Journal Entry #3

November 17, 2003

    Another day goes by...and the clock is ticking.  It seems like there is very little time before exams.  Most people are becoming worried.  These upcoming exams count 7.5% of our final grade at the end of the year, so they really aren't a big deal.  They are good practice, however, for the professional exams (85%) in June.  Coming up we have the bacteriology practical exam on December 3rd (2 weeks away?!).  Then the pharmacology exam on December 5th (that will be a scary one).  Then we have a weekend to study (thank goodness), with the parasitology written and practical exam on Monday the 8th...and bacteriology written exam on the 9th.

    Other projects I have to be working on are the pathology practical notebook, the pathology essay questions (to do at home, answer 2 using 3 sources), and soon the pharmacology CAL (computer aided learning) questions.  Not to mention that I'm still behind in almost every subject! 

    My excitement for last week (on a Wednesday night) was the Dick Day pub crawl.  I had a blast, even though I was a bit unsure about it when I left home.  Everyone has to gasp and ask what "Dick Day" is!  Don't worry, it's nothing too terrible.  It's a traditional sports competition day between the Glasgow and Edinburgh veterinary schools (Edinburgh is just a 45 minute drive away from Glasgow).  Edinburgh's vet school is called "The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies" because it was founded by someone with the surname of Dick.  I hear that each year, Glasgow loses...I'm not positive about that, but we did lose this year.  This year it was held in Glasgow, last year in Edinburgh, and the year before that in Glasgow (it alternates, see?). 

    The pub crawl started off at 6pm (though Amy, Liz and I arrived later) at "The Hogshead" off of George Square (but not the one next to Queen Street Station...confusing).  At first I was not so excited about it all...I couldn't hear well there (I am hearing impaired, and my hearing is worst in loud environments) and I really didn't know anyone too well.  After 2 drinks (I drink fast, so it wasn't that long) we moved on to another pub.  We skipped pub number 2 because we really liked pub number 3: "Waxy O'Connell's".  There, we had a snack and I think I had about 3 more drinks prior to moving on.  It became really packed full of vet students in there!  Shoulder to shoulder.  Oh yeah, most everyone was wearing a nice new "Dick Day" T-shirt.  It was supposed to get you good deals on drinks...but I didn't find that to be true.  Pub number 4 was "Walkabout": another one of the "greats" in Glasgow.  This one was definitely too loud for me (and I expected it) so I had to put my ear plugs in.  It was kind of funny yet sad, people would come up to me and start talking to me...saying lots of things before I could point out the fact that I couldn't hear!  LOL!  We stayed at Walkabout for quite a while and I drank 2 drinks and 1 shot (Sambuca, yum).  At that point I began to be drunk for sure.  I was happy and according to Amy I was hugging people...but I don't remember that tiny detail.  I do remember being in a picture with some of my classmates...this was after I spilled my bright red "Sex on the Beach" drink on my T-shirt.  How embarrassing, but at least I probably was smiling.  We finally ended up at Yate's, a smaller pub that was too crowded.  I don't remember too many details there.  (But I remembered more than I usually do when I get drunk). 

    Let's see...what else have I been up to?  OK...way back on November 2nd I did a horrendous thing!  I tortured myself with a 35 mile bike ride, down south to Hamilton.  I thought it wouldn't be so bad, except that it would seem to take forever.  BUT I wasn't warned about the hills!  There were many many hills, they seemed never-ending to me, and I don't have enough leg muscles for hills.  I felt like I was going to die on most of the hills, but I never did walk up a single hill...I pedaled the whole way.  It was a rainy day on top of that, with wind, and I became really freezing cold at some point.  I also realized that my ring finger on my left hand was numb...and I thought maybe it was just coldness that was doing it.  No...my ring finger (to this day) is still numb!  I must have injured my ulnar nerve, probably by gripping the handlebars for too long or too hard.  Hopefully the feeling will come back in that finger some day.  I am amazed I managed the entire 35 miles (we took the train back).  I may not do another ride for a couple months due to exams and the holidays.  I have been riding my bike 20-25 miles each week ever since then, divided into 2 days (usually Friday and Saturday afternoons).  I don't tackle any big hills though, as there aren't many on the routes I take.  I now have special padded cycling gloves and a mud guard on the rear wheel.  You should see how dirty you get cycling in this rainy country!

    I have also been going to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the last couple of Sundays for evening concerts/recitals.  On November 9th I saw Maxim Vengerov (a famous young violinist) in recital.  On November 16th (last night) I saw "The Four Seasons By Candlelight".  I have really enjoyed myself at the concert hall and intend on going back whenever I see pieces/ensembles that interests me.  I have been going alone because no one I know has a real interest in classical music...but today I found out that my friend Liz might enjoy going...so maybe she'll come with me next time. 

    These past few days I've been working hard on pathology...trying to get through my notes and the written book of notes.  I had not touched it since the last pathology assessment...and I certainly suffered for it, feeling quite stressed.  Tonight I finally got caught up.  We have one more lecture tomorrow and then the exam on Thursday. 

    I can't wait to go home for Christmas!  I can't wait to put up our Christmas tree here and play Christmas music (Amy doesn't want to until after Thanksgiving).  At least when I finally start with the Christmas spirit, it will mean that I will be going home soon. 


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