Wednesday, December 12, 2012

As it turns out, it's difficult to keep a blog while you're in vet school.

So now that it's winter break, I'm free to update again!

Wow, I really can't believe that I'm officially finished with my first quarter of vet school.  I'm 1/16 of the way done (counting summers).  Looking back, I feel like it's crazy that I was only in school for two months and two weeks.  It felt so much longer than that!  I guess when you go through five weeks of exams in a row, and then study for nearly three weeks for one week of finals, it tends to feel like an eternity.

Awesome stuff about vet school:
  • My friends!  I'm convinced that I've got the best lab group in the entire world, and I love the people that I hang out with and study with.  I was (and still am) thankful for their support every single day, and I love that they are so hilarious.  Seriously, I don't have time to exercise in vet school (not that I did before), but I swear the fact that they make me laugh until my sides hurt is helping me to burn fat somehow.  
  • People in general - everyone, from my family and friends, to my classmates, to the professors and administrators, and even to the IT department of my school, has been so supportive!  I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this.  I love having an atmosphere where I feel like everyone genuinely wants everyone else to succeed.   
  • Cool experiences!  This quarter I got the opportunity to put my arm in a live cow's rumen (via ruminal fistula), witness electroshock therapy for an elephant, learn how to work with and lunge horses, and hug a variety of animals that I'd never hugged before (llama, goat, sheep, cow, horse...)
  • Learning.  As nerdy as this sounds, I really enjoyed learning a lot of new things that I'd never known before.  Although some of my favorite classes were definitely my hardest, I never found myself outright disliking the material (the tests, on the other hand...)  
Not-so-awesome stuff about vet school:
  • The workload.  In undergrad, I had to work my tail off to make a B in biochemistry, the hardest class that I had to take.  I only had that class for three hours a week, and I had three other classes on top of it.  This first quarter was like having three biochemistry classes for twenty-three hours a week, and still having three other classes in addition.  None of the material is hard, and I'm never confused, it's just A LOT of stuff to learn.
  • The pressure.  Having to learn so much to do well on a test is hard work.  Having the thought of failing out in the back of your mind makes it even worse!  If you get a D as a final grade in any of your classes, you have to take a remedial exam, and then you're on probation.  If you get another D or if you ever get an F, you're dismissed from the program to start again the next year.  No one in vet school is dumb - every vet student likely had a very good GPA in undergrad - so the fact that anyone has to remediate or start over at all should show how hard it is!
  • Not getting to spend time with your significant other.  There were days when I would see Derek in the morning before he dropped me off at school, come home and eat a fast dinner with him (sometimes not even this much), and then be off to the coffee shop to study all evening, only to see him again when it was time for bed.  Forget about having time to do fun things together, like play video games or go on dates.  But if there's a bright side to this, it's that it really makes you appreciate the time you DO get to spend together!
All-in-all, vet school is a love/hate relationship.  Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I love to hate it :)  The fact that I have so much support, though, has been the key to me surviving.  Whether it's been Derek being understanding and being there for me when I'm feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, or my family and friends always having kind words of encouragement and support, or my classmates going through the same exact thing that I'm going through and being there to hate it all with me, their confidence and comfort has helped me get through my first quarter even when I didn't necessarily feel up to the job.  

But enough about that, because it's winter break!  I don't have school for a whole month!  Woohoo!  That doesn't necessarily mean I'm done studying, though.  I've got a whole bunch of chapters that I want to read for physiology.  I'm trying to get as much done as possible in order to start out strong next quarter!

This Saturday, Derek and I are flying down to Oklahoma to be with family and friends for a couple of weeks.  I can't wait to spend Christmas at home with people who I haven't seen for months!  Aside from people we want to see, Derek and I have a whole LIST of food we want to eat.  Sadly, other than seafood and fancy grilled cheese, I have to say that Oregon doesn't have a whole lot going for it in the food department.  

List of places Derek and I want to eat:
  • Abuelo's (QUESO - sadly nonexistent in Oregon)
  • Lanna Thai (khao pad, satay gai, and delicious spices)
  • Coney I-lander (coneys!!)
  • Sonic (although they exist here, they don't have cheddar bites - shameful)
  • Chic-fil-a (morals be damned, I want a chicken sandwich)
  • McAlister's (spicy southwest chicken griller, omg)
  • Rib Crib (crib club, and any BBQ in general, hell yes)
  • Quiktrip (2:00am donuts and chicken sandwich for the win)
Now that my mouth is watering, I bid you adieu.  I'm meeting with two friends for a fun dinner and movie night, and I have yet to get ready!  How exciting!  I'm not going to promise when I'll update again (as we can see how well that's gone so far), but I do want to at least periodically update my blog.  It is fun, but unfortunately it gets put on the back burner when I have so many other things to do! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

One week down, four more years to go.

Last week was probably the longest week of my life!  If the first week of vet school, where we study all the "easy" stuff, feels that way, then I'm not really sure what I'll do when tests roll around!  Anyway, I'm loving most of my classes, but the amount they pile on you is a bit overwhelming.  I never feel like I have enough time at night to study material, and it just builds up more and more each day.  This last weekend was good to play catch-up, and I'm going to try and refine my study strategy so that I can fit more in each night.  I was also able to find time to do some fun stuff: Friday night, Derek and I played Call of Duty with Michael and Luke; Saturday, Derek and I went to the Salem Saturday Market for lunch and went grocery shopping; and Saturday night we restarted playing the Halo games again (which I've been really craving playing lately - I blame listening to the soundtracks).  It might not seem like much, but doing all of that really helped me feel a lot more relaxed coming into the second week of school.

Anyway, I'm going to rewind a bit back to orientation!  It was three days filled with different activities, and I ended up really enjoying each day.  Doing the ropes course on Day Two was definitely my favorite part.  I almost think I enjoyed the little low ropes "getting to know you" activities more than I enjoyed the high ropes, but I love cheesy stuff like that!  I had a lot of fun meeting pretty much all of my classmates, and I'm happy to report that everyone in my class is undeniably awesome.  But really, you literally cannot deny their awesomeness, they make you sign a waiver and everything.

As orientation was in full swing, my mom and Doc Shaw flew in from Oklahoma to visit and go to my White Coat Ceremony!  I was so happy to see them!  They came by our apartment for a little bit on Thursday night, and then on Friday they traveled to Corvallis a few hours before the ceremony so they could see the vet school and go on a tour especially for families of vet students (Derek and I went with them as well).  I'm really glad that they got to see the place I'm going to be spending most of my life in for the next four years!  But really, the Oregon State University College of Veterinary Medicine is so nice and modern and I'm really proud that I have the opportunity to go there, so I'm glad they got to see it!  Then later that night at the White Coat Ceremony we had a delicious dinner and marionberry cheesecake (aka the best cheesecake I've had in my life) and I was presented with my white coat (embroidered with my name) and stethoscope!  So cool :)

That Friday night, my Aunt Kim and Uncle Dave flew in from Boise.  So we spent the whole weekend hanging out with them, my mom and Doc Shaw, and my Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Jim (who live in Salem).  Saturday we drove to the coast and went WHALE WATCHING!  And we actually saw whales this time!  It was so exciting!  They were gray whales that live off of the coast of Oregon.  We even got to see their tails a few times!  The next day, Sunday, we took a trip to Silver Falls State Park to see some waterfalls.  It is really gorgeous out there, but I'm not sure some of us appreciated the amount of hiking that was involved, haha.  Then it came time to say goodbye to everyone who had come to visit :(  I'm sad that my family was only able to visit for such a short time!  I really enjoyed seeing them, and I can't wait until winter break when hopefully I will get to visit home again!

Since they left, my life has basically been school.  I know that sounds melodramatic since I only started a week ago, but it's true!  I'm in class from around 9 am - 5 pm every day, and then I come home and study all night.  My classes include physiology, gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy, and animal care.  Animal Care and Handling is probably the most fun, because we get to spend class time each week learning about different animals and doing basic check-ups on them!  It's a neat experience and it feels great to get out of the classroom and actually work with animals every once in a while.  Last week we got a chance to work with some of the university's horses, and since I've never worked with horses before it was all completely new to me.  We were taught how to take vitals, lift and check hooves, and then how to "lunge" the horses, which was an interesting experience in itself.  When lunging a horse, the trainer holds a long lunge rope that is attached to the horse's halter.  The horse is then instructed to trot in a circle around the trainer, with verbal and tactile commands imploring it to go faster or slower.  The first horse my partner and I worked with was not very interested in listening to us and preferred to eat grass instead.  Our second horse was a little better, but still not very well-trained.  Finally, for our last horse we decided to tack onto another group who seemed to be having success, and it worked!  This last horse was much more amenable and after a little bit of help from my professor, I was finally able to lunge a horse!  It was a really cool experience, and I enjoyed getting a chance to work with an animal I've never really been around before.

In other news, in case you need another reason to think that Derek and I are crazy, we're looking into moving, again!  Mere months after we moved into our current apartment!  We actually love where we live now, the price of rent, and the city we live in, but the problem is that all of that is an hour away from school and work.  So we lose two hours to a commute each day!  It's pretty tiring, and it makes it pretty much impossible for me to stay late and study, and I have even less time to dedicate to myself each day.  Not to mention having to wake up at 5:45 am to get to class at 8:00 am on Mondays!  A few weeks ago I was going to bed almost two hours later than that!!!  So, we're touring a duplex today.  We've driven by, and it's pretty cute looking.  It has a garage and a backyard, and it's only five minutes away from the school!  Where was this when we were looking for a place over the summer?  We had the hardest time finding a reasonably-priced place to live in Corvallis that would allow our three dogs, even though they only total about 30 lbs.  Cross your fingers for us!

That's all for now!  It seems like I'm not going to have a lot of time during the week to update my blog (I wrote most of this on Friday and I'm on a break from class that we don't normally have right now), so I'll probably only be able to update on weekends.  Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Orientation starts tomorrow and this is how I’m feeling:

Aak!  It’s finally starting!  I just want to run and hide under my bed!  I’ve figured out during the course of my life that I don’t deal well with big changes.  At least, I dread them until they’ve finally happened and then I’m okay with it.  I remember going to class the first day of my freshman year of college, and just wanting to go back to my high school and try my best to blend in for another few years instead.  Can you imagine someone actually wanting to go BACK to high school??  Well, that’s how I feel now.  I’d like to continue on for a few extra years in undergrad, and somehow convince all of my friends to do the same so nothing changes and everything stays awesome.  Luckily my fears about going into college turned out to be completely unnecessary, and I’m sure that vet school will be the same.  I’m hoping to meet some fantastic people and maybe even make friends with a few of them, too.  I’m hoping the workload isn’t going to be as taxing as I’m dreading it will be, and if it is (and it probably will be), I’m hoping I’m up for the task.  I’ve busted my ass over the years to get where I am today, so if I have to work even harder for a few more years I’m sure it can be done. 

I’m going to write this so I can come back and look at it when I’m in the thick of school, probably on the verge of a mental breakdown:  why I’m going to vet school and what I’m hoping to accomplish.  I want to make a difference.  I’ve volunteered for years with vets, zoos, and all sorts of species.  I’ve traveled across the world to pick up elephant poop (though I did that at the zoo, too).  I’ve seen first-hand the challenges that come with raising animals, both at home and in a zoo exhibit.   And I want to help.  At the zoo, when I interned with the Large Mammal keepers, I was privileged (though some may not see it that way) to participate many times in collecting semen from the zoo’s bull Asian elephant Sneezy: one of the most eligible bachelor elephants in North America.  Through that I was able to learn about the difficulties in breeding elephants in captivity: the high cost of transporting and even maintaining elephants, the lack of a matriarchal herd of elephants in many zoos, fertility problems, high infant mortality, the still relatively low success rate of artificial insemination in Asian elephants, and a low gene pool that coincides with declining elephant numbers in North American zoos.  There are many big hurdles that face Asian elephants, and I would love to specialize in theriogenology (animal reproduction) to help solve those problems while, at the same time, continuing to make zoos more elephant and other animal-friendly.  Of course I don’t want to limit my expertise to elephants, but wouldn’t it be cool to be an expert in elephant reproduction?  I think that sounds so awesome! 

Speaking of all of this, I want to get in contact with the Oregon Zoo in Portland soon.  They have a very well-established elephant breeding program, and I would love to be involved with that and possibly shadow their vet.  Don’t get me wrong, going into zoo medicine is a VERY competitive field.  But if I don’t end up doing any of this, I know whatever I end up doing will still involve me making a positive impact on the future of animals and conservation in some way or another!

Anyway, wish me luck for tomorrow!  But even more so, wish me luck for next Monday, because that’s when all of the REAL work begins!  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Schedule and Study Time!

The countdown for school continues!  This has felt like an incredibly long summer, and for good reason; it’s more than a month longer than my summers usually last.  It is definitely weird starting school so late in the year.  I’ve always started classes somewhere around mid-August, and gotten out for summer around the beginning or middle of May.  This year is different, though, because Oregon State runs on a “quarter” system, rather than a “semester” system.  There are four quarters in a year, corresponding with the seasons:  fall, winter, spring, and summer.  Each quarter lasts for about 12 weeks.  Some classes do roll over into the next quarter (I’ll be taking Gross Anatomy and Physiology for my entire first year), but most only last a quarter or two.  I’m actually looking forward to the change somewhat; hopefully it will keep me more engrossed in the material since each class runs for a shorter length of time.  Since I’m talking about it, I’ll go ahead and share my schedule for the first year of school:

Fall – First Quarter – 9/24 through 12/7

Class Credit Hours (lecture - lab):
Professional Orientation 1 (1 – 0)
Gross Anatomy 4 (1 – 9)
Microscopic Anatomy 4 (3 – 3)
Physiology 5 (4 – 3)
Intro to Animal Care 3 (1 – 6)
Veterinary Integrated Problem Solving         1 (0 – 2)
Total Credits: 18 (10 – 23)

Math wizards will take note that the amount of lecture and lab hours don’t add up to the 18 hours I’m credited for, but instead they add up to 33 hours!  I never understood why labs are often worth less credits than the hours they actually take up.  This happened in undergrad as well, for example, a class would count for 4 hours when I was really in it for 5 or 6 hours a week.  Never as crazy as this though; Gross Anatomy only counts for 4 hours when it really should be 10!  I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that there is some fishy math going on in the registrar’s office.  Anyway, continuing on:

Winter – Second Quarter – 1/7 through 3/22

ClassCredit Hours (lecture - lab):
Gross Anatomy4 (1 – 9)
Microscopic Anatomy3 (2 – 3)
Neuroscience4 (3 – 3)
Physiology5 (4 – 3)
Veterinary Integrated Problem Solving        1 (0 – 2)
Total Credits:17 (10 – 20)

Spring – Third Quarter – 4/1 through 6/14

ClassCredit Hours (lecture - lab):
Gross Anatomy4 (1 – 9)
Physiology4 (3 – 3)
Immunology5 (4 – 2)
Pathology5 (4 – 3)
Veterinary Integrated Problem Solving        1 (0 – 2)
Total Credits:19 (12 – 19)

The classes that I’m most excited for are Gross Anatomy, mostly because I love dissecting things, and Introduction to Animal Care, because I’m looking forward to learning the practical side of being a veterinarian in addition to the science-side, which I feel like I’ve already been working on for years.  Neuroscience sounds daunting, mostly because I remember trying to memorize only a small amount of nerves and whatnot in the nervous system when I took physiology last spring, and I’m sure this class is going to be much more in-depth. 

On another note:  Derek, the sweetest, best boyfriend in the world, put his programming skills to use and preemptively made me a study program called “Study Time.”  Some of you may remember using a very similar program (that he also made) to study structures in Mammalogy – this one is basically an updated, more reliable version of that one.  This is what it looks like:

It’ll be incredibly useful for studying structures like bones and muscles while I’m taking anatomy.  It’s super nice because, while I already have a favorite flash-card program that I love to study with ( they don’t really fill this niche of studying.  All I have to do is take a picture of whatever muscle group I’m studying, load it into the program, edit it however I want, and then study to my heart’s desire.  Derek even made his own file-type (.stf) for the program – most of you may not understand that much, but he’s really excited about it!  I also made the icon for the program:

Guess who I based it off of?  :)

If you are interested in using Derek's program, too, you can download by going here: and clicking the "Downloads" tab up top!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Much Ado About Nothing

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve got less than a month left until school starts.  Consequently, I still have a whole heap of things to do in order to prepare.  Between the school supplies I still have to buy, the vaccinations I still have to go through, and not knowing any of my classmates, I feel like I’m starting first grade rather than a professional program!  I’ve accomplished some stuff, but there is still plenty left to be done in T-20 days.

Here’s a haphazard list of things I’ve done thus far to prepare for school:
  • Moved to Oregon
  • Opened an account with a new bank
  • Decided on a health care plan
  • Bought a planner
  • Learned how to use Microsoft OneNote
  • Organized my binders and backpack
  • Signed up for classes
  • Ordered my dissection kit (So enthusiastic about this one!  I can’t wait to start dissecting!)

And heeere are things I still have to do:
  • Cancel old bank account
  • Actually sign up for a health care plan
  • Buy more school supplies
  • Provide my immunization records to the school
  • Get a rabies vaccine (aak!)
  • Class of 2016 BBQ
  • Go to vet school orientation
  • White Coat Ceremony!

Orientation and the White Coat Ceremony are big, mandatory events thrown by the CVM the Wednesday – Friday before school starts.  I don’t remember all of the details of orientation, but I know on Thursday we’ll be doing a ropes course, and on Friday there will be a tour of the vet school for family and friends.  The White Coat Ceremony, which takes place that same Friday evening, is a pretty prestigious ceremony that many medical schools (not just vet schools) host for their students.  I’m not entirely sure what all it entails, but I know there will be dinner and at some point we’ll be given our own white coats with our names embroidered on them.  Neat!  The best part of it all is that my mom and Dr. Shaw will be coming to visit that Thursday – Monday, so they’ll get to come to the ceremony and spend time with me before I start school.  I can’t wait to see them!

I’m really excited about my blog!  I’ve thought of so many topics to write about, and that’s just to tide me over until school actually starts.  My goal is to update weekly, and we’ll see how that goes.  Right now I’m actually trying to pace myself so that I don’t update too often!  Anyway, thank you for reading again!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

First Post!

You are currently viewing the beginnings of my blog as a VET STUDENT! Yes, a vet student. That will be me in less than a month (September 24th, to be exact). I'm starting this blog in order to keep track of my time as a student, and I also plan on sharing it with family and friends if they're interested.

So, how did I become a vet student you ask? Aside from my personal goals and aspirations that have built up over a lifetime, basically it's been a lot of hard work!

I got my bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Ecology and Management, with the Wildlife Biology option, from Oklahoma State University. During the fall semester of my senior year, I filled out an application with VMCAS - short for Veterinary Medical College Application Service. The application was huge and took me hours over the course of several days to finish, no thanks to my procrastination. 

Obviously for the VMCAS application I had to fill out basic information like who I was and where I went to school, but it also got pretty in depth. I had to input every single class I've taken in college (very tedious), all of my animal experience including hours, description, and whether it was with a vet or not, and every club and activity I've been involved in. I also had to provide three letters of recommendation (at least one from a vet), my GRE scores (I took the GRE the previous summer), and finally, my personal statement. There's a reason it's called a personal statement, in that it should be about you and you alone. However, making your personal statement stand out from the crowd is a completely different story. It's great that you've loved animals your whole life, you've always had a pet, so on and so forth, but so has every other person interested in becoming a veterinarian. In my opinion, this is where getting a variety of experience before applying can be incredibly helpful. Rather than having a cookie cutter personal statement, I was able to write about my time in Thailand working with elephants and how it affected me. I was able to talk about the first time I felt the gratification of successfully using my problem-solving skills and intuition to help an animal in need.  Having great and interesting experiences helped me write a great and interesting personal statement.  Finally, after completing the VMCAS application, filling out a supplementary application for each school, and paying an exorbitant amount of fees for it all, I had applied.  

Now all I had to do was sit back and wait for schools to contact me for an interview.  I had chosen to apply for Oklahoma State, my state school and alma mater, Mizzou, which was only a state away and offers in-state tuition after the first year, and Oregon State, which is in the beautiful state of Oregon where my aunt and uncle also happen to live.  Mizzou contacted me first, in  November, asking for an interview.  Derek and I drove all the way to Columbia and back in early January for that interview.  I have to say that the University of Missouri is a beautiful school, with the most gorgeous campus I've seen.  I thought I did okay at the interview, and I was more nervous than anything.  I tend to second-guess myself so I don't really have a good idea of how well I actually did.  Only a few days after my interview with Mizzou, I got an email from Oregon State saying that I'd been accepted!  They don't interview out-of-state (OOS) students (thankfully for me), but it was a bit of a shock to get the email so early in the year.  I was beyond ecstatic!  I initially applied for Oregon State on mostly a whim, especially since they accept so few OOS students.  Less than a month after that I heard from Mizzou, also getting great news about being accepted.  Two down, one to go!  The day after I heard from Mizzou, I received an interview invite from Oklahoma State, which took place in February.  This interview I felt like I absolutely bombed.  When I get nervous or I'm in an uncomfortable situation, I tend to have a chronic case of word vomit.  That definitely took place during this interview.  I don't want to go into details (I'm still embarrassed thinking about it), but after that interview I didn't think I was going to get into my own state school, of all places!  My mom and Derek both assured me that I was fine, but I can't say I wasn't surprised and relieved when I received my third acceptance letter from Oklahoma State later that month!  It just goes to show that, even if you think you completely ruined something, there's still a chance that you can pull through and be successful.  Or something like that, haha.

After all the stress of filling out paperwork, going to interviews, and waiting for answers, the truly hard part had arrived: deciding which school to choose.  Oklahoma State was close to family and friends and everything I was familiar with.  I'd interned at the vet school, so I knew the layout, I knew where everything was in Stillwater and I could easily find a place to live, and I just loved OSU.  Not to mention, relatively cheap (for vet school) in-state tuition.  On the other hand, Derek and I were ready for a change, and an adventure.  We were a little TOO familiar with Stillwater.  Living in a small town for four years is rough, but living there for eight years was a little hard to think about.  Despite the fact that we'd made many friends at OSU, most of them were about to move on and start their own lives elsewhere, and we would be the last ones left.  Mizzou had its own pros and cons as well.  A cool new city for us to explore and be independent in, but still close enough to home that we could go for a weekend if we wanted.  Seemingly newer nicer vet school facilities than Oklahoma State had to offer.  In-state tuition after my first year.  But, the landscape still looked like Oklahoma, and the town was still small, so we might as well be in Stillwater.  I wasn't sure if the curriculum was going to cater to my interests as well.  I had only really applied to Mizzou in case I didn't get accepted into Oklahoma, so I wasn't sure I'd rather go there.  Lastly, Oregon State, where I had applied to on a whim.  I'd been to Oregon before, and I fell head-over-heels in love.  The state, the landscape, the people, the attitude - I love them all.  Oregon would certainly cater to our more adventurous appetites.  The west coast is known for its affluence of tech jobs, which would be perfect for Derek.  The vet school was relatively new, with nice new facilities.  And something that really appealed to me: the small class size.  With only 57 students, I'd have less people to meet, get to know people better, and get more attention from my professors, when compared to the class sizes of 82 for the other OSU and 120 for Mizzou.  Not to mention the focus that Oregon State University has on natural resources and the environment, a field which I'd gotten my undergraduate degree in (and didn't want to go to waste!).  The only big hurdles for Oregon State were the cost (out of state tuition ain't cheap) and living half a country away from nearly everyone I know, which are pretty big things to overcome.  

Deciding on a school was in no way easy.  It took Derek and me months of putting it off, having tiny conversations about it, and throwing ideas back and forth before we finally came to a decision.  No matter how wrong it seemed, Oregon State University felt so right.  We were in denial about it at first; we tried to make a practical decision, but ultimately we failed.  I'd never even planned on applying anywhere other than OK State; had it not been for my clever Uncle Jim teasing me about attending Oregon State two years prior and planting the idea into my brain, I probably wouldn't have applied elsewhere at all.  But his teasing, mostly to annoy my mom, made me start to think that maybe I could live elsewhere.  Maybe I didn't have to attend Oklahoma State for vet school (which I'd been proudly saying I'd do for the past 5 or more years).  Derek and I could experience a new place, meet new people, try new things.  It might not have been the most practical thing we'd ever decided on, and it was going to be hard as hell to tell our family members and friends that we were moving away from them, but it was our choice and we made it.  

And here we are!  In Oregon!  We've been living here for a little more than two months now.  After a long, three-day drive with Derek, Moosh (my chinchilla) and me in the U-Haul, and Derek's parents and our three dogs in the car, we arrived and began moving into our apartment.  Derek started his new job a week or two after that, and he loves it!  In the meantime, I've been enjoying my last summer before vet school starts.  I miss having Derek at home with me during the day, but I've been making the most of it by relaxing and playing games (certainly not doing housework).  School starts in a little less than a month, and while I am incredibly nervous, I'm also getting more antsy to start every day.  Bring it on!

I'm going to go ahead and stop writing for now (WOW it is five in the morning), and go to sleep.  Next time I plan on writing about what I've done so far to prepare for vet school and what's left to do before school starts!  Thank you for reading!  :)

P.S. I should mention that I don't own this background.  I found it on, and I couldn't find the source.  If you own it, and want me to take it down, please let me know.  Thank you!