Monthly Archives: May 2010

“I couldn’t be a veterinarian because…

…I just love animals too much!”

Do you have any idea how much that statement grates on my nerves? What are you trying to say about me, who you just learned is a veterinary student? That I don’t really like animals all that much? Yeah, you’re right. I’m devoting over 8 years of schooling and $200,000+ in debt to go into a profession with the worst debt to income ratio out there… all because I kinda sorta like animals. A little. And this came from a 40+ woman working the drive through at KFC. So you’re telling me that you would’ve been a veterinarian, but because you love animals too much you devoted your life to serving people fried chicken and mashed potatoes?

Okay, so that sounded a little harsh. Especially since I worked plenty of those kinds of jobs. But it just annoys me when people say that, and I’ve heard it a million times.

In fact, you have to REALLY care about animals and their welfare in order to go through all of this to make their lives better. I’m also going into this field because I love and am fascinated by science and medicine. This field is so exciting, it evolves daily, and you never stop learning amazing things. It’s be the best profession ever, and no one goes into it because they feel “meh” about animals. But also no one goes into it because they just want to hug puppies and kittens all day (although I wouldn’t mind that!). It’s a lot more complicated than that, and most people really don’t get it.

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Okay so I lied.

I know I said that I would be MIA until finals are over, but did you know that blogging is a fantastic way to procrastinate?! I am so lacking in focus today! I’ve been “studying” on campus with Deanna since 2pm, but don’t really have much to show for it. At least I was productive yesterday, and I haven’t spent the ENTIRE 7 hours distracted. My hematology syllabus is all read and highlighted/annotated. The take home final for my elective class is complete (woo!), and I’ve started on the immunology paper/presentation. I would like to get that done before I leave here tonight, but I’m not sure if that’s possible. The great thing is that I still have two more days to get shit done. Yay for 4 day weekends!

Don’t be fooled, though… I’m not insane, and can’t spend every waking moment in this freezing building studying (Deanna and I both have space heaters on full blast right now!). I did go to the end of the year TG yesterday for some free food and socializing. And tomorrow I’m going to a BBQ at a friend’s place, with steaks and mimosas :) That should be fun!

Next week our class load is super light, which is amazing. It’s nice of them to give us some free time to study for finals. The next one is Friday, and then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And for the most part, they’re going to be quite difficult. But as long as I can get my motivation back, they’re all totally doable. And then I’ll be done, Scott will be here, and my summer can begin. :)

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Before I disappear…

I should probably post now (during my Wildlife Management course – oops) before I retreat to the dark and time sucking cave of finals. I have six real ones this quarter (not counting a take home and final project), and the first one is tomorrow morning. It’s in radiology, and it is cumulative, covering the entire YEAR. Yes, that’s right, all of the material from September through last week. The only saving grace is that it’s open note, but that is not as much of a comfort as you might think. Notes can’t really teach you how to read difficult radiographs. And from there it’s finals, projects, and papers until June 9th.

Anyway. I don’t really want to fill up an entire post talking about stupid finals, so let’s not. Let’s instead talk about summer, which is just 3.5 weeks away. Three months of no school. Three months full of awesomeness. I know I’ve already mentioned my research; I’ll be working with Lyme disease and cute mice all summer (yes, I know that they are research subjects and not cute cuddly puppies – but I still love mice and think they’re super cute). Related to that, I will be traveling to the vet school at the University of Georgia in Athens to the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium to talk about my research and do some networking. Several of my amazing classmates are also going, so I’m sure there will also be plenty of fun to be had. It’s August 5-8th, and should be nothing short of super rad.

Also this summer, I will be going to Ohio at the end of August to attend my huge family reunion for the first time ever. It’s held every year on the old family farm and is a three day event. I haven’t gone in the past, either due to money or that it’s usually around/during my birthday. But this year my mom generously paid for the plane tickets, and turning 29 isn’t exactly a birthday I need to go out and celebrate with friends. Forgetting it is just fine! There will be many family members there that I haven’t seen in a very long time, and also some that I’ve never even met! Even better is that Scott will be joining me, so I get to show off my incredibly amazing husband :) And he’s really only met my immediate family, so it’ll be nice to introduce him to some beloved family members for the first time. Good thing we’re already married – now he’s much harder to scare off ;)

Speaking of my wonderful husband, he will be visiting me this weekend and it’s been entirely too long! Going four weeks without seeing him is nothing short of unbearable. The unfortunate thing is that I will be working on a group final project and studying for the next final while he’s here. It can’t be helped, and there were just no ideal weekends for him to visit this quarter (tons of Monday exams, and then finals!). But he will be here… I can hug and kiss him whenever I want and will be able to crawl into bed next to him at night and wake up next to him in the morning. Plus, he has pledged to bring me yummy food, take care of the chores, and basically pamper me while I’m studying :) His plane arrives tomorrow evening, and I can’t wait to tackle him in the airport.

Only 3.5 weeks until I’m done with my first year of vet school. Woo!! :D

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Go Figure

With my waning motivation and desire to give a damn, I decided to actually study at my desk tonight. If I study at home, it’s always on my huge comfy couch in front of the TV… but I knew that would quickly lead to TV watching and then a sleepiness I would not be able to overcome. Not for renal physiology, anyway. So for the first time since starting vet school, I cleared all of the unopened mail, unread books, and ignored AJVR journals off of my desk, and set up shop. And, imagine this, I got a good amount of work done! I know this isn’t a ground breaking discovery, but for me it kind of is.

I got a late start on studying today, much later than I would’ve liked (see the first handful of words in this post), but I’m pretty pleased with my progress. I think I need to use my desk for it’s intended purpose more often.

And now… off to bed (even the desk can’t ward off sleepiness for that long).

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Mental Break

I wake up at 6:30am on Mondays and Wednesdays, because I have an 8am elective. Yeah, that means I chose to get up that early twice a week! But the class is pretty awesome, so it’s totally worth it. This morning, I was awakened by one of my cats jumping onto the bedroom window sill, making the blinds crash. I sleepily looked at the clock, and it was 8:30. Um… oops! I overslept by 2 hours! I could’ve jumped out of bed and made it to school in time to make my 10am class.

But instead… I decided to lay around the house, catch up on my DVR, order pizza, and do absolutely nothing school related. Yes, I have a ton to do (2 projects and a take home exam). I have two exams next week, including a final that is cumulative from the beginning of the school YEAR (yeah, September). I have errands that need to be run and household chores that need to be done. But you know what? Sometimes, you just need a mental break. I needed some time for myself, to just completely relax and lay on the couch watching TV. I should feel guilty, and I did earlier, but I don’t anymore. It was really great to give it all a rest for a day, and I think it’s deserved and necessary from time to time, to maintain sanity.

Missing my husband has been really hard lately. The longer we live apart, the harder it gets. Skype is amazing though, and I don’t know how I’d survive without it. We talked for 2 hours tonight, about everything and anything, laughing and being silly. It really makes a huge difference to see his face when we’re talking, and to see his smile when he laughs. I can’t wait to see him in person again — one week!

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Productivity Win

I’ve had a pretty hard time staying motivated and focused this quarter, especially with my summer looking so amazing (oh yeah – another thing to look forward to – I put down a deposit for tattoo #8, and the first appointment is July 14th. And no, I’m not telling, you’ll have to wait and see!). But today I have been amazingly productive (well… except for the fact that I’m writing this. Oops.) I met with my group for our genetics project (our final, basically) at 9am this morning, and we worked on it for a couple of hours. It’s really nice to have that started, I can stop being so freaked out about it now. I know everyone’s part and can be confident that it will all come together well. From there, I came straight here, to my favorite Davis coffee shop. I settled in with a dirty chai (iced chai tea latte with a shot of espresso – kind of super amazing) and got to work on hematology (Monday exam). I’ve read all 4 chapters in the syllabus (complete with highlighting) and have made note cards for the first 2 lectures. I want to finish my note cards (3 lectures to go) and listen to the podcast for one of the lectures. Then! I will be done preparing to study and can actually study tomorrow. If I’m done with all of that and still have energy tonight (haha) I want to start in on parasitology. Go me.

This is especially impressive considering how tired I am. Last night I hung out with a good friend, drank sparkling wine, ate lots of popcorn, and watched Sherlock Holmes (which was nothing but crappy disappointment – at least Jude Law is pretty to look at). We ended up talking forever and I didn’t get back home until after 1am, and then realized it was snake-feeding day and so had to take care of that chore as well as some others.

Let’s hope I can keep this up… I will be done with my first year of veterinary school exactly one month from tomorrow (that’s unbelievable!).

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Future Day

Future Day is a yearly event hosted here at UC Davis by the Veterinary Student Outreach Club for high school students to come and learn about veterinary medicine. It is an all day event, with breakfast and lunch provided. The kids are broken into 6 groups and rotate through stations, each demonstrating a different field in vet med. Outreach is something that I’m very passionate about, and so I signed on as co-president with another first year last September. Being co-president means that I was intimately involved with every step of planning and putting together this amazing event. It took place this past Sunday, the 2nd, and involved a lot of hard work – all of which was totally worth it.

We had demonstrations from Pathology Club (with actual path specimens, including a brain and a goat head!), Farm Club (with a super cute little lamb with casts on her front 2 legs), Avian and Exotic Medicine Club (and Melanie, our resident cockatoo as well as someone’s pet snake – the kids got to handle both), Wildlife and Aquatic Medicine Club (they did comparative skeletal anatomy, including a rhinoceros skull), Veterinary Emergency Response Team (with a horse in a sling), and … Lab Animal Medicine Club. The lab animal club gives a talk every year, but this year the guy who has done it for the past few years wasn’t available on the date, and so it fell to me. I am absolutely terrified of public speaking, but knew that I needed to get over it and talk about the field of medicine that I am the most passionate about and that is the most misunderstood. So I put together a presentation and gave my talk, got the kids really involved by asking them tons of questions, and I think it went well. I was super nervous and spoke entirely too fast in the beginning, but that’s okay.

The day went extremely smoothly, from check-in and material distribution (schedule, map, evaluation form, information about college and vet school, handouts from each club), to meals and walking them all over campus in their groups. I was very pleased with our turnout of about 80 kids with some parents. The best part of the day happened when everything was done and a young girl (about 15 or 16) approached me to ask if she could speak to me. We sat down on a couch in Valley, and she told me that she always felt that animal research was wrong and cruel, but that I had changed her mind and she wanted more information. She asked tons of questions, and seemed really excited. She had to leave when her mom became slightly impatient, but she asked for my e-mail address and I gladly gave it to her.

My talk actually changed at least one person’s mind about the field of lab animal medicine. I cannot explain what an amazing feeling that is!! That’s what it’s all about, and it made all of the hard work and all of the butterflies in my stomach totally worth it. :)

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