Out of Focus - the diary of a student radiographer.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Vroom, vroom!

Adam and I had a jolly spiffing time today watching the British A1 GP today. It was so much better than the British F1 GP in so many ways. More interesting racing, much cheaper and even better, Brands Hatch is only half an hour's drive away!

The A1 event consisted of two races. The first was a short sprint race (rolling start, no compulsory pit stop) which wasn't terribly interesting as the drivers seemed to be taking things a bit too cautiously - there wasn't much overtaking and not many trips off the track. The British car came fifth.

The second race was tons better, it was longer, with a standing start and a compulsory pit stop. Plenty of overtaking and visits to the gravel traps, including one car that flipped over right in front of us after a 'coming together' with another car. Both drivers were fine, though. The British car was third for a good part of the race, behind the Brazilian and Australian cars until all three came in for their pit stops under the safety car. Cheers all round when the British car came out of the pits first! Until a minute later, when the British car broke down at the end of the very same lap. A small trickle of people got up an left at that point, miserable sods. Still, the British driver was unlikely to have kept the lead as the Brazilian left the rest of the field miles behind. Maybe him being the son of Nelson Piquet had something to do with it.

It's a shame the races are only being televised on Sky Sports. We are sort of tempted to upgrade so we can see it but Sky have a reputation for changing the channel they show a particular sport on, to try and force people to sign up for all the sports channels. Still, we found out at Sky's stand at Brands Hatch that it's now possible to only take a third of the 'entertainment' channels and save some money - they kept that one quiet, unsurprisingly.

I hope the A1 series takes off - we'll be back again next year if it does. Even if it did take half an hour to get out of the car park.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Under Construction

It's an interesting experience studying at a campus that is still under construction. You see, 3 universities and a college got together to share a new campus and, whereas a lot of it is finished, there is a fair bit that still is the domain of construction workers. For most of last term they were making a nuisance of themselves (diggers getting in the way of traffic, builders sending cement dust flying everywhere, that sort of thing) just over the road constructing the new library.

Well, it opened this week and it is huge. The longest library in Europe, apparently. Masses of PCs and study space - much better than the pokey computer room we have in our building. Good incentive to study there away from the distractions at home (internet forums, telly, cats etc.). Also there are masses more books than in the old library. They even have some radiography books! Only about 10, but it's a start, and it's 10 more than the old library had. Hurrah, less intersite loans to have to deal with.

We now also have a barrier at the entrance of the far-too-small car park. The card reader for it is cunningly placed to cause maximum inconvenience - I can only just get the car close enough to lean out of the window to swipe the pass card.

A lot of the building type stuff that is going on I don't have a clue about. This time last year they planted up the strip of ground between the car park and the road with lots of shrubs and suchlike. Today there are a couple of diggers clearing it all away. I wonder what that's all about.

And the rest of the results are in....

For my exam I got 68% (wahey) and for the two short essays in my placement portfolio I got 55% (yay) and 40% (oops). The main reason I got a low mark for the last one was because I didn't use any references. It was an essay about how the different professions communicated within my hospital and I didn't realise I needed references.

Oh well, learning outcome of the day - use references in everything.

Oh, and I took the rest of the ECDL tests today and passed them all (yay again).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The second result is in...

... and I got 70% for my other essay! Yay, go me!

One big difference I noticed between school and university is that people ask other people what mark they got and the answer is willingly given. No one ever admitted to what marks they got when I was at school.

Of the other radiography students I asked, no one got a higher mark than me, and one got the same. Oh dear, I'm beginning to feel like the class swot.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Back to the grindstone

First day of term yesterday - no time off until Xmas! One of our first lectures was on the reproductive system which, of course, caused much mirth all round - even from the supposedly mature students. Actually, that should be especially from the mature students. I'm not including myself in that. Oh no. *ahem*

In the afternoon, our physics lecturer pleased a large number of the class by having the cricket scores updating on the toolbar of the computer he was projecting the lecture slides from (it was something from the BBC website - some sort of anti-boss thing, I suppose).

On a only slightly-related note, I got a letter from Natwest today about my money, basically telling me I had applied for the account too late to get the £55. Nice of them to tell me at the time - not. I sent them a snotty letter straight away. Don't suppose it will make any difference but it made me feel better. Not surprisingly I'm closing the account.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A country walk without geocaching

I saw my personal tutor yesterday and 40% is a pass, 65% is a first so 55% is good - yay! Still no news of the other results though. Humpf.

Whilst tidying up (which is amazing in itself) I found a booklet of circular walks in the local area that was published in 1978, with hand drawn maps. Some of the walks near the town centre wouldn't be so interesting nowadays due to the amount of house building that has gone on since 1978, but we thought we'd give one of the more countryfied ones a go to see if it still possible to make it around the route without needing an up to date map.

It seemed kind of weird going out for a walk in the countryside without a plastic box to look for, but there was a trig point near our route, so that was OK. Well, the result was - it is still possible to use the booklet (although we did have an OS map, just in case) and we saw some nice countryside we hadn't been to before. We even found ourselves walking through a field of asparagus!

Our diversion to find the trigpoint was fun. It was on a golf course but a public footpath runs right past the pillar. We found the way onto the golf course OK as there was a footpath sign at the roadside, but we had to push our way through some vegetation to get onto the course. The footpath route wasn't signposted at all so we weaved our way around the greens, half expecting someone to shout at us for being on private property. Having found the trig, we then attempted to find our way out at the other end of the footpath. This was even worse as our way was blocked by a thicket of brambles and prickly bushed. I said we should go back to the road through the golf course's front gate - it wasn't much of a diversion - but Adam insisted on cutting his way through the brambles with a pair of nail scissors *rolls eyes*. I'm sure the golf course owners are being a bit naughty by letting the footpath get so overgrown, maybe an e-mail to the county council's public rights of way department is in order.

To finish, I'll leave you with the road sign of the week:

Monday, September 05, 2005

The first result is in...

... and I got 55%. I'm not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed. Adam assures me that 55% is a perfectly respectable mark for a first essay but I, not being used to the university way of marking things, can't help feeling 55% is only about halfway there.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Oooh, exciting!

According to Blackboard (the university's computer system for making announcements, storing lecture notes - that kind of thing) the results for essay #2 are being posted out today. Even better, results for the people that failed went out on Tuesday - so it looks pretty certain I passed it! Now I just have to wait for news about essay #1, the exam and my portfolio.