Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t a makeup tutorial. It’s something a lot less hilarious than a NikkieTutorials video. It’s… my timetable!
Introducing… My weekly timetable!
The days can be as short as 3 hours or as long as 10, but that’s not a worry as there are usually a few one hour breaks in between – Thursdays are an exception, where I have to eat as much as possible between lectures so that I don’t disrupt the class halfway through with my stomach’s growling. Note to future pre-vet students: make sure you book your lab and lecture streams really early so you don’t have a huge block of lectures without any breaks (you need your breaks)!
I can’t put down every little detail, but here’s a generalised version of what generally happens most days.
1. Slowly wake up after three alarms
Don’t rush out of bed when you hear the alarm. If you do that, one day you will trip over your own feet, tear a ligament in your ankle and it won’t be fully healed even after 8 weeks. No, this didn’t happen to me, what are you on about… *Limps away*.
I like to set three alarms every morning: one at 7:10am, the next at 7:20am, and the last one at 7:35am. You know that feeling you get when you wake up on a Saturday morning, see that it’s only 8.30am, and then go back to sleep because you know you’ve still got more time to sleep? Yeah, that’s the principle behind setting three alarms at 10-15 minute intervals, guys – tricking yourself into believing you have more time so that by the time you get up at the third alarm, you’ll feel like you’ve slept enough. Almost.
2. Chemistry – or as one of my good friends calls it, “The study of magic.”
Sitting in the Marsden lecture theatre, you relax a bit, knowing that most of what’s going on is revision of what you’ve already learned in NCEA Level 2 and 3 Chemistry. That is, until you hit resonance structures, mechanisms and order of rates, which you did not learn in high school. You turn to your friends but they just shake their heads. They don’t understand anything either. You know it’ll take a bit of effort to learn these things from scratch, but who said that learning about magic would be easy?
3. Physics – The art of mathing, with a sprinkle of AC and DC circuits and double rainbows.
Your chemistry lecture just finished so you’re now still sitting in the same seat, only fewer of your friends remain because they might be biochem or earth science majors who don’t take physics. You know that in physics there will always be an entertaining demonstration of some sort – there might be a Van de Graaf generator or a Rubens’ tube on the desk at the front of the room, or a large container of cornflour slime on the floor. This is going to be another amusing lecture.
4. Animals – little or large furry or flying creatures that are everywhere around us.
Time to walk over to the AgHort lecture theatre. You pack up and file out the door, following the crowd of people, past the duck pond that is dotted with mallards and a few coots. The herd squeezes into the slightly smaller lecture theatre and people chatter loudly until the lecturer comes in. Pens and papers at the ready, or in some cases a laptop or three, the lecture begins and the scrawling of pens and tapping of keys can be heard as we learn more about the anatomy of sponges, the evolution of birds from dinosaurs, or maybe even about osmoregulation in sharks or endocrine systems in moths.
5. Cells – the tiny, but really pretty, things that you don’t see until you look down a microscope.
Back to the Marsden lecture theatre again. Everyone collects a small green or white remote controller from the container on the front desk and a printout of the lecture slide from the stack beside the container. With remotes in our hands or resting in front of us on the desk, we’re ready for any interactive questions that may appear on the screen in front of us, be it questions about dihybrid crosses, the stages of meiosis, or perhaps a question about the function of the Golgi apparatus.
6. The tutorials
Somewhere in between those lectures will be sprinkled the tutorials, during which we have opportunities to ask the lecturer questions about things that we may have covered in lectures but still don’t quite understand.
7. The labs
Labs are usually the very last class of the day. All labs have a practical element (e.g dissections, titrations, microscopy, or graphing using computers) and a written element (like answering questions) to them. In labs you may be split into groups according to your surname (such as in chemistry and physics), or you may be allowed to sit wherever you’d like, given that you’ll have to stay in that seat for the rest of the semester DUN DUN DUN (animals and cells). Labs are always enjoyable as long as you know what’s going on – note to self, always be prepared for lab classes at least the night before, and always attend the chemistry pre-lab tutorial! (otherwise you’ll be flailing around not knowing what to do during the chem lab). Labs are really fun and if you finish everything before the three hours are up, you can go home early!
I hope that with this post you were able to see a bit of what a pre-vet’s schedule is like and the kinds of things that we learn – it’s all very exciting!