When first and second years have a bit of free time (it actually happens once in a blue moon), we get together with the professor(s) in our colleague group and connect with each other. I’m a colleague-group facilitator for Dr. Faheemah Saeed, our first year optics professor, and her husband, Zeki Nur, ICO’s director of benefits who also moonlights as a finance professor here. Facilitators organize events for colleague groups so that teachers and students can get together and have fun. I think it’s a great way to get to know our faculty in a fun, more relaxed setting. There’s a lot less tension when grades aren’t involved.
After our first meeting during orientation, Dr. Saeed and Zeki were so kind to invite us to their beautiful home near Navy Pier for brunch. Dr. Saeed is not only good at optics, we learned she’s an amazing cook as well.
There’s just a few days before Eyeball 2013, and my friends and I are finalizing the details of our formal outfits. It’ll be my first time attending Eyeball and I’m excited to see what it’s like. After purchasing my dress for the fete, I moved on to thinking about what accessories I’d wear to match. Accessories are always a huge part of my outfits! The dress I chose is a long one that gives me a simple and elegant color theme to work with–blue and silver. I chose some accessories that I already own and bought a few more to complete my look. Here are what the key pieces look like:
We’re having our annual Eye Ball in a couple weeks at the Museum of Science and Industry:
Kwong Yee Cheng/Creative Commons
I think Eye Ball is one of the commonalities between optometry schools all over the world. My friends studying optometry in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia all have one. All the students and some faculty dress up in fancy clothes get together for a night of fun in between cramming for various tests and practicals.
At the 2012 Eye Ball, in Navy Pier’s Crystal Gardens
Last year, I scrambled everywhere looking for a dress. Lucky for me, I was able to get the red one you see above last minute on clearance for just $25! I promised myself I wouldn’t let that happen again, and shop early for the next Eye Ball.
Trying not to eat my M&M chips during a serious match of border Bingo!
This last Wednesday, the RC held a bingo competition with some pretty sweet prizes. Quite a few fellow students and I showed up at the Lecture Center ready to go, with our game faces on and bingo chips at the ready. You may be asking yourself, what would motivate grad students to congregate back in a classroom to play such a game? The prizes, of course! This was brown bag bingo, meaning the winners each received a grocery bag packed full of the snacks and treats we crave while studying. Oreos, candy bars, Starbucks energy drinks, M&M’s and two-pound bags of Twizzlers were but a few of the fabulous contents. Making things even better, as the last bag was claimed, organizers announced that $10 Target gift cards would be the next round of prizes!
Drs. Roy and Associates is where my love for optometry started and grew. Back in 2009, I found their job posting on Craigslist for a technician, and I applied for the job to gain some patient exposure while making some extra income. I worked with six amazing optometrists, all ICO alums, who gave me wonderful insight and unique perspectives on the profession. After working as an optometric technician for over a year, I applied to ICO and follow in their optometric footsteps.
Top: with Debra Simon, OD ’01 (left) and Cara Ystad, OD ’05 (middle)
Bottom: I am a queen of Optomap, a good screening tool for viewing patient’s retina without the hassel of dilating pupils.
I’m lucky to have these optometrists to look up to, and I’ve continued my relationship with the practice, keeping in touch with all of the doctors and staff members. During my first year at ICO, I continued to help them out by traveling to Wisconsin and assisting during busy times. I’m fortunate that now, during second year, I’ve been able to work at the practice even more.
Optometry school is really expensive and money becomes a great stressor for a lot of us. You’re borrowing so much for tuition and essential living expenses that any out-of-the-ordinary financial circumstances are difficult to swallow. When I expressed frustration about this during a phone conversation with one of the practice’s owners, she was generous enough to offer me the opportunity to return to Wisconsin to work for a weekend or two whenever my scheduled allowed. I think I’m one of a very lucky few people who gets to work whenever I can.