Warning: You may see the word "Gross" far too many times than necessary throughout this post.

Why is Formaldehyde the first thing I smell in the morning when I walk into the medical school to get to my classes in the Dental School? Gross! Why do I have to smell Formaldehyde every time I walk into the locker room? Gross! Why after I complete the lab the smell of formaldehyde is still in my nostrils that even an hour after the lab I still smell it? Gross! and what's the point of washing my hair anymore? It's like an exercise in futility because the minute I do the minute it's smelling  like Formaldehyde again, Gross! But then again if I don't wash it and it starts to make my pillow and sheets smell, wouldn't that be even more gross? Yeah, grossss!

In other gross news, it's week 6 of school and Anatomy is taking me on the ride of my life! So.much. stuff. to remember. We started out with back muscles which were not bad at all but then came upper limbs - arm, forearm, wrist and hand, the axilla, embryolgy, neuroembryolgy, thoracic wall, lungs, heart, mediastinum, autonomics, the head, neck, face etc etc. -  innervations, blood  supply, insertions, origins, actions, palsies, intricate details and a world of clinical application. It's hard to fathom that this is only the beginning. I'm already suffering from sleep deprivation and my over consumption of coffee (i think) has recently started giving me tachycardia (no joke).

Gross labs are fun but can be frustrating because it sometimes take hours to find and separate the nerves and blood vessels you want. However, I'm grateful that I am able to learn the subject matter both ways - by reading and seeing pictures and illustrations and by seeing and dissecting a real human body. It brings the subject together beautifully and really helps in knowing and remembering the different structures. I'm also really grateful to the person who donated her body for the advancement of my education. I named her Ashley by the way. So Ashley let me say this, I have great respect for you. Sometimes if you feel a pinch of some sort it's because I sometimes can't find what I'm looking for and I get frustrated. So, if you find me a little rough around the edges some days, don't worry, but rest assured I have nothing but the utmost respect  for you, ok? Now help me out and make the zygomatic branch of your facial nerve appear because I swear it's not where it's supposed to be. Just smile and make my day.

PS Wash your hair, your scrubs and lab coats people! It's just too gross if you don't.

Flossing Improves Memory, Who Knew?

I came across an interesting article online which correlates flossing to improved memory, who knew? According to WABC-TV researchers found that to prevent memory loss as you age, you must floss. The bacteria left behind in the mouth as a result of not flossing are the bacteria that contributes highly to gum disease. Gum disease triggers inflammation in the body which then causes stiffening of blood vessels. Stiffening of the blood vessels is what eventually leads to memory problems. Find article here.

See, dentists not only care for your teeth but your overall well-being. Next time your dentist says "don't forget to floss" take him/her seriously, he might just be trying to preserve your memory as well :)

100 Things Every College Student Should Know

A couple months ago I had the privilege of reviewing a book from The Skinny On... series called The Skinny On Sucess written by Jim Randall. If you know anything about The Skinny On... books you will know that it gives you the real and raw (the skinny) facts on whatever topics covered, nothing is sugar coated. You may see my review on the book here.
Jim Randall is at it again and has recently compiled a list of 100 things that every college student should know. Consistent with his books, nothing is sugar coated. The list consists of things we all should know to get through college successfully and at the same time incorporates lessons that will transcend into the real world thereafter. The list is lengthy but I suggest you run through it, it may be really beneficial (may take several visits).


No. 88 - The Most Critical Beats

Do NOT Read The Fine Print
As a young person, I wanted to become a magician. So I read books on card tricks and practiced them on everyone I could.
More important than learning the mechanics, however, was learning how people think. As a magician, you need to be conscious of how people react to your actions. You might have to change your presentation to mesh with what they're thinking.
This led to my understanding a technique that has been critical to my business successes:
Learn to add a 2-3 second beat between when you think something and when you actually say it.
So many people just talk and talk. They have a point to make and want to get it out as quickly as possible.
In some cases, that approach works. But in many situations, by listening to yourself for just two to three seconds before you let your comments free, you maintain flexibility. You're able to change direction as necessary.
Not all approaches work for all people. The key to successfully persuade someone to your point of view is to tailor your approach as much as possible to that person's needs, desires, emotions, mood and energy. Pay close attention to the other person and think through the impact of your statements before you actually make them.
Just a two-second beat between thought and speech can be the difference between success and failure!
"Never forget to put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion." - Anonymous
Visit The Skinny On blog here for 100 Things Every College Student Should Know

**Enter the giveaway for a red digital camera here. Ends 09/30/10**

Fall! and catch up

As I sit at my study desk this afternoon getting ready to douse myself into some rigorous studying, I am quickly reminded that I must make time for the things that are important to me. I like to think of Dental School, or any professional school for that matter, as a virus, one that once you're exposed to it quickly invades, gorges through your system  making it's way to every crevice of your being and takes over your life to the point that all you can think, breathe, eat or sleep is Dental School. That's about to change

Today marks the first day of Fall. That totally caught me off guard since in my opinion I haven't even had a summer yet. Where did the time go? I don't usually get excited at this time of the year because it means that it will soon be winter, which means I'll have to deal with temperatures below 50 degrees (F), which probably means I hate fall too since I'm grumpy at any temperature below 70 degrees (F) - but that may just be the Caribbean girl in me talking. One thing I do like about Fall though is all the cute sweaters, coats and boots! So in celebration of the season and in my effort to add a little diversity to my life, I think I'm going shopping this weekend, fall shopping! Who wants to come with? Hopefully that will steer me in a different direction albeit for a few hours and perhaps ease some tension as well. Tension? yeah tension from an Anatomy exam/grade that almost gave me an aneurysm yesterday. There I go again....

Anyway, that's as far off course my Dental School entrenched mind will take me for now. I gotta go study some head and neck anatomy, some Biochem, prepare for a test tomorrow and read 3 chapters of a novel called "The Pact." 

PS Remember how I said I'd have less time to blog because I'd be so busy with school? Well, I figured I'd MAKE time for my little corner on the www. My blog gives me such joy, and I spent a lot of time putting it together. So as I reflect on where I am thus far, I had to remind myself that my journey is not a Sprint but a marathon and hence the race is not for the swift but for those who can endure to the end. You are welcome to take that advice as well.

Does the word FREE mean anything to you?

FYI and just in case you were wondering,  my Biochemistry exam went well for the most part yesterday -good riddance! Preparing for that exam required harnessing a few extra brain cells which were quickly filled to maximum capacity and to the point where by Monday morning at around 2:32am I caved and just simply could.not.go.on.any.more (a little exaggeration never hurts). I intentionally took a few hours off from studying last night to recoup and revamp for my next major exam coming up soon, Anatomy. Even though that's a couple days away, I also have a few small tests and quizzes for other classes to get through before then.

Anycrazyexams, I jump at the word FREE! Don't you? yes? no? YES? good! because the deadline for the digital camera giveaway is today and so far I have only 12 applicants. But, because I care for my fellow bloggers and readers so much and because I'm choosing to give you the benefit of the doubt - just in case you missed the offer announcement, and partly because I've been slacking on my blogging duties, I've decided to extend my offer.
You have between now and the end of the month (09/30/10) to enter the sweepstakes to win a red digital camera - donated to me but specially for YOU by The Sharper Image.
 <3.0MP, 4x digital zoom, 16MB memory expandable to 4GB or 10,000 photos>

All you have to do is:
1. Send an email to with the word: CAM (1 entry)
2. Follow this blog through google friend connect (1 entry)
3. Invite a friend to follow this blog ( 1 entry)
4. Follow Stu-DENT Diaries on facebook (1 entry)
5. Tweet this giveaway on twitter (1 entry). You will need to follow me so I can keep track @MzPTrice
**BONUS: Mention me and/or this offer in a blog post with a link to my site. Send that link/post to me so I can see the wonderful things you wrote :)

See here for additional eligibility rules and guidelines. 

The Journey Has Begun: Tip To Pre-Dents

My first major exam is today, Biochemistry, and it marks the official start to my journey through Dental School. Now that I've begun dental school  you may have noticed that the frequency of my blog posts waned a bit. However, in the essence of continuity, I do want to share a few tips to potential dental students. Dental School is not a cake walk. It requires discipline, tenacity and tremendous amounts of stamina to get through it. Since day 1 it has been non-stop studying and my days have extended to 20 awake hours and just about 3-4 sleep hours. This may sound tough but one of the beautiful things about the human body is it's ability to adapt and I have quickly adapted to this schedule (albeit how grueling and boot-camp like the first week was).

Curriculum vary from school to school but in most cases two of the first courses you encounter in Dental School are Anatomy and Biochemistry. I would highly recommend that all potential dental students take a course in biochemistry at the end of their  undergraduate careers.  Furthermore, I strongly recommend that you pay strict attention in your undergraduate anatomy classes. While the intensity and volume of work in your undergraduate anatomy class pales in comparison to what you will encounter in dental school, it is worth a million coming into dental school with some general knowledge of  both biochemistry and anatomy.  Moreover, as potential dental students, be prepared to spend the vast majority of your awaken time immersed in your studies. Dental school is not for the faint hearted. If you are not prepared to work hard and spend long hours studying, my best advise to you is to seek another career.

With that said, I'm off to sit this exam. Wish me luck!

Must have books in Dental School, Part 1

As if the 65 digital books I already have aren't enough for me to read, there had to be additional books that supposedly does a very good/better job at explaining the key things needed to know for some of the courses that I'm taking this semester. Hey, I'm not complaining, anything that makes it a little more clear/easier and can help me to understand the subject matter better, I'm pretty much game, which is why I'm investing in the following books:

So far Biochemistry has been pretty straight forward. However, looking further ahead I already see that I will run into difficulty. It was suggested by several upperclassmen that I get either Lippincott's Biochemistry or BRS Biochemistry as they both do a good job at breaking down the subject matter.

 Anatomy has been a whirlwind! The books I currently have, one of which is Netter's Anatomy, have been doing a really good job. Couple that with my professor's ppt slides, Lab AND the Netter's Anatomy Flash cards and everything is pretty peachy. However, I was told that the BRS Anatomy (board review series) book make things a whole lot clearer than any of the material I currently have. I'm definitely getting that!

 Occlusion so far has been simple, but that's because we haven't actually gone to the lab yet! Wheeler's Dental Anatomy, Physiology and Occlusion I hear is pretty good for this course. It's also good for Anatomy and Physiology.

And of course, last but not least, our first two years (one at some schools) is preparation for our Board exams Part 1. A good strategy would be to purchase the NBDE Part 1 book from now and as you go along through your semester(s) keep referring to the book to see what is required for the board exam on a particular subject area. It would serve as a little study guide for the future (wink wink).

**You can also get these books at The Book Depository (follow the link below). I love them! They have FREE shipping worldwide on ALL books. You can save some money here. I'm also able to get you a 10% discount so contact me if interested.

The Book Depository

 D1s out there, I would cop some of these if I were you. Good luck in your studies!
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