Tuesday, January 30, 2007

It all started last week Wednesday... or "How I had a year of my life hacked off in three days"...

It all started last week Wednesday when a rumor tore through the school that the board results were in... then we all received a cryptic email from one of the administrators at our school- he said that the results for the national board exam had been received in Des Moines and we should be receiving our letters within the next several days. This of course plunged the entire student body into a frenzy of speculation and general misery... what it meant if you got a large packet vs a small envelope, whether it came certified or first class, whether it was a good thing to get your letter early or late... on and on ad nauseum went the discussion... the dull ache of uncertainty only alleviated temporarily each day at 5pm, that sickeningly wonderful moment when all vet students would race for their mail boxes to see if today was "the day". Ok, you may be thinking that we were all acting a little silly, and we probably were- but keep in mind that most of us had been waiting for almost 2 months to hear the verdict... and a worried vet student can do an almost interminable amount of second guessing in that great a period of time. After all, for all the NAVLE's (north American veterinary licencing examination) faults, it does have the rather unique authority to render all your aspirations of becoming a practitioner mere pipe dreams if the fateful number doesn't clear the hurdle. So anyway, I of course was not altogether immune to this stress, and like everyone else, I too was only to glad to rush home to my mailbox each day. But Wednesday came and went with no word, the same was true of Thursday... and Friday... by this time I was getting nervous, since heather and I were due to head north on Saturday to await the impending arrival of our second child. Saturday morning came and we faced the decision... should we wait until noon to see if the letter would come? No, we finally forced ourselves into the van and tried to put the issue from our minds. That evening, we were tooling along an almost deserted interstate 29, the moon casting stark shadows of our mirrors on the cement whizzing below us... suddenly the phone rang- it was my friend and colleague, an able fellow whom I had entrusted with the responsibility of getting my mail in our absence. He told me that my letter had come, as had his- and his was the same size as mine (generally regarded as being a good omen, or so went the local buzz). Did I want to just wait, he wanted to know, or should he open it, or what did I want to do?? This of course presented me with a quandary... what if I didn't pass? Did I want anyone to know? Should I just wait until we returned to Ames? I'm sure my pupils were about twice their normal aperture as the sweat beaded up on my forehead as my poor overwrought sympathetic nervous system attempted vainly to support the colossal weight my emotions were bestowing... finally I decided to just wait. Arrrrgh. Suffice to say within five minutes I had heather call him back, to listen to a mirthful Dean relating how he had just predicted to his wife that we would be back on the line within a very short time... oh well, he'd have known anyway if I'd failed (or so I finally rationalized). I drove along grimly, waiting for heather to show some sign of emotion that would belie the gist of what my friend was saying... aaaaaaaaaaaah... I was truly dying. Suddenly the darkness of the passenger seat was vanquished with the light of a triumphent relieved grin from my mate... the news had to be good. And so it was- I had passed the NAVLE, and my suffering was all for nought. Such stress simply cannot be good for the constitution. We found a Chinese restaurant at which to celebrate... after I called everyone I could think of to relate the good news- after all, you only pass boards once. Ben

4 comments:

Lynn said...

CONGRATULATIONS, BEN -- AND YOU TOO, HEATHER! WE ARE REJOICING WITH YOU!

Looking forward to your next good news; won't be long now!
Love, Lynn

Sheri Hepworth said...

Way to go! How wonderful to have the heavy studies behind you!

Looking forward to the updates about the family growth! So much change for you since we first 'met' you through NGJ!

Sheri Hepworth said...

Okay, it's February 20th. Where is the birth announcement? I'm checking here almost daily!

Sheri Hepworth said...

Okay, it's February 20th and there's no post here about the baby's birth. Let's have some updates, okay?