• Introduction by Eva Dusil • Editing by Gabriel Dusil • 2014 November
• Those years were quite hard on me – frequently falling in and out of love, and ending up with a broken heart. I’d go skating in the winter with my friends. My oldest brother Csaba would chaperon me to Sunday afternoon tea dances. He was my confidante in matters of the heart. On Sunday evenings I would stroll downtown with my girlfriends and flirt with the boys. I was still horseback riding but by the time I reached the end of middle school my commitment in riding weakened as love interests occupied my time.
• In my teens, I didn’t apply myself. I graduated from middle school with slightly better than average grades. My next step was submitting my application to veterinary college. University education in my country was free and everyone had their own motivation. For me it was clear – I loved animals. But for others it was either parental pressure or they wanted to avoid military duty. Entering university was effective in postponing civil service – reduce it to only six months compared to a standard two year service. Getting into university was less about grades, and more contingent on who your father knew. The system was corrupt and everybody knew it. A consequence of this corruption was a lackadaisical attitude towards education. It wasn’t something that was openly discussed but we felt it subconsciously.
• With my father’s help I was accepted into the University of Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy in Košice. Although I had a passion for animals I also had to work the system to get accepted to university. From the moment I entered higher education my sloppy attitude towards studying ended. I was stimulated by my surroundings, and proud to be a university student. I attended lectures regularly, even though they weren’t compulsory. I loved anatomy and immensely enjoyed dissecting animals in the lab. I recall on many occasions leaving the lab with blood up to my elbows. I studied parts of the body thoroughly, and it never ceased to amaze me that every little bump, groove, or elevation had a Latin name. Latin was also one of our courses, and continues to be the foundation of communication in medicine. That also helped me when I later learned English. My favorite professor was František Hrudka. He taught Histology and made the subject fascinating – a characteristic that I can’t extend to the other professors. Another favorite of mine was the world famous anatomy professor, Peter Popesko, whose anatomical atlases were used in the University of Guelph. The education system in Czechoslovakia was very different from the West. Most exams were oral. If the professor was in a bad mood, or was having personal problems at the time, it would have an adverse affect on how he conducted the exam. If he had some reservations or personal dislikes towards you – because you didn’t attend his lectures – it would negatively reflect on your final mark – or he would just fail you. We were hostages to the emotional roller coaster and personal biases of our professors.
If you missed the other posts on Mamička, you can link to them here:
- 1 • Mamička
- 5 • Mamička & Taci • Wedding
- 19 • Mamička • Veterinarian
- 22 • Mamička • Keszthely
- 25 • Mamička • University
- 32 • Mamička & Taci
- 33 • Mamička • Horses
- 40 • Mamička • University
• Digital Photo Restoration
• 7 minute 22 second