Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back to the US, Back to School, Back to Blacksburg

It has been a while since my last post and as you may be guessing it has been very busy! I had every intention of writing about London and my first day of school, but unfortunately it did not happen in time. So now I have to write about it all in one fell swoop!

The UK was excellent. I really missed it over there and it felt like home the second we landed. I had a great time running Matt all over London to see it all. We got a lot accomplished in only 3 days in London. I certainly felt my age, as my friend Gemma pointed out. Running around European cities, while one of my favorite activities, exhausted me! Kate and Joe's wedding in the Cotswold region was magnificent and it was a blast to have the study abroad family together again! everyone was as fun as I remember. Matt and I had fun at the Fringe in Edinburgh, and returned to London with one last day to spend with Gemma riding on the double deckers and seeing my best friend Petra.

We got back to the US jet-lagged and I was sad to have left. I vow to return for the 2012 olympics! But we slaved through the jet-lag and got ready to make the trip back to Blacksburg. The cats made it okay, but traffic made the trip long.

The vet school reunion at Rivermill was fun and we were all excited to be back. That lasted for me, until aroudn Thursday.

On Thursday I wondered how on earth will I get through this? The subjects are just as jammed packed, the material more complex, and yes I need to remember a lot of what I learned last year and no I did not review all summer:(

I decided I cannot and will not look far into the future and will go day by day week by week. I must remind myself how important this career is to me and that somehow I can do it. 90 people last year did and so can I. It will be an intense year though, and I have a lot of reviewing to do.

This weekend my sister and her husband came to visit. It was fun we visited Chateau Morisette Winery and the blue Ridge Parkway. They appreciated the beauty of the area as much as I do, which was so much to share. I won't see them again until Thanksgiving, which I hope comes quickly and by then I have more confidence that I will become a 3rd one day.

I have come a long way sincelast year in terms of confidence and questioning why I am here. I know I want to be a vet, I believe (somewhere) that I can become a vet, and where there is a will there is a way!

Monday, August 11, 2008

The End of Summer is Near...Too Near

My 1 week of freedom is over and boy did it fly by fast! I got back to the DC area last Monday and lounged a little. I brought back a box of anatomy and physiology notes, but did I have a second to look at any of it? The astounding answer is no! This worries me a little, but as many before me had warned me, everyone has the good intention, but no one ever actually studies over the summer. Guess it will be left to chance. I hope the whole BUN/creatinine thing comes back to me.

I spent my time over the week cleaning, seeing some friends, a little outlet shpping, packing, one emergency clinic tech shift, a lot of errands, and networking.

The networking was fun and went well. I caught up with Dr. Bernadette Dunham director of FDA's center for veterinary medicine (CVM for you acronym fans). She was great and shed some more light on a career in lab animal medicine. I started asking her about her work at the AVMA government relations division and instead of answering my questions, she worked her magic and made a call to them. Next thing I know I have an appointment Friday morning to visit the offices. I was very impressed and had a good time talking to the staff there. I hope to get enough time to write some essays and apply for the externship position for next summer.

Friday was a beautiful day in DC, just around 78, sunny and no humidity. I walked out of AVMA and onto GW's campus to see my economics professor, Professor Stekler. Our visit together was great. Next stop, Smithsonian. I saw the Jim Henson exhibit, wandered through the African art museum, and headed to the National Gallery to see the sculptures of Martin Puryear and the glorious beach photos of Richard Misrach. As if the day couldn't be better, I met Matt and friends at the sculpture garden for Friday jazz.

So my last days of freedom in the US were fun, although I could use another week to unwind and actually try to get back into the study rhythm. Tomorrow we leave for England and Scotland, very fun and exciting. Many things to go wrong as well, but hopefully we will have a great travel experience and a grand ole time!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Research Program Complete

Thankfully, flying to Lansing, Michigan went off without a hitch in both directions. The conference was very informative and got me very interested in lab animal and primate medicine careers. I met many vet students from different schools, and got a chance to meet up with some of the Pfizer student reps I had met the week before. The highlight of the conference was a pathology classic rock band, that played classic rock songs with veterinary pathology-based lyrics. It was very funny, and after some cocktails the dance floor was bumpin'!

The poster presentations were a little disappointing for me since most people there were more interested in the more clinical versus microbiological research posters. I did have 1 person seek me out based on the abstract, but he had detailed questions on the next part of the research that I did not have time to conduct.

But the conference presenters and seminars were very well done. While I was a little conferenced-out or overloaded from last week too, it was a great way to end my summer research exploration.

Now I have 1 week until I leave for the UK. While exciting, it means that the summer is almost over and I may not be ready for the marathon to begin. I am ready to learn more info, but there were so many other goals I wanted to accomplish this summer that may now have to be pushed into Christmas break. Of course I have next summer as well. And I have already begun thinking about next summer's plans...