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Laundry On Sundaes

Every beginning is only a sequel, after all, and the book of events is always open halfway through.

The first week of dental school is over! It was a very exciting week, but at the same time it felt really long and exhausting, even though it was just orientation stuff. Here’s a recap of my first days as a USCF dental student!

Monday, Sep. 16

We were instructed to arrive at 8am and I have to say that it was my first time getting up so early in a really long time. But at least there was free breakfast! Juices, fruit, pastries, bagels… it was too early for me to eat too much so I just got some fruit and an orange juice. We were seated in a classroom and were basically left to mingle for an hour. I saw a lot of people I had already met before the first day and also met a lot of new classmates. Then we sat through several welcome and introduction speeches from Dean Featherstone, Dr. Perry, and Dr. Sargent that were basically meant to make us feel really good about ourselves, haha. After that we got a free lunch of sandwiches, salads, fruit, and cookies. We also got our class sweatshirts, which were funded by the alumni association. We’re so lucky as dental students to get these awesome shirts – none of the other schools (medical, pharmacy, nursing) at UCSF gets them! We then took a class photo with everyone in their new sweatshirts. Don’t we look awesome?

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After lunch, some friends and I went to get our scrubs! Then I had to go back to the classroom we were in in the morning to troubleshoot an issue with my computer not connecting to the UCSF internet network (turns out a restart did the trick). Then we just had some more people from the IT service desk talk to us about security and such. And we were done for the day! We were scheduled to finish at 5pm but we were done a couple of hours early which we were all happy about. We were assigned “homework” for the night, which was to fill out an MBTI questionnaire for our discussion the next day. I already knew my type (INFJ!) but the questionnaire was fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, Sep. 17

Today we had 3 different presentations on ethics, integrity, and professionalism (2 before lunch, 1 after), which definitely drove home the point on how much UCSF emphasizes the importance of being professional. We also had a pretty fun session discussion led by Dr. Mertz about the MBTI personality types and how to best work and communicate with different types. Free lunch again today, this time provided by Surgitel, who sent a rep to talk to us about loupes. After lunch we got a training session on using the UCSF ePortfolio site, which we will need for submitting assignments for a certain class. Then we got a campus tour guided by a couple of upperclassmen. I think I know my way around the campus fairly well now, but I’m sure I will still get lost in the first few weeks. The day ended early again!

Wednesday, Sep. 18

The day started with a talk by Dr. Shiboski about mentorship. I really enjoyed her talk and her story about the serendipitous turns her life had taken to lead her to where she is today. I guess I identified a lot with her experience. Anyway, the point of her speech was that mentors played an important role in her life and UCSF is dedicated to providing us with the same kind of support, so groups of us will get a faculty mentor, which is really awesome.

Afterwards we were divided into groups for 3 different activities. My group first got introduced to the CLE – collaborative learning environment – which is an online course management system. Our schedule, classes, course materials, etc. are all organized on there. After that we got measured for our loupes! I decided to spend $150 extra to get the Oakley frame because it was much more comfortable. Can’t wait to get them! Then we had a big gap for lunch, so a group of us got lunch at Naan-n-Curry. Jasmine and Kathleen came over to our apartment for a bit after lunch since we still had so much time. The last activity of the day was a library orientation where we learned a lot of research tools that the library offered. Then it was another early end to the day. We had “homework” again today, which was to watch a video lecture given by Dr. Armitage on evidence-based dentistry and complete a quiz. I was actually really excited to take the quiz – call me a nerd but I miss being a student! (I will probably-most-definitely not feel this way in like 2 weeks).

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