Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Silly things that happen at school--Part 62

Yet another chapter in the blog about silly things that happen at school.

Today. Middle of a riveting (yeah, right) Microbiology lecture, the fire alarm sounded. Being the intellectuals we are, the class immediately started discussing, debating, and taking secret ballot votes on whether or not it was a real fire or just a drill.

Eventually, the teacher made us go. He didn't even count all the secret ballots. Welcome to the dictatorship.

Anyway, as it turns out, it was just a drill. In some ways, the fact that it was only a drill made the whole situation more annoying to me. I mean, I know that I joked about us debating on whether it was a drill rather than just going outside, but let's be honest: We are students in dental school and medical school with teachers who have a minimum of 7 abbreviated letters after their they really think we can't find an exit in case of emergency?

I'm sure it's some sort of fire code or national law or something, but really really really shouldn't those drills stop after 4th grade?

Also, do they think that if there is a real fire we will have time to get out? We go to school in a place chock-full of compressed oxygen tanks, nitrous tanks, and liquid helium containers...I'm thinking there would be some serious exploding fireworks before we managed to get out of there. (Morbid, but true.)

It was all worth it, though, because when we came back in the lecture hall twenty minutes later our teacher said, "Class, since that fire drill took up 20 minutes of our lecture time and we have a test over this material on Monday, we will omit this portion of the material for the test. I love you guys, have a lovely day."

Except wait...that's just what I wanted him to say. Instead he said, "The information I just did NOT cover WILL be on your test on Monday. I hate all of you and I'm trying to ruin your Superbowl weekend."

Can you believe that?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Congratulations! You're having puppies!

I have come to believe that, unbeknownst to me, January 2009 was declared "Crazy News Story Month." Most mornings before class starts I glance at news pages to see what's going on in the world. (I used to not do this until I realized that I had been eating the recalled peanut butter for the better half of 3 months. I didn't read or watch the news...nobody told me!)

Anyway, the crazy news season started out with the plane landing in the middle of the tiny (as far as runways go) Hudson River with absolutely no casualties. What an incredible story!

This morning I read that a woman in California gave birth to OCTUPLETS last week! (That's 8 babies, you guys--8 babies at once.) All the babies were doing amazingly well and were already off ventilators, which is an incredible feat for little preemies that weighed 1.8 to 3.4 pounds at birth. The real kicker, though, is that the doctors could only see 7 babies on the sonograms, so no one (including the parents) knew about the 8th until the Cesarean section. Can you imagine their surprise/disappointment?! The doctor says, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, ...eight? Oops! Guess we miscounted!" The mother probably sarcastically said, "Oh good, now it counts as a full litter." Maybe she was excited...I mean, at that point, does one more really make that much of a difference?

My favorite story has to be the one I read this afternoon. The headline: Man trapped by sofa, Survives by whiskey. Seriously. The story said that the man accidentally tripped, fell into his (man-eating?) couch, had a bad back that prevented him from getting up, couldn't reach a phone but could reach a bottle of whiskey, drank it for two days to "survive" until the cavalry arrived. Why don't I believe this story as it's told? The reasons are 3-fold:

1. Regular people don't just fall into couches. People who have ALREADY been drinking whiskey for two days fall into couches.
2. If he had been doing well in the first place, that whiskey bottle probably wouldn't have been in reaching distance from the couch.
3. One doesn't need anything to survive for 2 days. A person can live without water and food for two days without perishing. In fact, the whiskey would have hurt his chances of survival because of the way that alcohol dehydrates the body.

(Then again, who am I to question the veracity of a story on virtual birthplace of good reporting...and indecent pictures of Britney Spears?)

As always, though--the truth is stranger than fiction.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

That's a 10-4, Good Buddy

Two important things have happened in my life over the last few days.

#1: I finished my first knitting project. A green scarf. Pictures will be posted as soon as I get "un-lazy" enough to get my camera out and take them. I also started a new knitting project. A sweet little powder blue pillow to go on the bed in the guest room. Perhaps it can have its picture taken as well and be admired by our many many readers (I think there are only about 7 of you, but you all count double to me).

#2: Jeffrey and I watched a disturbing number of West Wing episodes in a row on our Monday off from school. During the episodes, we kept commenting on how awesome the Secret Service people are on the show. All of them are exceptionally noble, flawlessly trained, and always prepared (just like boy scouts). I hope that the "real life" Secret Service has the same caliber of people as the "West Wing Secret Service" portrays.

Anyway, while we were watching, we decided to make up code names for each other--you know, in case of emergency where we have secret radios in our sleeves and need to covertly talk to each other. Because of important item #1, my code name is "Knitty Needles." Don't tell the Russian spies. Jeffrey first refused to play my pretend game, and then told me he needed more time to think of a really good name. It's been 36 hours--either he told me that to get me off his back about it, or he's really really bad at making up code names.

Any suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment with what your code name would be. I know you've thought about it before...

This is Knitty Needles, over and out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

No Filter

Some quick updates on Kanye (both the rapper and the fish)...

Kanye (the rapper) made headlines again for a comment he made to the media. He reportedly said last week that he is planning on "working out for two months, then posing nude for a magazine."

If I were a magazine reporter, these are the questions I would be asking him:

Mr. West, did anyone ask you to pose nude in a magazine, or did you simply arrive at this idea one day while thinking about how hot you think you are?

Mr. West, is it possible that you have absolutely no filter between your mind and you mouth, leading you to say outlandish things on a regular basis to people who print them?

Mr. West, are you at all concerned that people might find the aforementioned quality in you annoying?

Most likely, Kanye (the rapper) would reply: "No one asked me," "Yes that's possible," and "No, I believe that everyone in the entire universe loves me."

As an aside, Kanye also mentioned in the same interview that he would like to have fewer fans. He did not mention why, but I believe in the background I heard his record label agent trying to kill himself in response.

As far as Kanye (the fish), he is happily swimming in a tank that has suddenly and without warning turned into a colloidal, milky mixture bearing almost no resemblance to water. I don't know how this happened, seeing as I have been an excellent fishkeeper (if you don't believe me, read back a few blog posts to see the relatively small amount of fish I have killed--small compared to the number of fish in the world, that is).

Seriously, though, I don't know what's going on. I've been cleaning that tank as usual per Petsmart instructions each week, and all of the sudden it got cloudy. Somehow the fish don't seem bothered. Perhaps it's because I've put my iPod over there to play them Kanye (the fish's) namesake's song: That that that that that don't kill me can only make me stronger...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Where there's smoke, there's fire

When a dental student does a dental anatomy practical, she has to use a bunsen burner, some metal instruments, and some green wax to create the exact form of a certain tooth. At UTHSCSA, she would have 2 hours to complete this task. She would have been told to try and keep all of the aforementioned materials close at hand, so as not to waste any time reaching 2 inches for the flame rather than 1 inch--after all, she only has 2 hours.

She would be told to be careful not to put her flame too closely to her computer or her TV monitor, and not to put her flame too closely to her papers. (If you need a reason why, see the picture below of the guy who burned a hole in his TV. Warning: This picture is old, so this guy could be your dentist. Beware. He does not keep track of his flames.)

Unfortunately, she would not be told to wear her hair securely tied back. And so it is that two of my friends set their hair on fire during the practical on Tuesday.

Don't worry, no one was seriously injured. They just have bangs now. Little ones. Only a few right in front.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Princess Lauren

Last month, for the second time in seven months, I found myself crying my way East on Interstate 20. Sitting next to my poor, confused, and scared husband I cried from Abilene to Weatherford.

The first time was immediately after my wedding. I had sworn an oath to myself not to cry in my own wedding because I have always hated how I look with mascara running down my face, eyes swollen into tiny slits, and snot dripping from my nose. It is not how I wanted to be immortalized in pictures on that day. I wanted to simply look beautiful that day. And so, with great resolve, I stuck to my oath and made it down the aisle, through the entire ceremony (conducted by one of my best friends and my father, no less), and past the meet and greet at the reception before promptly bursting into tears 4 seconds after getting in the car to drive to our honeymoon.

The tears were tears of joy. I just kept saying, "It was such a pretty wedding! It was so perfect! I loved every second!" My husband of about 30 minutes did his best to console me while (probably) thinking, "So...this night isn't really going the way I had hoped..."

Luckily, we were driving to Dallas that night to stay in a hotel before boarding our cruise ship the next afternoon in Galveston, so my tears were all dried by the time we arrived downtown. (Although, I can't say much for my hair. Aquanet hairspray + 100 bobby pins + updo just taken out in the car - brush = One Scary Post-Bride look.)

The second tear-fest happened just this December. Jeffrey and I visited both sets of parents this year during the Christmas break, but on our way out from Abilene my dad came in the room to give me a little book and a note. The book was written by the Christian singer Stephen Curtis Chapman. It was called "Cinderella" after one of his hit songs, and included in it the lyrics, some background to the song, and the CD of the single. Dad had put a note inside, but I thanked him for the book and told him I would read the note later (since I knew it would make me cry, then he would cry, then mom would cry, etc...)

I read the note as Jeffrey and I were leaving Abilene and turning onto I-20 to go see his parents. [Cue tears]

The wedding ceremony Dad performed had a theme about my being a princess, because I always wanted to be one when I was little, and because all of those who are children of the Lord are Princes and Princesses. The truth is, I hadn't felt much like a princess since I left Abilene to come to school here. At ACU everyone knew that we were all precious children of the King, and we were treated as such. And in my family, all the kids are treated like nobility. In the land of "the real world," however, I have found that things are much different. It's not that it's so bad, it's just that it's not soooo good. It's like the difference between being treated like a commoner and like a princess--commoners have rights and good things in their lives, but given the choice, I'd like to be treated as royalty!

So the little note tucked inside the sweet book had some reminders for me. Reminders to keep acting like a princess whether I felt like one or not. Reminders to be proud of my crown even when others don't recognize it. Reminders to keep dancing to the music of my own ball, even if everything else seems to be falling apart. Reminders that even if I receive a "commoner's" grades or make a "commoner's" mistake, I will still be a princess to my father and my Father.

Today when I brought home what felt like a staggering blow in a line of disappointing grades, I remembered the note and the song, and cried a few tears over the bad grade (ok...a lot of tears), but then I dusted off my tiara and put it firmly back on.

I am a princess after all...I can't abdicate my throne for such trivialities!

She spins and she sways to whatever song plays,
Without a care in the world.
And I'm sittin' here wearin' the weight of the world on my shoulders.
It's been a long day and there's still work to do,
She's pulling at me saying "Dad I need you!
There's a ball at the castle and I've been invited and I need to practice my dancin'"
"Oh please, daddy, please!"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh I will dance with Cinderella
I don't wanna miss even one song,
Cuz all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are we there yet?

Remember when you were a kid (for me that was about 4 years ago!) and your parents took you on long car trips for family vacations and the first words out of your mouth in the car were, "Are we there yet?" And then your parents said, "No, I'll tell you when we're there." And then that scene repeated itself every 15 minutes all the way to California or Florida or Colorado or wherever.

Well, I had basically the same experience last week with a bunch of twenty-somethings except that instead of the car, we were all in a dental school lecture hall, and instead of "Are we there yet?" we were all asking, "Is it Friday yet?" and instead of parents saying "No, I'll tell you when we're there" our professors said, "Wuah--wuah, wuah-wuah-wuah wuah" just like the teachers on Charlie Brown.

At some points, we truly thought that time had stopped. It was that slow.

Unfortunately, I made a resolution this year to have a better attitude toward school, so I am pretending that last week was only slow because I wasn't used to going to school, and this week will be much better because I'll be back in the swing of things. (Maybe my next year's resolution will be not to lie to myself so much! Hehe!)

Tomorrow, though, I get the day off, so I'll be blogging a little story that I've been wanting to put on here.

Until it Friday yet?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Impressions

Jeffrey and I had yet another "first day of school" yesterday as we trudged up the stairs to round two of our first year in medical/dental school. In some ways I was excited. Most of my classes ended at the end of last semester, so this semester provides an almost-clean slate.

I spent some time thinking about first impressions before I went to school. First days at school are all about first impressions. That's the reason why everyone wears their new clothes, gets a haircut, shines their shoes, plucks their unibrow, etc...

I remember reading somewhere that a person makes his/her judgement of another's character within the first 15 seconds of meeting him. (I don't really recommend making these "snap" judgements, but it seems to be almost an unconscious behavior for me.)

In one of my classes on that first day, I got a really bad impression of one of my professors literally within the first few seconds of his class. He came into the room with two big boxes of notes that we would pick up to study during the course. He set them down on a table at the front and so one of my friends picked one up and started to head to his seat. Before he had gone a few steps the professor said loudly, " can't have those yet! I'll tell you when you can pick them up." My friend apologized and quickly put the packet back on the table, but only a few seconds later, before my friend had even gotten to his seat, the professor said, "Ok, now you can pick them up."

I know it's not that big of a deal, but it just seemed like the professor was on a little power trip, you know? Making the students sit and wait until the exact moment that the mighty professor says, "Jump" and we all do.

Of course I'll give the professor another chance. After all, first impressions are often wrong--they're made in 15 seconds! In fact, I even thought my sweet husband was a big dork when I first met him, but now I know him to be the loving, cool, and only sparingly goofy man in my life.

This little tale is a good reminder, though--just like the song we sang in Bible class says, "Oh, be careful little mouth what you say!"

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Presenting our Presents

This Christmas was so great! I feel like it may have had something to do with the 3 FULL WEEKS we got off from school, but also it had a lot to do with the fact that we got to spend most of the time with our families.

A big part of the fun of Christmas for my mom is picking out the perfect presents for everyone--and she's great at it, too. She has a knack for remembering little things you picked up at a store 8 months ago and said, "Ooh! That's cute!" She'll find that little knick-knack and put it in your stocking.

I think I may have picked up a little of that talent in all those years I spent at home. This year Jeffrey and I were particularly proud of a few presents that we got-- like the book that we ordered for Jeffrey's dad off of Ebay (The first in the Bourne Identity series--stopped being produced in hardback in the '80s...very hard to find).

Our families did an even better job, though. And thus, without further ado--here are "a few of our favorite things" that we got for Christmas.

First on my list: Season Passes to Sea World!!!! I love Shamu. Honestly, I know I'm too old to love Sea World, but I love it. Judge if you must.

Pearl necklace from my sweet husband--it matches the pearl earrings he got me as a wedding present. (Aww!!)

Webcams! We both got one, so Skype with us sometime!

DVD series of House, M.D. We love the show, and we love trying to diagnose the patients on the show (aka--pretend that we're doctors!).

We received so many sweet, thoughtful presents from our families, and we feel truly blessed. Thanks for the gifts, but thanks even more for the memories.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Fish Tales

Let us review.

We bought 3 fish in October. Nemo, Gubs, and Jeffrey Jr. Nemo and Gubs both died within 72 hours (presumably because you're supposed to run your aquarium with NO fish in it for a few days before adding fish...I found out post-mortem). Jeffrey Jr. lived a long and happy life until December when he died of an unknown illness--we're still waiting on the coroner's report. We also lost another fish named Nemo about 36 hours after we purchased him. I'm guessing that the name is cursed. Joining the ranks of the dead are Walter and Dolly, who died over Thanksgiving break.

The true survivors, Shark and Turtle, are happily swimming in their tank to this day. Apparently, they have found the secret of life at the Edwards's household. They even survived the entire two weeks while we were gone for Christmas break, living with only the automatic feeder and Vern the Fern to keep them company. They are an inspiration to us all.

In celebration, two more fish were bought today: Toodles and Kanye. And yes, Kanye is a black fish. I had to do something--I read the other day that Kanye West dubbed himself "the voice of our generation." Newsflash, Kanye (the rapper, not the fish): You are not my voice.

Next post--Christmas presents!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

(I don't have anything else to say - the title of this post pretty much says it all.)