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Today I was lucky enough to get to work with a vet at Norways larges abertoir for svine in Steinkjer.  Nortura Steinkjer abertoir slaughter about 220 000 pigs a year. In addition is the abertoir rented to slaughter about 55 000 pigs from Spis Grilstad. So all in all they slaughter almost 300 000 pigs pr year. There are about 200 people working at the factory.

ebeyfarm.blogspot.com

When I came to the slaughter factory I was greeted by the vet Maren Meldal. She was going to show me here usual tasks and the factory for the day. We started off in the dressing rooms where everyone got new, clean clothes every day. I was given white trousers, a white t-shirt, white clog and a green coat. We walked from the changing rooms down a hallway and to a safety stop where the green coats were removed along with the clog. Then you stepped over a line from the unclean area to the clean area. In the clean area you were given a new pair of clog and hair covering. The clog were washed and our hands washed before we had hand sterilizer on. Then we got to step into the actual slaughter house. There were several vets working at the factory every day. They had routines so that they wouldn’t do the same thing all day. She started by showing me around the whole factory explaining each step in the process

The pigs are transported to the slaughter house, where the vet inspects as they walk off the lorry. This is in case some of them are injured during the transportation, in which case they would be taken to the side so that the pig wouldn’t have to walk all the way around the farm before reaching the euthanization station . The other things the vet would check for was umbilical hernias. Hernias up to a handball size 15cm and without wounds would be ok, but larger than this, the pig would have to be in a separate pen so that it wouldn’t get trampled. The vet told me that even small hernias would sometimes be trampled. The vet would sign a blackboard over each pen signalizing for the workers that the pen was cleared for further processing. Each of the pens had water nipples incase the animals happened to stay there over night. The animals seemed very relaxed and would show this by laying down even 10 minutes of walking of the truck.

The next part of the process was the anaesthetizing / euthanization. The optimal method would need to be without force, with immediate loss of consciousness. 100% safety. Long lasting and without any affect of the meat quality. No method today will fit all these demands.

Bolt Gun Electric CO2 Gas
Fixation stress Varied Varied No
Immediately Yes Yes No
Safety High Medium High
Lasting Long Short Long
Stress-free No No Yes
Risk of waking up Low High Low
Meat quality Ok Not optimal

C02 gas as an anaesthetizing and euthanizing method is only approved on pigs and large ruminants. Electric is approved for all animals, but with electric anaesthetizing on large ruminants there is a demand for it to give heart arrest. The bolt gun is also done on all, but is less suited for pigs because of powerful cramps which makes it hard to kill them with knife and it also effects the meats pH.  No matter the method the animal will die because of the lack of 02 because it’s drained of blood, which will give heart fibrillation. 85% of traditional anaesthetizing and euthanizing of pigs are done by group gas. The negatives with using CO2 gas is that the animals can experience pain, anxiety or unease. The pigs will loose the consciousness after 15s depending on the concentration of the gas. It could cause hyper ventilation because of the gas and some could shake and kick violently for 15-39 sec after it’s been lowered down into the gas. The positives about using gas are that you don’t have to fixate the animals and that they walk voluntarily into the chamber, before being lowered down into the gas. The main positive point is that many people think that gas causes strangulation because of lack of 02, but the actuality that I learned is that the gas CO2 causes a lowering of the pH in the brain cells which causes the animals to pass out.

I asked if it was safe for the people standing at the top of the well, but the CO2 gas is heavier than 02. That is why the pig is lowered down where the CO2 gas is more concentrated. The lower the concentration of gas in the well the longer they would have to spend down there for it to have an effect. This factory had a computer that made sure that the gas concentration had a minimum of 87% of CO2 down in the well. If the % went under this the production would stop until the levels had risen again.  With a % of 80-90% most pigs will actually die in the gas and like I said before will pass out after 15 seconds. The pigs are lowered down and the whole circulation takes 3-5 minutes. The CO2 diffuses through the blood of the brain through the blood-brain barrier and react with water molecules to HCO3& H+. This causes the pH to decrease below the normal 7.4 to 6.8 and the animal to pass out. For the animals that doesn’t die in the gas could wake up minutes later if they aren’t bleed. Bleeding is done within 60 seconds of stunning so there is insufficient time for recovery to take place before there is irreversible loss of brain function from lack of oxygen. In order to ensure a rapid bleed out, the major vessels must be severed properly. The chest stick method is the best method to ensure a good bleed out. The operator should ensure that the animal is dead by checking for the absence of the brain stem reflexes (blinking when cornea is touched and reflexive gasping breaths).

Once the animals are hung up by their feet and bleed out. They are transported to a washer that wash the pigs with big brushes kind of like a car wash. The back hairs are removed before the bodies are flamed so that any other hairs are burned off.

The next part of the line was to suction out fat along the ribs and abdomen. Then there would be something they called trikin tests. Trikiner is a parasite Trichinella spp that can be seen in meat. People could become infected by this nematode if the meat isn’t boiled or cooked correctly. They would cause muscle pain and high fever, with no effective medicine. The occurrence of these are very rare today, but still every pig are tested to be on the safe side.
The ear, tail and feet are then removed. The stab wound is cut out along with the head, kidneys. The carcasses is then stamped 5 places to ensure each portion that its cut into gets a stamp with the factory and Norwegian logo. Each carcass is weighed and marked that it’s ok for meet consumption. The carcasses then goes over to a large cooling room, where it takes them 24 hours to pass through before reaching to bone removal/ meat portioning stations before they are packed (some with frozen ice) and transported to the stores. In the cooling room they aim to get the carcasses down to 4°c as fast as possible and the sows to 7°c. Each of the stations up to the cooling is done by humans which uses a 2 knife system with a sterilization container, to make sure that there are no contaminations between the carcasses. They also along with changing knifes between each pig, wash their hands of blood. The sterilization contained had 87°c.

I was with the vet, so we were placed at the inspection station. We got all the pigs that had something wrong with them. It was incredible to see that all the anatomy we have had the past 2 years came to use. The vet just said, look for the normal, because then It would be easier to spot the un-normal. If the pig had a tail bite or tail wound we would cut along the spine for abscesses which were cut out along with that part of the spine. If there were more than 2 abscesses the carcass would be sent away as waste, not suitable for human consumption. Each carcass came with its heart, lungs and liver, so each heart was cut open to look for endocardits in the heart valves.

Endocarditis occurs when germs enter your bloodstream, travel to your heart, and lodge on abnormal heart valves or damaged heart tissue.
The lungs would be checked for chronic or acute respiratory disease. If acute the animal would be disposed but chronic would be ok because it would be encapsulated infection.

Acute broncho pneumonias pig lung

Subacute to chronic pneumonia

If there were any tail bites or wounds the carcass hip joint, between ribs and sternebrae would be checked for capsulated pus. The lymph nodes would be checked to see if they were enlarged and if there were any damage to the joints, either with pus or just normal swellings that part would be removed. If more than one lump of capsulated pus was detected the whole carcass would be disposed of, but if only one that “lump” would be cut out and the carcass would continue on with a note on it.


Later that day they had taken a test of 8 pigs and 2 sow kidney to test for traces of antibiotics. All meat in Norway has to be without traces of antibiotics by law. Sick pigs often get treated by antibiotics and are then kept 14 days after end of treatment before slaughtered, but some farmers will try and send them off before. The kidneys is the place in the body where antibiotics are gathered up and is therefore used to test for traces. It is very rare that they detect any traces. A positive test result would result in the carcass being disposed off. In the test both kidneys were collected to have a back up kidney in cases where the test comes out positive to verify. The top layer of one of the kidneys are burned and the top layer is removes. Then a sample of the cortex and medulla of the kindey are taken out 5x5x10 mm, and put in 3 separate Peteri dishes each with a different type of antibiotic. Once that is done with all 10 samples  the  samples are left in room temperature for 1 hours before incubated in 37°c for 18 hours. On other days they could take samples to test for salmonella as well.

I was amazed of how much I learned at the abertoir and I would definitely want to come back one day, maybe try it myself when I’m a vet.

~ Annette

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The last blog I wrote in February ended with my mum coming to visit, we had a lovely weekend where she stocked up on some homemade food for me to have in the freezer. She made Norwegian Kjøttkaker and Labskaus..mmmmm.

A couple of weekends later Ivan came to visit. At this time id been asked to photograph the 5th years for this years naked calendar. They aren’t actually naked, they do wear underwear and then place animals or instruments to hide the underwear. The money for the calendars are given to charity. It was a lot of work trying to organize the 5th years and get them to meet at the sites that we were photographing in the end, but everyone seemed happy with the outcome. I’ve always been a landscape photographer so I got a crash course by Scott McGinley (http://www.scottmcginlay.tk/)  who is a graduated vet from Glasgow. He had been doing the calendar before and gave me some really good pointers. He also helped me edit the calendar=)

Anyways Ivan came to visit. Spring was coming to Glasgow compared to Norway which still had now. I went hacking with Ivan on horse, which was quite funny seeing he hadn’t been riding since he was 8 years old. I must say he did very well, but he was walking a bit funny on the next day! We also went reading at Garscube state park and went to the lock 27 with the other vets one of the nights which was very nice.
I decided to do something fun and educational one day and went to Strathblane Falconry, which works with birds of prey. For two hours, north of Glasgow in the country, we worked with Graeme and his birds, learning about the different popular breeds, seeing them fly, basic first aid, how to handle them when the come into the clinic, and common diseases we might see with them. At the end, we even got to have one land on us. It was truly amazing to see these birds and I really would like to spend some more times with these amazing creatures. Graeme knew everything there was to know about these birds and I think we all walked away a little bit more interested in Birds of prey.

After the dramatics and the hospital during easter break I came back ready to kick some butt and get the may exams done. As I said in my last blog I had convinced the doctors to let my try and take my exams even though id missed all the reading during easter break, but its better to have a few resits in may than all of them. We had 1 month to read all that we could to pass our exams. Me and Brianna paired up like last year. We worked out from 7-8 then showered and started reading at 10 everyday until 10 at night. It was hard days so when the annual Glasgow Rodeo came we decided to read in the morning for then to give our self a treat. The committee for this year’s rodeo was from our own 2 year (the 51th annual Rodeo) and I must say they had done an amazing job getting everything in tip top order for the day. There were dog shows, duck herding, birds of prey, agility, stands from all the animal charities and some breeds, ferret races, exotic and small animal tents, face painting, amusement parks, farm animal etc. Me and Brianne got our faces painted with flowers.


In the evening of the rodeo me and Brianna had got tickets to the Scottish Ballet who were played Alice in wonderland. They are amazing dancers, but they had changed the piece, so I wouldn’t say I liked that Alice in wonderland as much as others I’ve seen before.

 

 

 

 

My mum came over for a weekend and cooked for me and Brianna. She also helped us made a plan for the remaining days until our exams so that we would get an idea to get through it all. Even though she was there, we still ran or did Tracy Anderson every other day and read from 10am to 10pm. There was as you see underneath  quite a lot of material to get through and the picture of all the labelled noted under was only in anatomy.

 

 

Time flew, It was warm and sunny in Glasgow so we really just wanted to go outside rather than sit inside all day reading for professional. One day Brianna got flowers on the door from here boyfriend Ryan in the US. I told Ivan about it at night when skyping him. A couple of days later I got a huge package outside my door when I got home at night. Inside was an apple tree. There was a card. This is the tree of knowledge, love Ivan. I laughed so hard, I’ve never been given a tree before and he assured me that a tree lasted much longer than flowers:P
The professional exams came and we started off with biochemistry. The following day we had physiology. Physiology was cumulative meaning they would test you on material from both year 1 and 2. It was a double test, where you first had 3hours in the morning, then a break and 2 hours in the afternoon. Even with all this time, I felt like there wasn’t enough time in the test. We had a day break and then Husbandry for 3 hours. We were lucky and had the weekend off before anatomy written was on Monday and practical was on Tuesday. This year was different than all other years because you no longer have the opportunity to have an oral if you are between 45-50%. In phys I was unfortunate and had about 47% and therefore had a retake. But because of my situation with the gallbladder I kind of expected a resit. Just happy it wasn’t four, but only 2. I’ll catch you up on the summer break another day.

 

 

Love

 

Annette


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I’m in shock over how long it been since writing something. To be honest I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with life lately. Every now and then there is a time when you need to figure out what you want in life, who you want to have there with you, not to mention I figured out why I’ve been so tired the last year.  I’m going to try and catch you all up on what’s been going on since the vet ball.

My mum came to visit is what I ended with last time, it was really nice to have here there as usual with her support and home cocked meals. I dunno if I wrote about this, but the past year Id been really really exhausted. Getting closer to Easter break it got to the point where I would go to lectures for 4 hours then have to go home to rest because I was so tired, and even after sleeping I was still exhausted. I was lucky to have Brianna there because she writes every word the lecturers say in lectures and sent them to be of the once I missed, so I wouldn’t miss any information. Still with this help I was starting to fall behind. As you can see I didn’t blog and I wasn’t as organized with my stuff as I used to be. Id been asked to be the photographer for this year’s vet school nude calendar. This is a calendar of the 5th years (wearing very little clothes, while posing doing vet stuff). The calendar is sold and the money is given to charity. Its all very classy and no one reveals anything really. Anyway with me so tired it was a real effort for me to organize times and photograph these people, even though I love photography. I just wasn’t feeling well. As soon as id finished photographing, the pictures where sent to Scott McGinley, who has been the photographer the previous years, and he edited the pictures for me. I’ve always been a landscape photographer so he also gave me pointers on portraits.. I must say the end product turned out pretty well. I think the 5th year was happy too.

I left right before out class exam in physiology. We thought that id locked my back, because of all the back pain id been having, so we booked an appointment with my Naprapat Jannicke when I got home because I just wasn’t functioning. Jannicke did find a “locked” vertebrae in my spine, but when id explained to here that id been getting so much pain that id been throwing up, she got worried and said that I shouldn’t get symptoms like that from what she found. Jannicke even did research in here medical books to see if there were any rare occasions, which there wasn’t. Being home, it didn’t get any better.. Once the pain attacks, as I called them, came, I couldn’t do anything but lay on the floor twisting until it passed. A lot of the times throwing up helped it pass quicker. I felt like a bulimic. The problem with my pain was that I didn’t feel it as much once the attacks had passed, so by the time my mum got me to the emergency room, the doctors could only go by what I explained because most of it had passed by them. I had an open return to the ER emergency at Diakon Hospital in Oslo. It took me about 3 times before they committed me to the hospital. Id started to go yellow (jaundice) and then they figured out that what I had was gallbladder stones. I’m not really in the set age group for this problem. Your meant to be over 40, female, fair haired and fat. Well I fitted two of those. They took an Ultrasound and found that their diagnosis was right, I was sent to an MMR and there they found that one of the stones had gotten stuck in the duct leading out from the gallbladder causing a blockage. It had been the movement of these stones that caused the pain. Many people have gallbladder stones and never notice them. They are normally big stones and they will just lay there for the rest of your life without problems. My stones where small and caused problems because they moved.

Another reason why they hadn’t figured it out was that my back pain had been much lower than what’s normal with this kind of diagnosis.  I was sent to remove the stone in the duct, but when they did this, they managed to get gallbladder acid on my pancreas (bukspyttkjertelen) thereby giving my pancreatic. I was pretty touch and go for a few days there. The doctors didn’t tell us this until id gotten better luckily. I was on intravenous liquid, up to 15 liters a day. My arm was completely cold because of all the fluids going through me. It was the only way to “cure” me. To flush my system clean.  I was in a lot of pain, so I was given opiates, but the opiate made me nauseous which made me throw up gallbladder acid. So the nurses gave me opiates and nauseous relieving medicine every other time.  Ivan and my mum was there all the hours they could, from 10 in the morning until 10 at night. At was really good having them there, even though I was passed out most of the time form the medication. IVAN was telling jokes like called me his sunshine or bringing oranges in to me, because I was so yellow.

The doctors wanted to remove my gallbladder then. But well that could mean that if the operation didn’t go so well, id be stuck in the hospital for 3 more weeks and thereby jeopardizing my exams in may. Id already lost the entire Easter break worth of reading, so if I wanted to take my exams I couldn’t do this now. The doctors agreed to let me have the surgery in June after my exams, but if there was any symptoms at all I would have to get it removed in the Uk. The doctors therefore sent with me an envelope with MMR pictures, Ultrasound Pictures and a description I was meant to give the doctors there if anything happened. I managed to go to Kristiansand for a quick trip to meet Ivan’s family before heading back to Glasgow.

After my exams ( I will write another blog with the things that happened before my exams) I went home and had the surgery on the 9th of June. I was a one day surgery. I went in and got the gallbladder removed through a slit in my navel. They were meant to open me up in 4 places on my tummy, because the hepatic duct leading to the liver was so short. But the doctors where so good, they took their time (2 hours), got other doctors to come and help and managed to only have one incision. So I only have a scar in my navel now, which is amazing.  Living without a gallbladder is fine, I seem to be able to eat what I want, apart from really greasy food, that will give me diarrhea, but I don’t eat that much greasy food anyways. Well now you know…

Love

Annette

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February is a very social month at Glasgow. The third years have their half way dinner, which celebrates the third years being halfway through vet school. I can’t wait until next year when I get to celebrate being half way done. Thursday night was Mr. Vet School, the competition where the guys of the vet school go through rounds where they compete for the title to become Mr. Vet School. This years acts wasn’t as good as last year though, but I think it’s very brave to get up in female lingerie in front of the entire school. They also played twister bathed in baby oil, drank laxative, waxed eyebrows and chests. The nasty eating round this year was completed by all the guys, so I don’t understand why then some of them didn’t continue, I think there were some problems with the QMU union during the show!

Ivan came Wednesday from Africa and got to come both for Mr. Vet School and the Vet Ball. Ryan who is Brianna’s boyfriend had come from the USA for the event as well. I don’t think the guys liked Mr. Vet School much, but seeing there were mostly girls there, Ivan actually got grabbed by someone at the bar, hehe.

Saturday Night was the Annual Vet Ball. It was held at the Hilton Hotel Glasgow again like last year.  Me and Ivan sat on a table with Brianna & Ryan, Laura & Kegan, Amy & Matt, Christina & Alix, so there were at least other guys for the guys to talk with. They had spelled Ivans name wrong, despite Christina emailed them with the right spelling, so his new nick name is now Sjoberry instead of Sjøberg, hehe! We had a table in the middle on the right side so we could see the stage pretty well. There was a fish appetizer, the main course was chicken breast filled with mushroom mousseline covered in pastry lattice, whilst for dessert they served champagne jelly, clotted cream ice cream & raspberry compote.

After the dinner the dancing started. They started by playing swing music. Me and Ivan decided that we should take a swing course seeing none of us really got it 😛 It could also be that we have never danced together before. Then it was on to Ceilidh dancing (the Scottish folk dance). The dance floor was packed so it was a bit hard to move but I must say that me & Ivan did a lot better at this than the swing, well we think we did, hehe. At the end they switched to a DJ with normal club dancing and old classics like mc hammer 😛 I can at least say the feet where soar when we left after 8 hours at 2am. All in all a really good night!

Everyone looked so good in their dressed and all the guys dressed up in their kilt. Ivan wore his Military Ball uniform so he kind of stood out. I even overheard some girls in the bathroom talking about that they wondered what he did, and all the Americans came to shake his hand to thank him for his service. It is a completely different culture with the Americans and the Army.  Today I drove Ivan to the airport and just slept to recover for another full week of lectures. I need to catch up on some reading after all these festivities. My mum is coming to visit for a week on Wednesday so looking forward to that.

Write more soon=)

~Annette

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Veterinary medicine as a profession was born 250 years ago with the founding of the first school of veterinary medicine in Lyon, France. The World Veterinary Association, along with other leading veterinary organizations, have designated 2011 as the “Year of the Veterinarian”, and the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is taking part in the effort to help promote the global spread of knowledge in veterinary medicine.

Today, veterinarians play vital roles all over the world concerning people and animals alike.

I can’t believe that over 250 years ago, this wonderful profession started. A lot has changed;  For example that women now dominate the field of veterinary medicine —

As of 2010, the veterinary profession is about 50 percent men and 50 percent women, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, while enrollment in veterinary medical colleges is about 80 percent women. This wasn’t the case before – Vet med shifted in 50 years from 98 percent male to 50-50, now the profession struggles to keep the percentage of males and females 50-50. So a lot of schools will have lower marks for males to enter than females, which I really don’t find fair. I mean no one talked about making it easier for the women when veterinary was a male profession. Anyways I’m glad veterinary is such a big profession and still growing. It only proves people are caring more about their animals right. On the other hand I saw in AVMA 1,300 u.s counties have less than one veterinarian pr 25,000 farm animals, and there are 500 counties with at least 5,000 farm animals that have no food supply veterinarians to treat. The article also said that in 20 years there will be a shortage of 15,000 veterinarians, according to the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Maybe I call pull off this massive loan after all. At least I know I will have a job when I’m done.

Its been kind of hectic since i got back, because of the snow, we had 2 rescheduled exams the second week after we got back. I really needed the break over christmas and it was hard to find the motivation to study for exams as soon as I got back after the break. I do think on the other hand that I had more motivation and therefore did better in the two exams now than I would have if we had them with the two others before christmas. The results are not up yet, so will have to wait and see if I’m right. To be fair all the class exams are worth either 15% or 7,5% so not a lot to be worried about. It’s the may exams worth 85% I need to nail!

I had a hard time focusing because my wisdom tooth has been acting up since I got back, so in addition to reading for the exams I didn’t get much sleep. I went to the dentist who said that because I have a little mouth the tooth didn’t have space to grow, so it had started growing into my cheek causing an infection great! I went on antibiotics because taking the tooth out now would knock me out for exams. Two days ago, when the infection was gone, I went to the dentist again to take the tooth out. The dentist was really nice, and my norwegian friend Christin came with me for moral support. After pushing and wiggling the tooth for 30 minutes on local anaesthetics the dentist concluded that she couldn’t take it out because there was no room. so every time she pushed out and needed to go further my jaw spasmed because there wasnt space for here to push further. They therefore sent me to another dentist in the city centre to be sedated so they could push it further without my jaw spasming. Christin came with me which was good, because after this sedation I wouldn’t have been allowed to drive and I needed someone to babysit me for the rest of the night. Christin drove my car and I slept over at heres. I don’t remember anything from them taking the tooth out (even though I was awake), I don’t remember paying or driving home, just that I was sitting on Christin’s sofa.
I missed a day’s lectures, so I’m trying to catch up on this weeks work, my jaw is akin, but im on pain killers so it will be fine.

I’m still trying to find a room-mate in the flat im in at the moment, but because the flat it a bit outside of town its hard to get someone. I found this 1st year vet student that seemed great, she had a dog though and the landlord doesn’t want a dog in the flat, even though she’s ok with my rats and for me to watch dogs in weekend.
I havent done much this term apart from reading and the tooth. In Anatomy and physiology we  have started learning about the female reproductive system and how to manipulate reproduction, which I find very interesting. In biomolec we are learning about immunology and cancer development. There is a cancer research building at the vet campus, so I’m trying to find out if I might be able to do some EMS ( Work experience) there, seeing I find cancer very interesting. Husbandry have stepped it up with Nutrition. I’ve always found calculating energy requirement out of feeds kind of hard, so next week I’m having a meeting with the professor so that he can try to explain it more to me one on one. The guy we have in Nutrition – Peter Hastie- is a professor that used to teach at Aberystwyth before I started there, isn’t the world small!. The days are long 9-5 with lectures every day so I’m exhausted when I get home, I just have to keep on top of this=).
Ivan is coming in two weeks from Afrika for the vet ball, so I’m looking forwards to that. Talked to him on Skype today and got to see one of the monkey’s. It was adorable.

Will write more soon
~ Annette

 

 

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I’m back home in Norway. Last week was meant to be hell week with 5 exams in 5 days, but Glasgow weather managed to correct this. Monday the 6, December we had the Anatomy written exam, but at 7.30 am that morning it started snowing bad. It was like a mini blizzard. Seeing Glasgow isn’t used to having snow, this massive snowfall created chaos and a lot of students had problems getting to their exam, because all public transportation were cancelled.  I walked to mine, seeing I’ve moved very close to the vet campus. Tuesday we had our anatomy practical exam, and the week was meant to continue Wednesday with the biomolec exam.  Instead we received this

“EXAM UPDATE: All exams on Wednesday and Thursday are cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions. “ http://twitter.com/GlasgowUni. Later we got this
“ The University has decided to cancel examinations scheduled to be held on Wednesday 8 December and Thursday 9 December. It is expected that the examination schedule will resume on Friday 10 December, but a message will be on the website by noon on Thursday about the rest of the week. As it is impossible to reschedule all the cancelled exams in December arrangements will be made for them to be held in January.”
We still had out Animal Husbandry exam Friday, but biomolec and physiology will now be held one of the first weeks back after our Christmas break. One of the American girls in our year asked me “so Annette, as a Norwegian citizen, had exams ever been cancelled for you because of snow?”  I just laughed and said no, because from Norway where we have a lot more snow than 10-15 cm, I have never had an exam cancelled because of snow. I’m actually quite happy that biomolec and physiology was rescheduled because physiology had a lot of information to it this term, so it’s nice to have some extra time reading over the material. There were a lot of mixed feelings about the rescheduling of the exams, some students were angry that they now have to read over break, and some had the same feeling like me. I mean they did schedule 5 exams in a week, so the fact that we had a 2 day break and 3 exams instead kind of lowered the stress level.

I left Glasgow after my exam Friday to fly out from Edinburgh, I didn’t fly until 9 at night, but left my flat early. This was good, because it had gone from -11’c to 6+ that day so the snow had started to melt, creating floods on the roads and a lot of roads were closed. I reached the airport after 4 hours of travel, which normally takes me 2-3 hours. Landed at Gardermoen, Norway at midnight and was of course the last person getting my bag.  Next week I’m working some for my mum and looking forward to seeing all my girls as they get back from around Norway where they study. Were all going to Hemsedal for New years so I hope I get to go skiing.

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After the pep Rally and Women football karaoke fun  at Shanghai Shuffle, Dick day was finally here! We had all worked so hard, with extra practices like fitness or keeper practice. Dick day is the day Glasgow vets play the Edinburgh (dick) vets in Hockey, Rugby, Football & netball. The Women teams of Glasgow beat the Edinburgh women but the Edinburgh men won over Glasgow men, but all in all Glasgow Won the day, which was great seeing it was at home ground this year.

Yesterday it started snowing, I ran outside at midnight to be snowed down. Really reminds me of home and how much I wish these exams were over. They have given us Christmas exams 6,7,8,9 & 10th of December this year. I leave for home on the 10th in the evening. Can’t wait! There is so much reading for exams this year because we have gone through almost half of what we are meant to learn this entire year already. Hope my brain can cope with all this information. I also moved into a two bedroom flat at Killermont view after Stuart informed me that his brother was going to live at the flat permanently. Seeing his brother was an arrogant, rude, unliveable guy + his girlfriend, I immediately started looking for a new place. This flat is great and just behind the vet school. Its got wooden floors and IKEA design so kind of reminds me of home. All I need now is to find a flat mate, which can be tricky around this time of year. When I woke up today, everything was white and I walked over to the vet school seeing dogs playing in the snow. It really made me Miss Theodor and think of getting a dog here. Anyways back to exam reading, I’m at the James Herriot library now. Miss you all, wish me luck

~Annette


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