My main purpose in coming to this particular school (as mentioned previously) was to accomplish the part of my degree that I could not accomplish at my own university: study bones. This had been a predicament known to me (and the university) when I first transferred. They had elected to solve this by sending me abroad. The real rub, then, was insuring I got into the proper classes, as without those classes the point of my entire trip would be nil. My flatmates (at least, the ones who cared) had discovered this fairly early on, partly due to the drawings I had been working on in Galway. Cait, then, decided she must introduce me a TV show called Bones, about a forensic anthropologist who apparently was once-upon-a-time an osteoarchaeologist and now just does a bit of both, depending on what suits the plot.
(Just in case you can’t guess, I’m on the left. Cait’s on the right. It was this little hopping antic that got me to watch the first episode.)
It was horrid. Beside having questionable science and laughable mispronunciations, it strikes me as a cop show, and I generally don’t like cop shows: thus, when it finished, I went in to Cait’s room, sat on the floor, and proceeded to explain (and complain) about everything that was wrong with it for the next 45 minutes.
And then I watched the next episode, and the cycle of somewhat addicting complaining-watching-complaining-watching began.
But then, it seemed strangely satisfying: the idea of taking a break from studying bones to laugh at someone else’s “amazing” ability to deal with bones took on a great flavor (maybe because I tended to consume Nutella on Digestives during that time). Plus, in those awful hours directly after bone exams (which fell on the last class day of each week) it became a strangely reassuring show to watch while one ate Nutella directly out of the jar with a soup spoon (because by that point, Digestives were too much work).
For the record, we are walking everywhere. Despite all of the seemingly unhealthy things I’m eating while living abroad, I’ve actually lost weight. Also for the record, after attending my first bones class here, I found out that we would be having an exam at the end of the first week–the day before registration.
As I began working my way through eight seasons of Bones (that was all Netflix had at the time), I realized the horrors of the show did have a half life; it was as if the show itself was beginning to learn more science, and as a result, to science better. It also had one very strange benefit for me; when I study, I build 3D models of bones in my brain. Prior to the show, I would find myself mentally thumbing through a series of pictures and drawings to find the correct angle to determine what something was. Thanks to the Angelator (which, for reference, is basically like the weird 3D thingy Tony Stark has in Stark Towers), that series of pictures somehow translated into a fully rotatable and customizable mental mapping program, without which I doubt I could have gotten through all my exams. This was particularly helpful as, in the past, I had only been in labs that had one or two models of any given thing, so if the prof decided to test you on it, you knew they would be using the exact model you had been studying. In Ireland, with a lab that had some 3000 specimens in it, it was much more likely that the test sample would be a piece you had never seen before (especially since I think there were specific specimens that never saw the light of day outside of an exam). Thus I managed to articulate a weak defense for my TV watching and continued on, Nutella in hand.
The only downside of all this is I still haven’t figured out how to make the mental 3D models move without having to gesture wildly in the air directly in front of me.
I guess good enough will have to do.