Archive | July, 2014

July Goal Accountability

31 Jul

Maintenance Goals (from 2013):

-floss daily. A-

I was compelled to do this all the time, and feel really icky if I don’t.  The only problem arose when we were traveling.  It’s pretty hard to fit it in logistically.  But it’s not as if we go places constantly, so this should work out.  I have organized 2 showers over Labor Dave, so I make sure and floss while I’m using the bathroom.  Friday, I’ll probably do it in the morning before we go.

-drink water. A

IF I drink it early in the day, this is easily done.  But if I don’t–it’s very difficult.  And even though I’m trying to get it in, Kidron's post b-day pics 069making the choice between 8 cups and peeing all night is bad-times.  In August I’ll try to drink all 4 after I work out while I’m taking my vitamins.  That should help.

-read for pleasure. B+

I finished my WA poaching book and have started one on the Comstock and Virginia City–which is very interesting so far.  I wish I could have finished more, but I’m doing it every week night that we’re not traveling.

-weekly massage. FFF

It had been NONE.  Because the rubs were terrible.  And short.  So I didn’t even want to bother–especially if I was the only one putting in any effort.  We had a massage afternoon, and the quality was better, I’m relieved to say.  I guess Cool’s meds made her too much of a zombie to rub, but now it’s nice again.  So in August we’ll try to resume at least a weekly basis.

-abstain from drinking. D+ (didn’t, but my head was in the right place)

The German by Laurel 009I don’t want this to sound like I’m making excuses or justifying my actions, because this really wasn’t a “thing.”  When we had initially looked at Missoula, it was because of all the breweries in the area.  But when we actually visited, we were slightly disappointed, but still had a really good time and weren’t really focused on drinking.  Except on Saturday, I saw an amazing pair of Old Gringo boots that looked so stellar on me and that I would kill for!  The price tag was $100 cheaper than I’ve seen them anywhere else.  Needless to say they were still $300, and that’s too much for an unemployed person.  But I wanted them so badly!  And really had to make an extreme effort to stop myself from buying them.  So I made a deal with myself to share 1, small $5 kraft beer in lieu of spending $300 on a beautiful pair of boots.  It was a sort of naughty trade off–but a lot cheaper.  And I asked the waitress to substitute the pint of beer on the menu for something smaller, and did share it.  My portion was 5 oz.  It was good, but not the be-all end all I remembered.  And that’s it til at least January 2nd of 2015, and maybe for good, I don’t know.

-study habits. C-

Well, I have been getting things done, yes.  I read/outlined all my neuroanatomy for the semester, started drawing the figures (and completed 12?), made and even memorized some flashcards for both classes, made progress on my personal statement, almost finished my CV, and have a draft of my scholarly paper.  But I also know I’m not in the right mindset, and I’m able to accomplish even more.  I’m torn between buckling down too early and risking burning out, and finishing a lot of things before fall begins.  In August I’ll work on getting my application as complete as possible (hopefully finished in its entirety) so I don’t have to stress out about it while trying to keep the 4.0 GPA.  I’d at least like everything at the point where I could turn it in if I wanted to, so then I can optionally tinker on it–or have it ready.

January=fitness. A

Today (the 26th) was my 206th day in a row of running at least a mile.  Even with travel this month I managed to get it in.  Montana was difficult because a bear was seen walking about, and I had to do it in the hotel room.  But when we visited Cool’s mom we easily did it up her residential street.  I’m trying to RE-introduce pseudo-hula-hoop back into my routine, because it’s the BEST 6-pack maker and I want to look super-hot for Labor Dave weekend.  It’s going–slowly.  The closer we get to the event, the more I’m buckling down and doing it like I should.

Feb=have gratitude; say nice things. D

Here’s an example of why this one is difficult:  My boss writes to me telling me to take the trash outside after I scoop the litter boxes.  Which I hadn’t been because (as other stories have illustrated) the clinic isn’t in the greatest neighborhood in the off-hours.  And I’m there between 3-6AM when it’s dark and no one else is around.  So I don’t feel super-safe going out behind the clinic to the larger trash bins.  Also, it didn’t really occur to me, because the years I worked as an assistant it was a nightly duty to collect all the trash in the building and take it outside–which I did pretty much the entire tenure of my work.  So it’s not a really big deal, and I could see why she asked me, but she added, “How is your summer of leisure going?”  Not popular.  Even if she thinks I’m a lazy-ass.  She shouldn’t write it.  I’m doing productive things–and my productivity is none of her business anymore.  So it’s very hard to say nice things, be positive, and have gratitude when it’s offensive/coarse.  Fail, and now that I’m going back to Riverpoint with notoriously crabby professors, I’m going to have to work much harder on this one.

March=straighten out sleep. A-

It’s better, so, so much better!  I stopped fighting my natural inclination to wake at 3AM.  This has actually worked out better for me, b/c instead of trying to go back to sleep–or lightly sleeping for an hour.  I just go to work.  Then, I’m back home in the 5AMs when I can still nap.  Even though I go to bed at 9PM, I am not super tired or fatigued!  Though they must think I’m INSANE when they look at my time clock and it says 3AM to 5AM.  Hopefully, my safety never comes into play, as I think this is the one area of the plan that could be troublesome.

April=save $$$. F+ (+ b/c I haven’t lost my motivation/guilt)

I rarely spent money–because there isn’t any I feel comfortable spending.  But I didn’t get a job (despite a few interviews) Gorge Ampitheatre 3and didn’t offer to miss Labor Dave Weekend SEATS to house-sit, missing out on big, easy money.  Which I feel sad missing out on the opportunity, but also feel it’s the right decision.  We got those tickets in February, as a reward for not drinking, and 1 ticket was purchased by my parents for an early birthday gift.  And we look forward to it all year–but still the timing is unfortunate.  And lack of income.  August will be worse, because I HAVE to buy some school supplies and a textbook.  And of course WILL get a Labor Dave outfit–at least one article, and probably definitely merch at the show.  Hopefully, this next interview comes through so I don’t have to worry about my loan money stretching far enough.

May=volunteer. D+ (I did school-related presentations)

interactive hearing anatomy 2Fail.  At least for community.  In regards to voluntary school-related activities I did more than any other student in my program.  But I did nothing at all even to pursue wider community-type service.  And this would be cool.  I may have decided it’s not super-important to me right now though.  I am undecided, but maybe I’ll focus on finding a job, school, tutoring, school-related presentations, my application, and as an extra–observing an audiologist.  It somehow seems like a lot, though I’m unemployed.  I’ll re-evaluate once school resumes.

June=Cool. C-

My focus is on more important matters, so fail–but not.  Because I’m offering support and responsibility.  She’s off the horrible medication, and doesn’t need to go back on unless she swings up or down.  So things are much, much better and she has enough energy to act like a person rather than the zombie she had turned into.  But then she decided to go off her antidepressant as well, and as a result–she has started showing signs of depression.  It’s always something.  Which when managing medications/responsibility/crises/medication/responsibility it gets tough to stick to this goal and have any time or energy left to show affection.  Hopefully this is not always going to be the case because she’s bipolar. . .

July=my appearance. B+

I have been trying to dress cute and look cute, applied makeup, and even dyed my hair–more on that tomorrow.  I still regularly forget to wear jewelry.  I’ll really have to step my game up in August for these big, upcoming events.

Aug=Worry Less, Thank more. C-

OK, but I can do better.  I totally forgot my positivity jar–which I think is an excellent idea.  I’m going to try to remember to notice and write more for it.  And I do say things I’m thankful for immediately before going to sleep–but I’m sleeping a lot better these days, so it doesn’t last nearly as long as before.  I think I get to 2, maybe 4 things before I’m out.  And overall I am so proud of me because I worry substantially less.  And it’s really, super nice.  If I could keep it this way it would be so awesome!

Sept=make a list, grocery shop, cook ahead. F-

Terrible, absolutely horrible.  Failed so bad.  My computer app changed it up and made itself a recipe site with no more menu–which was the point.  I’m thinking maybe a white board would help me scene.  Paper lists are hard because if we get Green Bluff 101tired, run out of an ingredient, the weather is too hot, etc… it’s a pain to change things.  Making it easy as possible to write, then edit the menu as necessary would be best.  I’m great at making a grocery list, but need to get on the menu, weekly shopping, and actual preparing of things.  Total.  Fail.  Have you ever seen 2 people that can go a summer without actually cooking?  I grab whatever I can stuff in my mouth quickly (wheat thins, dried fruit. . .  OK ice cream) and don’t bother.  But it’s bad, and HAS to change!

Oct=don’t over-pluck. C

I still want to try the Indian method.  I still want to try lightening them.  For now I’m unsatisfied, but leaving them alone as much as I can make myself.

Nov=Increase eye contact. F+ (+ for lack of opportunity)

Fail.  Now it’s operation look at service people in the eye, because they are really the only ones I see at all.

Colorado is Awesome!

30 Jul

I want my loyal readers to know I plan to write a sequel to “Veterinary Medicine is for Spoiled Rich Girls.”  For example, I realize the term “rich” is a subjective one, and also that 2, 3, 7 different people will have varying experiences, which cannot be equalized or made factual in any meaningful way.  In the sequel I plan to find some data to back up or refute my first claims (which I still believe strongly because that was MY first-hand experience).  Maybe I’ll supplement it with more specific stories and incidents, maybe not.  It might just be data.  Oh, and I retract the word “girls.”  I don’t like it any more, and it sounds demeaning in a way I hadn’t intended.  Alas, I’ve been frantically trying to finish all my application materials before the semester starts so I don’t have much left in me when it comes to frivolous writing just yet.  Soon though.

What I can do before I retire to bed, is share with you an article about Colorado.  I’m still excited, but now it feels a world away.  With the change of plan moving us toward Salt Lake rather than Greeley, the excitement has receded.  It’s the right decision, but a little sad that our grown-up lives are still so out of reach.  Just 5 more years of being a starving student.  Like these last it’s sure to pass in the blink of an eye.  I guess I’m holding on to the saying “the time will pass either way” or some close approximation to that–can you tell I’ve been writing essays the majority of the day?  So Without further adu, something to keep the dream fresh:

Denver

THE BEST…
Public parks and outdoor access (#1)

This is great–we want to be outdoor enthusiasts and healthy, so this was be inspirational.

CO Parks and Wildlife
Athletic/active (#1)

We can remain motivated to stay in shape and active!

Bike Town
Easy-going (#1)

Great for me, great for Cool’s bipolar and generalized anxiety, and awesome for employment (working with the public).

Old Town Hot Springs--Steamboat Springs
Microbrew beer (#2)

Maybe we will one day take advantage of this again.

oskarblues in Longmont
Professional sports (#2)

Yay!  We love festivity.  Now if they could only get a WNBA team.

CO vs WA 2014

THE WORST…
Charming local accent (#28)

Who cares.
Cool souvenirs (#25)

Again, so what?
Ethnic food (#23)

Don’t trust it, don’t crave it.

2006 Vet Motivation: MU [another blast from my past]

29 Jul

Please describe the traits that you feel will make you a good veterinarian.
Over 3000 hours in veterinary hospitals, has taught me the requirements of the profession. The work can be dirty and difficult mentally, physically, and emotionally, but I am prepared to demonstrate characteristics such as an analytical competence, athleticism, and rationality I have seen in my veterinary mentors. Teaching dance classes to all ages and working with children in my community, helped me realize dealing with the public is rewarding and at times challenging. My experience with my own pets and while helping at veterinary hospitals helped me understand that not all animals can be cured, but a veterinarian is committed to the welfare of each client. I posses the quality of compassion which enables me to euthanize a failing animal. I also recognize that for veterinarians the reward is not always in the pay but the satisfaction of working with animals.

Despite what some may consider the negative aspects of veterinary medicine, I love the profession and aspire to take an active role in it as long as I am able to work. I would be personally unfulfilled if I did not spend time in a veterinary setting. My favorite time during my volunteer stint was during the fast-paced summers, when we had to have the dedication and endurance to work extended hours in order to keep up.

I played sports throughout school and enjoy the physical aspect of veterinary medicine. I respect the combination of intellect and strength required of veterinarians and I believe I am capable of displaying both traits. The challenge of catering to many different species is exciting and I plan on ultimately owning a private practice in a rural area which caters to both small animals and exotics. My goal is to meet and exceed the expectations of the veterinarians who helped me get this far in reaching my dream of becoming a veterinarian.

*************************************************************************************
Explain why you selected veterinary medicine as a career choice.

I feel most rewarded when I am involved in the field of veterinary medicine. Helping animals, educating owners, raising the level of animal care in my home town, and improving the field of veterinary medicine by providing the highest standards of medicine are very fulfilling prospects. I entered the field at an early age, volunteering 633 hours at the veterinary hospital, which cemented my aspiration of being a veterinarian. Going to the clinic often, provided me with knowledge of the career and a sense of joy. I find great satisfaction in being at vet hospitals and got my first paid position as kennel help when I was sixteen. I have been honing my skills at veterinary hospitals at most levels and still love the work, animals, and the atmosphere.

I pursued as much animal experience as possible, often taking on extra projects. I was instrumental in implementing service learning for school credit in my county. I accomplished this by creating and presenting a power point of my time at Dayton Valley Veterinary Hospital to the school board. The presentation was well received and a member of the school board made a contribution toward my college fund. In college, I did an internship at Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital and presented what I learned to freshmen in the animal science department. I like teaching my peers what small animal practice entails and feel my passion for the career shines through and motivates others to pursue the field.

One of my most unique experiences during my paid interim was assisting with various surgeries. This unique opportunity allowed me to get a feeling for what it is like to complete a case from beginning to end. It was at this time that I knew I would not waver until I became a doctor of small animal veterinary medicine with an emphasis on exotics.

Moose as Spirit Animal

24 Jul

But first a note to myself:  Make sure and post more controversial drafts while I’m still fired up about them and when I have time to refute points and further explain my perspective.  I believe in what I’m saying on my blog, but sometimes just the thought of defending my views tires me out.  Which is why I’m switching tracks today.  I’ll get back to the more derisive posts later–I’m in a pretty mellow place right now and don’t want to get worked up.  Here’s a lovely wildlife/Native American post:

You have heard about my moose sightings before:  Moose way down below Mount Rainier, which was still closed for slow.  On the road, and looking at ME.  In my boss’ yard while I house-sat.  When she had lived there a long time and never seen one.

Over the weekend, Cool and I went to Tacoma to visit her mom and while we were there we visited NW Trek, a wildlife NW Trek moose-number 3reserve near the base of Mount Rainier (I think).  You can take a train ride around the perimeter of meadows and forests while the guide tells you features.  The train has 1/4 windows so viewing and picture-taking is easily done.  Which I did a lot of–I like seeing animals even if they’re planted there.  We saw bison, reindeer, birds of many types, mmm I should look on their web page for a list, I’m having trouble remembering.  Anyway, our guide was saying to look closely for the moose, because they are usually more elusive.  Many people came to the reserve repeatedly and never saw them.  And there are NW trek moose-close uponly 3 total.  The guide said we had the rare treat of seeing EVERY animal that was out there to see!

NW Trek moose--still a baby

Because I have a feeling moose is my spirit animal I was confident we would see one, and scanned the trees meticulously to NW Trek moose-malefind it.  Lucky me!  Two moose were right ON our road.  A female and a beautiful chocolate-colored male.  We were sitting on the 2nd of 3 train cars, and the male came up very close to only the 2nd car–his antler may have crossed the line of the window!  Then, we saw the 3rd moose on the other side of the path a little further away!  We saw 3 of 3 when the tram guy had said how difficult it was!

I think as part of my moose spirit animal run, I’m not supposed to pervert the experience by getting a good picture.  It’s maybe something just for me to enjoy in the moment.  Because, again, I did not get an adequate shot.  My pictures look like black indistinguishable blurs.  Cool got one halfway recognizable shot, but it doesn’t nearly convey the closeness we experienced in person.  These pics are from NW Trek’s Facebook page.  Though the male (pic on far left here) has grown a lot since this!  His rack has about 3(?) more branches on it now!  

NW Trek moose-duo

Here’s some info from a website about my animal and what it means:

 

The moose is often associated with the feminine energies, the maternal forces of the world; those with Moose totem will find these forces awakened. Part of this is due to the association of moose with water [my astrological sign is Cancer–a water sign] as it is the primal symbol of the feminine forces of the universe. Water is the symbol of creativity and dynamic forms of intuition and illumination. The sea is the point from which all life comes and to which all life returns. It is the great womb of the universe. The moose is often seen in marshy areas and standing in lakes – moose is comfortable in these areas. Additionally, the female moose is extremely protective of its young.

 If Moose has come passing through your life:

Know and understand that you – and only you – have the authority to make your own choices in life. You do not need to feel ashamed or pressured in any way by your friends and peers in that what you choose is different from them. Stand strong and proud and own who you are! Your individuality is your strength.

If Moose is your Animal Totem:

Your strength is in knowing exactly who you are. You have integrity and always stay true to yourself in decisions and life choices. Friends and peers look up to your knowledge and innate wisdom. You see life for what it is – a long journey with short stops to enjoy the spoils along the way. You move through life with pride and authority.

If Moose has stumbled into your dreams:

It may mean to pay close attention to the elders around you for they hold they wisdom of days gone by. To dream of a moose in its natural habit means you can expect a beneficial change of circumstances coming your way now. To dream that you shoot a moose signifies that you can expect that some simmering family conflict is about to boil over. A baby moose means that a lucky break is about to happen, most likely in connection with a journey.

If moose is your power animal then you will probably be full of contradictions – clumsy yet graceful, huge but with the ability to move swiftly and soundlessly. Usually people with this power animal have excellent depth perception and are very wise. They also have an innate ability of being balanced – when to be gentle, when to be strong, what to say when and to whom. 

So maybe this post isn’t as far from yesterday’s as I initially thought. . .

Veterinary Medicine is for Spoiled Rich Girls

23 Jul

I understand this title might be unpopular.  And maybe a little strongly worded.  But even the dissenters have to acknowledge there has been a shift in the career’s image and it’s central figure–the veterinarian.  OR, you may disagree and chalk this post up to bitterness.  Which, OK maybe.  BUT despite any residual bitterness at being thrown out of my career dream before I was even allowed to really get started.  And P.S. this is based on MY observations in Missouri a.k.a. ONE state, ONE university, ONE veterinary hospital (the only one I worked at with other college students) of many.  Some facts:

The days of the 40-ish+ male anti-social with people, practical with animals farm/ranch background dude are over.  Now, mooveterinary medicine is dominated by young females with mid-size town backgrounds, a cheery people-loving social attitude, and combined brains/compassion/MONEY.  This shift has come with the popularity of pets.  Where veterinary medicine in the days of James Harriot was agriculturally based and more about business then companionship.

-Veterinary admissions perpetuates the need for $$$$$$.  A parent or backer of some kind would give a huge advantage.  The 20-somethings I worked with and the 30-somethings I encountered during my years of work really presented this.  These college kids went to school full-time (tuition fully paid by Mommy and Daddy) and worked very limited hours (for drinking money).  The parents had bought and paid for the cars, paid their housing expenses, and some even helped out with living expenses.  In short, all these students had to do was get their 4.0 and show up to their weekend shift at work.  The entering vets came in with the intention of working PART-time schedules, and each one started their families in less then 2 years employ.  Also, they acted like princesses complaining if they got shorted on their lunch time or had to work a weekend.

-Look at just the fees TO apply to vet school.  First is undergrad tuition.  Vet schools look down at community colleges, because they think the classes are easier.  So in order not to look lazy, you have to go to a (more expensive) 4 year university.  Then, you have to pay $200 and up for standardized tests.  That is not including expensive study books, tutors, or classes on HOW to excel on the standardized tests.  Some kids pay for someone to help them write their essays, or for someone to edit the essay.  Then, every vet school requires an application fee of $40 and up.  And all schools charge a transcript fee.  It all adds up quickly.

-After the straight-forward fees are more costly obligations.  In order to succeed, a veterinary candidate has to be well-big head horserounded.  As a pre-vet student and veterinary-hopeful, I heard “well rounded” over and over.  They want leadership, volunteerism, evidence of team-work, experience. . .  That experience also needs to be in a variety of fields.  It’s not good enough to have thousands of hours in small animal private practice settings.  The committee wants to make sure you also have large animal experience, research, exotic, and equine.  Proof of all this well-rounded business is on the application.  There is unlimited space for activities  in all the above-mentioned categories and more.

–>What are the financial implications of well-rounded?  Well, tell me how to be a full time student (earning the necessary 4.0 GPA, no less) getting the well-rounded ducks in a row, AND working enough hours to pay tuition, housing, car, and living expenses?  I suppose it can be done, but it’s not super-practical.

-Participation in sports and clubs requires money.  Money for dues, uniforms, club-dues, travel, on and on.

-Vet schools give MOST points to observation hours, then to volunteerism, rewarding employment with the least points.  This is because they figure an observer is actually standing next to the vet engaging in active learning, while the other positions are starting to do the obligatory cleaning tasks of the vet hospital, so they are actually learning LESS about the career.  So not only do you have to get well-rounded experiences in multiple areas–you have to do it without pay.

-All this well-rounded stuff means dedicating TIME to said activities.  And that’s time away from earning money and time away from studying.  Which of course the committee REQUIRES a super-high G.P.A. so they don’t get sued for accepting a subjectively good candidate over a quantitatively proven one.

-So being well rounded costs money and takes away ability to earn an income.  I never did figure out how to earn enough Green Bluff 019income to pay my tuition and rent and other expenses, while pursuing as much diverse experience as possible, and still have enough time left over to study for As in my difficult classes.  Not having to work because you had some sort of financial help would have given me an advantage.

-Another side effect of garnering a well-rounded background?  The applicant is unable to stick with anything for very long.  If veterinary admissions rewards people with the most diverse experiences, which dictates that these people can never establish a long relationship with any one sport/club/hospital.  And I saw it over and over at Noah’s Ark.  In their senior year of college, these kids would sign up for a gazillion clubs and put the minimal effort into those.  Just so they could write it on the application.  The flakiest students that came in to the vet hospital for only a few hours a week over one year did the best with their vet school applications.  People like me, that were dedicated to one or two clubs and worked hard at one place, missed those crucial diverse experiences points.  Is that the sort of vet you want?  Flaky and half-assing thing just to write it down?

-Then, IF the applicant is actually admitted into a veterinary program, tuition is impossibly high.  And school keeps vet students so busy that they could not possibly hold a job.  Not for more than maybe 2 months of the year anyway.  Probably not at all.  And definitely not enough to pay rent, food, or other expenses.  You would NEED someone to help with expenses, or at the VERY least co-sign for a big loan.

-Then, the career outlook is bleak because so many veterinarians are graduating.  So if a job is found at all, it certainly doesn’t PAY enough to pay off the inevitable school loans.  Maybe it’s a good thing I couldn’t afford to go to SGU. Just look at this blog post:

http://sharonostermann.blog.com/2011/10/14/student-debt-in-u-s-now-exceeds-all-credit-card-debt-in-u-s/

-70% of my veterinary income?! How terrible to fulfill my dream of becoming a vet only to have to be on food stamps. . .  Highest debt:income ratio.  So there you see how a poor or even regular person would have a VERY difficult time getting in and getting through vet school and then practicing vet medicine.  And why–it’s the spoiled, idealistic, rich girls completing the program these days.

Run Faster [NOT by me]

22 Jul

This  post serves 2 purposes:  1]  post something after a long-ish dry spell.  2]  Future reference for myself.  You’re welcome, and I promise to post for real tomorrow when I’m rested.  I slept ZERO last night because I’m turning into my father.

http://www.wikihow.com/Run-a-7-Minute-Mile

The Galloway Method is based on the premise that regular walking breaks improve your performance.
Jeff says, “Most runners will record significantly faster times when they take walk breaks because they don’t slow down at the end of a long run.”
How does it work?
Walk breaks work because walking and running distributes the workload among a variety of muscles, rather than placing all the workload on the running muscles entirely.

Walk breaks will give you the most benefit during your long runs and he says that you may not need to take walk breaks during shorter runs (of course, depending upon your level). To receive the most benefit, you must take walk breaks before you even start to feel fatigued. He suggests taking your first walk break during the first mile.
Run-walk-run ratio should correspond to the training pace used:
8 min/mi—run 4 min/walk 35 seconds
9 min/mi— 4 min run-1 min walk
10 min/mi—-3:1
11 min/mi—2:30-1
12 min/mi—-2:1
13 min/mi—-1:1
14 min/mi—30 sec run/30 sec walk
15 min/mi—30 sec/45 sec
16 min/mi—30 sec/60 sec

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2009/08/23/the-galloway-method-do-walking-breaks-help/#ixzz2zC6PDpLx

 

And then some tips that I actually found a little arrogant/annoying, but that might help if you could actually DO them:

 

4. I ran intervals (usually on the treadmill). I started running intervals on the treadmill mostly because I kept getting bored on the treadmill. And then I noticed how much my “fast” speed on the treadmill started improving and it motivated me to keep pushing the pace. (Extra Perk: My stomach got really flat after consistent interval training – experts say HIIT burns belly fat and I now believe them.) I don’t do anything formal: just warmed up for about a mile and then started alternating between fast and recovery. I typically do 30-60 seconds fast and 30-90 seconds recovery. My fast pace varies between 6:20 – 7:30 min/mile and recovery is usually around 8:15 – 8:30 min/mile. I try to increase my speed one notch with each fast interval. Make sense?

5. I learned to deal with discomfort from pushing the pace. I really don’t like discomfort while running. I used to have the motto that I run because I enjoy it and if i push too hard, I won’t enjoy it. And that motto was fine for a time. But then I wanted to get faster and that motto can’t apply when working on speed. I chant mantras in my head (like, “the faster you run, the faster you finish”), imagine how good it feels when I beat my PR, and channel any stress I have into the pain.

I just copied two, b/c this tone of the post was very off-putting to me, and I didn’t want to have that voice on my post.

With Time–Comes Poverty [post-quil]

19 Jul

last wk Frb 2014 006I’m not complaining.  If I had to make the decision to quit my job (with no prospects) again, right now:  I’d make the exact same choice.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Not that it was easy.  Quitting that job, the only career avenue I’ve ever known, facing uncertainty–was one of the most difficult things.  BUT I needed to get out for my own mental health.  And I do feel so much better.  That decision allowed me to make better personal choices, clean up my act, pursue the things that are important to my future.  And I’m a lot happier and more relaxed.  Also I’m not in a panic over lack of money/jobs yet.  As a matter of fact, with each new semester, comes a new loan distribution.  Which will HURT in the future, but is really easing my mind right now.

Work:Money.  What an unfair relationship! When I have enough money (rarely excess) there is no time to do anything with it. No days off/vacation time to go anywhere. No time away from obligation to shop or enjoy recreation. . .  And if there is brief, hard-fought time–there’s always guilt and worry associated with it.  Who will be mad at me and make my life miserable for the next 5 months?  How much work will they leave for when I’m back?  How behind will we be?  It really sucks a lot of the fun out of the getting away part.

But when there is time–I have no money. Or am terrified of spending what I do have, because you never know the money needs to last. . .  You look for ways to make money, realize everything you own is not profitable to re-sell.  How is it DVDs, books, clothes, even cars are so expensive to buy–but you practically have to give them away?!  Not.  Fair.

So now that I’m unemployed I need to change my mentality. I will not let fear or greed rule me.  Worry will not eat at me. fly I’ll take action where I can, then just have faith when nothing else can be done.  Stop wanting and pining because it’s torturous and depressing. I need to enjoy what I already have, nature, and intangible things like love.  And appreciate what I already have.  Which is really a lot.  Secondly (twenty-secondly?), I need to compile and prioritize a list of what I do need and want. Then later, when I do have an income again, I get get the things at the top of the list.

Here, my wants:

Don’t Mistake Me for Your “People” [prequel part A]

18 Jul

I don’t mind doing my job at work–or even going the going the extra mile. But I do not like when people (the vets) start to take advantage and cross the line.  Maybe I’ll do something nice, extra that’s personal.  But don’t expect personal favors all the time.  Or worse, reprimand me when I don’t deliver them.  And I have worked for some vets (few and far between) that actually maintain boundaries and do things for themselves, perhaps even jumping in to clean an exam table once in awhile.  That’s highly appreciated.  But the other side of the coin is highly offensive, and deserves a rant.  Here are 3 examples (though there are many more things):

grumpy

For instance, I am fine with doing laundry at work. And I will wash doctor coats or coworker’s scrubs. And I’ll dry them and hang them. But don’t expect me to check your pockets as if I’m your mother. MY mother didn’t even check my pockets as a child.  Be a big girl and take the pens out yourself.  And if I wash your badge–you shoulda removed it before throwing it in the laundry basket–your fault, not mine.  PS–if this happens repeatedly, get frustrated at yourself and what a slow learner you are.  It’s simple, if you don’t want it washed remove it prior to mixing your item in with all the ick-scum laundry.  An addition to laundry–don’t require me to lint roll personal items as if I’m your personal assistant.  I mean, writing it as a to-do item on the white board?!  Are you kidding me with that?  Yeah I did it:  Under “Lint roll jackets” I put and iron slacks and fetch dry cleaning?  ‘Cause, come on.  I’m not your fucking maid.  You’re lucky I even wash your personal clothes–I pay coin-op to wash my scrubs at home, just like every other employee.  Also, I just work here–as a (very, very busy) veterinary assistant, P.S.

And you can clean your own personal desk too.  THAT’s not my job.  And we both know if I misplaced something, threw it away, or something turned up missing/lost you would jump all over my case in a heart beat.  You don’t even like when I touch the files you’ve yet to write up–and that’s a legit part of my job!  I want NO responsibility over your personal stuff.  I don’t ask you to buss my table when I’m finished eating lunch (when I get one, that is) so don’t ask me expect/require me to organize your personal space.

A major pet-peeve of mine:  When people bring their pets to work [which I’m not a fan of b/c it’s distracting, takes up valuable space, and requires someone’s time], but don’t care for them, clean them, or clean the cage/kennel when they’re finished.  Yes, I do these things for paying CLIENTS.  That’s part of my job.  A job I’m doing the whole time I’m at work.  When employees and vets bring their pet–that’s out of my realm.  That takes away from the clients and animal care I’m supposed to be providing.  And your personal animal’s $hitty crate, like really messed up pooped and barfed on Vary kennel–that’s all YOU.  Don’t strategically leave it laying around all dirty, don’t wait 10 hours to address it–if you bring something in, come earlier then you’re supposed to be at work so you can handle all personal business before you have to clock in.  Once you’re at work, your time belongs to the business–so does mine.  You bring it in, you deal.  Especially when we are already busy, you didn’t put it on the schedule, and you bring in 3-4 animals every week.  Or daily.  Also, don’t expect us to take time away from hospitalized patients, emergencies, drop-off, and scheduled appointments during business time to take your (or your friend’s) pet’s vitals daily, do diagnostics, etc. . .  Surprise this is a business.  And surprise, surprise I’m NOT your slave–even though I work like one.

How to Chose a Focus or Angle for the Personal Statement

17 Jul

I am sort of on hold with my personal statement as I wait for editing.  You know, making changes while a version is out for review might make things more difficult.  I’d have to piece together my new changes with their input, and this wastes valuable time.  While I wait, I’m not sitting here doing nothing!  Aside from focusing on other projects (CV, neuroanatomy reading, outlining, figures, and tables, flash cards and running) I’m thinking about how to make my personal statement reflect ME.  It not only has to tell a great story of inspiration, career knowledge, and future research/career direction, but has to convey traits about my personality that I want the admissions committee to know.  Mainly–WHY the topics within my personal statement are important to me and how they shape me as a future professional.  In short, this hiatus is the thinking portion of the show. . .  These are great tips for my statement when I get this last version back:

 

STEP ONE

Begin to focus your thoughts by examining your actual experiences. Use the information you’ve uncovered through brainstorming to address the following topics.

• An achievement that made me feel terrific…

• Something I have struggled to overcome or change about myself or my life…

• An event or experience that taught me something special…

• A “real drag” of an experience that I had to get past…

• Someone’s act of strength or courage that affected me…

• A family experience that influenced me in some powerful way…

• A lesson, class project, activity or job that had an impact on my academic or career goals…

• A time I blew it, failed, made bad choices, and how I got past it…

• Some memorable event or advice involving an older person…

• An event that helps to define me, in terms of my background…

STEP TWO

Choose one or two of your favorite respones from the list above (or combine a couple that evoked similar responses). Check to make sure your written description addresses the following three questions. If it doesn’t, add details so that the experience you describe will be vivid to a reader who doesn’t know you.

1. What were the key moments and details of the event?

2. What did I learn from this event?

3. What aspect of this event stays with me most?

STEP THREE

Decide on a theme for your essay. Taking the experience you wrote about in Step Two, answer the following questions:

•What does this event reveal about me?

•What makes it special or significant?

•How does this event make me special or make me stand out?

• What truth about me is revealed through this event?

-Here are some tips to consider when choosing an experience to evaluate for a focus:

  • It should be unique. It does not have to be life shattering, but you should be able to write about it with conviction, enthusiasm and authority.
  • It should be an experience you feel some passion for. You must be able to support it as a “turning point” in your life. Ask yourself, “How did I change as a result of this experience?” For example, did it give you a new perspective or understanding, did it give you a new direction in life, or help you come to an important realization?
  • Don’t limit yourself to thinking of experiences that can translate well into the moral of ” . . . and that’s why I want to be a doctor.” Choose something that you feel is truly representative of you, and something that you feel you can use to transition to other relevant aspects of your life. Otherwise, your statement may come off sounding staged or strained.
  • It should be sustainable throughout your statement. In other words it has to have enough depth and flexibility to carry you through your statement while avoiding repetition. The details of the event should afford you opportunity to talk about related experiences that you want the people who are considering your for an interview to know.
  • Of course, you don’t want to use up too much of your limited space just setting a scene. Make sure your frame serves multiple purposes:
    • It introduces the occasion of the focus
    • It introduces you
    • It is creative enough to spark interest in the rest of your statement

    By framing the statement with an anecdote, you provide your audience with immediate access to some aspect of your past, your character, and your personality. Also, you give them incentive to read on to find our what happens next.

The Best Part of Running

16 Jul

Is getting a new PR (personal record)!  Obviously.  Secondly, I enjoy taking, writing, and number-crunching all my stats.  Which I guess is math—shhhhhhh don’t tell anyone about that.  It would ruin my image.  I keep a red notebook and write all track runs in there.  I should mention these track runs are timed with my i-pod, which has a stopwatch function.  One of my i-pods keeps milisec, and the other doesn’t–I’m not sure how much this matters to my scene, so I’m thinking about just dropping them or rounding. . .  Anyway, one day I’ll have some fancy technology that will do everything and just plugrunning 2 into my computer, but this is adequate for now.

I don’t keep track of all my treadmill runs because I’m not certain how they stack up.  I don’t know the calibration, and am not sure if the distance/speed/calorie count are in any way accurate.  I like to run the all-weather track because the surface is amazing, there is 24/7 security at the college (dude on a golf cart making rounds), and I assume all the distances, inclines, variables are in line, because of track meets.

I just realize, I’m out of the norm for “runners.”  I enjoy the treadmill and on ultra-lazy days, weather below 60F, wind, rain, and when I have a busy schedule I’ll default to that.  Most runners hate it.  I’m also different because I am not really a marathon/race type of gal.  I don’t want to PAY to run, have to plan ahead and schedule the thing, or run with other people–I run because I LIKE my alone time.  Because I’m not “training” for some event, I tend to just work on my own short distance goals–no need to run 50 miles when 1 fast one (for me) will do.  I don’t understand pacing–probably because it has to do with kilometers (whaaa?) and marathons or smaller derivations thereof (I don’t know if that’s a legit word, but it sounds fancy so I’m using it).   Saying 8 min/mile pace is confusing to me.  Does that actually mean people run 8 minute miles for 30-some miles or whatever?  Can that be done outside of the Olympics/insane runner’s groups?  See, I running 1run often, but you wouldn’t call me a typical “runner.”

But I’m not intimidated by all the professional-pretention stuff.  I think of running like wine.  Sure, you may not know the lingo, or go to the fancy places, or have any of the accessories, or have an acquired taste for the finer things–but you do it because you like it and that’s what matters.  That’s me!  Enjoying chocolate wine from Wal-Mart (just an exaggerated example and not any more) and running my own timed sprints for no larger purpose than my own gratification.

After 3 years, I have just a couple of pages left, and the front is full of former & current PRs and the back full of weights and measurements.  As such, I think it’s time to go digital.  Plus, I want to know the info won’t be physically lost.  So here it is, because I got not only 1 but 2 TWO new records today–in the same day!  Unheard of.  I guess the daily mile (and my 30-20-10 HIIT sessions?) helps my speed.  My runs never felt so good.

200 m (half lap all-out sprint):

my goal is under 30 sec

0:37.5 on 7/16/14

0:38.8 on 7/28/12

–>I rarely run 200s because they take a lot out of me and really make me sore later.  And there’s only 2 records, because most of them are slower a work in progress.

400 m (1 lap all-out sprint & key to improving mile time):

the goal is sub-60 sec and as you can see, I have a ways to go yet

1:27.2 on 8/13/13

1:30.0 on 7/13/14

1:30.6 on 8/3/14

1:31.8 on 9/30/12

1:32.1 on 9/30/12

1:32.4 on 9/9/12

800 m (2 laps/half mile, weird speed):

3:38.6 on 7/16/14

3:52.4 on 7/23/13

3:52.12 on 7/31/12

–>I very rarely run this because it’s not exactly a sprint and I’m not certain how much it impacts my mile.  And mostly, when I start running this, once I’m finished with the 2nd lap I figure–why not just do a mile?

mile (4 laps = 1600 m):

the goal had been 8 min/mi, but I accomplished it, so I guess just as fast as possible is the goal now.

7:26.7 on 7/7/15 [400m splits:  1:37.1 = 2:10.8 = 2:06.2 = 1:32.6]

 7:39.0 on 8/22/12 [400m splits:  1:40.9 = 1:55.6 = 2:05.5 = 1:57.1]

7:40.07 on 8/17/14 [400 m splits:  1:43.4 = 1:56.6 = 2.02.8 = 1:57.9]

7:40.22 on 8/17/12 [400 m splits:  1:41.5 = 2:03.1 = 2:04.9 = 1:59.7]

7:42 on 7/12/14 [400 m splits:  1:41.6 = 1:58.7 = 2:02.7 = 2:00.2]

7:45 on 7/11/14 [400 splits:  1:47 = 1:54 = 2:05 = 1:58]

7:52 on 7/6/14 [400 splits:  1:46 = 4:05 = 1:59]  I HATE when it doesn’t capture the split as in lap 2+3!

7:54.11 on 7/18/12 [400 splits:  1:56.7 = 1:56.2 = 2:02.2 = 2:00.0]