one year down

Well, he did it! Rory completed his first year of dental school three weeks ago. It went by pretty fast! So fast, that I pretty much forgot that I had started this blog to reach out to future and current wives of dental (or even medical) students.

So that’s reassuring. I promise I was blessed with adequate free time for a mom of two babies. I just found other things to do with it besides write.

So here’s how year one went for us in the Furrows house.

The first year of dental school is broken down into three sections and goes from June to May (but only a couple days into May). It is my understanding that not all dental schools run on this schedule.

My least favorite semester was definitely the first, which is primarily Gross Anatomy. This is when your husband will spend more time with a dead body, than you. He’ll be gone from 6 AM to 10 PM memorizing everything about the anatomy of a human. And when he does come home, you will shove that poor boy into the shower because, Gross Anatomy.

Maybe the hard part about that first semester was adjusting to a totally different schedule, and in a new town far from family to boot. I thought that it wouldn’t be an issue for me. Before dental school Rory was at school all day and then he went to work until 9:30 PM. So I thought, “I got this.”

Long story short: It was still a wake-up call.

And it seemed like when Rory had free time, our conversations always ended being about how the body functions.

“Your sciatic nerve is hurting, babe? Let me tell you about that.”

“Melissa bumped her head. Let me tell you why it hurts.”

“My jaw just popped. Let me tell you what muscles and nerves have been affected.”

He knew I tuned out after he started using fancy words like Medulla Oblongata. But he went through the list of why certain physical stimuli cause certain reactions in the body to explain why everything works the way it does anyway. I’d like to say I learned a lot from Rory that semester, but all I’ve got is Medulla Oblongata.

He couldn’t help it. Gross Anatomy took over his life and conversation skills. It was a relief to put that semester behind.

So that’s my perspective. Rory says the hardest semester for him was the second semester. When you go from two classes to nine, that would be a challenge. That’s 26 credits, folks. Throw a postpartum wife, a daddy’s girl toddler and brand new baby in the mix. Oh and a church calling that requires a lot of time and energy. My husband is a rock star. He has self-discipline and how.

I was a little too consumed with having Lila that semester to even really notice how busy he was. Now that I wrote that, it sounds really sad. But what I mean is, I was used to the long hours away and our new routine by then. So as far as that goes, it was easier for me.

This final semester was still a lot of hard work for Rory, but by then he decided he wasn’t going to push himself as hard. He started out dental school very competitive. He said, “You’re going to hate me, but I’m going to do everything I can to be at the top of my class.”
Then at the end of the second semester he decided it was too much pressure for his current situation at home and at church. It turns out dental students who aren’t in the top of their class still become dentists.

He is still a very hard worker and he makes good grades. From what I’m told, he has a delicate hand in the SIM lab. Rory can sculpt a tooth like a champion. I knew he’d be impressive with the hands-on stuff. Rory has always been an artist, and a perfectionist at anything he does with his hands. He can paint, draw, craft, and make rocking horses. Naturally he can sculpt a molar out of wax.

This is Rory’s only willing patient at the moment.

Anyways, we enjoyed the third semester because he’s started to learn a lot about teeth. It’s amazing how much time you can put into prepping for dental school in undergrad, be IN dental school, and still not learn much about teeth until you get into it for a while.

And because he’s learning so much about how teeth work now, I’ve found myself leaning back with Rory’s fingers poking around my teeth and hearing all about what my teeth are like.

According to my husband, I have the frontal incisor lobes as pristine as a child’s. Hearing that had me like:

party animal

When he becomes a third year Rory will start working in the clinic on real live people. That means he can practice drilling cavities on me. I found out last week I’ve got a couple that will probably be, um, ready for drilling in a year or two. My dentist won’t touch them because he wants Rory to fill them for me. Yaaaaay, something for me to look forward to.

We’re told the second year is just as grueling, if not more, as the first year. And around this time next year Rory will take the Boards. So it will be quite a year! I know Rory is going to do great. Dentistry is what he was made to do. It comes so naturally to him, and he loves what he is learning. It has been so amazing to watch him grow and attain so much knowledge. I am so proud of him!

Way to go, Rory! One year down!