A Song of Ice and ‘Flu’-er

Daniel's DogBeing from Texas there is nothing as exciting as some sort of winter weather. “Snow days” are something that we long for, covet, and store in our memory for as long as possible. You can ask any Texan and they can probably tell you the exact date of the last time there was snow in Texas. We’re constantly mocked by our non-Texan relatives in the North, as well as by the stories of walking both ways to school, up-hill, in 20 feet of snow, while Texas completely shuts down at the mere idea of ice falling from the sky.

Hey, I’m not complaining, especially when it turns our three-day weekend into a four-day one! The storm that hit last week that was supposed to bring lots of ice and, more importantly, snow. A winter storm warning would pop up on my screen as I watched the Patriots dismantle the Titans (Go Pats!), and my mind and body were ready for the snow. Monday came around and then the news that school is being cancelled due to the ice that is expected. The next day came slowly, as I had checked outside every 30 minutes the night before. Like a kid looking for Santa on Christmas Eve, I was looking for the snow that would soon turn my world white.

When I finally fell asleep, I woke up early and immediately noticed two things: one, I was getting sick, and two, there was no snow…just ice. The disappointment and the illness kept me on bedrest for the rest of the day and the next. I ate chicken noodle soup, tried to keep my puppy—who was quickly getting cabin fever—company, and binge watched the last season of “Game of Thrones” again (P.S.: shout out if you got my reference in the title). While I felt awful and was disappointed, I watched my dog constantly want to be outside. As a Canadian breed, he wanted nothing more to be outside to play in the ice; when allowed, he individually broke up all the ice, sprinted around full speed, and was completely and totally infatuated with a patch of ice on the back porch—he would sprint at it and then slide across. It made me think about my disappointment in the lack of snow and the presence my illness: he was making the best out of every situation; when life gave him ice, he made snow cones.

In veterinary school, it is easy to find disappointment—whether it is a lecture that you find really challenging or a lower grade than you wanted—but it doesn’t have to be like that. We all got here on our own merits, because of the hard work we put in throughout the previous years of our lives, while looking at veterinary school like a little kid waiting and hoping for snow.

So this semester (and future semesters) I’m going to change my outlook, and I hope that you do the same in your everyday life. Don’t look around and be disappointed with the things that occur in your life; look at them as opportunities to learn, to grow, and to enjoy. After all, you are living another day (hopefully without the flu). Look at the world not as a frozen wasteland like I did but, instead, as my dog did—as a winter wonderland. Make the best of each situation, and don’t be afraid to make your own snow cones.