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redhotchiligochu

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I'm a predent who just received an acceptance to dental school :)

I normally post a lot on the predent side but I have a few questions that might be of help here.

How do you guys deal with fellow classmates, faculty and admin who share vastly different political and cultural beliefs than you? I'm not trying to evoke 4th grade level answers here, but especially with the recent presidential election and the general liberalism of many campuses, for those who are politically conservative and have classmates and faculty who don't share the same values as you, how do you deal with that?

I typically keep my mouth shut, and I've attended a very large undergrad (20,000+ students) so it was fairly easy for me to blend into the anonymity.

However, most dental school class sizes are between 60-80 and I feel like EVERYONE will know each other VERY well, a good and bad thing, due to bonding and gossip, respectively.

The conundrum I'm facing is that I suspect that the dental school that I've gained acceptance (and will likely be attending if I don't hear back from other schools), based on the students' and faculty members' conversation, projects itself as a socialist and anti-elitist in a traditionally Republican state. If they find out about my different political views, will the faculty be biased enough to affect "subjective" grades e.g. practical for crown prep or even lead to no LOR's or dismissal from dental school for speaking out?

I have worked in the educational field for the past 4 years, which is known for being super-liberal, and I don't wanna be miserable again for another 4 years simply because I have to hide my own political beliefs.

I'm probably worrying too much about the wrong thing, and yes, some of you will say "don't go to that school if you're THAT worried" but I just wanted to see if some of you are willing to share some advice regarding this matter.
 

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I understand that it may be difficult for you in a program that is more liberal than you are but that is life. You will meet people of different beliefs than your own and that should not make you miserable; just agree to disagree. Don't impose your beliefs on anyone or claim to be correct and you should be fine.
If you don't agree, there is no need to cause a fuss and you can just smile and nod. Maybe it is because I am in TX but there are many people in my class that openly voted for Trump but there are also many people in my class that openly voted for Hilary (same with faculty). As long as you don't go around and make it your mission to try to change people into believing the way you do, you should be fine.
 
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Saddleshoes

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How do you guys deal with fellow classmates, faculty and admin who share vastly different political and cultural beliefs than you?

I suspect that you will find you have far more in common with your future classmates that you realize. If nothing else you will all be in the same boat, trying to figure out how to graduate on time with minimal pain.
 
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schmoob

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I'm a predent who just received an acceptance to dental school :)

I normally post a lot on the predent side but I have a few questions that might be of help here.

How do you guys deal with fellow classmates, faculty and admin who share vastly different political and cultural beliefs than you? I'm not trying to evoke 4th grade level answers here, but especially with the recent presidential election and the general liberalism of many campuses, for those who are politically conservative and have classmates and faculty who don't share the same values as you, how do you deal with that?

I typically keep my mouth shut, and I've attended a very large undergrad (20,000+ students) so it was fairly easy for me to blend into the anonymity.

However, most dental school class sizes are between 60-80 and I feel like EVERYONE will know each other VERY well, a good and bad thing, due to bonding and gossip, respectively.

The conundrum I'm facing is that I suspect that the dental school that I've gained acceptance (and will likely be attending if I don't hear back from other schools), based on the students' and faculty members' conversation, projects itself as a socialist and anti-elitist in a traditionally Republican state. If they find out about my different political views, will the faculty be biased enough to affect "subjective" grades e.g. practical for crown prep or even lead to no LOR's or dismissal from dental school for speaking out?

I have worked in the educational field for the past 4 years, which is known for being super-liberal, and I don't wanna be miserable again for another 4 years simply because I have to hide my own political beliefs.

I'm probably worrying too much about the wrong thing, and yes, some of you will say "don't go to that school if you're THAT worried" but I just wanted to see if some of you are willing to share some advice regarding this matter.
You will not change anyone's views, nor should they try to change yours. If a situation comes up on the subject of politics, and the tone of the conversation is very negative towards your beliefs, try to remove yourself from the situation. Better yet, remove yourself before the negativity starts. Do not get into a political debate because nothing good will come of it. Do not react.
Avoid "speaking out." Do not use dental school as a forum for political activism, and avoid situations where others are doing so, even if they align your beliefs. Focus on your studies. Treat all your classmates with the respect they deserve based on their character, not their values (political, religious, orientation, etc) and you should be ok.

It seems like you may be in for another tough 4 years if keeping your mouth shut does make you miserable. I HIGHLY doubt it will cause any tangible problems in terms of grading, unless you incessantly harp on issues that you go out of your way to bring up and make everyone in the room uncomfortable on a weekly basis, which honestly would work both ways, happening to a super liberal person at a liberal school.

It really depends on your beliefs though. If you wanted John Kasich to win the GOP primaries because he is a sensible guy who is fiscally conservative who carries himself well and would've been qualified for President, but you are more socially progressive in terms of LGBTQ/feminism/race issues, you will have no problem whatsoever. If you are one of the people who reposts Fox News articles on their FB news feed gleefully calling Colin Kaepernick a scumbag, suggesting BLM protestors be shot, ****ting on Obama at every turn calling him a Socialist, are opposed to gay marriage, openly admit to voting for Trump, or think that spending $20 billion dollars on an ineffective border wall is justifiable through tariffs (how any fiscal conservative could ever justify this is beyond me but I digress), then you will certainly run into some problems.

You have to remember what kind of crowd you'll encounter in dental school. There are going to be many people with dentist parents, and dentists tend to lean fiscally conservative because they're so sick and tired of getting murdered via federal and state income tax/insurance regulations their entire careers. If you are strictly a fiscal conservative, many students in your class will also have been raised in a househould that holds similar views in that regard. You also have to remember that a lot of your classmates will be first generation immigrants or immigrants themselves. Being a Nativist and supporting the idea that "America First" should mean halting immigration and breaking up families already here through the deportation process, then you're going to rub a ton of people the wrong way. You will also have people who are not heterosexual in your class. Thinking that their sexuality is a choice or a sin, or thinking they do not have the right to be wed, will land you in hot water with not only them, but probably 95% of your class.

I go to a very, very liberal school in a liberal state. Although I am a liberal myself, I think the school overdoes it in terms of incorporating political views into everything. There are a good number of conservatives in the class, but I don't think any of them are hardcore social conservatives so they don't run into any trouble at all. If they openly admitted to voting for Trump they would have though. This largely comes not from his political views alone, but also they way he comports himself. To most liberals who sucked it up and voted for Hillary Clinton despite being apathetic or having a negative view of her, we justify our blind party loyalty but cannot see how conservatives justify their blind party loyalty who has literally admitted to sexually assaulting people (this is not up for debate; grabbing someone by their genitals without their permission is assault), not to mention all the other preposterously offensive things he has said that did not break any laws. We know Clinton is no saint; you don't need to justify voting for Trump by saying "well how could you have voted for Clinton?". This argument will not win you any friends in a liberal environment. I know it's not fair to just shut it down like that, but it will make your life exponentially easier by just not going there.

It isn't fair that you would have to fear backlash based on who you voted for, but I'm telling you that you will if you admit to voting for Trump. You also will if you openly share anti gay, anti immigrant, or anything that could be misconstrued as a racist view. Thinking that taxes suck is okay. Guns are a bit dicy; don't openly tout NRA support, but if you go hunting or target shooting occasionally you are guaranteed to have classmates that will share your hobbies.

Suggestions for you moving forward:

-don't bring up anything political unless asked. If asked, express your fiscal views calmly and gently, and don't be baited into any shouting matches

-if you are socially progressive to some extent, you don't need to hide anything. If you are a social conservative, hide it and don't try to justify any of your arguments

-volunteer. Whether or not it is true, in a liberal environment conservatives are certainly stereotyped as selfish and only looking out for number one. If you want to gain people's respect even if they know you're a conservative, walk the walk when it comes to caring about the less fortunate.

-do not avoid your LGBTQ classmates, even if deep down they make you uncomfortable. You will learn to respect them and learn a lot about what their lives are like by treating them just like any other classmates. Even if you don't have any issues with that community, you will be perceived as such by some of your classmates, so make an effort to makes some friends to try to dispel any misconceptions people may have about you.

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Steve,
The topics of religion and politics evoke very powerful reactions. Wars are fought because of it. I'm sure you've heard of the etiquette of not speaking of those subjects at a bar.
Much of your advice is solid. You are providing many valid suggestions that would work in OP'S best interest.

I have always been a fan of your posts. Your opinions and guidance are insightful and mature. You also provide valid justifications for your advice.
This time though, you did make mention of your political affiliation, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. But even you, one of the most composed folks I've encountered so far on SDN, couldn't help but make some comments that were unnecessary. Yes, those are your political values which you have every right to hold, but they were stated in a manner that is very negative and judgemental to those who disagree. By stating your thoughts on sociopolitical topics in the (for lack of a better term) tone chosen, it created the potential for a very charged political debate, as OP may or may not agree with some of what you said, nor appreciate the manner it was stated. If he disagrees with you, he can either respond with his opinions on your comments, which has the likelihood of quickly escalating to something very emotionally charged, with others jumping in. Or he can keep quiet, feeling silenced and alienated because he knows he falls under the minority here, and doesn't want to paint himself a target. These are the exact concerns OP has and the exact purpose of his thread.
We all have the right to our own sociopolitical beliefs and values. But when it comes to specifics, I think they should go to the forums dedicated to them as those are more the appropriate avenues.
Again, I enjoy your thoughts and your insight, and look forward to reading more of them in the future. Good luck with exams!
 
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Likkriue

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It's a shame how intolerant some liberals can be.
 
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redhotchiligochu

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Thanks for all your input!

I never mentioned anything about imposing my own beliefs--it just happens to be that having lived in California for almost 9 years where politics is a one-way street that I was dreading facing it again for another 4 years, but outside of California.

People's moral beliefs and racial/religious I could care less, I'm more libertarian in that aspect, but people who blindly follow the idea of wealth redistribution e.g. Bernie Sanders is what really gets my blood pumping.

FYI, a lot of people in the predent know that I've had a crappy career before, in case some of you are wondering if I am "green" with no life experience. Part of my desire to move out of California is due to the high taxes and "intolerant" liberalism (along with yes, saturation).

In any case, it's good to know that the obvious things work e.g. not blatantly advertising political beliefs, and that there's no "witch hunt" as long I'm the one keeping myself civilized.
 
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redhotchiligochu

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You will not change anyone's views, nor should they try to change yours. If a situation comes up on the subject of politics, and the tone of the conversation is very negative towards your beliefs, try to remove yourself from the situation. Better yet, remove yourself before the negativity starts. Do not get into a political debate because nothing good will come of it. Do not react.
Avoid "speaking out." Do not use dental school as a forum for political activism, and avoid situations where others are doing so, even if they align your beliefs. Focus on your studies. Treat all your classmates with the respect they deserve based on their character, not their values (political, religious, orientation, etc) and you should be ok.


Steve,
The topics of religion and politics evoke very powerful reactions. Wars are fought because of it. I'm sure you've heard of the etiquette of not speaking of those subjects at a bar.
Much of your advice is solid. You are providing many valid suggestions that would work in OP'S best interest.

I have always been a fan of your posts. Your opinions and guidance are insightful and mature. You also provide valid justifications for your advice.
This time though, you did make mention of your political affiliation, and there is nothing wrong with doing so. But even you, one of the most composed folks I've encountered so far on SDN, couldn't help but make some comments that were unnecessary. Yes, those are your political values which you have every right to hold, but they were stated in a manner that is very negative and judgemental to those who disagree. By stating your thoughts on sociopolitical topics in the (for lack of a better term) tone chosen, it created the potential for a very charged political debate, as OP may or may not agree with some of what you said, nor appreciate the manner it was stated. If he disagrees with you, he can either respond with his opinions on your comments, which has the likelihood of quickly escalating to something very emotionally charged, with others jumping in. Or he can keep quiet, feeling silenced and alienated because he knows he falls under the minority here, and doesn't want to paint himself a target. These are the exact concerns OP has and the exact purpose of his thread.
We all have the right to our own sociopolitical beliefs and values. But when it comes to specifics, I think they should go to the forums dedicated to them as those are more the appropriate avenues.
Again, I enjoy your thoughts and your insight, and look forward to reading more of them in the future. Good luck with exams!
Actually, I'm very glad Steve spoke out. I also happen to agree with almost all of the things he's mentioned, despite possibly being of different political affiliation LOL
 
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Likkriue

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...what? Do you not see how rhetoric like yours only widens the divide?

Note: I did not say ALL liberals. But the need to hide that you voted for one candidate over another. I dont think thats cool.
 
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It was a response to what @Scumbag_Steve wrote about his school. That the people in the school will use the fact that you voted for someone else against you. Not everyone who voted for trump is a terrible person.
I agree, but next time don't stereotype and just say that that school in particular is intolerant. You kinda did what trump did when he called mexicans rapist.

I'm no liberal or conservative or whatever, I just want a president that understands facts and science and acts on it, not ignore it or worse dismiss and repress it.
 
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I'm a predent who just received an acceptance to dental school :)

I normally post a lot on the predent side but I have a few questions that might be of help here.

How do you guys deal with fellow classmates, faculty and admin who share vastly different political and cultural beliefs than you? I'm not trying to evoke 4th grade level answers here, but especially with the recent presidential election and the general liberalism of many campuses, for those who are politically conservative and have classmates and faculty who don't share the same values as you, how do you deal with that?

I typically keep my mouth shut, and I've attended a very large undergrad (20,000+ students) so it was fairly easy for me to blend into the anonymity.

However, most dental school class sizes are between 60-80 and I feel like EVERYONE will know each other VERY well, a good and bad thing, due to bonding and gossip, respectively.

The conundrum I'm facing is that I suspect that the dental school that I've gained acceptance (and will likely be attending if I don't hear back from other schools), based on the students' and faculty members' conversation, projects itself as a socialist and anti-elitist in a traditionally Republican state. If they find out about my different political views, will the faculty be biased enough to affect "subjective" grades e.g. practical for crown prep or even lead to no LOR's or dismissal from dental school for speaking out?

I have worked in the educational field for the past 4 years, which is known for being super-liberal, and I don't wanna be miserable again for another 4 years simply because I have to hide my own political beliefs.

I'm probably worrying too much about the wrong thing, and yes, some of you will say "don't go to that school if you're THAT worried" but I just wanted to see if some of you are willing to share some advice regarding this matter.
I think the super liberal environment is almost unavoidable in academia, even dental school. At my school for example we had someone come talk to our class about how hard this transition is (the election) and a lot of anti "cis male" bashing happened. A bunch of faculty and students got together to go to the womens march and favoritism definitely shows in practical classes when groups like this arise- and you will definitely be bashed and shunned if you disagree with them on anything- I would stick to keeping your mouth shut until you exit academia completely.
 
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Incis0r

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-don't bring up anything political unless asked. If asked, express your fiscal views calmly and gently, and don't be baited into any shouting matches

-if you are socially progressive to some extent, you don't need to hide anything. If you are a social conservative, hide it and don't try to justify any of your arguments

-volunteer. Whether or not it is true, in a liberal environment conservatives are certainly stereotyped as selfish and only looking out for number one. If you want to gain people's respect even if they know you're a conservative, walk the walk when it comes to caring about the less fortunate.

-do not avoid your LGBTQ classmates, even if deep down they make you uncomfortable. You will learn to respect them and learn a lot about what their lives are like by treating them just like any other classmates. Even if you don't have any issues with that community, you will be perceived as such by some of your classmates, so make an effort to makes some friends to try to dispel any misconceptions people may have about you.

It's important to have a healthy working environment and welcoming educational space for all.
 
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I just keep politics outside of school entirely.

If someone asks me what my views are, I just tell them that I have to read up on the subject more to make a informed decision (which is true in most cases).

Its important to have a healthy working environment and welcoming educational space for all.
So much this.
It's just not a good idea to bring stuff like that up.
 
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ncide

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You are entering a field where you will meet people from all walks of life. You are there to manage their health, not discuss your religious or political beliefs and cause your patients to leave your office upset with you. If you can't keep your mouth shut, then you better reconsider a career in any health field. Save it for happy hour at the bar.
 
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schmoob

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You are entering a field where you will meet people from all walks of life. You are there to manage their health, not discuss your religious or political beliefs and cause your patients to leave your office upset at you. If you can't keep your mouth shut, then you better reconsider a career in any health field. Save it for happy hour at the bar.
YES!
Except for the bar thing though. Getting alcohol involved with these sensitive topics is recipe for disaster.
 
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I don't understand why your political beliefs have to be brought up at all while in school and with classmates???

I'm graduating in a few months and I highly doubt any of my classmates knows my opinion on literally anything regarding politics, religion, etc.

Just smile and play nice.
 
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Endeross

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I don't understand why your political beliefs have to be brought up at all while in school and with classmates???

I'm graduating in a few months and I highly doubt any of my classmates knows my opinion on literally anything regarding politics, religion, etc.

Just smile and play nice.
You happen to be very smart about discussing sensitive issues then. I applaud you! To be honest this is what I strive for, I try to keep my opinions to myself as much as possible on these matters because I tend to get fired up about things that I consider to be thoughtless or stupid, which often times politics are.
 
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Incis0r

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OP, be like this guy - focused on studies:

 
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free99

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It's very difficult to stay entirely apolitical in dental school. With Facebook's news feed algorithms, something as simple as a "like" on a friend's politically charged post automatically bumps that post into dozens of other classmates home page. It's OK to have opinions, but what I've found is that your classmates, faculty, and patients typically prefer to not talk politics as much as you. When patients would bring up the election this past November I tried to stay pretty neutral and redirect the conversation to something more benign or productive. Like others have said you'll find a mixed bag of political views, and you'll have to navigate those conversations tactfully much like you would with anyone else.
 
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Bifenthrin

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It's very difficult to stay entirely apolitical in dental school. With Facebook's news feed algorithms, something as simple as a "like" on a friend's politically charged post automatically bumps that post into dozens of other classmates home page. It's OK to have opinions, but what I've found is that your classmates, faculty, and patients typically prefer to not talk politics as much as you. When patients would bring up the election this past November I tried to stay pretty neutral and redirect the conversation to something more benign or productive. Like others have said you'll find a mixed bag of political views, and you'll have to navigate those conversations tactfully much like you would with anyone else.

It's not that difficult to stay apolitical, come on. I'm pretty sure not a single person I go to school with realizes that I'm a republican...
 
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We've got dental caries coming in. I will repeal the decay and replace it with a filling. We need to build a crown. It's going to be YUGE. It'll stop all the decay, and I'll make S. mutans pay for it. And only the best crown. I'm talking CEREC level crown. It'll be bigly.

Will I have to use a needle to numb the pain? Yes. Yes, I will use lidocaine. Can it cause some adverse drug reactions? Sure, like a headache. But I'll give you tylenol then. We'll be winning winning winning again.

Except in reality, we just repeal the decay and don't replace it with anything.. and then we build a crown, and instead of making S. mutans pay for it, we pay $15 billion for it. :rofl:
 
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That's exactly what I figured. I don't think I came across as tactful in my original post, but the reality is that there's always SOMEONE who wants to prod into other people's business. Like @Saddleshoes and @Bifenthrin mentioned, I hope my fellow classmates are focused on more important things because I sure as hell don't wanna worry about what others think of me.
I haven't ran into this problem at all. Most people just stay in their lane and are too busy with school and other things to care about what your political affiliations are. When the election rolled around some of my classmates posted things on FB supporting one candidate or another but most didn't. Either way people are going to have differing opinions about things, that's just the way it is.
 
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Don't make a bid deal about that and absolutely nobody else will.
Nobody is going to care.
 
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Incis0r

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Thanks for the reply.

I apologize for casting people who may agree with particular policy decisions and viewpoints in a negative light. My intention was to try and give the OP as much relevant advice to their situation possible, and I inadvertently provided a scenario in reality that I was referring to in the abstract. This election has brought out the worst in people like no other time in my living memory (I'm 22 so you can take that for what you will), I have to realize that I am not immune to that. It has brought the worst out in me too, and I need to be able to compose myself appropriately. I failed to do that here, and I hope that my hypocrisy doesn't take away from any of my advice, which I still stand by as appropriate for the OP.

While this is more addressing your post, it is relevant to @redhotchiligochu as well. I'm a person who loves to talk about anything and everything. I love picking people's brain, talking about life, getting to know them better etc. For me, there's nothing better than deep, significant conversation. I will talk about absolutely anything somebody else brings up. I do try to avoid broaching subjects that clearly make a certain individual uncomfortable, but since there are pretty much no out of bounds topics to me, sometimes I can err in my judgement of what someone will or will not talk about.

Politics is no exception. I enjoy speaking with anyone who is willing to hear my views and share theirs with me. I like to think I do a good job of listening and speaking on a two way street, and not trying to change minds (ironically I think it's conversations like these that change views most even though it isn't the intention). I am disappointed and quite frankly baffled with some of the recent that have taken place, and I don't think I'm out of bounds for expressing that. I do agree I was out of bounds for the manner in which I did it. I do however think that I need to actively work on showing more respect for those with which I disagree. For this reason, I am very appreciative of you calling me on this; I take every day as an opportunity to improve and you have certainly helped in that regard.

What a classy guy. :thumbup::clap:
 
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znny19

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This whole thread is strange... You are entering professional school, so stay professional? Who cares about politics you are there to become a dentist.
 
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PaulS

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We've got dental caries coming in. I will repeal the decay and replace it with a filling. We need to build a crown. It's going to be YUGE. It'll stop all the decay, and I'll make S. mutans pay for it. And only the best crown. I'm talking CEREC level crown. It'll be bigly.

Will I have to use a needle to numb the pain? Yes. Yes, I will use lidocaine. Can it cause some adverse drug reactions? Sure, like a headache. But I'll give you tylenol then. We'll be winning winning winning again.

LMAO
 
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schmoob

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Thanks for the reply.

I apologize for casting people who may agree with particular policy decisions and viewpoints in a negative light. My intention was to try and give the OP as much relevant advice to their situation possible, and I inadvertently provided a scenario in reality that I was referring to in the abstract. This election has brought out the worst in people like no other time in my living memory (I'm 22 so you can take that for what you will), I have to realize that I am not immune to that. It has brought the worst out in me too, and I need to be able to compose myself appropriately. I failed to do that here, and I hope that my hypocrisy doesn't take away from any of my advice, which I still stand by as appropriate for the OP.

While this is more addressing your post, it is relevant to @redhotchiligochu as well. I'm a person who loves to talk about anything and everything. I love picking people's brain, talking about life, getting to know them better etc. For me, there's nothing better than deep, significant conversation. I will talk about absolutely anything somebody else brings up. I do try to avoid broaching subjects that clearly make a certain individual uncomfortable, but since there are pretty much no out of bounds topics to me, sometimes I can err in my judgement of what someone will or will not talk about. OP, you will certainly encounter people like me in school and beyond. Things will be brought up and the conversation will find you no matter how hard you try to avoid it, and no matter how much restraint people like me try to use.

Politics is no exception. I enjoy speaking with anyone who is willing to hear my views and share theirs with me. I like to think I do a good job of listening and speaking on a two way street, and not trying to change minds (ironically I think it's conversations like these that change views most even though it isn't the intention). I am disappointed and quite frankly baffled with some of the recent that have taken place, and I don't think I'm out of bounds for expressing that. I do agree I was out of bounds for the manner in which I did it. I do however think that I need to actively work on showing more respect for those with which I disagree. For this reason, I am very appreciative of you calling me on this; I take every day as an opportunity to improve and you have certainly helped in that regard.
Gosh, that IS classy.

I agree with you, and no worries! I am also all for conversation on all sorts of topics, even this one. As long as it's with level-headed folks like yourself and in a time or place that would stimulate healthy, productive discussion with minimal possibility of being reduced to shouting and name calling.

It's all about time and place....;)

 
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Faefly

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Didn't you guys win now, and your guy is keeping "America" Safe again by keeping away bad Iranian and Iraqi and syrian refugees out while making sure other terrorists funders enter freely here, why do you have to worry about sharing your opinion with the sorry losers who didn't care enough to stop the tyranny from destroying this country! I mean enjoy your win in silence, at the end of the day, 8 years from our life are gone now, plus 2 wars on the horizon will give us the right to whine and cry without you having to express that your guy is "Awesome!"


Focus on dentistry and let us mourn, you'll join us in time soon enough!


But yeah I feel how frustrating to not be able to express your opinion freely. but no professor should have the right to persecute you for it, and actually they can't do that! But they can favor others over you..

But overall, you should not let fear stop you from being who you are.
you shouldn't care who love you or not. You should always voice your opinion, but I guarantee the consequences are not always pleasant. but I guess it's a great test to see who really will love you and respect you despite the fact that you are different from him.
 
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