Monday, February 22, 2010

and all at once it hit me...

Others in my class have been complaining for a while that this semester was harder than the previous one, that they were feeling overwhelmed and that this was gonna be a tough one. Until last week, I hadn't thought that, then all at once it hit.

Last week was a complete blur. I volunteered to host an Italian veterinary student that was visiting with other students from her school for a week. I stupidly offered to do this before I knew confirmed dates that they would be here, and because we were told they spoke english...they LIED. Had I known it would have been last week, I would have politely declined. I had 3 exams last week, a project due and NO TIME FOR ANY OF IT!!! On top of all that the Italian students expected that we (their hosts) were going to not only be their shuttle to and from school, but also their social director after class and well into the night, that's a job in itself. Add to that shuttling six of them to the mall, restaurants, and different clubs when none of them speak english and you must translate into a language that you don't speak (can you see the stress level rising? My eyebrow is starting to twitch just remembering it) I didn't get home before 11:30 any night last week, and when you rise at 5:30, that starts to get really really old. On top of not getting in until 11:30, I still had to study for the next exam. I was beyond exhausted by Wednesday of last week and I had a breakdown on a good friend's front steps. My poor friend opened the door to let me in to study with her, I tried hard to conceal my tears, but as soon as she opened the door...the floodgates burst. She is such an awesome friend. She grabbed me, hugged me and then promptly handed me a glass of wine. As I sat in her kitchen, collecting myself she asked if I had eaten dinner. I started to cry again realizing that I had forgotten to eat (who does that?). "Great!" she said, "I will make you pancakes." I know, it sound really really odd--pancakes and wine, but it was the best dinner I had all week. And for that particular night, just what the doctor ordered. I felt better after only 2 pancakes and 1 glass of wine. I even got a little studying done that evening. It was a trying week, I had another breakdown on Thursday, this time over the phone to my Mom. I sound flippant about this now, in hindsight it is comical, but it takes EXTREME pressure to send me to my breaking point, and to do it twice in one week was just unheard of. (I only had a mini-breakdown during finals last semester) To add to the extreme stress, husband was out of town for the majority of the week, overseeing repairs to our home in Houston. I was all alone...except the Italian of course. (Which, just to be clear was perfectly adorable. She brought me special pasta, sauce and a bottle of olive oil her family! None of this was really her fault, just bad communication and poor timing.) Oh, yeah did I mention the power steering in my car went out around Wednesday? Awesome.

The tests did not go well. But, on the bright side, they didn't go well for anyone (I'll pretend that's the bright side). I wasn't alone in my "whelming" we were collectively feeling the pressure. My final test of the week was an exam in a 1 hour course called "Public Health". The course deals with zoonotic diseases (diseases people can catch from animals) and how we report them, what agency handles the report and other important information. The exam was a complete joke. Rather than test us on important veterinary concepts, he chose to test us on "The international agency that would oversee the recipe for strawberry jam" (not kidding, direct quote) There was also a question regarding sardines, ham and I think one about edible shell eggs. I have no idea how or why this fits into veterinary medicine. But, you never know, maybe I'll regret not paying attention when a sick sardine comes into my clinic. (I'm still bitter, can ya tell?)

The good news is...its over. This week is a new week. I got some much needed rest this weekend, and caught up on some studying, though I still have a lot more to do. (when do I not?) I went running tonight to prevent any building stress for the week, and after our exam tomorrow we will no longer have embryology, one whole class knocked out for the semester. (though it is being replaced with a tougher class) I am glad I got through last week, at some points I wasn't sure I was gonna make it, but I did. I learned some very important lessons, 1. never offer to host another student before you know EXACTLY what you are getting yourself into. 2. you can never study enough for microbiology 3. Apparently, I might one day treat a sick jar of strawberry jam, and it will be vital for me to know what international agency regulated it's recipe. Here's to a new week!