Why Are You Here If You’re On Vacation? [Clinics Series]

I’ve always struggled with my mother’s version of ‘relaxing.’  On the rare occasions when she gets to relax, she prefers to do nothing in particular, which, for her, usually means reading while drinking a cup of tea.  I’m pretty sure she could do this forever.  Don’t get me wrong, there was certainly a summer where I read a chapter book a day for 15 days straight, so fear not, her bookworm ways certainly rubbed off on me.  However, there was also a summer that I assigned myself a report on lions, which I dutifully typed up on my grandparents’ computer in the corner of the playroom.  What kind of 9-year-old child gives herself summer assignments?

Anyway, my point is that I’ve always embraced that the word ‘vacation’ means ‘getting to do what you want,’ and in that regard, my Block 14 vacation was an absolute success.  The first day, I arrived at the vet school to retrieve my group of seven tarantulas for a research project.  Walking through the door, I passed a classmate in the hallway.  “What rotation are you on?” she asked.  This is a perpetual question between final year students.  It mean may mean, ‘Are you ok?’ or ‘How stressed are you?’  Depending on the person, it can also mean, ‘Does your life suck more or less than mine right now?’ or ‘How worried should I be when I get to the rotation you’re on now?’

I smiled sheepishly at her confusion as I responded that I was actually on vacation.  “Why are you here if you’re on vacation?” she asked.  I responded evasively that I was running some errands, which she accepted, and we continued on our separate paths.

The research project was a success, and I then had the next few days truly off before setting off to the beach with my partner to run my first ever half marathon!  That objective completed, I retreated to the woods for a few days to help out with another research project.  I’ll leave the details vague, but suffice to say I had a great time and that project was a success as well.  Working 14+ hour days?  Yes. But a great time nevertheless.

For my last week, we traveled to Florida (dogs and all) to spend Thanksgiving with my family, since I would be on internal medicine during block 15 and 16, and therefore didn’t expect to see them again during the normal holiday season.  Having a vacation block before spending six weeks on medicine wasn’t exactly intentional (since the location of my medicine block was assigned to me rather than selected), but it worked out well nevertheless!

This post is part of a series documenting my clinical year in veterinary school.  To read more from the series, please visit the Clinic Series homepage.


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