Saturday, December 5, 2009



Too many finals. Too little time. Terrible time to have a birthday. I hope each and one of you find time for yourselves, no matter how busy you are. Just stop whatever you are doing, stretch, take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you've done this many times before. And just as all those times, you will be just fine.

On a personal note, thank you everyone that came out for my short birthday get together. Means the world to me. Ok! Enough slacking! Get back to work! You don't wanna fail, do you??!!!

-Because I can.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Fighting virtual windmills...


What makes you stay afloat and energized? What drives you to be who you are and to stay the course? Often we become so involved in simply staying afloat that we forget to see where the currents take us. One of the advantages and disadvantages of UCSF is its wide diversity within the student body. Albeit receiving a highly beneficial life experience, we, as a class, still stratify ourselves into "Clicks". Be it by background, location, ethnicity, or all of the above, we are drawn into groups of people we associate with and become friends within those groups. Such social inbreeding is far from unique and is inherent to life in general. Perhaps the point I am trying to make is a bit far fetched, but while I consider myself extremely lucky to be friends with the people that I am friends with, I wonder if I limit my understanding of people with other opinions and outlooks on the world. Something to think about.

Short post today, as the Finals season is upon us. As you noticed, the daily cartoon is above. This time an inside joke to the UCSF class of 2012.

-Because I can.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

UC light at the end of the tunnel?


Education at a public institution can be like driving a pre-owned Geo Metro - great ride for how much you spend, but you really don't know if you will make it home from the dealership.
I found out today that someone I admired greatly, who, in part, drew me to this school, and who, to my great joy, was going to take over my PhD program, is in fact leaving for NYU. Yes, ladies and gents, according to several highly informed classmates of mine, Dr. Brian Schmidt DDS MD PhD FACS will most likely leave UCSF for NYU, where he will take over the OMFS program. Although not officially confirmed by any of the faculty or staff, my sources are "solid".
While saddened, I understand this choice made. Heading a whole residency program is a big step in one's academic carrier. If unmatched, I would take this opportunity as well. My sources further state that Dr. Schmidt was recruited by none other than Dr. Bertolami, the past Dean for SOD. A great loss to UCSF and a tremendous gain to NYU. As for the PhD program, I am staying the course no matter the weather.

Another great thing that disturbs me about some of the universities policies is the presence of homeless people in the library. Studying on the 3rd floor of the Kalmanovitz Library today, I witnessed at least 7 of such individuals snoring with their shoes off and pungent socks exposed for our pleasure; pushing strollers (yes!) full of their lively belongings; talking to themselves; walking aimlessly around the study tables; and coughing profusely, roaring up the entire floor. I understand that it's cold out, but the Kalmanovitz library is not a shelter for the homeless, it is an educational medical library for future health care professionals. It makes no sense to me to read signs like "No Food Allowed" or "Due to recent laptop and purse thefts..." when those people are allowed to do for what in other university libraries one would be thrown out of. And don't get me started on the needles I found in the bathrooms. I had to leave the library because I didn't want to catch the flu and couldn't concentrate on my notes due to the snoring and coughing all around me. These should not be the reasons to leave the school library for a stressed doctoral student.

Perhaps instead of implementing such genius ideas as closing the library on a Saturday, UCSF will actually implement something conducive to an education?

-Because I can.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Remember that one time in high school....

UCSF being a professional school, I expect a certain level of maturity from my classmates. Granted, I don't always act my own age, but it's usually limited to "what she said" jokes and occasional G-rated prank. However, what happened today made me question the professionalism of several of my classmates.
As a preface in a nutshell, we had an operative test case today and one of the students allegedly started a very basic procedure ahead of time, thus gaining an unfair advantage (placed the rubber dam before hand). Then, about 5 hours after, an anonymous post was made on the E-commons of our school website. The post accused the student of the aforementioned and proceeded to bash that student in front of the entire school. Some other people joined, also anonymously, and used the opportunity to tell the world how much they dislike the student in question. All of this prompted me to write a post defending the student. In my opinion, the situation could be handled in a private manner and in much better taste. After hanging to dry for about 3 hrs, the thread was removed by an instructor.
But then the student in question wrote an email back to the class and instructors. I wish he/she hadn't. Not only was that email not needed, but it was some of the most incoherent and unpleasant collections of words I've ever read. Some of the "defenses" used by the student were that he/she "only hangs out with the Mormons and two other girls". If this smells offensive, it's because it is. Then, after about 7 paragraphs of babble about how he/she is so much better than the rest of the class in everything and use of some offensive language, I began to wonder if I jumped the gun about my defense. Obviously, no, I still stand by my opinion. But the student in question definitely dug him/herself deep with that email.
This is dental school right? Not high school, not The Real World San Francisco. About time people act like it.

-Because I can.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Hello everyone,

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was outstanding. Every time I fly back home (Oklahoma), it seems I go back in time - to a place of slow and quiet life of a small town. This Thanksgiving was a special one for me. I learned a new value of family and time given to us on this planet. I found out that my little brother is 16 - a whole grown person who is not just my brother, but also my friend. I found out the value of differential diagnosis. Finally, I found out that the emergency seating on the aiplane is the most comfortable seat EVER.

Then I get back and face the grind... And what a better way to be thrown back into the grind than a lovely morning to setting teeth in Prostho. An hour and 10 minutes after a "short" lecture, which further confused the hell out of me, I proceeded to set. 15 wax burns later I was told to redo half of it, due to something I missed the previous lecture. Lovely. The time on the clock was 11:40, and I went to find the professor who critiqued my work. To my dismay he/she had already left for lunch. I can be very understanding and lenient when it comes to many things. One thing I DO NOT take well, is people cutting corners at my expense. If we (the students) are expected to be in the class until 12, then I expect the instructors to be there as well!

The afternoon was spent on a fishing expedition to find a cool case to assist. After a classmate beat me to an extraction, I settled on assisting an Endo case. Turns out, I lucked out big time, as the D4 I assisted was very helpful and informative. the whole case was exceptionally educational and I'm actually looking forward to Endo next quarter.

Alright, I kinda have finals next week, so I guess I'll get to studying.