Dec

2

 Veterinary school was a concentration camp. There was one suicide every other semester. It was the period of the baby boom, and as the country lunged forward it was buying more dog food that imposed an 'experimental program'. As I recall, it was a lobotomy. We were stuck into an accelerated curriculum of six years crammed into five to produce more DVMs.

The semester loads maxed at 18-20 credits which was 25% greater than the campus average. Each class was scientific, tough. Grades were on a class curve; and I was in competition with men and women having graduate degrees in anatomy, biology, physiology and so on. Classes ran Monday through Saturday, and during internship (in snow blown pastures and barns) we were called out on Sundays. Full classes ran concurrently with midterms and final exams.

I kept track, year by year, and the most I ever wasted was an accumulated one second of my life.

I won my first paddleball nationals by becoming an Intramural building supervisor to have a key to practice shots late into the night after closings.

Upon graduation in winter, 1972, I took an askew turn with my sheepskin west from Michigan to California. Pro racquetball was igniting and this was the mecca. One month after arrival, I took the veterinary state boards, and came to an instant understanding with educational bureaucracy on, walking out, the proctor said, 'You'll have the results of the board in six months.' it was a multiple choice test.

The first pro racquetball tour started just months after, and I chose pro racquetball, despite an eventual passing board grade. I kept the California and Michigan licenses current for about five years, while reading the AVMA journals, and then it seemed futile to pay the annual renewals.

The DVMs expired, but I've saved myself with my training dozens of times and, in reflection, there are zero regrets on my choices.

I've remained in contact with two of my colleagues, one my big brother at Farmhouse fraternity and #1 in our class, and the other an outstanding veterinary psychiatrist, to whom I refer cases if I cannot help.


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