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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: October 2009

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Correction

I found out yesterday that I was wrong about the grading system at my school. Anything below a 77% is failing, not a 73%, so I really, super, hard core failed that test. :(

On the bright side, I aced my pharmacology test the next day. She made it pretty easy, which was a nice change. Dentistry didn't go as bad as I expected. She made the test about the super, super basics, so it's ok that I didn't read the chapters. I don't think I aced it, but I knew enough of it to not fail. Maybe a low B, I hope. Most of the test was on what she told us in class, and I remembered most of it, so that was a nice surprise! I sat down expecting to fail another test and it was a welcome state of shock that she made the test super easy.

I have no reading for Surgery. YEAH!! That is 500 pages less than usual. I have a fair amount for pharmacology, but no homework. So I just have 5 chapters of dentistry (and pharm.) and I'm already done with the Dentistry homework/reading... And I read ahead!

I do have a project due, but I don't think it will take long, so it's going to be a nice, stress free weekend.

My husband came home last night and we have been able to spend most of the day together, so that has been a good start to the weekend. We went to a Doggy Trick or Treating event tonight. I will post pictures soon. Pups now has treats to last her a year!

Next week is going to be a lot less stressful than this week was and I am officially half way through my classes. I start my next three the Monday after Thanksgiving.

I also had a doctors appointment for today and I asked him if I was handling the stress of school ok. I was a little worried that I wasn't freaking out and crying about everything. I was worried I was too calm, but he assured me that I'm fine. I am grinding my teeth at night and clenching my jaw because I'm stressed. I'm also getting tension headaches, but he said he thought I was handling it well and not to worry about freaking out about stuff. He said it's normal to break down every now and then, but that it's ok that I'm not. He said it was probably pretty healthy that I'm not stressed about not getting 100% all the time. Everyone else in class is having mini breakdowns. So I thought I was crazy to not be, but I guess I'm just too normal. I never thought someone would ever tell me that!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bad Day

Had a bad day. A bad week really.

My dentistry teacher announced that she doesn't care how much homework our other teachers are giving us, she now wants us to read ahead. She said this on Tuesday regarding the test she is giving us on Thursday (tomorrow). She said it's too bad that she didn't assign the reading, that we haven't read it, and that she decided to put it on our test with only two days notice.

Did I mention that it's really only one days notice because I spend all day Wend studying for my surgery test that I have each week? Oh and we also take a pharmacology test the same day as dentistry every week on Thursday.

So I have no time to study and now have to find time to read two additional chapters and memorize the important facts while studying for a second test tomorrow.

And to make my week even more awesome. I failed a test today. Big time. Bombed it. Our teacher gave us and idea what to study. She said anything from last week was fair game for the test. I've been studying my ass of for this test. We covered and insane amount of information last week. Well, she handed out the test and a few students raised their hands and asked, "is this the right test?" I'm not joking. Exact quote. She gave us a test that had nothing from last week on it. Not a single thing.

The whole test was random stuff that she has never told us. A lot of it was about anesthesia machines, which we had barely touched on this Monday, as in two days ago. She said it was all common knowledge stuff that we should have learned in the assistant program. I don't know what assistant program she is talking about because my teacher never touched on anything that was on this test.

I tallied up how much the test was worth and how many answers I know for sure are right. I left three blank, three were extra credit and I guessed on four. At best, I got a 72%. In my school, anything below a 73% in considered a failing grade. Tough grading, I know.

So I majorly failed a test today. The whole class did. We talked about it and not a single person thinks they passed. It was super unfair. I don't know why my teacher did that to us. Some of it was in the reading she assigned, but to be honest, she assigns 4-6 chapters a weekend. It's usually around 300-400 pages. Add that to three chapters of pharmacology (at least 150 more pages) and at least two chapters of dentistry a weekend (none of this includes any actual homework assignments) and I'm lucky to have half of it read by Monday, and that doesn't mean I retain any of it. I read every page of what she assigned and it only helped with two questions. There were four total from the reading, but I couldn't remember enough of it to help with the other two.

I want to cry. I want to scream. I want to quit. But I'm still in that weird "nothing phases me" stage. I'm still really detached from it all. I don't feel stressed, I don't feel overwhelmed. I feel nothing. I'm not happy, I'm not sad. I'm nothing. I'm not even apathetic. If I were, I would at least feel like things aren't worth it and maybe even feel a bit sad. But no, I'm nothing.

I'm telling you, I'm going to crack. Something is going to give eventually. I'm too calm and collected. I should be a mess right now. I should be freaking out. I mean, I failed a freaking test for goodness sakes! I have never failed a test in my life. And I maintained a 4.0 in the assistant program with an average of 98% in all my classes. I should be losing it, but I'm not.

Weird, right?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Some days I hate the military

I know I shouldn't say that, but let me explain.

My husband is a reservist who is currently on active duty and living on base. They are not feeding him during this time, so we have to pay for him to buy food during the week. His base also happens to be on the other side of the state, so we are paying for him to drive home when he gets liberty.

This is expensive. My husband and I have talked about him not coming home on liberty so we can save money.

We get paid twice a month. We are also entitled to a travel claim each month. A good portion of our money comes from this travel claim. Without it, we would not be able to afford my husband being on active duty.

They owe us a travel claim (it's almost $1000) from April. Yep, you heard right, from 6 months ago. They decided to wait to pay us until the boys came home from Iraq. They also owe us a travel claim from Sept. We have yet to be paid either of them.

We are dead broke. As of the first, most of our savings will be emptied to pay bills because we have not received our travel claims. To make matters worse, ball is coming up. Ball is a required weekend that they make us pay to attend. That is correct, REQUIRED attendance, but $60 a person. So we had to shell out $120 we didn't have to be able to go to a required function. To make matters worse then that, they don't give us anywhere to stay, so we have to put ourselves up in a hotel for the night... Did I forget to mention that the reason we need a hotel is because they hold it on the other side of the state from us?

So we have to have gas money to get us there and back, a hotel, I need a formal dress, we have to pay for tickets and drinks. Dinner, thankfully is included in the ticket.

Well, because we didn't get our travel claims, we don't have enough money to attend ball this year (or buy him food while he is on base or go grocery shopping when he is home). My husband will be in trouble if he doesn't go, but we can't afford to get there, or stay there.

And why? you ask. Why haven't we received our pay? Because a Chief Warrant Office (for the whole battalion) failed to call our administration guys and tell them that part of the paperwork had changed. So, when they submitted the paperwork to get us paid the two months worth of pay that they owe us, it couldn't be processed. In the military, there is no warning that things didn't go right until people don't get paid. No one calls to say the paperwork was wrong. So it all processed and weeks went by until, finally, someone noticed that half the company didn't get paid.

They are in the processes of trying to get us our money. But to be honest, no one in the military cares we didn't get paid. The I&I (administration) staff is all active duty guys and they have an attitude that says, "we are better than the reservist because we are active duty." They also get paid whether we do or not, so they are in no hurry to get us our money.

There is no one to complain to. There is no one to make the process go faster. We were told it could take up to two weeks to get our money. We have already been waiting a month for it.

Only the military can screw up this badly and not have any consequences. They are the government, so there is no one to crack down on them. No one is going to get in trouble because we didn't get paid. No one is going to apologize because my husband and I can't afford groceries. It just sucks.

Once we get the money, we will be set financially. We will have money in our savings account and all of our bills will be paid. We will have more than enough to last until my husband goes back to his civilian job, and then some. Plus, we will get more travel claims in the coming months, so we really will be all set. It's just right now. We had savings, but as I have blogged before, emergencies happen and we dwindled it down to very little. What is left is going to pay our bills come the first of the month.

My husband is making a lot less money state side then he was in Iraq. That is part of our problem. The bills went up and the pay went down. Now that I have to pay for car insurance and his cell phone. Gas money, food for two people instead of one, the list goes on and on. There are so many more expenses now and less money coming in to pay for them. We really needed that travel claim to come asap.

Gosh, some days, I really hate how the military functions, or doesn't for that matter. It's so screwed up! Life as a civilian, never felt this complicated.


My boring blog

I've read my recent posts and they are so boring! School is eating up way too much of my time and with my husband gone, that is my only focus.

I'm sure no one wants to hear about school anymore... Ok, one more thing (and I will do my best to be more interesting from now on!)

We practice our dentals on dead dog heads. I'm sure I've said this before. So I posted on my Facebook page, something along the lines of "Practicing dentals on dead dog heads... Weird, Gross, Cool or all of the above." Most people said, "all of the above." One chick I went to high school with was totally disgusted. She said she hoped they were skulls, not actual heads etc. etc.

I found this weird because she claims to want to be a vet assistant. Part of that job is chopping off the heads of animals that you think might have rabies and sending them to the state for examination and testing.

The heads are kinda gross. They stink something foul. But I have an actual mouth to test my skills on. Dentals are more than just teeth. It's all areas of the mouth. There can be more than just plaque going on. There are a ton or oral diseases and if I have never seen an animal mouth before, how will I know what to look for and where? We need the gums, they are important. We need to check the tongue and the roof of the mouth. But especially the gums. Gingivitis is the first indication of periodontal disease. They get red, swollen and bleed, just like in humans.
I tried to explain all of this to this girl, but she really seemed put out by it. I guess some people just don't think about all the aspects of their chosen career. As a tech, I can extract teeth, assistants can't. I have to have a mouth to learn on and I would hate for it to be a live animal. Talk about traumatizing. If she ever wants to advance her career and become a tech, she will have to do the same thing.

Some people... I can't figure out why it bothered me so much. I was just so shocked that someone in the industry would have such a strong reaction to something so minor. The dogs are shelter dogs, or dogs that were donated to science. We don't go out and kill pets just for this purpose. We are getting dogs that were going to be euthanized anyway. We're not sadists.
I don't know. I'm pretty sure I'm over reacting. I just couldn't believe that someone would be so upset by that. I wish there were a better way. I really do. It's sad that we have so many unwanted pets in the US. Our doggy is super cute too, I wish they had found him a home instead of putting him down. But such is life. I can't save them all. There are a million things we can do to prevent over population and reduce the number of animals euthanized in this country, but it wouldn't change the need of schools like mine that needs animals to practice on. The law says we can't practice on live animals. I agree with that law. Anesthesia has a lot of risks, we can't just go around and anesthetize animals for no reason. We can't poke them with needles over and over again. Or practice any of the other invasive and potentially painful things we need to learn how to do. It would be cruel. So we need dead animals. It's sucky part of school, for sure, but necessary.

Ok, now I'm ranting... The point is, is it really so horrible that we use dead animals to further our education so that we can spend the rest of our lives helping animals? I personally feel like it balances out in the end. I use a a handful of dead dogs during schooling, but just think how many animals I will save in my career using that knowledge. I don't enjoy having to practice on deceased animals, but it will help me save lives later. Doctors practice their medicine on cadavers in medical school, isn't is sorta the same thing?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I stand corrected!

One of my readers (who's blog I also read) commented to let me know that she reads every single comment left on her blog and she tries to respond to many of them! (she has a ton of followers and receives a ton of comments!)

I love this! I always shy away from commenting on blogs that have a lot of followers and commenters. I always figured I was just one in a crowd of strangers to them. This info changes my perspective on commenting. Maybe I will start commenting more often on blogs.

I always read my comments and often reply to those that require it, whether it be by email, comment or a post on my blog. I love that others, who have a lot of followers and commenters do this too. It makes me feel a bit more connected to the blogging community, which is why we read and comment to begin with.

Thanks D.A.R for changing my perspective! (If you don't follow her blog, I highly recommend it. She is a great blogger and a fellow military wife!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

House Cleaning

Well, its' more like blog list cleaning.

I got the idea from a blog I follow. She's a fellow military wife and posed the question "What makes you follow a blog and why do you stop following blogs." (I'm paraphrasing her post)

For a while during the deployment, I went on a mission to find blogs to read. Mostly I was looking for other military wives that were going through a deployment, but anything interesting would do.

I found that most people are not particularly interesting. Sad, but true. Some were too whinny, all they did was complain about their lives. Some never posted and when they did, it was very disjointed. Many used their blog to voice their opinions on life, or religion or politics ect. That is all fine and dandy, but I'm not into debating over the internet and, frankly, if I don't agree with enough of what you say, I probably won't read it. I love opinions that differ from mine, I think it makes me a well rounded person, but only up to a certain point.

None the less, I began following a lot of blogs. I would read the first page to see what the person was all about and then follow. In the past few months, I have maintained follower status on most of those blogs. Until today.

There are only a handful of blogs that I actually read. There are only a handful of people who actually read mine, so I figure it's fair. I went through and got rid of all the blogs that I just glance over today. I got rid of ones that don't interest me, which were a lot! I didn't realize how many I hung onto until I started deleting them. It was kinda nice, to tell you the truth.

I still follow a few that don't post often, some are people I know, some are just good blogs. I kept all the people that I actually read on a regular basis. I kept a few random ones to spice it up every now and then, but my list is much shorter now. Well, shorter. It's not the longest list I've seen, but it's not short.

So what makes someone follow or not follow a blog? I don't really know. I will give any blog a chance. I used to follow all the blogs of people who followed me. I stopped doing that when I hit 10 followers. I thought it would be nice to do that, but it proved to be too many blogs to follow. I have stopped following a fair share of blogs in my day. Sometimes it because the person says something truly offensive. One person really slammed the military (our men and women who serve, not the institution). Obviously, I stopped following that blog immediately. Sometimes I find the blog boring. One person always posted really long posts. I just didn't have the time to read them. I guess there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a blog to follow or not.

I also don't comment a lot on blogs... I like to be supportive. When I really agree, or want to comfort someone, I do. But I'm not really a commenting kind of person, especially if a lot of people have already commented. I have a sneaking suspicion that bloggers don't really read all those comments. I would... If someone takes the time to read my blog and comment, I take the time to read what they have to say, but people who have 100 + followers and get 50 comments a day? I just don't know... Not to mention that my words of support probably don't mean much when I'm the 100th person to say "congrats" or "sorry."

I don't get many comments on my blog, which is probably karma. I think it's for the best. I have read many blogs with mean commenters. People who lurk and comment nastily and anonymously. I would hate that. I don't mind opinions. You don't have to agree with me, but I don't think I would handle it well if people were being mean or rude on my blog.

I am curious as to what makes you follow or not follow a blog, but as I never comment on other peoples blogs, I don't really expect y'all to comment and tell me. :) LOL!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

An Award

Well, after my crazy hectic week, I was nominated for a Kreativ Blogger Award by Sara at Little Rhody Girl.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award (Thanks Sara!)
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog (Done and done)
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. (Done)
4. Name seven things about yourself that people may not know
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers (I will only be nominating a few, I generally don't pass stuff like this on, but am making an exception because I really like Sara's blog and she has been very supportive of mine)
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they've been nominated.

Here are my seven things:

1. I don't really want to be a Vet Tech. I was originally going to school for criminal psychology. I was going to apply at the FBI to become an agent when I graduated from college. My dream has always been to be an FBI profiler (very hard to do), but that was all put aside when I met and married my husband. Someday, I'm going to go back and finish my degree, even though I will never be apart of the FBI. I don't regret my decision to give up my dream, but I do have a hard time figuring out what I want to do now.

2. I am madly in love with Dane Cook (famous comedian). He loves me too, he just doesn't know it yet. This love affair started long before I met my husband. I have explained it to him and he understands that some things are just meant to be (giggle).

3. I have no problem euthanizing animals. I thought long and hard before choosing to become a Vet Tech, and have always understood that it is part of my job, not a great part, but something I have to do none the less. Don't get me wrong, I don't enjoy it, but I do not have the internal struggle that most people have. Sometimes it's the right thing to do for the animal to prevent suffering and I know that.

4. I really want to own a horse ranch someday. I love horses and would love to have a whole ranch full to train and ride. My husband worked on a horse farm growing up and knows all about it. I would love to have enough space to offer lessons to kids (and adults) who want to learn to ride. Maybe even enough acres for a cross country course. That's where I would like to retire.

5. This goes along with number 4- I love Montana and really want to live there someday. Even if it's just part of the year. My mother and her family are from Montana and we visit as often as we can. I love everything about it out there.

6. I am half Japanese. Since I don't post pictures on my blog that often, and when I do, the faces are often obscured, I figured y'all didn't know this about me. I am half Japanese, 1/4 norwegian, and English, Irish, Dutch/German. My dad is full Japanese and my mom is white. I am very Japanese... My dads culture won out in the war and I was raised in a a very Japanese home with all the traditions. Sometimes it's hard for me to function in normal society because of my crazy culture, I know it complicates things with my husband! LOL!

7. I miss working nights. I go to night school, but it's not the same. I still have to be in bed around midnight, to be up early in the morning to study. I miss working until 3am and going to bed around 5am. Sometimes I think about going into an emergency specialty, when I get out of school, so I can work nights again.



I nominate:

These are people who comment on my blog and I actually read theirs... Everyone else, not so much. Sorry, I told you I probably wouldn't nominate seven people. I tried for three, but couldn't think of anyone that Sara didn't already nominate. (frowny face)

End of the week

I heard from the hubs today. He's busy. It's been a few days since he called. He couldn't talk long, but it was nice to hear his voice during this busy stressful week.

I'm done studying, for this week anyway. It looks like a rather lean weekend for reading and homework. It will still probably take two days to get it all done, but that is better than three.

I'm not confident that I will ace my two tests today, but after this crazy stressful week, a pass is better than a fail.

I'm glad it's over. It's almost Halloween. I get to go to a party this year, only my second Halloween party ever! I'm so excited. It will be a good end to another stressful week. I've been assured that this overload is normal and will continue for the entire program.

I hope I can adjust. I just don't handle stress well.

Only one more week and my husband will be home and I think that will make a huge difference. It will be nice to be able to talk to him more often. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of friends to talk to, especially since I go to school at night and am home during the day.

Yesterday, I was ready to quit the program, today I am much more optimistic. It's not forever. Just 9 months and a half months more. I can do it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Overload

I'm officially in overload. I did 20 hours of homework this weekend and didn't even finish it. I had to do the rest on Monday morning. I'm studying for three test in two days and am looking forward to a another homework filled weekend.

I have two more days of school and my brain checked out half way through my second class today. Luckily it was a review of stuff from the assistant program, so it was sorta ok.

My husband left for the field today, so I don't think I will be hearing from him for a while. I wasn't hearing from him much anyway, but now it will probably be zilch.

I can feel a breakdown bubbling under the surface. Normally, I would be losing sleep and crying by now. Instead, I'm sorta shutting down. Slowly, but surely. I'm so overwhelmed by the end of class that I can't fall asleep. Then I dream about pharmacology and wake up in the morning in a panic. Two days in a row that has happened. So I'm really not getting any sleep. I'm slowing down. I'm not functioning. I'm too calm. I'm too organized and stress free. I'm not anxious, or freaking out at all. Which I should be, that would be normal. I'm just sorta... nothing.

Pretty soon, I'm either going to totally lose it and end up in the looney bin, or (hopefully) this weekend, I will finish my homework, take a bath and really relax without thinking of school for a few hours.

It's only the second week. I'm having very severe second thoughts about my choice to go back to school. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea. I don't know if I can take 9 months, two weeks, and two days more of this. I wake up early to get in 6 hours of study time before class, I spend all day doing homework and studying on the weekends. I'm averaging about 8 hours a day if not more. And I'm not even getting it all done. I'm going to have to aim for 10 hours a day on the weekends.

I don't have time to have a life, I have no time to be social, or read a book. I don't have time to go to the movies. All I have time for is school. And all I want, is one day a week that I don't have to do school work.

BAH! Brain Overload and no end in sight!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Study Break

I've been studying since 3pm. It's now 7:20. UGH!

I had to get up early yesterday and today, so I'm running on Coke and Starbucks to get by. But I managed to get my ass in gear and drove with a friend to buy my dress. The place I went is the bridal store I bought my wedding dress at. I love them. Name brands, but inexpensive compared to Seattle (they are way south of seattle). And they do in house alterations and steam of the dresses, so no worries there.

It takes over an hour to drive there, but so worth it. It actually took an hour and a half today because of the rain. It has been monsoon season here for the last two days. It's been raining for 5 consecutive days, but it's been torrential downpours for the last two. So much so in fact, that I could hardly see two feet in front of my while driving today.

But we got there and it only took about 20 minutes for me to find my dress and buy it. I only tried on like five dresses! Much easier than buying a wedding dress, let me tell you!

It's so pretty and I got earrings to match. Finally got our hotel reservations set too. Now all I need is a hair and nail appointment and I'm all set for Marine Corps Ball.

I'll post pictures of the dress when I have the time, but I really have to get back to homework. BOOO!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Play's the thing

I just got home from seeing a very good rendition of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. It was very cleverly arranged.

They had a huge cast and a ton of costume changes... It was quite the production, but the 5th Ave (the theater) only does musicals and is well know for doing an amazing job.

It was so nice to go and forget about homework for a few hours. We did dinner then the show and I really had a good time.

I get to see White Christmas in a few months and then I think South Pacific is next.

I love Love LOVE musicals!

Lucky for me, a good friend of mine has season tickets to the 5th. 6 in all! So she invites me along quite often. The seats are third row, so I'm very spoiled. I went to see Wicked at the Paramount and had nose bleed seats. They really sucked. I loved the show, but realized just how spoiled I am going to see plays with near front row seats.

I feel very blessed that she wants me to come along so often. I could never afford to see so many plays without her. I think I'm going to try to see Joseph again. The 5th has a deal: If you bring a ticket stub from a show, you can see it again for only $20. You get the best seats available. Unfortunately, you can only purchase the tickets the day of the show, so you are at the mercy of fate. But I stole my friends ticket stub and am going to see if my neighbor wants to go with me.

All in all, a nice way to start my busy, crazy, homework/studying filled weekend. I probably should have stayed home and done homework all night, but I really needed a night out. I have plenty of time to do homework tomorrow and Sunday... Right?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

PS.

I talked to the hubs today.

He's doing well, but definitely won't be home until almost Halloween. No early returns. He is in classes being trained on what they will be doing in the field. We only talked for 10 minutes, but it was nice to hear from him.

Four days down and 15 to go!

Dead dogs and dental cleanings

Well, tonight is my Friday! I am done with school for the week, but have mountains for homework and reading to do. It's going to talk all weekend to do it all. To top it off, I have three test next week, as will be the usual. Luckily, two of my teachers gave us the reviews today, so I have all weekend to make note cards and study, so I won't have to cram it all into one day again.

Looking back, this week was overwhelming, but calming at the same time. I can't believe how much information they throw at us in just four hours of school a day. I have a blister on my thumb from so much writing... My fingernails are longish and are rubbing. I tried cutting them, but the blister is already there, so it didn't do much good. (sigh)

I have taken my first test, learned how to dose medications, calculate drip rates for IV's, convert things to the metric/apothecary/household system of measurement. I have learned all about teeth, their structure, their placement, their anatomy and basic diseases of the mouth. I have learned all about various classifications for drugs, some individual drugs, what they do, their side effects and their uses in Vet Medicine. I have also learned all about pre-medicating animals to prepare them for anesthesia induction. There is much, much more, but it will just bore you more.

I have had brain overload. But surprisingly, I haven't felt all that stressed. Overwhelmed with information, yes, but not stressed. It just feels so good to be back in school. I have somewhere to be everyday. I have stuff to do all day. I feel useful again. And everyone in my class seems really nice. There are no annoying stupid people, they were all weeded out in the assistant program. We are all logical, level headed and eager to learn. It's a nice change from the people in the assistant program.

As for the title of my post? In my dentistry class we practice on dead dog heads. We have two kitty heads too, but they have to be shared by everyone. We are in groups of three and have a head assigned to us. We named ours Zeus. He's actually very cute too... Which makes it all the more sad that he was put to sleep and donated to medicine. He wasn't that old either. All our animals are animals that have been donated to science or are from shelters. It's sorta sad, but is really neat too. You can't really learn how to clean teeth if you don't practice and we can't practice on live animals... It's called cruelty to animals in most states. Legally, we can't anesthetize for no reason, we can't poke animals with needles, or intubate them. We can't harm or stress out animals for the sake of practice, so we use dead animals. I mean, would you let a class of 15 students practice blood draws on your dog knowing that not a single person would get it on the first try? I know I wouldn't.

So we practiced dental exams today on our little puppies and kitties. We freeze them during the week and bring them out on Thursdays to practice. It's a weird part of schooling that most people don't think about. I'm pretty excited about our dog. He has lots of weird stuff going on with his teeth and mouth, so it will be really great to learn on him.

WHEW!!! I'm so exhausted mentally. I can't wait to hit the hay. I have to go dress shopping for Marine Corps Ball this weekend too, so that is going to be fun and exciting. I was also invited to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat tomorrow night too! I just hope I have time to get all my homework and studying done!

Misunderstood

I realize that my last post came off as whinny because of a comment I received.

It was not my intention to whine about deployments or even separations.

Deployments suck, there is no way around that, but my deployment gave me a lot of things. I found strength I didn't know I had. I became more independent than I ever thought possible. I took up horseback riding lessons. I made new friends and lost some old ones... I had some horrible experiences and some great ones. And most of all, I learned that my love for my husband is stronger than I thought possible.

We military wives love (and are loyal) under the worst conditions and so do our husbands. That strengthens a marriage in a way most will never understand. My husband and I are having our ups and downs with readjustment, but our love is stronger than ever and we are determined to make things work.

I wouldn't wish a deployment on anyone... They are tough. The constant worry, the fear, the separation, the loneliness. It's not for everyone. Many people have told me that they couldn't do it, and I'm sure that is true. But I did, I had to, and I came out the other a side a changed person, but for the best.

It's true my husband is gone again. I will have less contact with him now then I did when he was deployed, and I miss him more than I thought I would. But that too will pass. In a few days, I will be right as rain and back into the groove of being alone. He hasn't been home for that long, so it won't take long to adjust back. It's tough to have him gone, when he just got home, but such is the way of military life.

I apologize if it sounded like I was whining... I was simply missing my husband.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I miss my husband

I know I just posted, but deal with it.

It made me think about the last nine months without my husband. Though he was only in Iraq for five months, cut down from seven, he moved onto base for training December 1st of last year. Almost a year ago.

We missed our anniversary, both our birthdays, the fourth of July... And a number of fun family functions. My cousin got married and it was thoroughly depressing to attend the wedding alone.

But I weathered the separation. I learned to live alone. I learned to kick the worry to the back of my mind, I learned to not think of my husband too often, so I wouldn't miss him too much.

I learned who my true friends were. Some left me broken hearted and disappointed, some surprised me with support and love.

I finished the Vet Assistant program and my externship. I took a three month break from school. I read books, watched movies, and caught up on my TV shows.

All in all, nine months is a long time to be without your husband. But somehow, we survived.

And now he is sorta home. He is not living with me, but I get to see him semi-regularly. But Monday, he left again. He won't be home until just before Halloween. After spending 10 consecutive days with him, I miss him more than I thought I would. If he hadn't taken that week of leave, I probably wouldn't mind so much, but I got used to having him home, and now he's gone again. I never hear from him. I won't because he is out in the field for the next two weeks. It's weird. This separation feels harder than the deployment.

He was finally home, for good, and now he's gone again. With his deployment, I expected him to leave. I had months to prepare for it. I had time to adjust to the idea. But this training mission was very short notice. He didn't tell me about it until the middle of last week. "Oh, by the way, I'm leaving for two weeks on a training mission. (turns out it's going to be almost three weeks.) And he left the day I started school, which was a serious bummer. I was really nervous and wanted him to be home when I got home so I could talk to him about it. Oh, well, I guess I will add that to the list of things he has missed because of the military.

Three weeks isn't much. I did nine months for goodness sakes, but I just thought this part of my life was over for a little while. I though he would be home for a little while before leaving again.

I really miss my husband.

My first test

Well, I woke up today, showered and got ready for the day.

I then spent a half hour finishing up my note cards to study for my test and then studied for 5.5 consecutive hours.

I had it down, for the most part. I was definitely overwhelmed, but not stressed. It's a lot of information to learn, process and memorize in one day. But I think I aced my test. It was only 12 questions long! I had 25 pages of information, front and back, and the test was only 12 questions! Talk about over studying.

I didn't have a choice. We weren't given and review or told what to study. We were just told that info from those 25 pages would be on the test.

The remaining 15 pages of info will be on our test next week. She also has us reading 200 pages from various books. We do not have to do the chapter reviews, but she takes those questions and puts them on the test, so though I won't receive credit for doing them, I will have to.

That is not including the 6 page assignment for pharmacology and the multiple chapters I have to read for both that class and dentistry. I'm going to be very busy this weekend.

But my first test went very well. I only got really stuck on one question. I got 4 of the 5 things that I needed to list. I couldn't, for the life of me, remember the fifth thing. But the question was worth two points, so at least I got one.

Man, I am looking forward to tomorrow. All I have to do all day is read my various text books. And I don't have to have it done in time for school, so it's ok if I take breaks or don't finish. I just want to get a bunch done so I have less to do this weekend.

Whew! Talk about feeling better!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My poor brain

My brain is fried. I don't think I'm going to sleep much tonight, but I have to get up early so I have all day to study for a test tomorrow night.

Boy, I would kill for a nice bath right now. Something relaxing... But I don't have enough hours in the day to take one. Study all day, go to school all night. I come home and have one hour to eat, unwind, check my email then head to bed.

My husband left yesterday for a training mission in Cali so I don't have anyone home to support me or talk to me. So far, I have had two abbreviated conversations with him since he left, but soon he will be out in the field, so I won't even have that.

We have taken in so much new information in the last two days, I can't imagine taking in more, but I still have two more days of school this week. I'm in overload already.

I'm overwhelmed, but at least I'm not stressed yet. That will come tomorrow when I start studying. I made note cards all day today, literally, and need to memorize them tomorrow. Then my brain really will be fried.

I can't wait until the weekend. I can do homework at my leisure and maybe take that bath. I might read a little too, if there is time. We'll see. I also have to go dress shopping for ball this weekend, so that will be a fun break...

Brain Overload sucks.

Monday, October 12, 2009

First day back

Well, I just got home from school.

I'm feeling very drained and very overwhelmed. We just dove right in with very little introduction. My teacher lectured for four hours tonight. We have a 40 page handout, front and back, and I have to memorize it for a test on Wed.

I think I'm going to spend a lot of my free time crying in stress and frustration.

OH BOY! This is going to be tough.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Stress, stress and more stress

Well, I'm getting ready to head back to school. Monday is the big day.

I had orientation today at 2pm. I didn't sleep a wink last night. I had nightmares all night long. Each time I woke up, I would lay in bed, afraid to fall back asleep, and sure enough, I would immediate go into a new nightmare the minute I did sleep. It was horrible.

So, I got up today, exhausted. The orientation was long. Two hours. And there are a million things that are different from the assistant program to the tech program. First, our practical skills are graded on a pass/fail scale vs. a letter grade with points. We get two chances to demonstrate the skill, if we don't, we get a fail. If we fail three skills in a given class, we automatically fail the class, no matter how high our academic grade is. If we fail a class once, we get one more chance to pass it, if we still don't pass, we get terminated from the program. Talk about no slack.

On top of school full time and crazy amounts of homework, I am also required to do two surgery practicums. I am in charge of intubating, anesthetizing, sedating, placing an intravenous catheter and monitoring the patient during surgery. Also, I do post-op recovering and discharge. It takes up three days a week. It also runs late and I will miss a few hours of class to do this. I want to do more than two practicums, but I don't know if I will have the time.

I also have to do independent study. I go to a site a few hours each week and have to write a case study at the end of my time. I do this every sequence of school. So five total.

My large animal class will take place in the middle of winter. I'm really not excited. It means visiting farms while it's snowing. Most of the class takes place outside. I'm going to need a really warm pair of long johns.

And the very best part... The part that I really hate and wish it wasn't so, is that I am starting school during the hardest sequence/class. I'm starting with Surgery, Dentistry, and worst of all, Pharmacology. Pharmacology is the single hardest class we take. We have to know all the brand names and generic names of all the drugs, what they are used for, what their counterindications are, learn how to dose them properly and learn how they work on the body and how they are processed by the body. It involves a very in depth look at the central nervous system, the brain, the liver and kidneys. The central nervous system is extremely complex and confusing. I'm not excited about this at all. On the bright side, I will be done with the hardest part of schooling early. But I just took three months off of school and now I have to jump right into the hardest class.

I am so stressed. Long gone are my days of endless free time and reading for pleasure. Long gone are my days of sleeping well and sleeping in.

I've decided that I do want to go back to school. I've figured out that my feeling lost in life is really my dreading the amount of stress that school will bring. I don't mind that I am not passionate about my job. I like it and it's interesting. There's a lot I can do with it and it will never be boring. But the stress of school kills me. I'm not dreading school, I'm dreading the stress. No down time, no free time, and did I mention no breaks? We get two weeks at Christmas, but other then that, we have no breaks during school. We go straight from one class to the next. No spring break or summer vacation. It will be 10 months before I see the light of leisure time.

I'm staring to get excited about going back. It will be a challenge. We do a six week externship at the end and I already have my sights set. I want to do mine at a local research facility. They only take the best students with the best grades. I have to have great attendance, no late test or homework and glowing teacher recommendations. It will be tough to get, but I know I can do it if I really push myself.

I'm excited to have somewhere to go every day and a reason to get out of bed. I will be super busy for the next ten months. It's going to be crazy. My stomach problems will come back, I will start losing sleep while I stress about school. I will have no time on weekends to do much but homework... But I will be top of my class. I had one of the highest GPA's in the assistant program. I averaged a 98% in my classes, many of them 99%. I had one of the only 4.0's. I know I can do that again, if I really kill myself. The tech program is 100 times harder. It is way more challenging and there is a lot more work. But I know I can do it, if I just set my mind to it. Unfortunately, my husband will have to find other people to hang out with while I'm off doing school. But it's only 10 month, right?

Holy crap am I super stressed about going back, but I'm almost done. I hope it will be worth it.

Monday, October 5, 2009

World War Three

Wow, did my husband and I have a good fight last night.

Just as I predicted, a little thing turned into WWIII. I won't go into details, one it's a bit personal and two, it was started by hugely ridiculous stuff. A lot of little things over the three years we have been together just sorta boiled over.

I walked away from him and contacted another USMC wife. She really helped me gain some perspective. She listened and didn't tell me I was stupid or crazy. I had really calmed down, but was still upset. So, when I went down stairs to eat dinner, I was in a less than stellar mood. It turns out that my husband was still fuming. So, as much as I was calm, I quickly fired back up and it started all over again.

I think we fought for a good hour, if not longer. It was really late by the time things quieted down. I told him to leave. He is on leave this week and I told him to go back to base and leave me alone. He actually told me he would, if he could just talk to me first. I let him talk and decided he could stay, but had to sleep on the couch. He complied to this too, but made some good arguments about why he was wrong and how sorry he was. I thought about it and decided that he could come up stairs.

We talked a bit, once we had calmed down and decided that we would both work on what we had done wrong in the situation. We talked about how we were both feeling about readjustment and how hard it has been for both of us. I know my husband is having a hard time being home... I don't think he was ready to leave Iraq. He wasn't ready after his first deployment. I often say, he never really came home at all the first time. His mind has always been in Iraq and he has been waiting to go back since the day he got home. I think we may be in the same position this time around. I don't think he is ready to be here and I am not wholly ready to have him here.

Luckily, we love each other very deeply. We both really want to make our readjustment go smoothly. It's tough. We knew it would be, but I don't think we appreciated how hard it would be. I'm hoping that this fight was a step in the right direction.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Grocery shopping for two...

We went on our first grocery shopping trip for two. Up until this point, I was still shopping for me, myself and I, but with my husband home on leave (who is washing the cars at the moment) I now need to feed him three meals a day for nine days. Since I live on yogurt and salad and he lives on crap, we desperately needed to go the commissary.

Well, it's not as easy as it sounds. I am a frugal person by nature. I make a list of what I need at the store and that is all I buy. I may deviate to get the one thing I forgot to put on the list, but remembered once I got there, but I don't really impulse buy. That is how I stay on budget. My husband happens to be the literal, exact opposite.

I asked him what he needed and he said nothing, so nothing got put on the list. So we got to the commissary and I began going down aisles and crossing things off my list. He began walking down aisles and throwing random things in the cart. At first I said, Ok, but it started to get out of hand. I put my foot down, but at the wrong moment. So, now we are talking to each other, tight lipped in a whisper about who gets to buy what at the store.

I eventually caved, because I always do. So we went $25 over our limit. We had to put that $25 worth of groceries on the credit card. In the end, we both need to eat and I can't always force salad on my non-vegetable eating husband. But we will have to get our budget under control.

It's so hard to know how much you are going to spending on groceries when you are used to only shopping for one. I have been shopping for one for nine months now. $100 can set me up for three weeks worth of groceries, but that is barely a weeks worth for me and my husband. It's going to be tough to get our food spending under control.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This coming week...

I don't know how much blogging I will do in the coming week...

My husband decided to take leave because I start school in one week. Yep, a week is all I have left. And once I am back at school, we will never see each other or talk. He works all day and I go to school at night. We won't have weekends for a while either. They day after I start school, he will be leaving for a training mission down in California.

Yes, I know, he just got home. How can he already be leaving again? But since he is still on active duty, that means there is still work to be done. So a group of men from his unit are going down to Cali for two weeks. There will be little to no contact, especially since I will be in school.

So he will be home for nine days... Thank God they don't count the weekend as part of his leave. We don't have any major plans. Mostly we are going to sit at home and play video games. I have a few meetings at school, so that will take up some of our time together.

The one thing we are planning to do is go to the Zoo.

We got married at the Seattle Aquarium. Someday I will post pictures, because it was an absolutely stunning backdrop. We got married there because the aquarium is my favorite place in Seattle. The zoo runs a close second. I'm a huge dork, I know, but I love it.

We went back to the aquarium just before my husband left for Iraq. We hadn't been since the wedding. But the zoo, holds a special place in our hearts. My husband proposed to me three times. Yes, three. Don't worry, I said yes all three times. But the truth is, the third one is the one we count. Here's why:

When we were dating we talked a bit about getting married, but neither of us were ready, so we made a joke of it. My husband would pretend to propose to me in ridiculous places... Like the drive through of a McDonalds. So I was in the habit of saying, "it doesn't count if there is no ring."

Well, I threw him a huge surprise birthday party for his 25th birthday. I had to borrow some tables from my mom for it, so the next day, a Sunday, June 3rd, 2007, we were driving down south to give them back. He said to me, on our way to the freeway, "we should get married." I said, "It doesn't count if you don't have a ring." He dropped it.

On the way back to the freeway from my parents house, he said it again and I replied the same. He then said, "Well, I have a friend in the diamond business." Which is the slogan for Shane Company Jewelers, a small, but wonderful, chain of jewelry stores. So he took me there and let me pick out my own ring.

He decided he needed a mulligan on my proposal because it wasn't romantic. So he tried again a few days later, while we were moving into our first apartment together. He just walked up to me and said, "will you marry me," and gave me a purple, heart shaped, plastic ring he got out of toy dispenser at the local grocery store (my ring was still being set). He then said, "wait, another mulligan, I can do better."

We moved into our new apartment, way far up north and he promptly left two days later for a training mission in Australia. He was gone for a whole month, with no contact. I sat at home and cried. It was a horrible way to start our engagement.

So when he got home, he took me to the zoo one day for no reason and took me to the hippo enclosure. Dusk was falling, and the zoo was about to close. We had been there all day and this was our last stop. Most people don't know this, but hippos generally only leave the water at dusk to forage for food. So it is really rare to see them outside of the water. Well, just as the first hippo walked to shore and I gasped at how excited I was to see it, he got down on one knee with my funny plastic ring and proposed. He then gave me a bunch of orchids, my favorite flower.

This is the story I tell when I tell people how he proposed. It counts, I think, because he called mulligan on the others.

So while we go to the aquarium to remember where we got married, and it is my favorite place in Seattle, maybe in the whole world, we go to the zoo to celebrate getting engaged. Besides, it's sorta hard to go stand in the road at the entrance to the freeway and be romantic, or not look crazy.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Perspective

My husband has given me many reasons for why he needs to stay active duty. He has given me many examples of how it is the best/right decision. He has plead his case. However, he left no room for me to argue. He left no room for what I want or need. He did not hear my side of things, nor did he take me into account before making his decision.

I have been feeling very resentful about this. Each night, after he calls, I feel depressed. It is another reminder that he is home, but not HOME. The constant tug of war going on in my life feels like it is too much to bear. I want to support my husband, but I am upset by his decision. He comes home for a few days and I have to adjust to that, just for him to leave me again. It all feels like a big tease. Sometimes I wish he wouldn't come home at all.

I have been giving this situation a lot of thought. Last night, I talked about it to a Marine Corps wife who's husband is also staying on active duty. We discussed my situation. Not only did she understand where I was coming from, but she agreed that my feelings were normal and justifiable. After all, I was not given a say in the matter, of course I would feel upset about that. But she also said some really great things about communication, about working through things together and, most importantly, about supporting my husband.

This is just one of those situations that comes up in the military that I just don't have a choice on. But I have a choice as to how I act and how I feel. My husband has his reasons, he has asked me not to share them, but they are valid. His need is greater than mine at this time, and it's high time I stop feeling sorry for myself and accept the situation at hand.

All to often the Corps takes center stage in our marriage. That is the price you pay to be married to a Marine. It is not always convenient, it is not alway ideal. Often times, it is a huge pain. More often than not, I have no say in the matter. More often than not, it is the exact opposite of what I want to happen, but I chose to marry my husband. I chose to love him and support him. I knew he was a Marine and that that would constantly be in the middle of things. It's about time that I buck up and start supporting my husband.

I got over the deployment issue. He chose to deploy and didn't so much as ask how I felt about it. I got over that and supported my husband. I survived the deployment and managed to love him and be loyal to him in spite of my initial resentment. I can do that again. I still feel that it is unfair that my husband makes life altering decisions without consulting me. I still think it is unfair that he refuses to hear my side of things, but I married a Marine and sometimes there are things that are more important than what I want or need. His need to deploy and his need to stay on active duty are two of those things.

So, as much as I hate it, I'm going to support my husbands decision. I'm not saying it's going to be easy. I'm not saying I like the situation I'm in, but a good military wife supports her husbands need to serve and it's time for me to do that.

I hope this will be the end of my whining about him being home, but not HOME.