If I ever thought I was busy before I was wrong. Life has been hectic, full of new experiences (new, even though I’ve been here for 2 months already), struggles, and (sadly) egg-shots, but I’ll return to those later.
My life has revolved around bones (the vertebral column – check, thoracic and pelvic limbs – check, and now the skull), microscopes, and lab coats. My days follow a very ritualistic pattern; shower, eat, *insert the above story*, sleep, repeat.
My subjects for this autumn semester include
- informatics and biometry (lectures and practical works – have I ever told you how incompatible me and computers are??)
- Latin for specific purposes (I have encountered the first teacher I utterly dislike… I can’t even point out what it is I dislike… all I know is I feel I’m learning nothing, the lessons are a pain as soon as they start, but I force myself through them… wow! Did I mention I know what “rhubarb juice” is in Latin? Rhubarb juice?!?! How is that “for specific purposes”??)
- Cell and molecular biology (lectures and lab works – microscopes galore! I have seen my cells, have you? 😉 )
- Animal biology (only lectures and an exam so far, I am willing to share my knowledge on the sex life of sponges, snails, and tarantulas, but that will have to be a post of its own)
- Anatomy of domestic animals (bones, bones, bones, and more bones! Next; joints and muscles and all that good stuff! Meditating under the skeleton of a giraffe, pretending the atlas of a cat is a ring, scratching my back with the rib of a cow, and more 😀 So much fun! … oh, did I mention oral exams! Despite the madness that follows I love it!)
- Histology, cytology and embryology (microscopes galore – again! I love this subject, I love the teacher, I love the slides, I love trying to zoom in on all sorts of miniscule things and drawing them… No, really, I love it ❤ )
- Estonian for foreigners (another one of my favourite subjects; learning this funny language! I still can’t believe how strange it is… koer on rihma otsas = the dog is on a leash (more fun is you know Finnish)… I don’t want this course to end, but we have an exam on 3rd of November…)
- Biochemistry (lectures and labs – the white labcoat has become a symbol of test tubes and strange pipettes to me! Did I mention I have made an explosion, not once, but twice! Once with some crazy acid and the test tube exploded, the other time it was just a firework of fumes and sparks 😛 Oh, and last time I was grinding up leaves using a mortar and pestle just like Jamie Oliver taught!)
Now, the welcoming “ceremony” I’m talking about took place last Tuesday. It was a calm and peaceful biochemistry lecture, until a bunch of 5th year students stormed in and told us to dress in trash bags.
We then got new make up in the form of whiskers and… an egg-shot, which they labeled as a “vaccine”… This shot is unlike anything I’ve ever tasted (or seen!)…
It is as simple as this; a raw quail’s egg and vodka – yum! The crazy thing is I’ve had two of those during my two months here… that’s one each month… If the same pace continues I’m going to down around 10 of those each year, multiply that by six years (duration of studies) and you have 60 f-ing quail eggs lined up with vodka!
What else did we have to do? We had to build an animal out of a pile of bones (dogs, cats, cows, horses and beavers thrown together.. it was a beautiful sight), determine how many legs a “calf” had (it was a dog toy inside a “birth-simulation-practice-box-wannabe-cow”), and a number of other things, including suturing a stuffed toy, with a water balloon inside.
My favourite task of the day was definitely the part where we dissected a calf.
Yes, you read that right! We went into a room, and there were two dead calves on display. Our task was to locate the spleen and lungs, and get them on a tray. I was the bravest in my group, so I did the cutting and digging 😉 You’d be surprised how easy it is to cut through the sternum of a calf using nothing but a pair of bush clippers! I was surprised how easy it was to block out the smell of blood; just focus on what you’re doing! Of course the calf in this case was dead, and I don’t imagine cutting into a live baby cow to be anywhere near as easy.
Not my group, but the same calf
I leave you with this image and make a return to my cell and molecular biology exam questions (test coming up on Thursday).
Just kidding, I leave you with this view! University main building, lovely autumn colours, life is great here in Estonia!