The End of the Road

It felt like just yesterday that I was writing my first reflection. I thought about this very day and just said to myself ‘eh, that’s so far away’. But it has finally come. The debates are over and I think that absolutely everyone involved did very well. They were all really, really enjoyable. A lot of nerves, a lot of laughter and a lot of fun. That’s what it’s all about. Anyway, let’s get into the final post.

In terms of learning something, I know it sounds cliche, but i really did gain some valuable skills and this was unlike any other group or team experience ever. The one thing that sticks out to me is the amount of times I actually met up in person with my group. I’m not sure if It’s because I had really enthusiastic and positive teammates (especially Eileen) or just because of the fact that our Thursday lab meant that we go to meet up a lot. Either way it really helped, because there’s something about face to face contact that just makes everything seem so much easier. When you’re right next to someone you can just say whatever it is you need to say instantly and there’s no burden of typing or texting etc. So i truly believe that when you are only a meter or so away from someone you say way more (because you don’t need time to type) and thus you just tend to pitch more ideas. It’s also easier for people to make suggestions on how to adjust those ideas and so editing and refining are also far more simple. So I really learnt the value of meeting up with people in your team (as ridiculous and silly as that sounds). I think most people (when it comes to teamwork) just think ‘eh, we don’t need to meet up, we cant just do it over Facebook or Skype’.

In saying that, I also learnt the power of technology. Stuff like Facebook and Skype chat meant that all members of my team were able to contact any other member at any time of the day. This led to an array of impromptu meanings and as I mentioned earlier, this would have led to an even greater influx of suggestions and ideas. Finally, I discovered that cooperation is key. What i mean is, at times I feel like I try to take control in a group project. I dont mean to, however, I’m loud and boisterous and I tend to get exicted and this could lead to me trying to organise everything. However, the three girls in my group were really level-headed and so whenever I started to get in that kind of mood, they made sure that I didn’t get overly ambitious and tried to split up the work as much as possible. So I really know now that being in a team ACTUALLY MEANS that you are part of a group. It’s very easy to just want to do anything, but one really has to understand that there are other people ready to help you.

In terms of my role, I was a speaker, an enthusiast and I also delegated. Those of you who saw my teams debate would have noticed that I tend not to shut up and I had obviously known of this trait. So I decided that since it was one of my individualities, I would make the most of it and turn it into a role for my team. The other three girls in my team were also pretty quiet and softly spoken girls and so each member of the team complemented the other nicely. I was also involved with the writing of the script and the rebuttals. I have a really ‘over the top’ kind of writing AND speaking style and so i thought it was best that I wrote the script to that it would match my style of speaking. Therefore, I guess you could say I was the ‘actor’ of the team, with my remaining three team mates being the director, producer and editor; all critical roles.

I also feel as if I was somewhat of a delegator. As I said I’m a very loud and boisterous person so again I put that to good use and got enthusiastic as often as I could to promote working/research deadlines, group chats, group meetings and overall excitement for the debate. Thus, I really felt like if anyone in my team had a problem they could ask me for some advice and I was willing to help them. For example, when Eileen finished the power point presentation she asked me what I thought about specific slides just so we could match the script as best as possible. In this way I felt like a valuable team member and I think we all worked together quite well. I also hope that I brought a lot of charisma to the time (in terms of the actual debate). I tried to be funny, I tried to be emotional and I tried to be as vivacious and crazy as I could without crossing the line (I hope I didn’t do that either). I made people laugh a few times and hopefully tat enjoyment resonated with the markers (even though I dont think that was part of the criteria). I really hope that I represented my team well and did a great job for them, because they all put a large amount of work in behind the scenes.

Finally, in terms of problems there weren’t many. There were some minor problems, but there are always are (just like any drug will have a side effect regardless of it’s therapeutic value). For example, we had a problem with what was going to be our third and final argument. For most of the weeks leading up to the debate we were going to speak on ethics. However, one quick chat with Nicole and we realised that the ethical ideas presented by stem cell therapies were really weak ones. This was one week before the debate and so we had the issue of replacing this argument. However, we solved this very quickly because of our great ability to put together group meetings in an instant. Yizhou, Eileen and I met up at Wallace Wurth on a Thursday and within minutes we had determined a third argument that had already been brewing as I was writing my speech.

Another minor problem reflected some of the meeting times. Since many of the labs were not to account for group meetings, team members often utilised this free time for other things (work mainly) and that was totally okay ( i think we all had issues with timing at least once). So there was the issue (especially early on) of when/where to meet or when to organise a meeting on Skype. However and again, we were all really friendly with one another and within minutes we quickly figured out a time in which we would all be free. Furthermore, another issue I can think of was our team line. This was very early on and we were on Skype trying to figure out what out team line was going to be. We went through some pretty clever (but not perfect) suggestions. Finally, we all decided to just keep it simple and we made a nice, honest and direct line that related straight back to the question.

All in all, it was a really fantastic experience. I’d like to thank Nicole’s for putting this together. In medical science you really get to debating like this and I really love debating so this was perfect for me. It wasn’t a typical written assignment, it was not a research paper on something ridiculously specific and it really was quite fun. I think the fact that it was so original was probably the most fantastic aspect. Again, congratulations to absolutely everyone involved. You all did a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed each and everyone of the debated. Also, a big thanks to my team 😀 So long word press! It has been a pleasure 😀

Good luck to everyone for the remainder of the course, their other subjects, exams and the year in general. See ya 😀

Road to the Neuropharmacology Debate: Week 7

Hello again all,

I wasn’t sure if we were supposed to write a wordpress blog this week so I thought I’d just do one in case. It was a pretty short and slow week simply because we had pretty much finished everything and the merely the finishing touches were being applied. Our script was finished by last weekend and the power point presentation was finished shortly thereafter. The remainder of the week was fixing some formatting issues here and there (in terms of the power point) and just trying to guess what our opposition was going to argue.

Since I was speaking for my team I also spent some of the week practicing. After completing my initial script, my speech was something like 13 minutes. So I had to do some editing and got it down to 11, then 10 and then finally a consistent 8. So by Wednesday we were all ready to go.

As you all may now the debates are now complete. Congratulations to everybody because they were all fantastic presentations. Really great job everyone :D. But the specifics of our debate will be discussed in the final wordpress blog and that will be heading your way some time next week. Until then, well done everybody, good luck for the remainder of the course. I’ll see you at the final wordpress blog next week 😀

Have a great weekend 😀

Road to the Neuropharmacology Debate: Week 6

Hello everyone. I must admit that this week seemed as if it was a little bit slow or stagnant in terms of the neuropharmacology debate. This however, was mainly attributed to the fact that the midsem was this week (not to mention the other one million midsems we had for other subjects this week).

However, on closer inspection my team and I really observed that we’re closer to the end of the assignment than we’ve ever been. We met up on Thursday this week (since there was no lab) and we literally went over our arguments and what we were going to be saying in the debate. It seems that we have reached the point where we have all of our information and now its just down to putting all together and finely tuning everything. We’ve got a huge amount of information for all of our arguments and like I just said it’s just a matter of fine tuning everything and placing it together nicely. I’m going to continue our script (since I’m the one speaking) and my team is still doing some great research work, throwing facts at me every now and then so I can implement them into my speech. Also, I am just about to send my team our script so far so that they can start working on a power point presentation to accompany the speech.

I’m progressing quite nicely on our speech and I am pretty certain that I’ll have it completed by the weekend. This means that the remainder of my team (because so far they all work extremely efficiently) should have a nice, honest and simple power point presentation completed shortly thereafter (since they are working on the presentation as I work on our script). Then i guess all that’s left to do is… debate. And I am still so excited to debate I actually can’t wait. At the meeting yesterday I was quite hyperactive and I think my team realised just how excited I was.

Finally, I think we’re still working great as a team and this can be seen via a decision we made at our meeting this week. My team told me that they had spoken to Nicole and she suggested that ethical considerations were quite a weak point (because only embryonic stem cells have these concerns). Because of this we made the decision to scrap the ethical considerations (which I was for because I didn’t like the idea) and I suggested a new argument (involving the development of other drugs rather than the development of stem cells). To be honest, this was something I was thinking about for a couple weeks (especially after the neurotrophin lecture) and so my team and I have already gathered great information. In other words, it won’t take too much time at all. So yes, that has been my team’s week. We are all getting pretty excited and it’s sad to say that this will probably be the last formal week update. It was a lot of fun and I’m really excited that we’re almost finished. I can’t wait for the debates and best of luck to absolutely everyone that is involved. Good luck guys 😀

Road to the Neuropharmacology Debate: Week 5

Hello again it’s that time of the week again. So quite a bit of work done this week. Since last week my team and I gathered some solid information regarding our first point (basically all of our information). I’ve started writing our speech and am currently writing our first argument so that is also going quite well. Hopefully I’ll have a large chunk of my speech done very soon. Meanwhile my team is already gathering information in regards to our second argument for the debate and have already started uploading a bunch of articles and written word documents on our google drive. So once I have completed writing my first argument for my speech I’m just going to start (and hopefully complete) my second argument. This should occur within the next week. So I have more or less been collecting my groups information (as well as mine) and have been basing my speech off that (as well as some debating lingo and some verbal styles I have as an orator). I’m really hoping I don’t disappoint my team with my speech. I’ve offered to debate the entire 8 minutes because I love to debate and I just really want to do a great job for my team because they’ve done such a great job with collecting research and helping me out. So hopefully I’m at least okay when I speak and I don’t make an idiot out of myself.

Also, after the lab on Thursday one of my team members (Eileen) and I had a miniature meeting but we extended that to an online meeting on Thursday night. The meeting went very well we just all finished off our information regarding topic one and then started discussing the information regarding topic 2. I know that my fellow team members within the next week will also be looking for information regarding our third and final point this week whilst I simultaneously write my script and research my second argument. I’m aiming to have my entire script done a week before the debate itself (just after the midsem) and all my team and I will have to do after is fine tune. But things are coming together really well and we’re heading for the goal line.

One final thing we need to organise is a power point presentation. We have a good research under control, script and debate writing is currently being focused on and the last thing we really need to do is just put together a simple, honest power point presentation to go with our debate. We’re going to have a couple meetings this week (especially on Thursday since there is no formal lab) and I’m sure we’ll get started on that very soon. I’m still very excited about this debate and I seem to be practicing in my head (and sometimes embarrassingly out load) especially when I’m driving or by myself. Really can’t wait to debate it’s going to be good fun. Also, so far my team has been great and I think we’re working together quite nicely especially considering the many commitments we all have. One week closer and I’m sure we’re all hoping it goes well 🙂

See ya next week 😀