brain farts

To Whom it May Concern (The Post-3rd Year Dental School Version)

Posted on: March 5, 2008

To 3rd Year (aka the Year that Very Nearly Killed Me):

No offense or anything, but boy am I glad I’ll never have to see you again. You sure did give my ass a whooping now, didn’t you? All those weekends spent doing root canal access openings and long nights spent with the books sure did teach me a thing or two about appreciating the small things in life, like naps. I mean, seriously, if I had a penny for all the times I thought to myself, “God, I’d kill for a nap,” I’d be off sailing into the sunset somewhere around the Mediterranean right now.

And geez, your buddies? All 16 of them? They sure didn’t make things any easier, mind you. Take the best of your pals, Microbiology and Pathology, for instance. They very nearly turned me and every last person in my dental school into raving hypochondriacs. I swear, My Girl’s Vada Sultenfuss had nothing on us. I mean, it was totally normal for us to be all ready to dig into a steaming hot bowl of kuay thiew tom yum, only to stop short and ponder about the striking similarities of the noodles to Ascaris lumbricoides, and to wonder if that’s the reason why some of us (not me, obviously) can devour a pint of ice-cream and a loaf of bread before hitting the sack, and still remain as thin as a rail. Or how about the countless times we were learning about some random disease in Patho, only to notice an obscure spot on our arm and go, “Shit, do I have dermatitis herpetiformis? Does that mean I can’t have gluten? But I can’t live without — oh wait, that’s a mosquito bite.”


But thankfully we got over it. And lived through it. And man, although you’ve taught me SO incredibly much this year — stuff that is actually starting to come together and make sense, stuff that I can actually see myself applying to real live patients in the future — I still have to say, THANK GOD I’LL NEVER HAVE TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

Au revoir, sucka!

But thankfully yours,


To Bella Italia:

Considering I’ve had an unhealthy crush on you, oh, my entire life, it was only inevitable I’d visit your shores sooner or later. I’m only glad it’s sooner, rather than later.

You can bet I’m counting down the days until my trip next month, not to mention devouring every last movie filmed in Italy, whether they be recent films (Under the Tuscan Sun), old films (A Room With a View), really old films (Roman Holiday), or my all-time guilty pleasure favorite (Only You). I’m disgustingly excited to do the most touristy activities under the sun, whether they involve driving along the precarious cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, gondola rides along Venice’s Grand Canal, or strolling the vineyard-dotted fields of Tuscany.

2 weeks of quintessential Italian living? I can’t wait! La dolce vita, here I come!

Adoringly yours,


To the Board Exams:

Okay, so the really anticlimatic thing about going to Italy is that I have to get through you first, and when I say “get through”, I actually mean “PASS, if I ever want to practice dentistry in the Kingdom of Thailand, EVER.” So, no pressure. None at all.

But seriously? Even though 4 months ago the mere thought of you made me want to break out in a cold sweat and curl up in a fetal position and whimper, you don’t seem half so bad now.

By the way, you get full permission to laugh and squeal, “I told you so!” if 1 month from now I’m doing precisely that, curling up in a fetal positioning and whimpering, “What was I thinking?!?”

But like I said, reviewing for your list of material doesn’t seem nearly half so bad now as it did a couple of months ago. In fact, you’re looking like a really nice cup of steaming hot chocolate right now, compared to the bitter cough medicine that is the 33-page endodontics final I took today, which I’ve carefully compartmentalized into a far corner of my mind where I can live in sweet denial and forget all about it.

Hindsight sure is mighty powerful, huh?

Insightfully yours,


To Duffy, Kaiser Chiefs, Jamie Scott, Amy MacDonald, Newton Faulkner, Yael Naim, and Leona Lewis,

Thanks for keeping me company every day as I was driving to uni, bleary-eyed and wishing I was back in bed with the covers pulled high above my head!

Gratefully yours,


To Allison:

When I first heard that a badass shark had carelessly snapped off three of your flippers, leaving you in a spin (literally), my heart went out to you. Then when I heard what my super smart cousin, P’Ju, was doing, I thought to myself, “Seriously, could this woman possibly be any cooler???”

Because using maxillofacial prosthetic technology and dental implants to create prosthetic flippers for a 1-limbed turtle is incredibly awesome. Not to mention groundbreaking, considering you’re gonna be the first ever turtle to receive prosthetic implants. Plus, you’ll get to return to the sea and live out the rest of your days cruising the East Australian current with Crush and gang!

Good luck with your big surgery, Alli!

Hopefully yours,


My First Completed Set of Complete Dentures:

We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we? In between the sweat and the tears and the many long nights spent with burning wax, flyaway acrylic dust, and the carcinogenic p53-killing scent of liquid monomer, I might have thrown a hateful word or two at you. Or more. Please know that none of them were intentional. Well, except maybe for that one time I cut myself with the rag wheel while trying to pumice and shine your ass to a shiny gleam, and cursed with enough gusto to make a sailor blush. Yeah, that one time was fully intended for you. But the other times? Nah. That was merely me venting my frustration — you know that, don’t you?

I mean, who knew a set of fully functioning and perfectly fitting dentures was so hard to fabricate? But despite it all, and no matter how many more dentures I make in my dental career, I gotta say that you’ll be the one I’ll always remember. That’s right — no matter how bumpy and crooked and downright DEFORMED you look, that’s okay. I’ll always love you, just like that Whitney Houston song (except maybe without the falsetto). MUAH.

Lovingly yours,


Currently Playing: The very smooth and heartfelt Warwick Avenue by Duffy. She first caught my ear when I heard the toe-tappingly sassy Mercy on the radio. One listen, and I was gone. Her voice is so very reminiscent of the classy, old-soul crooners of the 60’s, something utterly refreshing to me, what with all the muzak on the radio nowadays. Seriously, this girl is the real deal. It’s no wonder her album is topping the British charts!

Currently Watching: P.S. I Love You, which I actually watched last month, but loved so much I can’t NOT blog about it. Sure, this was a “chick flick,” but generic it is not. It didn’t have a typical happily-ever-after ending, and was painful, and bittersweet, and heartbreakingly honest, something most chick flicks nowadays aren’t. I was in tears 20 minutes into the film (not the pretty kind), having underestimated my friend’s warning to BRING SOME TISSUES ALONG. But did I listen? No. Instead, I laughed, cried (lost count after the 5th time, but knew that it was enough to reduce me to a pathetic little soggy mess by the end of the film when Holly was reading Gerry’s very last letter), and okay, ogled a little, because, hello, Gerard Butler/Phantom King alert! And, okay, maybe he was dead within the first 20 minutes or so (cue first onslaught of tears), but he made enough appearances throughout the film to make up for it all. Plus, part of the film takes place in Ireland, which is always a plus for me. Oh, and did I mention that the soundtrack rocks?

Currently Reading: After the thousands of pages of text I’ve been reading these past few months, reading is kind of the last thing on my mind. But watch me eat my words in a few days when I start tackling my teetering to-be-read pile with much gusto. What can I say? I just can’t seem to stay away.

6 Responses to "To Whom it May Concern (The Post-3rd Year Dental School Version)"

congratulations on fininshing your 3rd year! hope you enjoy your much-needed and well-deserved vacation next month!

Have fun in Italy. It sounds like you have a bright future ahead of you. I do like your book reviews so hopefully we get some more of those soon. Are you all done with dental school? By the sounds of your post it seems lie you are.

cool. congrats on making it. mmm… i like my roundworms with duck!

Wow, those dentures look good! Did you make them from scratch? Including shaping the teeth and the gums? Dental stuff has been on my mind lately because I’m getting a post-core-crown done for the tooth I had a root canal on. Matching the color of the crown to the natural teeth? not easy.
Ciao bella :)

Nice to see you back in the land of the living. :)

A belated congrats for surviving the third year!!
Italy sounds like a well deserved trip for all the hard work ;). My sister is going to Italy next week, lucky. I told her to bring a big bag of biscotti. :D.

The movie P.S. I love you sounds more interesting than the book. I thought the book was a bit lenghty with the words especially when it’s all based on letters and emails. But it was not bad :).

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