Updated: Apr 5, 2021
The last two weeks of the term have gone past simultaneously like lightning and like snails. It was certainly slightly overwhelming at first: we had a lot of new classes, professors, and they didn't take a second to let us get settled into it before diving in: we have no time and a HUGE amount to cover! Today was actually the first day I felt kind of secure and a bit better about my lectures. So I figured it was a good time to write a little post about it all :)
The only two subjects that continued on from last term were Histology/Embryology and Slovak language. Slovak language is very simple and they don't push us too hard, so that one didn't worry me. We're moving fast ahead in H&E and it's a lot to learn, but I was sort of used to it and knew what to expect from last semester, so it didn't shock me and I always enjoy looking at microscope slides. We've been covering the digestive system for the last two weeks, which has been very interesting (and a little gross... there's something about the rumen of a cow that just gets to me a bit).
Our new subjects include biochemistry, anatomy, zoology, feed plant biology/toxic plants and biomedical statistics and informatics (plus two "compulsory optional subjects: mine are ecology and cynology).
I was mostly nervous about biochemistry and feed plant biology but these have turned out to actually be going pretty well for me so far (not to jinx that), and I really have been liking those lectures. Our professors are very good and knowledgeable and our biochem professor especially is really kind, and is always telling us that everything will be ok and to not be too overwhelmed or unhappy, even when it seems hard or impossible. And it's just really nice to hear that on a Monday morning!
Anatomy was a HUGE kick in the gut for me. I knew it was going to be a lot of content but I don't know, I wasn't prepared for how fast it goes and just the sheer volume of it all: I spent a good few hours freaking out the first few weeks! I was also struggling a little with the way our professor was presenting the material; it was kind of hard for me to follow and make notes from... And I was so scared I wasn't going to be able to figure out a way to study and get through it. But, I eventually emailed the professor asking for some help and she couldn't have been nicer, and explained things so it's a lot more clear. She even is now giving us worksheets after each class to consolidate our knowledge, which is so great. Today's anatomy class was the first I didn't feel like I was going to die! Which is a big positive, believe me :D
We haven't had a biomedical statistics class yet really, and I'm not sure why. The first week we just got introduced to our teacher and he asked if we had any questions, and last week I think he had a meeting and had to cancel our class quite suddenly. I read through the slides and stuff and I don't think it's going to be a big problem subject though (knock on wood) and I hope that this week we will actually have our class! Zoology is going well, a lot of time periods/dates to remember but our professor is really passionate about it and a lot of fun to listen to. I've been enjoying those lectures a lot and they've been encouraging me to watch some old dinosaur documentaries (first life by david attenborough, anyone?)
And the compulsory optional classes have been great! We had a choice of 3, and I'm actually very happy with my choice. I was worried because I'd heard Ecology was a bad choice by some older students, but I'm honestly enjoying it so far, and not finding it too difficult or overwhelming. Cynology is definitely a favourite class: we just talk about dogs, and there is no exam for it! We just have to do presentations on dog breeds (I'm doing the dalmation) and have a little credit quiz towards the end. So I really can't complain. Our teacher is really cool: he obviously loves dogs but is also really into breeding fish and has a lot of stories to tell about that. So Friday afternoons are very enjoyable!
I haven't been as on top of my studying and revision as I'd like to be; the first week and a half of classes knocked me for six and I fell behind a little. But I'm trying to just keep ploughing ahead and trust I'll catch up. Previously when I've fallen behind I've gotten very upset about it and worried and ended up actually falling behind more and procrastinating... So I'm desperately trying NOT to do that this time! Just doing a steady couple of hours a day and viciously attacking my sleep schedule trying to get enough sleep. Last term I was so exhausted and tired from staying up late a lot, but when I got back from Canada I was really jetlagged and so was going to bed early and waking up early... I've tried to get into that routine, which has sort of worked!
I'm up pretty early in the mornings, especially on Mondays and Thursdays to go to the stables and hang out with Hanuška, who has been doing so well and is becoming more and more fun to ride each day. Due to the deplorable weather (the last few weeks here have been freezing cold... think - 15 degrees- and we had a lot of snow and ice ) we've basically been stuck in the indoor arena. I've been working on her carriage: she was coming behind the bit a lot trying to avoid the contact when I first got back but lately she's been a lot more settled, more relaxed and accepting of the bit. My goals with her have basically been to make everything as positive as possible, to encourage forward impulsion and to be incredibly soft with my hands: I don't want her to fear the bit or ruin her mouth at all! I also tried my dressage saddle on her, finally, and both of us are a lot happier in it. It fits her better than the other one, and I noticed immediately her back stretching better and she was more relaxed. The man who owns her and looks after the university's horses was kind enough to let me keep it in the tack room, so we are looking forward to getting better and better (and hopefully being able to go on some proper trail rides again soon, once the snow thaws and the mud goes below ankle level...!)
What else, what else... I've been watching a lot of old scooby doo movies, because why not. I made homemade pretzels with my cousin the other day, and they were delicious... I sent some thank you cards for christmas gifts all over the place, and ordered an exercise ball to sit on for classes in a last ditch attempt to save my back and posture, (I've had to move to bed for classes, not because I'm lazy (I swear) but because the wicker chairs in this apartment make my ENTIRE back hurt and the bed is the only place I can position enough cushions to fake an ergonomic chair...) so we shall see!
btw all of these pictures are old... I haven't imported photos for AGES so next time I'll show you all the snow!!
I hope everyone who does read this (hey Connor my love <3) is doing well and having a good start to the week, stay warm and safe and I will be back whenever the fancy strikes again, or something new and exciting happens :)