So, I’m just writing here to let you all know how happy I am. Since I got here to the University of the Philippines Los Banos, I was always afraid that I might not adjust here as easily as I had my other colleges. After all, I was a foreign student, who didn’t know the native language and was there just to learn about veterinary medicine. I knew that I needed the practicality that was taught at the University of the Philippines, especially regarding surgery (which is what I’m most interested in doing) and here it seems I got what I asked for. I’m getting acclimated to the climate here, as well as the people (most of them have been very cordial with me) and I’m glad that they have warmed up to me.

As for school work and class work in general, I’ve been doing alright. Anatomy-wise, I haven’t been doing as great as I had hoped, but I’ve progressively become better when I took my veterinary embryology test and my veterinary physiology test. Today, I found out the results of my veterinary physiology test and my professor, Dr. Estacio, told everyone who was the top notcher when she was done with her lecture on total body weight of water and other substances. She said “The top score on the test in the entire class was Jonathan…” and automatically I froze. I thought to myself, “Did she just say my name?!” And then it was all confirmed when the rest of the class shouted in unison, “Ooooooooohhhhhhhh!!!” That was it. I turned red on the spot. I didn’t know what I was feeling. Was I feeling embarrassment? Was I feeling astonishment? Maybe it was a combination of the two–but I can tell you one thing. I was definitely feeling REALLY GOOD at the moment. It was crazy!! My friend James (who is also another foreign student in the class) was happy for me and gave me a good pat on the back while everyone was just shouting and staring in awe. I remember studying all of the material that she had given us after my previous professor in veterinary physiology had a stroke after the first 2 weeks of classes (Dr. Landicho, I hope you get better soon… enjoy your sabbatical) , and I used some special mnemonic techniques that I had just learned from some online web-sites on how to really recall material that will be on tests. I spent a lot of time going over the material, even with the new mnemonic techniques, but it seemed to pay off. I totally ACED the exam and I was totally happy with it! After lecture, Dr. Estacio flashed me a smile and I was happy. Happy that I had accomplished something that seemed to be almost unattainable to me. Out of a class of 60+ students, I managed to score the top grade. That doesn’t happen to me very often, especially in this new environment, but I’m so happy that I did it. So happy that everything I’ve been working for, paid off in the end. I’m glad that I put my entire self into studying and that I’m off to a great start in veterinary graduate school. I know that if I apply myself, I’ll be doing well and continuing the trend for the rest of the year.

Woo Hoo! I’m just so ecstatic right now. I just came back from a night of a great dinner (Red Pork Curry at a really good Thai restaurant, courtesy of James for my great performance–Thank you James!), some great banana splits, and some pool and drinks. James, my friend Kirt (another foreign student, but a 2nd year) and I had a good few rounds of pool and a couple of drinks. Since this is the end of our first round of exams, James and I were happy to be done and to have done relatively well on all the exams thus far in embryology, anatomy and physiology. I’m so happy that we’ve been able to pull off these scores and that our hard work has finally paid off.

I’m totally ready for more relaxing, especially now that we’re off for a three day weekend (James and I don’t have class Mondays). James and I were supposed to finish up our SCUBA dive certification lessons this weekend, but unfortunately it looks like the weather will be extremely rainy so our instructor decided to cancel. Maybe next week or the next week after that we’ll be able to finish our certification courses as Open-Water SCUBA divers. That would we awesome.

But instead, I’ll be heading to Paranaque in Manila to James’ cousin’s house, where we’ll just be watching the Dark Knight, and having fun shopping and eating at the air-conditioned malls. It’ll be an awesome time I’m sure, especially since James and I really need this well-deserved vacation.

Well that’s it for now. I’m really happy that I did well this week. Words can’t really describe how I feel right now. The best way to describe how I feel right now is, “Woot! Woot! Boo ya kasha!! WOO HOOOOOOO!!”

Okay that is all. Hope you have all been doing well. Take care and have a great weekend!

Long Hiatus -- For Realz
It's Been A Long Month