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.

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.

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

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

Finding a new normal

Things aren’t back to normal, and I’m not sure they ever will be, but we are working toward a new normal.  My bestie is still in a bad way, but he has people with him who can spare the time and I need to get back to my studies.  I saw him twice over the weekend and he is able to laugh again and push through most of the bad stuff.  He says there are still times when he seriously considers suicide as a viable option for him, but those occasions are getting fewer.

I went back to school today and made it to and through all of my lectures.  The stuff that I missed out on is covered pretty well in the study guides and slides posted on line so I’m not too worried about that.  Tomorrow is the second Anatomy midterm (of three) and I have been studying for it, though not as much as the last one since my focus is a bit off.   I have also had a headache all day today which is throwing off my focus and ability to remember things.  Left temporal region, throbbing and sharp combined, not light or sound sensitive, not directly behind the eye, just mostly driving me crazy and making it nearly impossible to read things.

Quote of the day for classes last week: “surgery without anesthetic can be hilarious”

Quote of the day for classes today: “a Mexican Wave” (referring to…the wave…you know, when people stand up then sit back down at say a sporting event? yeah…apparently its Mexican out here)

I don’t even know where to start with that one, so I will leave it at that.

Test Day: Biochem

The biochem test was tonight, from 7:00pm-8:30pm.  That’s usually when I’m winding down my evening and getting ready for bed.  To counter this habit I brought Stash Chai Spice black tea to school as a dinner time pick me up.  I don’t usually drink black tea, and definitely don’t drink caffeine that late in the day.  It left me bouncy and excited going into the exam.

Leaving the exam I was much more subdued.  The first question was calculating the charge of a polypeptide at a given pH, which is fine and I can do it no problem, but for some reason my brain was struggling with the pKa > pH > pKa thing and which would be protonated and which wouldn’t.  So I took extra time on that question that I probably shouldn’t have had to.  Then I talked myself into a circle in part C of that question trying to decide which of the two polypeptides would be more likely to form a globular protein (since they were both only 6 amino acids long the answer would logically be neither but I didn’t think they would want that.  The second question I aced because I learned collagen inside and out last year and still remember all of my stuff, even stuff about scurvy.  The third question was a graph, and I’m terrible at graphs so I’m not sure how well I did but I should at least get partial credit.

Question 4 started in on the metabolism section, which was a different lecturer, my new nemesis.  I got questions 4, 5, and 6 alright for a total of 20 points I should get at least 15.  Questions 6 and 7 were both on poisons, which took up a total of two slides and maybe two minutes of lecture time.  Both questions were 10 points each. Question 7 had me completely stumped and I’ll be glad to get 2/10 because I just didn’t study that part of the study guide since it was less “general biochem that is essential for the understanding of the subject” and more “something interesting that will maybe entice you to keep studying”.  Needless to say I am annoyed.  Question 8 was easy enough because I know all about red blood cells and why they don’t have oxidative phosphorylation (they lack mitochondria, because if they had mitochondria they would use up all of the oxygen before the rest of our cells had a chance at it, not very efficient).  Question 9 was also easy because I rock at ATP-synthase, though I may have mixed up a few details because I was pressed for time and wanted to at least write something for Question 7.  Needless to say I needed a stiff drink when I got home.  I settled for a London Porter.  It did the trick, I am feeling much less irritated and much more relaxed.

Lectures today were good.  Animal Handling talked about Deer again and was actually entertaining.  Physiology and Anatomy were both dealing with the cardiovascular system and I was able to take good notes for both classes taught by the same lecturer.

During the break between Physiology and Anatomy I was able to go to the Massey Doctors and actually see a doctor and actually get a prescription for antibiotics, which I picked up when I went into town after the RADIC meeting.  The only problem with the antibiotics is that they recommend taking them an hour before meals.  This wouldn’t seem to be an issue, except that I don’t really plan when I eat.  I eat when I get hungry.  That’s pretty random.  I eat breakfast right when I wake up because otherwise I forget.  So for the next few days I will have to take my pill when I wake up and then eat toast or something on the way to school, then remember to take my second pill an hour before the lunch break (good luck with that), and the third an hour before I eat dinner (as if I ever know when that is going to be), and the last at some point.  I’m not sure if they think I eat 4 times a day, or if I should be.  I ‘m lucky if I remember to eat twice a day.

I am so ready for this week to be over.  I should have passed my test, I will be shocked if I didn’t.  Even if I didn’t, I can still pass the final and therefore the whole class.  Tomorrow is a Biochem lecture followed by a Histology lab for Physiology on cardiac muscle.  I am not impressed.  I just want to sleep through all of it, but knowing me I’ll be up before my alarm tomorrow anyway.  Joy of Joys.