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    Hello everyone,

    My name is Ameena and I am a third year undergraduate student studying Bsc Biology at Middlesex University. I am currently the Course Ambassador for Biology and its pathways (Environmental Biology, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology including all of the foundation years for these courses)

    I am here to answer any questions regarding these courses and what it is like studying Biology at Middlesex University (including any general questions about life at Middlesex University).
    So please feel free to ask anything on this thread about the course and I will be more than happy to help!
    Ameena
    Middlesex
    Course Ambassador Biology
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    FAQs

    1. What exactly is the Biology cluster composed of?
    The Biology cluster houses the broad general BSc Biology course, whilst also covering the following pathways: Biotechnology, Molecular and Environmental Biology. The cluster also includes all of the foundation years that are also provided for all the pathways.

    2. What is it like to study at Middlesex?
    MDX is a great place to study, don’t just take my word for it! MDXs Hendon campus is located in London with great transport links to central London. The university is diverse and is a great representation of London itself. There are plenty of opportunities around because of its location. Here at MDX the atmosphere is very inclusive and there are over 70 different societies for you to get involved in outside of your studies. There are great facilities to study e.g. the Sheppard library which contain course specific librarians. The hatchcroft building where most of your labs will be has great facilities and specialised equipment for your experiments. Overall my time here at MDX has given me plenty of opportunities and I have enjoyed every second!

    3. When can I choose modules if I am on the straight biology pathway?
    You can choose your modules at the end of the first year. You will get a choice of 4 modules and can choose two out of those four to study in second year.

    4. Can I choose some of my modules even if I am on a pathway?
    Yes, you can! You will not get the chance to choose your second year modules but at the end of second year you will get a choice of your third year modules depending on your pathway.

    5. Are the lecturers easy to get a hold of?
    Lecturers are very busy, however here at MDX the lecturers are easy to reach. At the beginning of the year you will receive a module handbook containing all of their email address. This is the best way to contact them. You can also go to their offices in the town hall if you want a quick chat or face to face discussion. Their extension numbers will be on the wall of the town hall.

    6. How many days a week are we in for university?
    How long are the lectures and labs? Usually in the first semester you will be in three days a week and during the second semester it will increase to 4 days a week. The lectures can range from 1 and a half hours up to 2 hours. The seminars can be 1 or 2 hours long. Finally the labs can range anything from 2 to 4 hours long depending on the experiment being conducted.

    7. Is there anyone else I can contact for course specific help apart from the lectures?
    Yes! Here at MDX they run a great scheme where students help each other. The scheme is Student Learning assistants (SLAs). They are usually second years helping first year or third years helping second years. They will be assigned to one of your modules and help you in that module, they will be there for the labs and seminars if needed and can also be contacted by email for any extra help. Most SLAs will also conduct drop in sessions in the library where you can attend with any questions. MDX also have Graduate Academic assistants (GAAs) they are recently graduated students who are usually pursuing their masters. They are also there to help in labs and seminars.

    8. Is there any opportunity for placement during my course?
    Here at MDX there are many opportunities for work experience and placements. You can choose to do a year in industry between your second and third year. If you are interested in this scheme it is worth speaking to MDX works in the quad. In the third year of your course there is the optional module of work experience which is worth 30 credits. You can find work experience during the summer of your third year and use that as the basis for your module or you can also do a day release programme during your third year.

    9. Are there any field trips?
    Of course! During your first year there is the annual field trip to Trent Park for the day. During your second year there are plenty! You have the trip for the day to the beautiful Kew Gardens, also there is the opportunity to go to Scotland, Lundy and now Mauritius.

    10. How is the course assessed?
    The courses are assessed in many different ways to strengthen and build your skills. You will have to do: Lab reports, Essays, Exams, portfolio, logbooks, dissertation and finally presentations!
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    Hi.I'm from Mauritius if you need some lil details about the country

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    (Original post by Trevish)
    Hi.I'm from Mauritius if you need some lil details about the country

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hello Trevish,
    Thanks for your offer to help with any questions students may have about Mauritius. I will defiantly be forwarding any questions that we cannot answer to you.
    Thank you again!
    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    A week in the life of a Biology student at MDX

    Week beginning 1st November

    Hello Everyone,

    This week has been quite exhausting! I am the communication officer for the Natural Sciences Society (NatSoc) and we had our first event this week on Friday 4th November.
    The event was a tea party; the event was organised so that members of the society could get to know each other.
    We had organised several ice breaker games so that everyone could get to know each other and then the main part of the event was a pub quiz.
    The night was a huge success, more people showed up to the event than were expected and everyone had a great time.
    Before the event we had a meeting of all the committee members to discuss the event and make sure that everything was running smoothly and to make sure we were all prepared and on the same page as a group.

    You can keep up to date with what the society has been up too on our Facebook page @MDXNaturalScience.
    We will hopefully be holding more events soon.

    For the rest of my week, it was jam packed with lessons and on Thursday morning we were given our deadlines for our dissertation presentations. This is just an overview of what our dissertation is about and how we aim to carry out our analysis of our project.
    Presentations are used at MDX as assessments criteria on your course. Some students may find this quite daunting, (when I first started they were) however the more you do presentations the more confidence you gain in public speaking which is a great skill. Your lecturers will assign you to do presentations from the first year, so you will get plenty of practice.
    Here at MDX the employability of their students is very important and this is why they have such diverse methods of assessments.
    My presentation is on the week beginning 28th November, wish me luck! I will keep you all posted on how it goes.

    Finally, the rest of the week mainly consisted of lectures and seminars, I did not have any labs this week but I do have a lab next week for Gene Technology, which I am very excited for!

    Until next week!

    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    Week in the life of a Biology Student at MDX

    Week beginning 7/11/16

    This week we were asked by the Course Ambassador team to film a short introduction for prospective students to MDX.

    The video would be sent out to all MDX hopeful students who accepted MDX as their firm offer.
    Helen (another course ambassador) and I decided to do our filming together. After our lectures on Wednesday we found an empty room and made an improvised tripod, using a table and chair.

    We started our filming thinking it would take us no more than 1 hour, it actually took us about 2 and a half hours just to film two thirty second videos!
    Most of the footage we had was bloopers, we did finally get the perfect video.

    Eventually we did get the videos finished and went to our meeting with the rest of the course ambassadors for Science and Technology.
    We meet as a team once a week with a team leader to make sure that everybody is on the same page and understands the tasks given to us.
    It’s also a great for the team, if anybody needs help with anything we can work together to get it done.

    This week was actually my reading week, I only had lectures on Wednesday and was free from lectures and seminars for the rest of the week.

    I have been preoccupied though as I have 2 presentations due one in 2 weeks for conservation where I am partnered with someone in my class and one about my dissertation in three weeks’ time.

    On top of this I have planned to finish my dissertation introduction by the end of November, and time is ticking. I think it is a good idea to break down very large pieces of coursework and give yourself deadlines for certain sections. This way you will be done on time and will not have to rush and pull an all-nighter to get it finished, which can be very stressful.

    Join me next week where I will have my first lab of the year! Its all about Gene technology.

    Until next time.

    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    A week in the life of a biology student!

    Week beginning 14th November

    This week has been filled with studying!

    This week I met with one of my classmates who has been assigned with me to do a presentation for next week. We met in the library and went over the paper we were assigned. An outline of our presentation was created and we both broke up the work so that we both had equal amounts of work.
    We will have to present to our class and our lecturer.

    This is a formative assessment which means the grade received for it does not add towards our final grade. However formative assessments are just as important if not more.
    You can use the feedback from it to help you in summative assessments, so you can receive the best grades! MDX always gives us plenty of formative assessments so that we can receive really good feedback, I find this a great tool to help in improving the quality of my work.
    Tune in next week to hear how it goes!

    This week on Monday, I paid a visit to a place called the salt cave. It is used to help people with breathing difficulties, skin issues and also people with allergies. It's 100% natural. I went there as an experience and found it very relaxing. Very calming music is played in a room which is built exactly like a naturally occurring salt cave. It helped me relax for one hour. As a student you can get very stressed and worried. It is essential to take the time and find something that is relaxing to you and let your mind and body get some well-deserved time off. This will also help you feel re enenergised to continue to work hard in your degree course.

    Finally, at the end of this week I visited the science museum on exhibition road in London. I particularly went there to see one exhibition Einstein's legacy it's on the ground floor and is free entry for all, of you have the time to go. Einstein’s was a theoretical physicist whose general theory of relativity changed the way we viewed the universe. He has continuously inspired generations of people of people to become physicists, biologists, chemists, campaigners, philosophers I could go on.
    The science museum is a great place to see how science has revolutionised the way we view the world. This is an interactive view into Einstein life and it can inspire you to great things also. Going to pop up lectures and exhibitions is a great way to broaden your horizon in your field of learning.

    Until next time!


    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    Week in the Life of a Biology student
    Week Beginning 21/11/16

    I hope you all had a wonderful week

    This week I finally presented!!
    For my conservation in a changing world module, I had to present on Genetics and Extinction with one of my classmates. We met last week as you may have read from my previous posts. I finally presented this week, we were the last group to present and I was given some very good feedback.
    The lecture was taken by the students, each group had a different topic to present, the rest of the class had to take notes and learn from them. This is a great way in diversifying the strategies of learning.

    Last week I also had a gene technology lab. All laboratory sessions are conducted in the Hatchcroft Building. This gene technology lab was very interesting.
    The purpose of this experiment is to test grocery store food products for the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMO) you may have already heard about GM crops and food products from you A level studies.
    Labs are always very interesting and most are set up in way that will relate to the real world, which makes them more interesting.

    I still have one more presentation due for next week, this will be on my dissertation topic.
    On Thursday the first group of students had to present their dissertation topics. In my opinion I think that everyone did very well in explaining their topics.
    I will tell you all next week how my presentation goes.



    Until next week!

    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    28/11/16

    Hello everyone!!

    This week I finally had my dissertation presentation and it all went well.

    I presented within the 5 minute time limit even though the day before when I was presenting in front of my friends it was coming up to 5 minute and 30 seconds.

    In the end I had to answer questions from my fellow classmates and also from the lecturer, I could have answered the questions better and responded in more constructed sentences.

    However overall I am happy with the presentation and think I couldn't have presented it any better.

    I also had a second class presentation for my conservation module BIO3310. During this module we have now had to present twice and will continue to present in groups for the forthcoming future.

    I think this is a great way first to increase confidence but also to learn different topics from different people as everyone one presents information differently and this can help us to learn in different formats.

    I did not have a gene technology lab this week but will have one next week.

    Finally the MDX NatSoc society is planning another social event on December 16th. It will be a planet earth II marathon, as we all know planet earth ll is on our screens again. It will be a great event for anyone interested in relaxing for the evening with like minded science undergraduates.

    Finally this week I have been planning my virtual tours around the uni with the rest of my course ambassador team. I have written out a script of my buildings that I will be showcasing, hopefully next week I can film my videos.

    Until next week!

    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    Hi! I've applied for Middlesex's foundation year in Biology to then continue onto the bsc! I was wondering if you knew much about the foundation year? And also even though I've applied for the biology f/y can I transfer to a diffferent bsc (e.g biochemistry) if I find my interests lie elsewhere after the f/y? Thanks!
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    (Original post by Iyla)
    Hi! I've applied for Middlesex's foundation year in Biology to then continue onto the bsc! I was wondering if you knew much about the foundation year? And also even though I've applied for the biology f/y can I transfer to a diffferent bsc (e.g biochemistry) if I find my interests lie elsewhere after the f/y? Thanks!

    Hi Iyla
    Sorry for the late reply, my break has been hectic! I hope you had a great Christmas break.

    I have not personally done the foundation year but I can give you a breakdown of the modules and what to expect.

    The foundation year is designed for a wide range of students. It has been designed to give you all the tools you will need to be able to be successful in your degree. It will basically prepare you for your main degree, so that if you don’t have all the relevant skills or confidence to enter straight into a degree, you can use this year to get adjusted and learn all skills needed for a degree.

    The foundation year consists of four modules;
    Life sciences:
    The module explores fundamental concepts and principles in biology and chemistry to support future studies in programmes related to life sciences.
    The module will consist of workshops, seminars and lab practical’s.
    SMART (Students Mastering Academic writing, Research and Technology):
    This module provides students with the fundamental written and oral communication skills required to continue studying at degree level.
    Foundation Mathematics:
    This module introduces some fundamental mathematical topics and concepts that are required in a range of subjects studied at degree level.
    Foundation Project:
    This module provides students with experience in a range of related subject-related projects that reinforce understanding of topics taught, and provide opportunities to apply the knowledge gained in other modules.

    To answer your question of changing your course from biology to a different BSc, that is possible. I would suggest if you do feel this way after your first year, speak to a member of staff or even an SLA on your course before you change your BSc. Sometimes it is good to talk about why you want to change and make sure it is the right choice for yourself.

    I hope this has helped! If you have any other further questions don’t hesitate to contact me again.

    Ameena
    MDX course ambassador
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    5/12/16

    Hello everyone!



    This week I have been filming my virtual tours around the university. As you have probably read last week I was planning my virtual tour and writing up my script.
    I met up with another member of the course ambassador team and we filmed together as we needed someone to be the cameraman for each of us.
    I filmed four buildings at the Hendon Campus. I think my videos were good, I also tried to edit them, but I have to admit I am not the best!

    This week in our conservation module, BIO3310, to continue the trend of presenting each week. As a class we were given the task of a restoration project for the Pitcairn Island.
    The class was given a manager who split us up into smaller teams and gave us specific tasks to finish. A separate team was also made of stakeholders.
    My role in the team was to propose legislation for the island to make sure all of our restoration techniques could be possible.
    My second role was to make a proposed budget, which turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had envisioned.
    Finally, the legislation and budget had to be analysed by the stakeholders and then adjustments had to be made where needed.

    The other task I was working on over this week was the poster for our Planet Earth II marathon which is happening on the 16/12/16.

    See you next week
    Ameena Gul
    MDX Course Ambassador
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    12/12/16

    Hello all,

    This is the last week of term before the Christmas holidays!

    This week was the NatSoc Societies Planet Earth II marathon, which happened at the end of this week.
    My role in the society was to design a poster and also promote the event on social media.
    We rented out a room in uni and after class went there to set up the tables and set up a snack area.
    We also bought some cutlery and paper plates so people could easily eat food where they were sitting.
    The student’s union also gave us some bean bags and blankets that students could use to get comfortable on the last day.
    The event was a success and we managed to watch a few episodes of Planet Earth.

    In the conservation module, BIO3110, our class had to present our restoration project of the Pitcairn Island to our module leader. Our module leader also invited other members of staff to come and watch us present.
    All of us put in a lot of work and too see it all come together into a finished project was very satisfying.
    Our module leader was very proud and congratulated all of us.
    From this project I learned many skills! We were a very large group and had to work with each other to complete the project, this at times can be very difficult. In our careers in the future we may have to work in very large groups and this assignment was a way of introducing us into it.
    We also had no delegation or instruction from our module leader and had to figure out what a restoration project required ourselves, this gave us responsibility over our work and how to manage it ourselves.
    Overall I really enjoyed this task and all it involved.

    I hope you have a well-deserved break!

    Ameena
    MDX Course Ambassador
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    19/12/16

    Hello Everyone!

    Firstly, Merry Christmas!

    This week I have been working!
    Over the Christmas break, as I don’t have uni and this week is pretty busy in the retail industry, I get extra shifts at work.
    I enjoy working and I work in a very interesting place. I work in a pharmacy; I see a lot of different customers with many queries.

    The downside to working full time at the moment is that when I get home I am tired and don’t always feel like studying, the added problem is all my family is off too and all watch Christmas movies or go out.
    I always want to join them especially after working all day.
    I’m pretty sure this is a problem faced by many students, one way I get over it and persuade myself to study, is to study for a set amount of time and then take a break and do something I enjoy.
    This allows me to use my spare time efficiently and means I won’t fall behind in my studies too much.
    I hope this helps anyone else with this problem!

    See you next week!
    Ameena
    MDX Course Ambassador
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    26/12/16

    Hello Everyone!

    I hope you all had a good Christmas and new year’s!

    This week for me was very similar to last week. I spent most of the week working, well actually all of it.
    In my spare time I tried to allocate my time to either studying and then during my breaks spent time with my family.

    I have 2 assignments that are due in January. These are for two separate modules.
    The first is conservation, I have to write a conservation portfolio for an endangered species of my choice. This is a very large piece of work and is taking up most of my time. This assignment is worth 100% of the module.
    My second assignment is gene technology. This assignment is slightly different. We have been given a case study and have to analyse it an answer questions based on the case study. Our understanding of the case study is vital to getting good marks.
    The second part of the assignment is to answer questions, these have been based on all our lectures throughout the term. To pass this part of the assignment it is vital you attend all lectures and make notes, if not you will not understand the question and will not be able to answer it effectively.

    See you all next week!

    Ameena
    MDX Course Ambassador
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    2/1/17

    Hello Everyone!

    I hope you all had an enjoyable New year!

    This week has been full of finishing off assignments. My main assignment I have been working on is for my Conservation module BIO3110. This assignment is due on the 9th of Jan so I really don’t have much time left.
    The assignment is to produce a conservation project on an endangered species, the project is to include all conservation issues, implementations, legislation, genetic factors. It is a very large piece of work; at the moment my word count is 5000!

    I also have a Work experience module BIO3899, for this module students have to find work experience placements to give them an insight into different fields of work that we can enter once we have graduated.
    My placement is with the London Wildlife Trust; I had my first day this week! It was extremely exciting and I met some wonderful people.
    Most people are always nervous about going to a new place and meeting new people but I think experiences like this will help us in the future at networking events.

    My first day was quite enjoyable I had a tour around the nature reserve and got to see the different habitats that encouraged different species of plant and other wildlife. I also saw the management techniques used to make sure that the different habitats didn’t lose biodiversity because of an overgrowth of one species e.g. Coppicing and pollarding of trees to allow light to pass through onto the forest floor, allowing growth of other vegetation.
    I am very much looking forward to working there again next week.


    Until next time,
    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    9/1/17

    Hello everyone!

    After submitting one piece of coursework, I have another to work on to submit for next week!
    My week has been quite calm otherwise.

    This week I had my second day at my nature reserve at the London Wildlife trust, I learned a lot about habitat management this week also and the how to manage environments that occur naturally and how to conserve them. One area in the reserve is an acid grassland due to the fact that there was an old rail track running through the area, and this is an area that the reserve wants to keep managed as the grassland welcomes different species of plants.

    I also started two new modules this term, my two new modules are Gene Expression and Cellular pathology and disease. These modules were chosen by me in second year, I chose them due to me findings the topics interesting. At the end of the second year we were asked to look through the modules and what we will be taught, we are allowed to choose out of a range of different modules.

    As I said before this week has been pretty quiet for me and I haven’t done anything extremely exciting, hopefully next week is more eventful ☺!

    See you next week!
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    16/1/17

    Hello Everyone!

    I hope you all had a great week!

    I am still working on my final summative assignment for January, it is for my Gene Technology module. Part of the assignment analyse a paper written by our very own Massimilliano Marvasi.

    The most exciting thing I did this week was to call prospective students about coming to our VIP offer holder event happening on the 26th of January.
    If you received a telephone call from Middlesex University this week, it would have been me you were speaking too.

    The rest of my week was fairly normal. I am still attending my work experience placement at the London Wildlife trust, I am still very much enjoying my experience there. It is also letting me experience more hands on Conservation Biology.

    This week the NatSoc society has also been planning for our Stories in Science: Wine and Cheese night which is happening on the 2nd of February.
    We have 6 speakers all from the Natural Sciences department at Middlesex University who will be giving us an insight into some of their personal stories about science and some of their most memorable experiences within the field.
    I am very excited for this event as it will bring together lectures and students.

    Here at Middlesex there are plenty of extracurricular activities you can participate in; from sports, science to anime and gaming. There are tons of ways to get involved, not only will this help you build friendships outside of your course but it will also look great on your CV.

    Until next time
    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    23/1/17

    Hello everyone, I hope you all had an enjoyable week.

    This week has been quite quiet and methodical.
    I began the week at my work experience placement at the London Wildlife Trust. The weather was terrible, but the job of conservationist is never finished! Despite the weather, working alongside passionate people really inspires you to work harder!

    The next day I had a laboratory with my dissertation supervisor, I do simulated labs which means I can get an understanding of the methods used in the scientific papers and journals that I read. I am given an insight which will help me understand the research I am evaluating for my dissertation. Straight after this, I had to rush back to my area of south east London as I had to go to work!

    Working while studying can be very challenging at times, the most important thing is to remember that your studies come before your job. I learned this in my second year when I took on too many shifts and had to struggle juggling all my assignments with work. I learned a very valuable lesson that you part-time work while you are in university is temporary however, the grade you get for your degree will affect your career for the future. It is very important not to stretch yourself too much and give yourself time to relax and study!

    At the end of the week, as well as attending my normal classes for Gene expression and Cellular Pathology and Disease, the NatSoc team had a meeting about our Stories in Science: Wine and Cheese night that will be taking place on the 2nd of February. Lecturers from the Natural Sciences department will be speaking about some of their most memorable experiences and giving us an insight into some of their personal stories.

    We are very excited to bring this event to our student body and hope the evening will be a great success!



    Until next time
    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
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    30/1/17

    This week was a week of planning! The NatSoc Stories in Science: Wine and cheese night on the 2nd of February.
    During the day I went out to purchase some bags we needed before the event. When I made it to uni the society had a quick meeting on how the event would be run, who was introducing speakers, the layout of the Forum etc.
    The meeting before events is very crucial I believe just to make sure everyone is on board and knows what to do.

    The turnout for the event was a great success! We had many students from all years of study attend, also many staff members attended the event. This was very encouraging to us as a society, many of the lecturers are very busy and taking time out of their schedules to attend, meant a lot to us.
    Every speaker spoke on a different topic, which brought about variety and kept the audience engaged.
    You can check out pictures of the event on our Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/MDXnaturalscience/

    Be sure to keep up to date with our upcoming events, our next major event is our Careers Fair, like us on Facebook to get regular updates!

    Well, the rest of the week is very boring in comparison!
    On Friday I had my usual full day of lectures for Gene Expression and Cellular Pathology and Disease.
    On the Wednesday I had my usual dissertation lab, I only have 1 lab left and during that lab I will be filling up my 96 well plate with my compounds.

    This week has been very interesting for me, my lecturers gave me an insight into the adventures they have been on and inspired me to try my hardest in my studies.

    Until Next time
    Ameena
    Middlesex Course Ambassador
 
 
 
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