Thursday, October 29, 2009


Remember a few days ago when I told you that our secret test ID numbers had been compromised?

Well, we've been re-compromised.

A different teacher just posted our final grades in his class using our new test ID numbers, but rather than arranging them in number order, he arranged them in alphabetical order. So, if you want to know someone's grade, you just have to look at the alphabetical list of our class and match it up with that list.

It's tough to keep a secret around here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lip Service

Today I had a rotation at school where I was supposed to go into the dental clinic and assist a 3rd or 4th year student while he or she worked on a patient. Most of the time on these rotations our entire afternoon of "assisting" consists of holding the suction in the patient's mouth, but this time was different. Since I am no longer a lowly 1st year student but rather a slightly more knowledgeable 2nd year student, the professors encourage us to help with more procedures on these rotations. Today that meant that I got to do some injections.

The first two injections went fairly well, except that the patient jumped while the needle was about 2 inches into her gums. Not cool. Then she started to complain that she could feel the warmth from the injection going all the way up her scalp.

Just in case you didn't know, we are not supposed to anesthetize the scalp during routine dental procedures.

As it turns out, the patient didn't really have any problem from the injection, and only the parts of the mouth that were supposed to be anesthetized were anesthetized. I don't know what the whole "scalp warming" thing was.

Feeling quite proud of myself for doing the first two injections well, but a little nervous from the scalp warming panic, I went for injection number 3. It was a type of injection I'm not as familiar with, so I was a bit more nervous than usual, but I gave the shot and then the 3rd year student asked me to get an instrument for her from another room, so I left.

When I returned in a few minutes, my heart almost stopped when I saw the patient. Her bottom lip looked like this...
Oh. My. Goodness.

I sat in my assistant's chair, stunned and wondering what I did wrong. I didn't know what I had done or if this Octomom look was going to be permanent for my poor little patient. Then I started to think about all the other job options I have besides dentistry (because obviously they weren't going to let me pass if I was doing unlicensed, unsolicited, and accidental plastic surgery on people's lips).

Then I noticed that while I was gone the 3rd year student had put a big, fat cotton roll in the patient's lower lip. Hence the swelling.

Yay! I can still be a dentist!

Monday, October 26, 2009


My new favorite number is eleven. Eleven is the number of school days (beginning tomorrow) in which I do not have a written exam. There are lab exercises, quizzes, and practical exams, but there will be no tests. I think that the last time that happened was on the eleventh day of school this semester.

In no particular order are the activities that I am going to do during my days off.

1. Work out. If only to prepare for the Thanksgiving gluttony and Christmas laziness that will ensue over the next 2 months. And to counteract number 2.

2. Eat double stuf oreos. Jeffrey and I haven't bought these since we got married due to an incident while we were engaged that involved two people eating an entire bag in two days. Enough said.

3. Blog. Yay!

4. Knit.
Right now I'm attempting to knit a sweater for Jeffrey. Scary! So far, so good--about halfway through the back section of the sweater. It looks really handsome, but I'm hesitant to put pictures up on the blog in case I can't figure it all out and finish!

5. Think of Christmas presents for family and friends. One of my favorite parts of Christmas is to think of ideas for presents with Jeffrey. We think up all the best ideas we can and then go buy them together long before Christmas.

6. Cook. I've taken quite a long hiatus from cooking--or at least, REALLY cooking. I've been alternating the same old recipes through the kitchen, and while Jeffrey has been very sweet about each time he's had to eat spaghetti, it's time for a change. On the menu for this week? Homemade lasagna with fresh green beans, brisket and sweet potatoes, grilled chicken baked in foil with baby carrots...yummy.

7. Prepare my costume for the Halloween party this weekend. The current idea is that Jeffrey and I will go as Barbie and Ken. I'm still trying to convince Jeffrey to go with his shirt off after I paint big, plastic-y muscles on him.

8. Study...but only a little.

9. Watch all my Wednesday TV shows. I have 5 favorite TV shows, and 4 of them air on Wednesdays. Normally that means that I have to choose one to watch and then catch up on the weekend, but this week it's gonna be a marathon!

10. Clean the apartment. Let's just say there are quite a few single socks looking for mates around here. These eleven days will be like for them.

11. Enjoy eleven days off!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


There are many words in the English language that have two meanings that have completely different meanings. One such word is "compromised." The good meaning goes like this: Jeffrey and Lauren got into a fight about whether to buy a cat or a dog, but they compromised and bought a dog that meows."

*Just for clarification, we did not buy a meowing dog.

The bad meaning of compromised goes like this: Dear Dental Class of 2012, The secret test ID numbers that we assigned to you at the beginning of your dental education have been compromised. We will need to reassign the numbers, and until that time none of your grades will be able to be posted. Sincerely, Dean of Students."

Yes, one of our teachers (who apparently was unaware of the SECRET status of our test ID numbers) posted a document on a school website with the entire class's names next to their ID numbers. Guess who's not getting a Christmas card this year?

But the story doesn't end there. The dean's office decided to mail us our new secret ID numbers by campus mail. Campus mail isn't often used in dental school, and about 9 times out of 10 I can't figure out how to open my mailbox (embarrassing, I know), so I hadn't checked my box in almost two months. During one of our labs, however, word started to go around that two of our grades had been posted by our new ID numbers, and we needed to get our code from the mailboxes in order to check it.

I was especially nervous about this grade, so I left the lab to go to my mailbox, crossing my fingers all the way in the hopes that this day would be one of the days that I could (with the help of my college and post-grad education) figure out how to unlock my mailbox.

Luck was in my favor and I opened my mailbox on the first try. I quickly walked back to the wall where the grades were posted and looked for my ID number...

There was no 241612. None at all. In fact, the numbers skipped from 241610 to 241616. Cool.

I checked my email to see if I could make sense out of this little issue, and I saw another email from the dean's office. "Dear students: There was a problem with some of the new test ID numbers, some of them were duplicated. Please come to the dean's office to get your new new test ID number."

I finally got my real test ID number and checked my grades (they were good, you can uncross your fingers now!). After that wild goose chase had ended, I decided to open the other letter that I had found in my mailbox...

"Dear Lauren, Thank you so much for your willingness to serve on the Altered Curriculum Committee. Students are appointed to the committee for a 1 year term. You can expect emails from ___ shortly."

I do not know what this committee is. I do not know the person who is supposedly sending me emails about it. I did not sign up for this committee. The letter was dated August 25, 2009, and I have not heard anything about it yet.

But apparently, I am willing to serve.

What a weird day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I Spy Alumni

Last weekend Jeffrey and I went to Abilene for ACU's Homecoming--Go Wildcats! And though the #1 ranked mighty Wildcats lost their big football game, we still managed to somehow have a great time visiting friends and family.

One thing I learned while I was back in A-town was that we have quite a few more "blog stalkers" (do you think the term "blolkers" could catch on to describe that?) than I realized. Never fear, you who creep onto our blog in anonymity, I actually like blolkers. Few things make me as happy as looking down at our little map that shows how many hits we've gotten on our little website and seeing a big number. The only thing that would make me happier is for you to actually leave a comment every once-in-a-while so that I don't feel like I'm writing this blog to no one.

For all you blolkers who were concerned about my make-up test that I wrote about in my last post--here's the rest of the story...

Dr. X just stopped emailing me completely after the first eleven unsuccessful attempts at communication. Once the week of the test arrived, I decided that I had to go to the next level--I made a meeting with the department chair. The department chair assured me that he would take care of the problem, and incredibly he somehow got Dr. X to email me that very day with a make-up test date. (On the other hand, he's probably mad that I went over his head, so I'm interviewing for a job as a trash truck driver in the morning in case Dr. X flunks me out of dental school.)

As I was thinking today about what to write on this post, I started to think back on my high school's homecoming, and suddenly my thoughts settled on mums. Remember homecoming mums? A custom that could only be popular in the great state of Texas, mums absolutely consumed the thoughts of any junior high or high school student at my school. If you didn't have a boyfriend you had to get one around homecoming, otherwise your parents would have to buy your mum and instead of saying "Bobby" or "Jeremy" in glittery letters on silvery ribbon your mum would have a big fat ribbon that read "I love you schnookems!"

And the problems didn't end if you had a boyfriend, either. A mum that was too small clearly said, "I'm going to break up with you after the homecoming dance in the cafetorium tonight." A mum that was too big said, "You are definitely going to trip over this on the way to your seat in the bleachers at the game." Talk about being trapped between a rock and a hard place!

The following are my rules for successful mum-wearing...complete with pictures of real people that I got off of blogs that I stalked tonight. (See--it's ok to blog stalk--everybody's doing it!)

Rule #1: The mum is too big if it literally knocks you over.

Rule #2: It is NOT ok to rock the "one mum per boob" look.

Rule #3: The mum is too big if it is larger than your entire head. (But it will make your hips look smaller--just like wearing black!

Rule #4: If your mum is so big that it covers your entire body, your boyfriend hates you--he is trying to choke you with mum material. There is no other reason that one should give a gift containing such exorbitant amounts of ribbon and string.

Rule #5: If your mum turns your crew-neck t-shirt into a v-neck, it's too heavy, and you are risking permanent neck damage by wearing it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Miss Communication

I'm having a little communication problem with one of my teachers. It all started when I made a dental appointment with my uncle in Abilene for the Friday of ACU Homecoming. I made the appointment for that day because we only had two hours of lecture scheduled for that day, and I figured that both teachers (at the dental school) would excuse an absence for a dental appointment!

Unfortunately for me, my class voted to change the date of another class's final examination to that Friday. As soon as I found out about the conflict I emailed the teacher of that course--we'll call him Dr. X. [enter problems]

Friday, September 25th, 2009
Me, in an email: Dr. X, My class voted to move our final exam in your class to October 16th. Since our original schedule had an open afternoon, I had scheduled a dental appointment in another city. Is there any way that I could take the final exam for your class at an earlier or later date? Thank you. Lauren


Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Dr. X, in an email: We will work it out. What time is your appointment?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
Me, in an email: Dr. X--My appointment is not at the school--it is in Abilene, a city that is 3.5 hours away by car. I will not be at school at all on October 16th. We will need to work out another date for me to take it. Would you like me to come by your office to figure out a day? Thanks. Lauren

Wednesday...Thursday...Friday...Saturday...Sunday...Monday (I go by his office--he isn't there)...

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009
Me (frustrated), in an email: Dr. X--Sorry to bother you, but I was just wondering if you had figured out a date when I could take my final for your class. I understood from your last email that you didn't mind me taking it on another date, but I hadn't heard back from you about when that would be. Please let me know at your earliest convenience. Thank you. Lauren

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Dr. X, in an email: When do you expect to return from your appointment?

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009
Me, thinking to myself: OH MY GOSH!! Am I speaking in tongues? Have I been communicating poorly? Am I going nuts? What is going on?
Me, in an email: Dr. X--I will return on Sunday, October 18th around 5 pm.

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
Me, talking to myself: "Do not go not go not go insane..."

Still haven't heard back from Dr. X after my last email. Hopefully I'll hear tomorrow and tell you the rest of the story.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cooking with Gas

This Tuesday in lab we spent most of the afternoon making crowns out of gold. Interestingly, the product at the end of the lab looks strikingly similar to a monopoly piece. Observe.CrownMonopoly piece

The best part of the day for me was using the awesome torch. The only picture I have is this one: The torch is actually much cooler than the picture shows. The torch could be turned up to shoot for about a foot! By the way, I tried to search google for a picture of the torch, and when I was typing in "dental torch" the most commonly searched terms box said "dental torture" as a probable item. That's not nice, you dentist haters!

We were repeatedly warned to be careful before our lab. Our teachers warned us that the faculty were the most at risk because students often got so excited once the big torch was lit that they forgot where they were pointing it and burned the nearby faculty member who was in charge of helping. Either this is an interesting coincidence or the students before us really hated the faculty.

Unfortunately for my friend, Hanna, this warning came too late. A few minutes before lab she had been working with a smaller flame on a project for another class when she made a small mistake with the fire and it cost her...

...the tips of all her eyelashes on her right eye. She is now rocking the "charred lash" trend that we've been seeing so much on the runways this season. She is not happy about it.

You might have thought that dentistry was only for dorks. Now you know--it's dangerous. Men going through their mid-life crises are signing up in droves. We get gadgets like James Bond. We burn each other (and ourselves). We carry torches. We are dentist--hear us roar.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Squeaky Clean

Today Jeffrey and I had the afternoon off from school so we decided to do a little shopping. We didn't really find much that struck our fancy, so we came home empty-handed, but happy to have spent some time together.

The happiness only lasted a few minutes, though, because we both realized upon walking through the door to our apartment that it was a disaster! In our haste to study for tests, finish projects, and go to sleep at night, we had let our apartment turn into a dumping ground for clothes (both clean and dirty) and various papers from school. The kitchen was splattered with tiny pieces of each quickly-made meal we ate last week, and we're not even going to talk about the bathroom situation!

Needless to say, the later part of our afternoon was spent cleaning up the place. Once everything was neatly in its place, we sat down to rest for a minute on the couch. Looking around at our clean apartment I was shocked at how different it looked. The counter tops looked bigger because they were free from clutter. The pattern of the wood on the coffee table was so pretty--and I noticed it because I could see it (it had been under a pile of papers for the last 3 weeks). And apparently, underneath all my clothes, a full-sized dresser has been hiding for months in our bedroom!

All these thoughts made me think of a story from childhood...

My brother has always been funny. He's the comedian in our family now, and he was the funniest kid when he was little. A lot of the laughs that we had with Greg when he was little was because he couldn't say any of his words correctly. He said "puh-sketti" instead of "spaghetti," "cod-a-rah-lo" instead of "Colorado," and "innawashpeepan" instead of "I want to watch Peter Pan."

He also had a sweet, sweet heart and was always saying whatever he thought could encourage someone else. One day, my mom decided to clean up the laundry room at our house. It (like our apartment) had become the victim of the hectic lifestyle of a working mother of 3 children. Mom spent all afternoon cleaning it to perfection, so when we came home from school she proudly showed off her work to us.

Sweet little Greg, with admiration in his big blue eyes, looked up at Mom and exclaimed, "Mom! You put in a sink!"

Mom had not, in fact, put in a sink. She had just cleaned the clutter off of the sink. Then she sunk into a deep depression while wondering if the sink had really been covered with clutter for all 6 years of Greg's life, or if Greg simply hadn't noticed it before. She came out of it when she realized that once Greg believed she could put in a sink, he believed that she could do anything and was on the same coolness level as Peter Pan.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Picture Perfect

Sorry blog readers--September appeared to be a rough month for the blogging. A little too much studying, a little too little writing! Hopefully October can be better. To start us out, here's what we've been up to for the last month...
It's rained. Some people might not call that a "blog-able" event, but in South Texas, we get excited about any moisture that isn't just humidity that makes your hair frizzy. Jeffrey and I did have to laugh, though, when we heard our local weather woman exclaim, "It's cooling off this week!" What she really meant was, "It's going to be below 100 degrees. Slightly."

With the temperatures plummeting into the mid-eighties, Jeffrey and I got into the mood for some fall decor around the apartment. One trip to Hobby Lobby and a few glue sticks later, we were surrounded by the pretty orange, red, and soft brown tones of fall.

One item at the apartment that I've been desperately trying not to turn soft shades of brown is my little potted rose bush. I bought these beautiful hot pink rosebuds in a little plastic pot from HEB about a month and a half ago, and it promptly turned brown as soon as I got it home. After I re-potted it, added more soil, faithfully watered, and gave it a pep talk, it appears the sweet little rosebuds have made a comeback! Now they are brightening our balcony and our nightstand.

And those aren't the only flowers adorning our humble abode, though, because my sweet husband bought me flowers (again!) the other day. The lillies have just opened up.
It hasn't been all flowers and fall and rain around here, though...there have also been waffles! Last Saturday Jeffrey and I had a little breakfast date. My mom had bought Jeffrey some cinnamon graham cracker waffle mix from William Sonoma, so we used it to make waffles and bacon for breakfast. I altered the recipe just a little bit to include chocolate chips and whipped cream in addition to syrup...because breakfast is the most important and awesome meal of the day!
And that's just the beginning of October! More to come.