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!


First day of the break

I am FINALLY feeling human again.  I was able to eat real food for all three meals today, and two of them yesterday, so I am reasonably convinced (though still cautiously optimistic, I do still have “sick people food” in my pantry) that I am over the worst of it.


So to celebrate, today I went through all of the biochemistry that I missed due to being sick last week.  And being the over-achiever that I am when I’m feeling good, I even went through the parts of the study guide that I hadn’t highlighted and put notes in from earlier in the semester (when I forgot it at home and used my computer for notes).  All in all, a reasonably productive day.  Tomorrow I intend to tackle physiology.


Today in the flat there was a lot of “home improvement” as ordered by the landlady.  First a guy came in to finally change the window in the bathroom from one that was permanently open slats to a permanently closed pane.  The house should be much warmer from now on.  While the window guy was finishing up, another guy came to fix the stove.  The pilot light wasn’t working very well on some of the burners and not at all for the oven.  He finished up in about an hour.  Around lunch time a team of guys showed up to install an HRV system.  They went room to room to show us where they were going to install everything, then got to work.  They needed to turn off the power to safely tie the unit into the thermostat, so that gave me about an hour or so of internet free study time (i was very productive).  Now the house should be less damp (much better for my health) and easier to heat during the day.  Finally around 5pm a guy came to attach another baseboard to the cabinet in the bathroom, which took him less than 10 minutes.


Now i have an hour or so to relax before bedtime, because I don’t have to get up at 6:30am this week.  Maybe I’ll do some more weaving while watching a movie.

A better kind of Monday

I might be close to done being sick *knocks on wood*.  My relaxing weekend of not doing much combined with a very peppery chicken soup seems to have helped.  As well as the copious amounts of tea I’m sure.  Whatever it is, I woke up this morning with only the usual amount of tiredness bogging me down (you know the tiredness that comes from waking up before the sun? yeah that, I hate that).  I managed to actually remember to eat breakfast and was packed and ready to go before my flatmate mentioned anything.


My lectures were pretty cruizy and I even managed to make it through all four without being excessively tired.  That, however, seems to be my limit.  I attended a CPR lecture (voluntary) for another club that I joined (can’t remember the full name, its for emergency vet response though) and had the hardest time keeping my eyes open (in spite of the material being fascinating).  I made it through somehow without missing too much and then got to go eat my lunch.  I scarfed it down as fast as I could and then went to the book store to mail my 10 card so that I can hopefully get a visa (otherwise this has been a very expensive waste of time).  I then had to repack my bag (because it required pulling all of my things out to get at the stuff I needed) and rush to class for my last lecture of the day.  After lecture I was preparing to catch the bus when I realised that my wallet was missing.  Yep, I left it at the book store.  I ran (well limped quickly since my hip was giving me trouble) back to the store and gave them a description as well as my name (though the pic on there looks just like me >.<) and was given my wallet with enough time to catch the bus.  I rode it to the first Cook St stop and hopped off to walk the rest of the way to the flat (about a block).  It was a lovely walk and today has been gorgeous.  It started raining a short while ago but has stopped again.  The weather is supposed to be on and off for the rest of the week, hopefully it clears up for the weekend.


Thats it for me tonight party people.  I’m off to do a bit more weaving and maybe play some xbox.  I actually studied tonight so I feel I deserve some fun time.

As easy as drawing blood from a sheep

I really should have posted this two days ago, I know this, and I am sorry.  Please forgive me, but there was Olympic dressage and dinner with third years.  I was thoroughly distracted, and didn’t get to bed until after midnight.  So I present you with Friday’s activities a bit late.


It started out pretty terribly.  I woke up feeling like I’d been run over by a heard of wild trash compactors that spat in my mouth and then added an extra kick to my lungs for good measure.  I was hacking and coughing with a sore throat and really just wanted to go back to bed.  The thought of having to catch the bus later so that I could make it to lab got me up though.  I actually made it to my 8am lecture and survived through the 9am lecture (though I did start shivering near the end, a hot cup of tea fixed me right up).


During the break I got an email from the immigration people asking for another background check (even though the one I turned in last time should still be good for another year), so I ran to the International Student Support Office and asked what I was supposed to do.  They only gave me two weeks to get my new background turned in, and I didn’t have a 10 card just lying around with all of the relevant forms filled out.  I can’t get that kind of turn around from inside the states.  They want me to get the 10 card, mail it (even though the post off ice was closed) and have it back in two weeks.  Not. Happening.  The nice woman at the ISSO told me that the best that I could do was document that I had mailed the relevant documents, and was awaiting their return, and email the immigration office telling them that I can’t work faster than the post and the FBI and asking for their patience (dang that was a terrible sentence).  So I wandered back to the vet tower and settled in to my lunch.


Around 2pm my group assembled in the vet foyer and made our various ways to the Veterinary Large Animal Teaching Unit (or VLATU for short).  One of my group members drove me and two others in her car, but we left super early so had lots of time to kill while we waited.  We decided to explore and watched demonstrators move some cattle around, then found some horses and decided to stop and pet them.  While we were standing around chatting and petting the sweet little gelding, one of the demonstrators came up to us and asked if we were in the horse group.  We said that we were in fact in the sheep group, but really like horses so were hanging out with them.  She then handed us some lead ropes and told us to catch two of the horses in another pen (very easy, they didn’t move much) and tie them up.  Then she handed us brushes and we got to groom the muddy hairy beasts.  The horse I had was named Grace and was about 16 years old.  The other horse in the pen was named Toy and was 30 years old, she was sway backed but in good weight and covered in a nice thick coat.  They were filthy (because there is a perpetual mud problem in the Manawatu in winter) but stood still very well.  As we were finishing up the grooming session, we noticed that our group was gathering on the other side of the barn so we walked over to them and sat for the introduction.


Kevin Stafford, the professor who teaches the animal handling class at 8:00 most mornings, taught us all about sheep.  It was very fitting as he is in fact Irish (yes, he DOES love potatoes).  In his Irish accent he asked if anyone had any experience on a sheep farm.  One of the guys grew up on a sheep farm, so he was volunteered to move the sheep into the pens.  16 sheep per side, 4 sheep per pen.  He got it mostly right but had to toss a couple sheep over the low fences to even out the numbers.  Kevin was rougher with the sheep than my classmate, dropping the little hoggets (young female sheep) from about a foot off the ground.  My classmate placed them down gently and let them get their feet before letting go.


Once all of the sheep were in the right place we were shown how to manipulate them for various tasks.  The first molestation technique we learned was how to set them on their bums.  We pushed them into a corner, grabbed them by the nose, turned their nose to their ribs and pushed down.  Once they were on the ground we grabbed the bottom leg and pulled them up onto their backsides and leaned them against our legs.  From this position we could check teeth and genitals and do all manner of terrible things (according to sheep) like shear them if we wanted to.  I was able to do this pretty easily and caught on relatively quickly, my partner wasn’t so adept at it, she will likely not go into sheep.


The second thing we learned was how to tie them up while they were sitting on their bums.  We got them into the bum-sitting position and then used a bit of twine that was tied in a loop.  We put it around their back legs (behind the hocks) and then looped it up over their heads (with their front legs on the outside of the twine).  We then laid them on their sides to make sure they couldn’t get up, then popped them up on their brisket so that they could belch (which sheep do every minute or so).  As it turns out, getting the little buggers OUT of that rig is harder than getting them into it.  Again, I picked up on it very quickly while my partner struggled.  I love sheep.


The next bit of harassment for the poor sheep was learning how to drench them (squirt liquids into their mouths).  We were given drenching guns (filled with water to practice) and shown how to use them.  I’m still not certain that I did it correctly, but as a vet I probably won’t be doing much drenching.  Its something that the farmers get their sons to do once they are big enough to straddle a sheep.  We did however learn things that can go wrong with drenching, and I am of the belief that all knowledge is worth having, so I’m not complaining.


Lastly, we were shown how to draw blood from a sheep.  We split up in pairs again (this time I had a different partner) and had to wait on one of the two demonstrators to make sure we weren’t doing it wrong.  Each of us was required to get two samples.  I managed to miss on my first pass, but got the vein without having to switch needles and scored my first sample.  Then I stood up and held a different sheep for my partner.  He was not so adept.  He had trouble finding the jugular, and when he tried to get the vein, he missed and then pulled the needle out too far and lost the vacuum.  He was taking a while so the demonstrators split us up with people who had finished both of their samples.  On my second try, I managed to hit the vein on my second pass again, but pulled out too soon because Kevin was talking to me and distracting me.  My sample was too small so he made me do another.  The next one I got the vein on my first shot and filled the vile.  I showed Kevin my triumphant sample and then signed myself off on the sheet.  We were free to go do whatever it is first years do in their free time.


I caught the bus home, an earlier bus than I had expected, and walked into an empty house.  During lunch, my friend from Hawaii invited me to dinner at her place for chili dogs.  Since I smelled distinctly of sheep and was going to be spending the evening with other people, I decided to shower.  After my shower my flatmate was not home yet so I grabbed my loom and started weaving.  Its pretty terrible, not gonna lie, but I’ve improved since my first fumbling attempt so there is about five inches of wobbly, puffy, inconsistent  stuff and then about three inches of almost looking like I know what I’m doing.  All of the improvement is thanks to my friends back home who have been patiently answering my questions as I bumble along.


When my flatmate did finally show up, we packed up her dog and went over to Hawaii’s place.  The chili dogs were fantastic and the company was entertaining.  There was red wine with dinner and chocolate chip bread pudding for dessert.  After eating we sat on the new couches (futons) and watched some of the Olympics.  Then my flatmate and her friend and I went to said friend’s house and watched the Dressage.  I made delicious lemon ginger tea out of fresh lemons and ginger with just enough honey to sooth the throat.  We stayed up until nearly midnight and then my flatmate drove us home.


The highlights were the Brittish guy whose horse looked wonderfully relaxed the whole time, and the Sweedish woman whose horse was actually missing an eye.  Thats right, no eye.  He spooked a couple of times which took them out of the running for any medals, but he was gorgeous and floaty and amazing to watch.  We honestly didn’t even notice the eye until they showed him leaving the arena at the end.


Saturday I did laundry, and went shopping, and did absolutely no study.  So today I made up for it and studied a little.  I also cooked amazing Chicken and Dumplings.  That’s right, it was so good it deserves capital letters.  Now I need to go to bed so that I can start the week over again. I really should stop writing these so close to bed time.


Today was an easy day.  Had an hour in the library to study, got my visa application turned in, had a tutorial for biochem, and then a physio lab that got out an hour early.  After lab I had lunch with my bestie and then took the bus home.  I was home for about half an hour and then one of my flatmates offered to take me to see her horses.  The only answer was yes please.


So she and one of her friends took me to see their horses.  I didn’t get to ride, but I made myself useful and got my horsey fix.  She also told me that once the weather gets better and the horses are worked more regularly (and so not nut jobs) that I can ride.  I am very excited.


We got home later than I expected and I missed out on my long-distance-date with my SO, which was very upsetting.  He said he forgives me and still loves me, but I still feel awful.


I started having pizza cravings at some point, and my flatmate who took me to the horses showed me a special, so we ordered pizza for dinner.  It was very good and we have plenty of leftovers for lunches.


Now my brain is super tired, and I didn’t get as much study as I would have liked, and I didn’t get to get started on my weaving, so I’m going to go to sleep and hope to be more productive tomorrow.  Tomorrow is sheep handling practical, so should be good.

Best day ever

Mostly because it ended nice and early.  Classes were pretty cruizy.  First lecture was mostly statistics and numbers that we don’t have to remember.  Second lecture was more review on how muscle contraction works.  The break consisted of chatting with my friends about all manner of random things.  Third lecture was an intro to embryology, mostly stuff that I already know and understand from several general bio classes.  After lectures was the Radiography and Diagnostic Imaging Club (RADIC) meeting where some fifth year students showed us some of their more interesting cases.  It was quite fun and I actually signed up to join the club.  There was a Wildlife Club meeting after that, but I wanted to get home so that I could go to town.

I had sushi for lunch, because I love the sushi at this one restaurant in town and haven’t had it recently.  Then I went to the plaza to get my passport photo taken and my bank records for the last three months because those are hoops I have to jump through to get a visa.  While I was there, I stopped in at the EB Games and picked up Bioshock for a song.  Not that I’ll have time to play it, but it is a game that I know I enjoy so it is nice to have.

The photo place that I tried to go to first was out of commission because their printer was broken.  The girl thought that the part would be in that evening so that they could have it up and running by tomorrow, but couldn’t guarantee it so I went to a different place.

When I got home, I found that my package had finally arrived.  Remember when I mentioned ordering a Shuttle for my Inkle Loom?  Well it arrived today so I was able to actually warp my loom and get started.  I made myself sit down and study first (of course) but actually got everything warped.  I posted pictures to facebook so that my friends back home can tell me if I did something wrong before I start trying to make it work.  I used blue and yellow for the colours.  It should turn out pretty cool.

My first attempt at Warping

Hopefully I did this correctly

That took up the majority of my evening and I had dinner really late.  Thankfully tomorrow is a later start and then a lab so I should be done early and have time for a nap when I get home.  Back to bed for me.

Moving Day is a Very Dangerous Day

Today started with so much promise.  I was in contact with my friends who were helping me move the heavy furniture, I was warm, and there was a cat purring in my lap.  It didn’t get much better from there.  I managed to wrangle my friend with the truck into getting the trailer and heading to my friend with my stuff’s flat by around 11:00am.  We had my stuff packed and to the new flat no later than 11:30am.  The girl who was moving out of my room was still there and her parents (who were helping her move) were no where in sight.  She had also moved most of her stuff from my room into the hallway where I had been planning to put my things.  Which meant that I had to find a NEW place to put everything.


After some scouting, my friends and I decided that the spare bedroom would fit the desk and chest of drawers while the bed would have to be put up against the wall in the lounge.  We got everything sorted and then I realised that I had left my computer bag and overnight bag at my friend with the truck’s place.  So we dropped other friend off and went back to get my things.  Then I was picked up by my friend whose place I’ve been crashing at and hung out watching movies.


While I was waiting for my ride and chatting with my friends (with the truck), I was offered their small Inkle Loom for $20.  Cue my first impulse buy of the semester.  I now have to buy yarn so that I can learn how to use it.  Thankfully I have friends back home with knowledge and expertise enough to explain things over the internet.


Around 7:30pm I finally made it back to my new flat and found my bed already moved into the room.  I shifted it to a new corner and then brought in the rest of my junk.  Then my friend and I made the bed before she went back to her place.  I think I may have left my shower stuff there.  Anyway, I finished unpacking around 10:00pm and am now just about ready to crawl into bed (which is piled high with blankets to keep me warm).


Tomorrow is a settling in day, and then classes start.  I’m still excited.