Catching up on the reading at the library

Thanks to the massive amount of work that the final course assessment of the World Archaeology course entailed, I recently rediscovered the benefits of studying in the local library. Quite why it should be so, I don’t know, but I find that I get through a considerably greater amount of work in the library than elsewhere.

It’s not that I use the library resources (ie the books) whilst in the library either. Most of the time I take along the little laptop with the course text and, if I’m working on an assignment, sometimes the baby computer as well. So, how come with exactly the same kit at home or wherever, I don’t get the same amount of work done? I’m not really sure but maybe it’s something to do with the combination of actually sitting up at a desk together with being somewhere that I’ve come to associate with studying. Whatever it is, I get much more done in an hour there than I do in several elsewhere.

The archaeology course is out of the way now and the concentration has moved on to finishing the microbes course, the latest client-side assignment and the biology reading and notes. This morning ended up being very much a biology notes session during which I caught up on the biology notes (a once a month activity as I complete each book). Actually, I’m a bit ahead with the notes so I’ve had a bit of a preview of what’s coming up in biology.

The problem with the biology course is that there’s just so much of it. Moreover, it seems like almost every topic is an overview of the next topic lately. Thus we’ve gone from looking at the diversity of life in the first book, then in more detail on life in the second to highlight the uniformity of life and in the third book it’s picking apart the components of life from cells, through the components within the cells to, so far, how the various membranes work. Real-life useful topic from yesterday was how come bananas go off in the fridge when the microbe activity slows down in the cold: it’s because their cell membranes break down thus letting in the enzymes that cause the over-ripening.

Interestingly, I find that I make more progress with the biology when I read the real book than when I read it on either the reader or computer. That seems to be down to the writing style used which requires more referring to adjacent pages. Moving to reading the actual book has made my 10 pages a day target much more easily attainable.

Just arrived is The Greatest Benefit to Mankind which is one of the texts for the history of medicine course that me and Wendy have pencilled in for this October. At over 700 pages of text it’s something of a chunky book but seems quite readable. I’m hoping to get a reasonable way into that before the end of July when I’ll need to make my decision about the course.

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