First day back

Well, as you may have noticed I did not end up posting about my equine practical work over the break.  I ended up being far too exhausted at the end of the day and spent my weekends recovering.  Good news for you though, I have to write up a report and so I will likely post that here when it is finished.

In other news, today was my first day of semester two for BVSC2.  They didn’t waste any time getting started with lectures.  Integrative Physiology had a full on lecture followed by an intro to Mechanisms of Disease.  Then there was a break where the Nutrition lecture will normally be (because they have random no lecture days) where my flatmates and I went to get our lab manuals for Comparative Anatomy.  That took the full hour, after which we went to the introductory lecture for Comparative Anatomy.  It was a combined introduction and first actual lecture on the equine limb.  I am very excited to be learning about horses (finally), but that was pretty intense.  We didn’t actually get through the whole lecture so she is bringing us in on Wednesday afternoon for half an hour to finish it (much to our displeasure because it cuts our lunch hour in half).  

After lectures we had our lunch break to quickly eat and then headed to the farmlets to see our sheep.  I don’t know if I mentioned the farmlets before, so here is a quick rundown: there are 3 mini farms that each have 16 sheep for a stocking rate of 20 sheep per hectare; they have different rotation lengths to simulate best practice, and two mistakes; lambs will be born in the next few weeks.  Our farmlets started with 500 kilograms more grass than last year, even with the drought over the summer.  Even with that, the two intentional mistake flocks have visibly lost weight while the best practice flock is doing okay.  We will actually have to rescue the short rotation length sheep so that no welfare issues happen with them (either send them to a different set of paddocks or reduce the stocking rate on that block).  I absolutely loathe the lecturer who is doing this assignment with us.  He is taking something that should be fun and interesting and turning it into the assignment from hell.  He doesn’t answer our questions (he answers whatever he wants to whether it is relevant or not), he is condescending and rude, and he waffles on about irrelevant things in every lecture.  He is quite literally the worst lecturer.  Many complaints have been filed against him, hopefully next year or maybe the year after them will get a different person teaching them.

In brighter news, one of my friends from pre-vet finally got in!  I am so very happy for her, her life will be miserable and exhausting just like mine!  Ain’t vet school grand?  It’s only the first day and I already have more work than time!  But I did pass all of my exams last semester so I don’t have to sit any supplementary exams so far.


End of Semester 2

Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.


There were weeks of lecture, lab, and tests.  Then study week where we had a whole week to start studying.  Then exams started.  Well I survived.  It was a close call though.  The last three weeks have been full on study with a terrible diet and sleep deprivation.  I started drinking coffee again, which I haven’t done in years.  But I have survived, and hopefully I won’t have to sit a supplementary exam in January.

My first exam was in Anatomy.  I studied pretty hard out with my flatmates and managed to scrape together enough understanding to be confident of a passing grade.  That was on the first Wednesday of exams, the following Friday was Animal Nutrition.  That exam went pretty well all things considered, again I think I secured a pass.  Then there was the weekend and that Monday was Animal Industries.  I am not going to lie, I put off studying for this one quite a lot and only really looked into it the morning of the exam (which was in the afternoon).  I do think that I passed, but some of the questions definitely caught me off guard.  The lecturers are known for being pretty lenient with point allocation, so I should be okay on that.  Tuesday of this week (yes, the very next day) was a morning Genetics exam.  Which meant that I spent all of Monday night cramming information into my brain.  I had spent the weekend studying, but Monday night was a last ditch effort to do equations.  It didn’t really pay off because I still screwed up the equations on the exam, but hopefully I will get partial credit and still pull off a pass.  I know that I did well on the non-math related questions, so a pass is not out of the question.  Hopefully they are generous with the points.  Finally, today (Thursday) was the Physiology exam.  I studied Tuesday night, all day Wednesday, and this morning.  I went in feeling like I was going to fail.  Thankfully I got lucky and was able to at least answer each of the questions.  Hopefully it is enough to pass.  That is the one that I am most likely going to have to sit a sup for, but hopefully not.


Tonight is one of my classmate’s 21st birthday.  There is a party at her house.  I am going to sober drive so my flatmates can drink.  I don’t drink because my arthritis medication is already damaging my liver, and I’m not a fan of the lag that alcohol creates in my brain.  Usually I’m not a fan of drunk people either, but it should at least be entertaining to watch my classmates act ridiculous.


Next week I start working at a race horse training stable for the three week break.  It should be quite fun.  Hopefully I remember to post here more often.


Tata for now!

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


Physiology Midterm 2

That test can die.  It can burn to death and then crawl into a hole and DIE.  There was way too much information and not nearly enough time to study it and definitely not enough time to actually take the test.  We will see how that turns out.  No use worrying about it anymore. Ska is the word of the day.

In better news, I got my Animal Handling test back today with a grade of 80%.  Definitely not bad for being sick for a full week of lectures and making up answers on the spot for parts of it.  It’s been a big confidence boost for just about everyone in the class.  For the question that I made up answers for half of it, I got 8/10 points.  I’m impressed with that alone.  It might be below average but I’m happy with it.  For the amount of study that I put in and the fact that one question was on something that I didn’t study at all, its a respectable grade.

Lectures today were sparsely attended as quite a few people chose to stay home and study rather than attend lectures that are relevant to the final exams.  I don’t understand that mentality at all. Why would you sacrifice your final grade for a few extra study hours on a midterm?  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  Then again one of my flatmates attends almost none of her lectures and is still passing so I guess its a viable strategy.  Just not the strategy I prefer since I tend to learn better when I hear information while reading it.

So in Animal Handling this morning we learned about sheep handling, which was the same as last year’s sheep handling but much quicker.  In Physiology there was more on respiration which included more math but still seems pretty straight forward.  In Anatomy there was more locomotion focusing on gaits of horses.

After Anatomy was RADIC (Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging Club)  where we went through a few chest X-rays of dogs with various problems and then voted for next year’s club representatives.  Only one person ran for each position so it was an easy vote.

The test was two hours earlier than I expected so while I managed to study Endocrinology pretty well, I didn’t get anything done in Cardiology and only barely covered Histology last night.  During the test I left a few of the histology questions blank, but feel confident in about 80% of the answers, rushed through endocrinology but only guessed on about 20%, and gave myself extra time for cardiology where I guessed a good 50% of the answers.  Luckily cardiology was multiple choice so I have some chance of still getting it right.  I thought through as logically as I could each answer, we will see how it goes.

When I got home I comforted myself with another Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and Reel Big Fish.  Now it is bedtime.  Hopefully tomorrow isn’t too draining.

Hind limbs are not as cool as front limbs

Today was difficult to get out of bed again, thanks to rain and darkness due to daylight savings and living in a rainy place.  Somehow I was able to drag my sorry carcass out of bed and to school on time and ready to give the presentation with my group.  We did well and got compliments from other people both on the presentation and on the horse (to the horse owner not the rest of us, that would have been weird).

First lecture this morning was about cattle yards, I’ve already seen/heard that lecture so I didn’t have to pay too much attention.  Second lecture we started in on Respiration in Physiology and there was WAY too much mat involved.  I kept up but not sure I followed.  Thankfully we don’t need to know the equations or use them for anything, just understand the concepts, which I should be able to do.  Third lecture started in on locomotion, which I would think would be a physio thing but apparently we are doing it in Anatomy.

We got our Anatomy Assignments back today.  I managed a 6/10, which is passing and only slightly below average which was 7/10 so not terrible.  The comments said that the writing was adequate but lacked polish (well it was a rough draft that I couldn’t be bothered sprucing up since its a tiny percent of the overall grade), and that the picture was adequate but didn’t add anything (well I’m not an artist, he was lucky I included one at all).  So for what I turned in it was a fair grade.

For lunch I really wanted a burger, but the only burgers in the cafeteria were fish burgers and I wanted a chicken one, so no burger for me.  Instead I ate the lunch that I packed, and it was good, but not a burger.

Lab today continued with the hind limb, working on the last of the upper limb and then moving down to the lower limb between the stifle (knee) and hock (heel).  We were not focused or very awake so it took forever, but we managed to finish before we got kicked out.  We couldn’t find everything we were supposed to look for, but there were pro-sections done by the demonstrators that were labeled that we could look at so we didn’t miss anything.

After lab I drove one of my classmates home (she lives really close to me and on the way to pizza) and then picked up pizza for dinner.  Not cooking is the best kind of cooking for after lab.  Plus no dishes.  I have had a headache since lab ended and been exhausted most of the day, so I haven’t studied anything.  Getting a good night’s sleep so that I can be awake tomorrow is more important than studying when I won’t retain anything.  So good night internet world, until we meet again, adieu.

Physiology lab day

Drove myself to school again, getting close to the end of my 1/4 tank of gas so I probably won’t drive tomorrow.  Since I drove myself, I didn’t have to sit around in the library for an hour waiting for my lecture and instead had a very lazy morning.  It was quite pleasant.

Lecture was Biochemistry and we learned about fatty acid synthesis in the liver.  The lectures are finally getting into new material so they are actually interesting.  However, I got back my grade for the midterm for Biochemistry and am less than impressed.  Not terribly surprised since I couldn’t answer one of the 10 point questions, but still disappointed overall.  The points that I earned for each question: 1) 9.5/10, 2) 7.5/10, 3)  7/10, 4) 1.5/5, 5) 1.5/5, 6) 8/10, 7) 3/10, 8) 3.5/5, 9) 5/5, for a total grade of 66.4%.  This is a passing mark but still depressing as it is the lowest score I have received on any test this semester.  The average mark for the test was 69% and the top mark was 97% so my grade is firmly below average.  This is also the first time that I have been below average on a test.  Guess I will have to study harder and not rely so much on my prior knowledge.

Physiology lab today was about blood pressure.  We learned how to take blood pressure and pulse and filled out several tables.  Not sure what we were supposed to get out of them.  At the end of the lab we watched a neat vivisection on a sheep where they did a lot of terrible things to it (while it was anesthetized) like compress its chest and abdomen, inject it with adrenalin, stimulating the vagus nerve (which stopped the heart when done at a high enough volt/amp), and pinching off the carotid arteries.  It was an old video and I’m reasonably sure they killed the sheep after and used it for a class or something.  It means we don’t have to do the experiments ourselves and can save all of the modern sheep from that.  I took my blood pressure and pulse with the automatic machine that we used for part of the lab.  Something is wrong with me because sitting in lab not doing anything my blood pressure was 141/97, my mean arterial pressure was 117 mmHg, and my pulse was 87 bpm.  Which was higher than our test subject during heavy exercise.  Its either from being sick or I was having some sort of secret panic attack that only my body knew I was having.  Looks like I should go see the doctor again.  My lymph nodes are still swollen (though not as bad) and I’ve been coughing for a couple of weeks.  I wish that I had one of those portable digital blood pressure cuffs so that I could take it again while I am home and resting.  Its got me a little spooked.

I’m starting to study for the Physiology test that is next week.  It covers endocrinology and cardiovascular physiology as well as the histology labs.  I guess this is instead of having a separate practical exam.  The cardiovascular part will be multi-choice, the endocrinology will be short answer, and the histology will be anybody’s guess.  So that is taking up most of my “free” time.

My bestie “friend broke up” with me today.  I’m surprisingly relieved by it.  It means that I no longer have to throw energy into something that is not giving me anything back.  It means I have closure.  I have been dancing to Ska music all afternoon (when not studying or eating) and that has helped me get through the more intense emotions.  This puts me at 4/5 best friends walking out of my life.  Not the best track record, maybe I should fix my picker.  Or stop turning my best friends into siblings or dating them so that they leave the “best friend” box and enter the “family” or “significant other” box.


That’s it for me tonight.  Here is a picture of the Beast.


My vehicle

it has a butterfly sticker on the passenger side back window because he is secure in his masculinity