Animal Science: Captive Raptor Management
Summer College 2008
Hello. My name is Laura. I just finished my junior year of high school at Fayetteville-Manlius High School in Manlius, New York. I am a triplet, and I have one younger sister. I enjoy the natural beauty of upstate New York very much, as nature is very important to me. I love walking in the woods with my dog, Mia, and often, I do my best thinking during these walks. At my school, I am president of the environmental club and I also founded a group called the Preemie Support Group. I also enjoy creative writing. I am looking forward to a busy summer, but certainly, the highlight of my summer will be the three-week course I am taking: Introduction to Veterinary Medicine. I am so excited to participate in this intense, in-depth program! I have an all-encompassing love for both wild and domestic animals, though the two species I have had the greatest experience with are horses and dogs. I have always dreamed of becoming a small animal veterinarian. My interest in a veterinary career has found me shadowing a local veterinarian on multiple occasions. I have also participated in a local program designed to introduce teenagers to the field of veterinary medicine. I know that you get out of situations what you put into them, and I expect the intensity of my course will culminate in a very rewarding experience.
Over the past two weeks, since leaving Summer College, I've been thinking about the very interesting people I met there. We were drawn together by our similar interests, and I am looking forward to keeping in touch with my new friends. Summer College was a chance to meet peers outside of the context of high school.
I also had some extraordinary opportunities to meet with and listen to current veterinarians as they discussed their various fields. These veterinarians were wonderfully helpful in explaining certain areas of veterinary medicine that I had not considered before.
Experiencing world-class veterinary facilities during our seminars was another highlight of my summer experience. My favorite was being able to watch a horse galloping on the horse treadmill. That experience was a larger, more impressive version of watching my German Shepherd trotting on our home treadmill. I think that my professor, Dr. John Parks, made all the difference for me as I took his Raptor Management and Propagation course. His obvious and genuine devotion to raptors really inspired in us a lifelong appreciation for raptors. It was this ability to inspire that made him one of the best teachers I have ever had. I think Baba Dioum's saying expresses the value of inspired learning: "In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."