May 1st, 2009

science genius girl

Coursework marks

I have started to get my coursework back. Yay. The really amusing thing, for some values of "amusing", is that I got an A+ for the carbohydrate coursework That Almost Killed Me. Also the Terrifying Lecturer said "Congratulations" to me when she handed it back, and stopped me after the lecture to tell me how wonderful it was (but I shouldn't boast about it because of how late I handed it in) :O Apparently, I Do Not Suck at coursework. Now, if only my paranoid and over-anxious brain could *learn* that...

Organometallic - A
Lipids and Membranes - A+
Carbohydrates - A+

Theoretically I should know my Transition Metals and Biological Chemistry I marks too, but that lecturer gave us a small exercise to do every week rather than one big one at the end, so I'd have to add up all the individual marks to find it out and I'm a bit too scared to. Mind you, I'm fairly sure my average for both of them should be at least 70%, which is an A-.

I don't have the marks for Atomic Spectroscopy or Mass Spectrometry yet, though we've been given the model answers for the Mass Spec course and they all look rather familiar. And we only had to hand in the Bioinorganic last week.
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It's so PINK!

I think I've found what I want for my birthday: Daisy Rock Guitars - Rock Candy Bass, in Atomic Pink. I have to admit that as a chemist I am not certain that any atoms are pink, but it's so incredibly, awesomely pink that I don't mind.

I, um, really should get around to telling the story of the Evil Pink Stuff, a.k.a. Why H-L Shouldn't Do Organic Synthesis for everyone who didn't know me in, er, 1996. (That'll be almost all of you). Short version: It was supposed to be o-benzoyl benzoic acid. What it actually was remains a mystery, because I only had time to run one infrared spectrum and no nmr or mass spec - but whatever it was, it was pink. O-benzoyl benzoic acid is *not* pink. Various lab demonstrators accused me of crimes such as Leaving In The Catalyst or Not Properly Recrystallising It, but the catalyst wasn't pink either, and I swear I followed the instructions to the letter. It's true that I had a weird, porridgey, pink mess instead of lovely shiny crystals, but, er... I don't know why!! Except for the adage that Good Chemists Make Good Cooks and vice versa, and at the time my level of culinary expertise amounted to cooking dry pasta in boiling water and heating up a premade sauce in a saucepan or microwave. I sometimes wonder if I'd be any better at organic synthesis now considering that I can cook pretty well, but my random allergies to random chemicals suggest it might not be a great idea to try.

I played the cello for seven years and still really like the sound of lower-pitched instruments. I tried to take it up again a few years ago, but discovered that the posture required was no longer compatible with my back. I've been playing bass in Rock Band for months now and feel really suited to it, and I want a real bass to play. If this chemistry thing doesn't work out, I'm going to go off and become a rock star. Oh yes. 
aibo, sleepy, cute

Things I have been doing instead of livejournal and irc

A's Coursework From Hell
A is a student who went to a fieldwork centre last summer after her AS-level exams and before starting the A2 course. She spent a few days cataloguing invertebrates in ponds. Then she was supposed to go away and write up what she'd discovered. She didn't. Hence April came around and her school asked everyone for their biology coursework so it could be sent off to the exam board, and it didn't exist.Collapse )

Anyway, after spending up to 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen for that, I haven't been feeling like doing anything social on a computer. So instead I have been:

Getting “Gamerpoints” on the Xbox 360
I wrote about this before – how I want to finish Rock Band properly before importing the songs to Rock Band 2. I have been exploring the various online modes and discovering that I like Tug of War A LOT, and don't like Score Duel so much because no one ever seems to be playing bass and I don't know a lot of the guitar parts that well. I've also been playing Beautiful Katamari online which really is fun, and getting the skill points for that.

Going to Revision Classes at College
This should be at the top of the list really, but I've been too exhausted to write about them. Having to get taxis to and from the station because my legs are too bad to walk it. Ugh.

Oh, who am I kidding? You think between A's coursework and the revision classes that I've had any spare time when my brain works for my own revision? Come off it.

Am incredibly, incredibly stressed about my exams. Thinking about trying to see my doctor a.s.a.p. for emergency psychiatric treatment. Don't trust anyone else to deal with it.
black, shiny

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Mother's Day in the UK falls somewhat earlier than the international version. Ours is technically called Mothering Sunday and is the fourth Sunday in Lent. I'm always surprised this doesn't apply everywhere, particularly in Catholic countries, but I suppose it's something we made up. Like Boxing Day.

You already know that my mother is Not Like Other Senior Citizens. Her favourite band is Rammstein and she is into all heavy metal and industrial music, especially German industrial. So the ideal way for us to spend Mothers' Day was to take her to see a film about a heavy metal band.

Anvil! The Story of Anvil is about the Canadian metal band of the same name who spent the early 80s opening for big names like Anthrax and Bon Jovi, yet somehow faded into obscurity. But Lips and Robb had made a pledge when they were 14 that they were going to keep rocking forever, and so there they were at the age of 50, with absolutely awful day jobs (e.g. delivering school dinners!!) because they needed to be free for their music. The film is about them, and their families, and still trying to live the dream despite a huge amount of bad luck and bad circumstances.

It really is a fantastic film. It's like Spinal Tap but in real life – hilariously funny in parts, while other bits will have you with tears in your eyes. Newspaper reviews here all gave it 5 stars, and said “If you're passionate about ANY kind of music, go and see this”. To me it's a movie about obsessed men, and heaven knows I live with one of those :)

Haven't made it to the doctor yet.

Set alarm for the crack of dawn today. Discovered doctor is on annual leave. Aargh.

Apparently he'll be back on Tuesday. Which, I've just realised, is the first day after a bank holiday so the surgery will be even more crazy than usual. Bugger.

Have had very little sleep - kept waking up - and that which I have had was disjointed and filled with incredibly bizarre dreams. Wonder vaguely how I can keep going until Tuesday.