February 28, 2005

Smaht Kids Take a Ride on the Short Bus

Some of us didn't do so well on the last Immunology exam and this was reflected not only in our less than A or B grade (or WAY less than A/B), but also in the email we received from our professor offering a help session. And so we trudged anonymously to see who the other "undisclosed recipients" in the class were. We all felt a little sheepish and referred to the help session as "remedial immunology". Luckily, we discovered that the cause of our bad grades was more our bad test taking skills than just plain dumbness when it comes to complement pathways, T cell maturation and the like. At one point during the help session, one of my fellow classmates made a comment about waiting for the short bus after she had answered a question incorrectly. Our professor, an Indian immigrant, overheard and queried aloud if we were late to catch the train or something. We explained that in this country, most kids ride long school busses, but that there's a shorter version for the "special" kids. He quickly caught on, and put us all at ease by referring to a poorly written question he had given us and said, "Ah! you all think you are on that bus by being here. Well, I feel I am driving the short bus with this bad question!" .
Humor of professors=much appreciated by vet students.

February 26, 2005

Dream, 2

I was at a dance where everyone wore the same patterned chinese silk (pink background) except the guy that I was supposed to be there with. He wore a dark blue patterned chinese silk suit. He also stuck out in the crowd because he couldn't dance, and he was 3 1/2 feet tall. It was like a musical where everyone danced in a beautiful choreographed manner around my short date and tried to manipulate him so that it would look like he could dance afterall. After some time of watching the scene, I left because I was bored. I walked to Gratz Park in Lexington. Tons of horse drawn carriages were going by. I walked into a store that I hadn't been into in a long time. It was located at the same place that the Gaines' house is, but it had things for sale that you might find at Isle of You or Third Street Stuff like sequined tube tops for shirts/socks/skirts, metal lunchboxes and feather dusters for show. And huge fucking "there's no place like home" red glittery platform shoes. The lady was surprised to see me since I hadn't been back to Lexington in so long. I knew she wanted to say, "I haven't seen you in a while," but she was too cool to say anything like that--didn't want to give away the fact that she notices and recognizes every customer that comes in. And so I was just as cool, not telling her what was hanging on the edge of my brain to say, "I've been up in New England, studying veterinary medicine". I looked around a while. And then the dance party people danced in and took me out into the park.

February 25, 2005

Dream, 1

I had autoantibodies against my own saliva, and so I had to brush my teeth with arabian horse toothpaste. I was in a tile bathroom with dim lighting. A girl I know with curly hair wore peach colored curling wrapping ribbon in her hair and around her waist to a new years/july fourth party in a tent. Her boyfriend escorted her from the used car lot to the tent. Her hair and the ribbons blew in the wind.

February 23, 2005

Where else?

Where else but vet school will you have signs posted in the lounge that read, "Please dust the shavings off yourself before sleeping on the futon"?
Where else would a guest lecturer wonder "and what other animals can't make vitamin C?" to which you can proudly pipe up and rattle the strange list off with certainty "songbirds! primates! fruit bats! trout! guinea pigs!"?
I can be sure if I hadn't gone to vet school, I would never have correllated rabbits and horses--both, strangely, animals that I have raised--as essentially the same animals (due to their similar GI tracts with the only major difference being their size and the fact that you can amputate a rabbit's leg but you can't amputate horses').

February 20, 2005

Rock Recognition

I was at a gym in Rhode Island a few weeks back and there was a watercolor of a rock on the far wall--"Hey I recognize that boulder!" Sure enough when I ran over, the caption said "Grandma boulder, Buttermilks, Bishop, CA". Ah, how gratifying to recognize a peice of rock from some relatively remote area of the world when it's posted on a relatively random wall, not even in photograph perfection. It reminds me how totally focused and aware I am when I climb. Every divet and stray chalk stain sticks in my head even when my muscles have atrophied back to normal-person non-climbing status.

(And then it brings back other good memories of Keough, twinkling lights in my tent, christmas dinner at Kava, and friends. My fucked up hilarious amazing climbing buddies.)

I need an orchid

I need an orchid
hardy, delicate, uncommon

It should be enough to
shove my sorrows aside
and bury me in beauty, pure and simple.

I need an orchid
to tease out my frailties and my impatience
to watch, eyes brimming, mouth agape
as it gathers itself, unassuming, to bloom
and remain full for months longer than any other bloom

I will be drawn to its strength
and quiet magnetism.

I need an orchid,
I need that.

February 19, 2005


I have tentatively been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The description that best describes the syndrome to my experience, is that I live my life in a kaleidoscope. Truly, my life is beautiful and I notice facets of lovliness that bypass many. But it is distracting to the utmost extreme to live like this (great, usually!) and unfortunately, in vet school this is something that does not allow me to concentrate my efforts singularly. DAMN! and so I am on the quest of finding a treatment/remedy that works to get me through this school thang in 4 years (I can't afford to retake classes! Already gonna be hundreds of thousands in debt!!!) I hear Rhodioloa rosea(Golden root) and Ginko biloba (Skullcap)help. Also going the western med way and trying some concerta.
Interesting things I learned about ADHD:

*Due to: decreased dopamine in the brain because of either low dopadecarboxylase (enzyme that makes dopamine) or too many dopamine transporters (that remove dopamine from the circulation).
*Dopamine and Norepinepherine provide modulatory influence on functions of prefrontal cortex such as working memory and attention. Dopamine works in the reward pathway, therefore you get motivation problems without it. A decrease in Norepinepherine leads to hyperactivity, distractability, and inability to focus.
*3-6% of adults have ADHD (45-75% of childhood ADHD persists)
*Diagnosable if the symptoms interfere with normal daily functioning.
*70% of adults with ADHD have comorbid disorders (I don't. Yay.)
*Nonpharmacological Treatment: environmental modifications like shopping in smaller stores to reduce distractions, enlisting the aid of calendars, lists, organizing things to help provide structure to alleviate the burden of having to remember various details.
*Pharmacological Treatment: Stimulants (like concerta, ritalin) (concerta=methylphenidate and long acting, immediate release and delayed osmotic release mechanisms)
and Nonstimulants (Atomoxetine=Strattera)
*A neat word I learned while researching this= ANHEDONIA (absence of deriving pleasure from acts that normally cause it)

February 17, 2005


As an intro, mares in heat open and close their vaginas to let any nearby eligible stallion know she's ready. This is called "winking".
Between classes one day two of my friends and I walked to anatomy lab, J-- telling us she "dimpled" a cop (meaning she put on her best innocent, dimply smile girl face) to get away without a ticket. M--, who is from Israel and sometimes doesn't always understand colloquialisms, was aghast. We understood why she was disgusted when we realized she had confused "dimpling" with "winking".

February 15, 2005


So, a quick rundown on the etymology of the word Carabiner

Karabos (Greek)= crab, beetle
Scarab= beetle
Scaraba (French)= dung beetle
Escarabin (French)= grave digger
Carabin (French)= soldier armed with a musket
Carabine = a lightweight rifle with a short barrel
Carbine = same as above
Karabinerhaken (German)= hook for a carbine
Carabiner (English)= long metal ring with a spring clip

February 12, 2005

Mice are COOL!

When you dissect a mouse it takes less than an hour (as compared to the horse that takes 4 people a month to dissect)! When you cut through their skin, fascia covers the abdomen and you can see into it. In fact not only is the fascia transparent but the organs themselves are so tiny that you can look into and through them and see the kidney behind the intestines too! Wow!
I was looking for the jugular vein and thought I found it, but turned out I was looking at a muscle (sternomastoideus m.). An entire muscle! That means you have to have a really good imagination to be able to see the jugular. That also means that lab people that can cannulate (find/hit) the vein every time are on my amaziac list. But its a skill I'm willing to forego.

As for rats...do you realize that their testes are a 1/3 the size of a horses? A fucking HORSE'S? Okay, think about that. how many of me would fit into a horse. probably 5-10, weight wise. what about a rat? At least a thou. But it would only take 3 testes of a rat to fit into the space a horse's testicle takes up. DAMN! They're Friggin' Huge!!!! On the same token, the guinea pig's vesicular glands are huge, causing one of the highest volume/ejaculation:body size ratios around. Boars are next in line. Funny, I wonder if that's why they're called guinea "pigs".

LIST 1: things I wake up thinking

2/9: Sustentaculum tali.
2/12: Studying. Studying. Banquet. Cats. Studying.
2/14: [only got 1.5 hrs sleep] The MHC class IIs present to CD4+ helper T cells, and just a few more minutes of rest because my armpits hurt, maybe my nightgown is caught? or is that zzzzzzz...
2/16: Semteende. (Wodaabe word for patience and fortitude).
2/25: Bullous pemphigoid.
2/26: Track 8 from Iron + Wine's Our Endless Numbered Days