Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dirty Hippies

So since my friends and I are more liberal minded then about 90% of people here in Ames AND  vegetarian, most people in our class have decided we are HARDCORE hippies, along with other things like secret agents for PETA. I would gladly claim some of the labels, not so much about others. So for our winterfest-which is like a winter formal party for the vet school- it happens to have a lipsync contest and we really decided to go all out.  Last year we did the Anchorman version of Afternoon Delight complete with facial hair and didnt win so we wanted to kick up the ridiculous scale.

So we ribbon danced (barefoot for me of course) to The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.

I mean who would pass up the chance to do that for THREE minutes (which feels like forever) in front of their professional collegues and some professors?

Not I.

We didn't win but it was so greatly awkward and fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I remember...

I'm a few weeks back into my 2nd half of my 2nd year and I'm finally remembering why I like being in this spot. It got lost last semester but after some good lectures of other vets-outside of academia-that still like their jobs (one got to chop off basically 1/2 a dogs skull and it LIVED), wrestling w/ some sheep to see the babies growing inside them, and getting a decent (if temporary) grip on schoolwork, I'm back to being alright with waking up in the morning and facing down a day in the Vetmed building that defines my life right now.  It also helps I had an awesome vacation away seeing all my favorite people in Tucson and getting to experience 4 awesome days in Portland through my friends' eyes.  Ames wasn't such a dreaded sight on the flight in as the flight out.  Plus, my Dad is walking with only a crutch now, Bart is healthy, and I have the awesome prospect in little over a months time of seeing one of my best friends marry her love surrounded by more best friends.

Our schedule actually allows for some free afternoons, a sleep-in 3 times a week (until 8am babay!) and the electives are much more interesting. Its nice to feel like a human being, not a drone, and to be excited about learning. Aaaand the further I go from here on out, the more interesting electives and less snoozefests I can take! And I get to touch more animals that are intact and ALIVE. :)  In the meantime, during the snoozefests, I watch a new momma bear Jewel and her cubs (when you can sneak a pic) in their den-I had no idea bears were so active during hibernation!

 I've been having some real issues with trying to decide what to do with my LAST summer (GASP!). I applied for a cow externship for 4 weeks, had a very realistic dream that I got it (bummer to wake up to) but I don't actually find out for another few weeks. Other options include helping with a research project here in Ames which has lots of pros ($$- lots of it, mentor in school, research paper to brag about, blah blah) for my future professional career but my kid and selfish selves are having some trouble adjusting to the idea of ONE week of vacation. THE WHOLE SUMMER. Otherwise its begging for a job somewhere (literally anywhere) or bumming around and volunteering where ever I can.  My lazy self is starting to think the last one is looking more scrumptious as time goes on since it requires little work at the moment.  Hopefully I will find a way to make this last throwback to childhood a memorable one and join the real world like every other grown up without regrets :)

Afternoons free of labs hopefully means more time for blogging :) here's to hoping for some free/ME time this semester. And ideas for what to do with my last summer are appreciated and welcomed! <3

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oh crap/joy its almost December...

I can't believe I haven't written anything this semester. Well I can because I've been extremely busy and lazy all at the same time.  Meaning...there are some days were all I do is lay in my bed and watch stupid things on my computer and other days where I pull almost all-nighters (woo 2 hours of sleep) to study for a test that I should've been preparing for long ago.  So school stuff hasn't changed, I still procrastinate and hate being in class all day in the room without windows but everyonce in a while I do a cool activity with clubs or listen to an interesting speaker that makes me think it will probably be worth all the crap in the end.  This was supposed to be the hardest semester and if my grades are any reflection I suppose that is true, but last spring semester was pretty soul-crushing as well. And finals are coming up which really makes me want to crawl under my covers and never come out.  But that also means it is almost over-dancing, smiles and laughter on the horizon. 

These past few weeks have been rough. Bart got really sick and it has been a while since any of my animals had real problems, I forgot how distracting, disturbing and frustrating it can be.  Which is a blessing I suppose that I don't have to deal with it all the time.  And then I got really sick, both of which prevented me from visiting a bestie in Denver for Thanksgiving which I had been looking forward to for a reeeaaaally long time. And then yesterday my Dad was bucked off his horse while riding bareback (so his pride isn't hurt- it is near impossible to stay on a horse when they start bucking and you've got nothing to hold on to) and broke his pelvis in 2 spots and had some abdominal bleeding.  Which was pretty damn terrifying, my parents are approaching 60, things dont heal as well when you get that old and bad things happen in surgery, anesthesia, etc.  Learning medical things has been nice since I now understand more (and can sound smarter) but also a lot scarier since I know more of the risks and how often bad things can happen.  On this thankful weekend I am so so grateful that he made it out of surgery ok and is on his way to healing.  I am just really sad and sorry I couldn't be there for him, my mom and brother yesterday and for the next few weeks as they try to adjust to this new challenge.  It's interesting to me how normally I would rather go visit friends and do lots of other things than be home with them-I'm cutting out of Tucson on winter break a week early to do exactly that-but now, after this stuff, all I want is to be home with them.  

Also, Bart stopped pooing again which was one of the inciting causes of his problems before. awesome. My world now revolves around how much he shits. 

My life isn't a total shit show, there are plenty of happy/fun things happening around me, right now I just feel like there is a grey cloud in between them and me that is preventing me from enjoying and appreciating them. Hope it lifts soon. Sorry this is depressing after so long an absence. Here is a funny blog post about depression that makes me smile even in my worst mood (though I'm sure most of you have read it before): here 

See you on the other side of finals, I'm sure life will be looking up from that perspective. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Summa esta terminando

OK this is going to be quick recap of summer, I was a super slacker as far as this blog goes, which is kinda funny since I had A LOT of free time but oh well! I was a lazy bum for the most part but also seriously enjoyed it, reading a ton of FUN books, watching some good and crappy movies and TV, hanging out with my family and having lots of good friend time. Highlights have been Jody's 80's b-day party with the awesome costumes, girl's weekend San Diego for 4th of July with lots of beach, little bit of partying and continuous fun for 5 days, and the last installment of Harry Potter! I'm going to miss waiting for hours in line and watching the crazy dressed up people go over ridiculous HP trivia. I got to spend a lot of time up in phoenix hanging out and staying with friends. I was a bit productive working with a dairy vet a few times and got to see a bunch of the great little towns surrounding phnx. I realized that I'm not cut out for just production medicine but it does have potential for me if it can be combined with more individual animal care and treating sick animals as opposed to working on prevention. Also realized how much I have forgotten already from my first year (kind of terrifying) and if I had been smart I might have reviewed some notes but oh well, hopefully it'll come back to me quick when I need it!
Ecuador and the Galapagos were amazing, as shown in my pictures on FB! Some highlights as far as vet stuff goes: performing surgery all by myself from first incision to last suture! All in all I removed 5 balls, and 2 and 1/2 uterus/ovary pairs over 2 days of spay/neuter clinics! It was terrifying and thrilling and exhausting and I LOVED IT! The conditions we did them in were abysmal (lights and electricity were sometimes available) and it was a definite learning on your feet kind of thing, so I am excited to go through surgery class and learn the technical/correct/sterile way of doing things. We got to inject caimens, turtles, tortoises, and many varieties of snakes with anti-parasitic and vitamins; pull an infected canine tooth out of a puma (really hard when you only have a few tools!) and blow dart some wild pigs to move to another enclosure! I have terrible aim w/ a blow dart (like pretty much everything else) so I am hoping I get more opportunities to work on that important skill :)

For fun stuff: waterfall repelling in Banos was GREAT, exciting, a little chilly and scary but totally worth it(plus super cute guides); sightseeing in Quito and on our drives across the country was great, gorgeous forests w/ clouds and lots of agriculture and green-ess, and the Galapagos was just FANTASTIC.
The animals there just dont even care about people since most evolved w/o any predators so you can get REALLY close. The big galapagos tortoises are just so awesome to see and snorkeling was a dream come true-I got to swim next to a sea turtle! I was smiling so hard my goggles and mouthpiece kept filling with water :) Sea lions were also pretty awesome to swim with, one was playing catch with us and a random flip flop int he water! And all the marine iguanas were so cool to see on the islands just chilling on top of each other, never seen anything like it.

After the rest of the group left two friends and I went to the Coast and hung out on the beach for a few days, read and drank beers in hammocks, did a surfing lesson (soooo hard!) and got stared at constantly by the locals, the men liked to lift their shirts halfway up so their big beer bellies would hang out. Never figured out why that was a good thing to do? We got to use a lot more spanish here so that was interesting, luckily most of the local boys who tried talking to us loved to hear the sound of their own voices and did an awesome kind of hair flip w/ their long curly beach locks so we didn't have to add much to the conversation :)

After that we went back to Quito then one friend and I went to the Quilotoa loop and stayed in this awesome ecolodge in the mountains and did some horseback riding, hiking and more relaxing in hammocks. I got to do everything I wanted to in Ecuador and the Galapagos, and I feel so satisfied and happy with how the trip went. It was almost scary how well everything turned out!

Got back home, ran around crazily for about a week then headed back to dear old Iowa. Beginning of school stuff I will save for another time. Hope all your summers were as enjoyable!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Summer... thank you universe for letting me get here.

I finished my first year of vet school! Not that I was ever seriously doubting that I wouldn't survive, but it got pretty rough there for a while. I just think that I have never ever been that chronically stressed and exhausted. And next semester is going to be worse. But I am really hoping I can study some over the summer (UGH) and maybe develop some better study habits instead of still trying to cram before exams. That really doesn't work anymore for tests the next day and for the fact that we are expected to retain this stuff for the next few years, and hopefully our lives....

All the grades aren't in yet but I am pretty confident that I passed them. And I am just going to have to be happy with that from now on because it is not physically, mentally, and emotionally possible for me to get the kick-ass grades that I have in the past. And that is ok. And for people worrying about their vets and maybe not getting great grades...we still know a shit ton even with barely passable grades, so don't worry ;)

I get to hang out in Ames for the next week until my brother flies here to help me drive home with the cats. At first I thought it was going to be great to just relax and do nothing, and while it has been nice for the past few days...I am totally not used to this. And it makes me nervous to have absolutely NOTHING to do. I think I'm going to go to the library to get some books to read outside in the fantastic weather before heading back to summer in the desert. Then maybe I won't feel like such a waste of space

Ok, well I don't have nothing to do...I could start looking for a job. But I'm pretty sure job hunting is one of the worst, most depressing things I have ever had to do and I am SERIOUSLY dreading it with every fiber of my being. So I might put that off a little longer. I deserve a break from torturing myself for awhile right? I earned a few days of non-stressful activities?? I think so. And the nice thing about being a financially-independent (well...dependent on loans) single girl, I have no one to answer to about job and money issues. And my own face in the mirror hasn't given me any judgey eyes yet so I think I'm good.

I am hoping this time off can get me back to my optimistic, generally-happy attitude. I have been such a grump for the past few weeks...well probably more like months. School took a real toll on my...I don't know, outlook and such. I was just complaining all the time. And bitching about this thing or that thing and not trying to look for the good things in situations. And that bummed me out even more. So I'm hoping I can get my mind and soul back on board the happy train, I missed the ride. And I'm gonna need it for next semester...the dreaded "hardest semester of vet school."

Also I decided I want to run a marathon in the next year or two... I would normally just say within the next year but I know how busy and stressed I'm going to be from Aug-Dec and dont want to set a goal I know I can't reach. So I'm hoping to do a half-marathon during winter break and train a bunch over this summer. Running has become a great outlet for me recently, I've always enjoyed it but I havent been doing it this regularly since I was probably in soccer in high school. I can finally run a few miles without stopping and wanting to die! There's actually a pretty big running culture within the vet students but I think a lot of them go waaay faster than me so I think I'll stick with the solo runs for now.

Back home in a week! SO excited to see my family, friends, mountains, gorgeous sunsets, and to feel some of that sunshine. :D

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Who am I???

Alright so this semester has been a crazy one in regards to school. I've been in a definite funk lately from the chronic stress of weekly tests, projects, quizzes, readings and such. Also, I was also just getting really sick of most people here not accepting me with regards to the vegetarian thing. I felt like I was always having to explain myself and had to be careful what I could say because so many large animal people get all defensive the minute I say I'm not a fan of meat. I never realized that my choices about what I eat could be so offensive and such a big deal to someone else. Its totally ridiculous. So basically I just really haven't felt like myself and been cranky. The last two weekends I had some great times and a mental break and with summer rapidly approaching and the promise of some actual SUNSHINE AND WARM WEATHER is making me feel a little more cheerful. Plus things are getting green which helps, although the hail right now isn't helping anything. Ok so the last two weekends....

Two weekends ago was TESTICLE FESTIVAL. For those of you remember my stories of the hayrack ride in the fall, this was pretty similar. We got a ride to an abandoned farm with about 20 silos, empty barns and lots of free space to run around. Vet students of all years split into teams (most named something pretty nerdy/sexual or both) and played Ag Olympics. Which for those of you who had no idea what this entailed like I did here's a synopsis: run to a picnic table, chug a pitcher of beer, wheelbarrow a partner back and forth, carry a hay barrel back and forth, hammer 2 nails, run with and egg in a spoon, and throw on coveralls, boots and a rectal sleeve :) Here are some pics:

Us racing to the beer :)
All the highlighter yellow shirts are the ones we got that say testicle festival and on the back have a picture of a bull with large ballsack saying "got balls?" hehe

Wheelbarrowing obviously

the coveralls, boots and yes, rectal sleeve. For those that don't know, people wear the sleeves for palpating cows and horses (yes up the butt)

People who won the different rounds of this fun stuff (not my group) got to lube up their hands w/ gloves on and do an egg toss and then a tug-of-war. The rest of us just enjoyed the kegs of beer and the deep fried bull's balls that the boys cooked up. Yes, real life balls. I didn't try any despite everyone trying to shove them in my mouth (thats what she said?) but I did bring a veggie burger and surprisingly the boys grilling did not give me a ton of crap about it. :) It was a great night relaxing and running around silos and we all REALLY needed it.

This past weekend was more fun...TRAILER CRAWL. I live in the trailer park next to vet school along with a LOT of other vet students and apparently there is a tradition of doing this every year during VEISHA. VEISHA is a university wide party week and each letter stands for some college-we are the V and I have no idea what the rest of the letters are. The whole week they have different activities, mostly on main campus and geared towards the undergrads and I didn't really participate in any. I wanted to go to a concert Friday night (Big Boi from Outkast) but it was SUPER COLD AND RAINY so I just hung out with friends instead on Main ST. Saturday I went to a horse riding camp and helped give vaccinations, do physical exams and float teeth-which involves filing down points that grow on horses teeth and pull loose teeth. Just in case you guys thought all I did was drink-I do some educational things every once in awhile :) ANYWAYS...TRAILER CRAWL. A huge group of vet students dressed up like total white trash and migrated to 6 different stops in the trailer park including 5 trailers and our tornado shelter as the last stop. I had so much fun dressing up....

(sorry I dont know how to flip it but you get the idea)

The shirt says HUNTING PRINCESS and I found it for $5 in the little girls section in Walmart. I know....CLASSY RIGHT??

The tatoo says slut if you cant read it...the sad thing is at least 10 people came up to me and asked it if was real. Which made me a little worried about the vibe I give off. Some dude came up licked his finger and tried to rub it off to see if it was real. :/

More pics on FB. It was a great time, at each stop they had baby pools filled with drinks to fill up our special mugs that said "Home is where I park it" :) Great times, so many funny things happened that night but the cherry on top of it was coming back to my trailer and walking in on my roommates guy friend who had been staying on our couch this weekend hooking up with his gay lover. Oy Vey. I was so pissed about them hooking up on my couch. And I got so flustered about it happening I left my keys inside and locked myself out. So I banged on my own door and started shouting "Stop having gay sex on my couch and let me in my trailer!"


How did my life become this???? hahahaha

No, seriously though. I love it. In Iowa we can laugh at ourselves and that is what is getting me through the tough days. SO excited for summer and going back home. I can't wait.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Catch up

Alright, its been a while since I've posted but school has been absolute madness. And now I'm finally on spring break and ALL I want to do is sleep. I will just take un-planned naps every time I sit down, its nuts. It doesn't help that I've been eating a lot of junk food...candy I'm blaming it on the sugar crashes and the fact that I don't really have anything to do otherwise. (Even though I do have a page long to do list-which I am ignoring successfully) Whatevs, I'm trying not to feel guilty about it, apparently my body needs a lot of sleep and it sure as hell wasn't getting it the last 2 months. So I can now finally sit down and bang out a post, if my hypothalamus will let me stay awake long enough (sorry, just had a neuro test right before spring break so I've still got the brain on my brain, ugh bad joke- sorry again). So there were a few things I wanted to write about but I wasn't sure how to tie them together so is just gonna be a willy nilly random one.

First off, I got to witness my first birthing experience a few weeks, maybe even over a month ago, not sure the weeks have started to blend like a fast carousel ride. I actually stuck my hands and arms up a cow's vagina and got to help push out the baby; I would've helped pull too but the Dr and 4th yr resident were both he-men and were straining with it; hopefully I wont be expected to turn into hulk to help pull a calf if/when I get into this stuff on my own. They put chains (smaller links but yes actual chains) around the 2 front feet and attach those to hand holds and just grit down and pull. It was nuts. I thought they were joking at first when the Dr. said go get the chains. Apparently it doesn't cause much damage to the calf and they recover pretty fast. Not a way I would chose to come into this world but hey, gotta get them out of there somehow I guess. The whole thing was awesome but pretty brutal; its not an easy process for momma or baby. Didn't make me in any kind of hurry to be pushing anything out of me in a while. They do perform c-sections-out of the side of the cow when the natural path isn't working well, I am excited to see one of those.

SO after that, I was on a pretty decent high and went to check in with the horse ICU, where we learned 2 newly born (2 hour old) foals-yes plural, twins!!! were coming in. In all my years in the horse world (like 16?) I have never heard of twins being born and everyone surviving; its pretty much a miracle. Horses aren't made to carry twins, not enough room and birthing is difficult, not to mention the twins usually have development disabilities from not getting enough nutrients each, so if a vet discovers twins they usually try to abort one for the safety of mom and the other baby. Apparently their vet wasn't so great at palpations or ultrasound because no one had any idea until 3 front legs were trying to come out at the same time. The stable owner who was trying to help mom had no clue what was going on so he just picked a leg and shoved it back and shooting out came 2 foals. They were hypothermic and super weak but they were alive and fighters. I had never seen such a baby horse, their hooves were still soft for gods sake. We got to try to warm them up, bottle feed and give fluids. They weren't strong enough to stand and nurse so we had to put a tube to their bellies in and left a jugular cath in to give fluids if they got dehydrated. These were thoroughbred horses, so they were even more legs than normal foals. Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures for the clients privacy sake but I did manage some kisses when no one was looking and I will always remember cuddling with them to "keep them warm" when really it was fulfilling my dream from when I was 5 years old to cuddle with a newborn horse. Turns out the owner was a total jackass and he was running a breeding operation for race horses and since these girls were twins, they were much smaller than normal and would continue to stay small so they weren't going to be good racers. He took the mom away 2 days after and was ready to euthanize these miracle babies but the bleeding hearts of the vets, students and everyone else who saw these girls fight for their lives got involved and that day a 4th yr student stepped up and took them home. One of the vets kept asking me to do it, he could tell I had fallen in love, and I was just picturing our little trailer with Aggie the pit bull, Bart and Marley the fat cats, Norman the bird and 2 foals running around. It would've been quite an experience. Reality won out and I'm sure they are in a good place now. :) I was so pleased to see a happy ending. And it made me realize, no matter what kind of vet I become, I will never get away from the assholes who only care about money. They own every species of animal and are in every town in America. Just something I am going to have to get used to dealing with.

Sorry for the novel, it was just one of the coolest nights of my life and I want to remember it forever. It was one of those moments when you realize that it doesn't matter how hard the rest of the work is, you absolutely love what you are doing and would NOT trade it for anything else. A feeling I would like to hold on to when I'm up at 3 am studying for an exam or cleaning up poop after a long day of taking orders from other people. I know I am in the right place and there are few better feelings than that.

Also, something that deserves mentioning, no doubt, is my friend Ashley and her recent brain aneurysm. I was kind of waiting to post anything to sort out my feelings and see how she was doing and after a short time in the hospital and a quick brain surgery; she is in rehab and working her right side limbs like no other. I can't even begin to explain how scared I was when I first heard, and now it is hard to explain how amazed I am by her strength and progress. Its not everyday that you get to see and hear about absolute astonishing things and I get to write about 2 in one blog post! I love all my friends and of course, respect and look up to them; but she is truly an inspiration of strength, resiliency, positive energy, and persistence. I have no doubt in my mind she will be able to get back to where she was snowboarding, soft-balling and being all around amazing with whatever she decides to do. Seriously, sometimes the english language just fails us with words, and expressing my pride and happiness in her recovery is one of these times. Love you with all of my heart Ashee, can't wait to hug you in person and rub that bald beautiful head of yours :)

Also, I just turned 24 not so long ago. I realize it's not that old so I'll save the-my life is passing me by panic attack- for myself but its not so young either. I was able to go to Phoenix the weekend before my b-day for a swine conference and get money for traveling and interviewing a Dr. there so it was basically a free trip home and happened to have pretty sweet timing too. Also, pretty much the only reason I joined the club was for this trip and I think it was worth it :) I was a good student and went to a 11 hours of lectures and took notes so I feel like I wasn't totally cheating the system, but the more I heard about swine vets and their jobs, the less it appealed to me. I will probably continue to stay in the club though, there is a lot of money in swine and they are throwing it at students to get us interested, plus they pick cool places for the convention...Denver next year and I think Cali after that. Anyways, I got to stay with 2 of my besties, Bina and Jo, and see Chels all the time since she conveniently lives about 1/2 a block down the road. They were nice enough to cart me back and forth to the convention and hang out with me at night and threw a nice little surprise party with my fav ice cream, icing turtle, birthday banner, wine, bananagrams and all around awesome times of hanging out with them! And their boy halves who I adore as well-but not like the creepy kind of "I adore you" Ginger was talking about. Thanks girls, it was one of the better b-day celebrations I have had, and its some tough competition-I've had some awesome parties in my 24 years. I also got to do dinner with my parents, brother and grandma who drove up from Tucson to meet me, which was sweet and nice, and had some actual good Mexican food.

Once I got back we had two tests that week-including my least fav-histology- so my actual birthday wasn't the best time I've ever had since it consisted of a lot of studying but my friends up here did make it special with an awesomely decorated brownie cake (pic on fb), cupcakes, funny cards and a harry potter balloon. I definitely felt the love that day so thanks! We did go out for some yummy Thai food after the histo test on Thurs and they sang to me again (3rd time) :) so I definitely got to have like a birthday week. 4 yr old Savannah would be so proud-she stretched the day out to a month if she could manage it. It was awesome.

Alright I'll wrap this novel up, I just can't believe how blessed a person can truly be. The next month and half left of school is going to be ridiculously difficult but I'm going to try to carry the love and support and good feelings I have from revisiting all these great things through with me. Still no clue what I'm going to do for summer but I'm sure I'll figure something out, if not, maybe I'll jut be a bum and soak up vit D to battle the frigid yellow ball they call a sun out here. :)

Happy St. Patty's day!