29 October 2010

All day?

All day dissections are slightly torturous. You sit there at 9 am and think "Oh, shite, I'm not getting out of here for good until 3:30pm. How am I to survive?"

That was what I went through today. We had a block from 9am to 12pm to get our hind limbs off our dogs, and then came back an hour later to dissect the entire hind limb. My brain is no longer functioning. Solution? Bar 55 for 2-for-1 drinks. Afterwards, maybe my brain will begin to work again.

Then again, maybe not.

I just have to keep reminding myself that this is what I signed up for, and that I'm actually REALLY happy to be here (because really, I am).

But this picture from The Animal Blog made me smile (thanks to my sister for making this possible):

25 October 2010

Food experimentation.

Since I have yet to find an Indian restaurant that comes close to my hometown favorite Rasoi, I've decided to start cooking my favorite dishes myself.

Experiment one: Saag paneer. I ended up giving up on the paneer because I realized it would just take too long and I didn't really have the proper equipment (no cheesecloth...) to really make it happen. So I went for the tofu. Here is a rough estimation of what I did (because a part of me doesn't quite remember):

450g of baby spinach cooked down and drained
1/2oz of fresh ginger
1/2 of an onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cayenne pepper
about 1/2 cup double cream
about 1/2 cup yogurt
2/3 block tofu

The recipe I sort of followed told me to make the ginger, onion, and garlic into a paste; well...didn't really have a food processor so I used one of my flatmate's processors for this part. Ended up working pretty well...even though it was more finely chopped than a paste. The spinach part was a little more hysterical. I tried to saute some of it, and that just didn't work. So I ended up steaming most of it in the microwave, which worked pretty well. I then drained the spinach, combined it with the paste, the garam masala, the cayenne pepper, yogurt, and half the cream, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. I added the rest of the double cream, mashed it with a potato masher (which is what the recipe told me to do...weird, but I think it helped). In the middle of this, I drained the tofu, cubed it, and sauteed it in butter (not sure how much...maybe a tbsp?) and then added it to the saag. Let that sit for 10 minutes, then served it over rice.

It got a "YUM" from my flatmate J. She loves spicy foods, and it was definitely spicy. But not too much, just enough to clear the sinuses (just like at Rasoi!!). It wasn't anywhere close to as good as Rasoi, but it was definitely closer to it than anything I've had here so far! Definitely going to make this again.

23 October 2010


I knew that studying would take over my life when I started here. I mean, it's vet school. And RVC doesn't really teach you EVERYTHING you need to know, because they want you to learn how to be lifelong learners (helpful, especially when, on average, 10 years after you graduate, about 5% of the stuff you learned in vet school will be relevant).

But really, most of my time is spent studying. On weekends (and occasionally during the week), I go to a study cafe called Yumchaa near Camden Lock. I was introduced by my friend D, who loves the ambiance of a cafe for studying. And I have to say, it's really growing on me. Except when the occasional pushy woman practically demands that she sit at your table since there are no other tables (or at least tables she doesn't feel like moving a chair to) and proceeds to sit there and be slightly obnoxious while you are studying.

Sigh. Apart from that, it's lovely. I can sit, NOT be at school or in my flat, and still manage to get a lot of work done and drink cappuccino (and a good cappuccino at that) at the same time.

And thus, my morning consisted of two things: coffee, and this:

18 October 2010

I've sold my soul to Apple.

After some annoying confusion Barclays has had with my correspondence address (only my US address was listed, but the nice lady at the Moorgate branch helped me fix it), I finally was able to buy my iPhone.

Yes, I've sold my soul to Apple. I have a MacBook and an iPhone. I feel official. I've spent the past few hours playing around with it, instead of studying. BUT. A friend of mine downloaded some veterinary terms and anatomy apps onto her iTouch, and I found a few (that I'm hesitant to buy, even though I have loads of cash from my loans). They look awesome, and helpful, and they are usable even when not connected to a 3G network.

I should, however, think about getting some real text books before I go buying apps for my iPhone. And I should also stop procrastinating and get back to studying...

17 October 2010

I'm having a moment, here.

Friday, we had our first dissection of the year (the extrinsic muscles of the forelimb of the dog). My group of 4 got their own dog (aptly named Harold, no idea why), and we basically got to hack off the forelimb of a dog.

Yes, disgusting for some. But it was AWESOME. Probably because I'm a vet student. I need to remind myself of this sometimes, because I tend to forget that yes, I'm a vet school and yes, I'm a veterinary student.

I'm having a lot of these moments where I suddenly realize where I am and what I'm doing and my brain goes "HOLY SH*T YOU'RE A VET STUDENT. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN."

And then I realize where I am and what I'm doing and get back to studying.

12 October 2010

What my social life consists of:

1. Studying at the kitchen table with other people.

2. Cooking while studying with other people.

3. Going to class and talking to people before the lecture begins.

4. The occasional (once weekly) trip to Bar 55 for 2-for-1 cocktails.

5. Facebook.

6. Skype.

Good times. Thanks, RVC, for making this scant social life possible.

08 October 2010

The Woe of not being able to breathe through your nose (a Cautionary Tale)

Today was our first introduction into the dissection room. The last time I was in a dissection room was 4 years ago. It goes without saying that I was extremely excited until I realized that, as of this morning, I can't really breathe through my nose. If I do, it takes a lot of effort and I sound like I have emphysema. Not fun.

Now I don't know about anyone else, but when I breathe through my mouth, I generally taste, to some extent, whatever aroma is floating through the air at a given moment. Not exactly the best time to be in a room with freshly killed specimens and specimens fixed in formalin. Let me interject that I don't really mind the smell of formalin. It's not a pleasant smell, but it doesn't turn my stomach.

However. Breathing in through the nose, which has a filter system, and breathing in through the mouth, which has TASTE BUDS, are two completely different animals (no pun intended).

I still don't know how I survived those two hours.

06 October 2010

Focus, brain. Focus.

It's really hard to focus when the sun is out for the first time in a week. Hence this post. I've been sitting at my kitchen table and I've only succeeded in getting through one lecture from yesterday. Helloooo procrastination.

I have a feeling that my steady relationship for the year is going to be with Procrastination. And the Library. I foresee that it will be a turbulent love/hate triangle.

04 October 2010

Day One

Not much to report, other than the monumentally awful stomach bug I had last night. Boo. But I feel much much better now.

However, this is a picture from one of my classrooms (that I stole shamelessly from my flatmate J...lucky wench has an iPhone already!):

Can I reiterate how I've made possibly the best decision of my life thus far? Because I totally have.

03 October 2010

On the weather in the UK...

I've just realized that, along with the fact that the topography is very similar, New England is also named so because of it's similarity of weather schizophrenia to it's namesake.

Let me explain. This morning around 7:30am, I woke to sunny weather. Windy, but sunny. I went back to sleep because, as a college student with no responsibilities until tomorrow, why not? I woke up again around 10am to cloudy. Around an hour ago, it was pouring. Now, I see blue sky again.

Helloooooo schizophrenia.

It makes me feel less homesick.

01 October 2010

Fresher's Week (or how lazy can I really be?)

So ends week 3 of me being here in London. It's been Fresher's Week this week, which has been like my Freshman Weekend experience at the University of New Hampshire...on meth, absinthe, and ecstasy.

Oh, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.

Fresher's Week (def): 8 to 10 days filled with drinking, dancing, fancy dress (costumes to us Americans), the occasional black tie event (on a BOAT), and sprinkled with general mayhem.

In short, it's an amazing week for a bunch of newbies to the uni to get together, drink, and have fun while making lifelong friends. At least, that's how it's been for me thus far. I've loved the freedom to get my affairs in order (I have a UK bank account...I feel so official!), get used to the area, and cook food for friends. I just feel super lazy because I've done practically nothing all week.

And now that I've managed to kick the cold that's had it's grasp on me for the past 2 weeks, I feel like myself again. I'm so ready to take this G&T year by the balls and show it who's boss.