You would think that with finals right around the corner and the last two weeks being the busiest we’ve had so far, I would be stuck inside 24/7, and honestly, most of the time I was. But somehow I was also able to explore the city and try out a few new things. And not the really touristy stuff that everyone tells you to do right away, like see the Bean and walk the Magnificent Mile. I finally got to see a bit of local Chicago.
First up was going out for sushi. Now I’ve eaten sushi before and enjoy it as much as the average person would, but by no means would I consider myself a connoisseur. Along with around 10 friends, I headed to a joint in Lincoln Park called Sushi Para II where I was about to be shocked and amazed. The food was incredible! It was all-you-can-eat, where you ordered whichever rolls or sushi your party desired and they brought them out in fantastic arrays and designs. The only thing you have to be careful about is over-ordering, because if your eyes are larger than your stomach they charge you for the leftovers. It was hands-down the best sushi I’ve ever had. Now I can’t say I eat sushi often, so there may not be much to compare it to, but hey, I’d definitely go back. It also didn’t hurt that the place was BYOB with no corking fee!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!
Um, or not. Since I’m a second year, I’ve now had two birthdays at ICO… both of which have been clouded by exams.
Last year wasn’t so bad. Our third optics exam of the winter quarter fell on my birthday and was at 8 a.m., as all of our midterm exams are. So, I was able to get that out of the way, answer all of the phone calls from out-of-town family and friends, and take time to stalk people on Facebook to see who was paying attention to me on my glorious day. And there was a nice dinner, a boyfriend with flowers, etc.
I didn’t get so lucky this year. As the majority of my classmates would agree, the most difficult and challenging course of second year is the three-quarter long Pharmacology sequence. And of course, my birthday fell on Sunday (along with the Super Bowl), with the Pharmacology exam looming on Monday morning. We second years weren’t as luck as the first years, and many of were really bummed about missing the big game due to studying.
As long as I was going to be spending the whole weekend studying instead of enjoying my birthday with friends and family, I made the decision that a poor result on the exam was simply not an option. This was great motivation to really put my all into studying, not to mention I really needed a good grade on this exam since my last two grades suffered from my lack of ability to memorize 100-plus drug names and their mechanisms in a mere 24 hours. So I studied. I studied really hard. I started on Friday afternoon and wasn’t going to stop until Monday morning. Honestly, if one of my classmates had said, “Forget this, we’re going out to celebrate your birthday,” I think I would stopped and thought about how miserable I was. Fortunately, not one person showed their wild side this weekend, including myself, and we all buckled down.
Last weekend was the last exam-free weekend of the quarter, and of course, it was also Super Bowl weekend. On Sunday, several of RC residents came together to watch the big game in the second floor lounge. Game day snacks were abundant and good cheer was universal as the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens faced off. I took a break from studies to join my colleagues and enjoy the excitement. I watched the second half, after that unprecedented 34-minute blackout, as the 49ers tried to close the gap the Ravens had established. The Niners fell short in the end, but between the plays, we all were amused by the over-the-top, $4-million-per-30-seconds-of-air-time commercials. One of my favorites was the Taco Bell ‘Viva Young’ ad, featuring a group of older friends having the time of their lives.
Photo by Jonathan Dong
Most of the time I dread dispensing, I’ll be honest. Not because it’s not enjoyable or anything like that, but because I’m one of the lucky few that has it scheduled at just the right time. I dispense right before a really difficult exam, so those are valuable study hours that I have to spend dispensing instead. I enjoy interacting with patients, but I’m always worried out about not putting my all into studying. That feeling usually goes away once I’m actually at the Illinois Eye Institute’s Fait Family Eyewear Center, though. It makes me happy to see patients, especially the adorable little kids that come visit us to get their first pair of glasses.
Since it takes a couple hours for an eye exam, and everyone starts and finishes around the same time, patients generally show up in sudden rushes. So as student clinicians, we watch the front desk like a hawk and help each patient as they come in order of their arrival time. When there aren’t any patients, we perform lensometry to check glasses prescriptions, and make sure that the glasses aren’t defective before we call them in to pick up their glasses.