First steps

by Jolyn Low

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.