Monday, February 27, 2012

The Missing Letter

The 2012 first semester officially starts today. I was very excited this morning despite the exhaustion that I had as a result of yesterday's organizing, packing and moving.  (Special thanks to all my friends who helped me load, transport and unload my stuff yesterday.) 

I have three courses this semester: Veterinary Pathology which is a combination of General and Systems Pathology, DVM Professional Skills (Animal Handling which involves animal restraint and clinical examination), and Veterinary Practice Fundamentals (A)- which is a perfect cocktail of Diagnostic Imaging, Anaesthesiology and Surgery.

The first lecture was Pathology.  The lecturer, an experienced American pathologist, started talking about the introductory part of the course to nearly 60 students in Eastick Theatre- 20% of them were international students.  The professor had a strong accent and his talk went well until he started presenting the various reactions and microscopic changes that occur in the cells and tissues after an injury.

The Pathology professor defined and differentiated the terms hypoplasia and hypeRplasia, then he gave classical examples on which organ and when can each of these changes happen in an individual animal. Then one of the domestic students raised her hand to clarify because the two words were becoming phonetically confusing.  That's the trouble when an English speaker indeliberately omits the sound of letter 'R' in words.  Hypothermia could sound similar with hypeRthermia, same with hypoplasia and hypeRplasia, etc..  Our teacher's solution?  Gesture.  He said that he'll raise his thumb up when it's 'hyper' which simply means 'increasing', and will drop his thumb down when he's talking about 'hypo'.  We agreed, and it's very effective!

It's quite interesting for me that my classmate and our professor, who were both native English speakers, could face challenges in communication, too!  But this is not my point.

Fourteen years ago, when I took my General Pathology subject at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Southern Mindanao in the Philippines, we didn't have that problem.  Filipinos can pronounce letter 'R' very well. 



bertN said...

Kayang-kaya mo 'yan grad school sa Australia - you are better than you think you are. My high school buddy who went to Vet school in UP Diliman and attended grad school in 'tate did not even think he could make it initially. He eventually became the Dean of Veterinary Medicine in UP before he retired, while I was still the flunkie that I was in a different but more exciting profession.

I think you are better than my friend and I at this stage in your life based on your writings along. I hate to think how much better you are at chasing women, which both of us did not excel in...NOT because we did not try LOL. Go RJ GO! We are betting on you'

RJ said...

Pinapalakas niyo po ang loob ko, thanks for that! U

BlogusVox said...

"... my classmate and our professor, who were both native English speakers, could face challenges in communication..."

Wala yan! Dito meron kaming dalawang Indiano, both speaking in english to communicate dahil they don't understand each other if they speak in their native tounge! >: D

kcatwoman said...

Hi Sir RJ, i followed you in chookminders quill, can i add you again in my blog? :)

hope it's ok

shengmarie said...

Wow! I have always wanted to be a doctor or a veterinarian when I was younger, it happens that I did not pursue my Biology course, and was ditched in Agriculture. But nonetheless, kaya mo yan, nosebleed lang sa scientific and medical terms. Haha. Way to go!

Just passing by!