June 28, 2008

A Day At The Farm

"What do you do at the horse-farm?"

I wake up at 6:30am, drive out to Paris, KY by 8am, and start mucking the stalls. Sometimes Mary's cats have slept in the barn and greet me. Bunny, the kid-goat, gets let out of her stall and immediately drops little round poops all over the place. She recently just got her own tether so that she's not always underfoot, maa-ing, and eating the calendars. The stalls are refreshed with water and food, and the horses are walked in from the fields, one at a time. Each of them gets cleaned--rubber mitt, curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, hooves picked, mane and tail brushed. Usually Kate and Bugsy get tacked up and we ride them to exercise them, and to enjoy the day a little bit. (cicadas! wind in the pines! big skies and rolling hills! little wildflowers that change every few weeks!) Sparrow, the very sweet ex-racehorse that is a little crazy from being mistreated (we assume) in the past, gets ridden next. Mary rides him in the round pen to feel his mood, then we head out to one of the pastures for a little more room. He's making good strides towards being 'civilized'. He likes drinking from the hose when we rinse him off. Vesper, the tiny yearling, gets some round-pen work on a lunge line, and then we have lunch. After lunch, I usually do some mowing. As in HOURS of mowing. I love it. It's very meditative and I can see my accomplishment. Plus, a new excitement for me, I get such satisfaction from mowing down the weeds and then seeing the bright new green grass growing in the patches where the weeds had been. Sometimes I drive the tractor, sometimes the zero-turn, or the weedeater or the hedge trimmer. When I'm on the tractor, I'm up high and get to watch the swallows swoop around me as they snack on the bugs I stir up. There are lots of vultures and eagles that are pestered by little birds. I get to watch the storms come in (temperature dropped 25 degrees in less than 5 minutes the other day as a SW wind blew in a cool thunderstorm during the hottest day of the year so far). I love being outside and watching the seasons change. Aaaaahhhh...

June 24, 2008


Is what Tiger, my almost 2 yr old niece calls me. "It's Fittin an' Ben!" she calls out when we turn the corner into her view. The T's are very enunciated. Like when my younger cousin Devon called my aunt Angel "Hodgey" or my sister called my uncle Colin "Conky"-- "Alyssum" becomes "Fittin".

June 15, 2008


Frequently Asked Questions by those who want to help me out of my situation.

Q1) Can't you just tell the school that your house burned down and your boyfriend had heart surgery? Surely they'll understand that.
A1) I already did, in both my presentation to the Executive Faculty Board, and at the appeal a month later. And apparantly those were not considered "extenuating circumstances" enough.

Q2) With all your training, can't you be a veterinary technician?
A2) Yes, but not a licensed one (even though my training exceeds that of a licensed vet tech). And without being licensed, I would be doing the same job I was doing before I went to vet school--which is part of the reason I wanted to go to vet school in the first place. Being a vet tech is not a fun job for me. And I imagine that I would abjectly miserable as a vet tech that is trained as a doctor. Plus being a vet tech pays less than what I'm making now in retail.

Q3) Can't you just go to another vet school?
A3) I really really wish that I could. Unfortunately, at least in this country, to transfer schools, you must be 'in good academic standing' at your current school, which I no longer am. In addition, most schools don't accept transfers at all. In addition, the ones that do, want you to be an in-state resident, and a 1st year student. I fulfill none of these requirements. I am looking into what it would mean to go to a school outside of this country, but so far, I'm finding that no one takes transfers. Also, there's the financial aspect of things--I would have to pay full tuition out of pocket (no national loans if I go out of country), and would have to be paying off my current loans in the meantime. Not likely.

Q4) Can you sue the school?
A4) Sure, but the liklihood of me winning is slim to none as the school was just following procedure. Unfair as it may seem, they did nothing against the law. Ethics are the only thing in question here, and I'm sure (they've said as much) that they thought they did the most 'compassionate' thing. (!!??!??!)

Q5) Well, at least now you can rest from the hardships of such rigorous schooling, and relax a little bit, right?
A5) True, I am on hiatus from school. But I have a whopping $200,000 debt-load that goes into repayment ASAP and I have no career to pull off that sort of dough. I am working 7 days a week at 2 jobs just to pay rent and bills right now. I spend most of my free time looking for better paying jobs. Not so relaxing.

Q6) So, you're clearly well educated. Can't you get a job with a vet that would appreciate your knowledge, or at a zoo? What about some other well-paying job due to your education?
A6) Vets don't make much money. They will not hire someone who can do the job of a vet tech for more than what they typically pay a vet tech. If they need another doctor, they'll hire another doctor. Unfortunately, there is no equivalent to a physician's assistant in the animal realm. As for a zoo, I might be able to get a job as a zookeeper, but again, I'd probably be making less than I make now. Unfortunately, I cannot afford (literally) to do a job I love in stead of a job that pays enough to pay my loans off.
In regards to finding a job, in general, I've been sorely dismayed that jobs that I'm overqualified for, but for which I do not have licensure automatically dismiss me as an 'unqualified applicant'. Very frustrating. Every place sees "she has a bachelors and nothing else" instead of "she has a bachelors, she got into vet school, and she's completed 4 years there! She's almost a doctor! We would totally score by having her on our team!". Damn.

Q7) This must happen all the time, what do other people in your situation do?
A7) I have searched for people in a similar situation to mine, for emotional support--but I have found that when people are dismissed from medical/vet school, they fall into 2 categories: the people who fail out (I didn't fail any courses), and the people who are not professional (coming to school drunk, cheating, selling crack cocaine) (clearly this does not describe me). Further, it seems that people fall into one of these categories in their 1st or 2nd year of school. Never at the end of their 3rd year.

Q8) So, what are you going to do now?

A8) I have no fucking clue.
I get up and go to work. I continue looking for jobs. I try to enjoy the day. I try not to feel hopeless. I dance to get out of my head. I dream about being a vet somehow, and about dance-related jobs...but have to be content with dreams till I find a job that'll help pay off my loans. I put a lot of energy into helping Ben succeed with JumbleDate. I try to get enough sleep, but that doesn't always happen. I spin my wheels. A lot. I'm pretty stuck for now. But those wheels keep turning. I think and think and brainstorm, but it's going nowhere so far.

June 11, 2008


Speaking of nests, I've been getting back into cooking again (finally! enough peace in my life to be inspired to cook well and look to recipes for fun ideas)--and I made these spaghetti nests last night. They were easy and fun to eat--they had more texture than just regular spaghetti.

Directions: 1a. make spaghetti as normal. then put them in oiled muffin tins with a depression in the center.
1b. chop a small onion and half a zucchini (or a whole small one) and lightly fry them. add enough pasta sauce just so that they have a light coating of red.
2. put the veggie stuff in the 'nests'.
3. put muffin tin in a preheated 400 degree oven for ~35 mins. broil for 2 minutes at the end.
4. Sprinkle parmesan/reggiano on top. Let the nests cool in the tin so that they retain their shape.


Killdeer Nest

There was a killdeer nest smack dab in the middle of the road at the farm where I work. It wasn't there long enough for the eggs to have hatched, precocial hatchlings or not. Which means that some predator probably found the nest. We have foxes, coyotes, raccoons and opossums there. Well, that's what you get for putting your nest right out in the open? Maybe this is one example of the reason that we say someone is 'bird brained'. Poor little momma killdeer! So pitiful! (aren't the eggs pretty, though?)

June 4, 2008

Roof Cats

These are the kitties that live nextdoor and get to explore the roof that is at the same level as our 3rd story windows. They have found that sleeping in the gutter is very cozy. I get so scared for them--ESPECIALLY when they start playing and attacking each other whilst one is still IN the gutter!!

Voting in Powell County

This is my voting precinct, the Middlefork Fire Department, near Slade, KY. Isn't it awesome? I love the hand-painted sign. I went in, and I was the only voter there. All the helpers were seated around picnic tables eating cole slaw, baked beans, roast corn, cornbread, and fried chicken. Any excuse for a picnic!

And here's a beautiful tobacco field nearby, pre tobacco season.

Somerset Bloodstock

This is the horse farm where I've been working. Buttercups; Bunny the goat; me on the mower, getting ready to scubadive in a rice paddy (or at least that's what it must look like); fence post holes I filled with gravel.