Winter in the Midwest

January 2019

Greeting Vet Enthusiasts,

I am now back in Ames, after a month long winter break. It was very difficult to say goodbye to my friends and family, since I won’t be able to see them until May. On the same note, it was also hard to say goodbye to LA weather. In Ames, a blanket of arctic chill has bestowed upon us. As a result, classes have been cancelled for about 3 days! It feels nice to have an unexpected mini vacation. Although this is a great time to catch up on some shows on Netflix, I was quite worried about this major chill that the meteorologists kept mentioning, and the fact that being outside for less than 10 minutes can possibly make your corneas freeze over. Yikes!

On Tuesday morning, when it was announced that classes were cancelled, I took the opportunity to stop by Walmart and stock up on the necessities (water, snacks, fruits, etc.). I felt like I was shopping for the upcoming apocalypse or an end of the world crisis, but I didn’t want to take my chances going to the market on Wednesday when it was expected to be down to -40 degrees with wind chill!

Since I’ve been back in Ames, not only has it been achingly cold, but a lot has happened in the first two weeks of school. To start, us third years were greeted with the Veterinary Educational Assessment exam (VEA), also referred to as the practice NAVLE. The exam took about 4 hours, and encompassed all of the things I was supposed to have retained over the last 3 years of my veterinary education. I must say, that exam conquered me big time, but I won’t know for sure how well or how poorly I did once the results are released in the next month or so. After that crushing experience, I had something more exhilarating to look forward to, and that was attending my first mini rotation, which was equine skills (for non-equine folks).

 In your second semester of third year, you’ll be able to go on mini rotations of departments that interest you (such as cardiology, production medicine, primary care, ophthalmology, and surgery, to name a few). For someone like me who has minimal horse experience, it was awesome to work one-on-one with the equine veterinarians and the horses. I learned the etiquette of walking a horse, placing a halter on a horse, how to clean the underside of their hoofs, where to listen for heart and lung sounds, and where to stand so you don’t get kicked and avoid getting a concussion. I, along with other third years had a tour of the large animal facility. I was very impressed with the size of the large animal facilities, and can’t wait to do more work with horses during my fourth year. Next in line on my mini rotation schedule is cardiology. That’ll definitely be something to look forward to in the upcoming week.

Lastly, the college hosted a winter formal (or vet med prom) last weekend. It was a great study break and also a fun way to get some exercise through dancing to some cool tunes. I was also highly amused seeing some of my fellow classmates being a little too happy with their spirited drinks- that never gets old for me.

Well, it’s time to get back to studying for radiology and enjoy the rest of my winter strike/mini vacation. I’ll see you all on my next blog and thank you for taking the time to stop by and read.

Until next time,


“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop”- Confucius