Ellen’s First Year Blog: Recap of Christmas

Hello again! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, and I wish you a Happy New Year!

Well, my first semester certainly flew by. HOW have we covered SO much content in our lectures? There is a lot I’ve had to revise over the holidays, you should see the mountains of flip cards laid out on my desk. January exams will be interesting to say the least.

Anyway, last time I posted was just before the 1st year life sciences poster presentation. Every week we have a tutorial, where you and a group of 7 other people on your course meet up with your tutor to learn about things such as how to correctly refrence, how to structure essays and write abstracts. One of our tasks was to create a poster on a topic of our choice. We chose the disease Progeria; a rare genetic disease which causes premature aging. A mutation of the LMNA gene leads to the formation of the protein progerin which makes the nucleus of cells unstable, preventing cells from dividing properly. The average life expectancy is only 13 years of age, and world wide there are only 37 known cases. We spent a whopping 6 hours on Monday making our poster, which included a rotating clock face featuring clock hands made of chromosome 1 (where the LMNA gene locus is found). Once completed, we had to display our poster along side all the other tutorial group’s posters which were then judged by both students and tutors. Even though we didn’t win anything (£20 gift vouchers were up for grabs!) we got a fair few compliments on our snazzy clock design and got to have free tea and cakes – which obviously I took full advantage of with my sweet tooth.

A normal Nucleus compared to a Nucleus affected by Progeria

A normal Nucleus compared to a Nucleus affected by Progeria

The last 2 weeks of the semester were jam packed with christmas events and socials. I feel I may have to create a bullet point list due to the sheer amount of things that went on; the balance between work and socialising was definitely not equal (oops).

  • A trip to the Christmas markets: Me and my friend Dom had ‘gigantic sausage’ hotdogs and apple strudels whilst admiring all the Christmas decorations and chocolates on sale and the Christmas lights everywhere. The Christmas markets were fab, although compared to the Christmas markets at home (In Leeds) they were very spread …but still similarly expensive – Who pays £5+ for a hot chocolate! Not me on a student budget!
  • Ice skating at Spinningfields: My friend Ellie who I know from home, who is also studying biomed like me, suggested we have a catch up and so we decided to go ice skating! The location was gorgeous, Spinningfields is very glam with some swanky restaurants and bars around and featured some of the best Christmas lights I’ve seen – including turquoise reindeers and a barn covered in fairy lights. Although I was a bit wobbly on the ice at first, I was whizzing round by the end of the hour session… which ended in Ellie falling over whilst trying to demonstrate how well she can do spins on the ice (show off 😛 )!
  • SHREK the Medic’s pantomime: My friend Tom was playing the role of the ginger bread man – This was definitely not a PG performance and was utterly hilarious. Afterwards I went out with some of the swimming girls to Deansgates Locks which was a very funny night, a lot of tequila was involved. Tequila does bad things. Don’t drink Tequila.
  • The Faculty of Life sciences society Christmas social at 256: FOLSS as well as a number of other societies descended on 256 for some festive fun. We arrived a little bit early, so I decided to completely dominate the empty dance floor and wallow in all the fake snow spouting from the snow machine. Me and Dom dressed as snowflakes / stars and sported some very groovy eye make-up.

I now feel the list is getting a bit excessive… but my list of Christmas activities doesn’t end there! I also went to: a 2nd year house party with some of my swimming friends; the Ashburne and Sheavyn (my accommodation’s) Christmas party featuring a photo booth (see pics below!); I hosted a cheese and wine night AND I also went to the swimming Christmas dinner followed by the Christmas AU social at the students union where I finally got an excuse to where my Mrs Santa outfit!

As you can probably guess, I was exhausted after all that. I’m feeling tired just reading all that again. So now I’m home with the fire lit, the kettle on and my cats keeping me company. Still more revision yet to do, wish me luck for my January exams!

And on that note, I’ll say Adios for now.

Till next time, Ellen 🙂

Our Porgeria Poster!

Our Porgeria Poster!

The SpinningFields Christmas Lights

The SpinningFields Christmas Lights

Photo booth pictures from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

Photo booth pictures from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

Photo booth pictures from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

Photo booth pictures from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

The FOLSS Christmas social at 256 - Check out the fake snow!

The FOLSS Christmas social at 256 – Check out the fake snow!

Me and my swimming chum Becky at the Swimming Christmas Dinner at The Font

Me and my swimming chum Becky at the Swimming Christmas Dinner at The Font

Swimming Christmas meal at The font!

Swimming Christmas meal at The font!

yet another picture from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

yet another picture from the Ashburne & Sheavyn Christmas Party!

Swimming girls night out at Deansgate Locks

Swimming girls night out at Deansgate Locks

Me and Ellie before in SpinningFields ready to hit the Ice!

Me and Ellie in SpinningFields ready to hit the Ice!

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