Today we said goodbye to our dental intern, Karina. She has been a tremendous help and an awesome student. She makes teaching easy. She soaked everything up as they were taught. She spent her Spring Break in the office wanting to learn and experience more. She has the determination and conviction of a super star. We know she will go far in life. We look forward to seeing her again and wish her much successes in all her endeavors. Lastly, we want to thank her for teaching us ASL along the way. She gave Teresa a sign name of “Beautiful Teresa” and me a “Sassy Dr. Vu” and we both love it.
We would like to say we will miss our interpreter, Janelle (in green), as well. She has been a fun companion on this journey. I call her my “private tutor” in ASL. Because of her, my signing skills have improved tremendously. She was very gracious with my, “I-don’t-want-you-to-interpret-for-me”, “wait, what did she say?”, “did you get that?”, and “how do you sign this/that?” determination to learn ASL fluently. Our conversations typically go like this:
Me: I don’t want you to interpret for me. I want to learn. She has to learn how to communicate with me without an interpreter.
Janelle: Okay, sorry.
A few seconds pass by and I’m still trying to see what Karina is saying. Janelle looks at me to see if I got it. I sign back to Karina. I turn to Janelle and ask, “Did you understand that?” for confirmation. When she says yes, I move on with a huge smile of satisfaction on my face. Then I turn back to Janelle and ask, “How do you sign this/that?” So, thank you Janelle for putting up with my extreme eagerness to learn ASL within 3 hours/day for 3 days/week for 3 months. Thank you for also always telling me how good I am. I know the truth but I appreciate a little fluffiness as well. We hope you do drop by often to say hi and check on my ASL skills. Good luck on all your adventures as well.
This weekend was annual CDA Cares community outreach event. This time it was in San Jose, CA. There were more than 2000 people who received free dental care. More than 1000 patients showed up for treatment on Saturday. By Sunday morning, most denture teeth and materials were gone. They were very selective about who would get dentures. By Sunday 11 am, the person in charge of the hygiene department requested we stop sending patients over for at least an hour, until they could catch up on their 4 hour wait. When he saw more patients were sent over, he came back to reiterate his request, which was now more of a demand. Some of the doctors in Dental Triage, which I was a part of, sent patients over for a cleaning because that was all they wanted. They waited in line the night before just to get a cleaning. How do you deny someone that devoted a simple cleaning? You don’t. You just ask them to wait for awhile before they head over to the hygiene area.
This year I’m proud to say I didn’t witness any hostility or disrespect towards any of the volunteers. Everyone in line was very patient and understanding. Even at the hygiene area, where irritability is understandable.
This is the line for hygiene-cleaning.
This is the hygiene area. There is not enough people doing hygiene so these poor volunteers are working so hard to keep the line moving. The pressure is on them.
This is the restorative area. They, too, were backed up with an hour wait time.
All in all, it feels good to know that my profession always give back to its communities. There were hundreds of volunteers, both in and out of the dental field. So many people were there both days, starting at 5am. One of the best response I heard today was from a doctor to his patient, “I volunteered for this,” when his patient asked him why he hasn’t taken a break since 5am. It was 12 noon. He was also near retirement, if not retired already, if you know what I mean. One of the best compliment today was, “I got lucky today. I got the best looking doctor to check on me.” Yup, he’s talking about me. He may have been slightly vision impaired but he made my day. His sincerity was unquestionable. Therefore, as I lay in bed with salon pas pads on my back, I still get a chuckle out of that piece.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and single dads. I know that single dads act as both parents. The portrait below was drawn by my 5 y.o. daughter, in front of our house. Her card to me was extremely heart warming. For her to show appreciation and recognition is more than I could put into words. So for all the moms and single dads out there…I hope you know how much your kids appreciate you even though some may not (be able to) say it.
Below is my son’s card from preschool. He also made a card for my husband. Obviously, he’s an equal opportunity guy. He wrote his name and “mama”. It’s supposed to be our hearts intertwining. His preschool teachers are so creative.