Thursday, October 4
One of the new courses I'm taking this year is Experimental Psychology; I'd chosen it because lately I've been growing a real interest in neuroscience and consciousness, and also because it came highly recommended to me from a neuroscience student in the year above. 'The lectures are so good, some of my friends from completely unrelated subjects used to come along!' he enthused, while I kept a neutral stance.
Well, it turned out that the lecture were indeed absolutely first class, and that's probably due to the fact that a lot of the material is almost completely new to me, unlike, say, Molecular Cell Biology where I know that we're going to cover DNA structure, cell differentiation and so on.
Today I had my first Experimental Psychology practical - I got to the practical building about a minute late and immediately walked into the first room which I'd seen other people walking into. Luckily the practical/lecture hadn't started yet so I managed to get all my stuff sorted out. While doing this, the girl sitting next to me introduced herself and asked whether I was doing medical or physical Natural Sciences. A bit confused about this, I replied that I was a bioNatSci.
- 'Ah, right. I'm a medic.'
'Hmm. I didn't know that medics could take part in NatSci lectures?'
- 'Well, yeah, I'm a medical NatSci. So have you chosen your projects yet?'
[At this point I'm getting extremely confused and worried, and a small voice in the back of my head is insistently pointing out that I don't recognise a single person in the room.]
'Projects? I thought you only did projects in Part II NatSci - this is IB.'
- 'This is Part II NatSci.'
[The small voice disappears from my mind in a self-satisfied flash of smugness.]
'Ah. I'm only doing Part IB.'
- 'Wow, you're a bit keen then, aren't you?'
'Er, yes, so it would appear. You know, I think I'm in the wrong room. Do you know where the practical room is?'
And then I made my swift getaway, with the maximum amount of grace that I could muster under such circumstances (a not inconsiderable amount, as it happened).
Monday, October 1
I have to say that when you have a broadband connection to the Internet, you really begin to appreciate quite how amazing it all is. There isn't a more impressive and visceral demonstration of the Internet's potential when you're talking to a friend several thousand miles away with live video feeds. I've known for years now that this sort of thing is done by thousands every day - I've videoconferenced with friends within the university myself. But to actually experience it when it's worth doing, it's literally incredible.
It's strange, but downloading movies or music doesn't even compare to this.
So, yes, I have returned to Cambridge fine; the weather is typically dull and wet. My room is smaller than last year but much better organised and I've brought along a whole load of useful things to help me out. Oh, and I've signed up for the rowing team... looks like my life will be ending soon then.