uni

Done!

I survived! I handed in my thesis yesterday with three hours to spare. Woohoo!

I pretty much had it finished on the Friday. I sent my Introduction, Materials and Methods, and Results to mum so that she could print them at work. I’m so glad that I did that, printing all those pages take forever. Plus, uni printers couldn’t handle some of my figures. Stupid trees…
I spent the Saturday morning reviewing my friend’s Results and Discussion. Then I spent the Sunday morning editing my Discussion and writing my Abstract. There was also some dancing schools performing so I watched a bit of that. I can just image the dance teachers being told by Nigel (So You Think You Can Dance) that they shouldn’t be teaching. Man, it sucked. It wasn’t the fact that they were primary and secondary schoolers, the dances themselves sucked. The routines were dull and shit and didn’t go with the chosen music. And the costumes were awful. I feel sorry for the parents who waste their money on those schools. And the kids that think that they are actually learning decent stuff.
Seriously, out of several schools, one was decent and one was great. The rest were crap.

So when I got home on the Sunday, I found out that my friend hadn’t realised that I had sent her my Discussion to look over (I sent it Friday morning). So she had a look at it that night and made shit-all comments (though they were useful comments…). Damnit, I put so much effort in hers! Why didn’t she look at it sooner? I spent the rest of the night editing my Discussion again. Just before I decided to go to bed, I realised that the margins of the Appendices was wrong. I tried to fix it up but there just wasn’t any room. So some of the words were cut off when I finally bound it. Oh well…

Didn’t get much sleep that night. But it was better than everyone else. Quite a few people spent the night at uni in order to finish and print it. In fact, most of them stayed up so late to print it…thank you mum…

So when I got to uni, I discovered that I had the old version of my Discussion. So I rushed through it, trying to find all the places that I made changes to the night before. Then I discovered that some of my tables in the other sections had the wrong margins so I had to reprint those. And to top things off, the page numbers of the appendices were wrong so I had to fix those up before printing.

Put it all together and it is exactly 100 pages. So since I needed four copies, that’s 400 pages. Not to mention all the paper wasted on pages that needed reprinting.
If you want to save the trees, don’t do Honours.

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art · cross stitch · uni

It’s almost over

The thesis is due on Monday. OMG…so close…
The past few weeks have been a huge rollercoaster, sometimes I feel like everything is fine and other times I feel like I’m going to fail. The introduction was so easy – it’s like a scientific essay and I’ve spent four years doing those. What I haven’t properly done before is discussion. I can’t find the right way to present it and I can’t find the right balance. On the one hand, you have to propose why you see the results that you see. On the other hand, you can’t make things up. So I’ve got a mixture of repeating my results (bad thing) and made up stuff (even worse). Well, I do provide good evidence to back up some of my claims (or at, I think I do…) but some of it is just speculation with little data at all. I just can’t find that happy balance.
And my supervisor sent me an email about some of my data, asking if I had done some tests. What tests? Oh crap…

On an up-side, I sold a pattern to my frangipani cross stitch! I didn’t really expect any patterns to sell but one did so I’m happy. I was also worried that the person might get the pattern and then think that it was shit. But the person sent some very nice feedback that made me feel even better:

Thank you so very much…….I ordered 6 patterns over the weekend, in all honestly I think yours is the only tested pattern….what a great job in putting this pattern together. It is lovely and you can tell attention to detail was taken!!!!

I put your webpage in my favorites and will be checking back for other patterns…..I do hope you both continue to develop such beautiful things.It is difficult to find anything with frangipani up here in NY.

nintendo · uni

I don’t get it

How can one person create an amazing piece of writing one week and a piece of shit the next week? The transformation was amazing, like reading essays written from completely different people.
The essay’s due tomorrow so I friends and I did the ritural of sending each other our drafts. I was looking over my friend’s essay thinking that it was pretty shit so I made heaps of comments. Good grief, she kept saying “they” without saying who “they” were, wrote 2 instead of two, and wrote that the paper we were critiquing was ambiguous but then didn’t elaborate, making her ambiguous.
Later on, when I was looking over my essay notes to clean up my conclusion, I noticed a sentence that looked familiar (my notes consist of copying important info from many different papers so that I don’t have to look over them all several times to find what I want).

My friend had taken a sentence from another paper, word-for-word, and didn’t even reference it. And it’s a bit of a giveaway since a) It’s a different font to the rest of the paragraph (actually, her entire essay is riddled with two different fonts…dodgy?), b) she used the American spelling, like the paper did (though I guess it’s ok so long as the spelling is consistent in the essay) and c) that is the only place in here essay where she put the gene in italics (note, genes are always written in italics).
I had already told her that she needed to use italics and have a consistent font. So I sent her another email, telling her that she needed to make that sentence her own and she replied today saying that sometimes she gets lazy. No fucking kidding.

I told my other friend on MSN and she sent me the draft that the friend had sent her. She had changed the “they”s and the “2”s and added in all the italics. Apart from that, she pretty much ignored anything I wrote. She had written in red “Hel thinks blah blah, what do you think ?”. I think you need to do some more thinking, mate.
The only time she listened to me was when I included a basic example in my comments. I like to do that so that my friend knows what I mean when I say to fix up something and also provide a starting point for them that they need to expand upon. I don’t put them there so that they can copy and paste it into their essay.

It just seems like she does want us to help her improve, she just wants us to do the thinking for her. I seriously don’t get it. She even took two days off Uni to work on this essay, how is it that it is a hundred times worse than her last essay? It’s the quality of a first year, not a fucking Honours student. Even on my bad moments, I’m still able to produce a decent essay.
I didn’t send her my essay, I don’t want her pinching all my hard work. I didn’t even get a thank you.

I’ve been playing some Paper Mario this weekend. I got the last Crystal Star and am now on the final chapter. Man that place is hard, all the baddies are so tough. I think I’m close to the end but I’m going to have to back-track (and fight all the baddies again). I didn’t have much health items to enter and I used them up on the last two boss battles. I nearly died in the last battle (Siren Sisters) and I reckon that there’s a few more to go. So I need to get some health.
I’m not sure what I’ll play once I’ve finished PM. I’m in the middle of a few Advance and DS games but Anne doesn’t always have her DS lying around. I still need to finish Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles but I reckon that’s a boss battle that you want to tackle when you have all day (plus, I’d need to spend a few hours getting the feel of the controls again). I think I stopped playing because I wanted to increase my strength but it got too frustrating (you had to complete entire levels and even then, you might get nothing).
*Looks at her games* I could try to completely complete Lego StarWars…maybe not…I could finish re-playing Tales of Symphonia but I think I’m on the first disc, which is at mum’s. We haven’t unlocked everything on Smash Brothers (got it free with my Wii so we haven’t played it that much). Hmmm…I haven’t played Eternal Darkness or Resident Evil 4 yet so maybe I’ll try one of those.
Actually this is good, I’ve come close to playing all our GC games (except the crap ones like The Sims). Now I need to catch up on the DS and Advance ones. Maybe it is just as well that there’s no good Wii games out apart from Zelda…

nintendo · uni

Twilight Princess rocks my socks

Been busy doing markets on the weekends. We did one and it was great, we had our best sales ever. And a few people showed interest in my cross stitch design which made me happy. OK, I didn’t sell any designs but people liked it enough to take a look at it which is a nice feeling. I’m just so happy that I made my own cross stitch from scratch, if I make sales from it then that’s a bonus.
Saturday we had the Kyneton market which is a pretty small thing. Still, we managed to make more money than last time so we’ll still give it a go. Next weekend is the coop and another market. We’ve never done this one before, we’re only doing it because of Christmas.

We did our Christmas shopping on Wednesday and it was terrible. Christmas music, bad air circulation, too many people, hard to find the gifts and a headache. But afterwards I went to my sister’s house. Then at 10pm we walked to the game shop and hung out at the Wii launch party. Then at midnight I finally got my Wii! So I’ve been playing it over the past few days. Zelda is freakin awesome! The attention to detail is great, especially the little things. I am in love with this little dog that Link can pick up and hold like you would in RL. In the older games, he always held them above his head. It’s so cute.
What I don’t like is fishing, I can’t seem to get the hang of it. It was cruel to make me go fishing at the start of the game.
Wii has really utilised the ramble feature so far. It was such a lovely feeling typing in names and actually feeling the curser thing move from button to button. I love my Wii.

I’ve decided that I don’t like summer, it’s too scary. This summer we are getting weather that we’d expect in February. It is scary when you watch the news on a hot day and learn that there are 50 bush fires in your state. And that they’ve run out of water and there’s a chance of some merging and forming a super fire. Pretty much all of the state was blanketed in thick smog. And the satellite images are scary, it’s so huge. 200 thousand hectares have already been lost, and so many towns are at risk. The crisis has eased up but there are more hot days coming up that could make the fires worse.
My sister’s housemate was going to go to her parent’s for the holidays but that’s kind of being put on hold right now because her town is at risk. I wonder how many more weeks these fires will last.
It depresses me because Australian people (especially the farmers) have gone through so much crap this year and it scares me because summer has only just started. What if this happens all summer? What if one happens around home? I kind of don’t want to leave home in case there’s a fire. I want to be home so that I can take the dogs and run. And mum’s mosaics. I know she says that they are things and are replaceable but I don’t want to loose them. At least my art is digital so if I do loose my computer, they still exist online.

I thought that I would get my call about honours on Friday so I was freaking out because I didn’t. I even called up my friend but she said that we weren’t meant to be getting calls which confused me. They said that I’d get a call Friday and earlier in the semester the Honours Coordinator said that we would get calls.
But I ended up getting the call Saturday afternoon. I got accepted for the project that I wanted. I’m so happy. We get our official offers in the mail this week.

art · uni

I’m a murderer!

Yesterday I had a Developmental Biology prac. We played around with chick embryos. It’s so hard. I can open the egg fine, take out some egg white, remove membranes and all that (I can even handle needles. Woah, that’s a big step). But I can’t inject ink underneath the embryo. My 2-day embryo (I called her Jil) got pushed to the edge and had bubbles everywhere so I couldn’t see the somites. I was waiting for a microscope (there wasn’t enough for everyone) and then someone knocked the egg over. It was actually funny because it gave me a chance to cry “Jil, noooo!!!!”
The 3-day egg (which I named Graeme) was easy to do because we didn’t need to inject dye. A lot of people hit blood vessels when they were trying to remove the membrane (which means the embryo dies). I didn’t hit a blood vessel. But when I was trying to remove the foot bud (the whole point of the prac), I heard a demonstrator tell my friend that hers was dead. So I took a closer look at Graeme and…his heart wasn’t beating! Nooooo! I think he got dehydrated. And that means that I can’t check on my embryo next week and see if I have good sterile techniques.

My Developmental Biology class is turning out to be pretty interesting. It looks like a class that has a tough exam but at least I’m learning interesting stuff (for now at least). Looking at all this embryo stuff, it’s gotten me thinking about the whole pregnancy termination and stem cell research issues. When does life begin? Some people think it’s when the mother gives birth; others think it’s when the egg gets fertilised.
Well, now that I know more about development, I think the begging of life could be the point when the cells become determined.
During the early stages, you can split cells apart and all the cells will develop into normal organisms. That’s what happens with identical twins, they originate from the single embryo. So, if you say that the moment of fertilisation is the point where life begins then does that mean that identical twins are a single life? I don’t think so. It suggests to me that it’s a stage before life begins, a precursor to life. It has the potential for life, just like eggs and spermies, but it itself is not life.
During embryonic development you can take cells from one place, put it in another and the embryo will develop normally (so, take potentially muscle cells, put them in the neural region and those cells will become neural cells). You can even put in cells from another species and it’s all good. That can’t be life.
Eventually, you get to the point where the cells become determined. If you take potentially muscle cells and put them in the neural region then they will still develop as muscle cells (and you’d have one screwed up organism). OK, it doesn’t have a beating heart (lots of life lack hearts. Besides, your heart beats after death so that’s not a very good measure of life) and it doesn’t have a functioning brain (plenty of organisms get by without one) and couldn’t survive on its own (an infant probably couldn’t survive on its own), but that’s the point where the cells ‘know’ what they are going to become, that’s when it all gets organised.
There isn’t really a way to define when something goes from non-living to living, development is a gradual process. But humans like to group and define things and I figure that there is as good as anywhere.
So, I guess that means that I’m a murderer, I killed Graeme.

I’ve been so busy with Uni. I’ve pretty much limited my arting time to practically nothing and it’s driving me crazy because I have so many plans. I’m only just keeping up with lecture summaries and I haven’t even started to get assignments and tesst yet. I’m getting them very soon, all at once. There’s no way I’ll be able to keep up with everything.

I finally got around to taking photos of the jewellery I made in that short class I took on the holidays. Click on it for a better look.

Mum made the pink beads on the earrings. Aren’t they cool? I love mum’s beads, I want to keep them all to myself. And mum got some enamel so she’s been playing around with they and they create some really cool looks.