Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lookin' for Teeth in All the Wrong Places

When normal people go to school, they have to buy books and binders from the bookstore. When dental students go to school, they have to find real (human) teeth to bring to class to use in the practice labs. You hope to find teeth that are in good condition, but most people don't have their teeth pulled if they are in good condition, so you take what you can get. My uncle has provided me with quite a few teeth (he's a dentist, by the way, for those who don't know--I didn't want you to think he was just some creep who had lots of human teeth lying around), and another oral surgeon in my hometown has done the same, but I still need more for my little shop of horrors.

Today, I decided, would be the day that I would go a-hunting teeth. Armed with only the 900 pages of the big yellow San Antonio phone book, I set out to find dentists. I went down the three flights of stairs of the apartment to get into my car, and then realized that Jeffrey was driving my car today, and I needed to go back up the stairs to get my copy of the key to his truck. I walked back up three flights of stairs and as I was unlocking my door I thought to myself, "I should really put his key in my purse so that I always have it when I need it."

And then I realized that not only had I thought that EXACT same thing before, but I had followed through on my plan, and the key was, indeed, already in my purse. And so my purse, the key, and I took our 3rd trip in 5 minutes on the 3 flights of stairs and got into the truck.

I pulled up to the first dental office, and had to step on exposed rebar to reach the "office" which looked much more like an unfinished building than a dental office. I asked one of the friendly workers where the dental office was, and he laughed at me, and told me that this was the old office and gave me a map to the new one. My 900 page yellow book had already let me down--it had the wrong address.

I followed the construction worker's directions, which led me to the new office, only to find the office closed. The sign on the door said, "Sorry, the dental office is now closed, but feel free to call Dr. J if you need him." (That's a verbatim rendition of the sign--even the "Dr. J" part--I'm not abbreviating for anonymity.)

Call me snobby, but I left and I don't intend on going back. No self-respecting dental professional goes by the same nickname as a pro basketball player.

Next I stumbled all around San Antonio looking for the second location I had on my list, and it was only after about 207 wrong turns that I remembered I had our GPS system with me and could have been using it the whole time. Brilliant.

With the help of the GPS I found the second location, and with the help of my good sense I decided not to go inside the office. The building looked as if it would fall down at any second, and I was a little wary of the neighborhood I was in. It was in such a state of disrepair that I thought going inside might result in a shootout since I was not wearing neutral gang colors.

Very frustrated now, I turned the car back on and headed to my final destination. One of my little glass "tooth holder jars" had been bothering me by rolling around on the floor, so I put it in my lap and parked at the last place. Then I got out of the car and, forgetting about the glass jar, watched it shatter on the parking lot. I took my spare jar inside and asked the receptionist if they wouldn't mind collecting extracted teeth for me. She looked at the medium-sized jar and said, "Sure, but we'll fill that up in less than a week."

And the angels sang, "Ha--llelujah! Ha--llelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"

As I was walking out, a patient in the waiting room who had heard my strange request said, "Eww, that's weird, man." But all's well that ends well.

Finally, today I send my little baby gifts to my friends who are expecting, so Elena and Cherry, don't look at these pictures unless you want your surprise to be ruined!

Some burp rags for baby boy Coggin, and the tiniest little baby booties that I knitted for Cherry's baby. I can't believe that a whole baby foot and five toes will fit into something that only two of my fingers can fit into!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer in the City

You might be wondering: What exactly are Lauren and Jeffrey doing now that school has ended for summer break? Wonder no longer...

Jeffrey started an internship of sorts with a physician in San Antonio. Jeffrey goes every weekday to his office and shadows the doctor as he sees patients. I'll leave it to Jeffrey to talk about all the cool things he has seen and learned about, but suffice it to say that he is learning there is quite a bit of prostate examining that goes on at a general practice. Yikes--I'm glad my future line of work is on the other end of the body!

I was forced/encouraged to enroll in a summer elective course this year, so I chose to do an online course. Online courses are lovely. You can learn at your own pace, take a break, "go to class" in your robe, and so on--that is, unless the school has closed the website for maintenance, in which case you are just sitting in your robe at home and wondering if you will get to finish your course by the deadline without actually being able to view the course material online. Oh, dental school, you are truly a force to be reckoned with.

With the absence of homework to do and subjects to study, Jeffrey has come to fill his time with the many baseball games on TV. I don't particularly like watching sports on TV, but I've found an interesting way to entertain myself--I discuss the misnomers of baseball lingo. One might think there's not much to discuss, but as it turns out, there are so many things that can be said. We had a thirty minute conversation last night about the phrase "no hitter" because I said, "Shouldn't they call it a 'no runner' or a 'no base-r'?" Jeffrey said, "No. It's a no hitter. A hit doesn't count unless you get a base." To which I responded, "But you actually do hit the ball, and to say that you didn't is just plain lying." Jeffrey rolled his eyes and said something to the effect of: "If you knew about baseball, you would understand." Then the announcer said something like, "Last inning the Rangers batted out in order." I laughed and said, "Of course they got out in order, they always have a batting order, right?" Jeffrey threatened to jump off the balcony to escape my ignorance of the nomenclature of "America's Favorite Pastime."

Today was a day at the pool. Beautiful! And strangely devoid of the usual riff-raff that hangs out at our apartment's pool area. Perhaps they only come out on the weekends. I keep trying to convince Jeffrey we need a pool float like the one below--he disagrees.

I've also been making more baby gifts for all my little pregger friends. Pictures to come.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Final Thoughts

We had five tests in five days to end our first year of dental school. Fortunately for me, all of my grades were pretty much set in stone regardless of my score on the final exam. (For example, in one class, I needed a 108.2 to make an A (not possible), or a 64 to make a B.)

Because of this, I had a (relatively) stress-free week, especially when it came to my last final on Friday. The test on Friday was one of those classes where it was impossible to get an A, but showing up for the test and marking a few answers basically guaranteed me a B. In fact, I only had to get 5 questions right out of 30 to keep my B.

I debated over not studying at all (since I had attended all the lectures), but I decided that I would be decidedly upset if I earned a C due to being cocky, so I did study quite a bit, but not anywhere near the amount I would normally study for a typical test in that class. I didn't even finish going over the notes one whole time.

We got our grades back today...

...and I made the exact same grade that I always make. What?!?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get a loan of this...

Today I got a letter from some sad little branch of our government that has the unfortunate job of dealing with the loans for dental and medical school. (Private lenders used to handle the loans, but with the recent bank fiascoes, the US government stepped in to handle the loans.) The letter stated: Lauren O Edwards, please choose one of the following payment plans for repayment of your loans as you will be leaving school as of 6/26/2009.

As most of you reading this post know (but somehow the government overlooked) I have 3 more years of school left. In no way am I leaving school on 6/26/2009. As a matter of fact, I filled out all my paperwork already for the next school year, have been enrolled in classes, and the government has actually already extended about $50,000 of loans to me.

So basically, the government has loaned me money for the upcoming school year (which implies that they think I'm still in school) while simultaneously calling due my previous loan amount (which implies that they think I'm not going to be in school anymore).

It's like the loan branch of the government has been taken over by the same people who work at the post office. (Apologies to anyone who works at the post office, but seriously--have you ever had a quick and efficient visit there...?)

Friday, May 15, 2009

One Down, Three to Go

As of 9:00 am today, I completed my first year of dental school.

(Pausing for applause...)

I think I am still in shock at this feeling of relief. During this past school year I often took breaks from studying for hours or even days just to rest my mind, but I always felt guilty in those breaks because I felt that I should have been studying. Now, however, I have firmly planted myself on the couch, and take my most wonderful break from school. Nine whole weeks of nothing stretch out before the start of my second year. Yay!

I was wondering, though: Will I still have things to blog about when school is not in session? Never fear, faithful readers, I'm going on family vacation next month, and you KNOW there are always stories from those trips!

In honor of the close of the semester, I share one more whiny blog posting about dental school in the form of this Venn diagram that one of my classmates sent me to describe how he (and the rest of us) felt about some of our finals.
And with that, I bid adieu to my first year and hello to summer break.

*Special note to my mom: I'm so sorry that you STILL have school. Your students are lucky to have a teacher like you who keeps going strong even at the end of the year! (They really are lucky--they just act like they're being tortured.)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Laundry List

Jeffrey and I don't fight very often (which is good, since we're going to be living together forever), but we do have those usual little things that annoy one of us about the other. Most couples fight about money in their first few years together, but we are both tightwads, so we don't really have to fight about spending. Nevertheless, we could each make a little laundry list of the annoying habits the other one has, but most of those perturbances actually are pretty funny when you take a step back and look at them. For example:

I have a lot of shoes. (For those wondering exactly how many, I would guess upwards of 50 pair.) I feel like it's ok that I have so many shoes because 1) I got good deals on most of them (including the best deal of all: Mom or Dad bought them) and 2) I wear all of them fairly often.

Jeffrey actually doesn't seem to mind that I have so many shoes, even though they take up the lion's share of our closet; Jeffrey minds that my shoes seem to automatically migrate from my feet to the area underneath our coffee table immediately upon entering the apartment, and there they stay for an indefinite amount of time (like these cute sandals I wore today that, of course, are now under the table).

It is not uncommon for there to be 5 pair of my shoes underneath our coffee table on any given day. Jeffrey doesn't like this situation, so he came up with his own silly solution to the problem: When he gets tired of looking at my shoes under the coffee table, he puts them all on top of the fur down. (If you look closely in these pictures, you will see my little gold flippy-floppies up there.)

My laundry list for Jeffrey actually has to do with laundry! Jeffrey and I have VERY different ideas about how to do the laundry. My idea of laundry is to do the number of loads you have time to do, and fold or hang them as soon as they are done in the dryer (because I'm really bad at ironing, so I prefer just to take care of the wrinkles before they happen). Jeffrey believes in putting a bunch of laundry in the washer and dryer, and then only taking them out or changing the loads if he remembers/feels like it. This results in many of our laundry loads sitting in a big wrinkly pile on the black chair until someone (usually me) decides to fold them.

Unfortunately, by the time we fold them, the clothes have begun to resemble the wrinkled face of a bulldog (like this polo of Jeffrey's):

Important thing: we still love each other. We even laugh about these little bothersome differences (most of the time). After all, it is pretty funny to complete your outfit in the morning by scanning your cabinet tops for the perfect shoes to wear...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Too hot to handle

I've posted before about my friends accidentally setting their hair on fire during lab. Those Bunsen burners can really sneak up on you! Last week, however, we had an entirely new fire experience in the lab.

Last week we had our final practical for the class called Dental Anatomy. It involved using green wax to make four teeth and make sure those four teeth hit the other teeth properly.

The project in itself wasn't that difficult, but the simple fact that it was a timed test added a degree of difficulty to the procedure. Everyone's always a little on edge on practical days, so there is always a risk for a minor catastrophe, like dropping your teeth on the floor and breaking them at the last minute, or simply running out of time to finish.

As for my friend Laura, however, the added risk had more to do with fire hazards.

A few minutes after we started the practical, I smelled a strange burning smell in the lab. I looked up to check my area for anything aflame, but didn't see anything burning, so I went right back to work without checking the rest of the lab to see what was happening. (It was a timed test--no time to piddle around making sure my neighbor wasn't on fire.)

It was only after the practical was completed that I heard about Laura's experience.

Our Bunsen burners, like most, are made of a rubber piece of hose that connects to the gas source and then a metal part that hold the flame once it is lit. Unfortunately for Laura, her rubber hose had a small crack in it, which turned out to be a fire hazard. Shortly after the practical started, her Bunsen burner (the very object that is made to hold a flame) caught on fire.

Which brings to mind one simple question: Shouldn't they make Bunsen burners flame retardant?

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Last night we had a fun night with friends (celebrating our friend Katelyn's birthday). Jeffrey and I knew we would probably bow out early since we had church in the morning, so we took our car and everyone else piled up in Jordan's car. At one point, we had to park in an empty lot next to the place where we wanted to go.

At around 12 am, Jeffrey and I left to head home, but were greeted by...an empty parking lot. All the way empty. Like, none of the 6 cars that had been there before (including ours and Jordan's) were there.

THAT is not a good feeling.

There was no broken glass, so I assumed the cars hadn't been stolen. (Not to mention, who can steal 6 cars in an hour and a half? We aren't in the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds.") I started looking around for towing signs and unfortunately found one. We had been towed by some seedy private company from the parking lot of a restaurant that WASN'T EVEN OPEN FOR BUSINESS. Adding insult to injury, a guy who had been talking on the phone in the parking lot came over and said, "Yall's car get towed?" We said, "Yes." He said, "Aww, man! That's awful. Yeah, I saw that guy just going back and forth and getting all those cars one at a time."

Hey, man--thanks for the warning.

We called the towing company and the lady told me that for the mere price of $221.63, I could purchase back my own car for use. They could accept cash or debit card payment.

Problem #2 (#1 is the fact that the car is no longer in our possession)--we don't carry around $225 in our pockets, and we don't use debit cards.

Since we were only about a mile from home, we decided to walk (since I wasn't about to call a cab and add more money to this fiasco). As we walked home, with me in my cute cotton dress and strappy wedge sandals, Jeffrey called the automated banking number to try and activate our debit card.

Problem #3--They can't activate a PIN number using the automated system.

We figured we would just go home and look up the directions to the impound lot and get our PIN from the online services at our bank's website.

Problem #4--Of all times, our bank chose this night to do "routine maintenance" on their entire website. No access to funds, no access to PIN numbers, no access to anything. Thank you Chase Bank.

We ended up getting a ride from our friend Justin to the impound lot of questionable licensing where the lady told me I could check my car for any scratches, dents, or other injuries before signing away my rights to complain.

Problem #5--It was 2:30 am by that point, and there was one motion light present to "illuminate" the entire lot. Not adequate, tow truck company.

Jordan used his debit card to pay for our towing fee and his own, and we gave him a personal check to pay him back. Regardless, I think he will probably be getting a call about his "unusual activity" on his card...he doesn't often spend $500 in the wee hours of the morning.

We got home around 3 am, $225 dollars poorer, 100% angrier, and 50000% more likely to look for "no parking" signs when we park next time.

In closing, I have a few comments for those parties involved in our little situation.

To the rude wrecking company: If you worked for the city, and if we had parked in a fire lane, we would feel badly for parking in the wrong place; since you just go around patrolling for poor, unsuspecting people and ruin their nights, we don't like you. And you need more lights.

To the restaurant that does not allow parking even when they are closed: It's just selfish to hog your parking lot like that. It's not nice to be selfish. It will not make you friends. Shame on you.

To the guy who stood and watched 6 cars be towed away and didn't say a word: You have GOT to be kidding me. One word for you, my friend: Karma.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Jeffrey and I have a great system worked out for dinner at our house. When we eat at home (which is most of the time), I cook the meal while Jeffrey often helps; when it's time to clean up, Jeffrey does most of the cleaning, and most of the time I help put up the leftovers. It's not the best system for everybody, but it works for us.

Tonight, however, the system broke down. Jeffrey was left to his own devices in the kitchen after dinner to clean up. The next thing I knew, Jeffrey exclaimed, "I need help! I've been sauced!!!!"

The sight that greeted me when I looked away from my "homework" (AKA--AOL.com picture stalking of movie stars) was a frightening scene. Jeffrey had underestimated the amount of spaghetti sauce left in the pan, so he had chosen a Tupperware that was far too small. Unfortunately, he could not stop pouring quickly enough when he realized the Tupperware was filling, so it flowed over the sides, all over his hands, and (thankfully) into the sink and not onto the floor or stove top.

I love that guy. He makes me laugh!

Friday, May 1, 2009

No coffee, no workee

Last night Jeffrey and I were both cramming for tests that we had this morning. When we both are studying hard, we like to amp up our caffeine levels by taking a trip to Starbucks. The closest Starbucks to our house is on Medical Drive, only about a mile away. We drove up to the drive-thru sign where a friendly voice said, "Before you order, I need to tell you something," instead of the usual, "Welcome to Starbucks, how can I help you?"

The voice proceeded: "Our water has been shut off, so we can only make X, Y, and Z drinks. None of those drinks were what Jeffrey and I wanted. The voice suggested that we try the Starbucks on Wurzbach, only a short drive away.

We drove to Wurzbach (behind the same car that we had followed into the one on Medical) and were greeted with the usual Starbucks welcome. We ordered our drinks and proceeded to the window, where the employee said to me, "I'm sorry--we're out of the coffee used to make your drink and we can't make any more because we're about to close."

My mouth literally dropped open. Starbucks?! Out of COFFEE?! What is this world coming to?

Perhaps from the sheer surprise of seeing my horrified face upon hearing this news, the employee suggested that he use a different coffee for my drink, and offered to make it gratis. I tried to pay for Jeffrey's drink, but he gave us that one for free, too. (We love him now, despite our relationship's poor beginning.) All's well that ends well. Coffee was found. And it's a good thing that it was--at our house the rule is: No coffee, no workee.