Friday, October 31, 2008

A SCARY Halloween

I decided that Halloween as an adult just isn't the same as Halloween as a child. Kids wear cute costumes and go with their parents house to house and overload on candy.

Adults, at least "adults" here at the University of Iowa wear not so cute costumes and do things their parents would rather not know about from bar to bar and overload on beer.

Abe and I decided to take a trip downtown to get future costume ideas. Here is what we learned:

1-pair bunny or cat ears with your favorite lingerie for an instant costume

2-be a professional (nurse, police officer, pilot, marine, etc) but add a little spice to it with a micro-mini and some thigh high stockings or garters

3- if really desperate, wear your favorite undie/bra combination under a men's white button down shirt for a "next morning" look

4- or, my personal favorite, can't find a shirt to go with your oversized fireman overall pants? No worries, just cover your nipples with the straps and no worries!

...In actuality, I found it very sad. Sad, that innocent costumes like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or cute bunnies, bumble bees, angels (?!), and respected professionals turn into girls selling themselves out for attention. I have never seen so many bums hanging out of skirts and shorts in my life. It is sad that the messages we send women are that being sexy is more important than anything else, and that careers dominated by women (nursing, cleaning, teaching, etc) are opportunities to show some leg. You can be anything from a "sexy dead girl" to "sexy garbage man," things that are not sexy. Halloween has long been one of my favorite holidays, but not if it is just an excuse to wear lingerie in public.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

What a great day...gas and milk both less than $3.00 per gallon.

Gas $2.19/gal...filled my whole tank for $26.99!

Milk $2.65/gal...more expensive than gas. Yay.

Monday, October 27, 2008

National Boards....check!

After 2+ weeks I got my National Board Scores in the mail. I got a little nervous opening the letter but was relieved to see I received almost the same score as last time, just one point less. On most subjects I did much better than the national average; pharmacology was the only section I did slightly less.

Thanks for everyone who said a little prayer for me while I jumped through this big, long hoop towards my dental career. One more task checked of my graduation check list.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Last night as we were leaving a friend's we were met by a few drunk guys. One stopped us as he happened to recognize Abe from HS basketball over 10 years ago. He told me what a great guy he was (like I need any reminding) and that he looks like Superman. He gets this quite a bit. I'm not sure if it is a specific superman or just the superman image in general.

This got me thinking about celebrity resemblences. I have been told on many many occasions I look like Princess Lea. I seem to get it less but I still get it every once and awhile. I couldn't find any bun pictures but maybe the hood will simulate her crazy hair. What do you think? Have you ever been compared to a celeb?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Breakfast anyone?

So Iowa isn't necessarily known for its tourism. True, we have the Field of Dreams, the birthplace of John Wayne, and American Gothic, but we just don't see many out-of-towners here if it isn't for school or residency. I think part of it, however, is the ignorance of potential travelers. Look at these pictures from our very own Brandon, Iowa, just about 40 miles south of Iowa City. The __ largest frying pan (it isn't the "World's largest," they may just advertise it as the "State's largest"...wonder why "the frying pan"-- to have multiple competitors for?). It makes for great photo-ops and memories that will last a life time. I am sorry I don't have the picture of Abe standing up pretending he is a frying piece of bacon, but I think you can imagine.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

NW Iowa Does Weddings

I have never before been to NW Iowa before attending my friend's wedding. I wondered if it was anything like I expected. Yep, in a lot of ways, it was. We were hoping we were dressed appropriately until we saw some of the other guests. Although we were in a fancily adorned catholic church, others around us felt shorts denim shorts and tube tops, etc were appropriate attire. Although the picture below looks like a typical festive crowd, I urge you to take a closer look at the pink shirted man in the center. I was a little shocked to see his shirt unbuttoned almost to his belly button, with his chest hair and gold chains showing themselves quite well. We weren't too worried after that about being too casual.

Also, Abe and his brother have been interested in facial hair since Abby's wedding when they started growing beards. Abe felt he had found a golden moment when he captured 3 handlebar mustaches in one frame!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wedding, Iowa Style

Good thing I was wearing black or they might have mistaken us for the bride and groom!

A diverse group--from L-R: Hispanic, Scandinavian, African-American, Persian, Taiwanese

My friend J was the first of my close female classmates to tie the knot. We traveled with a group to NW Iowa. The drive itself was pretty exciting, I'll have more posts to share on that later.

Some thoughts on weddings:

1) they made over $1000 auctioning off their garter! She must have rich/good/drunk friends or she is more popular than I thought

2) maybe you should rethink the huge tattoo on your back for your friend's strapless bridesmaid dress

3) the father who married them didn't include the, "You may now kiss the bride." I didn't realize this was the highlight until we missed it. I kind of wondered, "So are they married now?"

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Iowa Tax Dollars At Work

On a recent trip to Northwest Iowa I was pleased to see our tax dollars at work! Not only was every mile conveniently marked with a sign, but each tenth of a mile was marked with a convenient marker. Thank goodness, we knew exactly where we were no matter how far between each mile we were. Can you imagine the emergency usefulness,
Me (in an emergency):"Yes 911, we have a problem."
Dispatches: "Ma'am, be calm, where are you?"
Me: "Well, I'm not sure, somewhere on I-20 I, wait, looks like mile marker 221."
Dispatcher: "That's a long stretch of road, Ma'am. How do you expect us to find you in that mile?
Me: "Oh wait, it says 221.2."
Dispatcher: "Okay, we'll be there."

(Click on the pictures to enlarge them so you can actually see the mile markers)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now time to wait...

After about 12 hours of walking around in high heels, I completed my Oral Surgery interviews at the University of Iowa. Friday afternoon we began at 1:00. "We" included me along with 8 other guys, all from the Midwest/Great Lakes states, (3 others from Iowa). We toured the hospital, the VA hospital, and the dental school (thank goodness I broke in my 3" heels at Abby's wedding), had a meeting with the program director, and were required to write an essay. We then had dinner at Taste on Melrose, a restaurant in our neighborhood I have been curious to try, with the residents. Afterward, we went downtown to play some pool. This was all an opportunity for us to ask our questions of the residents and for them to decide if they could stand working with us for the next four years.

This morning (Saturday), despite crazy game traffic and chaos, we arrived at the hospital at 7 am for a series of three interviews conducted by 2 members each of the staff surgeons. My first interview had some tough questions but overall I felt it went very well. My first question was on the person who has made the biggest difference in shaping my character. I talked about my father who gave me the confidence and support to do anything I wanted and taught me to live a life of integrity and honesty. When I was leaving the interview, the surgeon told me, "I am not sure if I should tell you this, but I hope if my daughter were interviewing she would say the things about me that you said about your father." I felt I must have made some impact. They also asked questions about my involvement in sports and lacrosse.

My second interview (after about 40 min wait period) was a little tougher. I was given a few questions I could have answered better but oh well. The trickiest part was answering some specific questions on dental knowledge. That made me squirm a bit.

Finally, I met with the head of the program and the head of hospital dentistry. I was pleased with how positive they were. I was told the program director found my essay to be interesting and she had some questions about it. They seemed impressed with the scope of my extracurricular activities and I talked about my goals as a SCUBA instructor to illustrate my interest in teaching. Overall, I think it went very well.

What happens now?

Most candidates will continue to interview at many other schools. Iowa will hold one more interview date (9 more candidates?). I will finish my GPR application before Nov 1. Each candidate upon completion of their interviews will submit their ranked list of programs to MATCH. This is the same system the medical school uses which consists of each candidate ranking their schools 1 to ... and each school ranking their choices. The MATCH then attempts to line people up. So, I will rank Iowa #1. If Iowa ranks me in their top #2 spots I should get in. Otherwise, it will depend on if the people in front of me choose another school. We will see!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I have been very busy this weekend. Luckily, I finished my Board exam at 9 am on Friday. Yay. I decided to spend the day doing things I wouldn't normally do, so I got my hair done (not at the Twin Image place, BTW) and started a project framing a mirror I have been too intimidated to start.

Abe and I then spent the weekend in Sheldon, Iowa 5 hours away for my friend Jamie's wedding.

This evening I worked at the free dental clinic in town and am preparing for my mom and sister to arrive in just 2 more days!

Thursday, October 9, 2008


My first day of boards went well, at least as far as I can tell. Instead of taking the allotted 8 hours, I finished in only 3 and 15 minutes (finished at 11:00 am). I chose to spend the afternoon in Oral Surgery and getting some lab work finished instead of taking the day off.

So, just a few more hours to go tomorrow. Thank you everyone for your encouraging words and support! I look forward to taking the afternoon off tomorrow, maybe adding some color to my hair (?) or doing some projects at home. It isn't very often I have a Friday afternoon to myself.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Tomorrow is the big day(or day one of two big days). Wish me luck. It finally hit me (9:20pm before my 8:00am test) that I am NERVOUS. I shouldn't be, I think it will go well.

Monday, October 6, 2008

October is a scary month

October is turning into a very busy month!

This week I will be taking my National Dental Boards Part II. This is a two day test that will include questions from prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, pathology, radiology, ethics and behavior management, pharmacology, operative dentistry, case presentations, etc. This is the second of two national written computer tests I must pass in order to become licensed as a dentist (this does not include my clinical licensure boards). I really haven't been stressing about it but the fact it is so close is beginning to put a few butterflies in my tummy.

I also have a few other tests for school, some assignments, and I have been trying to keep on top of lab work. This weekend I will be in NW Iowa for a wedding, I have my OS interview next week on Friday and Saturday, and my mom and sister are coming for a visit next week Wednesday! At least the time will go quickly so they will be here before I know it.

So, if I am non-reachable or anything please understand why. Also, a few prayers my way would be appreciated for this important big test and for my interviews.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Iowa Mission of Mercy

Yesterday morning I met at the dental school at 4:30 AM so I could ride a bus with about 50-60 other dental students and faculty and hour and a half to Waterloo for the first Iowa Mission of Mercy. Unfortunately, the bus thought we were leaving at 4:30 PM and did not arrive until after 6, but that's not the point.

Over a two day period the Iowa Mission of Mercy provided free dental care to anyone willing to wait in line. Thursday night the line started at about 3 AM of people wanting to ensure they received dental care. On Saturday, my 4:00 PM patient said she had been waiting since 8 AM. We worked in a large convention center that was donated by the city of Waterloo with probably over 100 dental chairs lined up in rows and rows for cleanings, extractions, pediatric dentistry, etc. Pts were first screened for significant medical histories, were triaged and given a list of top dental priorities, and were then sent to the numbing station before waiting more to be escorted to a chair to receive their first priority care. If the patient finished in time, they could get back in line and wait to get the next issue on their list taken care of.

The morning was a bit frustrating trying to get the portable units and equipment worked out. Over the day I was able to see some people with some definate dental needs including a 7 year old girl with at least 5 teeth on their way to dental abscesses and a woman who couldn't smile any more because of the decayed state of her front teeth. I was grateful we could help these people take care of issues that were not only affecting their mouths but could have a significant effect on their overall health. I pray that the little girl's mom will have the resources and courage to take her to the dental school to get the other cavities taken care of before they become dangerous.

In two days the volunteers dentists, hygienists, and other medical personnel were able to treat over 1200 patients and perform over $500,000 worth of treatment. I hope to find ways to do this in my own practice on a regular basis. It is obvious there is much dental need with people who feel they have nowhere to go.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Ugly Twin

There is a salon close to our place called "Twin Image." After almost 3 years, the name continues to puzzle me. Maybe as a twin, I think about it too much. But whose twin image is it? Is it implying that if I go there I am becoming the pretty twin, overcoming my image as the ugly twin? This seems to be the only way I can think this makes sense. But, it really isn't very flattering to me (twin or not) and not a very good way to win over my business by insulting me in this way. (Then again, if I don't go I guess I will never get to be the pretty twin.) Thank you, "Twin Image," for confirming my fears, that yes, I am the ugly twin.