Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Photos of recent times.

I thought I'd share some recent scenes from my life with you.

When the Pringles came to UEA!

*singing in the snow*
Jesus' love is very wonderful...

so high you can't get over it

so low, you can't get under it

so wide, you can't get round it

oh wonderful love!

As white as snow

It was a partially productive weekend of fairly high spirits. Fairly high spirits due to a combination of having survived the epic ordeal of week nine containing an insane amount of work, meeting up with a friend who'd come to visit UEA and some pretty heavy snowfall here. I now sit up later than I probably should, contemplating over a cup of strange fruit tea, the many things in life that I don't understand, such as logarithams and why really horrible things happen to 'good people'. It's fruit tea because I thought I'd take the opportunity whilst at uni to branch out a bit with my tea, but the only real reason to drink on a regular basis would be if you've got no milk. (It's better than black tea but not as good as normal tea with milk).

So, as often is the case, It's all quiet here in flat 15, though I can hear the boys next door not long back from the gym. Having half planned to go out into town, I was dissapointed to find everyone else bailing (lame!) but suppose that I should really be saving money for the mental weekend at home in leicester which I hope will come quickly, despite needing to borrow Bernard's watch again to fit in all the work I need to get done before I bail on Friday's lectures and compulsory workshop in favour of a train home to my lovely bath, cat, family and friends in Groby. I think that all original plans I had for a quiet weekend at home, bathing, sleeping, relaxing and recouperating were clearly very foolish- of course this is going to be an old school mental weekend of church-pub-pub-club-church isn't it?!I'm wondering whether or not I'll get the time to look round Leicester in search of that lovely miracle green dress I've been after for years, in time for the pharmacy ball next week..a big day all round, what with a lab report due in and yet another, this time even more threatening physical biochemistry exam! *sigh*

And so, yes, contemplating the things I don't understand. I never quite realised how many of those things there are before coming to university, where I appear comparatively to know so little. Logs, and redox potentials are back to haunt me..in a kind of nostalgic way I suppose. In the laundrette today, where by happy coincidence we ended up having an excited gathering in honour of Sally's birthday, I ended up perusing some of Katie's notes on Keats. 'Thou still, unravish'd bride of quietness!' brought back many a memory of classic Friday afternoon English lessons in room 47 and made me wonder for a moment why on earth I wanted to be a scientist when I could very well waffle on about poetry for three years. However, realising that my next task in life to overcome is actually to write an Essay contributing 10% to one of my modules, I remember why I decided to be a scientist..I'm simply not a fan of essay writing!

Tomorrow, somehow, amazingly, wonderfully, marvelously, I don't have to go to any lectures until 3pm. 3pm! This is a once-a-year day! I'll celebrate by eating breakfast (I can just about remember what that's like..), hanging around in my PJ's until such time as I really can't put off the library visit any longer, and getting down to the cheery task of writing an essay containing wise words on a disease of my choice, cheery stuff I know.

Ahhhh. need sleep. going to sleep tomorrow, just a little longer than normal. :-)

Thursday, 20 November 2008

I can do all things..

With a previously unimaginable 'to do' list this week, my mood has been oscillating at a relatively high frequency from 'mitochondria drowning in sea of cytoplasm' to 'helicopter of clarity'. As my very first term at University draws closer to its end, I can look back over the last nine weeks and be so thankful to God for the friendships I've made and the fun I've been having, and for his continual provision for me every day. I didn't fail my Physical Biochemistry coursetest, and somehow, I didn't fail Physiology either...all Glory to God who has kept me smiling even when the outlook has been a bit grey. Like this morning, when on the first attempt at my labreport, I determined the percentage of caffeine in a pro plus tablet to be 187%. (If only!).

However, whilst I managed to bang out the Physiology with style, approaching tomorrow's Cells and life molecules coursetest worth 20% of the module is somewhat like staring death in the face. Because this week has been so taken up with IPL (that's interprofessional learning), PBL (problem based learning),placement (a trip to a drug factory!), an epic lab report and seemingly 101 other things too, my revision (i say revision, everyone knows i am learning all this brand new) has been put off until today. Now, I've never had quite so much stuff to learn in one day. I say this, whilst procrastinating a little more, but there's only so much you can do, and what i should be doing is sleeping, ready for an early start and lots more last minuite learning..its the only way to go! It's been an intense couple of weeks- so much so that I'm starting to feel like a recluse, and am very much looking forward to a few mental nights of merriment over the weekend and into next week. A couple of birthdays, a 'day glo rave' themed club night, CU christmas carol singing practice, hot chocolate, and a trip to the cinema ensure that the coming few days should be good fun.

Last weekend was awesome- Chris, fairly unannouced decided he'd come to visit, and it was a lovely visit- with a wander round sharing some sights of Norwich, dinner cooked for Katie and I, late night chatting, wine (oh, how i realise i have missed wine!) and of course Church on Sunday morning. After sadly seeing him off to the station, my spirits were lifted by yet another amazing student lunch provided by the good people at Kings Community Church. I returned home to my masssiiive pile of work full to the brim with quality grub, yet another reminder to me of God's never ending grace!

What else to say? Ah..Monday took a minibus of slightly annoyed (because we wanted to revise instead of go on a trip..lol) pharmacy students to Napp Pharmaceuticals..a big drugs manufacturer in cambridge. Despite bad timing, the day before our chemistry coursetest, I really liked the placement! On arrival, we were treated to a couple of talks by important looking men over free food; on the company itself, and then on the different stages of Drug development. I genuinely found it really interesting. Then we trekked downstairs to be given a full guided tour of the factory- donned in oversized lab coats, special safety shoes, goggles and hair nets we were shown oodles of painkillers being made from their raw materials, coated, packaged etc- it was coooool. Then, to put the icing on the cake, quite literally, free tea, and cake! What more could you ask for in a placement really?

On Tuesday after a heavy day of last minuite revision, an epic fail chemistry coursetest and lectures in lovely pharmacology, I was pleased to end the day at Christian Union, although less pleased to have to bail on hot chocolate handing out in favour of my bed. Wednesday morning was IPL oh the joys, and action group, and football- which was awesome, especially so beacause of the wonderful weather- i really do enjoy it.

I'm looking forward to going home in 9 days! Just for the weekend, but I think i will bail on friday afternoon lectures in order to make it home in time to chillax on my sofa with Winston and have a bath a bit before bed, or alternatively having a cheeky dance at Fanclub if I've got company? These are the things I have missed, and of course, I look forward so much to seeing a few people who're at home at the minuite. I love university, but it might be cool to hang out in a kitchen where it smells nice and there isnt rice encrusted into everything for a while.

Anyway, time has marched quickly on. I'm not scared about my exam tomorrow really, though failure could occur. But those of you who pray, please remember my imminent cells and life molecules trauma tomorrow at 4pm. I know that 'I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength'.

Though I continue to worry about how on earth I'll fit everything into the days of the week, pharmacy and otherwise, I know that I needn't. When things are rough I know the most important thing is the fact that I know God's amazing love for me, so great that he would send his only son to die so that I can be have a real relationship with God. This fact, reguardless of my mood, never changes...which means I can, and should always be joyful in light of God's grace.

'Always be full of joy in the Lord.I say it again- rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.'
Phillipians 4.4-7

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A quick hello.

After a weekend with my parents here visiting, I've been enjoying the luxury of actually having food in the cupboards and a choice of what to eat following a family outing to Morrisons. After the initial and eneviatble car journey induced parental stress of their arrival, it was a great weekend- in reflection I can't believe i hadn't seen my parents in seven weeks! Although having met up with my family now makes me miss them more, it means that home and university life appear to be starting to merge together now, where before they seemed two entirely seperate worlds. I guess that the more I make the journey to and from cities, the more normal it will become that I now have two homes, although I'm still sure, although Norwich is indeed a fine city, that there is no place quite like Leicester.

With coursetests and assignments flying round left right and centre I've literally spent the last couple of days eating, and working and drinking tea. I'm trying to get the entire physiology of the body to fill my head before Friday, whilst also to juggle maths for tomorrow, chemistry and another biology test coming up next week. The classic Groby phrase 'bang it up bang it out!' has never been more applicable. I'm just off to christian union, so I'll cut this one remarkably short, and say I'll write more later :)

Monday, 3 November 2008

Power made perfect

2 Corinthians 12.9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

I'm feeling a bit too lazy to put many proper paragraphs together, so this could be a short and sweet entry. Somehow, by a blip in the timetable of death, and ultimately by the grace of God, I've had the entire day off today. Whilst it hasn't quite been the uber-productive day I imagined it might be, I had a long lie in and spent a couple of happy hours with my physical biochemistry notes preparing for Thursday's coursetest before pottering off down to the UFO (that's Union food outlet) to get some bread and milk etc, all at hideous prices when compared with the wonderous Iceland. After a successful lunch, and a perusal of the newspaper (i thought i'd get myself in the know this week) I have at least attempted my lap report.

On Saturday, following Friday night at the LCR, I arose in the wee small hours of the morning in order to catch a train for a fun filled at a BPSA conference in London. For those of you not down with the excessive acronyms life at UEA contains, that's a night out at the union club, and a day in London at a British Pharmaceutical Students Assosciation conference..fun times. It was really interesting, though an awful long time to be sat down listening to people talk about various things to do with pharmacy on a saturday, not to mention that somehow they thought that finishing the day with a calculation quiz would be fun!? We had dinner at Nando's before heading back via the tube then the train to home in Norwich. This week has been a week of pharamcy blues for a fair few of the girls on my course- they say it is just hitting them just how much work we've got- and it is true, it is a soul crushing amount, especially considereing my serious lack of biology knowlege. I am plodding onwards, although not looking forward to the physiology and pharmacology course test next week. Unfortunately, i thought that the adrenal gland was in the brain...would you put your healthcare in my hands?! Sometime between now and next week there needs to be a serious biology fest.

So this last week, has been a mixture of fear and joy. Joy because despite how hard I'm finding some things, it is clear to me that I am learning even more to depend upon God's grace. I was talking with a friend the other day, and realised properly, for the first time- that God's grace and provision is made even more apparent to us when we learn to fully rely on him for everything, and in times when we find things difficult. This must be what it means when we read 'My power works best in weakness'. The more I struggle, the more i realise that I must depend upon God, and the more i depend upon God, the more I know daily his awesome provision and never ending grace- even in the little things, like conversations and cups of tea at just the right time. In the immortal words of the proclaimers (the scottish band, rather than the church in Norwich) 'the less I believe in me, the more I believe in thee'!

This evening, another example of God's grace for me, I've spent the evening with my friend Zoe from biomedicine who shares the same trauma due to our upcoming coursetest in physical biochemistry. She brought biscuits and we giggled as we talked about our many physical biochem problems and went through recent questions together.

Last night we watched a ridiculous film called Mystic Pizza, starring julia roberts and made about 20 years ago. Katie's girly choice- and lots of giggles, but all in all, a film where nothing actually happens. Lots of faffing around with relationships- I bit like Jane Austen, but less reserved.

Tomorrow, or I suppose in the early hours of Wednesday we'll find out who the new US president will be. In all honesty I haven't been following it at all over the last few weeks in the UEA campus bubble, but today I bought a paper to get informed on the matter- it made a change to actually choose which paper to buy rather than to get the one that which is giving out a whopping great bar of chocolate (the telegraph) a bottle of fruit juice (the independent) or a cereal bowl (the guardian) for free outside the union shop. Tomorrow, the LCR fancy dress club night is themed 'Stars and Stripes' but i think i'll be spending a few happy hours at home doing my lab report. I might stay up to give out hot chocolate though, which will make me tempted to go to the bar afterwards to watch the election results on the big screen until 6am- despite my first placement on wednesday. We're visiting pheonix, a pharmaceutical wholesaler, so it shouldn't be too taxing, and hopefully there will be some free food involved.

Anyway, its half past 11, by all means this could still be an early night for me, and i intend to go to bed within the next five minuites. So for now, goodnight. xxx