Monthly Archives: September 2009

Vet school is…

9am – 10:50am: Freshman Doctoring
11am – 11:50am: Physiological Chemistry
11:50am – 1:10pm: LUNCH
1:10pm – 2pm: Epidemiology
2:10pm – 5pm: Anatomy Lab
5pm – 6pm: Histology review session
6pm – 6:30pm: Go to VMTH loading dock to pick up Hill’s cat food order
6:30pm – 8pm: Eat dinner and oh my god RELAX
8pm: Freak out that I wasted an hour and a half
8pm – ???: Study for 8am histology exam…

Yup, we’re officially in full swing.


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One down… and I hate sheep.

So, surprisingly, I’m still loving vet school! I’ll be sure to post in a couple of weeks, after the upcoming histology, physiological chemistry, and anatomy exams. Eek!

The good thing is that I have finished my first vet school class! Our behavior class was only seven lectures, and the final exam was this past Friday. The first part was multiple choice, individually, very short. The second part was in groups of three, and open note/book/internet, essay format. They were in the form of clinical cases. The grades for the first part were posted, and I got those all right. I think our essay portion was pretty good, so hopefully my first vet school grade ever will be an A, and that will feel awesome. Even though it’s kind of a joke of a class.

On Thursday we had our food animal handling lab, and that was mostly a blast. I got to work with the cows first, and it was a lot of fun. I got to do a physical exam, draw blood, give injections, and give a fake medication with a balling gun. Awesome. But then it was time to work with the sheep. I already was not a big fan of sheep, and Thursday just solidified this feeling. Sharon and I got this big sheep that had obviously not been worked with much in her past life (they had just arrived to campus that morning). I have flipped a few sheep before, but this one was crazy. I tried to flip her, and got her on the ground… where she decided that she didn’t want to be. So before I could prop her against my legs, she jumped up with all of her strength, knocked me back, and took off… into a classmate’s crotch. This was after I had already wrestled her out of the pen and had been using all of my strength just to hold her still. I was sore for days!! That night sheep stew was sounding really good…

I started out really great today… I went to the library and studied histo for 3 hours, and then went to lab and looked at slides for about an hour. Then I came home, and decided I deserved a one hour break. That was 5 hours ago, and I haven’t studied another minute. It’s just impossible for me to get and stay motivated at home. I’ve got a couple of hours before bedtime… we’ll see if I can be productive!

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And it begins…

So remember that post from 2 days ago? How I was saying that the studying wasn’t that bad and that I was actually enjoying myself? Well the universe must’ve sensed the wrongness in that, and quickly set to getting it right. The very next day after I wrote that post (so, yesterday) was hell. It started out innocent enough, with a professional communications class for 2 hours. Then we hit physiological chem… We got a new professor today, and he just talks so fast, and skims through difficult material. This was how I described it to some classmates: He just opened his mouth, and all this SHIT just poured out of it that didn’t make any sense, and he didn’t close his mouth until class was over. We all felt pummeled after that 50 minutes (which felt like 3 hours!). The only good thing is that there is a word document posted that helps quite a bit, and actually explains the power point slides pretty well. So I reviewed last night, and felt better about it this morning.

But then there was anatomy. We were studying the bones of the thoracic (front) limb. Can’t be that bad, right? There are 4 major bones and then the small bones of the carpus, metacarpus, and phalanges. That’s nothing. Well… on those 4 major bones (scapula, humerus, radius, and ulna), we have to know everything! Every bump, every ridge, every surface, everything that anyone has decided to ever give a name to. It was intense, and it made everyone’s brain mush. It took my group then entire lab period of 3 hours to get through those 4 bones… we gave up when we hit the carpals. Our brains were at capacity for the day! This morning I went into school early and spent about an hour and a half in the anatomy lab reviewing. I still have a lot more work to do!

Physiological chem wasn’t nearly as bad today, thankfully. And the only other class we had was behavior, which is fun. Histology got canceled this morning and tomorrow morning. Tomorrow will be fun, I have the small mammal handling lab! I get to play with mice, rats, ferrets, and maybe some other small furry creatures. :) So really, I am still enjoying myself. Yesterday just put a bit of fear into me, haha.

Scott will be here on Friday! Oh, I can’t wait to see and spend time with my husband. :) It is very much needed right now!

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In the thick of it…

So last week I officially started veterinary school. I had class Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. And I’m already overwhelmed!! Wednesday night I came home and studied anatomy. Thursday I came home, ate dinner, relaxed for a bit, then went to Sharon’s to study. We used my old biochem book and went over the physiological chemistry notes. Friday night I think I studied, but I don’t remember what, hah! Then this weekend was packed with studying. After a trip to Costco with Sharon on Saturday, we got together with several other people at her place and went over all of the histology notes so far, and then worked on our first physiological chemistry case study. That was about 6 hours. Then on Sunday I worked on the case study some more, then met with some people in the anatomy lab and studied dog bones, then went home and finished my case study and looked at some histology slides for lab today. Today I got home around 5:30pm, and studied histology and anatomy in between cooking, eating, straightening up, and doing laundry. Completely crazy to be in the very beginning of the quarter and already have so much to do and so much to study. I’m actually very proud of myself, so far I’m doing a great job of staying on top of things.

But don’t let all of that fool you. I have to say that I’m loving vet school so far. Are you shocked? I know I am! But really, it’s been great. My classes are interesting, and usually about 50 minutes long — the perfect length! The professors do a great job at giving the material relevance. Anatomy lab is really cool, I love learning about the bones and inner-workings of animals. Histology lab is also really fascinating; I had that today and actually really enjoyed it. So far the studying isn’t too bad, I’m learning a lot and I love that. Plus, without a test looming, it’s really just going over the notes (ask me how I feel about studying when the exams start!). And on Friday I had a lab that was about restraint, handling, and general physical exams on horses. Horses! It was so much fun to hang out outside with the horses and actually work with live animals. Then after lab was the first TG (social event with all classes; basically a shortening of TGIF – held every other Friday). There was tons of free food, multiple grills going, a few kegs, and all of the student clubs had tables out with the opportunity to join. I joined SCAVMA (Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association), Caduceus Club (social club, allows me to attend future TGs), and of course, the Lab Animal Medicine Club. I’m really excited about that, and can’t wait for the first meeting. It’s awesome to have access to other people who share my interest, I haven’t known anyone up to this point.

So yeah. I’m a veterinary student. :) And now, I think I’m actually going to read something not vet school related and try to get to sleep at a decent hour!

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So I didn’t really plan on it being this long between posts. Life just got kind of crazy there for a little while. My birthday was fantastic, and included a day at Magic Mountain with my best friend, drinks at an amazingly awesome bar with some close friends, dinner with my husband from one of my favorite sushi places ever, and spending most of the day after at the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary, hanging out with wolves. It was a perfect last birthday before vet school.

After that, things kind of happened in a whirlwind. The day after we visited Wolf Mountain was spent mostly packing, and taking a long lunch/dinner break to hang out with Tara one last time before moving. The next morning (the 29th), we left bright and early. Scott drove the 15 passenger van loaded with my stuff, and I drove my car loaded with the kitties and snake. It was a long drive, but we got here and began moving in. It was probably the worst move-in ever. Long story short, the central AC had been turned off outside. The day we moved in it was 104 here in Davis, the apartment temp was over 100, according to the thermostat. Simon started to show signs of heat stroke, and Scott basically saved his life by dragging him into the tub and soaking him. He was seconds away from a vet trip, but the cold water cooled him down and he’s completely fine now. It was very stressful and very scary. The other cats were hot as well, but not as bad as Simon, and I was able to cool them down with a bit of cold water. The AC issue finally got figured out by the maintenance guy, but it was not cool in the apartment until overnight. Also, my mail key doesn’t work and the garbage disposal is broken, with the kitchen sink clogged (all these are STILL issues, grrrr).

Then the vet school first year retreat started on September 1st, and it was a crazy three and a half days. They were full of lectures and group activities. Some of those involved talking through different scenarios, and some were physical outdoor activities focused on building trust, working as a team, and getting to know one another. It was exhausting, every day starting at 8am and ending around 6pm. Of course, I rolled my eyes at most of the team building activities, but I’m thankful for the orientation. If nothing else, it allowed me to work with many different people in my class, and actually start to get to know some of them. Now when I walk into class, it won’t be full of strangers. Plus, they provided us with breakfast, lunch and dinner! Can’t beat that.

On Friday, we had the white coat ceremony. It’s basically a symbolic ceremony that officially welcomed us into the veterinary school and profession. They donned us all with a white doctor’s coat, and there were several speakers, including the dean. It was really nice, and Scott and his dad were both there to support me. It was great having them there, I only wish my mom could’ve made it. After the ceremony, Scott’s dad took us out to dinner at Outback, and then breakfast the next morning before we took him to the airport. We spent the rest of Saturday and this morning just spending time together, bumming around town, and relaxing. He left today around 2pm, amidst many tears on my part and a few on his, as well. I’m not sure when I’ll see him next… and I think that being away from my love just might be the hardest part of vet school. I already miss him terribly, and he’s only been gone 9 hours.

Tomorrow I may hang out with some classmates at another classmate’s house. Social situations with a bunch of strangers usually make me extremely uncomfortable, but I have something huge in common with these people and if I don’t get out of the house I’ll go crazy without Scott here. Tuesday is the official orientation concerning books, classes, financial aid, and other paperwork-type stuff; it’s supposed to be 8am – 5pm! And then on Wednesday classes start. I’m terrified. I hope I can hack it.

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