Saturday, June 10, 2017

Diary of a Second-Year Vet Student: New Vocabulary

Vet school means confronting and managing an avalanche of new words as well as old words used in new ways. My high school Latin has proven to be extremely valuable (I won an award for reciting a piece by Cicero). I have long been interested in words and language, dabbling in Russian, Japanese, Mandarin, and French. And of course, I acquired a very large technical vocabulary as a geologist. My geologic vocabulary uses many of the same Latin and Greek (and German) roots, prefixes, and suffixes as medical jargon. I could write an entire post about the joys of looking at a new medical term and knowing exactly what it means because I know what the various parts of the word mean individually even though I've never seen that precise combination of those parts before.

But I can already sense your eyes rolling back in your head--this post is not about my geeking out on word origins. This post is about a different subset of the new vocabulary we must navigate while in vet school. I wrote a while back about drunk cleaning, a sort of multitasking celebration of having time to deal with the mundane corners of life that is generally only experienced at the end of a school term.

Today, I want to talk about procrasti-baking and its cousin, stress baking.

As the end of the term approached and finals weeks looms (we have six finals this term, one last week and five next week), quite a few of my classmates were showing up in the mornings with enormous ziplock bags of snickerdoodles, brownies, and muffins, made with love and lots of butter and sugar. We coined the term "procrasti-baking" to describe this. They know they need to study but we are all feeling overwhelmed with the mountain of material we have to slog through (Principles of Surgery, I'm looking at you). Some of us watch NetFlix, some of us procrasti-bake.

Stress baking is similar but it can only occur the night before an exam. I am expecting stress-baked goods at least one morning this coming week. Overwhelmed and stressed is the constant state of the vet student. 

No comments: