7.00: Alarm. Shhhh. Curl up and ignore it for 5 minutes.
7.15: I swear it was only 5 minutes! Get dressed, drink coffee.
8.00: Make lunch. I chat with midwife flatmate: the only one in my flat who seems to have a similar amount of work to me.
8.35: Leave. Cycle up the worst hill with the worst, angriest traffic in the world. I just about make it to campus.
8.50: Meet friends. We take seats in the lecture hall. They are the flippy kind, like the ones you get in cinemas, and some many of them are broken. The five of us have to spread over two rows of seats to each get a horizontal seat.
9.05: Lecturer (let’s call him Dave) starts, explains what it happening today. Apart from lectures, we have “help sessions” instead of practicals this week. Great. Oh and don’t worry about the Multiple Choice Question test this evening, it’s only worth 10% of the module and covers 6 weeks of lectures and pathways. He is the one who says he doesn’t know half of them. Thanks Dave.
11.00: Discuss plan of action with friends about revision. We sit in the cafe and revise for a bit.
11.30: “Help session”. We check whether we’ve drawn the right lines on the graphs from last week’s practical. I get told to hold the graph horizontally to “see it better” and get quizzed on “how the module is going”. Great, but not for long I suspect.
12.00: Lunch and more revision. We all try to remember the difference between a phosphorylase and a phosphatase. My visual brain does not enjoy this. I draw a few diagrams to shut it up.
13.45: Walk across to the other campus for another hour of protein lectures.
14.00: Dave waffles for a while as we wait for the painfully slow computer to load up the lecture slides. The computer finally boots up. We all really wish he wouldn’t try and fill our brains with things that won’t be in the MCQ test this evening.
15.00: Walk back to the cafe. More revision. We try to make it a bit more interesting by quizzing each other. Two of my friends, twin sisters, get into an argument about “question phrasing” and the apparent points system of our quiz.
16.30: I’ve had enough. It feels like we’ve been here for weeks doing biochemistry.
16.55: We go back to the scruffy lecture theatre and try to remember which seats still work. It’s bloody cold in here. There’s a draft blowing our notes around.
17.00: The student adviser comes in to ask us to email her feedback on the lecture theatre. Apparently they’ve been telling the university about its shabby state for ages. They did close it for “improvements” over the summer. They only painted the walls.
17.02: Dave reminds us that we have to move in an hour to do our test. The lecture, about methods for discovering protein structures, is actually quite interesting. I’m too tired to write notes on my pages of slides. I look over at my friend’s notes. She has written “see lecture slides”.
18.00: We all pack up and move to a bigger room where we can spread out for the test. As we walk past the research labs, I notice that everyone has gone home. Great. I’m too tired to care about the test any more.
18.10: We all settle in and start. I read the questions. 45 multiple choice A to E.
18.30: Dave announces that there is a mistake in one of the questions I haven’t gotten to yet. It has answers A to F. There is no F on our answer sheets. The answer is, in fact, F. We are all told to ignore it.
18.50: I finish, check my answers and try not to doubt them. I quickly hand in my paper and answer sheet before the urge to go back and change them all becomes too strong.
19.00: I wait for my friends outside. “How’d you find it?”. I honestly can’t tell.
19.10: I cycle home, down the hill, in the dark. This is quite fun. By now I am used to the cars that play chicken with each other down the narrow street.
19.20: Home! I put on some music and turn it up loud. I dance for a few beats in celebration. I don’t do this often.
20.00: Dinner. Wine. Frozen planet. Ahh…