This program is a go-at-your-own-pace program. You register for a class and then you have until a certain end date to complete the course. The end date is determined by how often you are at the school and how many credit hours the course is. So, for example, if I'm in a 30 hour course, and I am on the campus for a total of 12 hours, I have about two weeks to complete the class. If I don't finish in that time, I have to re-enroll and pay for the class again just to finish. Boo to that.
You really have to push yourself and keep yourself motivated to get things done. In class, the teachers aren't at the front of the board telling you what to study or reading you the lesson. There isn't a specific date to take the test. You have a guide sheet, a text book, and yourself.
In a sense, it's been nice to not have to count down to a test. I hate knowing a test is coming and feeling so unprepared that you just bundle in a corner and will that test away. At least in this class, I decide if I'm ready for the test today, or if I want to study more and take it tomorrow. I've been lucky in that I'm smart and I've been able to finish all of my classes early and never had to deal with re-enrolling.
But aside from learning a whole bunch about teeth and junk (GUYS. GUYS. Floss. Seriously... floss. I've seen some stuff now and.... just floss.), I've learned so much more about myself and school and my mind:
- Teachers will always be impressed with you if you can work technology.
- So, nothing has changed since High School. Teachers think it is amazing when you can work stuff on the internet and make computers turn on and work projectors. My teacher Cathy thinks I am the bees knees because I know how to put files directly onto my flash drive and then put those files onto another computer. Today she asked me if I wouldn't mind doing her the HUGE favor of putting all of the power points I had on my flash drive for my past classes on all of the classroom computers. This took me about 4 minutes total but she was so impressed with me. It's nice to be praised for stuff that you think is so second nature to everyone. Remember that it's not and always be willing to help.
- It's important and awesome to have teachers on your side.
- Respect your teachers. I know that this seems like obvious advice but apparently it's not. There are a lot of different types of students in the dental assisting program. You have people like me, pursuing this career so that they can pursue other things. Mothers returning to school to better their families. High schoolers who don't really seem to care but come on A days anyway to get credit. Troubled youth trying to better themselves. With all of these different people come different attitudes. Most are positive and dedicated. Others... not so much. They talk poorly about their teachers, fail test after test, and laugh it all off. Joke's on you guys, teachers are important. Respect them and they respect you. I didn't think this would be as much of a problem after junior high, but sadly, some people don't seem to grow up.
- There is a palpable difference between educated people and uneducated people.
- Or in other words, be mature. There comes a point in life where it is no longer impressive to be texting 10 people at once and nobody cares if you put makeup on to come to school. The biggest issue I've had during this dental program is the fact that it's a tech school as opposed to a University setting. I'll admit to being pretentious and I'll admit it proudly, but at least now I know why. I'm sick of having to be in classes with 18 and 19 year olds who would rather sit and gossip about the smart girl in class passing all of her tests (That would be me. What a loser, right?) and then laughing with each other when a new girl starts class and her sweater has a few stains on it. Excuse her for taking care of a baby at home and also attending dental school. I know that high school never ends, everybody always says that. I just can say from experience that it takes leaving the high school mentality to realize that being a bitch will get you no where and cheating on tests will get you even fewer places. Looks aren't everything and I hope you learn that some day, sweetheart. Also, your boyfriend is probably cheating on you with someone smarter than you are. Great for you.
|Truer words have never been spoken. And never by someone as perfect.|
DATE ME KATE.
- I don't know everything/ I have zero patience
- This lesson has been the biggest kick in the shorts to me. I've been lucky in that I've been able to study what I've wanted for the past few years. Acting, writing, English, selected awesome gen eds that I pick for my interests. I've learned a lot in my years so I've never really felt the need to push myself in school. I've taken classes that stay very close to my own interests so instead of learning something completely new, I've built upon subjects that I had already mastered. Dental assisting is completely and 1000% new to me and I have been shocked at the amount of studying I've had to do. This sounds stupid and, once again, I freely admit to being pretentious and snotty about my education, but I have been shocked at how much studying I do in order to pass tests. Granted, I am a smart person and thanks to spending years watching medical TV shows with my mom and on my own, I have a familiarity with some of the terms I've learned but so much is new. I always studied in school, don't get me wrong, but that was studying something that came easy to me, something I loved. English and acting and humanities are second nature to me. Dental decay, morphology and histology of teeth... not so much. I have been very humbled in this program. I don't know it all. You need to study and work hard and most importantly take time to let things soak in. Don't just skim your textbooks, read them. Absorb the words. Pay attention. I've been spending so much time thinking that my teachers would be more impressed with me if I finished classes the fastest. Joke is on me. They are impressed with me because I actually study, I don't cheat, I pay attention, and I retain information. I finish classes early because I'm naturally smart, not because I'm rushing. And they are impressed with that.
All in all, as much as I'm aching to be at the U finishing my English degree, I am very happy where I am. After having to push myself through my own education, being at a University will be such a relief. I don't have to depend on myself to set goals, I'll be able to go off of the teacher's well planned schedule and not make my own. I'll leave this program not just with a dental certification but with much more dedication to education and getting what I want for myself. I'm so lucky to be teaching myself these lessons as well as teaching myself about gum disease. Seriously though. FLOSS.