I start college in September but for the last 2 days I have been going in to get used to the campus and have a few lessons to get the feel of things. I've had a few lessons too
I'm studying animal management level 3 national diploma (I don't know if that means anything to all the Americans on here... I don't know if ours are different or not
) so I can go to university to do animal behavior.
I am absolutely LOVING it here. It is so much better than school. Here I can study the thing I love, at school I wasn't really interested in anything. We have to do our GCSEs and English, maths and science are all compulsory. I know I've had a miserable fail in maths but so did half of the country surely. I'd been working to do the foundation paper (I only wanted a C) and at the last minute for the exam they put me on a higher paper which almost made me cry. I was so mad, and because of that I can guarantee that I have failed. I can re-take throughout college though. I did early entry on my English exam which I got a B on, my coursework was an A, so if my literature exam turned out good I should get a B or an A. Science is one of my weakest and so I had extra tuition in it for months before the exams. I hadn't been to school often because I suffered from anxiety attacks and I found it really hard to concentrate so I really did benefit from the tuition. I think I did well in that. I also did a compulsory GCSE in citizenship that I did a year ago and I have an A in that. My optional GCSEs, a choice of four, were religious studies, media studies, sociology and child development. I enjoyed studying them all but I didn't get along with my sociology teacher at all and I'm so glad to have left that course! I loved media, it was really fun! The exam was pretty much just drawing and writing about music videos! Religious studies was really hard for me. I did my Christianity paper last year and got a C on it and I think I've struggled on my Islam paper as half of the words I have to remember aren't in English so I found that real hard. I'm not interested in religion, I like learning peoples beliefs, the teacher was great but the course just killed me. Child development was okay. I don't really like children, but hey. I took it just in case I ever needed to be a mum
I haven't a clue what to do with a child, I much prefer my animals haha! The exam was VERY easy and I'm hoping I have an A in it. The course was 60% coursework but I enjoyed the tasks set, the teacher was really nice too. My media teacher was the best though
but anyways, I really enjoy this now because I can study animals every single day. What more could I want!?
My first lesson was on handling equipment for animals (mostly dangerous animals haha). I had to learn how to use a catch pole and stuff like that and how to know what equipment goes with what animals etc.
I then had a handling session where I had to groom and do health checks on a rabbit and a guinea pig. Everybody else had the normal animals. I had a light brown and white dwarf mix rabbit that kept bunching up the towel it was on and humping it on the metal table. I was trying to keep it still while I checked it over but it was nomming on the towel too much haha. I then had to do all the same with a short-haired guinea pig. The thing mauled me. I'm not even joking. I had to try and get him out of his carry cage and he looked so sweet! He was black and tan with a little white eyebrow and I went to get him out and he went INSANE! He bit and scratched my arms enough to cut me and I STILL had to give him his health check and groom him. He was very shy and angry. As soon as I was done I opened up the carry cage and he jumped straight in. I had to learn how to fill out the health check forms for rabbits and guinea pigs also and learned a bit about their anatomy.
I had a lesson on endangered species after that. We covered what the term actually meant, why some species are endangered and look at the different categories that animals come under in order to tell their status. Like extinct or extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable and lower risk. I then had to put some animals into each section to prove my knowledge a bit. We then looked into how we can protect species and the methods used. We looked at captive breeding, anti-poaching patrols, artificial reefs and what the rain forest alliance do. I then had to state how we can help species stay out of harms way.
After that I had a lesson on careers with animals and I planned out a career path into doing what I hope to do.
Today my first lesson was on reptiles. We discussed snakes, lizards, crocodilliands, chelonians and tuatara (the groups in the reptile family). I then had some pictures and had to state which family each belonged to by looking at its physical features. After that we had a talk about handling the reptiles and learned the correct ways in which each individual species likes being held. We then learned the difference between arboreal vivariums, terrariums and vivariums and what types of animals are housed in them in the reptile room. We looked at what a reptiles needs in its enclosure to provide them with a good, healthy life. For example, uv lighting, a heat source and how certain species have different water needs. Most need water every single day, the desert species we have get their water from their food and the rain forest species we have (like the veiled chameleon) have to be misted every day. I had to learn how to do a health check on a reptiles (a lot like the rabbit and guinea pig check ups) and I learned how to fill the forms correctly for each check up. I also had to choose and enclosure in the reptile room and write about its good and bad points and whether it is suitable. I wrote about the common boas vivarium.
After that we had a reptile handling session to do the health checks. I had to look at 2 corn snakes (one wild colour and one lighter orange mutation), a leopard tortoise, pink-tongued skink (which pooped EVERYWHERE) and a veiled chameleon! It was really fun
I'm loving it so much. The best part is every single day I get to work with 3 parrots. I'm working with a green quaker called Cadbury, he's so sweet. He wont let you walk away from him and he follows you everywhere. I also work with Arnold, a Congo grey, who has one of the best vocabularies of any parrot I've ever heard! He's SO clever! And he is SUPER cuddly too, he loves to be with you. He's really fluffy though right now from being a darn plucker. I also work with a moody orange-winged Amazon called Rosey. I'm hoping to get her to like people more but she is really shy. She can be VERY loud when Arnold is getting the limelight though. She's a little plucked around her neck but she is very very very beautiful. I LOVE her eyes! They're red and yellow
I'll have to get some pictures for you guys.
I work with a wide variety of animals, from tarantulas to snakes to parrots to doves to mice to skunks to fish to ducks! The list is huge
Another great thing is I'm only in college for 3 days a week. I get weekends and 1 day in the week off and 1 day a week has to be at a work placement and mine is (well should be) at the falconry centre I get my food from
so everything will be perfect for me!
Just thought I'd share with you guys, I'm super happy and excited to fully start in September