Doing What One Would Do When Sunlight Streams In/Penang Dental Conference/Cze-Yin’s Birthday

Two weeks more to the first module exams. 🙂 I’ve only just begun printing notes. Champion lah, Jolene Lai.

The handbook took ages to come and us being us, we can’t really study if we don’t see the schedule in black and white.


It’s always nice to receive the handbook. Which is more of a file actually. What is freakin’ great about third year is that there would only be a dentistry paper per term. Meaning twice a year instead of the usual four. But there will still be practical exams which will come with a few questions, so it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t study at all lah.
But hey, about thirty topics in the medical subjects….I’d say that’s pretty good! Compared to 2nd year, I had to study 300 topics for my finals. Ho mai God. So glad that it’s over now. The poor year 2s are so suffering now. I keep seeing their complaints in their MSN nicks and their blogs. Hahahaha. Feel the pain!!

OH! Right! THE BEST PART about year 3 is that we no longer have Problem Based Learning sessions! At least it wasn’t mentioned. So happy that I don’t have to spend time cracking my head over things I don’t know and pretending to know.

Before I go on, I found something in my cousin Kwan Yean’s friendster account! Speaking of whom, we actually share the same great grandmother but we’ve not seen each other for years on end. Like since 1992. Long story. But hey! A photo of me(he doesn’t know that it’s me in the photo 🙁 ) in a long lost cousin’s friendster account:


I’m the baby. Hahaha. He’s the younger boy and the other boy is his older brother Kwan Hoe. If you remember my cousin brother Kwan Hoong from other posts, yeah, these are his older first cousins. I’m guessing it was taken in 1987 as I didn’t look like I was already one years old. Kwan Hoong and my brother were still enjoying a swim.

L-r: Aunty Susie, Grandma, Uncle Alex, Mum, Me The Mohawkian, Greatgrandma(she passed away when I was 5), GrandAunty, GrandUncle, Kwan Hoe, Uncle Cheong, Aunty Jasmine, Aunty Mei Kuen and Granddad. I think this was taken in Cameron Highlands.

Due to some reasons, I was never close to the two boys. Well, hardly boys. One has three kids now and the younger one is working in Singapore. I always make it a point to get to know all my cousins better but these are one of the few whom I hardly see. Not even during Chinese new years. Yet I’m so close to Kwan Hoong and his sister Kai Ning.

I would be really sad if my greatgrandchildren are practically strangers to each other.

Anyway, moving on to happier things, look at my hair!! When my dad was a baby, he had the same hairstyle too(it’s natural!). I wonder if my babies will have the same hairstyle?
Now, what else but random photos from when the beautiful evening sunlight streamed into my class on a Wednesday afternoon:


When Lie Yuen went to the cafeteria to buy Milo Ais, Andy sat at her place and scribbled on her notes.


Unfortunately only the chinese-eds would be able to read it. It’s like the how strawberry is pronounced as Si Tor Peh Lei in cantonese.

All of it. -__-


My milo ais came from the canteen. I then hurried to the window to take opportunity of the sunlight(and the free period). Andy considered joining me.

Clearly he was being his bodoh self lah. Hahaha.

And now, presenting an overload of photos of me! Deal with it!

Trying to go for that innocent 3 year old look. The I’m-aware-that-you’re-taking-a-photo-of-me-Daddy,-so-I-will-smile look.


Thank god for braces.

The classmates were taking a breather before english class.


Ee Chean’s the one behind the soduku and Sett’s the one behind the plastic thing.

Andy trying out some moves he learnt from emo canto-pop singers.


My sudoku obsessed classmates.


Something that is Jimmy in shape.


That’s the biggest my eyes can go. Sorry ah.


The bottom lip sucked in(with the aid of the straw), eyes quivering look.


This one goes so well with my favourite word of the moment, “Meh.” I know I’m a bit behind when it comes to using “meh”. It’s become so appropriate and useful as of late.


I swear my vision became blurry after doing this pose for so many shots. My eyes got a little cock-eyed too.


Andy dirasuk hantu.


Andy kap lui.

Can you see my shadow? 🙂


Now for the long face-good hair day series.


The coquettish hiding behind the milo bag look.

A warm inviting smi- oh I give up. Whatever fuck. Lazy to think of so many captions for all my stupid expressions. Hahaha.

Oh, I like these ones. Hahaha. See my face.

Then see this one.

Commercial break! If you must know, this is the view that I was looking out at while camwhoring.

Now, see the cheeks.

Yeah man. I am so talented:D It’s like I have a detachable upper face. Haha.

There’s just so much fun you can have with a window, a semi-rolled up blind and lots of sunlight.

Desmond made me take a picture of Ebby to use for ‘future purposes’. Beats me what he’s up to.

He was actually fixing the projector in our class. So much for being high tech. Our dean was really angry with the equipments and the lack of personnel to tend to it. So are we, sir, so are we.

This looks like one of those photos in the newspapers when criminals rush out of the courtroom, hoping to avoid reporters.


I had a competition(another one!) with Poh Yee to see who won when it came to Most Oily Face. I won! Mine is so damn oily that it looks as if there is a hole in the middle of the oil blotter.

Desmond and his pained smile.


I had to tickle him to make him smile more.(Notice how he’s hunched over)

Favourite past time.


🙂 🙂 🙂 It’s just one of those days when my hair behaves so well. *sings*

Nien’s highlights could be seen under the sun!

Last one I promise.


Another way to curb the boredom during english classes.


You can’t tell who is who, but there are hints. And I like it!! 🙂

Last weekend, I went to Penang for a dental conference organized by the Malaysian Dental Association(North Zone). There were a few talks about endodontics and implants. Implants seem like a really lucrative field. Orthodontics is apparently no longer the rage. An implant can set a patient back about RM3000 and the procedure is carried out over a course of 3 months. Compared with an orthodontic patient who pays you RM3000 over a period of 3 years. 🙂 You do the maths. Lie Yuen’s dermatologist once told us that an orthodontist can earn up to RM200,000 a month. No kidding. I’m not sure if he’s kidding. Maybe RM100,000? So imagine how much an implantologist can bring home.


Waking up at 5am is such a foreign concept. I woke up, made my bed and heard the Azan prayers in the distance and felt damn weird. Usually I would hear the Azan prayers BEFORE I go to bed.


We had roti bakar for breakfast in Penang.
l-r: Ah Thong, Maxis and Ee Chean.


l-r: Zhu Zen, Cze-Yin, Me, Lie Yuen.

Andy and Nien.

Nien’s dad paid for our breakfast. Thank you, Uncle!! Nien’s dad is also a dentist. There are actually two other classmates whose dads are dentists too. Nien’s second brother is also a dentist who is currently working in Singapore. Her eldest brother and her third brother are doctors. A family of doctors. Her mum’s occupation is, according to her, raising and taking care of doctors. Hahahaha.


A nice candid shot of the two of them. What more with the lovely colours of the morning sun. 🙂 I love pretty colours, just can’t get enough of it!

The view from here was spectacular.

Isn’t it gorgeous?


And here’s one without an orange filter.


The conference also doubled up as an exhibition for dental companies to promote their products.

These are some of the hand instruments.


I think that’s an extractor! But I wouldn’t know because I’ll only be learning tooth extraction at the end of the year. =) I know you’re expecting me to say, “I can’t wait!!” but in actual fact I’m quite scared. :\ And for our anesthesia classes, I heard that we might have to practice on each other. Maybe not using the anesthetic drugs but just learning how to use the needle on each other. Arghh!!


Bottles of amalgams!


Burs!!:) These are used for drilling into your teeth!

More hand instruments.

The one that resembles the McDonald logo is actually to chest the edentulous(without teeth) patient’s occlusal plane before administering dentures.

Impression trays! People who have had braces would remember biting into something gooey before they had their braces done. 🙂

In the hall.

Oh so diligently taking notes.

One of the fun things about having braces was being able to choose what colour we wanted our smiles to be. 😀

And introducing, microscopy in dentistry. Or at least something like it.

It is to be used with laser. Instead of cutting with a bur, lasers are also used. Not so sure about precision… as usually when you drill with the bur, you can gauge by touch. With laser, I can assume it would be harder. They were working on a piece of chicken fillet.

And with a tooth. I didn’t stay around to see how the cavity turned out.

This feels like pasar malam. hahaha, but we had fun looking at all the instruments. 🙂

l-r: Zhu Zen, Nien, Cze-Yin, Lie Yuen, Brenda and myself.


Another one in the toilet.

If my orthodontist had the pink colour retainer box, I would have worn my retainers every night. They are such a nuisance! hehe, I know I shouldn’t be saying this.

I can’t remember what instrument this was but apparently most instruments that come with a fibre-optic light to aid vision is yellow in colour. But a white light is so much better!

The things they have in dentistry these days. It’s a light curing unit, with protective glasses. -_-

And I don’t know why the glasses had to come in the form of the ones my dad used to wear in the 70s.

Stepping out of my university’s simulatory lab, we’re like little kids let loose in a candy store. There are so many other innovations that we’ve never known about! Given that most are modified versions of the things that we already have. Like this colourful polishing kit.

Sexy sharp burs!

Burs and more burs.

I don’t think patients are allowed to choose the amalgam capsules according to their colours. Each colour probably represents a different type of amalgam. If not, I would definitely go for the pink one. hehe.


It can’t be used on teeth, or can it? it’s so huge!!


I can’t remember but I *think* these are part of the things they used for implants.

The sales rep was showing us the intensity of the light on his light curing unit.

Composite for tooth coloured restorations:)

One of the coolest thing I saw at the exhibition was the patient management software! No more pens and you can just drag the treatments from the sidebar and put it on which ever tooth that you’re working on. The price appears automatically at the bottom.

There are other functions like automatic sms reminders being sent out to patients to come for their next appointment. There are even images of treatments to show the patient before your proceed with the procedure. You can even scribble at the side of the images and make notes. I like!!


We actually bothered taking notes during the conference.

And this is all the guys took.

I think Lie Yuen was drawing some cartoon. Hahahaha.


Maxis doing his usual thing. So did I actually hahaha. Andy called me “Sleeping Beauty”(he’s just being nice. Aww.) and called Maxis the “sleeping Beast”. LOL.


This rubber dam looks so much thicker than the one we use.


Gahhh!! We never knew there was a machine to melt wax! All those hours we spent putting the spatula over the bunsen burner. 🙁 🙁


Oh hello there sexy light curing unit!


Cheek retractors with lights! How cool! So ….sci-fi.

This was my favourite tool of the lot. A rubber tipped plastic instrument. Or whatever it is that is used to shape composite restorations. The ones we have back in uni are made out of metal and so the composite gets stuck on to it as we try to drag them into a nice shape. I guess they are trying to let us learn the hard way. Which is for the better, I suppose. 🙁 but with this instrument, if I wanted to make a heartshaped tooth, I can! It’s really easy to use.


RM200. We were thinking of buying it and share it among ourselves. We’d get brilliant results. 🙂

A matrix band dispenser. How interesting.


I used my gorilla pod to take this shot.

During the lunch break, we spoke to two young dentists who joined our table. They gave us a lot of advice about what to do with our career. One of them is still undergoing her government service and so we got a confirmation from her that yes, it’s true that a fresh grad’s pay would be RM2.9k in the peninsula. However, if we go over to Sabah and Sarawak, it would be about a thousand ringgit more. 🙂 wow.

Then we turned to the one who has started working in the private sector and meekly asked for the starting pay in the private sector. “About RM5000”.

YAYYYYYYY. I’ll probably get criticized for being money minded but I won’t deny the fact that I know that dentistry is a lucrative profession. Which is why I’m here in the first place. Those painful years of deciding what interests me and gets me the moolah. It’s also fortunate that I enjoy what I’m studying. 🙂


Since it was a two days conference, we booked a place at Vistana. I bumped into Nicole Lee(at least I think that’s her surname) on Saturday night. Friends from school would remember her from the 1985 batch. It was just so surreal to bump into a high school friend all the way in Penang. 🙂 Even seeing Leonard (1988 batch, Interactor, remember guys?) around university makes me feel happy. Like a piece of Subang Jaya has come to see me. hahaha. But it’s nice to see familiar faces so far away from home. I know lah Australia and Uk is further, but this is far enough for me. 🙂


There were three rooms and nine of us stayed the night.

The dining area. I didn’t take photos of every corner though as we were rushing out for dinner(and a session of one of the most LAMEST COLLECTION OF LAME JOKES EVER.)

Why is the sea blue?
Coz the fishes say, “bloo(p) bloo(p) bloo(p)”

-____________-

After a very difficult self-restraining stroll around Queensbay (Maybank account left RM60 only. Donations anyone? I’ll pay you back when I go into the private sector. Hahaha)

Maxis and I relaxing at the Ogawa exhibition.


Cze-Yin … I think she was tickled. I HOPE she was tickled. :S

YES!! First time on the iGallop after eyeing it forlornly for the past three years. So what if it looks gross, it’s actually quite comfortable. Hehe. It’s like the fun you derive from bouncing on those balls at the gym. Or like the horses that move when you insert 50 cents. I’m so innocent I cannot think of anymore examples. hahaha.

Ee Chean had a go to. (Notice how I’m still in the photo. Hehehe, didn’t want to get off!)

At night, I just had to gush at Ee Chean’s super cute mattress. I mean a guy like him, 22 years old and quite matured for his age too, carrying a teddy bear mattress. So cute!! He said that it was the only mattress available at home.

So cute lah the bears.

Startled expressions.

Feeding time!

… I’m confused. What do you think Mama bear is doing?


We played a few rounds of snap before turning in for the night.

And so that sums up my Penang Dental Conference Trip!

Now for more photos from my camera.


They’ve finally filled the lake(or rather the space for the lake) with water.


The photos don’t do any justice to it. In fact it makes the water look dirty, but it’s actually really pretty as the water was lapping the sides of the lake while the wind blew to make little waves.

Long time no see.

Nice or not?! My Class IV preparation (a chip in the corner of the anterior teeth). Look at the boundaries man, it’s so freaking smooth. If I close my eyes and run my nail over the surface, I can’t even tell when the composite ends and when the fake tooth starts. =) I love it.

Under normal lighting. If it was on a real tooth, it would be almost invisible.


Even from the back it looks pretty good. I know I’ve been doing a lot of self praising… just let me be. ;\

After completing our conservative classes, we were allowed to work on mounted natural teeth. On the right is a shoddy example of my mesial-occlusal-distal amalgam restoration. Not proud of it. I can’t carve fissures for nuts. 🙁 But you should see some of the amalgam restorations in the teeth I collected. The amalgam surfaces are flat! How to bite you tell me??
On the left is another one of my better composite restorations. 🙂 Yay!

Cze-Yin turned 22 recently. Pretty soon she’ll be having grandchildren.


l-r: Narjit, Cze-Yin, Brenda, Pei Zhi and Angela.

Lie Yuen and the birthday girl lady.

As usual, birthdays are usually a class thing. 🙂

And one with me inside! Thanks Lie Yuen! <3

The latecomers! l-r: Jeeva, Jeya and Fizah.

I always love the way birthday candles turn out in photos.

I’m guessing Cze-Yin’s wish was, “I wish that Jolene will stop bullying me.” Hahaha, so not happening, Woman. So not happening.

She said that she smiles better without her teeth. hahaha. Whatever lah.

OHMYGOD DONE DONE!! *runs away from the computer*