So, this doesn’t really have anything to do with what I wanted to talk about in this post but I just have to tell you about my weekend. I had the best weekend ever last week in NYC and I’ve officially fallen in love with this city (no seriously, any people that walk into my life from now on are going to have some serious competition!). We got the train at Poughkeepsie at around 7 and got off at Grand Central Terminal at around 9 (of course we were on the slow train) and headed straight to Times Square, which was in all its flashy glory as the sun had already set. We then went to Ellen’s stardust diner on Broadway- where the waitstaff sing to you- for a sundae (chocolate brownie mudslide in case you’re wondering. I highly recommend it) and then headed to our hostel. On Saturday we did everything, and I mean everything! We started by walking the Brooklyn Bridge, then we went to St Paul’s chapel and the 9/11 memorial museum (which is absolutely heartbreaking), then the Statue of Liberty boat tour. After that came my favorite moment of the whole tour- the top of the Rockefeller center at sunset! The views were absolutely breathtaking and I had to stop to compose myself and remind myself that I was actually here in this city that so many only ever dream of seeing! By the time we left it was around 9pm so we went to the Hard Rock for dinner (an hour wait for a table!) and headed to bed. Sunday was so hot so we just walked around Central Park in the morning then went shopping around fifth ave in the afternoon. We had one final meal in Times Square then had to do a mad dash to the train station to catch our train home (we made it with one minute to spare. Go us!). I can honestly say NYC is my favorite place in the whole wide world and this weekend definitely wasn’t the last I’ll spend there.
Anyway, that makes this post quite long so I’ll keep what I actually wanted to talk about quite brief. I was chatting to someone at camp the other day and she mentioned that by working with so many different people (and sometimes not getting along very well with them) I was really getting a lesson in psychology. This got me thinking that, not only was she right, but already this summer I have experienced a lot of what I have learnt in lectures in the ‘real world’. In one of our last modules of second year (PS2014) we had a topic about the body, sleep and how things that disrupt your sleep affects your body, or more precisely, your circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are cycles of around 24 hours, such as the sleep/wake cycle, and can be negatively affected by shift work and jet lag. Although it wasn’t on the exam (thanks for that Todor!) I remember a lot from my revision and it was good to be able to apply what I knew to how my body was being affected by my flight to the USA (or maybe not nice considering how it was being affected).
Similarly, one of our applied topics focused on the Kegworth air disaster, a plane crash in which the pilots turned off the working engine instead of the faulty one due to a mix of bad implementation, bad luck and psychological factors. Admittedly, this one wasn’t nice to be able to apply to my own personal experience. However, I remember thinking at a particularly turbulent moment over the Atlantic “hmm I wonder if the pilot is experiencing a pop-out effect from the vibration dial right now” swiftly followed by “oh god, I hope if he has to turn an engine off it doesn’t cause him to turn the wrong one off!”
I guess what I’m trying to say is, although I did find both topics very interesting when we were studying them, I can finally fully appreciate them after having these personal experiences. I think that by having such a wide range of topics that can be applied to aspects of my life shows that the lectures at Leicester are both applicable and useful. I’ve heard other people studying elsewhere say that they’ve been learning something they can never see themselves using in the real world yet I don’t recall every thinking that in my two years here. Now that I know for sure that my degree will be valuable I’m even more excited to start third year and see what the lectures (most of which I got to choose myself) have in store for me!