Wednesday, March 30, 2005

further proof that vet school has sucked up my life

i don't post much unless i'm actually in school (which i'm not now, as this is ABLEs week) that's just more evidence that my life centers around school. i'm working to change that, though. my grades are great - they don't have to be perfect, right? i made an 83 on my last physiology test (the one that i went and took later in the daybecause of my "incident"). that pretty much solidifies my B...not that i can complain, considering i only studied the night before for the test. at any rate, i'm working to be more relaxed, to enjoy school and life more, to stop driving myself so hard. i've got some weird perfectionist tendencies buried beneath my less perfectionist ones.

i don't feel much better mentally. still kind of dazed and confused - and not always sure what day it actually is. i still feel like time is flying - and i do mean FLYING - by me. days blend into weeks, weeks into months --

i read the divine secrets of the yaya sisterhood over break (i finished it last night). i thought it royally inhaled... (sucked). it was melodramatic, badly written, and completely ... phony. the way people talked in the book - well, i could never see myself or anyone i know interacting in that manner. maybe i missed the point or something, but i thought it was a crappy book. i expected it to be about female empowerment and friendship - but it smacked of maudlin, borderline lesbianism. i don't know. i just didn't enjoy it much. and i fully expected to. i wish i had read something else. what, i'm not sure - perhaps renal physiology...the test for which is looming only 2 weeks in the distance?

i went to dinner tonight at rhiannon and andrew's. it's weird to think of rhiannon's house as my brother's now, too. i don't think the whole marriage thing has quite sunk in yet. too surreal when considering this entire semester. almost like it didn't happen - pictures to prove it nonwithstanding. andrew flies back to kuwait tomorrow for the next 8-12 months. i'm trying not to already start worrying. dinner was nice. andrew cooked hamburgers for us.

well, i've procrastinated enough. i need to do something related to actual school. and no, ABLEs does not count.

Monday, March 14, 2005

new motivation

i have decided that - if i'm going to put my life out here on display - for everyone to read on a whim - i'm going to have to get something out of it. hence - my 'conclusion of the day' - i am going to learn something from every day - whether it be a frivolous fact (cows have no upper teeth) or something deep and meaningful. no more wasting my blog only to talk about my own pecadillos and annoyances (which right now include the fact that my toes are being attacked by a vicious african grey:)

so, what have i learned today? many things actually. i'm very emotional when i'm having PMS, people in the world are mostly stupid, and i really really don't like vet school. i'd go so far as to say i hate it. please, no one email me or post that it's a bad idea to put that information in my blog. i do - i hate vet school. i hate going into that same building every day- sitting in the same room - doing the same things. life has begun to seem very very surreal and continuous. i find the simplest things hard to remember. i was having my hair cut today, and i couldn't - for my own LIFE - remember what i had for lunch. it's like my brain is short circuiting constantly. my days blend together into one disharmonious rhythm. i ride through the day like a piece of kelp in the ocean - no more aware of the vastness around me than that piece of kelp. i occasionally surface from my mind numbed-ness and realize that whole days have passed me by - and that i can't remember doing anything terribly worthwhile with them. i feel down constantly - when i can let myself think about things for more than 5 minutes snatched between classes and lab. i hate vet school. hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it. does that mean i'm in the wrong place? i truly don't know the answer to that question. maybe spring break will help me come to a conclusion on that. a whole week of true relaxation.

i had one of those mini furiously angry episodes today that prompted me to bum a cigarette off a friend and go smoke in moody, sulky silence. sometimes, i really don't think that i can do it. it eclipses the joy i take in the truly good things about vet school - learning, experiencing seeing and knowing things that other people don't.

i'm so frustrated and angry right now. i despise school. i don't want to go anymore. don't get me wrong, i'm not going to up and quit - too much money, time, and heartache invested. why can't people just be nice? i try very hard to be nice. but the world seems so eager to condemn -- as fast as possible.

why is it so hard to love oneself? because anyone who knows themselves truly and deeply (as no other person can) - knows what there is to hate existing within? i don't know the answer to that question. i do know that i need to stop caring so much about every single person's perception of me. i need to realize that people are people - stupid and mean and evil (often) and sometimes kind and generous and thoughtful. it makes me sad that so much time in my life is wasted on thinking about myself. granny ashe is in the hospital - that's important. that's worthy of thinking about. not some stupid, immature people who want to take offense at the slightest provocation.

so my conclusion of the day:
there are more important things in life than peoples' perceptions of you. MUCH more important things. you just have to sit down and remember them when you start to get bogged down in the stupidity and small-mindedness of life.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

i should be happy

it's the weekend, i have great grades, a wonderful, supportive husband, and everything i need (and some stuff i don't). but i'm not. i don't know why. vet school is such a ---- what? i'm at a loss to describe it. it's mentally ------- i really don't know how to say it. i'll try this. i feel like the diaphragm on a microscope sometimes - you can narrow it down and narrow it down until you are closing out all but a tiny fraction of light - a bright, hard speck. or you can open it wide - to let as much light pour in as possible. i feel like a microscope diaphragm - by the time friday rolls around, i want to be as closed and focused as possible. i want to be with jim - at home - and away from the world. i find interacting with people so much - on top of all else that is demanded of me - to be physically and emotionally exhausting. by the time friday rolls around, i have become so paranoid about my flaws and shortcomings as a person - so convinced that no one truly likes me or cares about me (other than jim and my family) - that i sort of shut down emotionally. i hate myself on fridays - i guess that's what it boils down to in the end. and it's absurd. not that i should hate myself - but that i spend this much time thinking about myself. but in the end - aren't we all inside ourselves all the time - with nowhere else to go? in the end - no one can truly understand us - because we are ourselves - and no one else... is that coherent? i cannot put my finger on the source of my unhappiness. i could attribute it to the lack of sunlight, of a balanced diet, of exercise and normal social interaction. but i think it's beyond that. i think milton had it right - the mind is its own place - capable of making heaven or hell right there in its grey and convoluted confines.

i think i have some weird view of the world that isn't shared by the people with whom i spend most of my time. i am constantly and frighteningly aware of the fact that a semi truck could come along and clobber me at any moment. i never allow myself the luxury of feeling safe. being at home, in my house, can lull me into complacency and safety. but there is no place that is safe from death - for no walls can keep him out. so i live with the ever present specter of my own mortality lingering nearby. as a result, i try to embrace the moments as they come - to take true and full delight in the simple pleasures of a good life. and yet, vet school seems to be crushing me down under a huge weight - regardless of this constant awareness of death. it's almost like vet school is sucking vitality out of me. that by doing this, i am shortening my life by years and years. we joke a lot - at school - that by the time we are fourth years, we will be grey and wrinkly and hunched over and bitter. it's only funny when there are other vet students around. and yet, when i'm alone, i start to wonder if it's slightly true. maybe i'm being overdramatic and i should stop whining. after all, i'm mentally capable of doing almost whatever i want with my life. many people have dreams that can never be attained. and all i do is whine.

in the end, i guess it boils down to my simple inability to get out of my own head. to turn down the internal monologue to a manageable and more friendly level. i think that donna tartt (in 'the secret history') had it right "It is a terrible thing to learn as child that one is a being separate from all the world, that no one and no thing hurts along with one...Even more terrible, as we grow older, to learn that no person, no matter how beloved, can ever truly understand us. Our own selves make us most unhappy..." it's depressing. but it's true. that's why i hate friday nights. at least during the week, my mind is submerged in the more mundane details of living a life - getting laundry done, studying for tests. on the weekends, i am free to roam internally - focus on all the unanswered questions, the flaws, the annoyances, the short - to be totally and completely self-involved. god, sometimes i get tired of hearing myself.

Wednesday, March 9, 2005


i think i'm getting sick. one of my close friends, sharon, has been hacking and coughing for three days. i figured it was inevitable. but i feel downright cruddy today. that - and i'm pmsing something fierce!

we had our first anatomy laboratory practical today. it went much better than i expected it to, though i still don't think i made an A. i'm pretty sure i pulled a B. i felt moderately good about it when i left. there was only one specimen that absolutely threw me for a loop - it turned out to be something that was very badly pinned, as far as i can tell (at least half the people in my class seemed to have missed it - plus it was the one question that EVERYONE clustered around, staring at in confusion). for those who are interested, it was the thoracic duct - which handles lymph drainage in the body. i'm sure everyone is fascinated to know that. we should get the tests back tomorrow or friday, as the prof is a very speedy grader. we're also supposed to get back our parasitology midterms tomorrow. i don't feel so hot about that one. i think i made a B or C. hard to say. we'll see. no use prognosticating?

i have found a place to sleep at school! the ag library (which is directly across from our classroom) has these deep square red chairs with soft cushions. they are right next to the windows. if you push two together facing each other, you make a sort of deep bed/crib. i fit down in it nicely, though i have to curl my legs up. it's fantastic. with my cell phone alarm clock, sweatshirt pillow, and jacket blankie, i have a great place to sneak away when i need to catch some zzzzs. in phys yesterday, i fell asleep, which is very unlike me. so, instead of embarrassing myself in micro, i went to the library and slept through micro and lunch. it was GREAT! i feel like a real vet student now - staying at school till 12am, sleeping in the library, eating and breathing school school school. actually, now that i say it, it's kind of depressing. ah well. after our anatomy practical today, i came home and lay in a stupor on the couch. i really don't feel good.

jim has been mister handy today. the washing machine broke on saturday, which was distressing. but jim took it apart, looked at some confusing metal parts, diagnosed a problem, ordered a new part - and whaddya know? i now have my washer back. he also has been working on the soobie all day - new transmission filter, tire rod - the works. i married such a handy guy to have around :).... (that's drool coming out of my smiley).

little bit of birdie trauma. titus somehow got out of his cage yesterday while i was at school. to amuse himself, he climbed on carnegie's cage, grabbed his toes, and proceeded to try and rip them off. so carnegie has 2 deep gouges on his toes. neither is suture-worthy, but i have to give him trisulfa for a week to fight off infection, clean his toes, and take him back to make sure there was no nervous and/or muscular damage. he also is missing some tail feathers and his dignity. so he had to go to school with me today for a doctor visit. thankfully, my hero - dr jones - is on clinics this month, so he didn't charge me to check carnegie out and give me some meds. there are so perks to being a vet student.

i guess that sums it all up right now. i'm having a slumber party this weekend. it should be really noisy and fun - as there are going to be about 13 girls crammed into my house.

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

i've decided that i am definitely bipolar. i have my giddy highs and my down in the depths of hell lows. not really bipolar - mind you - i don't believe in medicating or anything - but vet school is making me crazy. today was a bad monday. i got up feeling 'off' - then i spent all day at school from 8-5. i got dinner with jim for about 45 mins, then went back to school. where i stayed until 11:30p - cloistered in the reeking, fluorescently lit anatomy lab. i then came home, showered, checked email, and studied until now, 2am. i am going to bed. finally. all this preparation is for my anatomy lab practical on wednesday. it promises to be daunting. 25 questions on dissected and plastinated specimens of the horse (mainly), cow, pig, sheep, and goat. the 25 questions cover 120 pages of material, about 40 pages of notes, and about 20 pages of diagrams. i'm trying not to hyperventilate...keep perspective...and whatnot. but today it didn't help. you know things are bad when you cry before 11am on a monday morning. jim came to get the soobie - so he could work on the cv joints or something - and sat in an ables room in the library while i had a mini-nervous breakdown. money is bad right now, thanks to the thankless work jim does at pellissippi and my absolute inability to have a job and go to vet school. it really sucks. the good news is that - since i'm a vet student - i can get more *YAY MORE SCHOOL DEBT* financial aid. about $6000 more. so those of you that we owe money to - look for it in Tminus 2 weeks

i can't think of much else to relate. i did have a fairly relaxing weekend. i went riding with a friend at steve/staceys. i rode henry, the same horse i always do. unfortunately, he decided to run away with me toward the barn. at a mad gallop. and normally, this isn't much of a problem. but i haven't ridden in a long time, so i lost both my stirrups (we had just jumped a jump, mind you) and was basically relying on my weak thigh muscles to keep me in the saddle. we galloped in a big circle. i knew that i was going to fall off - without a doubt. i couldn't get him to stop galloping, i had no stirrups, and no control. and yet - miraculously - my thigh muscles and riding skills didn't fail me, and i stuck with him. we stayed together. it took us about 60 secs to gallop 2 BIG circles and come back to a walk and then a stop. today, i can barely hobble - my legs, arms, and back are so sore from trying to pull a 1700lb 17.2 hand thoroughbred from a gallop
:( anyway, no injuries and i stayed on.

saturday night, i went to a friends get together with alison and got pleasantly schmammered (mandy's word) on 3 glasses of white wine and 1 glass of red. it was a nice relaxing night with friends. unfortunately, i woke up with a stomach bug (nausea, diarrhea - no it wasn't the wine) that kept me in bed most of sunday. but i'm okay today :) other than the mini-breakdown and 2 cries i've had.

i feel okay now. i'm going to bed. i get to sleep in a whole half hour tomorrow because no class till the LATE hour of 8:30.

night all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

my day(s)

for sh*ts and giggles, an example of my daily schedule:

6:50 - alarm blares deafeningly in my ear, i hit snooze
6:57 - alarm again, i hit snooze. again.
7:04 - snoooze (again)
7:11 - drag myself into birdroom, squint at awful brightness that is overhead light, wake birdies
7:12 - take titus to toilet to "go poop"
7:15 - drag carcass over to shower
7:17 - realize i am standing in a stupor next to shower, climb in, put various birds on various
perches in/around shower, scald self because eyes aren't sufficiently open to see shower
7:19 - struggle to remember chronological order of shampoo/conditioner/body wash - shaving is
a laughable impossibility
7:25 - drag self from shower, curse clock, listen to titus in shower singing opera (eg yelling) while
searching frantically for ANYTHING clearn to wear (note to self : DO LAUNDRY)
7:30 - stumble to kitchen, fix birdie breakfasts, consider breakfast for self, realize i don't have
time (never changes)
7:35 - start to rush - stuff birds in cages with food, forget to close a cage or two, rush to den
7:36 - pack up all accoutrements - CDs, CD player, books, notes, lab coat and dissection kit,
and all other necessaries for any self-respecting bag lady
7:40 - scramble for keys, cell phone, purse, dash to car
7:41 - realize that i probably left bird cages open, rush back inside, close cages
7:42 - gather a few more supplies that are absolutely necessary for my learning process
7:45 - cram stuff into car, speed through school zone, proceed down neyland drive at 65 mph
(WITH flow of traffic)
7:52 - park, make it to seat with about 3 mins till bell (yes, we have a bell)
8:00 - if in micro anatomy, physiology, or epidemiology - start new york times crossword
8-12p - zone out, do crossword, study for other classes, fight sleepiness, sleep, occasionally take
notes when something sounds important
12-1 - "relax" at lunch
1-2 - lecture usually (eg post lunch nap)
2-5 - lab of some sort = spacing out and occasional dissection
5:30 - home for dinner
6-7p - nap (if i'm lucky) and putting birdies to bed - jim is home in the afternoons to let them out
for which i am SO grateful
7:30-2/3am - go to library, hide in ABLEs room, study frantically - lament my lack of time to
ever accomplish anything - berate myself for poor time management skills,
get some studying done
3ish - bedtime.
6:50 - alarm blares...........................................