Dependency Tree

Universal Dependencies - English - GUM

Corpus Parttest
AnnotationPeng, Siyao;Zeldes, Amir

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s-1 Perfect Teeth
s-2 Steven wanted to be a dentist.
s-3 It was pretty much the first thing he told us when, as first years, we were all bunched together in the unfamiliar dusty classroom.
s-4 When, a couple of weeks later we were invited over to his house we saw that this was not an idle remark.
s-5 Where our bedroom walls were decorated with posters of pop stars and footballers, Steven had diagrams setting out tooth implementations, anatomical drawings of the jaw with brightly coloured nerves, muscle, blood vessels, bones, and, of course, teeth.
s-6 Where we had shelves of plastic dinosaurs and superhero figurines from cornflake boxes, Steven had plaster casts of jawbones, gums and teeth grinning down at us.
s-7 The instruments were locked away in glass cabinets and only his parents had the key.
s-8 They don’t exactly encourage my interest, he shrugged.
s-9 They sort of tolerate it.
s-10 But Dad says they’re a sort of collection, and too expensive for me to play with.
s-11 Of course, we tried to pick the locks, but the spikes and saws and drillheads remained tantalisingly out of reach.
s-12 We didn’t see Steven’s interest as strange, well, not that much.
s-13 We all had our own interests drawing, electronics, collecting beer caps that each appeared obscure to anyone else.
s-14 DIY Dentistry was just something that had never crossed our horizon before.
s-15 And if Steven didn’t see it as weird, or no weirder than Andy showing us his Eastern-Block beer caps all laid out neatly on cork boards with little hand-written labels, why should it bother us?
s-16 I suppose that, in our own way, we were all collectively strange.
s-17 The bunch that no one picked for their side at football or hockey, and that was the glue that held us together.
s-18 Besides, Steven had some really good stuff: sweets that stained your teeth bright red well, technically, not your teeth, just the plaque, but the result was often the same.
s-19 It took a few days good brushing to get it off.
s-20 Well, most of it anyway.
s-21 He had effervescent tablets that turned the canteen drinking water into that exact same pink mixture that the dentist gave you to rinse your mouth out after scraping around inside, and guaranteed to make the other kids splutter and spit it out when the taste slowly percolated through and met the memory of their last checkup.
s-22 Then there was the event that became the rite of passage into our group of misfits and outcasts: making a mould of your teeth.
s-23 It was inevitable that one of us, seeing the plaster casts on the shelf by Steven’s bed would ask how they were done.
s-24 It was just as inevitable that a few minutes later, Steven would be mixing up various powders and liquids, and pouring them into a horse-shoe shaped contraption.
s-25 It wasn’t dangerous.
s-26 At least, I suppose so.
s-27 It was vaguely uncomfortable, and appeared sufficiently disturbing that we all volunteered each other in turn until, at last, Andy said he was game.
s-28 And we were off.
s-29 The hardest part was probably to overcome the gagging reflex that set in when you bit down into the acrid resin jelly and it flowed out and up and around, over teeth, gums and tongue.
s-30 Your nose filled with what you imagined were fumes from the warm paste.
s-31 And you seemed to be suddenly drowning in your own saliva.
s-32 Things generally got better when Steven reminded you that you could actually breathe, and swallow, normally.
s-33 He watched the second hand trotting round the dial of his watch mouthing the quarters, before poking the setting goo to check its consistency.
s-34 Then, when he gave you the nod, you tried to prise your jaws apart.
s-35 As the seal around your gums and teeth was pretty solid, you thought it would never come off, as the others giggled at your expressions and grimaces.
s-36 Steven jiggled the handle that stuck out beyond your front teeth like some metallic duck’s bill, turning and twisting it most professionally and murmuring encouragements.
s-37 And, then, with an awful sucking slurp, it came free.
s-38 The initiated then revelled in retelling the gross sensation of having this evil-smelling plastic slug invade your mouth, while the others waited their turn with mixed trepidation and excitement.
s-39 Raucous laughter greeted the suggestions of the other body parts that could receive the same treatment.
s-40 The next part of the proceedings was less thrilling.
s-41 Steven measured and mixed the plaster of Paris and prepared for the cast by using a bright blue putty to build up the form of the jaw, and shoring up gaps and holes.
s-42 It get even less exciting when he said we’d have to wait an hour while the plaster set real solid.
s-43 But the next time we visited his room we got to marvel at our toothy grins labelled and lined up on the shelf.
s-44 We were all perfectly happy with the result, even wanting one as a trophy until Steven passed an expert eye over them, pointing out here a gap, here a filling, and there a completely misaligned incisor.
s-45 We were, he told us, mediocre specimens for his collection.
s-46 It didn’t matter.
s-47 We were all friends, a group bonded by the common experience of being able to see our teeth on Steven’s shelf.

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