Every year, I get giddy with excitement (yes, I’m an official AGD nerd) when I make my reservations for the annual AGD Scientific Session. It’s always held during the summer, the best time to visit a city — unless of course you moved out of that city just two months ago, as I did.
After calling Boston home for 19 years, I left it for California and, as luck would have it, the meeting came two months after I moved out of Boston. Seriously? Last year, I flew to the San Francisco meeting from Boston, a six-hour flight that could have been less than two and in the same time zone. Clearly, AGD wasn’t on my schedule. So back I went to Beantown for my beloved organization. This time, I had my social calendar and my continuing education calendar neatly organized. I thought it would be like every other meeting I’ve ever been to. It wasn’t.
Boston is a city of firsts, not only for the history of the United States, but for me as well. This was the first city I ever saw and in which I’d ever lived in the United States. Boston was home to my first college experience and my first serious job. It was the first place I was called “doctor” and where I ran the first of a gazillion road races. My first encounter with that white stuff that falls from the sky in January was in Boston and, oh, how I hated that. I even got my first driver’s license as a Boston resident — at age 30. (Have you seen Boston’s roads?!)
Every corner of that city harbors memories for me, and I thought it couldn’t squeeze in any more until I was at the registration desk and picked up my course manager ribbon for the first time ever. By the way, does anyone else love stacking up all their ribbons as much as I do? Then again, I made a memory when I addressed a packed room full of dentists to introduce a phenomenal speaker.
But the best part of Boston this year was meeting my fellow bloggers for the first time. While we don’t have our own ribbon (why don’t we?), we voluntarily carve time out of our busy schedules to reflect on and write about life as a dentist for all to read, might I add. When I met my fellow bloggers, it was as if I knew them already in some way. I hope they had as much fun as I did. As if belonging to AGD wasn’t enough to make me feel included in a large, purposeful organization, belonging to this small group of bloggers made me feel, well, giddy.
So I flew the six-hour flight back to California, happy that my ninth AGD meeting, like Boston, had a bunch of firsts for me. Great meeting, all! I hope to see you in Vegas next year!
Zeynep Barakat, DMD, FAGD