Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Impress Me

Today was a big day for all of the first year dental students--today was the day when we all got to take turns gagging each other (AKA: taking impressions).

In case you've never had the pleasure of having an impression made of your teeth, allow me to explain how it goes. The dentist/assistant/hygienist (or, in my case, the dental student) puts a big wad of gooey stuff (technical term) in a big tray, then sticks the big tray in your mouth. You, the patient, are supposed to be still for about a minute while the gooey stuff runs down your throat and hardens around your teeth. Due to the whole "running down your throat" part, many people gag or even vomit when having an impression made, but usually a well-trained heath care worker can minimize the trauma of the experience.

Unfortunately, we first year students are not well-trained heath care professionals quite yet, so there was a whole lotta shakin' (gagging) goin' on today in the clinic as we practiced on each other. Besides the choking hazards, many of us ended up with the gooey stuff on various body parts besides the oral cavity, including (but not limited to) the hair, the eyes, the forehead, the nose, the nasal cavity, and underneath the chin.

After the impressions are made, there are various other boring dentist things to be done to make the casts, but I won't bore you with the details. I will bore you with some pictures, though.

Everyone poses when they mix up the casting material--it's required:

Me with my articulator (and yes, the teeth on the right are supposed to be green--I didn't mess up!):

Making teeth out of wax:

The rest of the day was spent laughing about the mistakes we made and periodically grooming pieces of goo off each other like a big family of monkeys. Fun day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Truffled Feathers

We did not get the day off of school for Good Friday. We did get the day off of school for Fiesta (the incredible San Antonio celebration). It is strange to me that our school would ignore a national holiday and tout a relatively minor local holiday as a reason to take off of school, but hey--who's complaining about a day off?

We really almost got a four day weekend last weekend because we only had a test and a lecture on Thursday, and most of us were planning on coming up to school at 8 am to take our test and then skipping the lecture to start fiesta-ing.

All 96 of us showed up at 8 am, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (albeit some had had the help of red bull energy drinks to arrive at that state of wakefulness after a long night of studying) and ready to take the test.

8:00...8:05...8:12...8:21...no teacher. No test. No one but us.

Around 8:30 our course liaison went to try and find the teacher, who was MIA even from his assistants. One assistant came in to talk to us and asked if we could take the test at 11:00 after our lecture. Ninety-six voices boomed a resounding, "NO!" to that suggestion (some saying "no" because they were going out of town, some saying "no" because they knew the aforementioned red bull high would not last until 11, and some saying "no" simply because the test was supposed to be at 8 and they still wanted it to be at 8). The assistant relented and told us we should wait to hear from the dean's office by email.

We got an email from the dean's office later saying that the test would be rescheduled for Monday.

Then we got another email from the dean's office saying it would be rescheduled for Monday (they sent it twice--I don't know why).

Then we got another email from the dean's office saying they weren't sure when they would reschedule the test, but it definitely would NOT be on Monday.

Then we got another email saying that we were going to have an "optional" test instead, and that if you were happy with your current average, you could opt out of taking this test. (Yay! That's what I picked!)

All's well that ends well, I guess!

After the whole test fiasco, I decided to do a few errands before I needed to pick up Jeffrey from school. While driving around to my errands, something caught my eye in the yard of a residential neighborhood. At first I thought it was a porcupine because it was rather large and looked spiky from a distance. I drove closer and realized it was a peacock! A group (pride? bevy? flock?) of peacocks, rather. The male was shaking his tail feathers (just like Nelly says to do in the song) and showing off for the girls. It was so strange! Like being at a zoo, only in the middle of a huge city.

This weekend my friend Alexandra turned 23 so we celebrated by going out to a restaurant near downtown with her. We talked and laughed about the crazy week and had a great time. The next day I decided to make her some truffles for a birthday present because she has even more of a sweet tooth than I do! (And that's saying something!)

It was my first time making truffles, and they turned out to be VERY rich--I would probably tweak the recipe next time, but they are oh-so-pretty! Chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon sugar, cocoa, coconut, powdered sugar, or almond covered--just thinking of them makes my mouth water. Good thing I made a few extra for Jeffrey and me...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

School is Cool

Dental school is different from any school I've ever been to. It's like a combination of a graduate school and a technical school because while you need to learn lots of "book knowledge," you also need to learn many technical skills. This unique combination leads to sentences like the following in my course materials:

"To feel the medial pterygoid muscle: Place the index finger a little posterior to the traditional insertion site for an inferior alveolar injection and press laterally. If your partner gags, your finger is too posterior."

Love it! (And I'm sure there were some gagging issues that day--but I had a good partner, so no puke for me.) All of you out there can be glad that I'm practicing gagging a dental school partner right now, because someday I might be working on you!

Unfortunately, not all of our course materials are as amusing as the latter. The material I'm studying right now feels like someone spent a very long time trying to confuse me with their notes. Examples:

What they write: "Other chemical forms of waxes include the esters (CnH2n+1COOCmH2m+1) as mentioned above and n and m are in the range of 15-30, and alkanols (CnH2n+1OH) and alkanoic acids (CnH2n+1COOH) if n is sufficiently large."

What they mean: "There are three types of waxes, all are long chained hydrocarbons."

What they write: "Since there really is both a volumetric contraction caused by the chemistry of the reaction and an expansion caused by the thrusting of the crystals, porosity is induced in the set material."

What they mean: "Crystals expand and hit each other, causing small pores to form."

What they say: "This accounts for the larger thermal expansion in the alpha form versus the beta forms as the silica undergoes transition from the alpha to beta form, since this decrease in free volume is reversed."

What they mean: "...?"

Dental school--always an adventure!

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Accidental Dinner Party

My mom is an incredible cook. Her mashed potatoes melt in your mouth, her cherry pies have the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, and her barbeque chip chicken is a hit every time.

Someday, I hope that I can be half the cook that she is. But that day was not Saturday.

On Saturday I made a crock pot lasagna recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while. I had purchased all the ingredients about a week ago at the store and I was so excited to put it all together. After putting all the ingredients into careful layers in the crock pot, I thought, "Wow, that sure looks like a lot of food for two people."

It was only at that moment that I looked back at the recipe and saw that it said: "Makes 8 Servings." 8 Servings! Being the amateur cook that I am, I had completely forgotten to check the recipe and adjust accordingly for a two-person meal. (A mistake my mom has never made--at least, not that I know of!)

With all the ingredients in the pot, however, there was no turning back. I quickly called some friends of ours and asked if they could come over to dinner. They were luckily free on such short notice, and said that they would love to come to our impromptu dinner party.

Of course, being the Martha Stewart (minus insider trading knowledge) that I am, I decided that since we were having company, we might as well use the china. And since we were using the china, we might as well use the crystal. And since we were having a fancy dinner on the china we had to have dessert. And everyone knows that tiramisu is the best dessert pairing with lasagna, so I made a tiramisu.

Delizioso! (As the Italians say of their own tiramisu.)

And so it was that my little accident turned into a lovely night with friends. Our pretty china and crystal are below, but the tiramisu was gone too quickly to take a picture!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Paid in Full

This morning's sermon made a big impact on me, and I'd like to share a little part of it with you.

I grew up in the church, and so it isn't often that I hear something during a sermon that I've never heard before. (Which doesn't seem to matter, because one can hear "love your neighbor as yourself" every day and still fail to apply that in his or her life. The messages in the Bible are best when they are repeated, anyway.)

That being said, I was surprised today to hear something I had never been exposed to before. The preacher, David Allen, has been doing a series on Galatians focusing on the power of the law compared with the power of God's promise to redeem us through his son's crucifixion. Mr. Allen read the last words that Jesus spoke on the cross ("It is finished") and told us that the Greek word used there for "finished" is the word "tetelestai," which can be used to mean "matured" or "completed" or "paid for."

I had always imagined that when Jesus said, "It is finished." he was simply marking the end of his life with the phrase, or celebrating the fact that his difficult work on Earth was done and completed in accordance to his father's wishes. From this perspective, it seems that the translation "paid for" does not apply, but upon closer inspection, one can see that it is a direct correlation to the verse that says "You are not your own. You were bought at a price." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

The discussion truly touched my heart because I no longer imagined my Savior's last words on Earth to be simply "My journey here is over," but instead I saw him as a Lord who desired after me so much that he paid my sinful debts with his life and with his dying breath said with joy, "Hallelujah! Lauren is paid for," "Praise God, Jeffrey is paid for," "[insert your name here] is paid for, thank goodness! They will spend eternity with me."

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned he stood;
Sealed my pardon with his blood
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was he to die;
It is finished was his cry;
Now in Heaven exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet

Well, it finally happened.

I did it.

I tried my hardest to resist, but I just couldn't do it any longer.

I am officially on Twitter - jeffrey_edwards. I gave in to the peer pressure and micro-blogging cult and created a Twitter account tonight. (So what that I'm at home on a Friday night playing with my computer and watching "The Soup" with Lauren?)

Anyway, I think I've got it all set up. I have a link to my Twitter feeds on the right side of this page, as well as an app on my Facebook account. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, just click on the appropriate link on the Twitter badge on this page.

For those of you "older" people, I'm not speaking a foreign language. "Twitter" is a micro-blogging site where users can blog short messages 140 characters in length to keep their friends constantly updated throughout the day. A "badge" is a Twitter app that is on another web page (e.g., this blog page) that automatically updates my Twitter feeds to this page (and any other pages to which I have my account synced).

Needless to say, I'm a now a sellout. Feel free to mock.

In other news, Ryan and I got tickets to see the Mavs-Spurs Playoff Game 2 here in SA. I'm debating whether or not to wear Mavericks paraphernalia to the game. Any suggestions on what to wear would be much appreciated.

OK, I'm either going to bed or I'm going to watch TV until I fall asleep. Early morning of studying tomorrow.

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck

--Jeffrey D. Edwards

Just My Luck

Once upon a time I had a roommate who was a very sweet girl with one major flaw: she picked the most terrible movies in the entire world, and always thought they were good. Every predictable, uninteresting, girly, silly movie ever made was inevitably her "aww...that's my FAY-vor-ite!" Needless to say, the movie "Just My Luck" starring Lindsey Lohan quickly entered her favorites category, and the rest of our house was forced to watch it in support of her. The movie is the story of a girl (Lohan) who is lucky all the time--she wins scratch off money from lottery tickets, gets great jobs, always has the perfect amount of change at toll booths, etc...until she kisses a boy with constant bad luck. The rest of the movie is about Lohan's character trying to get another kiss so that she can return to her lucky life.

Sounds terrible, right? As it turns out, I'm really glad that I watched that movie, because today I felt like I was actually in it...

This morning started out innocently, I woke up early to study for a test that I had today, so I was happy when Jeffrey suggested that we swing by Starbucks to get coffee before class. We picked up our coffee, paying with a giftcard (my favorite way to buy things!), and continued on to class. Jeffrey suggested that he drop me off at the back door so I could hurry into the library to squeeze in a little more study time before my test at 9. [Enter bad luck.]

On the way to the library, I was thinking about my first week at school. I remembered that I had taken the exact same route to the library that first week with two of my brand new friends, Carly and Hannah. That day, I was wearing some wide-leg dress pants and pretty pointed toe shoes. That day, the pointed toe shoes got caught in the wide leg dress pants and I tripped a little on the way to the library. I was very embarrassed because I didn't know Carly and Hannah very well and I had just tripped over my own shoes like a goober.

Immediately after remembering my past goober-ness, I tripped on the stairs today, except this time, I fell all the way to the ground, throwing my coffee, laptop bag, and purse on the concrete in an effort to keep my face from being the point of impact of the fall. My face survived the fall, thanks to some scrapes on my heroic hands. My coffee, on the other hand (well, technically, in no hands), did not survive. I hadn't even taken a sip.

I studied in the library until my test, and took my test at 9. I finished around 9:30, but didn't want to go to my 10-12 lecture, so I wandered around school, read some blogs, and did a little studying. I waited around until 12 because that is when our loupes representatives were coming to adjust our loupes.

At 12 I found out that the loupes reps were coming at 1.

At 1 I found out that the loupes reps weren't coming at all.

I stayed at school for 3 1/2 hours for absolutely no reason. On my way out of school I stopped to use the restroom. I pushed open the unlocked door of the last stall only to be met by the surprised face of one of my professors who was using that toilet. Awesome.

After exchanging awkward looks and apologies, I decided to use a different toilet and went immediately home. I'm not leaving the house anymore today. I just don't feel like the force is with me.

Just my luck.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"Frah-GEE-lay...must be Italian!"

Today Jeffrey and I received a package in the mail that Jeffrey's family lovingly wrapped in bubble tape and spent $5 hard-earned American dollars paying to ship. This is what it looked like when it arrived in our mailbox:
Note the stamp:
Frah-gee-lay, indeed. I'm gonna have to give two big thumbs down to you, US postal service. And more thumbs down for raising the price of stamps (again).

In happier news, the package contained presents! We received some pretty coasters and a pair of salt and pepper shakers that Melinda and Rebekah got for us on their trip to Europe. The gift really turns out to be a blog blessing because (like that alliteration, Mom?) I needed some visual help on this next story.

Jeffrey and I both were forced into/enrolled in biochemistry this year at school. Fortunately I only had to take the course from July to December, but Jeffrey's course continued through March (that's why they'll call him Dr. Edwards...oh wait, they'll call me Dr. Edwards, too! Hehe!) Anyway, Jeffrey's class culminated with a ridiculously difficult test that generally results in a 30 point curve being given to the entire class. (Why don't they just make it easier, you ask? No one knows...)

Jeffrey studied very hard and did very well on the test...and he averaged that grades with his other grades to get-----

an 89.5667.

In medical school, an 89.5667 = B. B is for Boo, Med School!

So, bringing in my visual aid, this is what Jeffrey looked like that day:
I encouraged Jeffrey to email the teacher and ask politely/beg on hands and knees for the .4333 points he needed to receive an A in the course. The teacher responded after a few days by saying that he was "sorry that they forgot to add in an extra credit .5 points from an earlier activity." After all that sadness and all that disappointment, his REAL grade had been a 90.3 all along!

So then he looked like this:
*Disclaimer: This is not one of the coasters that Melinda and Rebekah sent us. That would just be weird.

In other news, I lied to all of you yesterday when I said that I would post video today. I apologize. Hopefully the video will someday make it to the blog, but for now you will have to settle for pictures.

The weekend was spent at Grampy's (my mom's dad's) farm in Rogers, Texas. Every year on the Saturday before Easter we have a family reunion at the farm, and an "official flag raising ceremony." This year was no different. The war veterans from our family were called to salute in the front row as the flag was raised and a tape of Kate Smith played "God Bless America." Everyone else holds their hands over their hearts (or camcorders) in a small but somehow impressive display of patriotism.

The day continues with family pictures, holding baby chicks and ducks, some people (me) stuffing their faces with delicious food, catching up, reminiscing, hellos and goodbyes, and togetherness. It's a lovely way to spend Easter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sneek Peek

It seems we are going through a dry spell in our regular blogging these days. (Which is unfortunate because I've heard rumors that some of you have resorted to reading the backs of shampoo bottles for entertainment.) My friend Jana told me the other day that reading our blog had 90% inspired her to start her own blog. I asked what it would take to get the remaining 10% to cave in, and she said that she couldn't help feeling like making a blog is like saying, "My life is interesting, read about it!" Adding insult to injury, she continued, "And then what happens if you stop blogging? Is that like saying, 'Oh, my life is too completely boring to write about now.'?"

Hopefully we have not reached the "too-boring-for-words" stage of life quite yet. I feel our bloggy antics will be back in full-force soon enough.

In the meantime, let me whet your appetite for more by saying that my next post (hopefully tomorrow) will be an Easter recap special, complete with video. (Why am I not doing that post tonight, you ask? Because I have no idea how to put the video from my video camera onto my computer. That is tomorrow's project.) Anyway, you can expect a full Easter holiday/family reunion report from Grampy's farm in Rogers, Texas sometime in the near future. There will be displays of patriotism, baby chicks and ducks, and lots of fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dedication Hour

For this post, I decided to combine 2 (or 3, depending on if you consider two words joined by a slash as one word) of my favorite things in life: family/friends and music.

I have updated the songs on the Playlist to the right. Each song is dedicated to our friends/family that live in the place being described. If you see your location of residence listed, then congratulations - we are thinking of you! If you don't see your home on there, then we've forgotten about you and you might as well move on with your life. Just kidding - if you don't see your home on the right, then I couldn't find a song about your home. But don't worry - we're still thinking of you all too!

A few explanations...

In most cases, the town is simply the name of the song, such as "Abilene," "Fort Worth," "Houston," etc.

In other cases, the name of the location is in the title of the song, such as "Nashville Blues," "Walkin' in Memphis," "All the Gold in California," etc.

Still other selections are more general, simply because that's the closest I could get to certain towns. The song "Hill Country" references the Hill Country of Texas generally, and Burnet specifically. The "West Wing Opening Theme" is a shout-out to our friends in the nation's capital of Washington D.C. The song "Amy's Back In Austin" is dedicated to our friends and family in Austin, Texas. The third song, "Going Through the Big D," is meant for all of our friends in the Dallas area. It should not be assumed that the friends we have in Dallas are getting divorced. If you have no idea why I just said that, listen to the song and you'll understand.

Finally, the song "Texas" is meant for any of our friends/family whose town didn't get mentioned. Remember - just because playlist.com doesn't carry a song about your town, doesn't mean that we don't care for you!

I have no idea what "La Sonora" is about, as the song is in Spanish. I don't speak Spanish well enough to translate, so if you look up the lyrics and they are about drugs or killing people or anything immoral, don't blame me! Furthermore, we actually don't know anyone who lives in Sonora; a friend of mine has a deer lease there, but otherwise, we don't know a soul. I included this song because in my head, I often confuse it with Salado, where in fact we do have friends. Make sense?

Enjoy the music! It should be noted that I don't know all of these songs, nor do I like all of them, so if you're annoyed by all the hardcore country songs, just mute it and continue on below to read Lauren's more entertaining and more well-written posts. (I just write to take up space and prove to my family that I'm still alive.)

Until next time...

Good night, and good luck


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guess What...?

Last night, several people went out to celebrate our friend Carly's birthday at The County Line. The Country Line had two live bands playing last night, so the entire place was packed with a variety of interesting folk (the type of folk who Jeffrey and I have begun to refer to (affectionately) as "Blog fodder").

One of our friends, Alexandra, had reserved two tables for our party, but several other restaurants go-ers had not had such foresight, and were sorely disappointed to find all the tables filled or reserved by 7 pm. One such unfortunate group decided to befriend us for the night, mostly so they could use our table to hold their purses, drinks, and packs of cigarettes. We were cool with that. Then they started to try and be our friends...that got a little hairy.

One woman inquired about our group, asking if we were college students. We responded that we were mostly dental students at that table. She responded, "Well, we're about to have a lot of beautiful dentists around here! Y'all are gorgeous!" (We liked that lady!)

Then another woman (who had had many beers) came over and took Blake's crutch and used it to play "crutch guitar" for a while as she danced to the live music. Interesting.

Finally, a man from their group came over and asked, "So y'all are the ones who are going to be dentists?" When we affirmed his question, he smiled really widely and said (and I quote), "Guess which ones are real."

True story--he wanted us to guess which one of his teeth were real and which ones were implants. The grown man stood there grinning at us until we guessed. Then he told us in great detail about all his recent dental procedures and actually popped out his removable teeth! At a restaurant! To people he had only known for a matter of minutes!

It was like one of those carnival "Guess my weight" games gone very, very wrong. Anyway, nothing says "Happy Birthday, Carly" like a removable partial, I guess.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Break (I could use "smore" of that)

Ah, the first day back at school after a long Spring Break...torture!

But Spring Break was lovely. A few of the happenings:

*I went to Abilene for a few days to see my family. They were happy to see me, and I was happy to see them! Mom and I (of course) went shopping, and she bought me, among other things, the coolest kitchen soap dispenser that they sell at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. It's automatic! You just put your hand beneath it, and it squirts out the appropriate amount of soap for you to wash your hands. Love! On top of that, she paid for me to get a massage--so relaxing...

*Driving to Abilene, I saw a raccoon that had been run over and had rigor mortis causing his little paw to be stuck up into the air, as if he had a question.

*While in Abilene, my mom also told me that my blog post about the pregnant lady wearing a midrift top was rude. I apologize to all the bikini-wearing mommies-to-be out there.

*My dad sent Jeffrey a note and a giftcard while I was in Abilene to thank him for "sharing me." Jeffrey was so moved that he cried. (Not really. But he was grateful!)

*Driving back from Abilene I looked for the raccoon, but did not see him again.

*Friday morning and afternoon Jeffrey and I went to Sea World! I love Shamu, and I feel better about putting on a few pounds after seeing the HUGE walrus waddle around.

*Friday night I went out with some friends to celebrate Carly's birthday. We went to Amy and Corbin's house to make smores and watch a movie. While roasting the smores, we got a laugh out of the different "techniques" used. It seems that everyone roasted his/her marshmellow according to his/her personality. For example, Carly got her marshmellow, put it on the stick, jabbed it into the fire, and created a flaming mallow ball, which she blew out and ate on her smore. Carly is very laid-back. She probably would have still eaten her marshmellow even if it had been burned into a state resembling a charcoal briquette. I spent an indecent amount of time choosing a good marshmellow, then gently roasted my marshmellow to a delicate light brown color, which takes about 15 minutes. I am not laid-back. Corbin spent the entire roasting time talking about the importance of getting the proper marshmellow to chocolate ratio so that all of the chocolate melts. Corbin loves melted chocolate, and hates non-melted chocolate, but has no strong preferences for graham crackers. I'm not sure about Amy, but I'm pretty sure that she had Corbin make her one. Amy is smart--she gets her husband to do things for her.

*Saturday I got up, watched some TV, took a nap, watched some more TV, ate dinner, and went to bed. Perfect day.

*Now I'm about to study for a test that we have on Wednesday...break's over!