Friday, 5 October 2007

One week of Dietetics

It's been a long week, with introductions to and lectures within the five modules that comprise the first semester's work. "Introduction to Dietetics" is a double module worth twice the marks of the others, then there's Biochemistry, "Food Manufacturing, Nutrition and Health", Genetics and Cell Biology, and Whole Organism Biology. The various lecturers have been very different in their style and speed of presentation, although everything's pretty well supported with online resources and copies of presentations, mostly available in advance so far.

[By the way, for those who query the use of the word 'semester': there are two semesters in the academic year, but three terms.]

The Intro to Dietetics module is the only one where the 35 or so first-year MNutr students are on our own. All the rest are in large lecture theatres holding the 250 people who are doing one or other of the Biosciences courses - Food Science, Microbiology, Nutrition, Environmental Biology and so on. They don't half cough a lot. That's probably the worst thing, plus the worry that I might catch something because it definitely won't be much fun being ill, and there's little scope to stay in bed and miss a few days.

We've already been asked to express a preference for the Clinical Placement that lasts for four weeks in the summer of 2008. Unfortunately, because I've chosen a university that is some distance from my home, so are all the placement options. The three nearest are in Northampton, Kettering and Leicester, so I've asked for one of those, but there are no guarantees. I might be sent to Barnsley or Doncaster - if not this time, then potentially on one of the other two placements, which last 12 weeks. No chance of commuting to those locations.

I'm also having to battle with the authorities around funding - not for the tuition fees, which the NHS has confirmed it will pay, but for additional bits and pieces that would just make life easier. Other students in similar circumstances on my course have been offered some of the Maintenance Loan options and some additional dosh beyond the tuition fees, but it looks like I'll have to start writing some letters to the relevant offices, because phone calls have not been effective so far.

On the leisure side, joining the badminton club is hopeless because they meet late in the evening on days that I don't have afternoon lectures. I've toyed with the idea of staying on and working, but when lectures are over by noon and the club doesn't start until 8pm, that's an awful lot of time to spend in the library. So instead, I've been going to the gym, just to work up a sweat and perhaps lose a few pounds, setting a good example to those I may one day advise on health-related matters. It's nowhere near as much fun as badminton, but my trusty ipod makes it bearable. They're building a new sports hall at the moment that should be ready after Christmas, which I hope will improve the shower facilities...

For the weekend, I've got some books out of the library from the recommended reading list, just to show willing. There's one assignment I could make a start on, and I need to go over the notes of one lecture where the lecturer spoke so concisely and went so fast that if you blinked (or someone coughed) then you missed something. Have I mentioned how annoying all the coughing is? But I'm mostly going to relax a bit over the weekend, because I'm quite tired now.

1 comment:

Sally said...

Students they are a bunch of people with poor health! It is all that junk food and alcohol!! Get advising them Lola!