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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.

Category Archives: Friends

I left out one big part of my D2 year in the last post about dental school life, and that’s because it deserves its own post! As someone who conducted research over the summer between D1 and D2 year, I, along with a large group of classmates, went to the American Association for Dental Research/International Association for Dental Research conference in March. The event was held in Boston, and despite the cold, we had a ton of fun there.

Me and my good friend/clinic partner/ortho buddy Mychi at the UCSF reception the first night of the conference:

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Presenting my research poster next to my classmate Mona! This was such a cool experience not only because I was able to talk about my research to a bunch of new people, but presenting next to Mona was a bonus because we had first met in Boston when we interviewed for Harvard together! Funny how life works out sometimes.

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Me and my poster!

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D2 girls manning the UCSF booth at the exhibit hall!

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We had some free time to explore the city and I took full advantage of it! I really didn’t like Boston when I went there for my Harvard interview a couple of years ago, but this time I found the city quite charming! On my last morning there, I took a walk by myself to Boston Common. It was a cold but clear morning and it was just lovely.

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Then I met up with friends for some delicious seafood at Neptune Oyster! We had oysters, lobster roll, and clam chowder:

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For dinner we hit up Giacomo’s for some Italian food – with more seafood of course!

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I’m so glad that I was able to attend this conference during dental school. There are so many opportunities to get involved in dentistry on a bigger level, be in with research, organized dentistry, academia, and more, and having the chance to travel and meet students and professionals from other places in the world is so enriching. So advice for current/future dental students: take advantage of these opportunities!

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I’m solidly into my D3 year now, but I guess it’s never too late to share some tidbits and highlights from D2 year at UCSF!

Presenting my poster for my summer research project at UCSF Research and Clinical Excellence Day 2014. It was my first poster presentation ever! Had a really great experience.

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My dental frat family at the annual Delta Sigma Delta initiation dinner! We welcomed 4 new D1’s into the family. We’re a good looking bunch if I do say so myself.

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Fun girls night in with classmates. We cooked fresh mussels that were harvested illegally on Ocean Beach earlier that day!

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Group photo after doing dental education, screenings, and fluoride varnish applications at an elementary school in the Mission. For one of our classes last year, we went on 3 outreach events like this. Very rewarding even though we had to get up very early those days.

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Halloween last year! A classmate and I dressed up as Kevin and Russell from the movie Up!

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One of the best things I did last year was to join the board of ADEA (American Dental Education Association) at UCSF. I got to be a part of an amazing group of people and we put together so many great events. Here’s our board photo last year.

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And here we are again at the annual High School Outreach Conference!

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The theme of the conference last year was social media and we had this Instagram photo frame for the participants (and us) to take photos with!

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Another student group I’m a part of at UCSF is the Chinese Health Professional Students Association (CHPSA). Here’s the board at the annual Chinese New Year celebration!

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PaintNite with dental school friends!

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Delta Sigma Delta family dinner!

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CHPSA dental outreach event in Chinatown!

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Last year I had the honor of receiving a Craig Memorial Scholarship from Omicron Kappa Upsilon (OKU), the national dental honor society. Here I am with 2 of the other scholarship recipients in my class at the convocation dinner at the Cliff House.

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And one more DSD photo: me with my big and little at senior dinner:

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D2 year was definitely the best year in dental school! Not as much work as D1 year, much more free time, and before the stresses of clinic!

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Towards the end of June, I went to have afternoon tea with some friends to celebrate the birthday of Rebecca, a friend from school. We went to the Rotunda, on the top floor of Neiman Marcus. I had no idea this place existed inside the store, especially with all the construction going on in the area. But it was so beautiful inside, with a gorgeous stained glass ceiling:

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We all got the signature tea, which comes with a pot of Dammann Frères loose leaf paired with “delicate housemade sweets, petite cookies, exquisite tarts, a selection of finger sandwiches and flaky scones with preserves and cream.” After we placed our orders we got a tiny soup and crouton to start things off.

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Then came their famous popovers, which was so fluffy and buttery and just heavenly.

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I chose the Nuit à Versailles tea, a green tea (the name just sounds so pretty).

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Our food! We each got 4 kinds of sweet pastries/dessert, a scone, and 6 different savory sandwiches. So even though they’re dainty, it’s still quite a lot of food, enough for lunch!

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Butter, jams, and jellies for the scones. And lemons for the tea.

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We had a lovely time at the Rotunda. The tea, food, service, and ambiance were all impeccable. I will definitely be back there again sometime soon!

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So I’ve been kind of MIA here for a while… that’s because I’ve been studying hard for Part 1 of the National Board Dental Exam for the last 5 weeks! I finally took it yesterday and it feels so good to be done (IF I did indeed pass the exam. We’ll find out in 3 weeks!).

I knew I had a lot on my plate this summer, our one and only real summer break during dental school. I was a part of the Summer Research Fellowship Program, doing a study on pre- and post-operative patient experience using data from Twitter. It was something I’ve wanted to do since before I even started dental school, so I was pretty excited about it. It’s awesome that UCSF was able to support 20 of us this year, the biggest group ever.

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But even though it’s great that I got to do research, I also knew that I wanted to take my boards this summer, and that studying for it would be quite time-consuming. Luckily, my project is very self-directed and the work can be done from anywhere, with no need for a regular schedule or to go into a lab everyday. So I made it work! I will probably do another post on boards later when I get my exam results.

Before all of that though, after school ended, I took 2 weeks off to just relax. D1 year was tough and I really needed some time off. Some friends from school and I went exploring the week after school ended and we went up the Filbert Street Steps to Coit Tower.

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I had been to Coit Tower when I first arrived in SF but had never gone up to the top. It was a beautiful clear day and the views from the top were great.

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Afterwards we walked around North Beach, got gelato, and watched the dogs play in Washington Square Park.

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I also went on a big-little date with Jenny, and we got brunch at Kitchen Story and then went ceramics painting at Terra Mia.

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Terra Mia is a paint-your-own ceramics studio where you pick out pre-made pieces to paint, and they fire it and you go pick up the finished product. It was so much fun and we spent the whole afternoon there since you can stay as long as you want. I decided to paint a bowl to give to my mom for her birthday.

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Yufei and I also took a short trip to Oregon during those 2 weeks, and it was nice getting out of SF for a few days. So I will be writing catch-up posts for the next little while, including a lot of restaurant posts, Oregon recap, and other stuff I’ve been up to this summer!

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It’s been a few weeks since D1 year ended and I think I’m finally ready to blog about it! The last quarter of the year was not an easy one but there were also plenty of fun moments.

In the beginning of May we had the annual DSD senior dinner, this year on a boat cruise around the bay!

Me and my amazing big sib Jenny:

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D1 Delts!

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It was such a fun night and the view of the city across the waters was beautiful. It’s really nice to have some of these moments to reflect on how lucky I am to live in a gorgeous city like San Francisco, to go to one of the best dental schools in the country, and to have met such incredible people here.

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My friend Kathleen and I participated in the UCSF Science & Health Education Partnership this past year, where we went to kindergarten classes and taught the students science and health lessons in the past 2 quarters. Even though it was exhausting at times, it turned out to be a really great experience. We got these really cute thank you books from one of the classes after our final lesson (the students had wrote about what they learned from us, accompanied by some very creative illustrations).

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As a member of the dental arm of the Chinese Health Professional Student Association, I volunteered for our very first dental outreach event in Chinatown this past quarter. We did screenings, exams, and fluoride varnish on a lot of the underserved population in the area. I was nervous about doing anything on an actual person who’s not a classmate, but I did just fine and it was such a rewarding feeling afterwards knowing that I even helped make the smallest difference in someone’s health. I can’t wait to help grow the outreach part of the organization even more next year!

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Now, for some real dentistry (on fake teeth)! Gold full veneer crown on tooth #3:

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Class II composite filling on tooth #30:

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Gold onlay prep on tooth #30:

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Finally, the last day of D1 year. It was a gorgeous SF day and we were so ready to celebrate after our last final. But first, we had to take a photo! This group of crazy kids kept me sane this year.

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Celebratory drinks at Noir Lounge after a delicious dinner at Mazzat. Me with Kathleen and MyChi, my awesome clinic partners and wonderful friends.

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After that we went to have dessert at Candybar. Can’t go wrong with food, drinks, followed by more food!

D1 year had been a total roller-coaster of a year, but at the end of it I’m really happy with everything: the knowledge and skills I learned, the people I met, and the new person I’ve grown into. OF course, I couldn’t have done any of it without the incredible support from my parents, my love Yufei, my new friends at school, and the faculty members at UCSF who gave their time to help me learn. I am full of gratitude as I reflect back on these past 9 months, and I’m eagerly looking forward to continuing this journey in D2 year.

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Day 1

Day 2 in NYC was quite packed indeed. Two years ago, Yufei and I had lunch at Nougatine and for this trip, we decided to try Jeans-Georges.

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We both decided to get the 2-plate tasting of spring. Before our first course we got a trio of amuse bouche, the specifics of which are escaping my mind now a month later. But I do recall them being very delicious. In the background you can see my house made passionfruit soda.

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Yufei’s first course, butternut squash soup with black trumpet mushrooms. It was really good and I stole quite a few spoonfuls.

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My first course, Nishiki risotto with peekytoe crab, nori and key lime. It was really savory and delicious.

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For the main course, Yufei got the beef tenderloin with brussel sprouts and mashed/pureed something.

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I got the black bass crusted with nuts and seeds with sweet and sour jus. I really liked the flavor of the jus and the fact that it also came with a nice medly of veggies. The fish was also cooked to perfection, and the crust was a nice addition.

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We decided to get a dessert to share and chose the tasting of chocolate: white chocolate ice cream with yuzu sorbet; milk chocolate custard with piedmont hazelnuts, and candied orange; and their classic warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

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And of course there’s always more food after the last course – petits fours. House made vanilla bean marshmallows and a selection of candied fruits, chocolates, and macaroons.

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Everything was delicious at Jeans-Georges and the service was impeccable too. The only regret I have is that, now, looking back at my post about our meal at Nougatine, I realize that we ordered a lot of similar dishes. For instance, Yufei also had a butternut squash soup and I also got a bass at Nougatine, and we also had the warm chocolate cake. If I had reviewed that meal before we went to Jean-Georges, I probably would have ordered dishes that I hadn’t tried before. Oh well, I guess this means at least we’re consistent in what we like!

After lunch, Yufei went back to the hotel and I walked across Central Park (partly to walk off some of my big lunch, partly because it was tricky to get to via transit, and partly because I miss walking in Central Park) to meet some college friends at Alice’s Tea Cup. I got distracted by some street performers on my way:

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We went to Chapter III on 81st and had to wait a bit for a table of 4 at 2:30 in the afternoon. I decided to get a small pot of tea and 2 scones. The passionfruit black tea was really good. I got a sweet scone and a savory scone – blackberry and parmesan and capers. They were good too but really big; I thought they would be more dainty, but I guess I shouldn’t complain about getting more food for my money. My friend Jin was a big more hungry and got the Nibble, which was a pot of tea, a scone, a sandwich, and a platter of cookies. There was definitely more food than just a nibble.

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We had a really great time chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. You’re looking at 4 future health professionals right here!

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After we left Alice’s Tea Cup, we walked around a bit and checked out a grocery store, an H&M, and a Goodwill nearby. Everyone was pretty tired so we parted ways and I went back to the hotel. Yufei was having dinner with some of his friends so I just rested in our room for a couple of hours.

It was getting late when Yufei got back and I was getting hungry again, so we decided to go to the nearby Pony Bar for some food and beer. It was surprisingly empty for a Sunday night

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They had a pretty interesting beer selection (listed on the scoreboard-looking screens in the picture above).

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We got a couple of beers and also some small bites to eat and called it a night!

Day 3
Days 4 & 5

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One big change from last quarter: I got braces! Being in dental school, you become super conscious of you teeth feel the pressure to have a perfect smile. I’ve been thinking about braces for a while now and this is as good a time as any! There are now quite a few of us in my class who have braces now, so that makes it more bearable. I considered getting them done by an ortho resident at UCSF, but they don’t take my insurance and it ended up being too expensive. So I’m getting them done at my regular general dentist.

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I got my upper first premolars extracted in the same appointment I got my braces on the upper teeth, and I was so miserable for a few days. But after a week I was fine. Right now I only have braces on my upper teeth and I’ll get the lower ones once school is out for summer. I can’t wait to start seeing changes in my smile!

I really love this draped blouse from H&M this season. Here I am wearing it to get ice cream at Smitten. I got the floral one online and loved it so much that I wanted to get it in other colors too. It’s so flowy and light and perfect for spring. But they were all pretty much sold out online in my size and the colors I wanted, and I have not succeeded in finding them in stores…

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To celebrate the end of the quarter, some friends and I went to Biergarten after our last final.

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It was a beautiful afternoon to visit and there were lots of people already at 4:30. Lots of beer was had and Yufei and I decided to get dinner there too. I got the Frankfurter with curried potatoes and he got the pork belly sliders. Yum.

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I can’t believe spring break is already coming to an end… it felt SO short. Now I have to take a deep breath and brace myself for the last quarter of D1 year!

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