It has been a very busy start the semester! We're almost two weeks in and it feels like we've been here for a month! I am so glad to be back as a University Ambassador blogger. I took a semester off in the fall because I had a very demanding course load, but this semester I just couldn't stay away (despite taking an overload at 19 credit hours).
Not only do I get to give tours and write about my life here at The Woods with University Ambassadors, I am back in a riding class doing what I enjoy. Over the summer I got into a horse related accident as a veterinary assistant, so unfortunately I had to take last semester off from riding. I did, however, get to take Horse Management Practicum I, fondly referred to as keeper here on campus.
As a keeper, you're responsible for the daily care of a number of horses. Being a keeper 1 with a large crew of other people, I had two mares in the Dressage barn. I was certainly able to get my horse fix even though I wasn't riding! I knew I would learn a lot from the hands on nature of the class, but I wasn't expecting to make such a bond with my horses. I spend time with them every single day making sure they were happy and healthy, including turning them out to run around together. I was glad to get to come back and say hi to them after our long winter break, and I still catch myself trying to head out to the barn to put a blanket on, even though I'm not in charge of that anymore!
Getting back to riding has been an interesting process. I find that my ankle (which was injured) is quite stiff so it is not as easy to move the way I used to. The dressage instructor, Karen Pautz, has been wonderful in helping me figure out what types of exercises I need to do in the saddle and at the gym to get back into riding shape and work with my new limitations. It has been good to get back on the horse!
I hope you're enjoying the first month of the new year!
It is a busy time here at The Woods! In the past week I have done so many different things, it has been great.
Last week we had campus wide Greek Week! All of the fraternities and sororities across campus came together as a community and talked about what it means to be Greek and gave to a great cause. Every house had a Greek God/Goddess to wear a backpack everywhere they went to raise money for the Buddy Back Pack Program. This program was started by a school teacher when one of her students was crying because they had to go home for a break and they knew there was not going to be regular meals like lunch at school. Now the program provides food for kids to take home so they can have regular meals all the time!
Other than raising money, the Greek Gods and Goddesses participated in a Greek trivia, chapter members received Greek Awards, and we had an all Greek BBQ. We also spend time volunteering for SERVE, a local soup kitchen. It was a very fun and eventful week!
Over the weekend the Dressage program held the Completely Relaxed Spring Schooling Show. I did not ride in the show, but I did help work it. It was really neat to watch all the different riders perform their tests. For Dressage, the goal is to get a certain percentage on a certain test in a certain level. Each rider performs their test (or tests) individually, and then is scored by a judge. I got to work in the scoring room so I learned a lot about all the different types of tests. Coming up in April is the USEF/USDF licensed Dressage show. I am very excited to get to watch and help with that too!
My Mentor/Mentee project is moving along quite well! Last week my mentor, Professor Jean Kraus, sent our first website module to one of her classes for a test drive! I can't wait to meet with her later to discuss the feedback.
In the Biology world I have been learning more and more things not only in my classes, but also as a work study. Dr. Nicholas Pullen has been doing some research with live mammalian cell lines (including some cancer), and he has been teaching me how to keep the different cells alive! I am really enjoying the experience. It is really fun to get to have this type of lab experience.
It is crazy how quickly the semester is flying by! I already had my advising appointment so I can sign up for classes next fall. It is crazy to think that once we get back from spring break it will be April!
I am really excited for next week. My family and I are going to Disney World and Universal Studios in Orlando, FL! I will be sure to take pictures and get some quality time with my family!