mexico, missouri


MP, San Antonio, Texas, 1966 by Center for Railroad Photography & Art
Via Flickr:
Missouri Pacific Railroad’s Aztec Eagle passenger train departs San Antonio, Texas, for Laredo as northbound Texas Eagle passenger train equipment is being prepared for departure in July 1966. Photograph by J. Parker Lamb, © 2016, Center for Railroad Photography and Art. Lamb-02-059-06

anonymous asked:

Hi! I strive to be a veterinary technician but where I live there are no schools or programs at the moment and have no money to travel in regards to school. I am going to graduate soon and have already applied to a local college in hopes to pursue a bachelor's degree in bio. I am wondering if this seems like the right choice? Some of my friends have told me it is not required to go to college to become a vet tech but my mom is making me. Thank you in advance!


Phew, this is a loaded question. 

Let’s start by saying: this varies A LOT by location. It is definitely not straightforward, and every veterinary assistant/technician you ask will have a wildly different answer.

Every US state (I’m sure it varies even more wildly by COUNTRY) has different laws in regards to what people with different levels of certification can do. 

I currently work as a veterinary assistant who has been trained on the job. I don’t have any official certification - I was just taught by other assistants, technicians, and doctors over a few years. 

In addition, I have my bachelor’s degree in Animal Science, and am planning to go on to veterinary school in the fall. 

That being said, I don’t have a lot of experience with veterinary technician schooling, exams, or licensure. Any of my followers with more experience, please feel free to add on or correct me!


According to NAVTA (The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) and the AVMA (The American Veterinary Medical Association), the correct term is “Veterinary Technician” in the US (as opposed to terms like “Veterinary nurse” used in other countries) - another source of debate and varied opinions! 

There are people with zero official certification, people who are LICENSED veterinary technicians (LVTs), people who are CERTIFIED veterinary technicians (CVTs), and people who are REGISTERED veterinary technicians (RVTs). Again, the difference varies by state.

After completing a Veterinary Technician program (~2 years) and receiving your degree, most jobs require you to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) - the nationwide exam. Once passing this, depending on the state, you may have to pay a fee (no exam required - just proof of your degree and your passing exam grade). Paying the fee will make you “licensed”. I believe this needs to be repaid every 2-3 years to maintain your licensure.

In addition, there may be a mandatory amount of C.E. (Continuing Education) credits you must obtained every year to maintain your licensure.

I’m not sure if this is still in effect - but in some states, you are able to take the VTNE exam WITHOUT attending veterinary technician school. (In other states, you need to show proof of your degree in order to even take the exam). Passing the VTNE will then enable you to pay for your license.

Now, once a veterinary technician or technologist, you can also move forward by becoming a veterinary technician SPECIALIST (they usually work under a veterinary doctor who chose to specialize in a certain field and become a board certified specialist). 


Let’s do a brief overview of the medical staff in a veterinary hospital.

Quotes below are according to the NAVTA website: 
VETERINARIAN: “The veterinarian is solely responsible for diagnosing, prognosing, prescribing medication and performing surgery. They are ultimately responsible for all patient care and outcomes. Most veterinarians apply for veterinary medical school admission while obtaining a bachelor degree in a compatible field. If accepted into a medical school, the course of study usually takes another four years, making that a grand total of eight years of schooling. Every state requires a veterinarian to take and pass a licensing exam. Successful candidates are given a license to practice veterinary medicine.”

“The veterinary Technicians and technologists are educated to be the veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse and client educator. Many veterinary technicians and technologists are placed in a supervisory role in veterinary practices, research institutions and other employment options. Veterinary technicians can find employment in veterinary practices, biomedical research, zoo/wildlife medicine, industry, military, livestock health management, pharmaceutical sales, etc. Almost every state requires a veterinary technician/technologist to take and pass a credentialing exam. Passing this exam ensures the public that the veterinary technician has entry-level knowledge of the duties they are asked to perform in the veterinary clinic or hospital.”

That’s important to keep in mind. You don’t have to be working in a general practice small animal hospital giving vaccines to cats and dogs. You have the option to work with small animals (cats/dogs), large animals (horses/cows/sheep), exotics (birds/reptiles/rodents), zoo animals, wildlife animals. You can work in a hospital, or you can work in a research lab. You can work in industrial jobs or government/military jobs. There’s a huge variety of options.

VETERINARY TECHNICIAN: “A veterinary technician is a graduate from a two-year, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program from a community college, college or university.”

VETERINARY TECHNOLOGIST: “A veterinary technologist has graduated from an AVMA accredited bachelor degree program.”

VTS: “A veterinary technician or technologist specialist has met the same requirements as above plus spends about 75% of their time doing a specific task and has passed a specialist certification exam administered by a Specialist Academy. Currently, there are eleven academies offering specialty certification.”

Keep in mind this is a huge amount of work. It requires a lot of experience, hard work, and studying to become a VTS. 

Giving you even more variety, the VTS specializing options are:
Laboratory Animal
Anesthesia and Analgesia 
Clinical Pathology
Clinical Practice - Canine/Feline
Clinical Practice - Avian/Exotic
Clinical Practice - Production Animal  
Emergency and Critical Care
Internal Medicine - Small Animal
Internal Medicine - Large Animal
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
Internal Medicine - Oncology
Internal Medicine - Neurology 
Zoological Medicine 

VETERINARY ASSISTANT: “The veterinary assistant may have training through a high school, college certificate program or through a distant learning program over the Internet. Most, however, are trained on the job by the veterinarian or the veterinary technician. Their role is to assist the veterinarian or the veterinary technician in their daily tasks as well as some basic duties such as setting up of equipment and cleaning of key areas in the clinic like the surgery suite. Some may be asked to do kennel cleaning and janitorial work as well. NAVTA has recently created a Approved Veterinary Assistant program.”


In an attempt to clear up some of the CVT/LVT/RVT confusion, also from the NAVTA website:

CREDENTIALED: “The current terminology recognized by decree of both NAVTA and the AVMA is “Veterinary Technician”. Whether you are an LVT, RVT or CVT the term used is mandated by the technician’s state of residence. Here are some definitions to help understand why all three terms are in use.”

CERTIFIED: “Is the recognition by the private sector of voluntarily achieved standards. Certification is usually bestowed by a private sector, nonprofit, professional association or independent board upon those members who achieve specified standards. Certification is therefore distinguished from licensure because it is generally non-governmental and voluntary. Confusion can result when the title “certified” is used for a licensed profession, such as Certified Public Accountant. Many CVTs in the U.S. are recognized by government agencies, such as boards of veterinary medical examiners, which also adds to the confusion. States that currently certify veterinary technicians include Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.”

REGISTERED: “Refers to the keeping of lists of practitioners by a governmental agency. It can be equivalent to licensure but may also be distinguished from licensure in that criteria for registration may not exist, and registration may not be required for practice. States that currently register veterinary technicians include California, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

LICENSED: “Is understood as the permission to do something as given by an authority, with the implication that one would not be permitted to do this thing without permission. To be licensed is more than a statement of qualification, as certification is. It is a statement of qualification, and it is the right to do a thing otherwise not permitted by a given authority. Both certification and licensure, however, carry the connotation of trust, belief and confidence; for without these attributes, the certification or the license would have little worth. States that license veterinary technicians include Alaska, Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.”


It’s actually very difficult to find Licensed Veterinary technicians, so a lot of practices use on-the-job training, and teach people (over the course of years) the different skills a veterinary technician needs. Again, the legality of this varies by state, but it is done VERY often. 

Legally, if licensure is required in these states, these employees are “assistants” and have a limit to what they should be doing. Some LVTs are insulted by these employees being called “technicians”, as the LVTs worked hard through their schooling and exams to earn that title. On the other side of the spectrum, some un-credentialed employees working as technicians will tell you that licensing means nothing - and that some of the most skilled technicians never went to school. 

I am not going to TOUCH this very controversial area - as I have seen both perspectives.


Okay, anon. More from NAVTA:
Where are the programs for veterinary technicians/technologists?
There are over 230 AVMA accredited Veterinary Technology Programs located around the United States. You can earn either an Associate Degree, which takes 2 years or a Bachelor’s Degree, which takes 4 years at the various community colleges, colleges and universities offering a veterinary technology program. There are a number of distance learning veterinary technology programs that are also AVMA accredited and can be accessed through the web. The cost varies from school to school. You should contact the school of your choice and they will be able to give you information regarding tuition, as well as financial aid.
Where are the programs for veterinary assistants?
Individuals interested in attending a NAVTA Approved Veterinary Assistant Program may review the current list of approved schools on NAVTAs AVA webpage. NAVTA currently approves 35 programs throughout the US and Canada with three online programs approved.”

Personally - I don’t see the point in a veterinary assistant program since most are inexperienced people who learn everything on the job. The veterinary assistant programs are very new. 


NAVTA on not going to school:
“In most states you can’t become credentialed without graduating from an accredited veterinary technology program. Very few states currently have an “alternate route” that allows people to sit for the exam, however there are a number of prerequisites that must be met before taking the exam. In 2000 there was a ruling by the Association of American Veterinary State Boards that within ten years they will no longer allow the National Veterinary Technician Exam to be used under these circumstances. If you are in a position to attend a veterinary technology program in your state it is well worth the effort. The amount of knowledge behind the skills you already know will astound you. If you cannot physically get to a program, there are five Distance Learning Programs that are currently accredited by the AVMA that can be taken via the Internet.”

Again, I have to recommend going to an actual school if at all possible. In my experience, online classes don’t give you the hands-on experience you need in this particular field. Being in a classroom and having labs will help immensely. (In addition to getting LOTS of experience in a hospital!)


In regards to not having money for school - most people don’t! What kind of graduating high schooler has $50k/year for college? 

Are you SURE there’s no programs around you? Check out NAVTA’s website and see if you’re missing any. If not, you unfortunately may have to travel.

You can save money by commuting and driving to class every day, but if that’s not an option, you may just have to use a loan for dorming/renting an apartment for the 2-4 years you’re away at school. You will NOT be alone in doing that.

If your mom wants you to get your bachelor’s so badly - is she willing to help you at all with college costs? If she can’t/won’t, look into (both private and government) student loans. Most people get through college on student loans, and once you have a steady salary, you can worry about paying them back. 

If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even get some financial aid that you don’t have to pay back! In addition, you can try applying for scholarships. 

When you get a job, sometimes there is loan forgiveness. Not sure how this applies to veterinary technicians specifically, but if you work for a government job (public health, food animal production, military, etc.) or even a big corporation, sometimes they will offer to pay back your school loans if you commit to working for them for a certain amount of time. 


You can definitely get your associates or bachelor’s degree while deciding what you want to do. If possible, I would aim for a program that has an Animal Science degree. You will have access to a lot more relevant classes and hands-on experience. For example, I was able to take classes like Comparative Mammalian Anatomy, Animal Nutrition, Animal Reproduction, Companion Animal Science, etc. in addition to working with laboratory animals and farm animals over 4 years. That will probably be harder to find with a program for a degree in biology. Biology will be focusing a lot on humans, in addition to plants and the environment. 

However, if you definitely want to become a veterinary technician, I would just go straight to veterinary technician school. 

If you (or your mom) want you to have your bachelor’s degree - it sounds like a 4-year veterinary technologist program (as opposed to a 2-year veterinary technician program) would work for both purposes. You would have your bachelor’s degree, and you would have finished a program allowing you to take the VTNE exam. 


Some Links:
NAVTA (technicians/assistants)
AVMA (veterinary)


Good luck!


This is my entire sketchbook from a 12 day journey I took with my best friend from Los Angeles to Kansas City last summer. We returned home through Kansas, Colorado, and Utah, traveling over 3,687 miles roundtrip and seeing much of the southwest. These are the plein air paintings from the deserts, prairies, mountains, and US cities that we encountered along the way. 

I will never forget this trip. 

When people get tired they act.

Protestant Reformation

American Revolution War 1783

European Revolutions of 1848

Independence of India in 1947

Civil Rights movement of 1963

People Power in the Philippines 1986

Fall of the Berlin Wall  in 1989

Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Los Angeles Riots 1992

Occupy Movement 2011

“Rise Up!” Ukraine 2013

“Ya Me Canse” Mexico 2014

Ferguson, Missouri 2014

HRC Previews Anti-LGBT State & Local Legislation

Last week, HRC previewed state and local legislative battles in the year ahead, including anti-LGBT bills likely to be considered in at least 27 states. HRC anticipates that, as in 2015, anti-LGBT activists will push for measures that give legal cover to discrimination against LGBT Americans in dozens of states. The analysis also highlights opportunities to advance LGBT equality in 2016.

“2016 will prove a critical year for the fight for LGBT equality in states across the country,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The progress our movement has made is threatened by an organized effort to pass discriminatory legislation that seeks to rollback our hard-won rights. We will have much work to do to defend our rights this year, but we will not waver in our fight to expand the map for LGBT equality to every corner of this country.”

Lawmakers in 33 state legislatures will be in session by the end of next week, and 37 state legislatures will be in session before the end of January. Legislatures in 46 states and the District of Columbia are scheduled to convene during the first four months of 2016.

In 2015, more than 115 anti-LGBT bills were introduced in at least 31 states. Because many state legislatures have provisions that allow bills to carry over into 2016 if they were neither enacted nor defeated, many of these bills are still pending. The largest number of anti-LGBT bills introduced in 2015 were aimed to authorize individuals, businesses, and taxpayer-funded agencies to cite religion as a reason to refuse goods or services to LGBT people. These bills took many different forms across the country. Proposals included legislative attacks that sought to allow individuals, businesses, and government employees to refuse goods and services related to same-sex marriages in Alabama, the Carolinas, Texas, and elsewhere. In Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, and elsewhere, lawmakers proposed allowing adoption and foster care agencies to discriminate against LGBT prospective parents. In more than a dozen states, lawmakers introduced sweeping bills aimed at allowing all individuals and businesses to cite religion as a legally permissible reason to discriminate against LGBT people.

Other anti-LGBT bills sought to restrict transgender people from accessing bathrooms, to eliminate the ability of local governments to protect LGBT residents and visitors, and even to promote the dangerous and discredited practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” While not in session this year, in Texas alone, last year at least 20 vicious anti-equality bills attacking LGBT Texans and their families were introduced in the state’s legislature. In 2016, HRC expects more than two dozen state legislatures to consider anti-equality measures. These include legislatures in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Gentle reminder that;

  • Ukraine is still at war (had been for about 9 months)
  • Sexism still exists
  • Racism still exists
  • Oppression still exists
  • Hate groups such as the KKK and Neo-Nazi’s are still thriving, and growing in influence
  • Mexico is still torn due to the kidnapping of 43 school students (happened on September 26)
  • Hong Kong is still actively protesting the government (since September 26)
  • Ferguson’s citizens [and another parts of America] remain in terror and fury due to the murder of Mike Brown. (Since August 9)
  • Ebola is ripping through Africa and other nations
  • Freedom March performed by Pakistanian protesters in retaliation to the government have been growing in popularity (since, I believe August 19)
  • Tumblr isn’t as safe as we all want to believe
  • Nowhere is totally safe
  • This world is is ruins

clouds over the southwest, photographed by goes-15, 19th march 2015.

10 images over 2 and a half hours.

top: oklahoma panhandle, surrounded by parts of texas, new mexico, colorado, and kansas.

bottom: east oklahoma, surrounded by kansas, missouri, and arkansas. nebraska is at top left.

image credit: noaa/nasa. animation: ageofdestruction.

do not apologize for blogging about ferguson and what is going on around the world and anyone who doesnt agree can leave at any time but we need to spread news and educate as many people as we can right now and aesthetic sure as hell isnt my priority right now


#092-Gastly, The Gas Pokemon

Gastly is a Pokemon that is found in caves, and old creeky buildings. Also Cemeteries are infested with them, for they love playing pranks on people, and many foolish people will test them in these places. They seem to have no inclination to actually like dead people. They just like the creepy places, because it is easiest to scare people there. However, they will find shelter on windy nights, for they can easily be blown away as they are mostly just gas.

Also, there seems to be a large population of Gastly appearing at night in Galveston. This has led to the theory that people can actually turn into ghost Pokemon after death, for the worst natural disaster to ever hit the United States, occurred with the Galveston Hurricane, in which more people died than any other natural disaster ever in the country.


#303-Mawile, The Deceiver Pokemon

Mawile is specifically found just in caves, where it will make use of its unthreatening appearance by letting prey get close to it and then at the last second crushing it with its jaws. When a Mawile is engaged in battle, it will face away from the enemy, usually letting the mouth do the battling. It is said, along with its sweet appearance, that Mawile can exude a sweet scent to attract prey.


#093-Haunter, The Gas Pokemon

Although Gastly is a playful and mostly harmless Pokemon, when it evolves into Haunter, it becomes quite demented, for reasons unknown. It is known to lie in wait in the dark to take the life of its next victim. It can be found in the darkest parts of deep caverns, and also in some cemeteries. 
By the way.
Don’t go to cemeteries at night in the Pokemon world. You’ll die.

18 states have weeks or weekends during the month of august 2015 that consumers can buy clothes, shoes, school supplies, computers, and/or books tax free!