Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Holiday blues?

I haven't been able to sleep lately. It's not that I'm particularly stressed out (surprisingly!): I just lie in bed for hours, in a mindless state. Not sleeping. It's driving me crazy, now my throat has started hurting, and I know that if I don't get a good night's sleep soon I'm going to crash. Really hard.
Passing an exam on less than 6 hours' worth of sleep today was... interesting. I'm really angry at myself, but I really don't see what I could have done to avoid this problem. I was in bed by 11:30! Hopefully, my grade won't have suffered tremendously. Ugh.

2 down, 3 to go... Hopefully the ones on Thursday and Friday should be marginally easier.

In all seriousness though, I'm feeling pretty angry at the moment at how biology is instructed. Don't get me wrong; I love biology, I'm the nerd who discusses biology when I'm hanging out with my friends, biology is a big part of my life. I just don't understand why McGill would think that it is essential for a student to remember the exact number of amino acids in the SRC protein, and which antibody out of a whole list of them will cause it to immunoprecipitate?
Honestly: a day after the exam, how many students actually remember the facts we get tested on? None. We remember the important information, the signaling pathways and protein interactions, sure, but the rest is gone in record time.

In my experience of working in labs, you don't
need to know all of the excruciating detail. If you don't know a fact, you look it up. So why are we, as students, expected to remember? Who expects these tests to be a proper measure of our capabilities?
The reason I'm ranting if because I just took an exam on the Molecular Biology of Oncogenes (i.e. cancer). This class, which
should have been fascinating turned out being... well, not too interesting, to say the least. We didn't even begin touching on the possible ways of treating cancer until the last two classes! What's the point?

One last thing that has me a little worried: I ordered a bunch of Christmas presents from Amazon a few days ago, and chose the speed shipping option. Today I get an email that the package will be here in
two weeks, and arrive exactly a day after I leave. I have no idea what to do. It's too late to cancel the order-- does this mean I'll turn up empty handed? Should I ask Sarah to FedEx them to Madagascar (that would take forever)?

I had better go on studying for my exam tomorrow. Joy!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hrmm, that's strange that Amazon's shipping should take so long. Did you go with or .ca? Hopefully you'll be lucky and it'll arrive before you leave!

Don't worry Vick. I know finals are super stressful, but you're almost finished!

10:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I just might have figured out a way of getting 50% of books at Indigo if you're interested.

2:12 a.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

Ooh! I would be interested... but it's too late for my christmas shopping now :(
How? Do you have a contact?

8:41 a.m.  
Blogger Ammo said...

I hope you get a good night's rest soon! If worst comes to worst, you could try taking some medicine (maybe not even something specifically for insomnia, but a harmless pill that makes you drowsy!).
You should write to Amazon's customer service and protest virulently. You ordered speed shipping after all!!

9:06 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have coffee in me.
I am the ultimate procrastinator.
That's gonna kick me in the @$$ today...

11:36 a.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

Bad B! Bad!
Not that I can talk or anything. I have an exam in two hours, and I'm checking my blog. WTF?
I am SO going to kick JAK's ass today. I slept last night!

12:01 p.m.  
Blogger 007 in Africa said...

Don't worry too much. We'll manage to forgive you if you celebrate Xmas with no presents. I planned to get you coal this year anyways so you can just repackage it and give it to the bro. But seriously, I can't believe you got prezzies from Amazon--that's sooo lazy :)
If your packages do come too late, make sure Amazon is not charging you the express fee at the very least.

12:56 p.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

:( It is not so much lazy as I'd been to bookstores and they didn't have the books that I wanted. Also, I leave the day after exams are over so I didn't want to rush my christmas shopping...

2:38 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you did well on your tests. I remember back to my college days (before you were born) and the number of classes I got an 'A' in -- due to my ability to mentally retain even the minutest of details for as long as 12-hours!
I'm disappointed in Amazon lately. If you're ordering books I recommend 'Books-a-Million" in the future. ( They have fast shipping, excellent service and I find lots of stuff cheaper than on Amazon. (This is free plug - no, I don't own stock in Bamm!)

6:01 a.m.  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thank you Steve! Cramming: it's every student's best friend. I'm always a little peeved though, when a month after finals, I realise that I can't recall a single bit of information that I'd learned in class. Woops.
I'll be sure to check BAMM from now on... I'd gotten so excited with Amazon-- the prices seemed cheap to me, but I think that's because Chapters and Indigo over price their books to such an extreme that now any book under 20$ seems acceptable...

8:26 p.m.  

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