Journal Entry #3

October 27, 2004

    I suppose it has been a while since my last journal entry - I might as well sneak one in now, before the month is over.  We've been kept very busy these past few weeks.  It's like there is no room to breathe!  If you take a chance to relax, you get behind in your studies.  I suppose I might be the only one studying at this point, but I think I need to.  I can't afford to leave it all to the last minute, as these grades really count for me (since I will be applying for an internship next year). 

    This year we have to complete a group research project (called the "collaborative learning assignment").  My class was divided into groups of 6 or 7 students, and each group was assigned to an advisor/clinician.  My group consists of 7 students and our advisor is the anaesthesiologist.  Every group was given a choice among two topics.  My group has chosen to do our project on "venous admixture in equine anaesthesia: how/why it occurs and possible treatments".  We split ourselves up into pairs of "researchers", with Olivia and I researching the treatment modalities.  Someone else will be drafting, and I will be editing.  We will submit at least one draft to our advisor for feedback.  In the end, we will have a complete paper and one of us will present the research on the last day of the term in December.  This assignment is worth 20% of our overall grade - and I think it is going well so far. 

    Practicals (labs) which I have had in the past few weeks include basic suturing, diagnostic imaging physics via computer aided learning, and two ruminant clinical exam practicals.  I haven't been too excited about any of those practicals.  I did learn to do one-handed and two-handed ties in the suturing practical, so I guess that is good (and I have been practicing so I won't forget them).  Tomorrow I have a veterinary public health practical, where I suppose we will be looking at post mortem specimens in the post mortem room. 

    We have had several 4th year / 5th year combined activities over the past couple of weeks.  On Mondays and Fridays we have "clinical pathology presentations" given by the pathology staff and sometimes clinicians.  So far, cases we have seen presented include osteomyelitis in a calf, chronic renal failure in a pony, cardiomyopathy in a ferret, myxomatosis in two rabbits, infectious canine hepatitis in a dog, and leptospirosis in a puppy.  We have had one bout of "grand rounds" on a Friday afternoon, where three 5th year students presented interesting cases in which they were involved with that week.  Cases we heard about: aspiration pneumonia in a dog with megaoesophagus, torn cranial cruciate ligament in a dog, and an ectopic ureter in a young bitch.  Perhaps we will have another "grand rounds" this upcoming Friday.  Last Friday we had two guest lectures about pet insurance and malpractice insurance. 

    Fun things I have done lately include reading the first two Harry Potter books (now I'm hooked and I need to see the movies); going to see "Ae Fond Kiss", "Anchorman", and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement"; going to see/hear "Classics By Candlelight" at the Royal Concert Hall; and watching an old John Wayne movie on DVD.  Tonight we carved our pumpkin, and Sunday (Halloween) I will be going to see/hear Verdi's Requiem at the Royal Concert Hall.  It has been getting dark here around 6pm, so next week it will be 5pm...and eventually 4pm.  That's something to look forward to, I guess. 

    Time to tune out and study the most boring "mineral deficiency diseases of cattle"...


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