Monday, February 28, 2005

maybe something besides whining?

i'm (as is completely commonplace these days) running on a negligible amount of sleep. but i feel strangely good. i decided to come home for lunch today, when normally i hang around school and eat cafeteria style food from the munchbox. (on that note, i really should pay my escalating tab ...) it's nice to be home with a deadline for going back to school and "doing things" - i can enjoy a moment of relative mental peace. it could be that i'm just utterly sleep deprived and thought - stressful or otherwise - is completely impossible ... but i think it's being in my home...with my birdie chillun, and the rain falling outside.

so, i went home this weekend, to visit my extended family. and of course, i had to "overstudy" yesterday for what i perceived as my slackerhood on saturday. i went to the library at 4p and stayed till 10p. i then came home and pounded out 4 more hours at parasitology before calling it a night. i allowed myself to read a bit before going to bed - though it lessened my sleep. i find reading before bedtime a nice way to mentally unwind. i'm reading 'the virgin suicides' (again). it's so easy to read, it's not a mental puzzle, and i love it. It might be lazy to read a book i've already read - but hey - whadda i care? I'm a vet student. i can do what i want with my (free)time.

i guess i should talk about something other than school occasionally. i'm sure people would like to know what i do with the other 10 minutes of my day. hah.

Friday, February 25, 2005

what i learned on vacation

it's my last night of vacation - and what have i learned this spring break - more than midway through my first year of vet school?

first - that i need my family more than anything. in 2 days here with my grandparents, i have recuperated more mentally than in 4 days with my friends, on a beautiful beach, in a fun, frisky, florida town. i can actually begin to tolerate the thought of going back to school and making that final push for the end of the semester. for once, it seems possible that i will get through this year. despite the fact that my family is much like me - loud, critical, bossy, and enjoys taunting the younger generation - they are also generous, kind, giving, and ever present.

secondly - from now on - i have to make a concerted effort to protect my own mental and physical stability. if this means appearing to "back out" of things that i plan - that's ok.

thirdly - i have to think before i speak and learn to say no - both. if i can't say no - then i can never make myself stable. if i take on duty after duty, friend after friend, and activity after activity - i will lose sight of what i want to do and NEED to for myself. i also have to stop jumping at every exciting or enticing opportunity that rears its head. i need to think through before i commit to activities with friends, family, and otherwise.

fourth - i have to stop thinking about my own flaws and myself all the time. when my grandfather said i was self-centered, i thought about this (naturally) for a while - and i came to this conclusion. if self-centered means constant consideration of my own flaws and shortcomings - as well as constant wondering and worrying about how others are affected by my actions and words - and how they perceive me as a result - then yes - i am self-centered. if - however - self-centered means thinking only of myself and no one else -then my grandfather is wrong. i am constantly - at home, at school and in other areas of my life - trying to do things for others. and all of my self reflection and consideration is leading (hopefully) to one ultimate goal - to be a better person who is more considerate of my family and friends - as well as those who don't know me. i would also like to be a truly charitable person who strives to put others before herself. i work very hard in my marriage to think of what is good for my husband, to put his desires and needs above my own - especially when i know my desires are selfishly motivated. so - in some respects, i am self-centered - but in many, i am not.

vacation is so close to being over. i am eager - SO EAGER - to go home and see my husband. i also miss my kitties and birdies terribly. it is odd to be in houses like my grandparents - where there are no household deities running around and making messes. it's also odd not to have to clean. there is no cleaning to do here because of the plumbers making such a mess (replumbing the ENTIRE house)...i want to hug my husband desperately and to see him. i hate being away. i also miss my parroquettes - i miss having a little green deity on my shoulder to ride around and be my buddy. i'll be tired of it - i'm sure - the hassle and responsibility - within a month - but now i'm looking forward to returning to my happily chaotic and loving household. 7 animals and 2 people is a lot for one place...

i think i have summed up my vacation in as many words as possible. i wish i had something un-self centered to add. i could talk about terry schiavo - but i'm always at a loss for words when trying to discuss it. i start to stutter and get infuriated and teary at the same time. it's a travesty in our country - AMERICA - that this should be happening. if we're going to starve her - why not just starve retarded people too? what kind of quality of life can they possibly have? okay - i shouldn't talk about this...i get livid. someday, i'll start reading the news again - and reading more books - and i'll have something to talk about besides myself - art, politics, religion - etc. but you - faithful readers - will have to wait until summer for that stuff.

conclusion of the day: i have a good family - and i'm very very lucky in that.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

update on my life

i was told, by my loving grandfather (and i mean that loving sincerely, not sarcastically) - that i'm too personal on my blog. also - that i'm self-centered. so i asked him if he ever felt uncomfortable when reading my blog - that he was learning too much - or that i was embarrassing him. he said no. so, i don't know how he measures that i am saying too much. but as much as i love him - i can't agree. with the self-centered part, yes. i probably am. i maintain that i am no more self-centered than anyone else - that i say things that other people think but would never voice. but perhaps i'm wrong about that. who knows? i do know that i put myself out there - i consider myself an open book. i don't hide my life in hopes that other people won't hide from me. what's scary about honesty and openness?

at any rate, this has been a bad spring break. the point was to relax, recuperate, and regain spirit for the final push through this semester. i was remiss in deciding to go to ft lauderdale with my 2 good friends. while both are fun and GOOD friends, i don't share a lot of their natural go go go-ness. they wanted to do multiple things every day - shop, go to clubs, go places all the time. and i wanted to lie by a pool or sea and read, soak up healing sunshine, sleep, eat, and recuperate. and i really wanted to do it with jim. these desires were not to be realized. and i know it's my own fault. i - AGAIN - knew what i needed, and i didn't pursue it - but lulled myself into thinking that another activity could suffice. call me selfish, self-centered, whatever -- i needed to recuperate, especially given how much i truly loathe school right now. so, today - i left ft lauderdale (and left sharon there) and drove to my grandparents. and now, i feel relaxed finally. i went to dinner with my grandparents, saw my family some, and now i'm blogging, and i'm going to read some more. i'm reading three books - the gormenghast trilogy - which i probably won't finish before spring break ends - being 2000 pages, anywhere but here, and the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood. i will finish one, hopefully. sharon is taking the amtrak, courtesy of $47 of my money, to lakeland on saturday afternoon, and we will leave to go home from here then. late - won't get home till about 4 in the morning.

i have learned little on this trip - other than that i am a judgmental, critical, hard to please person who has very set ideas about what makes her happy and what she wants to do with herself. i have also learned that truly - other than your family - the rest of the world can go to hell. i hate to say that - but it's true. without a family, i would be lost. but then, i also wouldn't be who i am today. it is partly because of my family that i am who i am. i guess it's a great deal due to them.

i have also decided that the great writers and philosophers - artistole, sophocles, kant, tolstoy, neitzche - while being incredibly intelligent and eloquent - were not different people in any true sense. smart or dumb, rich or poor - the human experience is the same. what makes the philosophers and writers great is that they could (and still can) verbalize the internal human experience - those things that people less intellectually minded feel but can never explain. that is what separates them from us...

at least, i think.

i'll be home again on sunday morning, very early. then to easter dinner with my family in greeneville on sunday. my now married brother, andrew, leaves for kuwait on tuesday morning - so we're going out with a host of friends and family for dinner on monday night. the wedding went beautifully - with the help of sharon and alison, we did the reception up brilliantly. lavender and lace tableclothes, beautiful floral centerpieces, candles, lavender and pearl balloons, wisteria and hurricane glasses with candles on the mantlepiece -- and all the food. 2 veggies trays, a fruit tray, a cheese tray, 5 sandwich trays (roast beef, turkey, and chicken salad), chips, dip, 2 pasta salads (one creamy, one italian), lil smokeys bbqed in my special sauce for 2 days, punch, and wine. i think it was a smashing success. i also put together a wedding cake - and with alison's expert help - made an impromptu flower topper (since the one they bought kept falling over). when i get home, there are many pictures to post.

i guess that's all to report. i'm sure i have more self-centered stuff to talk about - like my complete and utter mental wipeout last wednesday night - panic attack, the works, and the fact that i missed a test (in physiology) as a result. and let me finish that off by saying i have NEVER - in undergrad or grad school - missed a test for any reason. ANY reason. but that's another story. and it might even be too personal for me to talk about. shocking, i know.

kisses to all that read my blog. raspberries to you that dont!

this is going to be a downer

sometimes, it's really really really really really really really really really really really really really hard to make myself get out of bed and go to class. it's not because i don't like vet school or because i don't want to be a vet. it's because vet school seems designed to crush your spirit. quiz test quiz test test quiz - day in day out. there is never a moment when you can really heave a sigh and feel relieved that something is finished. the minute one test is over, it's time to start serious prep for another. it feels like being hit repeatedly with a giant mental sledgehammer. there is no reprieve. and there's really no sense in even complaining about it - because what does complaining accomplish? i've seen so many friends and acquaintances leaking tears this week...
yesterday was a bad day. i felt that if i spent one more second inside UT, i would lose it. and - of course - we had anatomy lab till 5p - and then clean up crew. i tried so hard to get out of the mental funk, but by the time 2p rolled around, i was shaking with the effort of not crying. it NEVER stops. the stress NEVER goes away. there isn't a single second where SCHOOL and STUDYING and PHYSIOLOGY, ANATOMY, EPIDEMIOLOGY - and my other 5 classes aren't lurking in the back of my mind - goading me - taunting me. yes, i realize that i am losing perspective. but it's very hard to keep perspective when you spend all day EVERY day in the same place, with the same people, doing the same things - lecture, lab, lunch, lab, lecture, test, lab lecture test lab ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
i'm going to have dinner with some friends. of course, we will study for our epidemiology midterm (tomorrow) over dinner. so it won't be a relaxing dinner. of course.

Monday, February 21, 2005

school update

class got rip-roarin' today, after a week of able. it was a loooooooooooong day. class from 9a-5:15p. my group is clean-up crew in the gross anatomy lab this week, so we were stuck at school pretty late. i guess i don't have to say that it sucked. at any rate, we got our grades back for our first micro anatomy test. i made an 85. i was pretty happy with that - considering i studied for all of 7 hours (really for 12, but i goofed off a bit of that, i have to say)...

at this point, i have 3As and 2 Bs. i have three other classes in which i haven't had a test or quiz yet, so those grades are still undetermined. i haven't much else to say. i'm not ready to be back in class or studying. i want ables to last forever. why can't vet school be one giant able?

Saturday, February 19, 2005


today was a nice change of pace. i volunteered to give a lecture to boy scouts to help them get the "veterinary medicine" merit badge. today was the big merit badge jamboree or whatnot, so we met at school at 7 am (myself, deb (a 1st year with me) and kara and jaime (2 second year students) - wait i just lost track of my parentheses. anyway - we drove up to **insert local college here** and did a 5 hour presentation/demo/hands on learning experience for about 18 scouts and troop leaders. it was great. i had ceased to believe that any respectful and attentive and mannered children existed. i was starting to buy into the whole 'kids are getting worse and worse' mindset. but these kids were quiet, they were respectful, they were interested and attentive, and they wrote on our evaluations as "counselors" that they were interested in what we had to say and that they appreciated the time we took to come and teach them. these were kids from about 10 years old to 16 years old. it was very satisfying and a valuable reminder of the things that exist in vet med outside going to class and lab. my presentation was an hour of the allotted time and centered around anatomy of companion and farm animals. i did an "incredible" job. not my words. the words of my 2 fellow students and the troop leader. i'm trying to be modest here, but i am a great public speaker and i love to teach. i guess i know what i'll wind up doing once vet school is finished. it was really fun. we took my 3 legged cat as an animal for the kids to practice physical exams on as well as jaime's dog, dax. both were immaculately behaved and the kids loved using the stethoscopes, otoscopes, and ophthalmoscopes. i think we were a hit.

at any rate, i got home at about 5, so it's been a bit of a long day, since i got up at 6:15 - after going to bed at 2am. i also got to talk to my brother on IM today for about an hour, which was great. i haven't been able to talk to him in a while. i hear wedding bells in the near future - that's all i'm saying.

friends are coming over within the hour to watch a movie, and i need a shower. shalom.
today was a nice change of pace. i volunteered to give a lecture to boy scouts to help them get the "veterinary medicine" merit badge. today was the big merit badge jamboree or whatnot, so we met at school at 7 am (myself, deb (a 1st year with me) and kara and jaime (2 second year students) - wait i just lost track of my parentheses. anyway - we drove up to **insert local college here** and did a 5 hour presentation/demo/hands on learning experience for about 18 scouts and troop leaders. it was great. i had ceased to believe that any respectful and attentive and mannered children existed. i was starting to buy into the whole 'kids are getting worse and worse' mindset. but these kids were quiet, they were respectful, they were interested and attentive, and they wrote on our evaluations as "counselors" that they were interested in what we had to say and that they appreciated the time we took to come and teach them. these were kids from about 10 years old to 16 years old. it was very satisfying and a valuable reminder of the things that exist in vet med outside going to class and lab. my presentation was an hour of the allotted time and centered around anatomy of companion and farm animals. i did an "incredible" job. not my words. the words of my 2 fellow students and the troop leader. i'm trying to be modest here, but i am a great public speaker and i love to teach. i guess i know what i'll wind up doing once vet school is finished. it was really fun. we took my 3 legged cat as an animal for the kids to practice physical exams on as well as jaime's dog, dax. both were immaculately behaved and the kids loved using the stethoscopes, otoscopes, and opthalmoscopes. i think we were a hit.

at any rate, i got home at about 5, so it's been a bit of a long day, since i got up at 6:15 - after going to bed at 2am. i also got to talk to my brother on IM today for about an hour, which was great. i haven't been able to talk to him in a while. i hear wedding bells in the near future - that's all i'm saying.

friends are coming over within the hour to watch a movie, and i need a shower. shalom.

Friday, February 18, 2005

wedding, then florida bound

my brother, andrew, is getting married on sunday at 3:30 to my good friend rhiannon. i introduced them...and now they're getting married. like dee and alison. i have a high ratio of friend to family marriages so far. at any rate, i'm about to leave for greeneville to go and help prepare for the wedding. my responsibilities include all the food (40 people) and the flowers (i'm making the bouquets and corsages). on monday, i'm leaving (with sharon) for ft lauderdale to stay with our friend, jess. she's flying down tomorrow. we're going to lie on the beach, drink pina coladas, and try to forget that vet school exists for a while

i would love to write more, but i don't have time presently. so, i'll leave it at this...i have mucho to say. but i'll have to wait.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

i made a 91.5 on my virology midterm. that accounts for 50% of my grade. i should be perfectly happy with that. i'm not though. sadly. i never achieve my best. i feel like i could have made a perfect (or nearly perfect) grade...anyway. i have no reason to complain. many of my peers are struggling, and i have all As and Bs. that's nothing to sniff at in medical school (and yes, vet school does count as medical school...except i'll make waaaaay less money when i'm finished).

i'm proud of myself. i've managed not to stress too much this week. i actually relaxed enough to read a book. it was a frivolous, fun, somewhat sophomoric read - 'the boyfriend school' - by sarah bird. i thoroughly - and i do mean thoroughly - enjoyed it. today was the perfect time to finish reading it, because i had cramps - which are a marvelous excuse to lie on the couch on a beautiful day with my heating pad and book. no guilt.

money is so tight around here that i feel like the proverbial bloodless turnip. PCC, being the wonderful institution of learning that it is, withholds the january paycheck until the end of february. the justification for this? i haven't the foggiest, nor does jim. just something they do. every year. too bad we didn't know about it until i checked the bank balance and saw that it was $60. talk about disconcerting. thankfully, we had enough cash lying around to pad any possible rubber checks... i'm glad that jim did the calling of the people at PCC because i might have lost it and yelled at them. jim gets paid peanuts as it is, has no respect, has a superior who spells please palese (or something similarly atrocious), and no long term prospects. there are adjuncts at PCC who have been such for 7 years. and still no full time position. needless to say, jim's a bit down in the mouth right now. he's teaching 6 days a week for practically no money, he has no spare time to enjoy his hobbies, and he isn't "going anywhere" - in his words. i'm trying to be supportive, but jim's pretty private about his depression. he is planning on starting back to get his phd in the fall. i'm glad for that, because i think earning his phd is what he really wants. and he really does love teaching, which he'll never do seriously at the college level unless he gets another degree. i'm used to being dirt poor. if it weren't for paying off the credit card and buying the car, i would be really stressed. but with those worries attended to ... i can deal with the lack of liquid assets.

so, i suppose i have randomly rambled enough. i am going to find out exactly what the phrase "cells arranged in packets and oriented along a fibrovascular stroma" means for able tomorrow. then i'm going to watch sex and the city by myself (jim's at school till 10:30ish tonight). ciao.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

i'm getting personal (too much?)

i hate saying 'i'm depressed' - it sounds so absolutely trite. but i am. i don't feel well physically or mentally. it gets harder and harder to go to class. though my grades are still good. i feel like a terrible class president, as i skip more class than anybody - though i do still arrange all our events and make important class announcements. i'm not a total slacker. today was a good example though. i skipped my 8am class (epidemiology) because i tend to sleep in there anyway (as do the other 10 people that show up - if they aren't studying for another class), made it to my 9 and 10am. then i left and went to the library to nap through my 11am class and lunch. i set my phone alarm for 12:45, so that i would wake up in time for virology. i woke up at 1:21, realized i had set the clock for am - and cursed myself. i dragged myself to the 2oclock class - CCE - then home. so, out of 6 classes today - i made it to half. that's pretty bad. and i've been doing that A LOT lately. odd that it's not adversely affecting my grades. i'm doing better than last semester - when i NEVER skipped class. i have an A in anatomy. this time, last semester, i had a middling C. anyway, i came home and slept more. until 7ish, when J. brought dinner home for me. and now, i'm here - at the computer, typing out notes for our physiology repro exam (on thurs). i haven't studied enough for it - by any stretch - but i haven't made lower than a B on anything so far - so i feel okay about bombing this. i actually don't even care.

it's not just school that's dragging me down. i just feel hopeless about everything in general right now. alienated from the world. it happens periodically with me, though this one seems to be an unusually durable dark cloud. i'm sure everyone goes through these times, when they just want to sleep a lot, stay home, watch movies, and do nothing. vet school doesn't allow for that - although i'm doing a pretty good imitation of it. it's really a shame that i'm not even remotely excited about spring break. i could care less about that too - to be truthful. i don't even want to go to florida now, i just want to stay home. but i can't. sharon is depending on me for a ride down (jessica is flying out on saturday). speaking of jess, she's been supportive - trying to get me to go to dinner with her, offering a sympathetic ear. she's really sick, too. we had to cut our phone conversation short because she was coughing so awfully...and somehow - i don't have it yet. other than mind-numbing headaches periodically (every night this week) - i don't have the rest of it (coughing, sneezing, nose running).

i guess i'll stop whining now. i just wish i could get out of this funk. i love life too much to feel this bad - and yet - that doesn't help in the slightest. i still feel like utter and total doom and gloom.

conclusion of the day: it's good to have friends and family who will listen to you whine.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

good times girly night.

in honor of my quickly fading youth, i decided to throw a slumber party - complete with bowling, bad 80s movies, and sleeping bags. i can't remember the last slumber party i attended - (or held - for that matter). it was so much fun (as the pictures show). i met up with about 20 my girl and guy friends last night - here at the house. we then went to cosmic bowling at AMF down the road. we bowled for 2 hours, drank a lot of beer, and ate a lot of greasy bowling alley food. then, the guys were sent home - and the girls came back to my place for movies, pizza, and giggling. we spent the first part of the night listening to really bad 80s music (that i cherish) - and teaching each other dances we could remember - like the electric slide and the tush push. we just hung out, drank wine, and talked. it was so - - - like being 10 again. except for the wine. then, when everyone was inebriated by various means and to various degrees, we bedded down on to floor of my living room with our sleeping bags and blankies and pillows - and watched 'pretty in pink' and 'the lost boys.' we were up till 4:30am. we only slept till 8:30 this morning, then we sat in our sleeping bags and talked for 2 hours. at around 10:30, i crawled from the warm haven of the floor and made my fabulous french toast for my 9 overnight guests.

i had a great time.

i always have party anxiety - that no one will show up, that it won't be fun. but these people - people i've only known for a semester and a half - are already like a family to me. there's no uncomfortable-ness at all when i hang out with them. vet school kind of forces you onto each other and sometimes - those friends are all you have. especially when you spend 15-19 hours a day at school - and see them more than your husband, your real family, or your pets. i'm really different from most of them - as far as the way i think and the things i enjoy doing - but i still find them to be such good friends ... vet school has already taught me a lot about my own judgemental nature. i'm learning to let go of it -slowly. i guess that's all to report here. i need to start studying for my physiology exam.

1:30am, french toast, and me time

i spend a great deal of time beating myself up for my flaws (that is, i spend the time i'm not studying/in class/stressing about school/cleaning up after the birds). i very rarely admit to myself or to others that i have good qualities. so i am going to talk about one good quality i have right now - and the consequences of it.

i do a lot of good things for people. i'm there for my friends at school when they need me. i try to help them with the emotional burden of school. i listen when people want to talk. i buy my friends lunch when i have money. i volunteer for different opportunities at school because i'm excited and want to help out. i'm class president and sincerely care about whether or not i'm doing a good job - and whether people like me and think i'm doing a good job for them. and i just realized the effect this has on my life. this week, we had 3 important exams. each was hard. it was a very strenuous week mentally. on top of that, everyone was feeling the pressure, even people that normally don't seem to stress much about school. many of my classmates (including myself) cried or manifested stress in some other way - many of them, my friends. by the time friday rolled around, i had spent a total of probably 40 hours studying in the library and about 20 listening to friends stress (and stressing a great deal myself). i was mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted. i looked forward - intensely - to my couch, the TV, and some junk food. but alas, it was not to be. a close friend's birthday was that night (friday). so, after getting home from anatomy lab at around 4pm, i laid down in a stupor on the couch for about an hour. then i dragged myself - by some unknowable, unfathomable amount of will - off the couch and into the shower. and i went to my friend's party. i bowed out gracefully at 10:30ish, when everyone was just hammered enough to think it wasn't odd that i left early. i went home, wanting to lie on the couch - watch some tv and be mindless. but i was so fatigued that i barely made it through half an hour of sex and the city before dragging into bed. saturday, i got up at 11a, allowing myself to sleep in a bit. i then cleaned for the next 4 hours. after that, i had told dee and alison that jim and i would come over, watch band of brothers, and eat dinner. i wanted to stay home. i went so far as to ask alison if she would be disappointed. she said she would. and i hate disappointing people. so we went and had dinner.

and then, midway through, i realized something. i do a damned lot for others - my friends, my birds, my husband, my family. i am constantly afraid of being selfish, of hurting someone's feelings. so, instead of doing what i knew i needed to do, which was lying on the couch with junk food and sex and the city, i went and did the things i felt like i was responsible for doing. i wanted to see dee and alie very much, but i wanted to be alone with myself - to mentally recuperate -more. so i told them i needed me time and left after dinner. i felt bad. i still do, to some extent - but i came home, curled up on the couch with sjp (for the uninitiated that's sarah jessica parker, of sex and the city - in the future SatC) and sat mindlessly enjoying entertainment for 2 hours. i made myself my fantastic french toast and just sat. with myself. and it felt good.

i have to do that more often.

Friday, February 11, 2005

midterm over and done with

yay. i just finished my virology midterm. the studying was long and tedious - about 11 hours yesterday and about 11 hours the day before that. it's been a very, very long week. it seemed to last an eternity. but next week is ABLEs week! for those of you who don't know - ABLEs week is "catch up" week. well - not really - but we try. ABLE stands for application based learning exercises. we are placed in a small group for a week, given a single medical case, and we develop learning issues, do research, and finally come to a consensus on treatment, disease, and everything else. it's supposed to be intensive - but most people coast that week. a lot of people don't even study during ABLEs. i - however - have so much catching up to do that i will be studying parasitology, writing an article on metabolic bone disease for an article competition, and working on a presentation to give to cub scouts about being a vet (to help them earn merit badges). ciao!

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

how do i hate thee vet school? let me count the ways.

i would feel utterly alone and distressed right now if it weren't for the fact that all my classmates feel the same as i do. this semester is punishment like no other. and for what we are being punished, i am unsure. for getting into vet school? for wanting to be good doctors? it is sheer awfulness. we had a test on monday, which i left feeling GREAT about it - and wound up making an 83.5 on. we had a quiz today - which was so completely poorly written that the class nearly mutinied after it was over. there were actual outcries of anger and disgust over the teacher and his methods (or lack therof) of teaching/testing. and to top it all off, on friday, we have a midterm in virology. yes, half of our grade is going to be decided in one test. one test that i have hardly prepared for. it's really depressing.

last night was interesting. i had a ton of studying to do. so what did i do? i went home, had dinner, took a nap, woke up, felt so miserly that i actually went back to sleep and didn't get up for the night. so i got 12 hours of sleep last night. and no studying. i feel terrible. but rested.

alright, class was cancelled today (anatomy) - so i am going to sit here in this badly lit, clausterphobic room with my two friends and study virology. love to everyone - keep me and my struggles in your thoughts. i need lots of positive thoughts!

Sunday, February 6, 2005

ugh. i just spent 9 hours cooped up in a fluorescently lit room with 2 whiteboards, excessive amounts of dry erase markering, and 2 of my friends. all in preparation for my first anatomy teste tomorrow. that typo was accidental - but it's so pun-ny that i'm going to leave it!
the test is written, which depresses me no end. i - in general - score about 10 points less on written than on laboratory practicals. i hate written anatomy tests!!! what really stinks is that we have 4 hours of lecture, lunch, then the test. it's going to be (another) long day. but no lab!!

i went to dee and alison's last night with jim. we had dinner with them, then i settled down to study while everyone else watched band of brothers. it was nice to get out of the house and away from the same desk, chair, and lamp. i actually studied for about 3 hours and accomplished more than i expected to. taking the hint, i went to the library today, instead of staying home. again, i think i got much more accomplished there than at home. it's so sad when your whole weekend is either spent sleeping or studying. i didn't even get to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful day.

jess went to the park with her dogs - to let them roam for a bit, before settling down at the library with me. she was depressed to see all the people lolling around on blankets, having picnics, playing frisbee, and looking relaxed and happy. we vet students all look blank-faced, haggard, sleep-deprived, and pasty. ah. vet school. such joy.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

3 am and bleary eyed

why am i still awake? this has been the week from hell - with no reprieve in sight. and it's 3 am, and i'm still up. after not napping today - and doing a full 4 hours of lecture 2 hours lab (a short day!)...and getting my step and doing aerobics and dinner and 3 hours of sex and the city with alison...

i've had such a bad week. school has sapped me mentally, physically, and emotionally. i feel like a short-circuiting robot. wires and gadgets and fuses all exposed and sparking frantically. i'm trying so damned hard to keep it all in perspective. to take it one freaking day at a time and to realize that my life is incomparably rich and easy. but i have an anatomy test on monday that i am nowhere near ready for - a phys quiz on wednesday that i have not prepared for yet, and a virology midterm on friday. how in the name of all that is holy can it be midterm already? is that just a phrase they stick in front of the 1st test in a class that only has 2?

today was fun, after school got out. i drove a friend to west in my new car ... and ran out of gas on the strip - in midafternoon traffic. thank god we were 50 feet from a gas station. that was fun though. jim, alison, dee, jess, and sharon all joined me for dinner at cracker barrel, which was a thoroughly enjoyable time- and then alison and i had a semi- heart to heart regarding life, love, and how absolutely screwed up woman our in comparison to men. sometimes, i wish i'd been born a man - it seems so much easier. except for the random erections in inappropriate places - being a man is fairly uncomplicated.

i can't think straight now and will probably edit this post in the morning (*ahem* morning on sat being 1pm).

peace out yo

Friday, February 4, 2005

something amazing!

today was a reminder anew why i chose vet school. a very powerful reminder. we took our parasitology midterm, which only seemed to go mediocre, and finished around 9:30. after all of our exams, we have a free hour before our next lecture. jess and i decided to wander down into the clinic. we went into the large animal and stumbled upon a cow in the aisle (in a cow stock). next to it, a surgeon was gloving up. so jess and i hung around to watch.

to our delight and utter amazement, we were about to witness a cow c-section. the surgeon made an incision (tiny - for the fact that a 150 pound calf was coming out of it!) and explained the layers of muscle he was cutting through. the whole incision was bright red, blood dripping - it sounds gory, but it was really beautiful. and then - the doctor sticks his arm into the incision, up to the shoulder, and starts fishing around. and what does he pull out but 2 baby cow knees, wrapped in amnion. then, with the assistance of a 4th year student, they wrested a 150 pound bull calf out of that cow (who was awake and standing the whole time). they held him upside down and shook him to clear the nostrils, then put him on a stretcher. they told me and jess to grab towels and help rub him down and clean him off. he was alert and slimy and oh so cute! it was the most exciting thing that's happened to me in vet school so far. i was thrilled to be there. i felt this surge of excitement and -- i can't explain it - exhiliration maybe? - when i got to rub down the calf and feel the warmth of an animal that - 5 secs ago - wasn't technically "in" the world. i felt mental clarity and foresight for the first time since i've started school. i saw where i was going and why. it was completely mind blowing. i feel so much better since this morning.

so i got to 'assist' with a c-section today. i even got bright red blood on my jeans. i can't decide if i should wash them or leave the stains in. they kind of serve to remind me what it's all about.

anyway, other than that - some more happy news. i found ME again. you're probably wondering what that means. i'll enlighten you.

i started keeping this blog at the beginning of this semester. this semester, thus far, has been scary and stressful. i didn't feel like this in the fall. i was happy, content, and fairly stress free. i was enjoying vet school - heck, i was just enjoying being in real school again - and everything was great. when i started this time around, i was just scared. that's the only way i can think to describe it. freaking scared. i don't know why. and it just went downhill from there. i lost all perspective, lost everything sane about myself. i felt like i was perched on the edge of some great steep slope - and that one slip would send me tumbling to the bottom, amid a pile of Fs and Ds. i now realize that is not going to happen. i'm smart, i'm dedicated, and i'm a good student. i'm not going to flunk out of vet school. i have calmed down, regained my perspective - regrouped you might say. and happy, sane (debatable?) me is back. hopefully for good.

Thursday, February 3, 2005

grade update for interested parties

after consulting my "gradebook" - i am revising my grade status.

Parasitology: A
Virology: A
Gross Anatomy: A
Epidemiology: A
Physiology: B
Micro Anatomy: B

yay me. of course, i'm working harder than i ever have in my life. and grades aren't supposed to "matter" in vet school. can't seem to get past that hangup.

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

gratuitous posting?

i don't know when posting gets out of hand. twice a day? 37 times a day? hard to say. maybe i should push the limits and find out. on the other hand, as far as i can tell, the only person reading my blog is dee. and jim, when i force him, too. and jessie of course. okay. nevermind. i have no point. hey people, make comments so that i know you're there!

i've just spent 6 hours in a stationary position, making notecards for anatomy and parasitology. it was actually fun - arts and craft-like. i even used a glue stick. and my notecards are so pretty! yes, it might be busywork, but i actually learned quite a bit by drawing diagrams and coloring my dissection book. sounds silly, but it's true. i swear it on the vet school. jim is still up, probably waiting on me to retire. from my vantage point (right next to him), he appears to be playing a computer game with a main character that is a giant eagle in a spacesuit. i don't know.

i want to talk about something besides school. but i can't think of anything. so i'll talk about school. good news. i've been accepted as a COE (center of excellence) student for this summer. that means i'm paired with a team of doctors, and i spend the summer working closely with them on whatever research they are currently doing. i am paired with a team that is examining nutrition in birds as related to immune function. i wish i knew more about it, but i have no clue. i know that i will drawing blood from birds (some parrots, mostly poultry and pigeons). i'm really thrilled. plus, it's a guaranteed (yes! paid!) job for the summer. AND it looks great on my resume, gives me experience, and helps expand my horizons in general. i'm pretty excited.

i'm not any closer to deciding about the army. the more i think about it, the more i'm tempted to do it. but i'm scared of commitment. especially to the US government.

why can't i talk about anything but school? politics? art? literature? oh yes, because those things have ceased to exist for me. i couldn't begin to tell anyone what's going on politically except that the pope is ill and ...... condoleeza rice took powell's place (but ain't that old news?).

ok, i'm going to bed.

yay for communicable diseases

i am happy to report that i made a 95% on my epidemiology exam. i was QUITE pleased with myself, i have to admit. especially considering that i studied (cumulatively) for about 6 hours AND skipped about 50% of the lectures. it's hard to be such a genius :-) no - i'm kidding. if anything, vet school does not make me feel like a genius - although - i am doing stellarly (is that a word?) this semester. i have 3 As now and 3 Bs and 1 B+.
in defense of my good grades, i spent a great deal of last semester feeling stupid. repeatedly.

today was a nice day. i feel so relaxed and good right now. even though my parasitology midterm is looooooooming (friday morning), i feel pretty mellow. this morning was rough though. it took an act of willpower that i thought far beyond myself to get out of bed. after snoozing a RECORD 7 times, at 7:30, i dragged myself from bed (i have to leave by 7:40 - at the latest - to be on time). i managed to scrub the sleep from my eyes and grab stuff - and make it to school. only to find that our 8 am class was cancelled because the prof is ill. i was a wee depressed about that - after struggling so much to get up. then i saw my epidemiology grade, which brought my spirits up. our 11a class was cancelled today too - though i knew about that beforehand. so we only had 2 classes this morning. i made it through 1 - yawning my head off. my teacher even told me not to stare at the clock during lecture. i was a wee annoyed. at least i was conscious. there is a girl in our class that sits in the FRONT row and slumps over every single day. i was just clock watching. anyway, after that class, i ditched and went home to sleep. i got a nice 2 hour nap in, before going back to school for our anatomy lab practical "quiz" - 11 questions covering about 300 possible specimens. a bit daunting. i think i did well, though. tomorrow will reveal the truth.

there is absolutely nothing else to talk about with me. i find that life has narrowed to several things: school, studying, bird care, cleaning up my disgusting house, and having brief conversations with my husband.

and now i'm helping plan a wedding.