three year warranty. "What if it breaks" she said, which I replied "my last one ran out of toner in six months, and here I am buying a new one, because it's cheaper than the toner". For whatever reason, she replied "well, do you print a lot? You never know when the it's going to break", I tried to show her the error of her ways by saying "it doesn't matter if it breaks; if it breaks in the next year, I'll be covered by the manufacturer's warranty, if it lasts that long, I'll surely have run out of toner by then, in which case, I'll simply buy a new printer". She still gave me that "whatever, you stupid idiot" look, the sale was then finished and I walked away feeling vastly superior.

It really gets to me how much people don't listen to the things that you're saying when you're talking to them. I suppose I can't blame her though, she probably deals with a lot of customers every day and the employees more than likely have a competition going for how many people they can screw over with their warranties. 

And to wrap things up for the night, we have our competition for the day. This one should be fairly easy to some of you, but you're going to answer a few questions about it.

1. What element is this?
2. There is a rare material made entirely of this element, what is it?
3. What about this element's chemical properties makes it so notable/significant to our everyday lives?

And just to mention it again, the winner of the daily comp will receive an image, drawn by me, to them, in recognition of their abilities. For examples of past winners, look at my last few posts.

Thanks for reading guys, I hope you're all enjoying this as much as I am.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Winner from yesterday

Yesterday I had a competition for whomever could guess the physiological cycle the quickest. Broda correctly guessed the citric acid cycle.

The citric acid cycle, or more commonly known as the Krebs cycle (after Hans Krebs) is the process is which the cells' mitochondria make energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). It is the most common cycle in which your body produces energy, as it is the most efficient. The process involves glucose that has been broken down into Acetyl-CoA going through a number of chemical reactions that finally net an end result of about 30 molecules of ATP per each molecule of glucose. Far more efficient than the two molecules of ATP per glucose molecule that anaerobic glycolysis produces. 

So why do we have different cycles for producing energy if one is far more efficient, you ask? Well let me tell you my little sasquatches; it's because the Krebs cycle must have oxygen to function. This makes it an aerobic energy production method. Anaerobic glycolysis is as it's name implies, it uses no oxygen. This is the cycle you use when you're exercising heavily and not enough oxygen is getting to your muscles. This process also produces lactic acid, which is why your muscles burn after such exercises.

Well, enough of that, we must get to the prize. As promised a personalized drawing by me, to you for your profound knowledge in the field of basic physiology.

What? The man's a programmer, I'm sure he'll like it. 

In other news, I had uni today, and we were in the nursing labs. I have no idea why (especially because this is the first time I've met this teacher), but we had to practice palpating (feeling) a patients chest, stomach et cetera, and she just looked at me and said "you're the patient". So I had to remove my shirt and lay on a bed while students poked and prodded my bare body. It was definitely an experience I won't forget, especially because I'm not what you'd call slender.

Anywho, just another experience under the belt.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Time for something different

Well, I didn't have uni today, so there's not much to say on that front. However I did work today. I awoke at 6am (after stupidly going to sleep at about 1am), got all ready to go to work and bam! I realized I didn't start until 1pm. The morning was then spent browsing the interwebs and reading about upcoming technology, which brings me to my next point.

 Also exciting; my new found ability to draw things with photoshop.

With the impending release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim late this year (November) I've been thinking that I'm definitely going to need a new PC to play it. I was reading around on some tech sites and came across the AMD Fusion generation of chips. I've always thought that it would be a good idea to incorporate the GPU right onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU and just be gone with the south-bridge entirely, and that's what AMD have done. Firstly, this is a good idea because you remove the bottleneck that the south-bridge causes between the GPU and CPU. Secondly, you go from having to cool three chips to just having to cool one. Thirdly, you get a GPU specifically matched to the performance of your CPU (it was always funny to see my friends by a ridiculously fast GPU, only to have it bottlenecked by a crappy CPU). And finally, it drastically reduces the real-estate needed by the motherboard, something specifically useful in laptop applications.

AMD Fusion test rig. 
"Umm sir, we've been having some negative feedback 
about the appearance of the new system".

I'm not sure if I'll end up getting one though, as I'm after a desktop, and the Fusion processors aren't quite as fast as current CPU+Discreet GPU set ups (although significantly faster than comparable on-board GPU laptops). I wonder if any of my followers have been looking into them at all and if they think they'll become significantly competitive in the desktop market?

Let me guys know what you think. Also, feel free to use that comic I made anywhere you want, I would however, appreciate a mention as the author or even a link back to my blog if it all possible.

To finish up, we'll play another game! This time we'll be doing guess the physiological cycle!

Those of you that have studied physiology should get this pretty easily (I would hope). Others may have more trouble getting it. And remember, you're playing for your own personalized drawing by me!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

What to do, what to do

Got back from uni not that long ago. That bit of writing I posted earlier is going towards a short presentation that my group is doing next week, or should I say, I'm doing next week. Not to say that the group isn't doing any work, it's too early to determine that now, it's just that I was elected to actually get up and present the thing. This year seems like it's going to be better. A lot of students last year failed, so I suppose that weeded out some of the non-workers, and this year we have a bunch of grad entry students, and nurses that are converting to the more qualified nurse (enrolled nurse to registered nurse). They all seem to be pretty focused on doing the work and getting good grades, which is good for me, as it's nice to work with people that have similar outlooks on things.

On an unrelated note, I stumbled across a nice article that has a bunch of apps that could be useful to uni students. A few on there caught my eye; the timetable one, the dictionary and the assignment tracker. I don't really know why I'm interested in them anyway, as I don't even have a smartphone. Oh well, I can always dream that I'll happen across the money, can't I?

I've also felt that I want to make the blog slightly more interesting (only slightly, I don't want girls screaming at my door or anything), so I've decided to include a game that I'll do from time to time. This one is called spot the scientist. 

Considering that this is the first run of the game, I'll give you guys an easy one.

First post to get it right wins a picture, drawn by none other than myself using paint, that says that you got it right.

Well done to Astronomy Pirate who won the ridiculously easy competition. As promised, a picture made entirely by me (background and all) in paint photoshop. If you want your own, be sure to check back for my little competitions!

(Click to view full image)

I think I'm getting back into it

I thought it was a bit rough that I had to have something ready for uni by second day, but oh well. I have to be in class in about two hours, so I thought I should get to it. It's just a quick introduction to a short thing about diabetes. Let me know if you think that I've gotten back into the swing of writing yet. I felt it was pretty good for 10 minutes, which included time spent on finding articles.

Diabetes mellitus represents a group of diseases that share common characterizations, including chronic hyperglycemia and other metabolic abnormalities relating to the deficiency of insulin effect. Diabetes can be classified into four different types. 

Type one is characterized by destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which secrete insulin, by either an autoimmune response, or other unknown cause. Type two involves the decreased secretion of insulin by the pancreas and well as decreased sensitivity to insulin peripherally. Category three diabetes includes diabetes as related to a specific condition or disease, as is common is cystic fibrosis patients. Category four diabetes is characterised as diabetic symptoms relating to pregnancy (Kuzuya et al., 2002).

Diabetes is a serious condition that can have many adverse effects on health if not treated appropriately. In many cases, nutrition is the cornerstone of a diabetic patient’s treatment, which is why fasting is of particular concern in the preoperative care of a diabetic (Mc Hugh et al., 2009).

Kuzuya, T., Nakagawa, S., Satoh, J., Kanazawa, Y., Iwamoto, Y., Kobayashi, M., et al. (2002). Report of the Committee on the classification and diagnostic criteria of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 55, 65-85.
Mc Hugh, S., O’Keeffe, J., Fitzpatrick, A., de Siún, A., O’Mullane, M., Perry, I., et al. (2009). Diabetes care in Ireland: A survey of general practitioners. Primary Care Diabetes, 3, 225-231.

It's funny that everyone at uni seems to hate writing, but I really enjoy it. They all say "oh exams are better because you just go in and get it over and done with". I still prefer writing essays though. If you're like me, you'll go over it constantly, changing things, fixing things, and just making it as good as you can before you hand it in. It feels as though you're more in control of what you're doing. What do you guys think?

As long as we're on the topic of writing, I thought I'd share a site that I discovered recently; one word. I have it book-marked, but you just go on there and click go and it gives you a work that you have to write about for 60 seconds. It's amazing what some people put out in 60 seconds. Anyone that enjoys writing should give it a go.

Anyway, I better have a shower before I go to uni. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

Monday, 28 February 2011

First day back

So the first day back went pretty good. I'm sure that I'm going to come to hate Mondays pretty fiercely, as I start with a two hour lecture at 9am, followed by a two hour class, we then have a one hour lunch break then a two hour lecture and two hour class again. I don't know if it's just me, but nine hours on a Monday seems pretty intense.

It was good to get back into it though, to see everyone from last year that I haven't kept in contact with and also to get back into the swing of learning things. As apposed to last year, all the subjects this year are very nursing-based. Acute Care, Assessment and Decisions and Medications in Nursing. I suppose it's good to get into the practical side of things and especially medications, but I already feel that I'm missing science subjects. Good then, that I am taking chemistry and physics this year as extras.

I've felt the need to shave my beard for the last month or so, and I kept telling my self that I would before uni stated again, however I never got around to it. No one really seemed to make comment, but I think people are questioning as to why I would have such a thing on my face. It's not exactly well kept, it's really just a product of my laziness. I don't know why my beard is significant, but I can see myself looking back at this post in a year or two and laughing at it. I'll have to try and get a picture of it on here, which is difficult because Corrin (fiance) doesn't have the usb cable to hook up her camera to the computer. I also find it funny that one of my favorite hobbies is taking pictures, and I have about 12 cameras, but not one of them is digital...

On a side note, my cat Pippin will not shut the hell up. I suppose it's time to feed the little fatty. I do have a picture of him available, so enjoy.

Thanks again for the interest and the well wishes in the comments, I really do appreciate them.


Here he's decided that my pants make a warm bed immediately after ironing them early one morning.

Sunday, 27 February 2011


So tomorrow's that day! Finally starting uni again.

I'd also like to apologize for not updating for the last few days, I've just been busy with work and getting ready for school and other things. I do want to try and update each day, so I'll make an effort to be more prompt with that.

Today was mostly spent printing out an abundance of things that we're going to need for uni; subject guides, assignments guides, lecture notes, additional information, et cetera. Unfortunately, after printing about 200 pages, the toner in my laser printer ran out and I can't print anything more. I called officeworks to see how much a new toner cartridge costs, and it's about $80 (as much as the printer in the first place). I suppose it's my own fault for not checking that when I bought the thing, but I still think it's stupid that they charge so much for toner. Anyway, I'm not going to be able to afford that for another couple weeks or so, as a bunch of bills came in in the last couple of weeks, so I'll just have to head over to my parents' place to do printing.

Another money killer is the textbooks. I'm looking at about $800 all up for just the ones that I need (far less than all of the recommended books). So they're going to have to wait as well. I'm not too concerned about the nursing ones, as last year I was able to get by alright just sharing books with other people and using library copies for a while. However, this year I have the two subjects that I'm doing through OUA (physics and chemistry) that I really need the textbooks for, as I'm doing them over the internet. I'm thinking that if I budget correctly, I should be able to afford them in the next couple of weeks. I can't wait any later than that though, because stuff is due in week two for both subjects..

Also, looking at the physics stuff today looked a bit daunting. If anyone that follows has had something to do with physics, I would love to have someone that I could ask questions.

Again, thanks for the follows and whatnot, I'm going to make some dinner now. Be sure to check back tomorrow, I'll be letting everyone know how the first day went.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

First day of uni for first year students

Today was the first day that all of the first-years got orientated to the university, and guess what? I was helping orientate them! The day went pretty smoothly, just guided them to the lecture halls they needed to be at, then to lunch, then in the afternoon, a full tour of the campus. It was good to meet some of the new students, it was also good to catch up with my classmates that I haven't seen over the summer break. We also got some faculty of health sciences t-shirts, a usb flash drive and a $50 gift card, so I guess it wasn't entirely voluntary!

Later in the evening I attended the annual trivia night that they have during orientation week at the uni. It was pretty fun, but lots of sexual innuendo, as they're trying to keep the interest of 18 year olds. My team of second years didn't win, or even come close for that matter, but it was still a really fun night.

Corrin (fiance) finished work at 10pm, we had a late dinner (11pm) then after a bit of relaxation and talking to my brother on the phone that's living in South Korea, we made our way to the gym at about 1am. I suppose that I haven't mentioned that I've started going to the gym recently, as I'm trying to lose weight. I think I might keep a record of my progress on here if anyone is interested. Anyway, it's 3am now, I'm tired and I work at 7:30am, so I should be able to fit in 3 hours of sleep.

Nighty night blog world, and thanks for the comments and interest, I honestly wasn't sure if anyone was actually going to be interested.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

University peer mentoring program

I attended another training session today, although this one was more intense; 0900-1700. Augh, it's definitely hard to sit at a desk and listen to people tell you what you already know for a whole day. Reminds me of some of the first year subjects about professionalism and communication... Anyway, I digress. As I said in my earlier post, this mentoring program is for first year university students that may be finding it difficult transitioning into university life.

I'm excited for this program, but in a different way from the middle school program. In this one, I'll have my own group of five students that I look after for the whole semester. We meet once a week and talk about how things are going and I give them guidance and whatever they need to help them get along in uni. It's the program's first year, so it will be interesting to see how it works without have the guidance of previous mentors to help us. However, I'm sure if things go to plan, it will be very helpful to the first-years (as myself and others would have definitely benefited last year). I'm also sure it will help me with my social skills and teaching skills (only a little, as we're not actually allowed to teach them things). The main thing is that it will look good on my resume, and also counts towards a La Trobe award.

On a side note, I got my guide books and things from Murdoch University today for my chemistry and physics subjects. I can't access any of the course work until the 26th though. Exciting!

Just can't wait to start!

in2science mentoring program

Late last year I applied to be part of this mentoring program called in2science that involves university students, that have completed at least one year of a science-related degree, going into middle-schools and acting as a mentor to the students encouraging them to keep an interest in science. The story behind it is that the Victorian government recognized that there is a decline in specific science-related university graduates (mainly mathematics, physics and chemistry), and they are funding this program as a long-term solution to that problem. I was invited to participate in the program earlier this month and attended a training session yesterday. Which is the reason I didn't blog yesterday, as I was at this thing from 0900-1400 and then at work from 1430-2200.

So yeah, I'm really excited to participate. I'll be going into a school for three hours a week and assisting in a science-related class and just generally encouraging kids to take an interest in science. If I complete one semester of this, I get a nice certificate and a shirt, if I do two semesters I get morning tea with the dean of the university, and then subsequent semesters they work out other prizes and badges for you. So very eager to get in and inspire young minds.

I'm sure it will also help me build my communication skills, my teaching skills and should help me revise and subjects that I may be rusty in. The trainer guy even said that we can run presentations or demonstrations for the class! I'd love to do a physics-related demonstration, something akin to what Walter Lewin of MIT does in his physics lectures that are hosted on Academic Earth. And just a note about Academic Earth; I really have to recommend it to anyone that is considering studying certain fields, or even is already studying. It has entire semesters-worth of world class lectures from Harvard, Yale, Stanford et cetera, and is an invaluable resource for anyone interested or studying particular subjects.

I'll wrap up now; in my next blog I'll talk about the training session I did today. It was for another mentor program, but this one is for first year university students in my course, nursing.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

So busy at work... not really.

So I work at the local hospital as an "Operating Room Assistant". This basically consists of cleaning and setting up the operating theatres in the morning, positioning and moving patients for surgery, setting up and use of surgical equipment and cleaning up after surgery. I enjoy the job, as it gives me insight into what I'm studying, and I have access to a whole host of nurses and doctors to ask questions about things I want to know.

For the most part, things are pretty busy. Lots of running around and organising things and making sure things run smoothly. Sometimes we even get the big emergencies when people are dying and all that and it's loads of fun. But sometimes, namely on weekends, it's just slow, so slow in fact, that we sometimes don't even do a single case for the whole day.

Today is one of those days. I've literally been sitting around, then getting up and trying to find something to clean, then sitting back down, then getting up and mindlessly wondering around the suite. It's just SO boring and it makes the day go by so completely slow. I suppose I should appreciate it though, sometimes when people call in sick and you've got twice the work to do... shit you wish it was slow.

Anyway, I'll finish off with a thought. One of the doctors I was talking to last week said that when you go into a lecture, it's better to just put down the pen and paper and sit back and really try and listen and understand what your professor is saying. He said that if you spend all of your time madly trying to write down the exact words coming out of his mouth, you'll never take anything in. I'm thinking of trying this technique this year to see if I retain lecture information any better. It should work out pretty good anyway, because the university provides us with lecture printouts anyway that basically have all the information we need on them. Any other university students out there, what do you think?

Edit: Haha, just as soon as I posted that, one of the surgeons came in to book a case for this afternoon.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Just waiting...

I'm actually getting pretty anxious to get back to uni. As good as it sounds, a three month break just feels too long for me, as I've been working far too much.

Subjects this semester are:

Acute Care A
Medications in Nursing
Clinical Assessment & Decisions

These aren't including the two subjects that I'm doing via correspondence from another university on the other side of the country, which are:

Introduction to Chemistry
Introduction to Physics

Am I going to handle it all alright? I only hope so. One thing that would probably help is if I bought my $990 worth of textbooks. Oh well, I suppose I don't really need them all. Last year I made it through with only two of the required ten or so books.

I guess I can't complain about the money side of things seeing as I don't have to pay tuition for years to come; probably my favorite thing about Australia.

Friday, 18 February 2011


Well I suppose the title and description of the blog say it all. I'm currently about to start the second year of a three year nursing degree , while trying to keep my grades as high as possible to help my chances of getting into med school. As a break down, I'll go through what needs to be done in Australia to get into med school.

First of all is your undergraduate degree. It doesn't matter what it is as long as you keep your grades up. GPA's in many of Australia's universities are out of 7 (7 for an A, 6 for a B, et cetera). In general, you won't be considered for medicine with a GPA below 5.5 (around 65% average). For me, in my degree, I seem to have this covered fairly well already as my GPA after my first year is 6.875 (I believe this only accounts for something like 15% of my final GPA, as each year is progressively weighted higher towards the end of the degree).

Second is the Graduate Australian Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). This is a five hour exam that every post-graduate entrant into medical school must sit. It's composed of three parts; a reasoning in humanities section, a written communication section and a reasoning in science section. This first section seems pretty straight forward as long as you can read a passage of writing and accurately intemperate what the writer was trying to convey. The second section is slightly more difficult, it basically consists of writing two essays in an hour. I don't really have a problem with writing essays, but I'm definitely going to have to practice writing about random subjects in short amounts of time. 

The third section seems tricky as well; 40% chemistry, 40% biology and 20% physics. Chemistry I'm pretty mediocre with, I only know as much as I needed to get through my first year of anatomy and physiology, so I'll have to brush up on that. I'm a bit better with biology, as it played a pretty big role in my first year of nursing. However, as far as physics go, I don't have anything more than a general knowledge of household principles. For those reasons, I've taken it upon myself to prepare early for this exam that holds such an important place in my future.

Just last week I enrolled in some extra subjects at a different university to help my with my weak points. Open Universities Australia is a great organisation that lets you study individual subjects or even entire degrees from the convenience of your own home. I enrolled in " Introduction to Chemistry " and " Introduction to Physics " which both go over a single semester. I only wanted to enroll in very basic subjects, and just start out with two, because I'm not sure how I'll handle them as well as doing my normal university work, working and spending time with the fiance. I do have plans however to do more advanced subjects this year and next in preparation for med school.

And finally, the last hurdle I need to overcome to allow me in is the dreaded interview. Almost all medical schools have it and it is generally weighted pretty highly. I haven't looked into it too much, but my understanding is that it basically consists of you sitting and talking to three people for about 30 minutes while they try and interpret your abilities to be a team leader, to make decisions and to stick to your principles and also to make sure you're not just in it for the money.

Well that's enough for now. I congratulate anybody that actually read this entire post. I don't really mind if no one reads it I suppose, I'm actually pretty happy just to have this blog here as a record of my thoughts that I can look back on. My intentions are to update on my progress as far as getting into med school, as well as general everyday things that I may think that my readers (or my future self) may find interesting.