Thursday, May 12, 2016

About My Day #My500Words #234

It's Day 13 of the Jeff Goins My 500 Words challenge - today I have to write on the topic "Tell Us About Your Day". The idea here according to Goins is to "Don't just list the events of the day; wrap a compelling narrative around the events of the day and tell us what were the most significant moments in it". So here was my day today...

Thursday 12th May

Today started out just like any other week day - wake up to the 7 o'clock News on RTÉ Radio 1. When the announcer said it was the 12th of May my first thought that it was 100 years ago to the day that James Connolly and Seán MacDiarmada were shot in Kilmainham Gaol for their part in the 1916 Rising. The news sounded boring - the new Government's 100 day plan, IBEC moaning about new employment laws, and the Eurovision Song Contest. Over tea and brown bread I read email, Facebook and the Irish Independent. Then it was off to work on my motorbike. So ordinary.

I did write a piece for the NCI Blog just over a year ago - it was entitled "A Day In The Life of A College Lecturer". I got absolutely no reaction to it whatsoever. It was a busy day and everything that I wrote about did actually happen. I had expected some ribbing from my colleagues, but either they didn't read it, or did but said nothing.

Today's work was marking exam scripts. This is sometimes a difficult job - I get a great buzz when a student gives great answers and I can award a good grade. But I also get frustrated when I have no choice but to award a low or a fail grade. Students' futures ride on their grades and I take this responsibility very seriously. Marking exam scripts take longer for the first few - I got more done in the afternoon than in the morning.

I had lunch at my desk today (sadly - I do this a lot) so that I could leave a little early. Once a month I visit the Irish Blood Transfusion Service's Platelet Clinic in St James's Hospital - today was my 117th blood/platelets donation. It takes the guts of two hours from signing in to leaving - the donation itself takes about one and a half hours, depending on your platelet count (which varies all the time). The machine to my left in the photo below sucks out my blood and extracts the platelets - it then pumps the remaining blood back into my veins. All very mechanical and clean. During the donation I watched the 1980 movie The Long Riders on Netflix - I recall going to the cinema when it first came out to see it, and I have not seen it since. The staff at the Clinic are fantastic - very professional and will put any new donors at their ease. Why not try this yourself?

Selfie at the Platelet Clinic.

From the IBTS website:

Platelets are needed every day for the treatment of patients with

  • Cancer
  • Leukaemia
  • Premature babies
  • Major surgery
  • Burns patients
  • Accident victims who have had extensive injury
  • New born babies

However, platelets have the shortest shelf life of all blood components, lasting only 5 to 7 days. This means we have a constant need for platelet donors to ensure we meet the needs of these patients.

Marking exam scripts and giving blood - an unusual combination to say the least. They were the most "significant moments" of my day and hopefully both will have an impact on others.

Riding my bike home I was uncomfortable in my winter gear on a warm evening - time to get the summer gear out. The end of semester II exams is almost upon us in the College - definitely a sign that summer is coming!

1 comment:

  1. The lonely road of a writer! Sometimes can be a slog, but genuinely rewarding. Blood donation is a great personal gift to society. Wish I could do it. Keep on trucking! (Blogging) Andrew