Friday, April 25, 2008

Back In Action

It's been a while since I picked up my pace and set myself back to the keyboard for some blogging. But now the keyboard is back:
The keyboard returns...

And I'm back if my life doesn't spiral out of control:
Tightly, neatly bound...

And if my notes are in order and all the studying doesn't wind me up so tight I snap. Unlikely... since the pen is mine and not the other way around:
The Xiang is mightier than the pen...
Let me tell you about vet school.
There is this guy.I guess he's average:
Good-looks: average
Intelligence: average
Compassion: average
Faith: average (but he believes)
Everything else: average
Humility: average (?)
That guy is me. It's been a long slog from the 3rd of March till the 25 of April (today) but there is nothing else I'd rather be doing. And no matter the circumstance I will be loving animals and loving working with them till the end of days:
Then end might come and might look like this but the veterinary profession will stand in me...

But let me sketch a day in my life...

Apart from those days of being dragged around by horses, seating sheep and straddling pigs, it's been theory, theory, theory. And more to come. How I relish those days out at the clinic just having my hands on the furry/wooly buggers, my hands in the mouths of "awd bovines a'slaverin."

The phrase 'information overload' is an understatement in some senses but the odd case study always serves to wake you up in a jiffy. Content-wise the material is understandable and interesting though cramped and tinned like sardines. The years are packed, they say. Believe it.

On any normal day we bumble into the VRI and sit in the lecture theatre for another four-hour series of lectures. Lecturers shuffle in, deliver and leave. We're stuck, pigs in the mud, thrown into the deep end right from the start. Aorta, pulmonary artery, erythropoiesis, the enteric nervous system, Angus cattle, Herefords, Holstein-Friesians, a bay, a roan and Thoroughbreds abound. Sometimes it feels like a noose, the knot ever ready to drop:
Care to stick your head in there?
But it's not so bad really. Friends are around to lend a hand, lecturers are nice and the coffee is free. Get on top and get ahead. The kinks smoothen out then... otherwise it's rough and tough like a bad beef cow.
Keep the work up and the sailing is smooth...
So we sit there frying our brains, evaporating the useless, digesting the 'nutritious' and on flows the morning. Do I keep writing though I'll miss most of the speed-lecturer's information? Do I draw this? Do I not? Do I need to know this? The questions pile up on the patient in the consulting room. The going is slow but steady and lunch is round the corner.

And then it's here. The hour of relief. Our kiosk opens and instant noodles flood out of the cupboard. Our source of stomach-fill. Like grass to a cow. Cheap, unhealthy goodness.
Alternatively there's the food you bring for yourself, more expensive and out-sourced:
Prawn rolls anyone?
And many do just that. Microwaves and toasters run like food production factories, churning out lunches, pre-packed, to the masses. But suddenly the hour is over and all that is left are the remnants of meals and relief:

Is it over already? I haven't finished my chilli...
A four hour lecture chain means a practical class in the afternoon. A dissection, a nerve preparation, a muscle stimulation or an afternoon staring into microscopes getting dizzy. The last of these is often the most tedious though eventually any of the practical classes begins to get on your tired nerves. And the nerves of the dog being dissected:

One wrong cut and this dog's a nervous wreck...
Don't get me wrong, the practical classes are most definitely exciting and beneficial. Often enjoyable. But after a whole day of class, I begin to feel my brain lagging behind my eyes. At about 4.30, patience can wear thin but we all bear with it and go on. For the betterment of ourselves and the animals we'll one day treat. But before leaving the dissecting theatre one more thing must be done. Wash your hands and dry them because:
And you better believe it...
Finally the day is done. Lab coats are ripped off and sighs of relief accompany the cacophony of moaning and groaning. Bags are zipped up conclusively and determinedly. Time to go.
All packed and ready...
One final step. Out to the tram stop to wait. The day draws to a close. The sun sets as I wait for the tram thinking of the day. Wondering what tomorrow will bring. Because I can't remember my ever-changing timetable.
The end...