Are You Writing New Music or Playing Notes That Have Been Played in the Past?

Written By: Jessica Messerschmidt

Jessica is the current President of ASDA who traveled to California for this year's Annual Session.

“Your lives are consumed with hitting the right notes…these notes aren’t the end, they are a vehicle for impacting the lives of others.”

These words of Kai Knight have stuck with me since I had the opportunity to hear him speak at ASDA’s Annual Session. As a professional innovator, speaker and violinist his musical notes analogy fit perfectly with his own experience, but I also found that his words struck me as very applicable to my experience as a second year dental student. Consumed with lab classes and bookwork I find myself agonizing over getting just the right six degree taper on the crown prep, or memorizing the specific properties of Alginate vs Align-X-Ultra. These are undoubtably crucial skills and knowledge for a dentist, but I have at times felt a disconnect between my studies in the library or work on the mannequin in the “Sim Lab” and my motivations for leaving early childhood education to become a dentist. Knight’s words at Annual Session reminded me that all this preparation and practice are meaningful because they ready me to serve my patients and positively impact their lives in just a few short weeks in Clinic. I left Knight’s talk and ASDA Annual Session feeling reinvigorated about dentistry, ready to tackle the rest of spring semester, and so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to be part of ASDA. Below are a few questions that Kai Knight asked at his talk; I encourage you to read these questions that he left us with. Hopefully thinking about them will help you refocus during a hectic finals season and transition into summer semester!

“Why do you play? Why are you here? What does this mean to you?”

“Are you writing new music or playing notes that have been played in the past?”