Blue People, Red State - Winter 2010 travel blog

campus tour

Our stop here is a significant detour from this winter's exploration of Texas. A bit of explanation is required:

Once upon a time two little girls came to our house and drove our cat crazy - they loved him SO much. Soon they had a cat of their own at home and loved and adored her. One of the girls decided that she would like to be a veterinarian when she grew up. When I was a guidance counselor, I had many students that wanted to be a veterinarian, but none of them ever made it. Lots of us love animals, but there are only 34 veterinarian schools in the country. Consequently, it is harder to be admitted to them than to medical school. The curriculum is just as challenging and much more varied since vets are supposed to know about all sorts of animals. Our niece persevered. She had wonderful grades in college, worked as a vet tech, and volunteered one summer at an animal sanctuary in Utah. She applied to vet school and was rejected. What more did she need to do? She returned to college and earned a master's degree and that seemed to make the difference. Now after four years of hard study, a new baby and another one coming soon, we will have the first doctor in the family. We've come here to celebrate her and all that she has accomplished.

Today she and our first grandnephew visited us at our campground. It was wonderful to see her again and finally meet the newest member of the family. She also gave us a tour of the vet school facilities on campus. The first two years of the program involved a lot of sitting still in lecture rooms and memorizing, and the last two years provided more and more practical experience. In many ways being a vet is harder than being a human doctor. Each animal has its own idiosyncrasies and most of the same diseases and ills that we do. It's so much to learn.

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