Out of Focus - the diary of a student radiographer.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Hurray for the holidays!

This is good - I've been at uni four weeks and already I've got two weeks off for Easter. Unfortunately this is the last holiday I'll have until August.

I'm pleased with myself as I have got the studying done that I would otherwise have done at the beginning of the first week back. Now all I have to do is the 2 thousand chores that have built up over the last 4 weeks. I really need to work at getting organised.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Whinge incoming...

Carol's blog reminded me of something I wanted to moan about. That seems to happened a lot.

I had some woman come up to me in Sainsbury's trying to sell me Sainsbury's banking stuff. I don't want to get cross with these people as I know they are only doing their job, and it's a pretty thankless one at that, but why can't these people take the hint that I AM NOT INTERESTED SO GO AWAY. I think telling them that I'm not interested and looking cross is a pretty big hint. Annoying me does not equal a sale.

Sunday, March 20, 2005


I hope I am not premature in declaring that spring, my most favouritest season, has sprug! I'd been feeling a bit gloomy lately so it was lovely to go out for a day's caching in the bright, warm sunshine. It had a great effect on my mood seeing the spring flowers, bright green new growth amongst the dead stuff of last year, bees and butterflies, and being able to venture out without a coat or jacket! The countryside even smelt warm and green (except for when we walked past a giant pile of horse manure). Hard to believe it was only two weeks ago we were ankle deep in snow and the county had ground to a halt.

We did find a bit of snow lurking around still:

Considering what it looked like a couple of weeks ago its not surprising there's still some snow there (that picture is of one of the cache setters by the way).

That evening we did something I've never done before - we went to a classical concert. I really only went because it was in aid of the charity I volunteer for, but I really enjoyed it. I like classical music but I'm not the serious listener that Adam is. It was nice to find the town isn't exclusively populated by chavs, which is the way it seems if you go into the town centre on a Saturday.

I nearly got the giggles a couple of times though. Not good in a deadly serious setting like a classical concert. The first time was when I noticed the girl with the cymbals - every time she played them her fringe blew upwards. The second time, I was reading my programme and looked up so see the tuba had what looked like one of the large plastic bottles you get in water coolers stuck in it. I thought I was seeing things. Turns out it was one of these babies.

Friday, March 18, 2005


When I was at school, back in the dim and distance past, my fellow pupils and I were keen for the days when we no longer had to wear school uniform - in order to display a little individuality in our habiliment. So, I am finding it a little odd that at uni, at least 50% of the female students, mostly the ones under 25 or thereabouts, seem to be more or less identically dressed. They even have identical hair. From the bottom up, the student uniform consists of:

Coloured or black trainers.
Mid-blue jeans, low-waisted, boot-cut. No variation in colour or style permitted.
A slim fit (babydoll) t-shirt. Variation in colour and design is allowed.
Heavy mascara and eyeliner, eyeshadow optional.
Shoulder length hair, top layers bleached, often with streaks. Can be worn up or down.

I admit to owning a pair of the regulation jeans myself (well, I bought them for £5 in a sale - it would have been sinful not to snap up this bargain) but I am reluctant to wear them very often, precisely because everyone else does. I have plenty of skirts and trousers and jeans of other colours that I wear instead. I'm also considering putting some red in my hair (not ginger - I mean red red) but I'm not sure I'm brave enough.

Anyway, I don't understand why, when given the opportunity to wear virtually whatever they want to, half of them wear almost the same thing. Maybe I should expect them to start going "baa" soon.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Shiny happy blog

Oh dear. My blog seems to have turned into rather a whinge medium. I have another couple of whinges saved up for when they eventually get sorted as well. Nothing serious, just some crap companies wasting my time and effort as usual.

Anyway, I shall write a non-whinge blog today. I had a pleasant birthday - had to go to uni but Adam took me out for a very yummy curry in the evening. Adam had his favourite Green Chicken curry (a speciality of that restaurant) which doesn't contain green chicken but the sauce is very, very green and Adam went home with a green tongue. Apparently some of the green survives the digestive process too. Nice.

I was very tired this morning and slept late so we only had time for three caches, of which we only found one. And a bird managed to do a large poo on my GPSr and my glove. Ugh.

Oh dear. I seem to have failed to make this a non-whinge blog. Sorry.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Concentration. Or the lack thereof.

I think I might mention it's my birthday tomorrow. Oh, I seem to have done.

I'm gradually sorting out this studying lark. Try as I might, I cannot spend all day at home studying - my brain wanders off to other things. It's not like my brain wanders off to anything interesting - I caught myself pondering the gardening yesterday, FFS. Still, I was trying to get to grips with the concept of "problem based learning" at the time, so it's not surprising. No, I'm much more effective if I go somewhere else to study. By that I mean the uni or a library, not a field or anything. That would be silly and more than a little impractical.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Let the train make the strain

I mentioned before I wasn't able to have my clinical placement at my old hospital which is 10 mins walk away. Well, we were told which hospital we had got today and I was pleased to see that we are able to claim back the cost of travelling to placement if it is more expensive than getting to uni. Not the difference, the whole cost, which is quite good really.

However, I read the guidance notes, I found they will only refund students who get to placement by car if public transport is "unavailable or unsuitable". I guess they want students to be "green" as normally using the car is cheaper than public transport. As it happens, there is a bus service which is almost door-to-door and I'd be happy to use this if I don't have to pay. I checked the bus timetable - it doesn't run early enough to get me there by 8.45am. I checked the trains and was amazed to find I would need to change trains twice to get to a town 18 miles away! And it would take about 2 hours once I include the walk each end of the journey. Adam can get to work in central London quicker by train!

So I have sent a pleading e-mail to the nice placement lady at uni, hoping she will see that public transport is indeed "unavailable or unsuitable" and let me claim the cost of using my car. After all, about £600 a year is at stake here.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Skools out!

I've had an interesting week so far. On Monday I had a lecture called "The Nature of Matter" which was basic O level chemistry stuff and it was a breeze. I also had a lecture called "Cells and Tissues" which went straight over my head as I haven't done any biology since I was 13, before I made my O level choices. Further study required here. I also looked around the x-ray lab and had to listen to the tutor moan (good naturedly) about them not letting him have the dark room without the window - as it would have "spoilt the look of the building". Fear not, they got a blackout screen and it fits now.

On Tuesday was another IT session and I found out we have to take 4 modules of the ECDL. I have looked at the sample tests and this is also going to be a breeze. I had a go at the quizzes on the third-party EDCL training system the uni uses and they are driving me bonkers. As you know, there are several ways of doing many things in Windows applications but this software is a Windows simulation and it only recognises one way of doing each thing. Usually that one way is not they way I do it. I hope the tests don't use this simulator.

Today was a day off study day. I left home at 7.30am to do a spot of voluntary work in town, about 1 mile away. There was no snow. By the time I left, it had been chucking it down with snow for about 4 hours solid. It took 2 hours to get home through the traffic and by the time I got home I was a nervous wreck as I was convinced I was going to crash the car. The nice folks in the chat room suggested tea and sweet things and calming music which did the trick.

I have just checked Blackboard, the uni information system, and all lectures are cancelled tomorrow. I'm glad, as don't think I could have made it there anyway, unless there is a mass thaw overnight which is unlikely. I suppose I better be a good student and spend tomorrow reading up on cells.