Welcome to Vet School!
On August 13th, 2014, ninety-six people from across the country gathered in the Math and Science Building, anxiously awaiting the start of orientation. Dr. Gil Burns, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, took the microphone to officially welcome the Inaugural Class of 2018 to the United State’s newest College of Veterinary Medicine. It was an indescribable moment for me–everything I’ve been working toward since I was a junior in high school was finally becoming true. I was starting vet school!
The first presenter at orientation was a representative from Elsevier to show us all the cool features of our eBooks. LMU-CVM decided that eBooks were the best option for students for several reasons; first, they greatly reduce the strain on our backs since all of our books would be accessible from a computer or tablet. Second, because of this portability, we would be able to easily carry and reference them during our clinical rotations; forget hauling a mountain of books around! Finally, the platform allows a lot of different study options for students and professors. I can go through and highlight in a multitude of colors, then export those highlights to create my own custom study guide–it evens creates the appropriate citation when you paste text. Professors and students can share highlights and notes with each other so students know that they’re reading and understanding what the professor believes to be important. All of the pictures are able to be copied and pasted into slideshows or documents for papers or studying. It’s a pretty awesome system!
Next, we had our two student representatives from Hill’s Pet Food talk to us about their program for vet students. We are eligible for 50% off up to 120 pounds of food a month–a pretty sweet deal! They walked us through the process to register and purchase food. Part of the reason Hill’s can do this program is because all of the food gets delivered to one location; for us, that’s the DeBusk Veterinary Teaching Center (DVTC) in Ewing, VA. I knew that we were going to be starting this program, so I began to transition my dog, Jake, over to Hill’s food before coming to school.
To finish up the day, an Information Services (IS) technician came to teach us how to use Pathway, Blackboard, Mediasite, and ExamSoft. Pathway is the hub for all the current information for the University; in addition, our class has a “team site” where we can find any document we may need, like our schedule and how to reorder scrubs. Blackboard is our learning platform where professors post lectures, notes, and quizzes for student use. Mediasite hosts all of our recorded lectures and allows them to be played back a 0.5, 1.4, 1.6, and 2.0 times the normal speed. I LOVE Mediasite! When there’s a ton of information, this site allows me to listen quickly through sections I understand and slow down or stop sections that I need to clarify. ExamSoft is the program all professional programs at LMU use for computer testing. The day before a test, the exam is available for download by students. When students arrive to begin the test, ExamSoft locks down the computer so the Internet, notes, and books are unavailable. This keeps the testing situation fair.
Day 2 began with some visiting dignitaries welcoming our class. Dr. James Dawson, President of LMU, Dr. Ray Stowers, Dean of LMU-DCOM and Vice President for Health Sciences, Dr. Glen Hoffsis, Dean of LMU-CVM and Associate Vice President for Health Sciences, and Pete DeBusk, Chairman of the Board, gave us a plethora of wise words and encouragement as we move forward toward our chosen career path. I was encouraged that so many people have faith in us and want us to succeed.
We also had visitors from the Claiborne County Tourism Board, the Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and the Wilderness Road State Park introduce us to the community and activities around Harrogate. Even though I have lived in Harrogate for three years, some of the information was new! I learned about a couple of restaurants that I’m really excited about trying out. The day ended with all of us going over to DAR Hall and receiving our new ID tags.
The final day of orientation started with Dr. Burns giving us an overview of the program-trying to prepare us for the high volume of information that we will be receiving over the next four years. He encouraged us to get to know each other, form study groups, make friends, and utilize the professors, all of whom want us to succeed and are more than willing to help us out when we need it.
The majority of Friday was spent in small groups doing team-building activities. The first one involved dividing into two groups and sitting each group on opposite sides of a tarp. Then, each group would select one person, who had to remember the opposite group’s representative when the tarp was dropped. It was a challenge! Even though we had all made an effort to learn names, we struggled. Our second activity involved us all holding onto a rope with a single knot. We would pass the rope around the circle until our facilitator, Dr. Weale, called “stop”. Whoever was closest to the knot began answering a question set out by Dr. Weale. Some of the questions were serious, like “Who do you most admire, and why?”, while others were more laid back: “What’s your favorite food?” The third activity had us all drawing and writing on a large piece of paper things that we aspired to be: good communicators, veterinarians, researchers, etc. Everyone contributed to our list and the final product was impressive! Finally, we finished with a carrier building competition. We again split the group, and each team got some cardboard boxes, tape, and markers to build their carrier to fit “an animal”–it could be any animal– but the carrier had to be designed to fit it. My team decided to think out of the box and created Pandora’s Box for an evil spirit. The other team came up with a really neat cat carrier that I hope eventually becomes a prototype!
Next time, I’ll talk about our White Coat Ceremony and the start of classes. Stay tuned!
If you have any questions or remarks, leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on September 3, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged Lincoln Memorial University, Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine, LMU, LMU-CVM, loving animals, newest vet school, pre vet blog, pre-vet, pre-veterinary, vet experience, vet med, vet school, vet school blog, vet school orientation, Veterinary medicine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.