Journal Entry #8

March 13, 2005

    It's been quite some time since I have last written.  I didn't have much to say the last couple of weeks because I was studying, and studying, and studying some more.  We finally had our CIC (combined integrated course) exam on Friday the 11th of March.  It's hopefully all over for that portion of the year now!  I studied so hard that I couldn't figure out how to absorb any more detailed information.  Yet I still don't feel I did that great on the exam.  In order to improve, I feel that I would have had to memorise every single detail - and that's not really possible.  It's hard enough knowing what each disease is and how to distinguish it from other diseases. 

    Friday's exam consisted of two "papers": one from 9:30am-12pm and another from 1:30pm-4pm.  I was rushed on the first paper (which is highly unusual for me) and the second I felt I had just enough time (unusual because mostly I have left early for previous exams).  The first paper examined us on ruminants, broken down into cattle and small ruminants.  There were 40 true/false (8 sets of 5) and 40 multiple choice for cattle, and the same for small ruminants.  There were 2 essay questions (with a choice from 4) for cattle and 1 essay question (with a choice of 3) for sheep.  I liked all the sheep essay questions but wasn't too happy with the cattle question choices.  I managed though.  After lunch, paper 2 tested us on veterinary public health, pigs, and poultry.  We had similar sections of multiple choice and true/false as paper 1, and one essay for pigs and one for public health (each with a choice from 3).  I didn't feel these were so bad - but still not ideal.  Ideal, to me, would be questions that make me say "ok, that's easy...lots to write about".  Nope - these I feel like I had a lot of B.S.ing to do and little demonstration of my real knowledge. 

    Now that the exam is over, we await the dreaded "oral list".  The oral list is posted after 4pm on Tuesday, and it will tell us who is borderline pass/fail and who has done extremely well.  I don't expect to be on that list at all - but you never know.  The oral exams follow on Wednesday - only those on the oral list must take the oral exam. 

    I am so much looking forward to going home to sunny southern California!  I haven't been home in 6 months and I can't wait to see my family (including my pets) and friends.  I also hope to enjoy my extramural studies the entire 4 weeks (at a bird hospital).  The plan is to also study as much as possible because I am quite behind in the companion animal course (CAC).  Luckily, I enjoy studying companion animal medicine and should do better in it than the CIC course (theoretically!). 

    The weather here is still cold.  It's occasionally windy (the kind that blows right through you).  The sun is out a lot lately (knock on wood).  But there's the occasional forecast of snow, and it did snow about 2-3 weeks ago (but it wasn't cold enough to stay very long).  It just has to be warmer in California right now.  I can't wait to sit in the sun and soak up the rays.  Only 6 more days until I fly home!  I'll write more when I return to Scotland in April.  At that time I will be preparing for the clinical exams and will leave a week after that for Arles, France (to attend the EAAV conference).


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