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The Real Meaning of My Café Late October 9, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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The other day in class we talked about ways of bringing memories back to life by remembering specific details of the environment around the event.  I was immediately captured by the topic of “extremely happy time” as students read each possible scenario. I wrote on my last post, Capture of Emotions, where I unexpectedly presented a friendly contradiction of my post and my blog. I am happy about and want to contribute on ways of making 3D technology improve our lives; however, I must admit that I hit a wall when it comes to digitally capturing of emotions and memories.

Sir/Madam if you believe that everything can be captured in ones and zeros, please allow me to contradict you and at the same time prove you right by detailing my introduction to Café Late at the age of 4.

My parents and me when I was a teenager

When I was a very small child in El Salvador, my father would take me around the land to pick fresh fruits or to go see the workers that helped my father on our farm.  I was very short, slim and had white colored skin that would easily blend in with the rocks and grass and disappear from sight in the middle of the bright sun.  My father would take me from home through a short and narrow trail with huge rocks and lots of trees to where the workers and crops were.  My father would never let me walk alone on our land, no matter how much I complained. Why do parents always do the opposite of what the child wants? Is it possible that a parent wants the child to suffer just as the parent did in the past?

I remember my father carrying me on his shoulders with my little legs hanging forward on his chest with my left calf hitting a small plastic and animal decorated cup on the left side pocket of his shirt.  My hands would be constantly grabbing and sliding off his soft short hair while my whole little skinny body would be pressing against the back of his head.  I would be terrified of falling off my father and hit the rocks or roll down the hill and be lost from my father forever; I would then squeeze my dad’s head tighter.  I would be annoyed that he stopped constantly and asked me to be quiet not to scare the grass hoppers, squirrels, and birds away.  But I was glad of these stops sometimes because that gave me the opportunity to see more of what was around me.  Since my father would dress me up with a light green shirt, light brown shorts, and black soft sandals I would feel that fresh cool morning breeze creeping up my shorts, tickling my ribs and back, then exiting around my neck making my ears cold.  The warmth of my dad’s shoulders and head was enough to stop complaining about the cool breeze and instead look at the little animals around me. If it had rained the night before I would smell the fresh morning dew, see the wet birds sitting on the rocks or top of the trees bathing on the sun while the blue and purple tiny butterflies sat still on the not yet opened flowers. The other times, the sun would be very bright and I would feel warm.  On these dry days, I got to see birds flying and singing, the squirrels chasing each other along the branches and the grass hoppers jumping away from the hunting ants. I would be absolutely fixated with this amazing range of details and unfolding of events before my eyes, all the while I had to stay quiet sitting on my father’s neck with that uncomfortable cup by my left leg.  Finally we would walk past the rocks, birds and trees and come to the other side and be mesmerized by the cows and their calves, flicking their tails left and right looking at me while my father walked between them.

I would be lifted off my father’s shoulder by a very old man that was always smiling and gently scratching my head while the other workers started talking to my dad in words that meant nothing to me.  My dad would pull out the little cup from his pocket.  All of the sudden this tickling joyful feeling rushed through my tiny body and I would grab my dad’s leg as he walked toward the big buckets of fresh warm milk that the workers had milked by hand from the cows that had observed my arrival.  He would dip the cup into one of the buckets and pull it out full of fresh milk and foam then gently bring it toward my lips and I would drink it.  My father and the smiling old man would start laughing hard, but I would just be interested in drinking even though my upper lip and the tip of my nose were completely covered with foam.  Eventually my father would wipe my lips and nose, put me back on his shoulders and bring me back home.  On the way back I would fall asleep and then wake up at home when my mother pulled me off my father’s shoulders.

On a recent trip to El Salvador, my mother and I went walking around our land and she pointed with her left hand toward a dense tree covered area while holding her hat with her right hand and said “that was our secret short cut during the civil war”.  She continued to say, “Your dad used to take you through that trail against my will because your uncles and other workers liked when you came to the farm, but some people lost their lives around these lands during the war”.

Then I understood the significance of seeing a happy child covered with milk foam in the middle of such precarious times.  As grownups do we tell our parents that we love them and thank them for their protection and support?  Do you think it is necessary to say it or parents know us so well that it is not necessary to tell them how much we appreciate them? I usually don’t share these memories with my siblings for fear of being overshadowed by more exciting memories of their own recollections of events.  I hope I have been able to emotionally present you with a full dimensional image of one of my memories.  My father passed away years ago and this is one of my most cherished memories of him.  On the way to my office every morning I stop by Starbucks coffee and with a joyful smile I ask: “a tall late please… with extra foam”.

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Making Dental Procedures Less Stressful! September 23, 2011

Posted by carlosgreat in Uncategorized.
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“Smile!” is cheerfully requested when taking pictures but sometimes we don’t smile at picture-taking because we don’t care, have a headache, are rushed, or are not photogenic.  People rarely admit that they don’t smile at pictures because they are embarrassed of their smile.  It’s not like your life depends on it, or is it?  Well, because you were embarrassed to smile, you were unable to connect with the love of your life.  You fail to smile at the job interview so you didn’t get your dream job. Your offer for the beautiful home was rejected because the homeowner felt no connection with you.  Now here you are alone, no job, and homeless because of the absence of a simple smile!  These are exaggerated scenarios of course, yet they are things that we have to consider.

Dental health is very important yet it is often ignored or feared.  Some studies have shown that at least 96% of American had or will have some sort of dental work done. Perhaps we tend to postpone dental care because we are afraid of the shots, drilling, infections, or just pure embarrassment.  These fears can be easily overcome with proper explanation of dental procedures and with the help of visual aids.  This summer I visited El Salvador with my family and my sister had some dental work done while we were there.  The lack of X-rays and of imaging devices in general made my sister very nervous and apprehensive about the dental work needed.  Doctors in El Salvador tend not to explain in very details each procedure to their patient.  My sister on the other hand, was asking every detail of the procedure, the doctor’s experience and the use of visual aids.  I had to ask the orthodontist to set a pre-procedure appointment so that he could go over my sister’s oral treatment needed; he seemed surprised at our request.  It is frightening and scary that in other countries, people who are of higher authority on their field of expertise expect others to accept theories or opinions without questioning.  At the end because of lack of time and medical necessity my sister had the dental work, depending only on the doctor’s experience and the use of basic X-rays, which took a few days to obtain.  A lot of stress would had been avoided if we had a better dental care system and access to better scanning or 3D imaging devices, as we do here in the US.

In the US going to the orthodontist for dental work is not pleasant, but it is no longer frightening as it once was.  Doctors have a lot of new technology available for buying or leasing that ensures the efficacy of the treatment.  There are 3D scanning machines that provide a full view of your facial/jaws bone structure.  This machine rotates around the patient’s head taking images and creates a 3D view.  Doctors can detect right from the beginning if a patient have had some type of bone fracture or injury on the face or jaws.  These machines not only help to prevent possible complications, because of lack of details from the patient, but also help in making more precise dental replacements.  Sometimes just a very small bite measurement deviation can result in improper replacements or future pains and complications.  The good news is that doctors don’t need to do these procedures with just sight – hand coordination.  These scanning machines are capable of making precise 3D images of the patient’s denture.  These results are then sent to the lab where crowns, teeth, and bridges are made with accurate measurements.  The actual scraping and drilling is now being done by lasers, making it possible for a treatment to be completed on the same day.
Short video of the Planmeca Promax 3D imaging machine
 

The use of laser on dental work is much too expensive for an average person, but the use of the 3D imaging machines is affordable.  There is always some sort of risk in any medical procedure, but the employment of 3D scanning system on dental works makes the experience less stressful.  I am hopeful that all these advancement in medical technology will reach more parts of the world, making it accessible to traveler as well as natives.