Well, week four didn’t last long. Time is speeding up and to be honest, it’s a bit scary! Our first mid-terms are in two weeks and although I’m definitely more prepared this year than I was last year, it still feels like I don’t have enough time between the lectures and the tests. That said, generations of vets before me have succeeded and I refuse to let exams get in the way of what will one day be a very hands-on career!
This week’s exotics class was on bird skeletons, so no dissection, but it was cool to see how birds are put together and what allows them to fly. I was one of those kids who was really interested in how both birds and aeroplanes stayed in the sky – for a long time I just assumed God held them up because nothing else seemed plausible, but although my faith still runs strong, I now understand physics a bit better! The other lectures are getting into more depth about blood and nerves and chemistry which is all feeling a bit foreign right now. It’s definitely not as daunting as last year i.e. this year I know what the subject matter is, but I’d be lying if I said it was plain sailing. Luckily for us second-year vets, our timetable isn’t very full – we have most Thursdays off and a lot of the other days we only have classes in the morning or the evening, so plenty of time to study and keep up extracurriculars.
Speaking of activities besides studying, I’ve actually managed to attend all of the rugby training sessions so far, which I am very proud of. I’m really enjoying getting back into it and the girls on the team are all lovely. We were meant to have a match this week but thankfully it was pushed back by the other team, so our first one is this Wednesday against another Dublin university. I have no idea if I’ll make the squad or not, but either way, I’m having a lot of fun playing again. Having decided to leave fencing until next semester, my other sport for this semester is polocrosse! We had our first lesson on Thursday night and I’m already hooked. I did a few lessons when I was back in England but I could not remember a single bit of information when our teacher, Debbie, was explaining the rules. It’s so much fun to play and it’s a real workout! I did fall off because the horses are very sensitive to neck-reigning – I was leaning down to pick up the ball and I moved my hand, so my mare dropped her shoulder to turn left and, well, I didn’t – but it was all good. I was actually really proud of myself for not getting flustered – usually, that would be exactly the sort of thing to set off my anxiety because everyone’s focus was on me, but I managed to laugh it off and hop back up. I did have a moment of panic in the car because I was thinking back to it and blowing it out of proportion in my head, but I’m definitely handling my anxiety better now! The therapy sessions are definitely helping and I’m a lot more comfortable in situations that I just used to avoid.
One of my own animals was in the university vet hospital this week – my darling Abhann, who’s the only remaining male lamb of my spring adoption spree, was in to be castrated. He’s very unhappy to have been separated from his girls, but I do not need any deliberate lambs! Hopefully we caught him before it’s too late, but he may have already sown his wild oats. Everyone at the vet hospital thought he was darling – he’s a real pet, he walks with a “harness” (which is just a horse’s headcollar!) and he’s very affectionate. He’s not allowed back in with the ewes for six weeks just to be on the safe side, so he’s outside my bedroom window in the garden. The other invalid, my mare, Africa, is much better! She’s sound at a walk and very slightly lame in trot, so I’m thrilled. She’s had a poultice on all week – I changed it on Thursday and I will again tomorrow morning – but it didn’t look as though anything else had come out. Either way, she’s feeling heaps better. Her little sidekick, Ellie, is not very little at the moment. She’s a Welsh section A who’s the size of a small house – time to invest in a grazing muzzle, methinks! We can’t separate them because Africa goes nuts if she can’t reach her, but being an old lady, Af needs plenty of grass to make sure she keeps condition on over the winter, so Ellie is just getting wider and wider and wider!
I just got home from my aunt’s 50th birthday dinner and I’m absolutely stuffed – four courses and I regret none of them! I don’t start until 11am tomorrow (see what I mean about the easy timetable?) but I do have to get up early to change Africa’s poultice and give Abhann his antibiotics, so off to bed with some revision for me!