A Busy Bee – First Exam

I can’t believe it’s been (again) over two weeks since the last post! I have been helping my successor a bit, but mostly I’ve been studying, seeing friends, going to ballet classes and gym etc. And done some household stuff I haven’t got time for before, such as cleaning the kitchen cabinets.

As I mentioned earlier, I drafted a plan for my lectures, essays and exams, but already now I have had to modify it a bit.

First of all, my supervisor recommended to me an intensive lecture series Law and Economics by a visiting German professor Manfred J. Holler. I had planned to take another lecture series later this autumn (by my supervisor), but now that he recommended this other course I decided to change my plans (and unfortunately missed another very interesting course here in Helsinki at the same time). The first lecture was quite heavy – straight to mathematics and game theories and our group lost some members immediately. In the end we were just 5-6 left which was a bit pity because the topics and discussion were interesting. On the other hand I don’t complain; it’s not very often one can enjoy the luxury of such a small group at the Uni. :)

I will have to write an essay as well, and the topics are IMO quite demanding so I still haven’t made up my mind which one I will choose: Law&Economics and expected utility, The insentive problem in inspection games and consequences that follow for regulation policy, Market-share allocations in tort law: Efficiency and justice, Fairness versus rationality: Ultimatum game, Justice and Efficiency of Legal Rules and Principles of Law vs. Principles of Economics.

Another lecture series, or kind of a workshop, has started as well (The Classics of Political Theory). We were given or could choose ourselves a theorist, and we have to present him or her to others in a creative way –  we can use our imagination and introduce the person from a new and fresh perspective. I chose Aristotle partly because my turn will be during the first session so I don’t have to be nervous for many weeks ;) but also, because he is/was quite an interesting philosopher. I must admit that I’m a little bit anxious, because Aristotle is really a Classic with a capital, and I’m sure everyone knows already something about him. So my challenge will be to find a new angle to him. Let’s see how I succeed…

My first exam (Biostatistics&Epidemiology) was yesterday and at the moment I’m not sure what to think about it. I had studied hard and I felt I really understood the content – I even double-checked many things in another very clear and comprehensive statistics book Käyttäytymistieteiden tilastolliset menetelmät to make sure I understand all the terms and concepts in Finnish. The exam book was in English, and although I was first a bit terrified, the book turned out to be clear and even quite funny (I never thought I’d call a statistics book humorous but this one really was, and I’m sure I will always remember the difference between Type I and II errors :))!

Anyway, the questions were very different from what I had expected and I’m actually still not sure I understood all the questions correctly. The grading will be very strict, so I sincerely hope and have my fingers crossed that I was able to write down enough correct terms and sentences to show the professor that I had really worked hard even if I got confused at some points; I know already two specific questions which I eventually ended up answering wrong – I changed my answer, an epic fail. Anyway, there’s nothing I can do about it now, just wait for the verdict, so to speak.

Today I noticed that I probably have to skip one exam day in November because I just won’t have time to read enough. Besides writing the paper for my Law and Economics course and preparing the presentation on Aristotle, I have to write a summary for my English teacher, pass another exam (Population Health), write a scientific article about Aristotle (part of the workshop), prepare the literature review for my thesis and last but not least, prepare two lectures of my own (I’ve been asked to give a couple of lectures to students of culture production). And most of these deadlines are about the same time, typical.

I’m glad that my work was pretty much about planning and scheduling because that’s one skill that comes in handy right now. ;)

In general I feel very motivated and I’m extremely excited about studying again. One thing that especially makes me happy is the fact (or feeling) that my own department seems somehow to have changed. New people, new winds blowing, and I feel really optimistic and proud to be part of that community.

I’ve also been able to talk to some teachers and professors at the Department of Medicine, and it may be that I will find myself involved in some research project in the spring. Which would be at least double-exciting! :D

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