Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lessons Learned in 3 Months of Vet Tech school as a SOTA.

I'm a SOTA. For those of you who don't know what that means, it means I can't find a job that pays $3 over minimum wage in my field, so I've gone back to school to chase my dream. AKA Student, Older Than Average. So, curious as to what this old dog has learned for new tricks in 10 weeks? Read on.

95% of everything that makes most of the younger students gag or pass out, I've already handled 10 times over with my kids. And animals don't complain! For Pete's sake, ever been in a public place with a kid who is going to puke? Your first reaction is to hold your hand out to catch it.

Closing the door behind you doesn't apply here. Yeah, try to impress your Veterinarian with how well you clean the dog runs by LOCKING YOURSELF IN ONE! I was alone at the time. Thank God, the upper part of the run is bars. I was going to get my hand and wrist through those bars if it meant drawing blood. I'd just say the dog was in heat.

Cats are not attached to their skin. It's an amazing ability really, you think you have a hold on them, and they literally turn in their skins to scratch you.

There are a lot of cool 20-somethings out there, and there are a lot who are not. I'm not even sure where to start here. First, you can leave you damn cell phone alone for one hour, seriously, no one will die if you don't text them back in 20 seconds. I don't care if you have it on vibrate, when it vibrates the whole dang table during a quiz, I guarantee I will shoot you the iciest cold stare I can muster. Oh, and I know you don't know this, but some topics are off limit for class discussion, including your boyfriend problems, your menstrual problems and how drunk you got over the weekend. Don't care. On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being the worse, your problems are a 2 compared to what I've lived through, but I don't beg for sympathy. Get over it and grow up.

When there's 20 minutes of class left and 30 slides to cover, please don't launch into a story about how you've potty trained your cat on the toilet! I'm here to learn something valuable.

The best instructors even out the bad with the good. Hey class, we have a 235 point final...but I brought donuts! (Thank you Lord and pass the sugar.)

You don't have to stick your finger up to the second knuckle in a dog's butt (only the first) to find the anal's not fun for you or the dog.

Cats scream. It doesn't matter if you look at them funny, their screaming will make you feel like you plucked their whiskers out.

Yes, popcorn is a meal. 

It is okay to drink at ten in the morning. Only if you've just finished your last final.

Animals turned over to the humane society do not always have serious issues. Some do, but the majority have lost their home because of economic reasons, not abuse, and are actually very loving. They won't struggle, even if you're drawing blood and having to move the needle several times because you're new at this, just because they want human contact. Please adopt and save yourself from the "puppy/kitten stage."

After trying to get an anal temp on a cat, trying to get my kids out the door doesn't seem as challenging any more.

There will always be people who will complain that they were, "too hung over to do homework." Yeah? Try having a kid who has homework, a house that needs to be cleaned, supper to be made, laundry to be done and the only quiet time you get to study is after 10 PM. THEN talk to me about having no time.

Most of your instructors were born were born after 1980...try not to hold that against them.

Your kids are only interested in you day if it involves poop, pee or blood and gore or some kind of anal procedure.

Dogs don't care if they fart or how bad it smells. If you're lifting one on a table, no etiquette is required.

You WILL have to refrain from becoming a hoarder. "I found a stray," only works so many times.

These animals are someone's children, treat them that way.

A lot of animals are better people than a most people I know.

'Ode de la dogge' is going to be a scent you'll have to get used to wearing.

It's awesome not having to decide what you need to wear everyday beyond a long or short-sleeved shirt under your scrubs.

Hairstyle? Psssht. Ponytail every day.

Your kids will never understand the importance to being on time for a class, so just turn the clocks ahead an hour.

Seriously, spay or neuter your pet!! If you can't afford it, ask your Vet, we will get you help, it's that important.

Just when you think you can't remember anything else, there is finals week.

But here is the most important thing...if you've wanted to chase a're never too old to do it. You may feel like you're taking a step backward at times, but the love of this profession and the people I've met, the things I've learned and everything it's done for my self esteem is absolutely priceless. And I must mention, I have a husband you has become the sole provider for my family ( a HUGE undertaking) who has NEVER complained once about me not having a job, having to take on extra duties, and complimenting me on how intelligent he thinks I am. How wonderful is that? Screw crossword puzzles for Alzheimer's, go back to school!


  1. This post rules!!

    I hear you on so many levels. One minute the self-indulged "its all about my hair" 20something can drive me CRAZY and then the next minute, they something so profound and well above their short years on this earth. I have some on line courses - few know what a healthy debate looks like - rather, they go immediately into confrontation, defensive and attacking. Its funny. But, I so so love being in school and as you said, all the people I mean, the diversity in age etc has already taught me so much about me!

    Often I laugh
    in spite of myself :)

    Come find me - I've moved

  2. Fantastic walk-through. Thanks for giving us this useful information. I have come some advice to about vet tech schools in ct,vet tech. Thanks for sharing.....