Life in Pictures

I meant to stop back in here Friday…and then Sunday…and now it’s Monday and here we are, so I’ll take it! We’re going to go through life lately in pictures, because why not?

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Work at the vet has been good. THIS GUY. <3 (Note: this is not a patient, it is a kitten one of my coworkers found!)

I feel like I’m thankfully getting back into the rhthym of things faster than expected. I do enjoy my job, but still adjusting to the 2 and 3 pm lunches…

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Things have been a little crazy at home lately, and I totally forgot about the CSA box I picked out until it showed up. Thankfully, it provided the perfect easy dinner, without the need for a trip to the store! I apparently went a little wild with carrots though….the entire box was loaded with regular carrots, purple carrots, and rainbow carrots. No complaints here though! Also included were beets and broccolini, so those were roasted up and served with brown rice, an egg, hummus, and chives.

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I’m still working my way through some throwback breakfasts. This one is from my summer in DC. The banana wasn’t as ripe as I would have liked, but this is banana mashed and heated in the microwave, with cocoa powder. Plain greek yogurt, sunbutter. YUM.

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This is a typical work lunch. Leftover ginger soup with crackers and half an apple. The apples we got at the fruit stand last week are delicious, and massive.

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Roasted carrots showed up the following night as well (since there were so many!) Also on the plate was roasted potatoes with rosemary, broccoli, and rotisserie chicken (plus ketchup, of course!).

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Still going strong with flapjacked cookies. I cooked these a little bit longer than ideal though!

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I didn’t have work Friday, so Thursday was sort of my Friday? One thing about being at the vet is that it can be sort of loud (twin barkers on this particular day), and while I handle it fine at work, sometimes when I get home things feel a little overstimulating. My parents talked me into splitting a beer on this night.

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My college friends and I took advantage of my free day Friday to make a trip to San Francisco. After much indecision, we decided on taking a trip to the Ferry Building. The food there is always amazing. This time, we tried a Mexican place.

Indecision was a theme, and my friend helped me decide to go with tortilla soup (over tacos). It was a delicious decision! We also had guacamole.

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I really liked the cojita cheese in this as well!

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We explored the various vendors a bit before stopping for gourmet ice cream. I went with malted milk chocolate and it was every bit as amazing as expected.

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For dinner, I threw together a quick salad of leftover roasted beets, rotisserie chicken, dried cranberries, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, plus roasted carrots.

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I picked up a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin from the gluten free bakery at the Ferry Building, Mariposa.

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Another typical work lunch: the same salad as the previous night with a side of crackers.

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Work on Saturday was a little tough, but good. Despite the unconventionality (for me) of working Saturdays, I actually really like the feel of the days. Everything feels a little bit quieter, and I feel like I can be more helpful. I am also getting the chance to work on some vet tech skills, which has been fun and exciting. Anyways, after work my mom and I split a dark beer for happy hour while we discussed our days and prepped dinner.

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Dinner came together in a hurry, with an opened faced turkey and havarti sandwich with apple. On the side, we finished up our produce stand artichokes. Our usual dipping sauce is a mix of mayonnaise an flight balsamic vinaigrette.

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More flapjacked cookies happening in these parts.

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Sunday I spent all day at a Pre-Vet Expo my undergraduate institution hosted. It was a really great conference, with talks by veterinarians in difference fields, lunchtime discussions with vets, and various Q&As. A few things struck me about this day. First, it’s so crazy to me how I attended this same conference 2 years ago, new to anything veterinary medicine, and here am I now, headed to vet school. What?? Second, I’m really excited about the field I’m going into. I don’t know exactly what direction I want to go in, but there are so many opportunities and I can’t wait to dive in. Lastly, veterinarians are a really great group of people. Everyone is so friendly and eager to help young, aspiring veterinarians. If any pre-vets happen to be reading, I highly, highly suggest reaching out to any vets you may know for questions or shadowing. My start came from asking my local vet about shadowing, which turned into hundreds of hours of vet experience and a job.

Anyways, after the conference I stopped in to the on-campus gym to run 2 miles on the treadmill. My achilles held up. I pushed it, but I think the right amount. I’m doing a race in less than 2 weeks (a 5k), and while I have no grand aspirations, I just want it to go well! When I got home, I was HUNGRY. After much debate, we decided to pick up sandwiches for dinner. I suggested Which Wich, because you can get any sandwich in a lettuce wrap or in a salad bowl. I decided to try the exact salad I get at Subway, but I added avocado. It was good!

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I took a break from cookies to make this delicious bowl. Vanilla halo top, flax 4 life brownies, fudge, and whipped cream. YUM.

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Chloe got another walk Monday morning.

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And FINALLY, one more lunch: wrap with sundried tomato laughing cow, spinach, pepper, and half an apple and snap pea crisps.

WHEW.

I know that was a little all over the place! I’m actually going to record a day in the life tomorrow, so check back for that in a couple of days!

Senior Formal, One Health, Fountain Hopping

It has been quite the weekend. This is hell weekend #2 of the quarter in terms of school work, and I have a bit of a long night ahead of me. That being said, it’s also been a blast thus far, and I’m soaking up the senior experiences.

In terms of my foot, it’s likely a stress fracture but I’m still waiting for an MRI to come back to know for sure. When I have more details, I want to do a full post on that. In the meantime, I’ve been playing the game of “how many ways can I keep myself amused on a spin bike?” Luckily, I’m certified in that!

While I am totally swamped, I did want to take the time to blog about this weekend. Lots of pictures!

Friday right after class, I headed to my MRI. Totally fell asleep in the middle of it. You know you’re in college when…

We had been considering going out to dinner before senior formal, but given I wasn’t going to get back from my MRI until 6, we scrapped the idea and ate at the house.

My friends and I got ready together, and I popped a bottle of fancy champagne, courtesy of Black Friday shopping at Domain Chandon.

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Then we took some pictures before boarding the bus to SF. I never look fancy so be prepared for a bit of a photo overload.

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Formal was held at the Metreon, which had a gorgeous view of the city from the balcony.

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It was so fun to see everyone from my class so dressed up!

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There was a live band playing, a (crowded) Photo Booth, and plenty of food. Not a lot of Aurora-friendly food, so I didn’t have much, but it looked good! The mac and cheese was a hit, and I had some chickpea channa masala.

We got on one of the earlier buses back, but even still, I wasn’t in bed until around 2.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early at 6:30am to be at a conference I was working at and attending as part of the pre-vet club. The conference ran 8-6, so it was quite a long day after 4.5 hours of sleep! I have zero caffeine tolerance so I can’t drink coffee, but I found that a few sips of green tea here and there really helped. Yes, my tolerance is that low. I don’t get it.

The conference was One Health focused, and was very interesting. One Health is the concept that the medical, veterinary, public health, and environmental fields are intertwined and all interact with each other. As such, we need to link them in our approaches to problem solving in various realms. For the conference, we had tons of speaks, ranging from MDs, veterinarians, and researchers. The conference covered 4 main areas: influenza, Seizure/Epilepsy research, Antibiotic Resistance, and Bats (as a vector for disease). The influenza section touched on particular types of flu epidemics, and the spread of flu from animals to humans (and vice versa). My favorite section was the Seizure/Epilepsy research. Presenters shared research in both humans and animals, and two of the presenters showed some incredibly cool research on new technology for predicting seizures (in epilepsy) based on brainwaves, and then potentially trying to prevent them. In the antibiotic resistance module, speakers discussed the growing problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria, resulting from over prescription of antibiotics and of uniform antibiotic dosage within the food animal industry to increase growth rate. Antibiotic resistance is a serious issue, because it is not unforeseeable that in the future we will no longer be protected by antibiotics. For those unfamiliar, antibiotic resistance occurs because bacteria can mutate and evolve at extremely fast rates, and can change in a way that allows them to evade the effects of antibiotics. The final module was on the spread of disease through bats.

One of my roles was a lunchtime discussion facilitator, and in my group, we spent a lot of time discussing animal use in research (something I am fairly knowledgable about) and the public’s view of it.

It was a long day, but I definitely learned a lot!

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Immediately after the conference, I went out to dinner with my family for a little early birthday celebration since I have a midterm on the night of my actual birthday. Per my choice, we went to Lyfe Kitchen.

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Goat cheese and mushroom flatbread to start.

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And a gluten free chicken and avocado sandwich for my main meal. Plus garlic parmesan sweet potato fries to share!

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We went back to my sister’s apartment for cake afterwards, and I got to hang out with her kitty, Lava!

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Lava is a sweetie, and extremely easy-going. The only way to blow out candles clearly is with a cat in your lap! I certainly tested out my range.

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My mom made a beautiful ice cream cake!

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Gluten free chocolate cake on the bottom Strauss mint chocolate chip ice cream on top. It was delicious! (Was/Is. Definitely had a slice Sunday night!)

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Sunday has been spent simultaneously trying to get my life together and trying to enjoy the last half quarter of senior year. I started my morning with a spin class, because I can only spend so much time on a bike by myself. I let the instructor know beforehand that I couldn’t stand on the bike, and it was still a great class. (Sidenote: I taught a class Wednesday without standing, and my class were rockstars! They were super understanding an followed my cues perfectly!)

I spent Sunday afternoon grinding away at a take-home test, before breaking for a little fountain hopping.

Fountain hopping is a huge thing here. Because of the drought, the fountains have been turned off for the past 2 years, but they turned them back on for the final month.

I was greeted with an unexpected roll out when my friends knocked on my door with a boom box.

It was the perfect weather for hanging out in a fountain. I hadn’t been fountain hopping since just after my freshman year! Crazy.

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It was fantastic to see some friends I haven’t hung out with much this quarter.

Froyo afterwards was totally necessary as well.

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I got plain with fruit from Fraiche, the froyo place on campus. (They also make their own normal yogurt and it’s so good! I never get it!)

And then it was back to the reality of take home midterms and pages and pages of reading. *Sigh*

How am I a senior though??

Veterinary School

Today’s topic is a little bit different than some of the things I normally post about, but I though that some people might find it informative. One year ago, I had no idea about anything vet school, and now I’m a few short months from applying!

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Vet school requirements are quite a bit more comprehensive than med school requirements. For both Med and Vet school, you have to take required courses like chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, and biology. However, many veterinary schools require additional elective classes.

Different schools require different things, so take a look at this chart. Some common electives that are required are biochemistry, genetics, microbiology, and animal nutrition. If you’re like me and go to a non-pre vet focused school, you may need to take some of these courses at other places. For example, I’m taking an online animal nutrition course through Purdue this summer. My university also does not offer microbiology+lab, so my current struggle is figuring out where to take that in the fall while working during my gap year. All required courses must be completed in the spring before enrollment. This means you can apply to veterinary school in the fall, and still take fall or spring required courses that year.

Another additional requirement is veterinary hours. These can be either shadowing or working with a veterinarian—there must be a veterinarian present of these to count. For example, my job working as a veterinary assistant counts as vet hours. You need hundreds of these hours before applying, and it is ideal to get experience in different areas.

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I 100% understand why this is a requirement. I think there are a lot of people that are interested in becoming veterinarians simply because they love animals, but veterinary medicine is so much more than that. There is no substitute for experience.

Non-veterinary hours are also encouraged for more animal experience. This could be in a research setting, or volunteering at a shelter.

Almost all veterinary schools also require the GRE, which I am currently studying for.

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The application itself is similar to the common app which most colleges use for undergrad. You need to write a personal statement, and have letters of recommendation. In addition, many schools require supplements.

Where am I in this process? Suddenly it’s all becoming much more real, and I will be applying in a few short months! Currently I have several hundreds of hours of veterinary experience, and am working on more now. I am planning to spend some time at the beginning of the summer working on my application, and then spending the rest of the summer doing something animal related (although I am still working out what this might be). Over the summer, as I mentioned before I will also take an animal nutrition class. I’m not sure what my gap year will hold, but it’s complicated a bit by the fact that I need to take a microbiology course in the fall. There are a few things I know I will apply to. Ultimately though, I want to end up in DC for my gap year, and for me right now that’s nonnegotiable!

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Any questions for me?

Vet Stuff

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend! I spent the weekend in Davis at a pre-health conference, although I stayed on the pre-vet side!

Overall, the conference was awesome. I learned some, but was also reassured about how much I’ve learned about this kind of thing in the past year. Let’s back up, shall we?

Friday, I worked at the vet, as per usual with my schedule this quarter. It was a bit of a rough one, but my amazing mother surprised me with gluten free pumpkin bread with pumpkin cream cheese! Um, yes! AMAZING. I haven’t had real pumpkin bread this year-only banana pumpkin and it’s not exactly the same.

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From there I headed to the local mall to pick up some things for my trip. The attire was professional/business casual, so I wanted to pick up some nicer jeans. I had a bit of a clothing dilemma-I needed business casual/sheep appropriate attire. #prevetlife On the way back from the mall, I stopped at Whole Foods for dinner and items for my trip.

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Apple butternut squash soup-so good-plus avocado kale salad with feta.

Saturday morning, I was up bright and early (4:30) to make the drive over. The drive was…interesting. It was SO dark and foggy. I couldn’t see more than 10 feet in front of me in some places, which was surreal. It was dark, and in some places the only lights were my own cutting through the fog. Not the most relaxing drive to say the least! I arrived in Davis at the perfect time-just before the crowds to check in.

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I went to the keynote addresses, and then to various workshops on vet school applications, livestock reproduction, animal nutrition, and mixed animal practices. Overall, they were very helpful. I was surprised by how much I’ve learned about the veterinary field, animal physiology, and the vet school process in the past year. I wish I had gone last year when I knew nothing!

After a full day of conferencing, I went in search of dinner and ended up at the downtown Davis Whole Foods. I actually ran into someone from high school there! Dinner was fantastic-I actually managed to make a good salad bar salad. In the salad was lettuce, grapes, bleu cheese, and balsamic. Sometimes it is best to keep things simple. Plus, I got some rice and roasted carrots and the star of the meal-a black bean and cheese tamale. YUM.

The conference was nice enough to provide housing for just $14 to attendees, so I had the chance to talk with some other people there that I roomed with that night. After some homework, I turned in for an early night.

I was up bright and early the next morning. I wanted a cappuccino and knew the Stackbucks on campus would be packed, so I Googled mapped one on the way. Right before I turned onto the street, I spotted another awesome looking coffeeshop and decided to give it a try instead-SUCH a good decision. Check this out!

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Sidenote-downtown Davis is adorable. I also saw a pub that during “puppy hour” gives you discounted drinks if you bring your dog-how awesome is that?

Also-I nailed it with the Starbucks prediction on campus-check out this insane line:

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My main event today was a sheep handling workshop. As you probably know by now, I’m obsessed with ruminants. In the workshop, we got to learn how to give sheep a basic exam, trimmed their hooves, and practiced moving them. Experiences like this make me think I might like to go into large animal medicine-everything about ruminant physiology is just so fascinating to me!

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After the workshop, I made the trek back to campus. Overall, it was a good (albeit tiring) weekend!

 

Flashback: The Summer That May Have Changed My Life

Hello! As you read this, I’m probably on my way to Maui! I wanted to get some posts up scheduled to keep the ol’ blog running. One post I’ve been meaning to do was life as a pre-vet/my summer job experience. I dug up this old post that I wrote 2 years ago-as a little foreshadowing. Because I would go back and forth many times and ultimately decide on my career path…only to change it this past winter, and since then I haven’t looked back. Enjoy!

Ok, to be fair, this title is a little overly dramatic. But let’s just get right into it, shall we?

It’s no secret I like cats. I feel like every survey I’ve done somehow ends up with every other answer being how much I love my kitty.

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(Who just so happens to be sleeping purrily next to me as we speak.)

My phone pictures? Cats and food. And the food is a branch out from what my phone was like a year ago. I even made a calendar of my cats.

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(Sidenote-apparently my Resident Fellows for my dorm have 3 cats! SO pumped!)

So volunteering in the kitten nursery this summer was an easy decision. Even if it was the early morning shift!Image

I mean, I knew they’d be freaking cute.

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But I wasn’t prepared for the impact they would have on me.

I loved every minute of the kitten nursery- playing with the kitties, cleaning litter boxes, getting meowed at constantly, hand feeding them, leaving COVERED in cat food.

I learned how to syringe feed a kitten. I learned how frustrating kittens can be when they don’t feel like eating. I learned the impact one person can have on a kitten’s life.

I took this little guy under my wing.

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I could tell he was kind of falling by the wayside, which really upset me. Black cats are usually the last to be adopted. This guy was underweight and not particularly receptive to being syringe fed. I could tell by his charts that the previous volunteers had just given up-he was not given anywhere near as much as he should have. He wasn’t that receptive to syringe feeding (a lot of kittens aren’t), but I spent an entire hour with just this one little kitten. His paper said he was “antisocial” but I think it was more of shy, because he eventually purred for me. This kitty ended up being fine, and a ball of energy a week later once his weight was back on track.

I also experienced the heartbreak of losing a kittenImage

I fell in love with this little kitten the first week she came in. Her litter was so energetic and full of energy. 2 weeks later, she was so sick she couldn’t stand. She had lost a ton of weight-her whole litter was sick (and one of her sisters didn’t make it either) but she was the worst. I felt so helpless that day. This kitten had been a ball of energy 2 weeks before, and now was clearly suffering and not going to make it. I wanted so much to help them, but there was nothing I could do for them.

I’ve always loved animals, but believed I could never be a vet because it would be “too sad.” I even avoid books I know will have sad endings (Nicholas Sparks, anyone?). But you know what? Sometimes the hardest things are the most worthwhile. 

My experience at the kitten nursery has me rethinking my whole career. I always thought I’d do nutritional research. But now, I’m seriously considering becoming a veterinarian. Because yes, when that little kitten died, it was sad. But you know what? They don’t all die. Most of them make it. What if I had an opportunity to save the life of an animal?Image

Wouldn’t that be worth the wave of emotions that came with losing one? Shouldn’t I put aside my OWN issues for somebody else? Sure, losing that kitten was unbelievably sad. But there are others out there that need help-that one loss shouldn’t stop me from saving the rest.

Have you ever completely rethought your career? Have you had an experience that changed your life?

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