Block Exams And A Mango Tree

In my last post, I mentioned I was going into hiding to study for my first block exam. I spent the last week cooped up in my room studying, going to class, and hanging out with my kennel companion Chloe.

Block Exam
I’ve always had exam anxiety, but I mean who doesn’t? One of these days I will post about how exactly I got to where I am today and how many ups and downs there were along the way. I used to have severe anxiety about exams because I could never finish them on time which left me feeling like I wasn’t smart enough and didn’t belong in University. Now at least I have accommodations and do have a chance to finish exams. Anxiety-wise I was fine up until the night before the exam, at which point I started to lose my mind due to a combination of stress and lack of sleep. But on the bright side, I was so tired I slept really well Tuesday night and woke up bright and early to get ready for my exam on Wednesday.

Being in vet prep, we have a block exam of four core classes, physiology, microbiology, pharmacology, and vet terminology. I’m still not 100% sure if we ever have another semester of block exams in our time here at Ross, but for the time being that is what I am trying to get my mind wrapped around. In a way, they are beneficial because it’s hard not to compare what you have learned in each class and find ways the information is tied together. But the way you study is different than when you are just studying for one exam at a time. Writing the block exam went well, I had planned on writing the exams in a specific order, but once I sat down my nerves were so wound up I completely changed the order till I was thinking clearly enough to write Physiology.
Physiology is my favourite class, but the questions are worded in such a way that it is easy to get caught up in over-thinking the questions. Overall, my first exam of vet school wrote very well!

My class size is about 37 people, and after our exam on Wednesday, a good chunk of us went to Shipwreck Beach Bar & Grill for some beach time, amazing food and drinks. This was the first time our class has had the opportunity to bond as a group. That evening we also went to Spratnet for more great food! On a side note, you will never catch me eating lobster. Ever.

Last Thursday was a sad day for us, as we said goodbye to an amazing teacher! Dr. Reich has been teaching at RUSVM a very long time and is a legend. He is one of those professors that has a way of explaining things you have been taught an innumerable amount of times and make a light bulb go off in your head just about every time he speaks. Plus Reich teaches in such a way that you remember what he is teaching, by relating it to something ridiculous and entertaining that he does in class. Plus he is excellent at repeating the crucial points so many times that you will remember them for the rest of your life. As Dr. Reich enjoys the perks of retirement, we will continue to learn physiology from other professors which I am sure will be great in their own way. But it just won’t be the same without Reich. Yesterday we got an email, which you can read below, that just shows you how great a person Dr. Reich is, he will be missed!

Dr. Reich email

Since we only get to stay in campus housing for one semester, come September I will need a place to live. So I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of all the different areas on the island and deciding if I want to live on my own or with friends. I can honestly say my plans have changed more times than I can count. I looked at a really amazing purple house that has a mango tree, but unfortunately I will not be living in it. However, while looking I managed to get a decent number of mangos to bring home with me! I will be having mango smoothies for quite a while thanks to that tree. I am still looking for a place to live and am hoping to find something really close to this purple house and the mango tree.

Before I left home, I became addicted to chocolate avocado pudding and was looking forward to making it once I got here. However, for an entire month, I couldn’t find avocados, and was getting really discouraged. However, after finally making it to the Farmers Market in Basseterre early this morning, I can finally say I found avocados! I quickly whipped up some pudding and had it for breakfast. It was heavenly! Plus it is very healthy and gives me my chocolate fix.

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
1 small avocado or 1/2 large avocado
1 TBSP cocoa
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
Coconut milk to adjust consistency

Add all ingredients in a blender and adjust the amount of ingredients till it is the right consistency and tastes like heaven!

I also found turmeric root, which I can’t wait to use. Turmeric has so many amazing health benefits for both people and animals. At home we feed all our cats and dogs Golden paste which is a mixture of Turmeric, coconut oil, pepper, and water. The amounts depend on the animal you intend to use it for. This can also be taken by people and doesn’t taste bad at all. If you are interested in the benefits of turmeric and how to make golden paste you can check out the following website and facebook user group. I’ve seen first hand how much of a difference turmeric can make to an animals quality of life. I’m hoping to start using it again now that I have found a supply.

As I gear up for another few weeks of classes, I leave you with some beautiful photos from Saint Kitts!


2 Replies to “Block Exams And A Mango Tree”

  1. Well my dear, that was a great read. It is amazing how a person can make an impression on us. Not just teachers – a close family member or a very close friend. You are fortunate to have had your special teacher.
    You take great pictures, I always enjoy them. I love photography as well but not as good as you but working on it. David is my teacher and I am slowly getting there.
    We had a great day yesterday. The daughter of my closest and longest friend came to visit with her family. She has a little girl who will be three in August and a boy who is 17 months. It is so amazing that I am witness to the next generation. Both children are like my own grandchildren, they were not shy at all, we cuddled and played. The little guy took my hand and walked everywhere with me, which, I’m told, he doesn’t do with anyone else. Made me feel great. I have known this girl since the day she was born so to know her kids is certainly something very special.
    Tanya and her family are moving to Cold Lake, Alberta. Her husband is military and posted there. They will be passing through Kingston on the 22nd, staying over night and then continuing to their new home. They have spent the last two years in Northern Quebec and are so happy to be out of there. It is Separatist country – it all started where they are living now so life hasn’t been that great language wise. Things are looking up though so very happy for them.
    We are working hard on our yard to get it up to snuff for our wedding in July. We have done a lot of landscaping to improve the lawn and also made several perennial gardens with some annuals to give some colour, very exciting to see how this property has improved since we have been here. It will be a year on July 22. We are very deserving of a rest, even though I do say so myself, therefore, after the wedding we will be spending the whole month of September in Italy. Have been before but on a cruise, this time we are renting a car and driving around the country. Will stay in bed & breakfasts and in a Tuscany farmhouse for a week, no horses but lots of grapes. Can hardly wait.

    Good luck in searching for a place to live. I have mixed feelings about sharing a place with someone. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I personally would go on my own – then you can do your own thing, have quiet and study but still have your friends that you hang with. It would be very uncomfortable to be with someone that appeared to be great but then become a totally different person once you share a place. Only my thoughts, take them for what they are worth. Don’t think you would be lonely as you would see friends at class every day.
    Hope you are hearing from a lot of friends and family back home. It’s nice to keep in touch and you will be home soon. Take care, hope you did well in your first set of exams. You are a spunky gal, you will go far in live, as a matter of fact you are already on your way.

    Best wishes from Kingston

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bethany – One thing that may help with exam anxiety is knowing that all the class is in the same boat – ie same preparation time, same lectures, same exam times… same beach distractions….. All the best in your first year!

    Liked by 1 person

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