十二月のスキェジュル

- Update blog whenever she feels like it
- Watch out for new releases for manga (daily)
- Get 2 volumes of Japanese manga from Hakusensha or any other manga publisher
- Finish her short stories
- Back up savedata
- Survive PG and hopefully, PhD
- Complete most of her games in her game list
- Catalogue her mountain of unzipped and uncategorized manga in her desktop / hard disk
- Finish the drama that she's got in her hard disk

- (11/28) プリンスPiaキャロット [PC]
- (12/19) 放課後colorful*step ~うんどうぶ!~ [PSP]
- (12/19) 大正鬼譚 [PSP]
- (12/19) 月影の鎖 ~狂爛モラトリアム~ [PSP]
- (12/19) 剣が君 [PC]
- (12/26) Jewelic Nightmare

NB: Despite the overall static-ness of the blog, the game page is updated every now and then because gaming is something she'll never give up, ever.

平成24年5月22日火曜日

Finals

良かった~!試験は全部終りだ!今日から暇だ…三年生になるまでかねぇ。
最近あまりアプデートしなくて、申し訳ございません。今年の授業や宿題は多いから、遊びと寝るの時間はあまりなくなった。毎日夜中三時までまだ寝てなくて、勉強ばっかりするので 全部は今月のためです。
実は 僕試験は大嫌いです。毎回試験の時テンションとステレスがあがって、食事と寝るの時間は無視して 身体に壊すは知ってる。でも一人暮らしから、あれは仕方ないと思います。これは留学生なります欠点の一つかな…



I hope that I didn't make any grammar mistakes



And that is the product of self-learning for the second year.

Finished my last paper for second year and it was a really tiring month, both physically and mentally.
My exam period was a month long which started on the 30th of April right to 5.00pm of 21st of May. Had a total of four papers which included modules that I had taken in my first semester (lasting 3 months from fall till the end of winter). One thing I have to say though, I honestly hate the theory of histology even though I love the practicals for it.

It was hard to study with the lack of past year papers to practice on and the amount of things we had to go through, considering that I'm taking a course which is described as 'jack of all trades, master of none'. This year had 2 modules on pathophysiology and therapeutics, and the rest were analytical biochemistry, immunology, histology, microbiology and molecular biology. And this is coming from a person who has started revision since Day 1; I wasn't even this hardworking in my first year. I've had coursemates groaning and complaining about how foreign and alien their own notes feel even when they've written it themselves.

And the fact that lecturers here aren't the spoon-feeding kind which actually tell you what's coming on, you basically have to go through everything they taught or take risks by picking and studying topics you think might be out. It's like a game of chance, you'd be tripping if you got it right and royally screwed if none you spotted came out; I got lucky with few but won't be taking that risk in my third year though. With the inclusion of a final year project, I'd be even more secluded and overworked next year...

I was almost to the point of breaking down and saying 'to hell with it' but  got through it and learned a few very valuable lessons during this month of hell on earth, which I am going to share with anyone who reads this and are going through Uni. Doesn't really matter where and what year you're in; unless you are from Malaysia, which I think this would make you a better student (I envy them because the lecturers actually do tell them what's going to come up, I've heard).

Right, first up are the best 5 studying advice:
  1. I don't know how many times everyone says this but... NEVER CRAM LAST MINUTE! It never helps to procrastinate on revision and there are chances that you might even experience a 'white out'. Your brain doesn't function that way and the fact that chronic stress actually impairs your memory instead of enhancing it. That, and you're practically accelerating the aging process of your brain. Revise regularly and if go through your notes often enough, they won't seem like alien language when exam draws near. I just needed a refresher instead of learning the whole thing again when studying through Easter / Spring break.
  2. If possible, do past year papers. Some lecturers are lazy and they might even recycle the questions. This not only helps you notice the trends and also improves your timing. Trust me, you DON'T HAVE TIME TO THINK! I sat for papers which only gave us two hours on four essays and three for five. You literally sit down, write your name, and the moment time starts you regurgitate all that's in your brain about it. The average time you have for each question is around 30~35 minutes max; any longer and you risk running out of time for other questions.
  3. As much as they said that university is no longer ROTA LEARNING, it's a BLOODY LIE to some extent. In university, you have to understand the material as plain memory work no longer er... works. Sure, you can memorize all you want and get all stressed up and a massive headache on top of that or, you can understand the concept of it which does make life a hell lot easier. My friend didn't understand the concepts DNA sequencing and probe synthesis and she messed up the two when she plain memorized all the topics that we did, which involved RT-PCR, PCR, Southern, Northern and Western blotting (no such thing as Eastern blotting though)... UNDERSTANDING IS KEY, MEMORY WILL COME NATURALLY.
  4. Another thing I learned was MAKE IT SIMPLE. Instead of making everything complicated when I did my personal notes, my study notes were the simplified version of it. In actual fact, exams are in place to assess your understanding of the things you learned, not to test how complicated you make it. Sure, they'd be impressed with all the technical lingo you put in but you'd make your life hard trying to understand and memorize it and then try to regurgitate it out during exams.
  5. This is for when you have a situation quite like mine, when there are no past papers to turn to and you have absolutely no clue what's going to be out; think of the possible questions that might be asked. I don't know about other universities and the lecturers but every one of mine actually has a 'Learning Outcome' at the start of each topic, which is somewhat of a hint to what possible questions that they might ask you about. They usually wouldn't go asking simple stuff like 'Compare and contrast innate and adaptive immunity' because that's the basics. Although sadistic, THEY'RE NOT THAT BAD TO ASK YOU SOMETHING TOTALLY OUT OF TOPIC. Most often, they'd ask you to discuss, explain, compare and contrast and at times give an outline, which I think is the easiest. When you write, make sure that it flows from one section to another. KEEP PRACTICING and you'll turn out fine; the saying 'Practice Makes Perfect' exists for a reason.
And the best 3 advice during exam periods are:
  1. Make sure you SLEEP EARLY or well they day before. It's no point burning midnight oil just and then risk being late the very next day, and then face a white out because your body didn't have the sleep it needs to replenish itself. Your brain doesn't shut down during sleep (it's just as active as it is when you are awake) and that's the time it actually commits the things you've experienced in the day into memory. Scrap sleeping and you basically scrap the save button of your brain. Five to six hours is just enough; I slept at around 1 and woke up naturally at 6.30~7 and started my day then. I think exam period is the only time I actually practice healthy habits! (Usual sleeping time is around 3~4 with an average of only 4 hours a day)
  2. Just because it's exam period, it doesn't mean that you live off takeaways and frozen food and basically make yourself unhealthy. I still had time to actually prepare a balanced meal every day. Cooking is the only time away from my books and it's my time to destress myself. My housemate did takeaways and she looks way older than before exams started, even with collagen supplements. Me? I look the same even though going through similar amount of stress and pressure and had absolutely no beauty supplements at hand.
  3. Finally...This was one hard lesson I learned during my third paper, which I sort of regret to no end right now. When answering a question, WRITE EVERY POSSIBLE THING YOU KNOW ABOUT IT. The thing is, they never really want only one thing from you! Like the question I did last week which appeared in a past paper (which thankfully, I did):
    'What is Western blotting and describe its use in molecular biology'
    So how would you answer this; define Western blotting as a method to detect protein translation and give examples of its uses? It ain't that simple. The marking scheme actually required the definition, overview of SDS-PAGE, electroblotting and detection by antibodies either labelled radioactively or coupled to enzymes, fluorescent or chemiluminescent and then the example of uses like to monitor translation abnormalities by comparing it to house-keeping genes to indicate disease or changes in the environment. So the best way to deal with each question is to WRITE EVERY POSSIBLE DAMN THING YOU CAN REMEMBER ON IT. Spot the key words and just start writing till they tell you to stop. If something pops up in your brain, write it down. DON'T DOUBT IT and not write it down because you'll definitely regret it. The mind works at weird ways to tell you things and chances are, it remembers some of the things that you don't consciously take notice of. Don't leave early unless you're got nothing else to write about or that you're absolutely confident with what you've wrote. There's no harm to stay on and check through to make sure your handwriting is legible. 
Right, I wished someone actually told me this instead of having to find it out myself, the semi-hard way...
I can say that this is by far the longest post I've written in a while and it feels rather good to write something else other than reports and assignments.

Now I'm off to resume packing my stuff because I'm heading off to my brother's place in Leeds before heading home for the summer.
Gosh, three wonderful months of the sun and heat! British weather has been bloody wintry after that weird summery week of March. It's still chilly outside and it's May for God's sake! 暑いの気温が欲しいよー!

それでは、まった今度~!