Wow this semester has flown past

I apologize profusely for the lack of posts this semester, and blame it entirely on my inability to balance life and school.  It will only get worse from here however so please bear with me.


Since my last post, I have had an anatomy multiple choice test (which I passed and did better on than the last one), and an anatomy topography test (which I am reasonably sure that I passed but won’t know until grades are posted hopefully sometime soon).  I have also had several labs, lectures, and assignments.  I finished my Agronomy Assignment which was torturous, so I made sure my assignment was torturous to read (citing every sentence, short choppy sentences, and intentional alliteration) out of spite.


In awesome future things news: I am on the Equine Rotation at the hospital!  Which, excitingly, means that I will be sacrificing two nights of sleep next week in order to get my horse fix! I will be paired with a different 5th year each night and either be on call, or have a set time to come in and stay for based on the cases that come in.  Since I want to work with horses when I grow up, this is the most exciting thing ever in the whole wide world.  Slightly LESS exciting than that (but not by terribly much) is the fact that I will be working for a Thoroughbred racing stable (training) over the 3 week break.  This means I will be with horses from 6:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday for 3 whole weeks.  I am beyond excited about this prospect.  It also means that I don’t actually have a vacation between semesters.  But in better news, it also also means that I don’t have to do equine practical work over the summer break so I will get to be home for longer! Always an exciting prospect for me.


That is all that I have for you today.  I am exhausted from studying all week and my brain is pretty mushy.  I haven’t had time to do any weaving this semester, but I have cooked some of my favourite dishes including Mac N Cheese which was to die for, and a lamb rib roast (the leftovers of which I am consuming tonight).


Hopefully it won’t be quite so long between the next post, but no promises.  Thanks for reading anyway!


Week of Study

Since my last post, I have turned in a drawn assignment of the oestrous cycle of a mare and had a test on Renal and Reproductive Physiology.  Both were rather rough.  The test was on Friday, which is why I didn’t post last Thursday – I was studying my brain into mush.  Friday night was Mr Vet, and then Monday morning was a Genetics test followed by an Anatomy test first thing Wednesday morning.  In this time I also managed to get very sick and still manage to pass my tests.  So now you know where I have been.


I will start with my Physiology assignment.  He told us on his last day lecturing what it was he wanted and gave us precisely 2 weeks to finish it.  Me being me, I procrastinated and got it all finished on the last weekend, giving myself exactly 4 days to study for the test.  I put off all note-typing and focused on studying renal and reproductive physiology for the week (minus time on Wednesday to work on my anatomy pre-lab).  Thursday night my flatmates E and A and I got together to study together the last bits and by Friday morning I was as prepared as I was going to get.  E and I went over a bit of histology before the test and that was it.  I feel ok about the test, I’m reasonably sure that I passed.  At least it is over now and I don’t have to take it again.


Friday night was Mr. Vet, which is pretty much a beauty pageant put on every year by the 3rd year students.  Two male representatives from every class are chosen (either they volunteer or get volunteered) to compete for the pink sash.  They participate in a group dance at the beginning, a talent portion, a formal wear portion, and a swimwear portion.  The opening act was pretty hilarious with them all starting out in fuzzy girlie bath robes, doing a bit of stripptease down to a towel.  They danced around in the towels for a bit and then whipped them off to reveal daisy duke shorts (they also put on straw cowboy hats) and did a little line dancing before ripping those off to display either rainbow g-strings or leopard print briefs.  It was pretty hilarious watching them all dance around.  Some of them were clearly better at it than others (the two from my class looked like they had skipped a few practice sessions) but they all did a pretty good job overall.  Next was a mix of talent, swimwear, and formal wear.  I don’t remember them all perfectly, but there was one act that followed a theme – the Ginger from third year (maybe? I think? he may have been fourth year…I’m also reasonably sure he has a real name, I just don’t remember what it is.) had a running theme of a comedic history of the Ginger (from some pop reference I’m sure), except for his talent portion where he did a ballroom type dance routine with several girls from the class (which now makes me lean more toward him being 4th year), he also played guitar and had sparklers on stage for various other performances.  One of the other guys did a bit of trampoline acrobatics which was really amazing.  The Asian guy from 3rd year (?) did a magic trick for talent, dressed as a sperm for swimwear, and danced to “kung fu fighting” for formal wear.  There were several acts that did Lonely Island songs, and quite a lot of partial nudity (as in most acts ended with one of the guys wearing just underwear).  The boys from my class did a duet for the swimwear (and were so drunk by that point that they didn’t really remember their dance moves), one wore a dress for the formal wear, and one did a rap for the talent portion.  They were good sports for having been picked by the class (since no one volunteered).  Next year we will have a better team because we already have guys thinking about what they want to do.  In the end, the Asian from third year won first, the Ginger took second, and someone…else…took third.  It was a very fun night out.


Saturday I tried to study genetics, but ended up down with a migraine headache instead.  I managed to sleep it off by the end of the day and felt well enough on Sunday to actually get some study done.  Sunday night our friend A (A2 from now on) from down the street came over and we did some group study.  He stayed until around 10 and then we cleaned up and toddled off to our respective beds.  Monday morning came bright and early and unwelcomed.  I had started coughing a little during the group study, and it escalated till around midnight (keeping me awake) when I remembered that I have cough suppressant left over from last year.  So, working on few hours of sleep, and feeling like I’d been run over by a garbage truck, I went in to my test and actually did alright.  I went straight home afterwards and slept for 4 hours, woke up and had a drink of water, then slept for a few more hours before getting up and attempting food of some sort (managed a small serving of rice) and then heading back to bed.  Tuesday I didn’t make it to school because I still felt awful and wanted to be somewhat recovered for the Anatomy test on Wednesday.  I slept in till 10am, and studied in 30-60 minute blocks with hour naps in between.  By 5:00pm I was finally feeling more human and managed to get in a few solid hours of study before bed.  I woke up bright and early (6:00 am) and got an extra hour of study in before heading to school.  I managed to miss exactly 13 points, which I took as a lucky sign since I was relying on a great deal of luck to see me through.  The grade is passing, even if it is below average, and so I am happy with it.


Wednesday afternoon was our last anatomy lab on the face (after the mid-semester break we start on the brain), so there was not much time to do any pre-lab.  Thankfully there wasn’t much pre-lab to work through and we managed to crack through the dissection in about an hour and a half.  The rest of the day was spent in jubilation.  Finally done with the tests and lab so our only responsibility left before the break was to make it to lecture in the morning.


Today we made it to lecture, sat through all three, and then escaped into the beautiful sunny day.  After classes I went to town with a friend for her birthday and had Japanese food.  My stomach was telling me that I could eat the entire portion of their largest bento, but it failed me.  The food was very good though and I made sure to eat all of the parts that wouldn’t reheat well.  I now have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  Tonight we are doing our usual Friday Flat Dinner because tomorrow everyone is leaving back to Auckland for the holiday.  So it will be just me and the cats for the two weeks.  However, I did manage to score some Dairy Practical work over the break so I will get that taken care of and only have 2 weeks left to do next mid-semester break.  This way I don’t have to work Dairy over summer and can spend more of the break home with my loved ones.  I still have to set up my Sheep and Beef work, but I might get to do 3 of those weeks over winter and finish off the last week in November and then fly home.  It will mean quite a lot of work and no rest, but it also means more time home over summer which I feel is worth it.


Thanks for sticking with me through that long post, here are some pictures from Mr. Vet for your trouble.

Mr Vet 008 Mr Vet 011 Mr Vet 012 Mr Vet 018 Mr Vet 019 Mr Vet 020 Mr Vet 022 Mr Vet 032 Mr Vet 036 Mr Vet 040 Mr Vet 043 Mr Vet 047 Mr Vet 055


Almost forgot to post tonight

This time I can blame it on studying though, which is a much better potential excuse (that I can save for later because I didn’t have to use it this time).  Physiology test is on Wednesday so I’m doing plenty of study mixed with breaks for relaxing my focusing muscles.

Daylight Savings was this weekend, so I lost an hour of sleep between Saturday and Sunday during a time when I really should have been sleeping but was instead up watching movies with one of my friends that I made my first year of pre-vet.  The movies were terrible but the company was good.  I managed to get some study done over the weekend, but not nearly as much as I had hoped because on Sunday I ended up feeling really lousy and slept for a good chunk.

Today I woke up and there was no sun streaming through my window to greet me.  This made me grumpy, and sapped all of my desire to actually get out of bed.  Unfortunately the tug of responsibility overcame my desire to go back to sleep and I managed to make it to class on time if not terribly bright eyed.  First lecture was half Equine Behaiour lecture and half Case Study presented by my classmates.  The case study was hilarious but not terribly informative, I really hope we aren’t tested on it.  Second lecture was the last lecture on the Cardiovascular system and he lectured on Stress and Hypertension and then Exercise.  Both were interesting but I struggled to keep up because I was so tired.  Third lecture was Biochemistry and we finished up fat metabolism and moved onto proteins, I still have trouble keeping up with him and feel drained after his lectures.  Fourth lecture was Anatomy and it was Awesome.  It was drawing parts of the nervous system, and even though I’m terrible at drawing, it was fun and engaging and I remember more from it than I do from the other lectures.

After lectures I had a group meeting for the case study we are presenting tomorrow morning.  We looked over the power point and decided who was going to say which parts.  I get to talk about positive reinforcement and negative punishment as ways to get a horse to stop rearing.  Should be good.

After that was the Biochem tutorial which was actually quite helpful in getting the big picture stuff that he leaves out of lectures.  When that was done my future flatmates and I went and looked at a potential place to live next year.  The place was really nice, but not what we need.  There weren’t enough bedrooms, it was too far from school, and the yard wasn’t set up for dogs.  Hopefully we can find a better place.  One with the same number of bedrooms as advertised on line.

Anatomy Midterm 2

Woke up much refreshed today.  Funny what a full night’s sleep will do for a person.  I went to lectures and even paid attention.  During the usual Anatomy lecture slot there was the second multi-choice lab test.  We were given 15 slides with 3 questions each pertaining to a picture on the slide.  Two minutes were given per slide.  I managed to get 35 of the answers correct and changed a few wrong answers to correct ones.  There were 7 slides where I answered all three questions correctly, and no slides that were all wrong.  Overall much better than the first test (though only one point higher).

I also picked up my Physiology midterm1 (the second midterm is next week) today.  There is absolutely NOTHING helpful comments wise.  I had spelling errors circled and “semipermeable” inserted where I forgot it (hurray being rushed for time).  Still managed 32/40 so not terrible.

This is the last week of welfare lectures before we start presenting case studies.  I am so very glad of that.  This lecturer is the epitome of terrible.  He reads the handout or study guide shamelessly and doesn’t indicate at all what might be important.  He tries to make jokes and gets awkward laughs from the 6 people who were actually listening.  There are no visual aids at all.  According to the third years that I know he does get better when teaching physiology, but this series of lectures is not looked back on fondly.  I hope its part of the curriculum that is changed for next year’s students.

Physiology continued with circulation and small vessels.  There is far too much physics and not enough biology.  Though we did learn about NO (nitric oxide, nitrogen monoxide) and how it works as a vasodilator.  The small molecule is actually produced by the single layer of cells lining the blood vessels (endothelial cells) as part of a larger molecule which is stored in the cells.  When blood flow increases it causes distortion of the cells which triggers the enzymes near the basement membrane (side not facing the blood) to cut the NO off of the larger molecule so that it can diffuse out of the cells.  Since the NO molecules are so small they rapidly diffuse in all directions (including into the blood).  When they reach the smooth muscle of the vessels, it causes the muscle to relax which widens the opening (lumen) and lowers the pressure.  The NO that gets into the blood can trigger down-stream muscle cells to also relax causing a wider range of effect.  This is why Nitroglycerin works for angina patients.  The pain is caused by the coronary vessels being too constricted, the Nitroglycerin is converted to NO and causes the vessels to dilate.  This is also part of the trouble with shock.  When all of your vessels suddenly dilate at the same time you get a severe drop in blood pressure.  Blood can’t get back to your heart, so your heart is pretty useless at pumping which causes all number of problems.

After the midterm, my Animal Handling practical group got together because we are presenting a case report next week.  Our group is presenting on one of the member’s horse’s rearing problem.  We hashed out most of what we are going to talk about.  One of the members is going to turn the notes into a PowerPoint and we are going to get together on Monday to go over it.  The presentation isn’t being graded so we aren’t terribly worried about it.

After the meeting was Anatomy Lab.  Today we started in on the hind limb, which naturally made me think of chicken legs.  Each of the muscles that we looked at corresponds to one on a drumstick.  Made us all very hungry.  We also palpated bony landmarks on a recently deceased racing gray hound.  The lack of body fat made following the hip bones very easy but finding things beneath the thick muscles was challenging.

I drove the Beast to school today, giving a lift to the flatmate who usually gives me rides.  I made sure to park where there weren’t a lot of other cars and actually got in straight on my first shot.  Leaving was another story.  I pulled out of the space fine, but when going to scan my paystub at the exit, I managed to be too far away so had to reverse and pull closer.  Luckily there was nobody behind me.

Quote of the day: “Well, recreational pharmacology is alright” – physio/anatomy lecturer (the Anatomy paper coordinator while giving a Physiology lecture) The context is unimportant, but I think we were talking about ECG’s

Captains log: Day…something…break is almost over

More reading of articles and taking notes today.  The boring part of writing an essay.  I’m still not sure what training time I’m going to use for the write-up, but at least I will have my references hashed out.  I may have become side tracked when my darling friend back home sent me an article on training that I probably won’t be able to work into the actual assignment, but at least it was an interesting read.

For lunch today I cooked my favourite fettuccine Alfredo.  I did this at the same time as two of my loved ones back home did, so it was almost like we were all doing it together.  We even skyped while we ate (and did dishes) which made it even better.  My lunch was a bit later than usual though so I’m only having a small dinner (avocado and tomato salad with salt and pepper, so good).  I didn’t get any pictures sorry, just think fancy high end restaurant quality (since the recipe comes from a Cordon Bleu chef).

Tomorrow I start studying for the Animal Handling midterm and the Biochem midterm.  I’m going to try to split it up so that I don’t get burned out on any one thing.  Especially since both are mostly review.  I hope to be able to do a bit each day until the tests which are Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

Study Break day 8

Today I had intended to go out to sushi for lunch, but the wind was really bad so I stayed in.  I then tried to make roasted zucchini for lunch (with a balsamic vinegar reduction and garlic toast), but that failed because the zucchini was off.  So instead I stayed in, found articles to use as resources for my assignment, and asked my friend Hawaii to take me to the market when she was done milking cows.

I picked up some Caesar salad fixins and made myself a chicken Caesar salad for dinner (with garlic cheesy bread) and picked up ingredients to make my own re-fried beans and Spanish rice for the weekend.  But my day was not all about food (though I wish it were).  I also worked on my assignment by finding articles and taking notes on the relevant parts so that I can reference them easily in my paper.

I also ate some chocolate.  And made a Chai late.  Because those things plus academic articles are my happy place.

Study Break Day 7 (not counting weekends of course)

Today I slept in, because nightmares.  That is the last time I think a picture of a spider actually looks pretty.

Thankfully that didn’t slow me down today.  I was still quite productive, managing to get through most of my assignment for my E-Portfolio.  I am leaving it in rough draft form so that I can go over it with my group when we get back from the break.  I wrote up my entire section about mental and physical health and how I maintain it in my busy school life, and most of my part on Animal Welfare.

Tomorrow I will work on my last assignment: my animal handling assignment.  In that one I get to talk about how I trained my flatmate’s dog to sit when she wants attention from me, rather than jumping around like a lunatic.  Ah the joys of small dogs.