Journal Entry #11

June 11, 2005

    Well it's finally over!  Fourth year, that is.  I am officially a fifth and final year vet student!  Tada, and I've made it this far without re-sitting an exam (knock on wood!).  When I came back from France in May, I studied and studied and studied.  We were given 2 weeks free of lectures to study, too.  I nearly went insane sitting in my room by the computer day in and day out!  I was glad to take the exam on Friday, June 3rd to finally get it all over with.  I felt good about the exam coming out of it, and am still somewhat disappointed in my grade (but it also included the OSCE grade, which I did poorly on in April, and my CLA project grade which was excellent).  However I passed and did no worse on it than several others I've taken.  It is a relief to be able to say I'm in fifth year!  Next year when I come back (OK, it'll be not too long from now in September) I can say "this is my FIFTH year living in a foreign country!"

    I have had this week entirely off with nothing to do but have fun (if possible).  I cooked things I've never made before (a banana cream pie that I ate all by myself !! And a different chili recipe).  I played on the computer (games) until I got sick of it (doesn't take much considering I've been sitting in front of the computer the past couple weeks straight!).  I saw two movies so far ("Star Wars 3" and "Mr. and Mrs. Smith").  I've been shopping (bought some books at Borders).  I finally got my bike fixed!  That's a big deal - it's had a flat tyre since October or November!  I rode it home from Gibson Street (near Gilmorehill, the main university campus) and have since ridden over 60 miles in 2 days.  The weather has just happened to be good this week, too!  I expect rain tomorrow though (we rarely see the sun more than 5 days at a time). 

    Recently I planned a new trip.  I will be leaving on June 19th on the West Highland Way - this time I will walk the entire 95 miles!  But this time I'm also taking it a bit easy - I'm staying in B&Bs/guest houses every night, so I won't be carrying a huge rucksack (like the time when Rebecca and I did 42 miles of the Way).  This way (excuse the pun) I don't have to suffer the 'night midges' and the leaky tent, and I will have time to dry off and relax at night (plus I'll be served a cooked breakfast!).  I will also be bringing my digital camera (walking alone, I should have the chance of getting some good wildlife shots - though I expect to have plenty of company since it's a popular Way at this time of year).  My mobile phone will also have its place in my day pack, for safety reasons.  I will be walking 7 full days, usually at least 12 miles each day (on the worst day it'll be 19 miles).  This is my last chance at the WHW, so I'm taking it!

    That means I have no more breaks after tomorrow!  There is one week in the summer where I'll be at home in southern CA, but I'll have plenty to do at that time (shopping, dental appointments etc.).  This upcoming week I'll be doing EMS, commuting to Edinburgh each day (starting bright and early on the 6:45am train!) to experience lab animal medicine.  I will have to sign a confidentiality contract/agreement - so don't be expecting many details on this EMS assignment!

    I'll write more later, hopefully after the West Highland Way (I'll have photos to add).  I may not have access to my computer AND the Internet this summer, so updates will likely not be frequent. 2005-2006 Cindy Fulton