After work Friday, we made the six-hour drive to Columbia, Missouri, arriving around eleven-thirty. On Saturday, I arrived at the veterinary school for my dental seminar. It snowed a lot, and it snowed for a lot of the year back when I was in school there (1972-1978). Having snow in spring was a nice touch of nostalgia when I returned to my alma mater. Having it all melted off by evening was an even nicer touch.
Dr. Jonathon (Bert) Dodd gave most of the lectures and video demonstrations on Saturday. He’s a member of the faculty at the veterinary college at Texas A&M University. Usually after about an hour in a lecture, either my behind or my brain goes numb, with the other following shortly thereafter. Dr. Dodd was such a great teacher that I was surprised to find two hours had gone by when we stopped for a break. I will say that nine hours of class time is a big change from my usual more active day. The time was well spent: not only did I learn a lot about the technical aspects of dentistry, I also gained a new perspective on how to fit dental care into the "whole-patient" care.
On Sunday we moved to the anatomy laboratory where we had our "wet lab". It’s a much nicer facility than the one I studied in, with better lighting in the student work-stations than many surgery suites have. However, I did find this group of old friends back in the corner. They may be the only surviving relics of the time when I was at the college. [That big blob in the foreground is the back of an elephant skull.]
Dr. Richard Meadows heads up the department of clinical practice at Mizzou, teaching students how to actually deal with clients and their pets. He also is the dental specialist, and (with help from several visiting veterinary dentists) gave a lot of individual attention to the twenty veterinarians who attended. I learned new skills, and improved old ones. I also got to try out some pretty neat equipment that goes on my wish-list now.
There’s always something new to learn, so continuing education is important. It’s really nice when it’s also this enjoyable.