So if you’re a smarty pants and you worked really hard to get good grades, you are invited to join the Beta Sigma Kappa Honor Society. We pay for membership, but we get it all back in the form of recognition and delicious food!
To be invited to join BSK, you need a 3.5 GPA after you complete first year, and to maintain a slightly lower GPA requirement in subsequent years at ICO. It’s a club to promote academic excellence, and it’s great to have on your resume when you’re finally ready to look for a job post-graduation. Another major bonus is that you get cords at graduation and there’s an annual banquet at a fancy restaurant.
This year, we went out for lunch at Wildfire.
As you can see, all the tables were pretty filled up
For years, health professional students have been creating music video parodies. And for all those years of hard work and creative lyrics, the only award was the collective laugh of the very few people who understood the jokes laced within the healthcare jargon. Not anymore. This year, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine accepted submissions for the first annual Medical Emmy Awards (or Memmys)!
Why do I bring this up? Because I was able to participate in my classmate Jonathan Dong’s video submission of “Thrift Opt”–a parody of the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hit “Thrift Shop.” With more than 50,000 views on YouTube in under a month, it’s certifiably viral. If you haven’t seen it, check it out:
Now if you look closely, you can find me, along with many fellow first years, dancing away in the back of numerous scenes. These scenes were shot in many locations including the RC, the IEI clinic, and a secret spot in the depths of Chinatown. It was a blast being able to participate in such a fun idea, not to mention a great way to get my mind off schoolwork for a few hours. I’m excited as ever to find out how this video stacks up to the competition, but I don’t know when the winners are announced. Submissions were due several weeks ago, so hopefully we’ll get some positive feedback soon! In the meantime, keeping liking the video on YouTube to increase ICO’s chances of bringing home first place and giving optometry a good showing to the healthcare community.
Here’s a few behind-the-scenes pictures of the filming process:
It’s awesome visiting a private practice, because while I’m certain that ICO will train me to eventually become a competent optometrist, the business side of running a successful optometry practice is something that I don’t believe can fully be taught in any institution. In speaking to different optometrists who own a practice, almost all of them tell me, “Optometry is easy, but business management isn’t.” Before I came to ICO, I worked at an optometry office, and I thought I learned all I needed to know about how to run one. But then I found out there are different kinds of practices that focus on different things, with varying reasons for their success. I’m very interested in vision therapy, so I was fortunate to be able to visit a practice that specializes in that.
Tip: If you dream of opening a practice one day, you’ll want to visit some existing ones before you open your own. You’ll learn a lot at ICO, but there are things that you can only learn outside the classroom. Plus, you’ll be sitting in the same room all year, so field trips are a nice change of learning environment. It’s worth your while, I promise.
Dr. Margolis’ office is inside this huge medical building, where the office gets so busy, sometimes the parking lot isn’t big enough to fit all the cars of patients.
Dr. Neil Margolis, an ICO alum, was kind enough to host members of ICO’s College of Optometrists in Vision Development club and Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association student group at his suburban practice. He blocked off an entire afternoon to teach us things we might never learn in our normal optometric academic curriculum. His practice specializes in working with patients that have visual-spatial processing, tracking, or other binocular vision issues that may negatively affect academic learning and visual attention. Children compose the biggest portion of his practice, and from this visit, I could really sense that he cares about them.
After giving us an office tour, Dr. Margolis discussed how he came to build such a successful practice, imparted clinical pearls of wisdom and printed out lots of reading material for us.
Once a month, the River East Art Center fills with crowds in search of new culinary, art and fashion experiences. All this occurs at Dose Market, a monthly offering that showcases about 50 local businesses to event-goers. These business may be new and using the market as their debut vehicle, or they may be established and increasing their exposure to tastemakers and everyday girls and guys. I heard about Dose several months ago and finally decided to check it out this past Sunday. And thankfully, the weather was beautiful and sunny!
In the days leading up to Sunday, the Dose website was constantly updated with new and enticing info that fueled my anticipation. For one thing, a new French bakery was debuting at the market. Macarons are my favorite and I was sold.
This year, my work study job is leading campus tours for prospective students visiting for admissions interviews. One question that I consistently get is, “Should I bring a car to Chicago?” As easy as the question sounds, I have such a hard time answering it, and here is why.
I own a car that I still make payments on, but I don’t even keep it with me in Chicago. That sounds stupid, right? Well, it is not that simple. It’s part of my “Let’s be creative with money while I’m in optometry school” plan. I’ve always had a vehicle in high school and undergrad. In college, I was that person who took four or five carless people for weekly grocery store runs. At the time, I remember thinking, “How do they live without a car?” In the four years between graduating from college and entering ICO, I was working and I acquired an awesome Honda Civic coupe (I call her Miss Galaxy, after her color, galaxy grey). In addition to getting a fantastic 33 miles per gallon, I now also had a car loan. On top of the loan payments that my student self couldn’t afford, there are additional expenses that go along with maintaining a car. My creative plan involved keeping the Civic with my Milwaukee-based fiancé, who drives a Ford F-150 (14 MPG). To save some money on gas while visiting me down in Chicago–we’re talking almost 200 miles of driving every other week–he drives Miss Galaxy. With the gas money he saves by driving my car for these visits, as well as routine driving in Milwaukee, he contributes extra money to my car payment–meaning he pretty much pays for the car that I can’t afford. And, I’m able to access my car for those few times each quarter when it’s necessary, and have it available when it’s time to go out to externship sites during fourth year rotations.
When my fiancé recently traveled to the East Coast for an extended work trip, he asked me if I wanted the car back full-time for a month. I’ve missed the freedom and flexibility a car can provide so I jumped on the opportunity. I ran a mini-experiment on how much more I would love or hate my life in Chicago when I’ve got a car versus my normal life without one.