It’s been so long since I’ve picked up a brush, dipped it in paint and laid a thick stroke on canvas. I’ve always loved art and was immersed in it when I was younger. Now that I’m immersed with time-consuming classes, it only makes sense that I have fewer opportunities to pursue creative endeavors.
That changed last month, when one weeknight evening I was transported to a wonderful place that let me forget about all the drugs I had to memorize. My roommate Naz booked us an art class at VIP Paints, a surprise early birthday gift.
Two weeks down, nine weeks to go. It’s certainly too early to be counting down spring quarter, the last of my second year. But I can’t help it! Once the quarter is over, my classmates and I will be halfway done with our education at ICO and even closer to reaching our visionary goals. But let’s backtrack a bit and talk about what’s been going on here so far.
When winter quarter ended in mid-February and numerous sighs of relief were expelled at the end of our last final, all you could see was happiness–a weeklong break was upon us! In celebratory fashion, my friends and I toasted cherry pop sugar cookies and grinned from ear to ear. When night came and rest was somewhat caught up on, we headed out to Eataly, Mario Batali’s 63,000-square-foot food emporium. Housing a market with more than 10,000 gourmet items as well as 23 eateries, Eataly opened its doors to much fanfare last December in River North. The venue was buzzing with hoards of customers and the lines were long, but the payoff for all the waiting was worth it–I’m still dreaming about that hot crepe oozing with chocolately goodness from the Nutella bar.
My classmates and I are taking six courses right now: Ocular Pharmacology, Ocular Disease, Physical Optics, Physical Diagnosis, Optometry Seminar and Microbiology. We’re in the third and final quarter of the Pharmacology and Optics sequences. In Pharmacology, we’re now focusing on the drugs we’ll be prescribing to our future patients. Optics course is looking a lot like physics right now.
“What did you study and how did you prepare to apply?”
Across the roundtable from me sat a second year college student–wide-eyed, curious and ambitious. She was considering applying to healthcare professional schools and was seeking my advice. In response to her question, I told her and everyone listening in that I majored in biological sciences and took classes to fulfill my prerequisites that included biology, chemistry, calculus and so on. In addition to the required courses, I took other classes that interested me like theatre and virology. She followed up by asking about the clubs I participated in and other commitments I had while in undergrad. I was in Mission for Vision, a club focused on eye care. Outside of school, I worked in a corporate eye care center and later in a private practice to further immerse myself within the field.
After answering the student’s questions, I was met by the nods of eight others seated with us at the large dining table where we shared lunch. We were all taking part in a program last month called Taking the Next Step, an annual event hosted by my alma mater, the University of Chicago. During the event, alums of the university like myself interact with second and third year students and talk about life after graduation–what we’re doing now and how we got there. Students at the event attend two sessions: a formal lunch where they share a table with one or two alumni, and a group panel where they can ask established professionals about their career paths.
Last week on Wednesday, I headed to Millennium Park after morning classes to attend a runway show at Fashion Focus Chicago, the Windy City’s very own fashion week. Fashion Focus kicked off Oct. 15 and ran through last Sunday, Oct. 20.
The creative mind behind the show I attended is Chicago-based designer Julius LaCour, Jr., who creates under the label Maison De LaCour. His spring/summer 2014 collection, “The Stars Are Out Tonight,” was designed to evoke the joie de vivre of Studio 54 in the 1970s and was anchored by Moroccan influences. At the show I met up with my friend Sean Krista of tour outfit Shop Around Chicago, and together we enjoyed a gorgeous presentation filled with flowing gowns and charming frocks, not to mention colorful, daring menswear.