Friday, January 29, 2010

It doesn't all have to be profound, OK?

It's the little things that get you through...right now I'm getting ready to go to bed and jamming to Coolio on the radio. We had our first anatomy exam of the spring semester today. I think/hope it went ok but I won't be reassured until I get the grade back. I don't know what it is about anatomy that just kicks my ass, but there's sure something.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Always wear gloves and eye protection when streaking!

I've mentioned before that vet school is like a cult... It's also a lot like junior high, only I don't think we have quite the same bully problems, because obviously we're ALL nerds. Today in our micro lab Dr. M was going over safety and technical procedures for bacterial cultures. He mentioned something about "streaking in lab" that cracked the class up, then he took it a step further by saying that we should only streak when wearing proper safety attire! Sometimes I think the phrase "professional school" is an oxymoron.

Nearly every vet I've talked to had told me that my classmates would become some of my best friends. I didn't disbelieve them, but I don't think I really "got it" until quite a way into last semester. We are forced together for around 8-20 hours of nearly every single day. We annoy each other, we make fun of each other, we compete with each other...but there is also a big sense of camaraderie. Older students pass down notes and study materials, we share everything. I think a couple of my friends were more worried about my grades last semester than I was (and trust me, I was worried).

I'm not an exceptionally social person. I used to be very shy; I've outgrown most of it and realized that I really don't care what most people think of me because I finally have enough respect for myself to get me through. I do miss out on a lot of socializing at school because I usually study alone. (Too ADD for group study...nearly too ADD for solo study...it's a struggle!) I'm 5-8 years older than the majority of the class. A lot of them are financially dependent on their parents and haven't ever had to support themselves. I'm an oddity, but I still feel very much like part of the group. I have some amazing classmates, and I got to wrestle a goat yesterday. Maybe I will survive this after all.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hello, Insomnia. What are you doing back here again?

Since I've started back to school I've fallen back into some old patterns from the end of last semester. Some of them are good, and some are bad. One of the worst is staying up way too late, doing nothing in particular. It's not unusual for me to look at the clock and think, "It's 2 AM...why aren't I in bed?" It hasn't been as bad as it was for the last month or so of last semester. I usually crash by 2:00 or 3:00 at the latest nowadays. Last semester it wasn't unusual for me to stay up until 4:00 or 5:00, sleep until 7:00 or 8:00, and drag ass all day. What throws me is that I REALLY love to sleep. I don't know why I'm avoiding it. I know I'm stressed, I know I'm busy, but I've never had problems with insomnia before. I could always take something, but the words "could be habit-forming" keep scrolling across my brain when I think of it.

I think I need more structure. When I was an undergrad, my grades were actually better when I was taking a full load of classes and working 30 hrs a week than when I had more time to study. Scheduling a regular job hasn't worked out with vet school so far, but maybe I need to find a way to get myself on more of a schedule so I'm not piddling away all my time. I have started running again, and I think that will help. It makes me a lot calmer, and I have more focused energy when I'm on a regular running program. I might even do a 1/2-marathon with some of my classmates...if I don't come to my senses first. I've only got 7 weeks left to prep and I'm nowhere near in shape to do 13 miles. That ought to be a structure challenge for me!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Back to the Grind

It's the last day of winter break...I've already started gathering the books and note packets I need for this spring, though I'm far from ready. The break was a good one. I got some good experience, did my first (pretty much) solo horse castration, caught up with friends and family, slept, read some non-academic books, and just generally enjoyed myself. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but then I never do...I have a fairly optimistic sense of time when I'm planning things. This semester is going to be rough. I'm braced for it but I know it'll get to me sooner or later. Time to go wring all the freedom I can out of these last few hours!