It's just over a year now since I looked on the bright side of life and did something completely different by attempting a university course about Python. Although in reality I was flogging a dead parrot. Having started well, I became quite constricted by the Python workload, ran out of time to complete the projects, and promptly dropped out in week two.
I intended to try again with a second Coursera class in February, this one on 'Clinical Problem Solving', but tragically I failed to solve the problem of having too many clinics to do, and with work and home life closing in on me in a pincer movement, I never even started that one.
But fortunately, whilst I've singularly failed to learn anything from Coursera, the good news is that I've also learnt nothing from my mistakes. So I've signed up to do another course. This one's entitled 'Diabetes: Diagnosis, Treatment & Opportunities' (the main opportunity being to add another line to my CV), and it's offered by the University of California in San Francisco. It runs for five weeks, and gives me all the benefits of attending the university's Diabetes Teaching Center, without the risk of death by earthquake.
The course started on October 28th, and in a shock of epic proportions, I haven't dropped out yet. But only because I'm submitting my papers about ten minutes before the deadline. Each week features an exam with a pass mark of 70%, and they give you two weeks to complete the first one, presumably to delay the moment when you find out how badly you're doing, and ensure that no one gives up in week one. It means that the first two exams had to be submitted by 7:59pm on Monday of this week.
So rather than spend a fortnight carefully viewing all the lectures and reading the notes, I watched all of week one's lectures on Sunday, either side of a trip to Queens Park, and then listened to week two's lectures on Monday, whilst grading retinal images. I then completed both exams in the evening, by about 7:45pm.
And the results are in. I got 90% on the first one, and 100% on the second. I even got this question right...
Which of the following is true of the relationship between obesity and insulin resistance?
1. Obesity is not the main environmental factor for insulin resistance.
2. Weight loss surgery results in decreased insulin resistance.
3. Increased free fatty acid levels heighten skeletal muscle oxidation.
4. Fat stores release adipokines which influence insulin signalling pathways to reduce skeletal muscle glucose uptake.
... although not all of them were that obvious.
So with three weeks to go, and motivation levels at a high, I think I'm in with a fighting chance of completing this one. Although, in an ideal world, when I have a spare half hour in the evening, I ought to be doing my course, not writing about it. But still, there's always tomorrow...