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.

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