Friday, September 23, 2011

Family Time

Tomorrow we are saying goodbye to Big Daddy. I expected it to be harder to keep myself together here at the ranch surrounded by memories, but the truth is I feel better than I have all week. At school, I was the only one who knew how great Phil was and that the world was worse off than it had been last week. Here, there are new stories around every corner and everyone knows why I'm crying. I'm a big believer in being self sufficient, but sometimes you really need a family.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

3rd Year...AKA "Hang on to your ass cuz it`s going to be a bumpy ride!"

I can`t believe I`m already at the end of the first block of 3rd year. For those unfamiliar with the system, the first two years we tend to have the same classes for at least a semester at a time. 3rd year we change schedules every 4-5 weeks...just because we don`t have enough trouble keeping our lives straight already. We also have our first opportunity to "choose" some of our classes. (Smart alec emphasis intentional...the CVM controls our lives in nearly every way. A more optimistic person sees electives as a chance to explore subjects that interest them, being the cynical jerk that I am, I find the whole process patronizing and essentially a cruel tease.)

This year is much more tolerable than the first two have been. In a surprising twist, common sense is actually an asset in many of my classes. The roughest thing about 3rd year has been the schedule. I have never spent so much time up here as I have the past 3 weeks. Yesterday I was here 12 hours and considered it a fairly average day. When I was working for a living, a 12-hour day was nothing. Here, I barely have enough energy to drag myself to the couch with my microwave pizza after a day like yesterday. And then I realize I still have a surgery report to write, surgery laundry to do, and two exams to study for. Thank goodness most of what we have covered so far in those two classes has been theriogenology and that`s what I studied when doing my Master`s. I think my learning capacity has declined rapidly in the past five years.

And just in case you or I start looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, next week brings two more exams (in subjects I don`t have advanced degrees in), a new surgical procedure to learn (one that involves opening body cavities...yikes..), and missing 2.5 days of class to attend a bovine practitioners convention...and give a 15-minute presentation there, complete with a wide-open Q&A session where real live veterinarians can ask me basically any question they can vocalize. By the time that`s over, next weekend is pretty well shot too. Oh yeah, sprinkle in at least 20 hours of work in that two week period too.

The up side is that I`m actually motivated to do school work for about the first time since the second day of 1st year. I can see a point to some of this now. It`s not just a "memorize and regurgitate" contest that I always seem to be losing. This week has been rough, a man that I consider a second father is in ICU in a different time zone fighting for his life. I was pretty useless through Monday and Tuesday because of my emotional response to this news. Yesterday I managed to get some perspective back and focus on school a little. I`m still constantly praying and worrying about him, but there is nothing else that I can do, and I know he wouldn`t want me to derail my whole life because of his condition. I finally managed to give it to God (Handing things over is NOT a strength of mine...) and I am trusting Him to take care of my family.