DeW Dish: Michelle Watkins

In Print Issues by Anne Duffy

What is the best part of your job?

As a hygienist there are two parts of my job I absolutely love: One is the instant gratification. I find it much like painting… you can visually see progress and success. The second part of my job is the friendships I have forged with my patients. The connections on a day-to-day basis are what really keep me going back to work. I knew I would love talking to people and learning about their lives, but I had no idea it would be so amazing. 

What do you do to turn around a bad day?

Lean on others for support. It’s amazing how my 12-year-old son can instantly tell when I’m having a bad day, and he wants me to tell him all about it. He gives me a hug, and I just melt. I’m able to relax and put things into perspective after hearing myself out loud. 

What is your guilty pleasure?

Popcorn on a late night while binge watching a series with my husband. 

What advice do you have for the new person in your office?

Ask how you can be of assistance, and welcome any training you can have. 

What is your favorite Indoor/Outdoor Activity?

As you can probably tell, it’s fly fishing. I live in an area of the Idaho mountains where I can be on the creek or river in minutes. I fish year-round and find much peace on the river. I call it “river therapy.” 

What is your favorite place on earth?

When my husband and I were in our mid twenties we hosted our first foreign exchange student from the northeast region of Italy. One year we were able to go visit and attend her wedding at nearly the age we were when we hosted her. It was the most beautiful place I had ever been, and I really yearn to go back there. I felt a deep connection with the area like nothing I’d ever experienced before; and someday, perhaps my husband and I will retire there. 

What does balance look like?

Balance is all about filling all your buckets… finding those moments to enjoy your personal life, your academic life and your professional life. 

What movie always makes you laugh?

There are so many… but Doris Day and Rock Hudson in “Pillow Talk” is always a go-to for laughs. My husband and I have also seen “Crazy, Stupid Love” so many times we generally can quote it for any given moment in our daily lives. 

What is the best gift you ever received?

The gift of motherhood. I’m very fortunate I get this experience and have been very lucky with my two boys who are kind, generous, healthy, loving and unique. 

How do you take your coffee?

Nespresso with three Stevia packets and coconut milk from the can. It has a higher fat content, and I even travel with it so I can guarantee it makes it in my coffee in the morning. If ordering from a coffee shop, I also like chai tea with two shots of espresso with coconut milk.