Archive | June, 2014

Interview (no, no this is a NEW/CURRENT post, I promise!)

30 Jun

I’m not looking for a veterinary job right now.  They’re OK, exactly the job I know I can 100% secure if I’m willing to do that.  I just can’t choke out the words that I know I need to say to get hired.  Not right now.  Maybe I’ll have to go back to the (only) thing I know if I get desperate–but I’m not there yet.  The problem is:  My 14 years of varied veterinary experience is awesome for animal-related jobs.  My 14 years of solely veterinary experience is horrible for any.  other.  job.  Even ones that are entry-level.  Even though I can relate many of the skills I constantly used at vet hospitals to ANY job:  Time management, organization, working under pressure, phone skills, reception, customer service, sales, inventory, soft skills, computer systems, scheduling, cleaning, working under pressure, working as a team, cross-training, training others, leadership, etc., etc. . .

cat face

But prospective employers want to see similar titles on your resume as the job they are offering to consider you qualified.  Which leaves me kinda stuck.  But I had a non-veterinary interview today (yay!) and wasn’t really nervous before I got there.  I figured if I got it, great, if not–I’m no worse off.  The whole thing was a low pressure way to practice my interview skills and maybe, just maybe garner a position.

Then, the questions started.

Wait–I should first explain that a veterinary interview is different from other places.  If you even have one.  I got half of my jobs by volunteering, being helpful, then the employer liked that I pitched in and offered to start paying me.  If you have to interview, you don’t wear a suit/skirt more-then-likely, because the work itself is a casual atmosphere that calls for scrubs and maybe jeans.  And the chairs in reception are probably covered in pet hair.  And some dog in the waiting room will surely jump on you while you are waiting.  And everyone will be watching how you react to that–slapping the dog down and running to the bathroom to clean paw print off your silk skirt is NOT the desired response.  Secondly, your interview won’t be on time in 9 out of 10 instances.  That’s because vets (everyone at hospitals, actually) are always busy, so they’ll be running behind on appointments, have to make a phone call, had an emergency surgery walk through the door or whatever.  As a continuation of this, the interview time will not be uninterrupted.  The vet will have to step out to release a patient, or a tech will come ask about a perscription, or an emergency surgery will walk in.  So usually, the interviewer will be sitting and patiently waiting to grab a second for long spans of time.  I can’t be certain since I haven’t had many non-vet interviews, but I suspect the questions are also different.  Vets ask things like, can we cross-train you, do you mind staying late, are you available on weekends and holidays, and can you lift heavy things?  Finally, because vets don’t really trust anyone and have been burned by unfortunate hires many times, they’ll really want to SEE you work, and will press for a “working interview” (if you have been living under a rock and haven’t seen my posts on that subjects, please do so now).


So when I go to any other job interview I feel very unprepared.  Anticipating the questions like I would at a vet job/school admissions interview or a test becomes difficult impossible.  Cool has been to many general job interviews, so she knows the questions and has certain answers that she came up with (and sound good) memorized.  My interviewer made me feel off-kilter almost immediately by asking what my long term goals in the entertainment industry are.  I stared for awhile, internally panicking and thinking really?!  Ummm, none?  Do they really think I want to be a ticket agent for life?  I have NO idea what to say.

tumblr_lot3nlRwTb1qzrlhgo5_250Then, I was nervous.  And increasingly got more and more nervous with each question because I had ZERO prepared answers.  He would ask, I would pause and appear to be thinking, but inside I was like, “Red alert, red alert–here’s another question you are completely unprepared to answer well” and my mouth would just start saying things my brain hadn’t screened at ALL, so both the interviewer and I were completely surprised by my answer.  Which in turn, made yawningme more nervous.  Was I rambling?  Answering the question?  Relating my positive attributes to the job?  I honestly don’t know, because I was too busy freaking out that I hadn’t prepared good answers for any of these questions.

I don’t know if my interview seemed terrible to them, or if I was just being hypercritical of myself.  Next time, I’m going to Google the hell out of possible interview questions, memorize snazzy answers, and have Cool quiz me about them!

Experience 2005

29 Jun

Job Descriptions:
Dairy Job-
18 cows

Thermal balance: Rectal temperatures, Tail-head temperatures, Shoulder temperatures, Hip temperatures, Respiration rate

Scoop feed from the floor, Weigh leftover feed, Sweep and hose floor, Put in new feed, Wash used containers

Scrape dirty bedding, Hose off under cows, Put down fresh soy hulls

Sanitize milking equipment, Assemble milking equipment, Clean behind cows, Dip teats, Strip, Clean excess dirt off udder, Attach milker, Trade full buckets, Dip teats, Weigh milk, Dump milk, Wash milking equipment, Clean behind cows

Blood draw:
Under tail

Observe surgery:

I learned:
Importance of sanitation, Bovine behavior, Mastitis, Milking procedure, Research procedure, Hard hours- 4am and 12:30am

Down Under Diner-
Register, Hand out food, Make food, Clean back, Inventory

I learned:
People skills, Teamwork, Mental math, Sanitation, Food preparation, Heavy lifting, Deciphering patterns of speech, Accents, Soft voices

Equine Medical Services
6 barns, 72 stalls, 6 vets

Horse care:
Empty water buckets, Fill water buckets Treat horses, Give horses grain, Give horses hay

Clean stalls, Shovel bedding, Sweep bedding, Leaf blow the barns

Animal handling:
Catch horses, Load horses into trailers, Walk horses to paddocks

Clean breeding counter, stall, etc. . ., Sweep concrete pads, Clean manure out of catch and round pens, Wash water buckets, Wash water trough in paddocks, Wash stall walls, Put mineral buckets out, Pull weeds, Unload hay

I learned:
Team work, Physical labor (heavy lifting), Working outside in the heat, Equine behavior, Operating machinery (tractor, etc. . .)

4-30-05 to 5-1-05
6 hours total
Terry Chapman

West Nile Virus
Eastern & Western Equine Encephalitis
Influenza (tuberculosis)
Pulled blood:
Coggins (Equine Infectious Anemia)

Pig Farm
Dr. Safranski took us to Fishers Hog Farm for 6 hours

4-31-05 to 5-1-05
Dr. Terry and Greg took me to Washington, MO to Bob and Dottie Brinker’s swine farm for 8 hours.
Boars- landrace + 1 duroc
Gilts- hampshires
White + black = white
White + Red = white
Black + red = combo

Boars are separate and outside w/an overhead enclosure. There were 10 of them, changed every 3 years. The outside enclosures do not have to be cleaned. The waste goes down the hill to the lagoon. The males breed the gilts when they are in heat. Bob keeps track of which female each breeds, so the young can be ear-tagged appropriately.
Gilts are next door to the boars Gilts are bred 3 times a year. When she is bred the 1st time, a red mark is put on her back. After the 2nd time, another red mark is added. A green mark is added the 3rd mating and she is finished.
3 month olds are kept next to the breeding gilts outside. 1st generation females are kept back to breed. Before they are shipped off, they are blood tested (by direct vena cava stick/eye stick) for brucillosis and rabies.
Older sows are kept outside and have the triangle house to raise their young. These girls were not mean or aggressive, as I had thought. Pigs can’t sweat, they have to pant to keep cool. ventilation is very important.
3 week old pigs are kept in a building of 10 pens of about 20 pigs to a pen.
Fair pigs are kept in this area. Kids from 8 to 19 can raise a pig and take it to the fair. If the kid gets a blue ribbon, they can sell their pork. They can make $11,000 if they sell pork every year they are eligible.
The farrowing pens are in another building. The sows are kept in farrowing pens where they can’t turn around, so they won’t lay on their piglets. There were 24 pens, each holding 1 sow. Three of the sows had already farrowed and their 2-day-olds were nursing. Piglets pick one nipple and use it the entire time they nurse. Good mothers have a good underline with at least 6 healthy nipples on each side. If pigs have a good underline they are kept even if they don’t produce many pigs. The piglets are swapped around so each litter is more even.
When pigs are born, their needle teeth are trimmed so they don’t bite each other or their mother’s nipples. Their tails are also trimmed so they are not bitten off. After 2 weeks, the males are castrated. The farm averages 11.7 pigs per litter, with the largest litter being 26 pigs.pig farm

Pig vaccines
Atrophic rhinitis
Erriciphulus, mycoplasma pneumonia

This is all my experience. I would like to get as much as possible in the essay, but must hit the high points for the space I have. Can you help me pick the most important aspects out of this to put in the actual paper?

Small Animal
With Dr. Hulme, I was in charge of cleaning the exam tables, kennels, and the facilities. I also cared for animals by walking dogs and feeding. I aided the veterinarian by restraining animals, and held instruments such as the otiscope, for the doctor. I learned how to autoclave the surgery instruments, count and label medication, answer the phone, and write information in files. I observed dental cleanings, declaws, spays and neuters, and euthanasia.
I did everything for Dr. Minor that I had done for Dr. Hulme as well as some added jobs. I assisted with radiographs, eventually learning how to set our machine without measurements (we didn’t have any) and learned to develop the radiographs in our dip tank. I ran urinalysis and fecal floats, filled prescriptions, and performed pre-surgery blood panels. I also administered subcutaneous fluids, and glued due-claw removals. I learned how to prep for surgery as well as monitor anesthetic. I assisted with minor procedures (held puss pockets in pyometra surgery, injected atropine during a colonectomy, helped twist a rod in place during an orthopedic surgery). I was able to perform a prophy, helped drain an abscess, and was able to put a skin suture in my own cat’s abdomen after her spay. I observed third eyelid removal, pyometra, unblocking of feline urinary tract, a broken jaw wired together, tail amputation, and a blood transfusion.
heart headNoah’s Ark Animal Hospital, hired me January of 2004. It is a four veterinarian small animal practice that also specializes in pocket pets and birds. I have some added responsibilities such as daily treatments (giving pills, oral liquids, and injectables, as well as force feeding). I also run diagnostics including gram stains, answer the phone, book appointments and boarding, and check clients in and out. I empty anal glands, do nail trims, draw blood for glucose curves, and generally help out where I am needed. I have been able to gain experience with small more exotic pets as well as with dogs and cats. I have force fed a chinchilla, trimmed bird nails and wings, restrained small and large birds, force fed ferrets, gave a turtle a baytril injection, and force fed a snake a pinky. I have observed Bulldog A.I., ultrasounds, and cesarean-sections.
I spent six hours one Saturday helping Dr. Terry Chapman vaccinate and Coggins test some horses. She vaccinated the horses for West Nile Virus, Eastern & Western Equine Encephalitis, and Influenza (tuberculosis). The Coggins test requires that about 3 mL of blood is taken to analyze for Equine Infectious Anemia. I was able to actually pull the blood and vaccinate most of the horses we worked with that day.
I got a part-time job at Equine Medical Services this summer. My main responsibilities are cleaning stalls, bedding, feeding, watering, and medicating (oral and on feed) the horses. I have helped unload and load hoses in the trailers, catch horses for their pregnancy checks, and walk horses to paddocks. I also help clean the six barns and maintain the facilities.
One of the grad students, Julie, hired me to care for dairy cattle being used for heat stress research, in the latter part of thanksgiving milking2003. Rectal, tail-head, shoulder, and hip temperatures as well as the respiration rate of 18 cows had to be taken four times a day. We milked the cows at 4 am and 4pm every day, which entailed sanitizing the milking equipment, milking, and re-sanitizing the milking equipment. I also helped feed and bed the animals and clean their stalls. Since it was a research project meticulous recorded on the cows had to be kept. The temperatures and respiration rates were recorded as well as the feed intake and output of each cow. I drew blood from under a cow’s tail and observed a biopsy while I was working with the project.
Dr. Greg and Terry Chapman took me to Washington, MO for 8 hours one Saturday, to see their friends Bob and Dottie Brinker who have a hog farm. I learned about the daily responsibilities of running a swine operation by walking around the farm for eight hours. During my visit, Bob told me about the necessary vaccinations, breeding procedure, and swine flow through the facility.
Dr. Sharp, our relief doctor, took me to his other job at Sierra Biomedical (Charles River Laboratories, Sparkes, NV), a research facility. For 8 hours I was able to follow Dr. Sharp on his rounds. He checked the feces of Cynomologus primate 3macaqus, Recess, and Marmosets to check for gastrointestinal problems. He changed food and prescribed medication as necessary. He also looked for gross lesions and possible research-ending health problems by the groups. I was even able to remove sutures from a monkey as Dr. Sharp held it. At the end of the day, I got to go into the common area and feed the monkeys graham crackers. It was extremely interesting to see the higharchy in the different cages.
I observed Dr. Minor working with wolves. I went and saw her vaccinate many wolves, and when one of the female wolves was very sick, she came to the veterinary hospital for two weeks. We gave the wolf supportive care and eventually euthanized her.
I was able to volunteer with Deb T at D-D Animal Sanctuary, where I bottle-fed a calf, swept out a tiger enclosure and a cougar enclosure, carried bales of hay across a field, and put straw on the floor of enclosures.

Dr. Minor, who became my mentor, gave me the resources to find the answers to many of my questions. I shadowed, volunteered, and worked for Dr. Minor from 2000 to 2003. I watched her meticulously examine every animal from nose to toes, educate and relate to the pet owners, and learned of techniques for balancing running a business and seeing animals. One of the most important things I learned was that a veterinarian has to be able to be flexible. Work ran into lunch-time, after closing time, and into the weekends a majority of the time.

During my stint as a volunteer at veterinary hospitals I was able to work with different veterinarians. I noted their different bedside manners, business sense, and surgery skills. Seeing all six different vets day in and day out helped me decide what kind of things I wanted to do as a veterinarian, how to best run a business, deal with people appropriately, and it allowed me to see there are different styles of veterinary medicine, even in the same field. Community service taught me how to be an empathetic, caring, and responsible member of society. The community service I have preformed at the veterinary hospital helped prepare me for college and will assist me in veterinary school and my career as a veterinarian.

Camp Na Ha Shnee (and my presentation)

28 Jun

I cut & pasted various different articles to give you a good idea of what the camp is about.  Even though it didn’t fall on an ideal day (my Dad’s 70th birthday when they were actually visiting) I rearranged things, because this population is close to my heart, and the mission of the camp important.  Three of us presented for Speech & Hearing Sciences.  We wanted to introduce some aspects of the career (SLP’s have a very diverse scope of practice with a lot of subsets) AND simultaneously give the teens good health info for themselves.  So we focused of voice (anti smoking, tobacco,  & drinking), ears (noise-induced hearing loss, ipods in particular), and the brain (TBI = don’t drink & drive, wear helmets).  I think it went really well, and most of the students were engaged and excited.  Here’s that camp info I told you about:

snake dance 3

The result of an earlier student leadership exercise to give the summer institute a native American-sounding name, Na-ha-shnee is an amalgamation of the words Native American High School Summer Nursing Institute. It has no literal translation in any tribal language. Na-ha-shnee encourages Native American youth to explore and pursue a career in the health sciences while providing learning experiences with native health care providers as teachers and role models.Indian 1

Fewer than 20 Native Americans across the United States have earned a PhD in nursing. One of them, Robbie Paul, Native American Health Sciences director at Washington State University (WSU) Spokane, is dedicated to increasing the number of Native Americans practicing health sciences in the Northwest.  Native Americans represent less than .5% of the health care workforce, and the Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Science Institute is taking steps to engage and expose Native American students to careers in nursing, medicine, exercise physiology, pharmacy, speech and hearing, and more.

The camp is part of a larger effort to solve the shortage of health care professionals in the Native American community, said Robbie Paul, director of the school’s Native American Health Sciences program and founder of the camp.  Paul, a beadworkNez Perce member who has a doctorate in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga, said the camp aims to build confidence in students who might deal with teachers who have low expectations of them.

For more than 17 years, Native American high school students representing various tribes from the Northwest have been given the chance to participate in Na-ha-shnee. Participants in the Na-ha-shnee Heath Sciences Institute represent the Spokane, Colville, Yakama, Snoqualmie, Puyallup, Lummi, Umatilla, Blackfoot-Cherokee, Shoshone-Paiute, Cherokee, Turtle Mountain Chippewa, Shoshone-Bannock, Tlingit, Chippewa Cree and Siletz tribes. They come from Washington and Oregon.  The program encourages youth to try out a career in the health sciences by providing hands-on learning experiences with Native American health care providers and health science and nursing students.Montana-Nikon 247

When the camp first began in 1995, its sole focus was on nursing. However, once students began expressing interest in learning about other career areas available in heath care, the camp expanded to respond to these interests. Now, Na-ha-shnee includes workshops on nursing, medicine, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, exercise physiology, speech and hearing, and brings Native American health care providers in to be teachers and role models for the students.  The camp has grown from six to 12 days and added math, English and leadership training. Students also practice writing tiny tots 5scholarship essays and interviewing with admissions counselors.

Na-ha-shnee is open to high school students who will be entering the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades in fall. The application process includes a written essay on why they want to come to camp and also explaining their interest in health care. Applicants must also have a minimum 2.5 GPA, have at least taken Algebra I, and have at least a C in their math and science classes.  Traditionally offered exclusively to Native dancer 4American high school students, the program was expanded last year to include students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The Na-ha-shnee program partnered with Creating a Nursing Path, a program consisting of 27 high school students. Funded by a workforce diversity grant, Creating a Nursing Path is led by Janet Katz, PhD, RN, associate professor from WSU College of Nursing in Spokane. The purpose of this program is to address the need to graduate baccalaureate-prepared nurses from disadvantaged backgrounds

In its 19th year, the camp has participants from 13 tribes, some from as far away as Arizona’s Navajo Nation. Attendance has grown through recruitment visits to tribal and urban schools, word-of-mouth and the Internet, Paul said.  Of the more than 340 campers over the years, Paul estimates about 70 percent of them have gone on IMG_3847to college.

Paul presented the purpose of the camp as threefold: academic, leadership and cultural. For the latter, Paul uses stories to teach the students life lessons embedded in their tribal heritage.  Paul said that the experience is both an academic and social one for those in attendance. In addition to taking English, science, and leadership classes, students get to experience different aspects of college life such as living on campus, dorm life, and having a roommate.

DoL (Down On Luck?)

27 Jun

Just the employees?

seattle freeway better colorIs this primarily a Washington thing (I refuse to add of state, I think D.C. should go by just that to reduce confusion) or do other states have different offices for licensing and vehicles?  I don’t know if it’s better or worse as a system, but I was sure confused when I got to Seattle and DMV is not listed anywhere, and I didn’t know the story, so I wasn’t sure where to go for what. . .

This morning while I was cleaning work at 4-ish it just occurred to me my license might be expiring on my birthday next week.  Sure enough when I checked that was the case.  Usually, having Independance day so close to my birthday is a good thing–especially when it falls on a weekend.  In this case it gave me just today, Saturday AM (NO, NO WAY), Tuesday (which is out because of my TBA time on the presentation), and Wednesday morning.  Because of course the DoL is closed on Mondays.  So despite wanting to really stay home to buckle down on my projects/essays/notes–and because it’s pouring rain and I’ve already been drenched twice in the last 24 hrs.

You can renew online though, so I happily, with much gratitude, started filling out the form.  Only to realize Auntie’s Seattle address was still on my card.  And you can’t change your address online.  Which I don’t know why, because they didn’t have me show them any proof of address or sign anything.  But it meant I had to go, and I had to go today.  Friday, when 3/4 of the city seem to get the afternoon off.

Hate!evil Barbie

I brought the book I’m trying to finish, trying to be thankful for uninterrupted, guilt-free reading time, but it’s super-hard not to get impatient.  First the old dude in the chair behind me was really shifty in his seat, and it made my seat move everytime he did.  So eventually I got up and moved to a chair without someone behind it.  But people started pouring in the door around noon, and soon every chair was filled.  Even though I was only 12 numbers from the current number when I arrived it still took about an hour to get up to the line.  And that took 2 minutes.  Pointless.  I really don’t understand why the government can’t utilize the internet more for these things!

Finally my number was called and the guy said “How are you?”  Then immediately regretting that said you have to be careful asking that in this place–true, for sure!  The whole thing (once I got out of line) took 2 minutes, and required no verifications.  Then I had to wait in a new line to get my pic snapped.

As I was waiting some Spokompton-typical gal sat next to me.  45+, tired and bitter looking, unshowered, smelled of upset Tommycigarette smoke and unwashed (uncombed) hair.  Maybe she thought she was at the DSHS.  I ignored her–same way I ignored the guy moving my chair, the people who thought it was a good idea to bring 5 screaming, running toddlers, and the sorostitutes talking loudly on their Apple devices.

The dude called “Lavrel Lay” which sounds close enough to my name.  There are not a lot of people with my first name, and many butcher my last name so I answer to approximations.  I stood up, and 2 minutes later the scrubbin gal confrontationally got in my face and was all, “Is YOUR name Lavrel Lay?”  And I was like, “umm, kinda.”  The guy looked at his list and said, “Lavrel?”  You’re next, I have Laura Lay up first, but wait here.  He had combined my first name with her last and our names were fairly close to begin with.  It would have been funny if she weren’t icky and a D-bag.

oral surgery 005I had actually fixed my hair, worn my beautiful beadwork barette, and curled my eyelashes so Walla Walla 30th 010I think my picture will look a lot better then the tired version on my Seattle card.  I had to run all over the city (not easy with that traffic), fight to collect the proper documents, and wait in 4+ hour lines so I looked worn down.  But today looked better.  It’s just too bad I have to start the process all over in one year when I move to a new state :-{

First Essays, Now Silence?

26 Jun

What a terrible blogger I am this summer!  In order to get back on track and get a current post published I’ll go to bullet points (in no particular order):


-Today I’m tired.  I think the activity of the previous week caught up to me finally.

-I found out that my boss is going on vacation over Labor Dave Weekend (when we have SEATS for Friday and Sunday) ampitheatre 3and she found someone else to house-sit for 15 days.  I’m disproportionately disappointed about that because it is excellent money, easy work, and access to satellite TV.  I s’pose it’s better because I’ll be in school by that time and have daily class, so the commute would have been awful annoying.

-We had a really great visit with my parents.   I think they had fun too.

-If you haven’t heard of the “30 minutes to fitness” series by Kathy Coffey-Meyer–check it out.  Immediately!  I have Dad's 70th B-day visit 014never, ever watched an exercise video that didn’t annoy me.  Whether it was a catch-phrase, overall phony/annoying bubbliness, too hard-core, too repetitive, bad music, there are a lot of workout video sins.  Coffey’s vids don’t have any of that irritating stuff.  And she’s feisty and funny and motivating at the same time.  We have weights, cardio-blast, and kickboxing and I really like them.  And my mom was a real good sport and fully participated in plyometrics, which is HARD.  And she did awesome.

-At Dad’s (70th!!!) birthday dinner, our “Day’s of Our Lives,” jeans-model look-alike waiter did a magic trick that each one of us loved.  And one we couldn’t find on the web for at least an hour–a real feat in today’s technology.

-speaking of technology, I am still not convinced that Apple and smart-phones make life any easier.  If they’re off, slow, unanswered, or whatever, they’re useless.  I was no worse off without any gadgets than anyone, and they were not helped all that much.  I think it has more to do with status than anything.

-The kitties were as big and brave as they could be with frequent company on our apartment.  And Choco-Luv doesn’t EZ123 3rd snowboard 022have the herp (knock on wood)!  They are glued to my sides today though–with all the running around, I think they missed us.

-My parents gave me the most beautiful beadwork barrettes from various reservations along their route.  And my mom got beadwork from each place they stopped, which I am very envious of–and excited to inherit one day.

-I saw my former advisor in the hallway today, and she only managed to choke out a very obligatory “hello how was your summer?”  Lame.  And I’m so over that attitude from people at my school.  I am an awesome student and an asset to the program–she/they need to get a grip and grow up.  I’m not sure why she doesn’t like me, but she needs to act as a professional, because I shouldn’t even know she doesn’t. . .

-My aunt got super-sloppy at the extended family gathering, and was generally negative, complainy, passive-aggressive, and unwilling to exercise the whole duration of company.  But at least now everyone sees what I’m saying.  Maybe they thought I was exaggerating or a drama queen before???

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA-I was asked to do a presentation about the speech and hearing sciences for Native American teens ages 15-17.  It’s a group close to my heart (my people!) and I think it went well yesterday.  There had been a little snaffu in the beginning because a group member hijacked out “team” power-point, deleting/changing my every contribution and making me crazy that way.  I tried subtly conveying my feelings, and eventually had to be direct.  But everything was restored in the end and everything worked out.

-I always feel a little bit like a dud when you put me next to a bubbly, extroverted SLP student/teacher.  I am much more reserved and it really shows when I’m put up against that.  But my family said they didn’t get that impression and I looked good (and smart) so I guess it’s OK. . .

-I have another presentation on Tuesday, but I’m less excited because it’s 20 minutes long, which is almost no time at all.

-I have not worked on or even looked at my personal statement, scholarly paper, or neuroanatomy outline/drawings for 81.5-2 weeks.  Even though I’m sad my parents are gone, and think the visit was MUCH too short–I’m relieved to get to my normal routine soon.  After my next presentation, and oh–an interview.

-I have an interview.  Which was initially a real bummer because they wanted to do it on June 25th–my Dad’s milestone 70th birthday.  The birthday, my parents were going to be in town for (instead of 17 hours away).  Also the day, which this special presentation had fallen on.  And I had only agreed to do that because I think it’s important for Indians (only representing less than 1% on all health professions) are exposed to my program.  And the job is some random ticket agent, so I just told them I was out of town until the day my parents were gone.  And to my great surprise, they moved my interview day out to July 1st!  So I’m not sure what the job really entails or how many hours they want or what times, but depending on the factors I at least have a chance for a job.

-Cool went off her meds, and we all remembered that she used to have a personality.  So now she’s going to talk to her doctor and insist that whatever mood stabilizer she is put on does not have any drowsiness what-so-ever involved. Dad's 70th B-day visit 020 Bipolar meds are horrible in the fact they work by making you a complete zombie–which isn’t exactly quality-of-life.  We’ll see if this can be adjusted.  Oh and when she went off the meds, of course she vomited to the point of having to come home from work 2 days in a row = withdrawals.  So scary she has to depend on that to miss extreme highs and lows–I’m not certain which is worse.

-Despite a lot of dinners out, shopping trips, gifts, “visiting-type expenditures” I really managed to keep resigned in financially.  Partially because of my parents’ extreme generosity and partly due to sheer willpower.  I’m not nearly as behind as I thought I would be, and I even have some house-sitting money left over–which I in no way expected.

-My water consumption really suffered when my routine was thrown off.  I could stick with my exercise routine because it’s at home, first thing in the morning, but liquid availability, portability, and bathrooms make water really tough.  I have to get back into it in a hurry because my lips are always lizard-like lately.the 1 pic of both

-I have no idea what to do for my birthday.  Partially because 3-1 is anticlimactic, partly because I’m not sure if I’ll have to accommodate a job, or if I’ll even have money to do anything.  And I don’t know if this rainy Washington weather will cooperate at all–it’s rained all day today, and it rained from Cool’s birthday to the time my parents arrived a week later.  I guess I’d like to do something special–I’ll have to think on it.

Grad App: Technical Writing

17 Jun

I thought I was getting my ducks in a row, but this new application requires all different things (so it seems).   Which kind of (really, really) sucks.  Why can’t applications processes be standardized?  I mean the schools standardize us applicants by GPA and GRE–can’t WE have one process that’s the same for each school?  Maybe even force all the colleges to do the application service things like VMCAS, with no supplemental stuff.  I think it’s fair–and a lot more straightforward!  Anyway, here’s tips about the technical writing I now have to submit:

-Begin to develop your writing sample. Most graduate programs have a January deadline for students seeking admission for the following autumn, so you’ll need to have your writing sample ready early. The writing sample is usually 12-20 pages of your best writing, often a revised paper from an undergraduate course or part of a senior project. It is helpful if the paper concerns works or issues within your stated area of interest for further study. If you’ve written a paper for an History course that you’re thinking of developing into your writing sample, tell your instructor. He or she may have suggestions for you on how to improve it, or may be willing to work with you on further revisions.

-Above all, the writing sample should show your mind at work. The writing sample should be a seminar paper or other research paper written in the general field of History that you intend to pursue at the graduate level. Graduate programs require writing samples of 10-25 pages. The most impressive writing samples demonstrate an ability to conduct research in a variety of sources, to write analytical prose, to construct a reasoned argument based upon evidence, and to create a context for assessing the significance of what has been presented.

Your critical writing sample should represent your best work in an area related to the academic interest(s) you want to pursue in your graduate study. Continue to revise and refine. Work with faculty whenever possible on your revisions. Prepare to turn in an clean, polished writing sample that has been edited thoroughly.

-So it seems (this is me again–not cut & paste material) that I haven’t had to write a lot of papers for my current courses.  The ones I have are:  1)  a group paper that’s ineligable 2) about a complicated virus that mutates to a different virus to cause hearing loss = too complex to be really nice 3) four different mini samples of 100 (?) words about aural rehab.

-I’m left either modifying and severely adding to the papers I have.  Or starting from scratch.  I think I’m going to add to an aural rehab paper about communication strategies.  I can tie it in with my personal statement and the research at the University.

-It’s a lot of work.  Which is why I’m sort of half-assing my blog posts.  I apologize.  All my best writing stuff is being used for personal statement, scholarly paper, and my presentation.  The CV has been momentarily put on hold.

School Comparison [from early summer 2014]

16 Jun

Cotton Bowl winnersKS:
-22 hr drive
-cheapest housing
-$12-13/hr jobs-EZ
-different school app & personal stmt
-familiar area
-rival school, weird mascot


Boise--May 2013 017

-8 hr drive
-cheap housing
-few jobs, $8-10/hr
-best school funding, cheapest tuition
-must split program into Pocatello & Boise (3.5 hr apart)
-Bengal mascot


-10 hr drive
-cheap housing
-adequate jobs, $12/hr
-near CO, NV, ID, WY easily

Seattle = housing

$450/mo for this + 2 crazy roommates

bedroom dark

Oregon = same price as CO

so might as well go to CO if you have to pay anyway

cannon_beach 184

Scary Carl + Grades

15 Jun

We huddled together in my dark closet, apprehensive to make noise, and worried he would return and do something worse. My roommate dialed 9-1-1 on her cellular phone and told the operator in a wavering tone of voice that our landlord had assailed us by kicking in the front door during a fit of rage. The operator got the address to our secluded my missouribasement apartment and assured us she would send help.

This was just the latest in a series of escalating acts of harassment since 2004 had begun. Preceding this, I heard a sound in the living room and walked out of the bedroom to see my erratic landlord had used his keys to let himself inside without prior notice, or even a knock. I still have no idea what he was planning to do that day, and I began to use my chain lock regularly because I did not want to find out.

A few long moments after our frantic emergency call, the police arrived. They were so Sarah, me, Eileen 2005astounded by the profound damage to the door and the frame that they took pictures. Though the landlord owned the property he had destroyed, he severed the chain lock, which had violated our reasonable expectation of privacy. While the police were collecting the evidence and writing their reports, the landlord came back to the house to “fix the door.” The police arrested him, but a few hours after his release from jail that same day, our implacable landlord antagonized us by shouting through the living room window. It was at that point my roommate went to stay with her boyfriend.

I had nowhere else to go with more than a month left on my lease, and fall finals were commencing in one week. I was fretful the arrest had inflamed our fractious landlord even more and he would come in while I was showering or sleeping and do terrible things. I locked the screen door and the front door; not that it mattered, as he had keys to both. Then I took further precaution by barricading myself inside using the futon. After one sleepless night, I went to get a restraining order against my landlord. I was granted an ex parte that kept him from setting foot on the property but still, I was overwrought. I figured a piece of paper would do little to stop my volatile landlord from terrorizing me.

MizzouThis atmosphere of paranoia and chaos was not conducive to studying. At the time, aside from being enervated from fear, I did not realize I had any recourse. I assumed since the University of Missouri was closing for winter break, there was no possibility of taking my finals later. I felt I had no choice but to muddle through my exams and hope for the best. In my restive state, I bombed every test I attempted, probably dropping my grade about a full letter in each class.

If something extraordinarily aberrant like that happened these days I would inform my professors in The Quad 2an attempt to get accommodation on my final exams. Alerting the university of my predicament would be my next step, as I vowed never again to be reticent with my school when I am in crises. I regret that my grades suffered during that trying time, but this disturbing incident taught me the life lesson of not taking my safety for granted and how to utilize the police, the courts, and the university system in place to help people with such dilemmas. In combination with my more formal lessons imparted from academia, this upsetting episode helped shape me into the strong, resilient person that I am today.

Saint George Vet: Why Vet Med?

14 Jun

As you can tell, I’m still cleaning out the files on my computer.  I have a seemingly endless supply of essays outlining why I want(ed) to be a veterinarian and why I would make a good one.  I guess it’s good, because sometimes I assume you readers know how much of a champion I am of veterinary medicine.  And I guess since you don’t know me, you may not know.  Since I have written so many criticisms about the field as of late, maybe it’s a good balance.  And I think it shows I have a leg to stand on when I make assertions that the profession isn’t perfect (none are), but how it could be improved.  Or maybe you’re just bored and wish I’d get through all these admissions essays already (sorry).  I’ll try to make a real post soon, as I have an exciting project coming up that I want to share.  But until then, I have more:

Please discuss the most significant factors which led to your decision to pursue a career in Veterinary Medicine. Approximately 250 words.

I feel most rewarded when I am involved in veterinary medicine. At age eleven, I began accruing volunteer hours at the local veterinary hospital. This experience provided me with knowledge of the career, and cemented my aspirations of 1st day of work everbecoming a veterinarian.

Gaining exposure to the veterinary care of exotic animals is exciting. I was able to help Dr. Minor vaccinate a pack of wolves for a local security compound. At Noah’s Ark I have been able to observe ferret adrenalectomies, rabbit neuters, and helped treat birds, reptiles, and other small mammals. I gained exposure to larger exotics when I volunteered numerous hours at Animal Sanctuary, cleaning the enclosures of tigers, a lion, and a panther.

I love the veterinary profession and aim to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I learned the work can be physically grueling, mentally exhausting, and emotionally draining, but I am prepared to compensate with the athleticism, analytical competence, and rationality that I have seen my veterinary mentors display. I would be luckypersonally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting.

One day I hope to own a mixed animal practice in a rural area, where I can raise the level of animal care while keeping costs reasonable. I plan to provide high availability to my clients and to see a variety of species. I want, more than ever, to become a doctor of small animal medicine, with an emphasis on exotics.

Experience Summary: MU Vet [circa 2006?]

13 Jun

I volunteered 633 hours at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital. I was able to observe exams, diagnostics, and surgeries. When I was hired, my duties included: cleaning kennels, walking dogs, and maintaining the premises. I was able to observe exams, diagnostics, and surgeries during my time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital.

We do not have certain duties at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital. Everyone does everything. I do kennel work, diagnostics, reception, and anything else that needs done. I have been lucky enough to gain experience with small exotics and observe surgeries at my job.

thanksgiving milkingI helped care for dairy cattle being used in heat stress research. We milked the cows at 4 am and 4pm every day, which entailed sanitizing the milking equipment, milking, and re-sanitizing the milking equipment. I also helped feed, clean stalls, and bed the cows. I observed a biopsy while I was working with the project.

Dr. Greg and Terry Chapman took me to a hog farm to see the facility and observe the commonpig farm management practices. I was able to see the different stages of production as well as learn about waste management. I also went to Fisher Brother’s Hog Farm and toured the facility and observed the daily routine.

I worked as barn crew at Equine Medical Services, Inc. My main responsibilities were cleaning stalls, bedding, feeding, watering, and medicating the horses. I helped unload and load hoses in the trailers, caught horses for their pregnancy checks, and walked horses to paddocks. I also cleaned the six barns and maintained the facilities.

I spent six hours one Saturday helping Dr. Terry Chapman examine horses. We vaccinated the horses for West Nile Virus, Eastern & Western Equine Encephalitis, and Influenza (tuberculosis). The Coggins test requires that about 3 mL of blood is taken to analyze for Equine Infectious Anemia. I was able to actually pull the blood and vaccinate most of the horses we worked with that day.

At Noah’s Ark, we often get exotic small animals. I have force fed a chinchilla, trimmed bird nails and wings, restrained small and large birds, force fed ferrets, gave a turtle a baytril injection, and force fed a snake a pinky.

I volunteer at D-D Animal Sanctuary, where I help clean out tiger and panther enclosures. I have also bottle-fed a claf and fed an alligator among other odd-jobs. I have seen many different exotic species there and enjoy the experience I gain in a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

I was able to follow Dr. Sharp on his rounds at Charles River Laboratories, a research facility. He checked the feces of Cynomologus macaqus, Recess, and Marmosets to check for gastrointestinal problems. He changed food and prescribed medication as necessary. He also looked for gross lesions and possible research-ending health problems by the groups. I was able to remove sutures from a monkey and feed the monkeys graham crackers.

I also counted the 65 hours from my heat stress research listed in food animal.

I observed Dr. Minor working with wolves. I went to a private compound where wolves were used as security and helped her vaccinate many wolves. When one of the female wolves was very sick, she came to the veterinary hospital for two weeks. We gave the wolf supportive care and eventually euthanized her.

I worked on a dairy cattle heat stress research project. Rectal, tail-head, shoulder, and hip temperatures as well as the respiration rate of 18 cows had to be taken four times a day. Meticulous records on the cows had to be kept. The temperatures and respiration rates were recorded as well as the feed intake and output of each cow. I drew blood from under a cow’s tail.

I volunteered in the Organic Chemistry Stockroom mixing solutions, pouring chemicals into smaller containers, putting chemicals back on the shelves after labs, washng dishes, and checking lab materials out to students.