May 1st, 2010

Rainbow || Rainbow northern lights.

(no subject)

Let's see. Yesterday, eh? (: Wanted to leave this post until I felt able to look at the paper sheet again.

Woke up and spent the morning with Batgirl and John. Left at 8. Revised some more before going into Animal Behaviour - memorised the authors and years of the case studies. Never want to have to remember (Pinker, 2002) or (Parker, 1970) or (McGue & Bouchard, 1998) again - although clearly it hasn't left yet (Tinbergen, 1963). Alright I'm done now. :B

They always let us in 10 minutes early so we can prepare our booklets and read the questions. I did that. Then I meditated. I had mentioned 'panic attack' to a friend when we were walking in. The supervisor then came over to check on me, which was sweet.

First question: "Write an essay entitled: 'Methods of recording and analysing behaviour sequences'." I think I aced it. Included everything, formulas and tables and a graph, all the key phrases Sibly (2002) went crazy over.

Second question: "Citing NAMED examples, write an essay about the ways behaviour is affected by animals' experiences during their early post-natal development." No bug dwak - mentioned Pinker's (2002) view of the effects of developmental experiences, Lorenz (1935) with his lovely ickle goslings, Anstey et al (2009) with their locust study and Able & Able (1990) with their inky footprints. Possibly a few more. Not the best written essay since I was rushed, but it is sort of my subject, so I think I did reasonably.

I also took my halfway-mark loo break. I was known for it last year. :P Batgirl always used to know I was done with my first essay and planning the second one when I went off to the loo for a pee break and some jumping jacks (although she doesn't know about the jumping jacks).

Celebrated a bit. Bought a sandwich with Batgirl. Went to 360 and revised up on the second floor. Stressed out and had a lot of nervous pee breaks. Walked to London Road campus with Katie and a friend of hers. Hugged Scrubs - yes I brought my teddy bear. :3

Realised the reason I found Animal Behaviour easier is because it's part of my field and full of common sense for me - it's connecting what I've been learning for years. History & Philosophy of Science is new: I'm no good with history to begin with and philosophy isn't always meant to be common sense. I mean, historical preformationists? The idea of humunculus in sperm, all generations of humans within gametes? Yeah, not exactly the most common sense stuff, and thus a bit harder to remember. However I do LOVE History & Philosophy of's a new interest, although not yet a new skill. It's given me an entirely new look on science and I love it for that.

Went in. Filled out my booklets. Read the questions. Rolled my eyes. Meditated.

First question: "Discuss Kuhn's conception of scientific revolutions as paradigm shifts. How well does it fit the Copernican and the Darwinian revolutions?" My essay wasn't the best. It was almost conversational, just because I didn't have any more to give - I know the fact that I had two exams in the same day has lost me some marks in the second exam. I explained paradigm shifts and scientific revolutions reasonably. My discussion of the Copernican revolution was a bit weak. Darwinian was probably stronger but not fantastic. Conclusion was concise.

Second question: "Scientific knowledge is cumulative and apparently reliable. Historical accounts of scientific development often focus on individual scientists. How useful is this focus in understanding what is special about scientific knowledge?" Weeeeaaaak essay. Described what's special about science, what individualistic perspectives miss out on, some possible reasonings for using it anyway and the conclusion that it's not incredibly useful in understanding what's SPECIAL about scientific knowledge.

Conclusion on first two exams: Think I passed Animal Behaviour to my standards. Not done very well with Hist & Phil of Sci - passed, I'm sure (hard to fail), but maybe a C or D? Hoping C. It'll be the second time in my life of getting a C - seems about right I should have another some time, right? Don't want 9th grade health to be lonely. :P It was bound to happen some time, especially since a 50-60 isn't that unusual in English marking; I've been lucky in avoiding it thus far. I'm still shocked I got all A's & B's last year.

After the exams: Walked home and explored with Emma & Dave. Went in an English hospital for the first time ever since Emma had to pee. Got icecream on Wokingham Road! Cream caramel & bubblegum (which was blue) with strawberry sauce (which made blue and pink, which was cool). Chatted with Emma for a while. Bought apple sourz and lemonade - chatted with the store manager. ("Let me just get my ID for you!" "Oh, if only everyone was like you!" "It's American, so it says 'under 18' right there, so you know!" "Very useful!")

Home for hanging out. Ordered pizza with Matt & Alisha since we had a 50% off coupon. Gormenghast episode 2. Got the news from Batgirl that she has to be off crisps - her doctor finally told her she had to get off them or she'd be facing stomach cancer in two years and her kidney drying up; she has to take all sorts of pills now. Peppermint tea to help restore the pH and such. It's really given us all a shock. She's properly addicted and this will be hard for her.

Slept last night, slept in today, have been relaxing and watching things. Going to go take a shower, clean my room and start revising between breaks. I'm closer to the home stretch. It feels better.