Thinking of Johor For The Long Run

Read Sixthseal’s blogpost about Johor’s Iskandar, just one of the many things i have been reading about the development within the state and it prompted me to spill about my plans. I haven’t spilled here in a long time, I know. πŸ™‚

Blogging is SUCH a chore, you know?!

But it’s good to be back to share sometimes.

So for those who have wondered where I have disappeared off to, I’m currently in my second year of my compulsory service with the government. When my FYDOship ended, I was supposed to report for duty at Batu Pahat!! After many tearful phone calls to the headquarters and a very fortunate switch with a colleague in JB, I’m still in JB, living with Chee Kiang who is still working in Singapore. πŸ™‚

We’ve been doing this for over 7 months now and living together has been amazing. We cook almost every week night, sometimes I dump him here and drive home to Subang Shah Alam myself. Yeah, my family has moved away from Subang too. It still hurts when I think about my childhood house in SS18.  Going into Singapore whenever friends want to meet up, exploring JB together, watching downloaded movies together on our landlord’s flatscreen and sleeping in the living room every single night because the entire apartment is literally our bedroom.

Oh! I’ve started baking and cooking more too!

Butter cookies fresh from the oven! I wanted to decorate it with royal icing but the icing i made was way too sweet and runny, so I gave up. I’ll need to head out to buy lemons and meringue powder to try again. Don’t think I’ll use raw egg whites again as it is not hygienic. And I have no idea where I can get pasteurized egg whites.

Spinach pan mee with the necessary yums

Tried roasting a chicken. Tasted okay, couldn’t get it to be a dark crispy brown. 😐

Herbal chicken, not too bad!

And my favourite and my best dish (ahem), chicken+broccoli+carrots+french beans dimsum style. <3

I think I drifted off again.

Yes, so throughout university I knew that I had to, needed to, MUST end up in Johor in order to put an end to the nonsense that was a long distance relationship. I was sent to Kluang first when I first entered the workforce and after making it through 6 months, I am finally in JB. When my first year training ended, I managed to secure myself to be permanently based in JB.

It’s all going to plan, isn’t it?

But deep down in my heart, I wanted.. or thought that it was to be this way: That the both of us complete our respective three years with the government and move back home to finally start our lives somewhere permanent.

But it’s not fair to uproot him from Singapore when he has put in so much effort building up his career here. Not only that, if I go back, I will have to start networking all over again. It’s okay if we start off immediately after the end of our compulsory service because we are still relatively young then and can slug it out. But I’m afraid that won’t be the case and we’ll probably have more…well, changes in our lives if we wait it out a few years and head back in our very late 20s or early 30s.

I do want to open my clinic one day and I want to open it somewhere where I will grow old.

I am confused about plans to work in Johor, KL or Singapore.

The reason why I want to go home is so that my children can grow up around their grandparents and I can be there for my family. It’s just horrible to have to grow up and old without your parents around. But most people don’t have a choice because of their careers and I am afraid that we might just be one of those people.

For an AIMST graduate, it might be a little tricky because the degree is not listed in the list that the Singapore Dental Council has come up with. Most of the Malaysian public dental schools aren’t even on the list too. We have to sit for an exam which, IF you can qualify for it with the suitable requirements, has a waiting list of 2 years. I hear that it’s the final paper for the Year 5 NUS students. I will of course try for it if I have the chance to. I would need to study really really really hard for it and cross all possible fingers and toes.

Singapore would be nice. But I really need some guidance if Johor is just as good, if not better. Or even better than KL for that matter, which I hear is pretty saturated now.

It gives me hope that there is so much development going on in the city and there is a buzz of excitement about the endless possibilities. Healthcare facilities, residential areas, educational institutions (though I’ll probably still send my kids to a government school to let them see the real Malaysia and save the money for their overseas education) etc.

The whole Johor-Singapore thing works very well for us now. I know a big chunk of Johor roads now, made a horde of new friends from work and more contacts from helping out with the southern zone’s dental association….

I just hope that it is the right choice to be based here.

My Induction Camp As A First Year Dental Officer

All u41 dental officers have to go through a four day induction which is like a camp of sorts and I have been among the chosen ones for this round! It would be awesome if all first year dental officers (fydos) can be here together but of course, come to think of it we can’t leave the clinics half empty throughout the country. There are 110 of us here this week in Kolej Sains Komuniti Bersekutu in Kempas, JB. The dental officers are from Johor, Malacca, Pahang, KL and Perak.

Apparently all future induction courses will be held here. It’s a really beautiful health allied sciences college and the hostels are really new and comfortable too. All officers in the peninsular will have their induction here which is carried out in batches. ALSO, good news to all government servants who will have to have their induction courses one day, the birotatanegara (BTN) has been cancelled forever since Jan 2011!! YAY!!!

The view from the sixth floor.

More hostels nearby.

The top of some of the faculty buildings.

Neighbouring hostels.

The carpark just outside our hostel block!

In a way, it is sort of like a camp as everyone is about the same age. There are only six of us from AIMST but we are trying our best to make as many new friends as possible.

Had dinner with Ee Chia, Steven and Cze-Yin on Monday night!

Pretty awesome to be able to pop out if you think the food’s gonna suck.

For me it feels really surreal to be called by the government to congregate at a place for four days because it just feels like national service all over again. I mean technically we are serving the nation but I couldn’t help feeling this overwhelming sense of nostalgia, walking back to dorms, i really felt like I was back in national service.

My schedule and my name tag.

I am always up for making new acquaintances and this is how it usually is when you go for a camp, you do not expect to see any familiar faces. The strange but awesome part is that I get to choose my room mate. It doesn’t even happen this way at a normal camp! So of course I would choose someone whom I have known for years, someone whom I have lived with for years and someone whom I have plenty of catching up to do with. So glad Cze-Yin is my room mate!

And this is a new friend I have made, Dhanya!

Lie Yuen, she’s pretty much your replacement. πŸ˜›

Because AIMST people band together.

But we did make some new friends. πŸ™‚

Just a fraction of the 110 participants at the camp.

I was initially worried that I might have to share a dorm with six other girls or something. While it was fun, I don’t think I want to repeat what I went through during national service – sharing a dorm with 24 girls. But to my delight, our room is HUGE! Two to a room and so much floor space! There’s a conjoining toilet with our neighbour but it’s cool.. we made friends, we won’t steal each other’s shampoo. Albeit a little dusty, the bed is really solid and the ceiling fan is cold enough for us as we’re on the 6th floor plus it has been raining quite a bit. The lovely weather does remind me of national service where it was mostly cloudy as I went during the rainy season.

A lovely wardrobe for my so called ironed clothes.

Our two beds and the awesome floor space.

Cze-Yin chillaxing with my laptop.

On our way out to the first lecture this morning.

Another strange thing was that there’s no curfew for us. Most of us are probably still coming to terms with the fact that we are no longer students but real, proper, working adults. The security guards would wave us through and we’d be stunned while still in “Defence Against Security Guards” mode – a skill many of us have acquired as students who had to deal with fussy guards.

I remember in National Service, we would still have talks after dinner and we would walk to the cafeteria after a cool evening bath and settle in for an evening of superstitious or motivational rambling by some trainer.

I’m feeling particularly nostalgic about how I would whip out my notepad and pen to record every single moment that happened in national service while trying to deal with home sickness, making new friends and eating strange food.

In National Service, we were served five meals a day and it is no different here. Two hours of talk is followed by half an hour or one and a half hour of makan, another two hours of talk, another round of makan. We makan SIX times here.

In national service, if we skipped any makans, we were required to be in the cafeteria. But here we can adjourn back to our rooms and come out again when there was another lecture to go to. The room is in a perpetual state of coolness.

In national service, I arrived in a bus, without a single soul who could speak to me in English. I thought it was the most important trait to have back then. Fast forward 6 years and here I am, less of a banana and arrived in my car. Drove here straight after work and the feeling was …for lack of a better word…awesome. I just felt this vast amount of freedom to just up and leave anytime. Back in the day, camps meant a month of planning, liasing with friends, getting your mum to do some shopping for you. But now, I can just pack a few necessities, shop for some stuff and throw everything into my car boot and sing loudly to Fly FM for one hour plus before arriving at the campus where my induction is held.

When I went for camps, surely I would forget to pack something or I would realize that I really really could use with something. And I would never get it. I would then have to suffer in silence. But last night, we needed floor mats because the room was dusty and it flooded on my side of the room as we forgot to close the window. Out we went to a grocery store about 2km away, without feeling even the slightest bit of tiredness to stock up on some floor mats, toilet rolls and snacks. All because I had a car. I am in CAMP and I have my car here with me. I can say that over and over again.

I think the best part is that I have my favourite soft toy pillow here with me, my P1wimax modem here with me and my kettle as well. As I am quite high up, the speed is mad crazy. When I download movies, it’s like way faster than the speeds I get back home in Kluang.  I have never even been this well equipped at a camp.

While my colleagues have been very supportive of me for the past 5 months, I have never had the chance to meet so many FYDOS at once. I don’t feel like I’m in a working environment, it seems like university all over again because no one here is your senior (or in some cases, no one here is very much your senior).

I have three more days to go. πŸ™‚ And then it’s Singapore for the weekend. Singapore’s like, 20 minutes away. How awesome does my camp get?!? Internet + Boyfriend Who Is 20 Minutes Away + Car + Cold Weather + Comfy Bed….I’m one happy cookie.

An Old Story about AIMST University’s First Batch of Dental graduating!

Once upon a time, I had my graduation ceremony.

It’s so long ago that my graduation ceremony photo albums pops up on Facebook’s Photo Memories every now and then. But it is my graduation day, and no matter how long it has been, it will be up here. My europe trip too. Even though it happened in mid-2009, one day I shall post all if not some of my pictures taken in Amsterdam, Paris etc. πŸ™

Some shots from the morning, Chee Kiang in his outfit that garnered many compliments from my friends. πŸ˜€


With graduation bouquets that I ordered for myself on behalf of my loved ones T_T

Got Chee Kiang to go trigger happy with my DSLR while I was down at the basement getting ready with my classmates.

Came up to show them my attire! (and to make my parents sniffle..wahahah)

This was when I still did not know how to wear the robes properly. ;|

Getting my attire lovingly adjusted by mum and Chee Kiang.

At the basement with Brenda. This was our day!!

Dinner mates!! <3

With Poh Yee! Side note: We held each others’ hands when opening our letters regarding the places we were posted to.

l-r: Wuan Phing, Jaya, Fiza and Yan Rui! Wuan Phing is in Pahang now, Jaya is in Kota Tinggi, which is Johor as well, Fiza Selangor and Yan Rui is somewhere in Perak. πŸ™‚

I’m definitely going to miss moments like this. :’)

Myself and Bala, one of the most capable and independent guys in my class.

Obligatory 5.3 group photo. I miss my group mates so much despite being the only girl there. Yes I am the only girl. *runs away from Cze-Yin’s evil glare*

With a very unfriendly Jimmy.

We were lining up, like in primary school, waiting to go up on stage!

Yup that’s how I looked like in my gown. Uh-huh.

Narjit won the Best Dental Student award! Since Year 1 we have already known that the award would go to her. Just wish that the school would have come up with a better name than that.

Terrible right this Jimmy. Take photo with Narjit so happy pulak. πŸ™

Doing a favour for Group 5.4. Here’s your group photo if you haven’t already saved it from my facebook album from centuries ago.

Group 5.1!

Group 5.3.

Another one with group 5.3!

And lastly, group 5.5

With my darling Lie Yuen. I sometimes I forget that I am living alone and when there’s something I want to tell someone, anyone, I instantly look for Lie Yuen, then I remember, oh yeah. We are not living together anymore. πŸ™

With Jamie who got posted back to her hometown in Sarawak!

If you can see, my family members are waving in the background of this picture. Heh. They somehow managed to find seats along my row in the graduates’ area.

More photos while we waited patiently for all the inspiring speeches to end.

After getting our certs! And yup, no nice photos of me on stage by my dad/Chee Kiang. There’s one professionally taken by the gown rental/photography people which I have collected but have yet to scan it… it’ll just get hung up somewhere at home. πŸ˜€ There’s gonna be a little shrine on one of the walls dedicated to my graduation. πŸ˜€

Not a scroll!

With Dr. Manikandan and Dr. Karthik. Dr. Karthik is like a super teacher. He was there with us from (almost) the beginning till the end of our studies. He thought us the super basic stuff like dental materials and cavity designs all the way to complex things like post and core, crowns and bridge, cast partial dentures.. we can’t thank him enough. He is extremely dedicated to the students and helped us in any way he could. We were initially afraid of him because he put on the bad cop persona but over the years, he became a dear friend and mentor to all of us.

Dr. Manikandan is one of the dental officers who sees patients before deciding if they are suitable for the students. He also played a major role during our Clinical Management Report and credits to him for the beautiful before and after photos taken with the clinic’s camera. He also earns many brownie points among the students here by being one of the hottest staff members around! That being said, Dr. George is still a favourite among most female students. HEHEHE. Sorry everybody, the secret is out.

Sneaking a solo photo in amidst the chaos.

Found Dr. Brindha and Dr. Niekla!!

These are the two most motherly lecturers I have here.

Dr. Brindha is Dr. Karthik’s wife and the both of them arrive at AIMST at the end of 2006, early in our second year. She was the good cop to Dr. Karthik’s initial bad cop. Dr. Brindha is usually the one to reassure us when we are faced with “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT” situations. She takes her time to clear our doubts for us and is super super super patient. πŸ™‚

Dr. Niekla.. probably the most popular lecturer at the dental faculty. She has recently left AIMST so it’s quite unfortunate that the juniors will not get to know her . You people at IMU better appreciate her! She’s probably the most animated, adorable, caring and understanding lecturer ever! She has no qualms about letting her hair down when joking with students and swings back into professional mode when it comes to our paediatric sessions. Yes, she’s our paediatric dentistry lecturer. With her good PR skills, she’s excellent with the kids and she’s the one who taught us about the importance of a reassuring touch to improve our communication with the kids. πŸ™‚

A bear, Jimmy and Magesh.

Praveena and me!!

With juniors Serene and Rachel.

With my patient, Mr. Phoon! Mr. Phoon is probably one of my most caring patients ever… I only met him during the final leg of my final year, a time when stress levels were sky high, tears were held back by fanning ourselves frantically. When my clinical management report (CMR) patient told me that she probably could not come for anymore treatment, I really didn’t know what to do. Mr. Phoon, whom I had a session with that day, saw my crumbling face and offered to become my CMR patient. He said he could come anytime I needed him to. I was so so so touched by his sincerity but I had to persevere to convince my first patient as I had already started with her case and there was not much time left. Thank you so much, Mr. Phoon. πŸ™‚ My junior who took on your case is very lucky to have you as a patient.

Finding a good patient back in uni was seriously rare. I can only name like… a handful of patients who were nice to me. Most were nightmares. I had one infamous nightmare. Hahaha. No names please! πŸ˜›

With Lie Yuen and Brenda and our graduation presents!

A bouquet of Ferrero Roucher!! Who so lucky?!

Mum and I before I scrambled away to go on stage for a group photo. Sorry mum! πŸ™

With Maxis’ famous Doraemon soft toy. The soft toy even made it into the papers! More on that further down.

Me, detecting a camera.

Can hardly make out our faces but yeah, that’s all 37 of us. The first batch of dental graduates from AIMST University! Our class photo is hung in the dental students’ common room to be remembered for ages to come.

With Prof. Smales, a man who loves us as much as we love him. πŸ™‚ He still has his british humour about him which is not quite registered among my classmates most of the time but we do love him so much. He is the one who build up the entire aimst dental programme with the help of Datuk Dr. Rohani, Dr. Robinson and Prof. Comfort. But this AIMST BDS programme is his baby.

In the initial years, he would come in every other month to tell us about the developments of the programme. He would tell us about the construction of the simulation lab, the technology lab, what we were to expect in our new dental building at the new campus (which we only saw for the first time in our third year) and later on, the successful accreditation of our course. It was a long journey and he was with us all the way. I believe that this is a privilege that the first batch of dental students have managed to enjoy. People in the fourth batch and so on would probably never get to know Prof. Smales the way we did. I’m sorry that you guys did not get to see the school transform to become what it is today but please appreciate all the facilities that you have here at AIMST because it wasn’t always like that.

Cze-Yin, her aunt and her cousins.

When we came out from the great hall, THIS was awaiting us. We were stunned into silence. It didn’t quite register at first.. but we eventually calmed down and were overwhelmed with such gratefulness towards our dental juniors. πŸ™‚ you guys are the best. Always always always so creative. πŸ˜‰

With Batch 4’s famous dental probe (made from a roller brush) and mouth mirror (mirror made from a milo tin

Extremely supportive juniors. We felt like real celebritites…:) We felt so loved.

This is my politician smile. lol

They called themselves the mobile backdrop. ;D

Lie Yuen’s red carpet smile.

Poh Yee gets mobbed too. LOL

Some quiet time with my dear Brenda and Lie Yuen.

Was getting a little bit tired from all the activity.

With Yen Yen Cheh Cheh who came all the way from Singapore to see me get my certificate. Thank you YYCC!!

With Chee Kiang and all my presents. <3 πŸ™‚ Oh, the iPad was in the car. πŸ˜›

Paiseh to take the flowers.

Ok, a more loving photo. πŸ™‚

Family photo!! yup, this is my entire entourage.

The girls!

One of my few solo pictures. πŸ˜€

MUST TAKE. Housemates photo. MUST.

As planned on Facebook, we gathered at the grassy patch next to do the administration building for our mortar board throwing picture.

Unbeknownst to us, there was a chinese newspaper journalist among the crowd of proud parents looking on. So yeah, there’s a photo of my classmates and I in one of the chinese newspapers a few days after that.

A few more jumps. Someone kicked Doraemon to the floor by accident. Haha.

Ready for the next round!


Don’t know who’s mortar board is whose.

To this day, I still don’t know how they managed to get the mortar boards to form a circle in mid-air.

We looked more like lawyers!

Group photo with as many as we could find.

With Batch 2 juniors, Melvin, Samuel, CY, Sook Mei and June. πŸ™‚

With Ada (second from right) and her pharmacy coursemates.

<3 Sabrina and Aimee!! Batch 4 juniors.

Some quality time with the family. Koo Cheong and Koo Ma!!

With dad and mum.

Chee Kiang and the bear, taken against his will.

Like in a movie, but it would be better if my hair was not so haywire and maybe more make-up for me please.

One more round for Brenda who missed the mortar board throwing photo session. 😐


With Aik Munn, one of my favourite Batch 3 juniors. πŸ™‚

I think this was when my dad teased Chin Kai about being the new owner of most of my furnitures.. haha. Take good care of my grandfather’s old cathode tv, Chin Kai!

With Yii Ping and Jen! Jen is the proud owner of one of my book shelves and my weighing scale. LOL

With Philip and Deniece!


Stephanie and Charis!

Felicia and Ei Leng!!

Us seniors feeling so loved with all the juniors coming to see us on this special day.

With Janice, Samantha, Sook Mei and Shing Yin

With Janice, Kimra, Agnes, Soo Huan and Wai Yan!

Awww my favourite sibling of a friend, Lie Peh! <3 <3 <3 <3 No prizes for guessing who’s sister. Hahha.

With Siva!

And GERVIENE!! Our current ADSA president, resident funny woman of AIMST Dentistry. πŸ™‚ Thanks for always making the cutest jokes, Gerv!!

With Ananth and Dhanya. πŸ™‚

With Jimmy from Pharmacy Batch 2! Poor guy got posted to Terengganu.

More solo hiaupor photos. Much thanks to Chee Kiang for layaning. <3

With Lily!

With Prof. Ferguson!! My oral biochemistry lecturer. He said if he didn’t make use of his camera (to take pictures with his students), his wife would question him. LOL.

He looks so cute here!

With Jickson, Cynthia and Sheena.

And Victor!

When you leave a boyfriend waiting in the car with your camera, this happens. πŸ™‚

Oooh..ooh.. so right, after like 3-4 months of my convo ceremony, the family and I decided to go get proper shots done at a studio. Here’s the results:

*punches fist in air* YESSSSs… done with my convocation ceremony post.

AIMST Dental Students’ Day Out Into The Sunlight

With only two more weeks to go before my life as a university student ends, I am trying really hard to be appreciative of everything around me before I leave this place for good. I don’t even feel the end drawing near because of the pressure cooker that I’m in everyday at school what with our quotas and clinical management report (an assignment where we handle a patient’s case from beginning till the end to be presented to an external examiner during the finals), patients’ compliance, lecturers’ expectations.. I can’t begin to tell you how I much I wish for everything to end. But to end everything would mean facing the music, putting myself through the stress of finishing up all that I have to do in order to sit for my final exams.

Melvin and Jimmy while waiting for the rest of the dental students to pose for a photo for Prof. Comfort who wanted a nice shot of all the dental students in their clinical uniform to be used as a photo for the following year’s handbook. I am not sure which year the handbook would be for. Maybe for the new batch of clinical students. Who wants to place bets?

Then there are the final exams. What to study? Every damn thing, that’s what. Can I do it? I don’t know.. I can only hope so.

I believe I echo the sentiments of my entire class, the 37 of us who have spent the last five years together. We always talked about how much we would change by the time Year 5 comes around. We talked about how graduating and becoming dentists and hearing people address us with the title Dr would get pretty surreal. Something so impossible as how everything in the future is like. Uncertain.

But it’s only around the corner now. It is becoming a reality. Year 5 is ending soon.

With the closest girlfriend I could grab at the moment, Angela.

Though not all 37 of us have been extremely close. We have our own dinner cliques whom we spent almost everyday with and spontaneous weekend getaways or shopping trips with. You guys know who you are. πŸ™‚  We met when we were still teenagers and we have finished the journey together in our mid-20s, the dreaded age we used to moan about back in Year 3 about how ‘old’ we will be when we graduate. We are already here, guys.Yet we go about everyday like we are coming back again after the end year holidays.

Another year of academics where we wait in anticipation what the school of dentistry have in store for us ‘first borns’. It is always a surprise (some pleasant, some not so pleasant) with us being the first batch and having no seniors to forewarn us. Long ago, these surprises came in the form of lovely news about the setting up of a simulation lab for us to practice our dental skills where we will learn how to do simple restorations and a technology lab where we learn how to make dentures and the likes. The most exciting was when the dental hospital was officially opened and after three years, we had a building to call our own. I remember stepping into the polyclinic and being in awe of how vast it was. It’s still pretty big to me now and that’s because I feel it is such a pain to get things from the counter when I am placed anywhere after Bay 18.

See Magesh? This is not a silly face what. πŸ™‚ Proof that you don’t always make sien faces for my camera.

Don’t know if many of you read my sappy article in the program book during the dental dinner (and of course my non-BDS friends and blog readers (all remaining three of you!) wouldn’t have). I wrote about how much I looked forward to coming to AIMST in Kedah despite the uluness of it because I believe I will be making a whole new bunch of friends. New faces who will become familiar faces. It was so hard to imagine at that point in time but so very exciting too to leave my comfort zone.
During my free time in national service, I would pull out the AIMST brochure to see. There was an artist impression of the campus, with a lake glistening in the (artist drawn) sunlight that spread across the grounds. The building that caught my eye was the admin building (pictured below) and there were steps leading up to it where I imagined myself running up to when I was late for classes. Or even sitting at the steps with the entire university population enjoying the evening sun while seeing probable ducks bobbing around the lake.

Tiny figure in pink is Prof Comfort directing the dental students to the slope for the photo. This is the first time where the dental students are allowed out of the dental building in our scrubs. So it was indeed very invigorating.

But of course if we ever did that now, many of us would have died of heat stroke or be chased away by the security guards. No AIMST student in their right mind would seat along the benches on that huge stretch of pavement between the dental building and the admin building.

I found Lie Yuen!

Nicer photo of me and Lie Yuen without me looking like a character from Sesame Street.

I knew I would be making many new acquaintances when I went off to university. I never expected to see familiar faces like Lie Yuen, whom I said goodbye to when we had our A-levels farewell class party sometime in June 2005. The Lie Yuen in A-Levels and the Lie Yuen I have come to know and love here in AIMST like my very own sister, is so different.

This first impression goes out to all whom I met on my first day at AIMST. Brenda and I talked a lot about the blogs that we read and I thought “Damnit, must talk to her more!!!” We did grow apart over the course of first year mainly because we hung out with different people due to *cough* transportation needs *cough, thanks guys* but eventually found each other again in the consequent years and she’s one of my closest friends here among a few others. Same goes with Cze-Yin who was my very much feared housemate back in Year 1 due to her strict and cool persona whom I too grew apart when I went out to stay. We immediately grew close again when she became my housemate in 2008 and there are so many more levels to Cze-Yin to be accessed. The cool persona is just superficial but deep down, she is a quirky sweetheart:).

I love this picture because those are genuine smiles, not the ones we reserve for the camera lens.

We weren’t extremely close to Nien, Zhu Zen, Poh Yee, Sock Nee etc etc as we stayed in different houses when we were still in ‘hostel’. Our ‘hostel’ back then consisted of terrace houses in the same residential area which was pretty much devoid of any life form. It was only in Year 3 where we started celebrating birthdays together and having dinners more often that pretty much strengthen the bonds among a huge chunk of the class.

So many of my closest friends here today are the ones I gelled so well with on my first day and then grew apart over the next couple of years only to come back to talking cock like long lost childhood friends in our later years. (Yes, Jimmy, I mean you. I can still remember talking cock with you during our bus rides from BPJ to uni.)

Despite having our own nuclear bunch of friends, the entire class is pretty much like a big family. I don’t mean to be corny, but when I am around them I just feel so comfortable, so used to it.

Prof Comfort with her sunnies whilst giving us directions over to the slope. That’s Dr. Sathya in the background who was helping out with the photo taking.

Being the first batch of dental students at AIMST University, our dean has always been particularly attached to us. We looked forward to everything he had to say whenever he stepped into our year 1 class room. (Not so much when he stood in as our Conservative Dentistry lecturer due to lack of staffs back in Year 2. But how things have changed. I have lost count how many lecturers we have now!) He always brought with him great news about our progress as a young dental school.

One of the many ‘lucky’ few whom I managed to snap a picture of while we were scrambling to get into position on that steep slope.

The 40 of us back in 2005 constantly felt lonely and isolated from the rest of the university as we did not have any juniors or seniors to engage us in various activities. Not that we are extremely integrated with the rest of the university now but at least we have almost 300 other dental students to mix with.

Aik Munn never hesitates to smile for my camera. <3

Of course most of us wanted an overseas education but just how many can afford nearly a million ringgit just to get a dental degree from a good university abroad?

I think we should be grateful with what we have. A fully functional dental hospital where classes are conducted on the top floor, specialist clinics on the second floor, polyclinics and oral surgery on the first floor and the reception, common room, locker room and more lecture theaters on the ground floor. You have to agree, it is already pretty awesome!

As with Zhu Zen. πŸ˜›

The novelty may have worn off but think of the days when we did not have a sprawling campus with its own carpark, a cafeteria that can cook whatever you want (be grateful for the roti canai and maggi goreng okay!), a convenience store with enough snacks to save you that trip to Tesco, an in-campus ATM machine, a library maybe 10-20 times the size of the small little excuse of a library we had in the old interim campus, hostels where single rooms come equipped with air condition that you can leave on for 24 hours PLUS internet (not that I care since moving out of hostels in 2006)… so much have changed since that pathetic plot of land in Amanjaya where our classes were held in stuffy shop lots. I never want to go back to the sauna where my Year 2 classes were held. Remember how the aircon NEVER seemed to work while the afternoon sun effortlessly streamed in and we had to stay in that classroom from 8.30am to 6pm almost everyday?!

Now we have to bring jackets into our classrooms. *smiles blissfully*

Myself, Gerv and Kaixuan in the hot afternoon sun. My hair’s a mess!!

Ever since Year 5 began, classes have become few and far in between with our time being dedicated to polyclinics and postings to various specialist departments. Sometimes we even see more of certain juniors compared to our own classmates. That’s how it has become. The school has kept us so busy this entire year that we did not even have time to think or even breath. Like Prof. Smales once mentioned during a lecture, “Put down your instruments and think” (before preparing the cavity) I don’t even have time to think about how much I will miss everyone.

Ponytails – the standard hairstyle for girls in the polyclinic

It will be hard for us to meet again as we make our way back to our hometowns in different states all over Malaysia. Even dental conferences are divided to northern zone, central zone and southern zone. Perhaps one or two might end up as my colleague in the government service later on. Or even a colleague when I head into the private sector after a few years.

I love this! If only the person with the bent arm didn’t spoil the photo.

There will come a day where my mind will travel back in time yearning to be among my friends in dental school. Similar to how I will wish on my most stressful days to go back to kindergarten or high school just for that bit of freedom that the lower levels of education often came with.

Jeeva’s winning smile. Hahaha.

More blue.

This is just a small fraction of the 140+ dental students who are already performing dental treatments on patients. Each student sees up to 3-4 patients a week (us Year 5 students may have to take in more patients what with our crazy schedule), so I can proudly say that it’s about 400 patients getting treatment at the dental hospital every week? πŸ™‚ We have 4500++ patients in our database now.

I’m gonna miss these faces that I see every morning in the locker room and around the dental building.

And most of all, the many jokes that we share on facebook which we continue when we see each other every morning, only to continue online again when we get home.

It has been a great five years despite all the stress and mental torture that comes with dental school. Never again will I be in an institution where I have friends around my age like in primary school, high school, college and uni. This is the last leg of my education. (I don’t think furthering my studies will come with the joy of being a student surrounded by activities and friends of similar wavelength, so I will definitely miss this.)