December 16, 2013 Leave a comment
I finally wrapped up a short but eventful semester in France. The term ended with a brutal two weeks of exams followed by a presentation of my master’s thesis proposal in front of a jury from the Université Bordeaux Segalen. Overall, the three months and a half I spent in France were pleasant. The exams were some of the most challenging I’ve had – I want to say ever, but at least that I can clearly remember. I must say in learnt a lot about psychopharmacology and addiction in Bordeaux (also, some French – enough to buy a baguette or ask for directions). Despite the linguistic challenges (see my ‘Douleur dans le pouce’ post), my time in France was a worthwhile experience.
As for Edinburgh, I’m about to finish the second module of the year before the Christmas holidays. Since I posted last, we’ve been focusing on acute medicine and clinical decision making. Surprisingly, I’ve found this module to be closely linked to neuroscience – cognitive neuroscience and psychology to be specific. We learned about all sorts of theories relevant to the making of decisions in clinical practice. Many of these theories are related to theories of basic cognition and working memory (another area of neuroscience which I learned a lot about in Bordeaux). Also, I’m writing up a review of a neurological emergency for this modules assessed assignment, somewhat bringing my two worlds together.
Juggling both my neuroscience MSc and my MSc at Edinburgh has been particularly challenging this semester. Exams overlapped, assignment deadlines for both programs fell often within the same week and I found myself stretched quite thin at times. This might be due to the fact that lectures in Bordeaux are long – four hours apiece twice a day! Now I have a month (until mid-January) away from all my studies to relax – well, kind of (I’ll be working on PhD and specialization applications a bit – but how bad can that be?). I’ll be spending this precious time at home in Sudan with my family. Also, blogging (I promise). I’ll be spending this time blogging about all the little ideas I’ve had since October and that I haven’t had time to put up here.