Sunday, March 25, 2012

How's this for an amazing Spring Break?

I'm back in California today, after spending all day yesterday cramped in a tiny car with Tyler and the two pups. For not having a lot of time in Colorado (less than a week,) I managed to squeeze in quite a fair amount of pure awesomeness.

The best thing that came out of visiting home for spring break was going by the clinic I used to work for, and visiting my old boss.  She's an absolutely amazing vet - one of those people who gets all of her clients through word-of-mouth, has an amazing bedside manner, practices high-quality medicine, and donates a lot of her time to do wildlife rehab.  She's one of the big reasons I am where I am today.  And she told me that she wants me to buy her clinic from her once I graduate.  Her awesome clinic that's built on a couple acres that used to be a mini golf course, and has areas in back for soft releases of injured wildlife, goldfish ponds, and still has a windmill and a fort, because who doesn't want a fort on their property?  The clinic that's on a side of town that's constantly growing.  The clinic that has more than enough room to expand or build out if it ever becomes necessary, and has a great reputation.  I'm pretty freaking excited, if you can't tell.

After talking to her, I wandered out to the back of the property, and got to meet her new landscapers - two pygmy goats named Lady and Buttons (Animaniacs reference for the win!)  They hopped around and did goat things, and let us give them head skritches.  Anyway, they were way too cute.

Tyler also got a job lined up for when he moves back to Colorado.  He's probably going to move back the summer between my third and fourth year, and get things settled for when I graduate.  He swung by one of his old jobs, and they told him they'll be needing a new manager, about the time he'll be moving back, due to his old one retiring, and they'll hold it for him if he's interested.

We also managed to pack in a bunch of stuff with some friends that I hadn't seen in ages.  Went swing dancing, bowling, had a crazy guy outside the Denver Diner sing us some R&B, got some food we've been homesick for, and basically just had a super relaxed, fun week.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Break!

You know it's time for spring break, when doing research for the week's goat case involves more looking up baby goat videos on youtube, and less reading about the toxicology involved in the case.  You know you want to watch baby goats too.  Turn down your volume, 'cause this video has some pretty gawd awful music in the background.

Isn't that better?

Anyway, I survived finals, I pushed through last week's duck die-off case, and this week's goat toxicity case, and now I'm just waiting for Tyler to get home from work, so I can throw our stuff in the car and get ready for our 18 hour car ride to Colorado.  Eeee!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting Fancy

Saturday night, Tyler and I went to the vet med formal.  It's a tradition that started last year, and will probably continue on until some class decides they don't feel like organizing it.

It was a pretty great night, and it was an excuse to actually dress up for once, instead of living in a t-shirt and hoodie like I have been.  And because no matter how much of an adult I am, I'll always be a goth kid at heart, I had to throw my awesome steel-boned Louise Black corset that I haven't had a chance to wear yet over my normal formal dress.

And to match the corset, I had to wear the alchemy gothic bracelet Tyler got me for my birthday.

Anyway, it was a pretty great night.  I got to hang out with three of my favorite people. I got to meet their mythical boyfriends, who I've heard about for months, but have never actually gotten to meet.  And I got to see what happens when you mix 100 vet students with an open bar.  (Mostly bad dancing, with the occasional wardrobe malfunction mixed in.)

I'll post better pictures when I get access.  My friends took some, and there was a professional photographer there.  I'm pretty sure at one point, Tyler and I decided to take a professional picture while he was pretending to be a velociraptor, and I was shying away trying not to get bitten.  Should be entertaining to see the proofs of those. (Proofs added, see below.  This is why we can't have nice things.)

We finally got our test scores back today for our VBS tests.  This time around, I pretty much centered my studying on anatomy, since it's the one subject score I want to bring up.  They divide our test scores into the 12 "ologies," like toxicology, physiology, parisitology, anatomy, etc. (And yes, I know "anatomy" isn't technically an "ology.")  So I blew off studying a lot of the other subjects, and put way more time into anatomy.  Guess what happened?  I managed to raise my grade in EVERY OTHER SUBJECT except anatomy.  Well, I did manage to raise it .24%, but it's definitely NOT proportionate to the amount of time I spent on it.  On the plus side, after how horrible that second VBS test felt last Thursday, I did pass it, and did decently well on it.  Same with the MCB test I was freaked out about.  Now if only I could figure out how not to be anatomy-retarded.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

This week sucks.

It's exam week.  Usually a stressful time, but you plow through it, and by the end, you're no worse for the wear. This week is different.  This week has it out for us.

Monday (Vet basic sciences 1 test)
First half of the test: "Oh, this test isn't so bad.  I've gotten through 60 questions, and only had to guess at one or two answers.  I might actually get an A for once."
Second half of the test: "Hmm.  These are getting harder.  I'm having to guess on a lot more of the questions.  I don't know what some of these questions had to do with the cases we studied, but oh, well, the first half should make up for the second."

Tuesday (Practical Exam - anatomy/radiology, pathology/histology/parasitology
First half of the test (anatomy and radiology): "Eee!  Lookit at me!  I'm actually remembering what things are called!  Maybe I'll bring up my anatomy grade a little bit. Hmm.  I didn't study that, luckily it's only a couple points.  I should still come out ahead."

Second half of the test: "All these parasites look alike.  I know I'm supposed to be looking at their feet to tell them apart, but I can't even see their damn feet.  Screw it, I'll guess, since I have it narrowed down to two.  Crap.  This tick has festoons, and a pointy head.  Which one had both of them together?  I don't remember a damn thing about ticks."

Followed by "Ok, we've got histology.  I've spent hours on this, and I know the slides, and I've gone through the histo binder, I should be fine.  WTF is this?  I can tell it's glandular, but apparently I can't tell the difference between the pituitary and the pancreas.  Crap, this one is pancreas, and I just forgot the third part that's not pars intermedia or pars nervosa.  I'll scribble a word and hope it's right.  Man, histology is going to erase any extra points I may have gained in the anatomy portion.  I bet the anatomists get together after tests, and make fun of how dumb I am."

This is then followed by the pathology portion of the test. "Crap.  I can't tell if that picture is showing a clouded cornea, or a cataract.  WTF? Why is there a picture of an abomasum - all of our cases were neuroendocrine, so no, I don't know the etiology behind that."

After turning in the miserable test, and walking to my car - "Shit.  Did I write "hirsutism instead of alopecia on the bald dog picture?"

Wednesday (molecular and cellular biology and veterinary issues.) 
MCB: "These multiple choice questions are worded badly.  I know I read the 16 primary literature papers this test is over, but the answer I would chose is not one of those choices.  Did they read the same papers?  No, I don't know what the main point of Hfdsjhs et. al.'s paper is.  I didn't look at the freaking author names when I read the paper, so I'm not entirely sure which one you're asking about, so I'm just choosing the answer that sounds like one of the papers."

After MCB, I spent the next two hours reading the six required chapters that the vet issues test would be over.  It was a lot to cover, and I'm a fast reader, so 2 hours worth of dry law stuff is a LOT.  No worries, though.  Usually on the vet issues tests you can just make up an answer if you don't remember what the right one is, and 80% of the time it works out just fine.

Vet Issues test:
"Yay! this test is all multiple choice! This will be even easier than usual! Hmm.  I don't remember which federal organization enforces the Lacey act.  I know it's either USDA or APHIS, but i don't remember which.  Crap, I don't remember who does the ESA either.  Shit.  Can the international Whaling Commission impose fines, or do they just have meetings and let Japan push them around?  I just read all of this information in the last 2 hours.  Why are they not asking any details that apply to anything?  I thought this was supposed to be the easy freebie class.

Today, Vet Basic Sciences part 2:
"Ok, I'm going to kick this test's butt to make up for yesterday sucking.  Ok, GO! Question 1.  WTF?  Are those words?  Did I study the same case as everybody else?  Forget it.  Move on to question 2.  Question 2 - REALLY?  Ok, just power through this, it can't all be that bad.  Oh, look, it took me until page 2 until I had a question I'm 100% positive I got right.  This is a bad way to start off a test, but it will get better."

About 20 pages in - "Hmm.  If this test goes as badly as it feels, I guess I can always change my name, and work under the table so I'm not crushed by the 150k in student loans I've amassed so far.  I'm sure I could find a nice hippie commune or something.  It'd be pretty embarrassing to smell like patchouli, but at least I could just disappear and start over, and nobody would know about how this test made me fail out of vet school.  On the plus side, I could have dreadlocks.  Vets can't have dreadlocks. This isn't going to be so bad."

By about question #140 - "Pull it together, Karin!  You have to figure out these answers, because you don't know how to play hackey sack.  Yet another thing you can't do well, you big dummy."

Aargh.  It's been a rough week.  On the plus side, even the smart kids in class thought today's and yesterday's tests were awful, so it's not just me.  Two more tests tomorrow, then I can take a little bit of a breath before getting anxious about waiting to hear about my grades.  I'm going to be pretty defeated by the time this week is over.