Isolated thoughts

Month: November, 2016

‘me’

Why do we choose to let:
our insecurities, doubts, negative natures and the like
take hold of our throats and 
suffocate us in these choppy waters.

Choosing the depths of the darkness was a silly idea,
dear child, listen to me!
Please stop; but these decisions are not theirs to make 
remember these people whom you have chosen to forsake

When we finally look back we see;
hindsight always sheds light for thee when there is little positivity
in the end we learn always -
Strive on, young one, and just be unforgivingly ‘me’

In memory of:

I carry your words like a cross upon my back;
the last ones, for they are the only ones that remain 
when we choose our individual paths down this mountain of shame. 

Smooth sailing

Today has been pretty great. I got an additional farm placement at a dairy farm, and I’m so excited for it because it would be my first ever prac with full board! So I will be doing 3 weeks during this summer holidays – one week of dairy cattle, a week of wildlife and one week of horses. It sounds wonderful because if I’m lucky I reckon that I would get to see calving *crosses fingers* and who doesn’t love baby animals?! I also think that it is good to try and finish my pracs quickly whilst I am relatively free and burden free. I also just got my interview rescheduled to after my paper this Friday – I hope it goes well, for it means being financially self sufficient during term time. That would be a wonderful experience as well. 

I have also signed my contract a couple of days ago so I’m pretty happy. Would feel better if I could go down to shadow before I leave, so I might give them a call tomorrow and ask. Since the room is unfurnished I would also need to furnish it myself and since I foresee myself staying there for a good 4 years I have my mom’s blessing to furnish it, with new furniture nonetheless! This is so extremely exhilarating and wonderful for I think it has always been a dream to furnish my own room in my own style and way. I remember watching ‘Groom my room’ on kids central and always being so envious of them because they got to makeover their rooms. Ikea catalogs are also my favourites; I would pore through the catalog when it arrived every year. This would all be done on a budget, of course, but what is 2 week’s rent when you are going to live in that place for the rest of your studies? DIY projects make me excited as well. 

Also, just one week left to home for a little bit! I cannot wait for summer.

Recent happenings

So, let’s get to the good news. I passed my animal handling exam! After hours of anxiously checking my email and even going to my student email, I don’t think I’ve found an email from the unit coordinator telling me to go back down to redo sheep. Hurrah! Four finals are finished, which also means that I only have two left. Also, I will be going home in 10 days! How exciting. Exam results will be released on the 9th, which is something I (strangely enough) am looking forward to. I would also probably need to fly back on the 9th, which I don’t know what I feel about at the moment. 

On the shittier side of things, I need to pack up and settle how I’m going to move. Also need to hound someone for a reply about something and generally sort things out before I leave. It gets on my nerves how some people don’t even have the decency to reply. Like, I get if you’re busy or need time to sort things out but certain situations are inexcusable. 

Today (Saturday) was otherwise a pretty good day, though. I watched Finding Dory (again), Jinn and the later portion of Aladdin last night at the rec room with friends, went for a nice jog this morning and had a good conversation. After that, I’m just holing up in my room pseudo studying for statistics. I don’t really hate it, I just dislike how tedious and tiring it is to do a past year paper because surprise, there’s quite a fair bit of writing involved. Oh, I made an orange poppy seed cake yesterday, and it tasted pretty good. My soul is satisfied. 

Oh, fun story. On Friday, Jo, Alia and I went to get a free tv table for their new house (I won’t be joining them despite initial plans) as it’s unfurnished. So we borrowed a car and went, with me driving. We got to the place to see a whole stash of free furniture and there happened to be a double bed in the mess. So Alia took the bed for herself, and we had to squish it into the car with the tv set above. Since I was the smallest and we put down the middle seats, I had to squeeze under the mattress whilst the two others took the front. And it’s pretty messed up because I literally couldn’t get out and Jo grabbed me under the arms like a child and dragged me out of the door which must’ve looked pretty hilarious to Alia. Also found that I’m super weak – thanks guys I know. But I passed animal handling, how about that?!

I’ve come to the realisation that my studying these days is me being a cocksure little asshole not really truly studying. I don’t know why I’m like that, but I generally don’t really study study, I simply do past year papers and remember how to answer in a way that gets me marks. It’s not that I don’t struggle with new concepts, I really do when they are introduced. But once I get the main points and the type of questions that come out I’m pretty cocksure and confident of doing well – or at least good enough to get a high distinction. But that isn’t the point. I should be studying to expand my knowledge, not just for the grades. 

Aries my foe

Today, I had my animal handling practical examination. And let’s just say, well, I’m really bad with sheep. 

I started with cattle and got a cute Murray Grey. Got thrown off when I saw that it had no teeth (like wtf how is it alive then) and so my guessing of its age was totally gone. Supposed that it had to have loose teeth and said that it was 7+, randomly guessed a weight and BCS whilst I was at it. Tied its head up with nose grips as well, did a lactation test and tied the cow’s hind leg to the far post. Then, I made a temporary halter and tied a flank rope. And that was it. I felt like I did alright, I was confident when I answered the questions and am quite sure that I was right. I’m guessing that I passed it. 

Then, it was pigs. Pigs were alright. I moved them but held the pole whilst using the stockboard, which I have no idea what I was supposed to do about. The pigs moved quickly and then I did snaring and answered questions quite confidently. Picked a piglet up for a wellness exam and also for blood collection, and I suppose that I did alright. Answered a lot of questions confidently again and I think I did well. Pass. 

The third station was sheep followed by sheep (it was broken up). For the first, got through sheep tools, breed and definitions alright. Then came tipping. And I managed to do shearer’s method, but failed to do farmer-shearer’s which made me feel quite screwed. Like, big problem. Then had to tip a sheep, age it via teeth, condition score and guess its weight. Also had to find a specific sheep in a pen. Got it quick. Then went out and felt like crap for a good while coughing puking and shit. 

Second portion of sheep I had to age and condition score a sheep and I think I was slightly off with the BCS because it was a fat sheep. Couldn’t tip it, got another small one and couldn’t do farmer-shearer’s again. Then tipped it via folding leg method and tied it up alright. Got blood. I don’t know, I just feel bad about the whole damn thing with sheep like god. If anything, theory can possibly pull me up but I don’t know how much. I really do not want to go through that ordeal again. I think I might have to though. 

Last station: horses. I’m confident because hey, been riding them since I was what, 8? But I got a difficult horse (my friend caught her prior to me and couldn’t put on the bull bit or use the twitch with her). Managed to get the bull bit in after quite a bit of effort (invigilator commended my persistence hooray!), twitched another horse with no problems, and successfully read the brand, identified the breed, colour and markings. Also aged correctly I think. Had difficulty picking up its feet but it did eventually, and I think I did well for identification of body parts and tools. Definite pass. 

I hate feeling incompetent, which comes with not being able to do something that I have definitely done before. I don’t know, its not like I’ve never done farmer-shearer’s before but I just feel so weak and incredibly pathetic wrestling an animal that probably weighs less than I do. I don’t know if I will pass either for sheep but that’s okay, I have another shot if I fail, and I will know it by tomorrow. I will be pretty stumped if I did fail cattle though, I know it. I’ll be surprised if I do fail pigs and horses. 

At least if I failed I have taken down what was tested and know how to work to get enough marks to pass. Such is life. 

Life Itself

Fling your rocks at my naked body, 
fool me with your sweet nothings and meaningless promise -
terrorise this fragile spirit’s dwelling and strike fear!

Try,
For the child does not crumble before you
This youth will rise before you
And this young adult will defeat you. 

Rejection of your kind I do not fear
With open arms will I welcome you closer
Come, stranger 
I dare you to make me perish in your fire

Finals Season

And now, the countdown really begins. I have exactly 16 days till home. Literally, just two weeks and two days. And that’s fantastic, for I want to finish up this semester and just go back for a while and relieve myself of all these burdens at least for a slight period of time. 

It’s funny, for every since I was young I have dreamt of studying abroad. I imagined a pretty dorm room and a picturesque campus, as well as wonderful activities and hall life. In a sense, I am living the dream right now (albeit not as picturesque at the moment) but people forget that living abroad encompasses doing one’s own dishes, cooking for oneself and taking care of someone (yourself) who has never been truly independent before. As I was brought up with two working parents and a helper that took care of us kids, I had rarely lifted a finger to do anything, especially laundry. Oh, don’t get me started. If your course requires you to do things out in the field, say, collect samples or pick piglets up and tip sheep your clothes get dirty. Fast. And it really kinda sucks, because every single wash costs $3, which isn’t cheap. It can buy me a nice plate of chicken rice back at home for goodness sake. 

Living abroad also makes me think of how different it might’ve been if I had remained in Singapore. Whilst incredibly liberating, it also makes me think about how isolated I am from others my age. I don’t have the opportunity to mingle as much with young people at home. To be honest, I suppose we only need a handful of good friends, and that is enough. Just musing about how, when I return eventually, socialising would be rather difficult with work and family being the priority. No hall life, no university experience with my peers, and again, rather isolated. This is not to say that I’m lonely, but it would have been nice to have had the experience; I have chosen a very different path. 

I have two papers this coming week, which I feel rather confident for if I would put in the time to memorise things. I also have my animal handling examination, which I am clearly nervous for. I just want (need) to pass, please. Animals please be good. I’m not too worried about pigs and horses (pray that 10 years of being bullied by horses and ponies alike has given me the confidence to handle them with firmness and grace) but sheep and cows aye, I’m nervous. They didn’t bring the sheep born in 2016 out previously, which means that we had to tip the 2015 ones and those born before. And it wasn’t working for me because certain tips require you to literally lift a 30kg sheep up and frankly speaking when you are 42kg that doesn’t happen easily. I know that I am able to and that I can but it gets exhausting working with animals so fearful of humans and flighty. 

I went for a nice run around the lake today. It felt wonderful. Whilst most of the time finals and important exams leave me extremely stressed out, I feel quite relaxed this time round. It feels like my hard work for my mid semesters and lab reports has paid off. Sure, one lab report might only be worth 4.17%. But when you have 6 added up, I feel like all my hours spent doing each individual report up to an acceptable standard has paid off. The same goes for studying for the mid semester tests and all. 41.5/42, can you imagine! But at the same time I have slacked off as well – this isn’t my best. I figured if I just did what was required in a short time and got the marks it would suffice as well. Not the greatest attitude, but I’ll work on it next year. 

Retaining GPA 4.0, here I come!

Gemini Feed

And to think you would get me to the altar
Like I follow you around like a dog that needs water
But admit it that you wanted me smaller
If you would have let me grow
You could have kept my love

And she said, “it’s about a relationship I was in that was very intense. I feel strange even talking about it because it’s like a diary entry. But what I will say is this: the people who affect you the most are the ones closest to you, and usually the ones you know you really love.”

I’ve been feeling this song and it’s just replaying in the background. I am obsessed.

First steps

I feel like I have short term memory these days. Or I might just be going through so much every single day that nothing seems to stick. 

We had an apartment inspection on Tuesday, so we spent Monday scrubbing the apartment down. It might appear that with 7 girls in our apartment cleaning would be easier. But no, it really isn’t. I scrubbed the kitchen benches, tiles and sink with my pink sponge and helped to mop the floor. I also washed the toilet. It was exhausting to say the least. I don’t know if I can do it in the future, but if it is my very own house, I suppose that I will. 

My Tuesday and Wednesday were busy days. I drove down to the clinic to meet the manager and I felt like our discussion was quite fruitful. I like this clinic, truly. Then Alia and I (she followed) went to a nearby shopping centre to get groceries because we always take advantage of doing groceries with a car. And what a day! The mall was huge and empty, and there were massive discounts on salads. I don’t really eat salads but I would if it’s on sale because it makes me feel like I’m healthy. I got two packs of salads – for 50 cents and 80 cents each. Cheap thrills, but that’s uni student life. We embarrassingly used our coupons to get more rewards points but at least I’ve used it. 

I had my last animal handling practice on Wednesday. I was excited to use my new overalls that I got from a fellow Singaporean who is graduating. She introduced her partner and I feel like a relationship like theirs is one that I want to aspire towards one day. “Its been a long journey” I wonder if I’ll ever find someone on this journey who sticks it through with me too? Or maybe I need a few years before I would be able to build such a relationship with another. 

Side note: I was trying to think of what clothes I have bought for myself this semester, and the answer is I have only bought overalls. Hey say who’s sexy it’s Jo in her overalls. Literally, as of today I have 3 pairs (finally got one with the vet school logo) and only spent $35 in total. Thrifty child, I know. 

Anyway, I had a lovely talk with my friends under the sun over lunch before I got a lift to the farm. I started with sheep first, which was a pretty good decision in hindsight. I tipped them, tied them up using both methods and managed to get blood from the jugular groove all by myself. It feels really great to be honest. I feel accomplished after that rather demoralising episode 2 weeks earlier when I couldn’t do it! It makes me feel like despite it being a very minor thing, I’m actually cut out to be a vet. Come hell or high water or heavy sheep, with shaking knees and an aching back and mad determination I can actually do this. I actually poked myself with the needle though – newbie mistake because I dropped the cap of the needle. It bled and it hurts when I write because I poked my right hand where I rest my hand whilst writing so…lesson learnt. 

Then, I went to do pigs and had a pretty good one-on-one with the demonstrators. The piglets were nasty though biting and nipping my boots! Still, I managed to get them in the positions required by myself which makes me pretty happy. Also, I managed to lift them with no trouble this time so thank you bootcamp for making me strong! I headed to cows and made sure that my knots were right, and they were so that was good. Also had some pretty good advice and checked to make sure that I was doing things right. I still quiver at the thought of tying the hind leg to the post because I hate having to bend down to take the rope on and off – I feel like they’ll kick at any time. And no, you don’t want a 600kg beast doing that to you, no matter who you are. I clearly have trust issues with cattle but I’d rather be safe than sorry thank you very much. 

Went back to sheep and fitted some ram harnesses before they closed. Then I went to horses just to age them and lifted a foot. I feel the most confident with horses and pigs because not much can go wrong (except for being trampled by horses if they get aggressive towards one another in the pen). Cattle I have a good chance as long as I don’t freak out and be strong. With sheep I just hope that I can execute all 4 tipping methods. Please, I’ve done it during the previous practical please be good. I think that one of the reasons why I had difficulty tipping yesterday was because none of the little ones were around, so I had to keep resorting to the leg lift method to unbalance them. I can’t help it though, I can’t fling a 30 kg sheep out like a little one. 

I was so exhausted walking home. I went to the library at night to complete and submit my statistics assignment. I hope that I provided the company that my friend needed. I hope for a good tomorrow – the last day of semester 2 year 1!

I enrolled for my year 2 veterinary units and I am so excited for next year. I feel like I’m taking little itty bitty steps towards my goal of becoming a vet, and I can’t wait. It’s probably going to be difficult but what comes easy in this world, really? 4 years is a long time to learn and grow, so I want to do it slowly, savouring one step at a time. 

I can only hope that I will be competent at the end of all this.