Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wildlife goodies

For the first time in my life, I got to hold and help treat a red tailed hawk. Although I have no aspirations of ever working with wildlife, it was more exciting than I thought it would be. How often in daily life do you get to look straight in the eye of a bird that has the potential to rip your face off? She had pins placed in her left wing due to ulnar and radial fractures as a result of gunshot wounds. Yes, apparently someone shot her multiple times - ridiculous.

Our epidemiology exam is coming up in an hour. Apparently she doesn't believe in exams... so we get an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper (both sides) for notes. Mine is printed out in size 7 font and I wrote down everything she said we needed to know. It is color coded and bold and beautiful. At times like this I'm glad I am slightly OCD about organizing things. But the really scary thing is, I failed to actually study and am depending on my beautiful notes page. We'll see how this turns out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hell Week

Four exam next week. Pharm tomorrow, Bacti Wednesday, Parasit Thursday, Path Friday. I've been studying quite a bit and I am semi prepared for Path and Pharm... Parasit and Bacti will be interesting. At some point today I need to continue working on Bacti... but it is so dry and boring so far and it seems too simple. I can't wait for the week to be over... I plan on going out to KJ's parents' farm and playing with the ponies, running around with the dogs and drinking till I forget everything I've learned this week. It doesn't help that Mom sent me a care package of a wedding planner and wedding planner book and I can't wait to start reading them! We are also going to a take a little drive to a park that we are (possibly) interested in using for the ceremony and reception. There is a huge mansion on site and tons of gardens, which would be beautiful in October.

Until then, its memorizing drugs and parasites along with 10,000 other things while sitting in the library...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Going to the chapel!

I'm engaged! It is so weird to say that out loud... in cyberspace... I can hardly believe it. I keep looking down at my finger and seeing this gorgeous, sparkling ring and all I can think about is that I am so lucky. It made it really hard in class this morning when a handful of people were chatting with me on gmail and half the class was wishing us congratulations on facebook! We don't know when we are going to get married, as vet school makes things difficult to plan around. So it will most likely be October or November of next year... or sometime in 2012. Kind of a big difference!

Class is... going. I'm having difficult finding the motivation to study and get on top of things. We've been really good about working out and running and I would much rather keep doing that than devote any time to studying... but I should probably start. I made a list of things to do tonight to get a jump on things and hopefully can stick with the plan. However, I'm going to celebrate the rest of the week so if I don't get a lot of studying done, too bad!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Where did summer go?

How is it possible that school starts in three days? I'm not in any kind of mindset to sit in class for countless hours and sit in the library for many more hours most days of the week... but I'll get there. This week has flown by. I finished putting the notes up (if I have to format them any more than how they already are I may cry) and have had only a couple of complaints which I cleared up right away, so hopefully we are golden for Monday.

Last night I got my haircut by a friend and she did a great job! I'm loving it. But then I came home and the shower was broken so we turned the water off completely because the shower doesn't turn off if the water is on... So no water for awhile... hopefully the fix-it guy can come today and get this sorted out. Only because I want to take a shower and see my new hair in all its glory.

Tonight is the big/little sib ice cream social. I'll probably take it easy tonight and have one last hurrah on saturday before the grind starts. But I've been so tired lately. I don't know what's wrong with me, but I feel like a bum for taking off early when we all get together and hang out, but all I want is to lay down and sleep. BOO.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer in a nutshell

I can't believe I went the entire summer without updating. I've become a blogger junkie over the summer, finding neat blogs to read - and it has become a bigger obsession since I started reading "Julie and Julia". It gives me crazy notions that I too can do something insane like cooking my way through something as huge as "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". I'm not sure I'm in any position to take on something like that, seeing as school begins again in 1 week... but it certainly gives me time to think over my next big adventure. Although cooking may not be my thing, I think that I'm going to train for Ironman 70.3 - a half Ironman. As long as my body holds up (bum knee and shoulder) and even if it doesn't, I am going to complete one. I'm going to do one next summer and maybe get KJ to do it with me. We watched an Ironman on TV the other day and he was fascinated. I just have to teach him to swim better!

The condensed version of summer:
- traveled to Costa Rica to work at an animal shelter/rescue and an animal sanctuary
- 6 week Banfield Student Internship
- Vacation to New York, Maine, and a random 2 hour side trip to Niagara Falls
- helping with orientation for the class of 2013

I get to give a little presentation about electronic notes to the first year class later this morning. I'm a little nervous because the other girl who was supposed to be there is visiting her grandfather and I said I could handle it alone. Which may have been stupid on my part since I know nothing about the new curriculum... oh well. I'm also doing a few other things this week at school, plus I need to set up our class website for e-notes and upload all the notes and reformat them. I guess I should get started!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mom's Day!

Dear Momma P,

First of all, I am so sorry that I couldn't come home this weekend (or even just today). 24 years ago, God decided he would bless you and Daddy with a wonderful, intelligent little girl and you made that little girl believe that she was capable of doing anything in the world that she wanted to do. Well Mom, I decided I wanted to be a vet, and you believed in it more than I did. And now instead of spending mother's day with you, I'm hanging out with my beloved computer, notebook and textbook with my delicious Venti-sized coffee at the library. So the fact that I can't come home for mother's day is actually all your fault.

You are the best mother a kid could ask for. You've given us everything we could ever have wanted and so much more. I'd be willing to bet that you didn't want to spend all your weekends at swim meets, softball games, volleyball games... cheerleading (yikes)... rowing, or the other 1000's of things that we did did growing up. But you and Daddy did, and I love you so much for giving us your time and encouragement and support. I couldn't be where am I today without you and I hope to be able to be that kind of mother when I (eventually) have kids.

Love always,
your daughter.

P.S. I'm still waiting on that pony I always wanted.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Last Day of Class

Today is the last day of class. I have to say, the last day of first year is pretty anti-climatic. I mean, I walked in this morning expecting congratulatory signs, streamers, balloons and noise makers. I'll just pretend that they forgot that today was the last day. But actually, we did have a mini potluck where a bunch of us brought in food that we put in the front of the room that the whole class could pick from throughout the day. And then we got out of immunology two hours early. So, it was actually a pretty nice day. I write to you from our last class of Behavior. The reason I can do this is because a good portion of what she says is pretty subjective and her own personal opinion. The rest of the time she is plugging her own books. I realize that the only background I possess in this field is pretty limited, but many of her methods do not make logical sense. For example - if I had a puppy (which, thank God, Jazz is almost 2 years old now) I would chastise it if I caught him/her urinating in the house. I wouldn't allow it to finish and place it calmly outside onto the grass without giving him/her a firm NO. But I digress.

At this point, only 5 finals stand between the first years and freedom. FREEDOM. I guess Behavior counts as a final, and Nutrition is actually open note so... three real finals separate school and summer. I can't wait. We (almost) made it!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finals Woes

Twelve days. That is all that stands between VM 2012 and being second years. I spent the morning in lab, poring over half horse heads and half ox heads and two complete horse heads. Its very Godfather like. I imagine I'll have dreams of waking up in the morning and finding Fancy's head in bed with me. Fancy is/was our pony. Our very dead, reeking of fixative, beloved "race" pony, although we only have her head left to remember her by.

I know that we are all beginning to be at each other's throats, myself included. My patience is wearing very thin, but I hope that we can make it through the next twelve days without killing each other with the 24 size blades we have stashed in our lab drawers. If we can do that, then vacation will be lovely and we can start over in August.

Part of what is stressing me out is my stellar ability to over commit myself. As I wrote that, I remembered that I had an OTS dinner to go to from 5-7 pm today. It is now 8:12 pm. Oops.

Anyway, I had treatments for Wildlife on Friday plus orphan feedings that night. Now, I really enjoy Wildlife usually, but at the end of this past week, the last thing I wanted to do was go back to school at 8 pm after being out at the farm for a couple hours with the dogs. But I did and I did my first Wildlife related euthanasia on an orphan bunny that was dehydrate and probably hypoglycemic. That poor little guy just wasn't going to make it and I helped him get to bunny heaven to meet up with his momma (which is probably the reason the entire litter ended up dying later that night as well). At least they weren't stolen orphans. I feel bad for those little guys that get brought in because someone thinks they were abandoned when that is usually not the case.

Que sera, sera.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Renal Failure

Tomorrow is the first renal exam. To say I'm dreading it is the understatement of the era. For whatever reason, physiology exams make me physically ill. Nauseous even. My head starts pounding, my cheeks turn red, I feel light-headed. Its how I imagine I would feel if I were on my way to the electric chair. Or a good lynching.

I think its funny that when I take these exams, my hypochondria kicks in and I start experiencing signs of illnesses that are being described on the test itself. During cardio, I was definitely tachycardic. During respiratory, I felt pulmonary edema start to kick in. I'm psyching myself up to experience early signs of renal failure beginning somewhere around 9 am tomorrow. I'll just infuse myself with 60 some odd liters of a glucose and .45% NaCl solution. No? Damn, I should probably get back to studying.

On a happier note, we turned in our second biomechanics exam today. I'm almost positive that I will just about ace this class while learning absolutely nothing new. Aside from maybe my incredible showing in art history senior year, I'm not sure I've been able to claim this before. I'm strangely proud of this achievement.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Beginning

I feel like I spend most of my life in jail. By jail, I mean the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Basis Sciences Building. Basically, its a really long way of saying what every vet student is really thinking... JAIL. or PRISON, I supposed, because we are here for the long term. I make it sound worse than it is (slightly), but when the weather is 70 degrees and sunny, and you are enjoying it from your vantage point at a table next to the window, peering out between the blinds at the library... its a little depressing. Especially when you begin debating walking outside to throw a frisbee around versus memorizing the six injections you need for a nerve block in the hindlimb digit in a horse. Or can you do only four injections... whatever the answer, the end result doesn't change: Frisbee: 0, Horse Nerves: 1

Welcome to my world. I may be the worst person that I know at keeping in touch with my loving family and faithful friends, so I'm opening this window into my life. Maybe there are also some future vet students or even current vet students that will be able sympathize with me and maybe have a few laughs. I'm not sure this will be all that inspiring for any of you that may be planning a career in veterinary medicine, but if you want the realities, I think I'm good for that much. So... enjoy!