A week of work has come and gone, and I only slept in (slash was late) once this week. That’s mega, compared to last year. Then again, classes haven’t started and I’ve only been to one gig (and counting) this year… so we’ll see. Not making any new year’s resolutions was the best thing I did for myself for new year. Work has been very productive, with Cal and I staying off Twitter and instant messaging until break times – though admittedly, it gets tempting to open Messages. I have to admit that keeping off Twitter is a lot easier than I thought. Every now and then I’ll come across an interesting article about web design, and I’ll tweet it. Or I get the urge to check up on my “music” list because I’m scared I’ll miss a gig. Other than that, I’m not easily distracted by Twitter.
I’m proud of a lot of the work I’ve done this week, and even got to work on a new vodka website. Yes, I’m slightly tempted to buy from them when we launch the store. We will see.
Lilian’s in Vienna! Studying! And experiencing snow! Needless to say, I’m jealous. Not of the studying though. We just had a chat on Skype, mostly about guys. We talk a lot about how silly guys and boys can be, and we’re now getting to the stage where it sounds weird because we’re older and should be saying “men”. It doesn’t have the same ring to it like when we roll our eyes and say, “ugh… guys“. Ugh, men sounds really angry and not so “whiny”, for want of a better description.
Our conversation was cut short because her lecturer walked in. We’ll catch up another time, as we always do.
I burned my tongue on hot and spicy soup – and it was hot temperature-wise too, obviously – and I think I’ve burned it so bad I can’t actually feel my tongue. Actually, it feels numb. It also hurts a lot at the same time. I’ve no idea how that is possible but it just hurts so much to put anything into my mouth. To drink, to eat, I feel pain. To talk is getting painful. It’s pretty unpleasant. Of course, my taste buds have pretty much all been burned off. Which is nasty because I can’t enjoy food. At the moment I’m a little hungry as I had no dinner and it’s past midnight – it’s 3:00am in fact1 – but the thought of eating petrifies me a little. I did have a really nice takoyaki bun this afternoon, though.
In Sydney, it’s been really hot as well. I can assure you it was not the weather that burned my tongue. It was 42°C (~108°F) on Tuesday this week. Granted, it was hotter in Central Australia hitting 54°C (~129°F), but Australian summers are known to be uncomfortable. Rather than being humid like in many Asian countries, it’s just hot. Hot air, hot breeze. Tomorrow it’ll be 45°C and I don’t think I can stand going to the gig I was planning to go to, so sadly (or not) I’ll be at home sleeping in front of my air conditioner. Mayhaps. We’ll see.
I was just staring into space this evening, thinking about the time I wanted to be an orthodontist. I suddenly thought of the experience I had at the oral health centre near my house, and the work experience I did there for a week in tenth grade. I actually really enjoyed my time there. I am so grateful to my mum for calling the place up and really caring about my (then) aspirations and dreams. From a young age I was intrigued by the anatomy of teeth and the different kinds of teeth, and how they grew and how to take care of them. While other people at school worked in shops for work experience, I almost whined when my mum said she’d call up the oral health centre for me. Now, I’m grateful that she did, because my time there really broadened my horizons.
It was honestly life-changing. There are so many moments that people mention are life-changing, like the day they graduate, or meet someone, or try travelling to another country. I’ve been amazed many times, and yes, travelling to another country really opens my eyes and draws me in, but to be honest, it didn’t intrigue me and “change” me the way my experience at the oral health centre did.
The reason I wanted to be an orthodontist was because my own orthodontist inspired me. Whether I liked having braces or not (I thought they were cute, but hated them after a while), my orthodontist was really good at what he did, and explained a lot of what he did, which made his job seem interesting to me. It was just something else that added to my interest in teeth. It sounds peculiar, but that’s how it was.
I should also add that as a young girl, I adored rocks and gemstones and the earth. I wanted to be a geologist so much. I loved to look at different rocks, collect them and categorise them: igneous, metamorphic, sedimentary. I loved learning about all the gemstones and how they were formed by nature. It was either teeth or stones, teeth or stones. My mum always told me it would be hard to find a job as a geologist. I was disappointed. To this day, I still miss geology; I miss doing biology, chemistry, physics and general science in high school, even though it got tough. What surprised me was that to be an orthodontist, my marks didn’t matter so much as my hand skills.
At the oral health centre I learned so much about not only orthodontics, but dentistry in general. There was a lot that I didn’t know, but it was interesting to learn about it. I spent my days moving from faculty to faculty and area to area, learning and doing different things, mostly hands-on stuff. I got to play with wax and create my own wax model of teeth, I got to work with some chemicals, wearing a lab coat and all that jazz.
I got to work with some dentist tools and drilled a hole in someone’s tooth. After it had been pulled out, of course. I got to mix and create fillings and fill up that stupid hole in the tooth I’d made. Then I idiotically destroyed it again so I could see the cross-section of the tooth.
The people were so kind. They wanted to know what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. I said I wanted to be an orthodontist. They all chuckled in sympathy and told me I would have to be a dentist first before I could specialise in orthodontics.
It would take twelve years.
It terrified me a little. To be thirty years old and still in school.
I thought about it. It made me a little sad, but then I thought about it, and changed my mind. I wouldn’t be an orthodontist. Or a dentist, for that matter.
My experience at the oral health centre was life-changing for me. It altered my view, and it changed my mind, I went back to square one, but meeting all the people there made me feel so positive, understanding, and certain. It might sound silly as heck, but even though it changed my mind it will be one of those warming experiences that I see as a turning point, where I hit a “checkpoint” in my life, much like the little portals you come across in Swordigo2, where you go back to after you die, except here you don’t die at all, and you don’t go back.
I almost miss how naïve I was before. Then again, no. I shouldn’t miss it at all. Here I am, six years later, spending my days in an office at a computer using my brain skills more than my hand skills, using both the left and right sides of the brain, and studying something that links to my job, that links to the first time I used a computer and played King’s Quest3. Almost like I’ve come full circle.
I used to want to be a ballerina too, you know. It’s why I got my student teacher certificate.
I’ll admit, learning nearly everything I could possibly learn about dentistry made me appreciate something even more: smiling.