i’m so, so sorry for the week and a bit more of tumblr absence! after getting back to dartmouth from my externship i basically spent most of my days sleeping, eating, drinking with friends, and doing really silly things with my boyfriend. today he chased me into his room because he was doing scary things with his arms and then i hid under the blanket. i’ve only been 21 for 5 full days and already i love acting like a child.
my externship at the equine clinic is one of the hardest things for me to write about, because so much happened. it exhausted me - i was on call day and night and weekends and emergencies and quickly became an expert on setting up for a colic - but it also educated me, in a no-nonsense down-and-dirty way, and i think i kind of loved that. i loved the simple pleasures of my externship, like doing 8pm medications in the quiet surgery barn with just the radio playing, but i also loved that i got to see the scary and sad and frustrating parts of equine practice, like the owner that just wouldn’t euthanize her horse even when he was lying in his stall with his eyes begging us to do it. i learned so much about lameness and neuro exams and colic workups and nasogastric intubation and nerve blocking and ulcers and Tildren, but also about clients who just want to take their horse home now, and clients who just think this foal is a little off, and clients who don’t want the intern injecting their horse’s hocks, etc etc. i didn’t love all of it while it was happening, but being there for everything has unquestionably made me into a more competent and capable and knowledgeable pre-veterinary student and vet school applicant.
i wish i could sit down with all of you pre-vets and talk about everything i can remember - the first foal i got to restrain or the last colic emergency i helped with, who made several heartbreaking attempts to stand post-surgery but just had too weak a hind end to do it. feel free to ask me any questions about what i learned, how the externship worked, etc. if given the choice, i would most certainly do this again, and i’ve already talked to the vets about coming back when i’m a vet student!
that’s the other thing, the last thing, the most important thing: i’ll never forget the people. they were inspiring, likeable, admirable veterinarians and technicians and horse people - the vet that took me for ice cream and the vet that picked me to take on farm calls and the tech that told dirty jokes and the vet who offered to write me a recommendation letter when i wrote him a thank you email. i hope i remember their faces forever. i can’t wait until i meet others like them.
i start work on thursday (weird, i know) and i hope this humane society stuff all works out but i also already know i’ve done well this term finding something worthwhile to spend my time on. i will never forget 13Spring.
the past couple of days have been a whirlwind of polaroid snapshots and mike’s hard lemonade and a deliciously dangerous chocolate cake. i love my friends, and i think i have the capability to love myself.
for an on-campus job as a Deans Office Student Consultant in senior year. i applied without thinking i’d even make it past the interview phase and now they want me to come to dartmouth and interview for it sometime next week. what is my life? anyway, this could be cool. money is nice to have.
if next weekend is emergency-free and therefore
boring quiet like this one is, i’m going to cheer myself up by learning how to make risotto.
my 6 week stint working for an equine clinic officially starts tomorrow, and i can’t stop feeling overwhelmed by what i’ve gotten myself into now. i’m literally in a random town in new england, i know nobody here, i don’t have a car so i can go buy groceries, and i’ve somehow fooled myself into thinking i have the guts and the smarts and the work ethic to be an extern here - to actually go and do 8am12pm4pm8pm treatments (and sometimes 12am and 4am treatments) and give horses fluids and medication and take blood and take their temperature and check if they’re colicking and feed them and help the vets with appointments and surgeries and everything in between. not to mention being an independent adult and cooking my meals and studying for the GRE and interacting normally with adults around me and acting for all the world like i’m not this little girl undergrad who is good at studying biology but has no freaking idea if she’s going to be good at actually working at the kind of place she has dreamed about. i made the plans to work here so long ago, and now everything is happening, and what if i fuck it all up? this is going to be one of the most interesting 6 weeks of my entire life.
(P.S. i’m beyond excited. and scared. and can’t believe this is my life!)
i’m off again this spring term (my first off term in a while, actually) but i have a bunch of pre-vet stuff all lined up! on the 25th i start an externship at an equine clinic, which i’m super excited about - i get to rotate through the different departments and do midnight treatments sometimes and it all sounds very intense and interesting.
i’m there for 6 weeks, and then it’s my birthday week - the big 21! before my birthday i’m going to take the GRE for the first time, which is terrifying - i’ll be studying every day up until then. then i hang out in hanover with friends for my birthday and start on my next 6-week stint.
that’s either going to be an internship at a wildlife rehab clinic OR at the humane society just 20 minutes from school. hmm, playing with puppies and kittens and living on campus near all my friends, or playing with baby birds and raccoons and learning about wildlife rehab in new england? i literally don’t know what sounds better, so i’ll make that decision when i come to it!
stay tuned, followers - it’s going to be a great spring!
you are the most unforgettable part of this last year. here’s the first picture i ever took with you (before we were dating). i might look derpy, but i was giddy with how happy i was to have you sitting beside me. can’t wait for that to happen again when i see you.
you are the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last before i go to sleep. you said it best in your last email: miss you always, love you lots, talk to you later, honey.
hi all. we’ve literally been in palo verde national park for a day and already we’ve literally seen so much wildlife it makes me want to cry (no, really, i teared up a little on our way back from our orientation hike). the fun stuff started even when we got off the bus and were just hanging around waiting for our room assignments - we kept seeing Ctenosaurs, or spinytail iguanas. they’d do their head bobbing thing and run around (they have a really funny run!) and hide under the cars parked at the field station.
after lunch we had our orientation walk into the dry forest for the first time, and it was amazing - it took around 15 minutes before one of us (e.s.) spotted this big beautiful owl. professor r was leading us through and talking about important things like acacia tree - ant mutualisms (a reminder to myself to not brush up against one!) but we kept getting sidetracked because we saw so much! we must have seen monkeys at least 5 times, mostly capuchins and howler monkeys (which make such hilarious noises) but once we saw a spider monkey and her baby which was ridiculously cute. we also had a run in with a Norops or anole lizard, which prof. r picked up for us, and which is also s.d.’s assigned “spirit animal” (we all have assigned animals that we’re supposed to yell out in alphabetical order when we get on the bus so that we know that everyone’s on the bus. mine is a gallinule which is a beautiful bird - google it). prof. r also picked up a boa constrictor for us, which we petted and cooed over for a while until s/he got a little pissy (but we did get to see his/her vestigial hind limbs - too cool!).
there was a little clearing where the trail met the road again and prof. r told us that monkeys always hang out there, so that means i’ll be back all the time, naturally. best of all, the road led us to the wetland part of palo verde, and we got to walk out on this dock in the middle of the marsh, where migratory birds were just flocking and being really loud and beautiful and awesome. that was my favorite part of the trip - suddenly being surrounded by all this amazing open space, with marshland stretching out in front of you and mountains in the background and all these birds like jacanas and egrets just landing a few feet away and crocodiles sunning themselves - it was incredible. i am definitely going back out there in my free time, maybe even alone.
we had dinner and a lecture tonight - this is going to be one of our most relaxed nights, so i’m getting as much casual internet time in as i can. we don’t start projects tomorrow yet, but we have more lectures and another hike. we’re going to get into more of a routine now. today was just such an incredible introduction to all the wildlife we were going to see that i felt i had to write a post about it while i had free time!
here’s a photoset for you all - till next time!
for those who are new to this blog: today is the first day of my biology study abroad program, which is Ecological Research in the Tropics / in Coral Reefs! Dartmouth has a lot of excellent study abroad programs, but i’ve heard that this one is especially amazing, and i can’t wait to get out there. we landed in San Jose yesterday night, and we’re going to our first field station tomorrow early in the morning!
i will have internet most of the time, but not a lot of time to myself (there’s a lot of work on this trip!) so i don’t know how often i’m going to be on in the next few days. i will try to update about my trip itself, but reblogging cool vet and science stuff is going to have to wait a little!
talk to you soon - from a cool field station next time!