The one about what I want to do in the future…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what exactly I want to do after I graduate (seems like a reasonable thought to have in the middle of exam stress, right?). People have asked me, and I have asked myself multiple times, so I figured I might as well break my thoughts down to smaller sections (and maybe, just maybe, make some sense of them).

1- Obviously I love dogs (always have, always will), but a part of me is madly in love with cattle. (Get it? Mad cattle… BSE… “Mad cow disease”? … No? … okay *goes to hide under a rock*) However, I don’t really have that big of a passion for horses, or pigs for that matter. Sure, I think horses are amazingly beautiful and all that, but I don’t have that personal connection I think I would need in order to want to get more involved in equine medicine.


2 – I absolutely love anatomy and seeing what’s going on on the inside (in other words, I loved opening our anatomy specimens), and our teacher said “You have the hands of a surgeon, Jenny”. Needless to say, it made me smile. Every time.


So there’s a part of me that wants to go into small animal surgery (orthopedic stuff perhaps?) , and a slightly smaller part that wants to have something to do with cows (perhaps just cuddling calves 24/7?).


3- Then there’s the part of me that dreams of having a small “clinic” at my house. (*insert “Work From Home” here*) And that sort of pushes me towards small animal practice again.


4 – I also love how much people care about their pets (by pets I mean cats and dogs, not including horses etc. here now). I feel like the production side of things is so closely related to making profit, that it’s often easier (read “more profitable) to just cull an animal, instead of spending a lot of time, money and effort on trying to fix it (“it” = the animal and/or its problems). And I want to do things. I want to analyse blood work, I want to look at X-rays, I want to try to figure out what’s wrong with the animal and try to come up with a way of fixing it. Which pushes me towards small animals.
(Yes, I know people spend tons of money, time and effort on trying to fix their horses, but I go back to my very first thought regarding the lack of a personal relationship with horses…)

The more I think about these things, the more confused I get. I think I’m leaning towards small animal (surgery?) at the moment. Getting to follow Mysse’s surgery definitely gave me a slight push in that direction as well (and there is nothing stopping me from hugging the occasional cow alongside that 😉 )
I am also very much aware that I’m in no rush to decide what I want to do just yet… I just want to be prepared… Although I have a feeling I’ll never be prepared 😛




Suolet ry 14th anniversary-celebration-thing

On 9th April I attended my first ever academic celebration; Suolet ry (Association of Finnish Veterinary Students in Estonia) celebrated its 14th birthday!
As you can tell by the champagne-picture above it was fancy af; everyone dressed in beautiful dresses (men, all five of them 😛 , in suits), hair done, makeup done, food was fancy, speeches were given… I liked it!

I was hoping someone would have got decent pictures of our friend group, but no… Oh well, we have a few selfies and group photos to add here, those will have to do!


the venue, thank you Korp. Rotalia


note the beautiful red dresses 🙂 My closest classmate-friends went with a red-black-blue theme, which I found quite funny!

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tried my best to re-focus the picture – hello selfie quality 😛

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We thank Juulia for this shaky picture 😉


VM1 – there’s around 30 of us in total, here’s everyone who attended the celebrations… I count 19 of us


Our Estonian language teacher, Linda, was voted “Favourite teacher” by our class


so… the story behind this picture: we had to pull a weird/funny face…… I believe this picture was taken a second too late 😛

My expectations for the festivities weren’t all that high, but the experience was a positive surprise. You’ll see more fancy pictures again next year, because I’m planning on going again 🙂 Everyone deserves to have at least one day (per year… or academic year) when they get to dress up and look all prim and proper (especially when you’re studying veterinary medicine and your OOTD consists of the same leggings and sweater week in and week out (throw in the odd lab-coat or overall), purely out of practical reasons.

I’ll try my best to write about yesterday’s tutor-trip to Põlva ASAP (I need to get some pictures first), and I really should prepare for Thursday’s biochemistry exam (and then i can say goodbye to biochemistry forever!)…
Speaking of exams (!!); today was a good day! I passed my oral anatomy exam (respiratory organs), and also found out I passed my written anatomy exam (digestive system) which I gave last Wednesday (or Thursday?) – YAY!


… and just like that I stuffed my hand in a horse’s mouth.

The title pretty much sums up yesterday.

Marika from Hirnuva Hammas came to lecture at our university yesterday (school on Saturdays, welcome to vet school 😉 ). She’s the first trained equine dental technician in Finland, and her presentation was filled with personal experiences and the notion “So many people get things wrong”.

Enamel points, hooks, ramps, wolf teeth (both erupted and non-erupted), ETR (Excessive Transverse Ridges/Ridging), wave mouth, shear mouth, diastemas, curvatures in the incisors, as well as over- and underbites are now a part of my horse-knowledge. You can read more about these here (there are also illustrations and photos showing what these look like in real life).

We also made a new friend – the triadan system, which is used to number the teeth. Previously the “letter-abbreviation-system” was used (I=incisor, PM=premolar, M=molar and so on).


The triadan system in a nice drawing; this is how the teeth are numbered. Lovely, isn’t it 😉 Image source

After the nearly three-hour long lecture it was time for some hands on action – quite literally! We drove out to a stable in the evening to get a feel at a horses mouth (find the wolf teeth and any abnormalities) and some of the equipment used for treating the problems mentioned earlier.

We each got to feel around the mouth without a gag (canines, incisors and wolf teeth as well as evaluating the palatine arch) and with the gag in place (premolars, molars, enamel points etc.)
We each got to put the gag on. I was so nervous because practically everyone else in my group had loads of experience with horses compared to little me… but I did great!! So proud of myself 🙂
And just like that I stuffed my hand inside a horses mouth! Me! The girl who doesn’t even know how to ride a horse! Stuffing her hand in this giant creature’s mouth!
Yesterday was another day of “firsts” for me!

Marika also told us what she usually does during a routine check-up, how often she lets the horse rest, with or without sedation etc.

Of course anatomy and its friends are running along. Right now we’re working on the digestive system in anatomy; dog, cat, rabbit, goat, horse, cow, everybody. Med students, please stop whining about how you have to learn so much!

So much information, so little time!! Welcome to vet school everybody 😉

Tomorrow (Monday) my large animal care “course” will start. Basically, each of us has to complete a 7-day and 3-day session of working at the clinic’s stables. We have to clean and feed the animals, take the horses outside, clean the cow again (I hear she’s a poop machine) in the morning. In the afternoon we clean some more, take the horses back inside, and feed them again (I think). I’ll write a post dedicated entirely to my week when it’s over 🙂

Now I’ll get back to my microbiology homework and genetics studies (test on Tuesday). Isn’t it great having so much to do and so little time to do it?



Spring term at the vet school

Hello again!

I know it’s been half an eternity since my last post (I blame it on a hectic schedule and general tiredness (read: exhaustion)), but now I’m back!
So much has happened (I feel like I say this in every single post, simply because they’re so far apart 😛 )

  • moved out of the dormitory
  • exams
  • some more exams

and spring term just started!

Let’s start with moving out of the dormitory:
There was nothing wrong with the dormitory, I had a lovely roommate and a bearable flatmate. The room was tiny, the kitchen was always a mess, the sink was always clogged, the bed was squeaky… all bearable, but slightly annoying things.

I was randomly browsing a website with rental apartments and TADAA there it was – the apartment where an older student had stayed (I his I know because I was dog-sitting one Friday evening). I immediately messaged one of my classmates (who I knew also liked the apartment) and we made arrangements to go see it and sign the contract.
We moved in on November 15th 🙂
(I’ll try to get around to taking some pictures and maybe posting them eventually… don’t get your hopes up, this could be a few months from now 😛 )

There were a lot of them, I’ll write the subject and withing brackets I’ll put my final grade 🙂
Cell and Molecular Biology (C)
Animal Biology (A)
Biochemistry (B)
Anatomy of domestic animals (A)
(it’s almost as if my grade is directly related to the first letter of the name of the subject….)
Informatics and Biometry (A)

Then the Pass/Fail-subjects

Estonian for foreigners (Pass)
Latin for specific purposes (Pass)
Cytology, embryology and histology (Pass)
Introduction to Chemistry (Pass)

All in all I’m quite pleased with how I did 🙂

Spring terms brings with it a bunch of new subjects, but a few old friends remain (anatomy, chemistry and histology):

Ethology – really looking forward to this
Veterinary genetics and animal breeding – also excited
Microbiology – worried how “micro” it will be….
Physiology – “let’s combine anatomy and chemistry to give them a real brain breaker!”… I’m worried!
Fundamentals of scientific research – not sure what to think of this…

Long days and long weekends (Fridays = no school!), that’s what spring term will be all about. I still can’t quite get my head around the fact I’m actually here… One thing I have come to realize is that Tartu has become my second home, whenever I return I feel safe and secure, knowing that we’re ready to kick ass again! Hardcore studying is real, but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else 🙂



Welcoming “ceremony”, bones, and egg-shots?!

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! 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!