Behind the Scenes

Decided to surprise everyone with an impromptu photoshoot. We’ve been working on Class I’s and II’s on our typodonts and some extra credit caries removal on real, extracted teeth. This semester has generally been a challenge because we have some many projects and so many deadlines. Here are some of my happy classmates during a slightly less stressful week plus a couple of our row instructors:

Life After an Exam

I wish I could trick myself every day that my next exam was tomorrow. I don’t know what it is but as soon as I walk out of an exam I cannot focus for the life of me despite having another exam coming up (or three next week actually). In fact I ended up spending about 2 hours deciding which pairs of shoes (specifically, 6 various pairs of black leather booties or boho-looking beige booties) I would buy. It was a wonderful waste of an evening (and in case you were wondering, I decided not to buy any because I realized I don’t look very good in booties).

The nice thing about this semester is that there is a lot less busy work. People say that D1 Winter term is supposedly harder than the Fall term but so far it seems to be a lot more manageable probably in part because I’ve gotten used to the course load as well as learning how to study for so much at a time (like what did I ever complain about in undergrad). Also, I think I do a lot better when I can concentrate on just a test rather than a bunch of little quizzes and homework assignment. I never thought I would say this, but I would much prefer to have 2-3 big exams (non-cumulative) for each class than a bunch of little homework assignments that distract me from studying.

Anyways, I finally did get a few slides of Nervous System in and a good late night workout. Goodnight!

Winter Sunset

The nice thing about living in the grad student dorm is the view from the top. On the top floor there’s a nice track that runs around the roof, study rooms, and a small “convenience” shop. I’ve studied up here a lot this semester because the study rooms are conveniently close and have a lot of natural light  (unlike my windowless prison of a room).


Dental school has kept me pretty busy so I’ve basically put photography on hold for a while. I’d love to keep maintaining this blog but I’ll probably have more photos from my iPhone than my DSLR. Almost done with finals and SO ready for the 2 week break. Continue reading “Winter Sunset”

The Best Bday Present

Wow it’s been exactly a year since I found out about my acceptance into dental school on December 1, 2015! It was probably one of the best birthday presents I could ever ask for. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had applied to 16 schools, received 6 interviews and 5 acceptances (I didn’t attend one of the interviews because the plane ticket was a little pricey and it was a bit lower on my list). My interviews started in September (in order) – University of New England, University of Indiana, University of Detroit Mercy, Tufts, and University of Michigan. I always had my eyes on Michigan for a number of reasons.

The day of I remember waking up at 5AM and immediately checking my email. I found my first acceptance from Indiana University. I was happy to know that at least I would be a dentist somewhere somehow! But of course I was still anxious. I really couldn’t stop myself so the next thing I did was log in to student doctor network (not always the best idea) and prowl around Continue reading “The Best Bday Present”

Living (a little)

This weekend I managed to have a tiny bit of down time to have my sis take some autumn pics with me and E. I was actually really surprised that E was willing to do this with me! The photos turned out nicely and I was able to revive my rusty editing skills when I used to work as a professional portrait photographer before dental school.


So, rather than studying for the upcoming exams (Infection & Immunity quiz Monday, Behavioral Science Quiz Wednesday, CMB quiz #3 and Cariology Midterm Friday) I ended up attending my first tailgate, having our own home-made lobster dinner with E and friends, made pancakes in the morning, and watched part of a movie. It was nice to finally relax and live a little bit especially on a weekend that E had off. With his rotation I’ve been seeing him maybe once a twice a week but it honestly helps that we’re both busy and, although I worried about this, I don’t have those painful cravings to spend more time with him like I used to. I think a lot has to do with the fact that we trust each other so much and that we both want to support each other despite our busy schedules because we understand each others’ struggles. Plus, it also makes the time I do get to spend with him so much more valuable.

Okay, now back to the studying marathon!!

Anatomical Donations Memorial

I feel like for the past month I have been really nervous about having volunteered to sing and play piano for the annual anatomical donations memorial. When Dr. B first sent out the email, around a month and a half ago, I quickly replied so that I wouldn’t have time to dwell on the decision and change my mind. At first I planned on singing Amazing Grace but I soon found out that the med school choir was going to be singing that. So I finally decided that I would sing Sam Smith’s Lay Me Down. I got the sheet music for it and went downstairs to the music room of the grad student housing almost every other day to practice. Finally I would actually be using these piano music rooms that were in the basement of my dorm building.

Around a week before the performance I started thinking that maybe I was crazy for volunteering to do this. I knew this performance wasn’t “about me” but rather a gift and a thank you for the families of the donors who would be at the memorial. But at the same time I really didn’t want to screw up and embarrass myself in front of the med school students, the med school faculty, the dental students, and all of our professors. Let me just make clear, the last time I performed for anyone was around two years ago in my band AND I had never sang and played piano at the same time for an actual performance. Trying to find the balance of Continue reading “Anatomical Donations Memorial”

Indirect Vision

I was really excited and looking forward to this session where we would finally start doing real dentist things like drilling while only using the mirror to guide us.

We started off by using only the small mouth mirror on the table top to write “I love dental school” on a sheet of paper so that it could be read correctly in the mirror. This task was painfully difficult. I wondered if I couldn’t do this how long would it take for me to be comfortable working in someone’s mouth with just a mirror to rely on? I wondered, could all practicing dentists do this perfectly and with ease?

We quickly moved to the next step and attached the ivorine block to the maxilla of the typodont and then attached this to our mannikin heads, simulating the angle we’d be in to drill a tooth in a patient’s mouth. (I actually lost my rubber band that the faculty apparently had set on our table top last week. I vaguely remember seeing it and assumed someone had left it there on accident. So I didn’t bother storing it away for next session…Am I the most absent-minded person or what? In the meantime I’ve been using img_9163my hair tie and cutting out the rubber band-like edge of the gloves to attach the typodont to the ivorine block)

Thankfully, drilling the Form 1’s at this angle was WAY easier than I had expected. It was surprisingly much easier than trying to write an inverted version of my name on the tabletop using just the mirror as reference. The professors mentioned that you had to “re-train” your mind to get used to using the mirror while drilling.

Four podcasts later I had made six Form 1’s along the edges of the ivorine block. It’s amazing how time flies when you’re in the SimLab. Doing these Form 1’s is really addicting. I feel that urge to do “just one more” even though I’ve already been in lab for 3 hours and then I can’t stop until I really will myself to get out of lab. A couple more sessions in the Sim Lab and I think I’d be ready for the timed practical.

The hardest thing about dental school is all the technical stuff I have to remember like actually getting signatures for these Form 1’s. I don’t know why it just slipped my mind but by the end of class I realized I was supposed to get these signatures. Unfortunately professors are not allowed to sign off your sheets for the Form 1’s outside of class time…so I talked to one of the professors and he wrote my name down and told me he could sign it off next class period.