Friday, 27 July 2007

SXR270 - day 7

The last day!

Breakfast and packing, whilst trying to get over the "staying up until past 2:00am at the disco and possibly having imbibed a little more than one is use to" feeling.

Anyway, happily this is about feedback and control systems in the body, and we're looking at blood pressure and pulse rates. We start by measuring resting blood pressure and pulse rates. Then, given our state, we decide to test the hypothesis that they will decrease if we lie down for a few minutes. We all try that out, and then move on to other scenarios. Maybe caffeine in the coffee at coffee break has an effect, we test that out. Others look at exercise and also lying head down and standing on their heads and so on. Still feeling a little rough, we decide standing on ones head is probably going to end in a certain amount of disaster, so we continue with the lieing down theme.

I manage to sidetrack the tutor into a discussion on the comparative anatomy of the crocodilian three chambered heart, and how a giraffe manages its blood pressure. Then, a debriefing followed by a bit of theory on the heart and one of the people is hooked up to an ECG. We compare heart rates with breathing cycles and also the effect of holding your breath on the heart pumping mechanics. Finally, the tutor shows us the dive response by wiring himself up, and then plunging his face into a bowl of iced water! What a way to end!!

The final lunch, and then the final briefing to the whole school about the ECA and then we got the ECA and that was that!

Once you leave campus, the real world starts to filter back in and the residential school starts to seem more like a dream. For that week you are isolated from most of the world, I saw no TV, read no newspapers, and really had little idea what was going on outside the course (and was probably better for it!). So focused you are in the course, its hard to get much time for normal things. Some people attempted TMAs and things while there, but I don't think many were done.

With a typical day (for me anyway) starting with getting up at 7ish, walking into breakfast at about 7:45, chatting with others, then we assembled at about 8:30 for the walk to the QMC for a 9:00 start. Labs from 9-12:30 or so, lunch 12:30-1:30, labs 1:30-5, tea at 5:45, briefings and other sessions 7:00-9:00, bar from 9:00-whenever. Its a full day!

1 comment:

Phil said...

Thanks for the impressive and informative account of your OU studies. I've enjoyed reading these very much. Brought back many happy recollections from when I did SXR270 in 2002 (then coded SXR204). I chose brain and testicle tissue for the oxygen respiration experiment (for a laugh - but it made me wince when I pressed the scalpel into a rat's testicle Urrgghhh!). I really enjoyed the stomatal counts of the dayflower. It's true about the 9 til 9 12-hour days. Not only that, but the time you hit the sack gets later and later each day. The night of the disco I don't think I slept at all - I needed the Pro Plus pills Friday morning! You'll be doing something like SXR375 in a couple of years then?
Excellent blog, mate! You should move/link to MySpace.