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Getting to Know Sina

November 9, 2015

This week, we’re getting to know Sina. Sina has been a veterinary assistant at Grand Avenue Veterinary center since 2012 and is also a veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. Let’s get to know Sina in her own words!


What made you decide to work at a veterinary clinic/why do you want to be a veterinarian?

My parents let me have quite a menagerie growing up (dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, zebra finches, hedgehogs, pigeons, guinea pigs, doves, turkeys, snakes, guinea fowl…) so I was always surrounded by animals. Our family also took in quite a variety of animals due to injury, elderly owners going into nursing homes, abandonment on rural roads, etc. Somewhere between hunting toads for our very picky hognose snake, Bruce, and tending to the array of dogs, cats, and birds in what we nicknamed the “Lindelof Home for Aging and Infirm Animals” I latched onto the idea that I’d like to keep helping animals forever.


Where did you go to school/what year did you graduate?

I got my undergraduate degree in biology from Hamline University in 2011, and I am currently a second-year student at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine; I’ll graduate in 2018.


Do you have an area of special interest in veterinary medicine?

My veterinary interests are currently quite broad, which translates to me being on a mixed animal track in veterinary school. In the future, I’d like to be able to practice on small animals (dogs, cats) as well as large animals (cows, small ruminants, camelids, etc.), with maybe a few exotics just for good measure. I’m too interested in all animal species and a wide variety of procedures and systems to narrow it down too far!


Tell us about your pets.

I have a beagle-dachshund mix, Misha, who we affectionately refer to as “Teacup Coonhound.” She’s a quiet, big-eared little thing you might occasionally see begging for snacks/guilt tripping me for leaving her alone behind the front desk at the clinic. I also have two cats, Somnus and Romulus, who excel in keeping my husband and I entertained (and waking us up at 4:30 a.m.); last but not least are my two rats, Helo and Boomer, who are the most recent additions to our family but are fitting in marvelously since they share our appreciation for food.


Tell us about your history with GAVC.

I started shadowing with GAVC in September 2011 and was hired as a veterinary assistant in January 2012 because the staff appreciated my laundry skills.


What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Butter. My family called me “the butter baby” because they couldn’t keep me away from the stuff. If my parents didn’t hide the butter dish, I’d eat it all… plain.


What is one of your favorite quotes?

It’s actually a few lines of a Willie Nelson song: “Well, I could cry for the time I’ve wasted but that’s a waste of time and tears. And I know just what I’d change if I went back in time somehow but there’s nothing I can do about it now.” I play the song (and sing along) after interviews, exams, rough days, etc. to remind myself to let things go and move on because I can’t change the past.


What is your favorite form of exercise?

Pole vaulting! I did it all through high school and into college, and I miss it terribly; unfortunately, it’s not an easy thing to do without the proper facilities and I don’t have a spare $10,000+ lying around to get my own setup. Until I can manage convincing my husband that a backyard pole vault setup would be a worthwhile investment, I’ll go with yoga as my favorite accessible form of exercise.


What sound do you love?

The sound of classic country music: Willie Nelson, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, George Jones… I listened to them all and more growing up and still do today. My family and I know all the words to about a hundred old country songs and have little jam sessions during family vacations; my dad plays the harmonica, my sister plays guitar, and the rest of us sing. I have classic country songs for every occasion, and no matter how I’m feeling they are exactly what I need to hear.


What is the best gift you have ever received?

My parents bought me a plane ticket to accompany them on a trip to Germany to see my sister as a graduation gift. We traveled all over Germany and to a few places in France and Switzerland, stayed in castles and farmhouses, ate our weight in spätzle and sauerkraut, and we even spent a few days in Iceland lounging in the Blue Lagoon and riding Icelandic horses on the way home. On the scale of fantastic gifts, it’s going to be pretty hard to ever top that one.


What do you miss most about being a kid? What do you like best about being a grown-up?

I miss having truly free time and living in a rural area; I grew up in the middle of nowhere as a kid, and in the time of quite limited childhood responsibilities I was able to spend it fishing, gardening, swimming, creating 4-H projects, climbing trees, playing with/caring for my zoo of animals, and baking with my Grandma Effie, who I miss every single day. The benefits of being an adult and living in the city, however, are pretty great: I can order Thai food and have it delivered to my house whenever I want! I can turn the back of my Jeep into a blanket fort and go to a drive-in movie with my good-looking husband! I can adopt animals even if my parents don’t approve!

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