One does not need a calendar to know that summer is over. In the days leading up to Labor Day, there were telltale signs everywhere heralding summer’s end including sales on barbecue grills, beach chairs, and summer apparel. But the real giveaway that summer fun is being eclipsed by thoughts of more serious enterprises is the ubiquitous Back-To-School specials being promoted by every retail merchant from Urban Outfitters to Costco. Mailboxes are stuffed with circulars touting new fall styles for classroom attire and new computers for college-bound students (don’t forget the bed sheets and plastic storage containers.)
Backpacks are on full display at just about every store including CVS, Walgreens, Modell’s and, of course, Eastern Mountain Sports. The variety of styles, shapes, and sizes of these modern day school bags is mind-boggling; not to mention the innovative add-ons such as built-in headphones for iPods and cell phones (I am amazed and perhaps bewildered by how many school children I see lugging around backpacks that are almost as large as themselves – it’s a wonder that they don’t fall backwards!).
Yes, it’s back to school time and for the first time in 25 years, I do not have a child heading back to the classroom and…I don’t have any tuition checks to write. Amen! So, what does this liberated parent decide to do after finally being freed from a quarter century of tumult that a new academic year brings? I am going back to school. That’s right, back to school!
I have enrolled in the formal two-year Dental Implant Program at the NYU School of Dentistry (my Alma Mater) and will be attending six hours of classroom and clinical instruction every Wednesday for the next two years. While I have been restoring implants for nearly 30 years, I have not actually performed the surgery to place them. The program is fairly comprehensive and I will learn how to place dental implants for my patients.
So why am I doing this now? Well, golf is not my thing and with three decades of clinical practice under my belt, I’m just hitting my stride. Developing additional expertise in the field of implantology is an opportunity that I must seize upon for my own professional growth and to better serve my patients (not to mention the infusion of enthusiasm I feel). I am very excited (and a little bit nervous) to become a formal student again, but mostly I feel energized. Obviously my office hours will change on Wednesday, at least while school is in session, but rest assured I am not cutting back on my practice.
Now I have to go shopping for school supplies including a BIG back pack and of course write another tuition check!
photo credit: http://centerforspinaldisorders.com/