Friday, May 30, 2014

Dr. Who?

Dr. Karin!

I've started writing this post many times, so now I'm going to sit down and finish it.

I want to say thank you to everybody who has read this blog - I have had over 70,000 pageviews since I started writing 4 years ago.  I know my readership dropped dramatically after I stopped paying for, and switched to just the blogspot address.  And I know the past 2 years posts have been spotty, and not as entertaining, due to not being able to write about the privately owned clinics and pets that I've encountered on clinical rotations. (Also, probably due to being happier and not bitching as much once I started clinical rotations.)  A big thanks to my invisible audience out there, knowing there were so many people out there in cyberspace who were curious about my journey was a great motivator.

The week of May 12 was our required "on campus" week before graduation.  I thought it would be mostly tying up loose ends, but it wasn't super useful.  Had to sit through some USDA stuff, thinking that was what I'd need to get my USDA approval for interstate health certificates, but it turns out that if you're not going to practice in California, you need to re-take that portion in your own state.  There were some things about financial aid, and the alumni association, but no new information.  And there was a teambuilding thing.  I absolutely love the two faculty members who were teaching it, but I saw the word "teambuilding" on the schedule, and couldn't bring myself to go.

Wednesday night was a formal dinner and dance in Pasadena for our class.  After some good food, and watching a much-loved professor get down on the dance floor, we left and finished out the night at a dive bar.

Thursday was graduation.  I've long said that if the school didn't make graduation mandatory, that I wouldn't go.  Even though my hand was forced, I'm glad I walked for at least one of my degrees.  It was wonderful seeing classmates again (especially those who had skipped the entire on campus activities), and seeing the faculty members who were there for us the entire 4 years up on stage supporting us.  And even better not noticing those that weren't supportive.  What really made my day, was seeing the veterinarian (the one that I had nominated for 3rd year preceptor of the year) from the USMARC in Nebraska flew all the way out to California to watch us graduate.  Anyway, it was this great big, palpable bubble of positivity that felt amazing.

Friday, I flew back to Colorado, and started to move back into my old house that I left behind for vet school.  There's something really weird, but really peaceful about having come full circle back to the same house and the same employer, but everything is so different this time around.

The next weekend, I went up to Denver for my Grandfather's 89th birthday party.  I was late, because I had to wait for the utility company to come to my house and turn my gas back on (turned off for linework.)  When I got into the party, everybody in my extended family started clapping, and yelling "congratulations."  I was pretty confused at first, then when I realized they were doing that for me, I was actually a little angry.  Why was I getting this attention when it's my grandpa's party?  Then I looked around the room, and noticed the decorations.  They didn't say happy birthday, they said "congratulations."  My aunt pulled my aside, and told me that my 89 year old grandpa had her drive to the party store for graduation decorations, and it was his idea to use his own birthday party as a way to surprise me.  That actually made me cry.  Then, later, when talking to grandpa, he told me two things, that made me smile.  The first was "your grandma would've been so proud of you." and the other was to try to make me promise "I wouldn't save any squirrels."  Even though I told him I couldn't make that promise, because I like squirrels, it cracked me up, because he has sworn the entire species as his archenemy, because they used to get into his bird feeders.  Anyway, incredibly sweet man.  I'm lucky to have him in my family.

Anyway, now I get to put DVM behind my name.  I'm so incredibly lucky I got to be on this journey.  And vet school made up some of the worst and some of the best times of my life.  It put me in student loan debt so deep I could buy a spare house with what I paid in tuition. It also got me some of the best people in the world that I can now call best friends.  It got me my dream job.  And while I haven't been able to express it as eloquently as I would have hoped, I wouldn't have traded the experience for a thing.

Monday, May 12, 2014

I don't have a clever title for this post.

Anyway, I just spent 2 weeks in Stockholm with my mom, my sister, and my best friend, as a pre-graduation present to myself.  Stockholm is wonderful, and everybody there is so gorgeous.  Seriously, Sweden has very few ugly people.  The buildings were gorgeous, and the geography was gorgeous.  I was pretty bummed out when it was time to leave.

When we were there, we got this thing called the "Stockholm Card," which gave us free admission to a shitload of museums, a free boat trip, and unlimited public transportation.  We definitely got our money's worth from museum admission alone.  There were a couple museums that were duds (for instance, the Nordiska Museet had an entire exhibit on things with stripes, and we didn't even go near the ABBA museum), but for the most part, things were great.

One of the shockers was the way the zoos and aquariums we went to were.  I feel like they had animals that were "reachable" by the general public, which wouldn't ever work with stupid Americans who would find a way to get hurt.  Theoretically, you could stick your hand into some of the fish tanks, and at the aquarium at the Skansen museet, there were two exhibits that blew me away.  The first was the lemur cage - which we WALKED THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF.  No barriers between us and the lemurs.  None.  Then, there was a primate exhibit that we walked through as well, but never saw any monkeys in there, but there was a nile monitor on the ground.  Once again, no barriers.  It was fantastic.

Now I'm back in the States, and just flew my ass to California for graduation.  3 more days!  It's been over 4 years since I started this blog, and I'm finally graduating!

Anyway, here's some random pictures from Sweden.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A quickie

I don't know if the link below will be clickable or not, since I'm posting this entryfrom my phone. But regardless if you can click it, or copy and paste it, this is the funniest thing I've seen in ages:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

E-value, you whore.

Every case we see on rotations, we're supposed to enter an online case log in a program called e-value. I've heard classmates complain of glitches  but never experienced it myself.  Since this is my last week of clinical rotations, e-value apparently decided to save up my quota of glitches for the past 2 years, and give them all to me this week.  It keeps deleting my templates, giving me weird timeout errors after 30 seconds, and randomly logs me off when I'm about 3/4 of the way through entering a case log.  I've tried using 3 different web browsers, 2 different internet connections, and changed my DNS settings, and nothing's fixed the glitching.  I want to throttle the programmers, but I only have to use it for only 2 days, so its kind of hilarious at this point.

Only 2 more days of working with exotics, and I am done with this rotation, and all rotations forever and ever!  I'm so close to being done!

Speaking of being done, I got my official divorce decree in the mail.  It's nice to have it over and done with, but I'm still pretty bummed out that everything fell apart the way it did.

Here's to closing old doors and opening new ones.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Last rotation of vet school....

I'm back in Pomona, commuting to my exotic animal rotation.  My originally scheduled exotics rotation was supposed to be in the Pacific NW, but that clinic went out of business unexpectedly.  The vet out here was kind enough to squeeze me in last minute.  I've had the luck to see quite a few amazing exotics this week, plus a ton of cool wildlife.  Everything from chameleons to lorikeets to baby possums to rattlesnakes.  The physical clinic here is amazing.  For the sake of anonymity, I can't describe it too much, since it is so one of a kind, but the doctor did something completely different with his decor and employee uniforms when he opened his own clinic, and it makes me incredibly happy to get to see it and be a part of it.

I'm also enjoying being back in Pomona.  Unlike when I was out here for the mandatory on-campus week in October, I'm not stressed about getting back home to see a husband I hadn't seen in two months to try to save an imploding marriage.  I just get to relax, learn, enjoy my rotation, and enjoy getting to spend time with good friends.  I'm also going to try to get to do the things I never got around to doing while I lived out here.  My little sib and I are going whale watching on Saturday, I'm planning on visiting the Gold Bug and Necromance one last time, and I still have a couple weekend days to fill.  I'm just really trying to make a positive memory of this place, and make it enjoyable, instead of being the place I lived in the crime-ridden ghetto during the most stressful and depressed years of my life.

When I've had weeks back in Colorado between clinical rotations, I've spent as much time as possible at my old work.  Last week, I got an official job offer, starting salary, and starting date.  It seems so surreal, and there were points (especially during the first half of first year), where I never believed I would get here.  Holy shit, this is happening.  In less than two months.  Life is good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's better than exploring a new place?

Having your best friend flying out for the weekend, and exploring a new place together.

Last week, Crystal flew into Tampa to join me for the weekend.  We hit up the Wizarding world of Harry Potter, and took a couple boats to different island state parks - Caladesi state park, and Shell Key preserve.  We hung out on beaches that had very few other people on them, explored, snorkeled, and saw black tipped sharks, sting rays, a dolphin, and got attacked by some seagulls.  And now she's back in Colorado, and my hotel room is covered in sand.

It's amazing how isolating some of these rotations can be.  I'm ready for it to be over.  I miss my critters, and I want to go home - but I'm effectively homeless at this point.  The apartment isn't my home, since I moved all of my stuff into my mom's house.  My mom's house isn't home, it's the place my stuff is stored, and a convenient place to stay between rotations.  My house isn't home, it's still occupied by temporary renters.  It's an unsettling feeling, not having a place of my own to call dibs on.

I get to go back to Colorado Saturday, before I leave for my last rotation in California.  At least in California, I'll be able to hang out with some great people, and won't be as isolated.  And I'll be that much closer to once again having a home.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Escaping the snow

Last week I was home in Colorado between my internal med rotation, and my dentistry rotation.  There were days I got in my car, only to see the thermometer display in the negative single digits.  I keep managing to go home during the really cold snaps.  On the plus side, I've managed to skip much of winter this year, and I'm continuing the trend by spending the next few weeks in Clearwater, FL.

I had a hard time finding a veterinary dentist who would take me on a 4 week internship.  The one local to me said he would, and then when I sent his office manager the information to get approved as a site for the school, she backed out.  Some, I emailed, and were booked solid.  Others never replied to emails and voicemails.  But the one out here replied immediately, and has been incredibly informative all week.  I'm loving the time I'm spending working on teeth, and I'm considering that if my current plans for general practice don't work out after a few years, applying for a dental residency.  I could see myself doing this and loving it.

Today was my first day to really get out and explore, and I found manatees!  In Tampa, there's a power plant that releases warm water into the bay, and the manatees congregate in the warm water.  (I'm not too sure how I feel about that, but at least it seems like they're trying to make an effort at conservation and stewardship.)  It was amazing to see so many manatees in the wild.

I made an attempt to see a wild alligator, by going to a local park that had yelp reviews for tons of wildlife viewings, but did not get so lucky.  Saw a crane, but no gators.  I'll try again sometime later in the trip.

Sure beats being cold.