Saturday, August 29, 2009

Orientation Update ---> I survived

It's hard to believe that in two days I'll be attending actual classes for dental school. Thursday and Friday were both orientation. Thursday included lectures from the Dean of Admissions, as well as Dean Ismail (who is over the whole dental school). I got the feeling that Dean Ismail is extremely interested in listening to the students, and more than willing to make changes when the need arises. This is the kind of progressive mentality that I think will make Temple a great place to be. The dental school is going to be going through some major changes over the next few years (including some significant renovations to the clinics) which will be both exciting and stressful. He also mentioned that the school will be up for accreditation review in 2011, so I'm sure there will be some added pressure for excellence relating to that.

We got our pictures taken for our student IDs during lunch. When I got my ID card, I was completely appalled, because they had cut my chin off in the photo. How do you do that!?! I'm tempted to "lose" my card, but I'm worried that they'll just print a new one with the same pic.

The rest of day one was pretty much a wash. We had various guest speakers, some of which were absolutely horrendous (read: Office of Sustainability, as well as a community organizer...) while others teetered on the edge of moderately amusing (a librarian from the health sciences campus, who was pretty much how I envision Greg in a few years).

Thursday night was a party hosted by Temple Dental at the Summit Park clubhouse (where I live). There was a DJ that seemed allright, and the bar had open draft beers from 7-11. I didn't drink much after the beer went back to normal price, so I was able to drive some of my friends to the house they are renting in Manayunk, a mile or two down the road.

Friday, for orientation pt. II we had more lectures, this time from the people in the financial aid office. The material would have been more helpful about three or four months ago, when I actually was working through the loan process. I can't imagine it was helpful for anyone, but then again, perhaps there are a few UBER procrastinators in my class.

This year is the first year the dental school is going to have a dress code. To tell you the truth, I'm a little bit relieved that we have to wear scrubs. It'll simplify everything. Plus, the scrubs we'll be getting will have our names on them. The only downside is that we have to wear business casual attire until they come in. Oh, I might need another pair of khakis.

The biggest part of the day was the unpacking of our dental kits. Our job was to verify the contents of two large boxes of supplies and instruments, about $6500 worth. Before we could unpack, we had to get our pre-clinic lab assignments. Southpaws i.e. lefties get moved out of alphabetical order so they can sit on the ends of the rows, so I didn't get quite as an early start unpacking as some of my classmates. Additionally, there were a lot of 3rd year students there to help, but my "buddy" didn't show up. I got a bit behind, but then a guy came and helped me out, so I was good.

I also joined one of the dental fraternities, mostly so I could get a discount on their collection of back-tests. For $110 you can purchase all of the exams given by professors to D1s in the last 10 years or so. It's crazy, here's the proof:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome to Philadelphia

So, it's been an interesting few weeks here. The humidity seem to have broken for the most part, which makes it more than bearable to go outside in the daytime. It also makes my gum less gooey. In Utah, my gum would dry out if I didn't chew it soon enough after opening the package. Out here, it absorbs water from the air. I learned not to carry gum in my pocket on humid days, and was complaining to Eric (a fellow first year who also lives in Summit Park) about the result. His response: Welcome to Philadelphia.

My Utah license plates stand out like a sore thumb. Yesterday when I came out of the salon after getting a haircut, there was a teenage girl taking a picture with her phone of my license plates. I didn't notice what she was doing until after I went to unlock my car. I think I scared her to death. I could tell she was embarrassed, so I attempted to flash a reassuring smile.

So far, people here have been very nice to me. At Home Depot, a fellow noticed I was from Utah, and walked over to welcome me to the city. He asked where I was going to be attending school, and was excited to tell me that Temple was his alma mater. And last, but not least, the night I rolled into town, some of the people in my apartment building were out playing bean bags. They pretty much unpacked my car and carried stuff into the apartment in 5 minutes flat. When I thanked them for their help one of the dudes told me, "No problem. That's how we do it in PA."

That's all I have time for now. I'm going to take some photos and post them in the next couple of days. I have my first day of orientation on Thursday, and then classes start on monday!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2100 miles to Philly - In Photos

So, I've finally got my desk set up in my room, along with my external hard drive. Now I can start posting some pictures and such on my blog. I didn't want to get ahead of myself and post anything until I got the roadtrip pics up here. They aren't as cool as I was hoping they would be, but hey, I tried. Basically, there is a picture about every 100 miles, taken by whomever was sitting in the passenger seat.