Every once in awhile I feel like a Donkey amongst Thoroughbreds…
It’s the Kentucky Derby. The crowd is wearing grand hats and drunk on mint juleps. The Thoroughbreds lift their heads and sniff the air, they’ve been training for this moment since they were in the womb. They were bred for it. We’re at the starting line. Take your mark. Get Set….I let out an awkward Hee-Haw and fart. This is going to be epic.
Vet school is not the Kentucky Derby, but having crammed every piece of Dog, Cat, Horse, Ruminant, Bird and Reptile anatomy into the past 4 weeks, it certainly feels like we’re running for something.
Today, we had a 3 embryology lecture series for the price of 2 hours. The teacher started off asking the class who had studied embryology before and I felt the whoosh of air on the back of my neck as almost everyone behind me raised their hands. I did not raise my hand. I’ve never studied embryology before. I don’t even pronounce the word embryology correctly…
I made a note of the textbook the instructor referenced at the start of his presentation. Yup. Will be checking that one out at the library.
As class continued, I started thinking about things I’d never thought about before, like how strange is it to eat eggs. Eggs are CHICKEN EMBRYOS! While that bit of information isn’t a shock, it remains a REALLY DIFFICULT CONCEPT FOR ME TO GRASP, somehow.
Just as I was coming to terms with scrambling chicken embryos and cheese for breakfast in the morning, the instructor put a slide up about how to tell if an egg was fertilized after cracking it into the frying pan. This, of course, was all just a fun aside in the lecture and not the real technical information we were delving into.
Chicken embryo. Fertilized. Yuck.
I couldn’t take it. I grabbed a pen and scribbled to J, who, as usual provided me with a thoughtful and sincere reply:
J was laughing too hard to give me a straight answer and I was unsatisfied with the chick staring at me from the yolk doodle, so I asked the instructor, who pretty much tried to ease my fear by explaining that all the eggs I buy at the store come from hen-only facilities and are unfertilized.
Hm. Somehow, still weirded out. eeeeeemmmmmbbbbbbrrrrrryyyyyyooooooo
There are so many classes I wish I had taken as an undergrad, classes like Cell Biology, Genetics, Embryology, Anatomy, Anatomy, and Anatomy, to name a few. Instead, I had to survive classes like Nautical Science (I, II, III, and IV), Leadership and Development, and Dr. Weber’s Macroeconomics.
So, if we’re ever in a situation that requires celestial navigation…like if a futuristic Noah’s Ark is ever looking for a veterinarian, I guess I’m your girl.
Still, my Marine Environmental Science degree from the CGA and subsequent time spent serving in the Coast Guard did not leave me entirely unprepared for veterinary school in Edinburgh…
Top 10 Ways the US Coast Guard Prepared Me for Vet School in Edinburgh:
10. Balance. I’m adept at going up and down the stairs of a moving double decker bus, thank you 2 years underway!
9. Management. I’m a government-trained multi-tasker, a skill which I now employ by studying, watching Downton Abbey and blogging…
8. Boldness. I can answer questions so confidently, sometimes I trick the people who actually know the answer into thinking I’m right.
7. Military Bearing. I can keep a straight face and ask questions like, “Since syphilis was a disease found only in sheep from the dawn of time until the 1490’s, does that mean…”
6. Teamwork. I’m good at sharing, even if it means I’ve invited 8 people to dinner and only have 3 chairs, so 5 people are stuck sitting on the floor.
5. Experience. Getting older every year has it’s perks. I’m sweating pearls, baby, pearls of wisdom and not most of the small stuff.
Breakfast > Makeup
Catching the Bus > Breakfast
Friendship > Studying
3. Stamina. Given enough coffee, it’s amazing how much I can accomplish in a day.
2. Achieving impossible goals. I’ve had quite a bit of practice absorbing a lot of information about a lot of information in a little bit of time….like how I pretty much became a “Public Affairs Officer” when I was deployed to fill a PA position for Deepwater Horizon.
1. Timeliness…oh wait….no one has ever accused me of being timely. Not now, not ever. Some things never change.
I’m glad we’re not really running a race. In reality, the race has already been run. We’re champions – we are in Veterinary School! We’re standing garland-adorned in the winner’s circle. Not saying I expect the next 4 years to be a leisurely victory lap, but I do plan on taking time now and then to stop and smell the roses…
*Editor’s Note: #10 on the above list was called into question today when I tripped while exiting the bus and ended up sitting in a stranger’s lap. I apologized and scurried off the lurching, sputtering bus shaking my head at just how terrible I really am at public transportation.