Journal Entry #1

September 4, 2004

    Hurray, I've reached 4th year!  I have had an exciting, fun-filled summer and will be ready to start classes in another three weeks.  My summer began with a trip to the Isle of Man for two weeks of EMS (extramural studies) at a mixed practice.  I found the Isle to be beautiful and full of friendly people.  The weather was not too cooperative: it rained 11 days out of 13.  I took a walk around the southwest coast of the island one Saturday (and got soaked with rain), observing "The Dark" (movie) being filmed on the cliffs of "The Chasms".  I walked the Promenade of Douglas (capitol city) and took an electric train up to the highest peak another day. 

    I learned something during the Isle of Man EMS: quality & standard of medicine varies from place to place, and is not very controlled in the UK (and surrounding isles).  I observed many interesting things, including a perineal urethrostomy surgery on a cat, a flank spay on a cat, and an eye enucleation on a pony.  I enjoyed going on a few large animal calls as well as shadowing the vets in the consultation rooms.  I got to practice my skills of physical examination and drug dose calculation.  I also helped with many wild birds (gulls and thrushes mainly) and even a pet bird (duck).  I saw my first hedgehog and even touched a hedgehog baby (wild one). 

    Next, I flew home to southern California and worked as a veterinary technician in my 'usual hospital' in Upland.  Only, they had built a new hospital building and moved in!  Things were different for me the first few days, but I got right back into the swing of things (nursing care, a few surgery shifts, and office call tech duties).  I met several new people who were very nice; some were pre-vet or vet students.  I worked for about 3.5 weeks.  Oh yeah, and at the beginning of my stay at home I had my two upper wisdom teeth removed!  It was a fun (really!) experience with zero pain afterwards. 

    Finally, I flew to New Orleans to begin my 2 week holiday in "the South".  The first week, in New Orleans, I attended the Association of Avian Veterinarians annual conference and expo.  I was busy from 8am-5pm each day with lectures (except Friday).  At night I would go out and find a great place to eat!  The best thing about New Orleans was the food - I certainly ate well (and went off my low-carb diet).  My favourite restaurant was Mr. B's Bistro on Royal Street in the French Quarter.  I learned a lot during the conference and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I also met many vets whom I had previously met only online.  Interestingly, I also saw vets from the UK (even our very own Alistair Lawrie from Scotland).  The last day of my stay, I took the St. Charles streetcar and saw the Garden District and the beautiful Audubon Park (near Loyola and Tulane Universities). 

    I then flew to San Antonio, Texas to meet my 4.5 month old nephew, Ashton.  This is the first time I'd been to San Antonio, and the first time seeing my sister's new house.  My mom also flew in to visit.  My nephew is adorable and huge!  He is a happy baby, but still has his fussy moments...and I have no idea if I'd ever have the energy to be a mom.  After six days, I flew back to southern California to get ready for my return to the UK.  Importantly (especially for this website), my parents bought me a new digital camera!

    I am finally back in Glasgow, enjoying a bit of peace and quiet.  The weather is its usual gloominess but there are bouts of sunshine.  I have really come to enjoy this place.  For some reason, it usually takes me about 2-3 years to settle into one place!  I wish I could be as happy anywhere right from the start...but that's just not the way it is.

    I hope you enjoy the better quality and more frequent photographs that will arrive on this site in the upcoming year.  Look forward to further exciting tales from me!  Fourth year is going to be a blast...I just know it. 2004-2006, Cinthia Fulton