Sunday, May 21, 2006

Soggy, but unbowed...

Hello, loyal bloggites! Sorry I've been AWOL of late, but I've been rather tied up with the Extreme Weather we suffered from here in New England. In an attempt to emulate Old England, we had NINE days of nothing but rain, with the attendant flooded basements etc etc. Six inches of water seems pretty bad, but on TV I saw folks who had four FEET or more of water, so I can't complain. Things are dryer now, and sunniness is abounding.

On the dental front, I spent a couple days last week jamming in Meredith, NH with the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Dental Society. As President-elect of the Seacoast regional component, I have massive responsibilities, which seem to involve showing up to some meetings and attending a dinner or two. Being the youngest dentist in attendance led to fun questions about my "demographic."

"It's great to see you here... but what can we do to encourage other young dentists to join/participate in the society??" was the question du jour. (The soup dujour was a lobster bisque; stunning!)

Anyone else ever get that? The assumption that you, as the only minister or woman or Asian or homosexual have some sort of insight into the behaviors of hundreds of other, well, lesbian Japanese preachers or whatever. OK, that IS a bit of a restricted group but nevertheless.

I tried to explain (while sitting at a table w/ the past president, new president and president-elect of the state society and their wives) that a lot of people don't participate no matter what. Look at how high the stakes were in the last election, and we STILL only got 50-some percent of eligible people to vote. Time Magazine pointed out that of 18-26 year-olds, 38% thought that voting for American Idol was as important as for president. So there's a participation piece and there's a misplaced priorities piece.

I am, by nature, a joiner. If you have a band, and I play the trumpet, I'm signed up and ready to toot. Others would rather take a walk, read a book, write poems or watch TV. Regardless of the worthiness of their alternative pursuits, they don't JOIN.

Secondly, I said, there's an assumption that somebody else will take care of whatever. A bit reason for involvement in professional organizations is to represent in a somewhat united front to legislators and the public. Important decisions are made and someone has to stand up and explain where the group stands. Typically, it's more experienced people, but you have to get others involved at some point.

So I don't know if I could help them understand where the other 20/30-somethings were. I'm kind of an odd duck anyway, so I'm not the best person to ask.

Quote of the week: "I have no discipline whatsover. I don't even floss! I'm 35 years old and I've had four root canals. Four root canals!! What the hell is wrong with me..." - Nate Fisher, "Six Feet Under"

We're watching the whole series on DVD start to finish, if we can. Pretty good stuff, tho' watching, say, three episodes in a row leaves one thinking about death more than may be healthy. Hence the characters' oft-troubled psyches, mayhaps.

The episode that whacked me out the most featured a decedent named Swanson, which name was occaisionally juxtaposed near regular character Nate. I got really confused.

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