Livingston Dental - August 2019

800 South Washington St., Afton, WY 83110 (307) 885-4337 |

August 2019

Life With Livingston Dental

e G e n

In Pursuit of an Education

My Schooling Journey

in a few days. Thank goodness they take more after their mother than their father in their studying habits. Jeanelle has been a great example for our kids of what’s possible with education. She has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing and has also done work toward her doctorate. She is very well educated and has always been an exceptional student, maintaining a 4.0 just about all the way through her master’s program. Jeanelle came from a well-educated family with many degrees among them; her father was a teacher, her sister has a higher degree, and her brother went to law school. I, on the other hand, had to study every waking moment to make it into the top 25 of my class. In the history of my family, no one I can remember went on to post- secondary education. Though I didn’t discover it early in life, my love for learning drew me to dentistry and continues to drive me toward improvement.

I realized I needed a different approach if I truly wanted to be a dentist. I began applying myself to my studies and doing all I could to not only pass classes but also do well in them. In dental school, two of my classmates possessed pure photographic


memories: You could hand them a sheet of paper full of text, and they would hand it back to you a few minutes later, able to quote it almost word for word. That bothered me to no end because I had to study everything in detail, repeatedly, to remember it. I couldn’t learn as quickly as they did, but I think as a result, I learned how to study to succeed in my education. At my high school reunion 25 years later, I encountered the surprised faces of many of my former classmates when I shared with them that I’m now a dentist. It was a gratifying bit of news to deliver. Luckily for Jeanelle and me, our kids have all been avid learners. Derek and Christine were always voracious readers from the time they were kids. They could go through a book a week, devouring 350-page novels

While school comes easily for some, that wasn’t the case for me. As a kid around this time of year, I was in a state of mourning with the anticipation of returning to school. While I did just well enough to slide into the next grade each year, I wasn’t an eager student. I never brought a book home and thought it was the teacher’s responsibility to teach me what I needed to know. My senior year of high school, I had a chemistry teacher named Mr. Anderson. Mind you, I still wasn’t a great student at this point, but I told Mr. Anderson I was thinking about going into dentistry. His response? He laughed. “Livingston — a dentist?” he said. He thought it amusing but unrealistic. I took his response as a challenge. I had done well enough in high school to go to college, and it was at that point that

Today, continuing education is wildly important to the process of being a

professional and providing up-to-date care to our patients. Even if it was a bit delayed, I’m glad I eventually found my love of learning.

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