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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Obsessing - vet school

Last one of the day I promise.

In my letter, UCD mentioned "new curriculum" that they are rolling out for this years class.....I went on the website and "new" means....(among other changes)
  • Switching to the semester system from the quarter system
  • More "learner based" rather than teacher based and LOTS of small group stuff
  • Reduced classroom time
  • More common material that's covered, don't have to chose a "stream" until 3rd and 4th year. The 3 streams are: small, equine, and food. You can chose 2 streams by doing one your 3rd and one your 4th year.

Let's talk about the good first. It looks like I could do food and equine studies if I wanted. I like this.

Let's talk about what I don't reason I specifically chose Davis was the quarter system. I absolutely excel in the quarter system because I have a really good short term memory and can stay focused for 2-3 months SO MUCH BETTER than the 4+ of the semester system. I can handle it, but it's definitely going to take me a couple of days to digest this change. Especially because school is going to start THREE weeks sooner than I had planned.

Another "Oh crap" moment is the small group stuff and less classroom time. Let's face it - I'm not a 20 year old that lives in a dorm and can get to my "small group informal learning time" at 8pm at night. I sincerely hope that the small group stuff is structured enough that it's useful. I do really really well in the traditional school setting (teacher teaches) and so get a little nervous when we deviate from that formula....I like the fact that I'll get to know my classmates really well and make some friends hopefully? That would be nice. I'm keeping an open mind about it and I'm REALLY glad that I waited to apply - I'm MUCH more able to handle small groups than I was as an undergraduate and can manage my frustration and me feeling of needing control much better now. Yeah for the more mature Melinda.

Most of the other changes I like - teaching abnormal and normal together is something I absolutely agree with, getting first years into rotations in their first year is wonderful (working with 4th year students a couple of days a month).

Here's another thing - thank goodness I didn't buy that $1200 computer I need....they are going to require me to buy THEIR $1900 computer (I can chose a Mac option). And it's going to be a laptop. I'm bummed about this as I was really considering going to a Mac Desk Top. I will probably invest in a keyboard/mouse for my home computer - ergonomically it's just so much better for long hours at the computer.

OK - I'm done talking your ear off for now.


  1. I was unhappy with my grad school's insistance on tons of small group stuff...however, I *did* learn how to work with small, disparate groups of people on large complicated projects.

    And hey, in the real world guess what I do almost all day long?

    Yep. Work with small disparate groups of people on large complicated projects.

    So, perhaps if you think of this as a way to expand a skill set, you won't be as frustrated as I was. Fingers crossed!

  2. There are some advantages to the semester system. Repetition tends to hammer the material home better (at least it did with me in math!)and it does teach you to pace yourself for the long haul. (It also makes the breaks glorius!) I believe it was the preparation from the JC semester system that let me boost my GPA went I went to the quarter system at Davis after they told us how much harder it would be.

    The small groups may not be as bad as you think with all of the new networking tools.

    Look into a docking station for your laptop. I have had a laptop as my primary work computer for over 10-years. Docking stations allow a smooth transition from portable to "all the comforts of home" with a click and snap. They do add to the cost of the machine (think system), but I think they are worthwhile enough that if I go to a laptop for home next time then I will definately look into a docking station for it. I think they add about $300 the last time I checked without the cost of the peripherals.


  3. You are an endurance rider. You'll adapt.

    Good luck!

  4. That's a lot of big changes to happen during your term there. Good luck though, I'm sure you'll do fine and it'll end up being even better than before.

  5. Just remember, most people are looking for someone to lead them. If you move into small group leadership, the terms will be good for you.

  6. Congrats on your interview!! Having done the interview process at VaTech, I can totally relate to the excitement/anxiety combo that getting the interview produces :-)
    Tech uses a new format that most other vet schools haven't yet adopted, but I also had a standard interview to prepare for the DVM/PhD committee. I found a particular website super helpful:
    Also, I had my husband practice asking questions and evaluating my responses - it was surprisingly helpful. If you want any more info or details about how I prepared, just let me know! I'll be happy to share any resources I found. And I guess they were good resources b/c I got an offer from Tech :-)
    Haven't heard from Davis yet, but I'm not hopeful being out of state. I think I'd have to be Einstein and Gandhi all in one to get into a DVM/PhD program from out of state!!!
    Congrats again!!!


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