Above: Picture of Matt and I when his family decided to do impromptu post-meal pictures
If I had my chose my favorite holiday, it wouldn't be Christmas - it would be Thanksgiving (followed by 4th of July as a close 2nd). A gathering of friends and family without expectations beyond good food and good company. The weather is usually good here in Central CA and while the skiing season may or may not have started yet, all other outdoor activities are usually fair game. The days aren't so short that I can't get an afternoon ride in sunshine, and the mornings aren't cold enough that I can't motivate myself to get out the door for a run. In short, life is darn near perfect.
I don't do a lot of "thanks-giving" challenges because it's rare that a day passes me by where I am not reminded how incredibly blessed my life has been. But today, I wanted to share a special thanks with you, My Dear Reader, so you can have some idea of how you touch my life.
Thank you for pushing me to learn subjects well enough to explain them to you. I always feel like I don't understand a subject well enough until I can teach it simply enough for anyone to understand. Some of the topics you have pushed me to write have been subjects that *I* have been interested in, and others have been subjects I would have *never* researched enough for total understanding, except you guys wanted to know. The most recent example of this is acid-base balance. I recently had a comprehensive overview of acid base in school (finally!!!!) and to my pleasure I understood acid base at a higher level than what was being taught. I TRULY understood the topic, instead of just having an understanding that allowed me to pass the tests (like last year.....).
Sometimes it's the little things - why was able to recall lung development of neonates in conjunction with pulmonary surfactant in response to an instructors question? Because this summer I wrote about latherin when we talked about heat conditioning, which is also a surfactant - which is actually quite rare since these molecules are biologically "expensive" to produce. So, it jogged my memory about ANOTHER surfactant that I had learned about....
I do very little actual studying for school. I spend my time highlighting stuff in lectures that is relevant in endurance and doing further research and clarification on those topics so I can compose blog posts. And it turns out that a SUBSTANTIAL amount of vetmed knowledge is needed to understand how the heck our equine endurance athletes do what they do and how we can help them do it better.
You, my Dear Reader, are shaping me into a veterinarian you can be proud of. I'm learning how to interact with clients and REAL people. I'm not just learning concepts for the test and so that I can fix animals - I'm learning how to explain complicated medicine to people who aren't vets, but deserve something beyond the dumb downed version that seems to be so prevalent.
I am grateful every day for your questions, your honesty, and your encouragement. You keep me on track - four years is a long time to stay committed to one thing. I hope that the posts and articles that go up on this blog in a small way give back - whether it's a laugh, a smile, or an idea.