Hello from the other side…of term! Sorry, that was terrible, but I am happy enough to be done with Spring term that I’ll forgive myself a bad Adele intro. First off, thanks to everyone who stopped by our online chat event! One thing I was asked was: what is a typical day like? The answer: it’s changes all the time! So in order to answer this question properly, I’m going to describe my penultimate week of term, or Week 9 in York speak.
I started the week with a 9am practical, identifying plants on the lawn behind the greenhouses. A brisk start to the day and week! After filling in our class data sheet I had some free time, which I used to read and submit some forms for my upcoming field course in Mallorca. I then had an Evolution and Population Genetics lecture, with a nice and early end of 1pm. I walked to town to have a routine review meeting with my manager at work, then quickly nipped to Aldi for my week’s shop. After dropping off my bags I hurried back to uni, where I had signed up for a Taiwanese tea ceremony run by TeaSoc as part of Global Week. After an hour there I then headed to my friend’s house for a catch up and dinner. Having walked around all day, I fell asleep pretty much as soon as I got home!
A more leisurely start with no early lectures meant I had time to have a cup of tea and make sandwiches for lunch before leaving for my 11am computer-based workshop. After that ended, and I knew significantly more tricks in Excel, I stayed in the computer lab for a few hours with a friend. We both had a GIS spatial analysis project due, and were attempting to make QGIS and R work with us, with varying degrees of success. After a somewhat exhausting three hours I was off to chat with all of you at the online chat event! Finally at 6:30pm I walked home, encouraged by the thought of food, and made myself a somewhat disastrous mushroom omelette. It tasted good at least. I then caught up on Call the Midwife, prepared for a presentation, and wrote part of my practical report whilst listening to Hamilton on repeat. All in all, a productive day!
After a beautiful walk through the snow (snow!) to uni, I had three lectures in a row- all in the same room! First was Behavioural Ecology, one of my favourite modules, where we learnt about the evolutionary benefits of menopause in orcas. In the second lecture, Organisms in their Environment, our groups gave 5 minute presentations to sum up our work that term. This was followed by Environmental Ecology, after which I finally ate lunch with friends at Cookies, the café and associated space we have conveniently located right outside the main lecture halls. I then had a few more hours of work in the computer labs, followed by the weekly ISA coffee afternoon, then immediately on to my LFA Arabic class! After ending at 6 I headed home, took a break from working on GIS and instead read some of my book. All Biology students have Wednesday afternoons free from lectures and practicals, but because of ISA and LFA I always have a full day!
Another late-ish start with yet another 11am EvPop Genetics workshop! Lunch with friends at Vanbrugh dining hall (but obviously not buying food, eating my home-made sandwiches because I am actually budgeting this year), an Evolutionary Ecology lecture, and another few hours of GIS work, and my day was done. Well, my academic day. I then met up with a group of friends, and we went to the ISA cultural performance in Central Hall! It was amazing, with quite a few of my international friends performing, and a great end to the day.
A very late start, with nothing until 2 (!) meant that I got some laundry and house chores out of the way first. In the afternoon I had a workshop for Organisms in their Environment where we were told some hilarious stories of fieldwork disasters, and then were given hypothetical problems to solve in groups. It was quite a relaxed and fun workshop, and made me quite excited for my field course coming up soon. The day only improved afterwards, as my friends and I, all struggling with GIS, finally succeeded in running the models successfully in R. We quickly saved our results, tried to refrain from crying with joy, and headed off to the York Student Cinema. As I mentioned, I am budgeting this year, so let me recommend YSC to everyone now- it’s only 3 pounds to see a film on a massive screen in a lecture theatre! Well worth it. The film I saw I had somehow missed, despite being a massive fan of the series- Star Wars! It was amazing, and I’m already excited for the next one.
Saturday and Sunday
The weekend was extremely hectic, as they often are for me. Unusually though, I was working both days and had both the GIS report and a different practical report due on Monday, so it was insanely busy. I’ll admit that I am not always as diligent as I should be in keeping up with coursework, something I severely regretted at this point! Nevertheless, after two very full days and very little sleep, I submitted both reports on Monday morning.
And that was my week! A bit busier than normal, but that always happens as term comes to an end and you realise that deadlines are actually a thing. Week 10 was quite quiet, with another practical report to finish, and now it’s Easter holidays! I am staying in York to work and catch up on notes, so it should be quite relaxing. After 10 weeks of uni, that’s something I will definitely appreciate.