Thursday, January 31, 2008

Semester so far & Book report

Semester stuff: How's the semester so far? Just fine, I'm waiting for the shit to hit the fan on some of the subjects but things look pretty OK so far. Animal Behavior is damn facinating, Genetics is cool, Biochemistry A and Animal Physiology's boring but tolerable, Experiment Analysis and Microbiology Lab is fine.
Unlike last year's lazing about (from ignorance of what tests are like in uni, not intirely out of laziness) I'm summerizing classes twice a week to stay in touch with the material and, also, there's far less material than last year's semesters.

This semester's favorit lecturers are the Biochemistry A proff and the Experiment Analysis lecturer.
Biochemistry proff is an israeli arab (because, aparently, we don't really treat our arabian citizens in aparthide style...) with an endearing sense of humor and a compassionate heart for the students facing his material's complexity. He knows when to gives a break when we're getting too sleepy and treats student questions with philosophy and respect where other lecturers would snob them out. Another respectable thing in the guy is the fact that when he doesn't know the answer to a student's question he'll just say he doesn't know.
Experiment Analysis is basically a course where we take a subject (the Ligioners' desease' bacteria for my group) and try to slowely patch together a do-able, reasonable experiment. The lecturer starts each class with a problem ("how to find which kind of mutant the ligionella bacteria you recieved in the mail today are") and shoots down our sprouting, green ideas like an expert AA battery ^_^ better him teach us the art of making reasonable research suggestions than our future professors, says I (from bitter experience...). The lecturer has a heavy stutter which he reins into control by focusing (and often slips when he's distracted) but he's still giving the classes with a sweet humorous atmosphere and a lot of brains. Fascinating stuff.

Book report: Finished reading Steve Jones' Almost Like A Whale. Damn wonderful book, honestly. I started reading it a little before the strike ended and was immediately glad for the little treasure box ofchances to refresh last year's ecology and taxonomy material. You'll find everything in Jones' book; ecology, evolution, genetics, microbiology, bacteriology, history, poetry, logic. Jones' style is wonderfully readable and elegantly addictive but most of all, it's simple and informative with a healthy dash of good, sharp humor. With very, very little mindless judgment to anyone (not even the 'monster' of creationism as so many american scientists are rediculously buzzing about) every argument for and against evolution is well represented, dealt with and explained in deep but not boring details. There wasnt a dull moment in this book and it managed to keep my attention without lapsing into petty anecdotes or meaningless detail scattering. A great, highly recommended book alltogether.

Next on my reading list: Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game which beloved boyfriend got me (*squee*)

And now an update: L'Oreal and Unilever decide to remove shark liver oil from their products now if only L'Oreal would completely stop experimenting its products of animals, I'll be its happy consumer.

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