My post-dilation mydriatic pupils
So during first year, we’re required to get an eye exam at the IEI and reflect on our experience as a patient in the clinic. This was my first dilated fundus exam, and was also the lengthiest, most thorough eye exam I have ever had. My pupils have never been that big! We were all warned that for four to six hours after being dilated, we’d experience photophobia, or light sensitivity, and would have blurry near vision. I recorded moderate-high light sensitivity, however, I did not experience blur at near. It was certainly an interesting experience.
After my exam, I of course received a copy of my new prescription–my prescription has changed slightly since being here, with an increase of -0.25 diopters of sphere in the left eye and an increase of -0.25 in the cylinder power in the right eye. I spent some time at the IEI’s dispensary, the Fait Family Eyewear Center, and was pleasantly surprised by the excellent selection of frames. Designer lines like Fendi, Tiffany and Boss were all represented, as were a variety of price points. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in stock, they’re willing to bring in specific frames upon request. I chose to put my new prescription in a pair of Dolce & Gabbanas, and I can’t wait to get them!
We’re in our fifth week of the quarter and at this point I’m getting very comfortable writing exams almost every other day. Unlike undergrad, most days here start at 8 a.m. and finish at 6 p.m., with only an hour break for lunch. I’m getting used to working longer days and learning how to handle the work load.
At this point, though, I am really starting to miss home, and some of the things I can get there but can’t get here.
So we successfully finished our first week of exams. I must say that it’s good that the anticipation of exams is over–now we know what to expect. We know what exams are like and we can really crack down on the studying now, because there’s no end to this madness until late October.
So far, people have been asking about how my first exams went. I have to say, they were not that bad. I have the best study technique, and whenever someone asks what it is and I tell them, it seems so obvious. My expert advice for studying, is do what you say you are doing. I know it seems ridiculous, eh? (Yes, I put that in there on purpose. I will never give up my eh!) But lots of students in fact don’t do this. They say they’re studying for optics, while they’re actually thinking about all the other stuff they have to do and study for: physiology assignment, microscopic anatomy exam prep, what will I do next weekend?
After White Coat Ceremony with ICO’s president, Dr. Augsburger
I’m sure we’re all guilty of this because I’ve heard people say, “Oh, I feel so guilty taking a nap” or “I feel so guilty going shopping” or something along those lines, and I used to do the exact same thing. I never understood why I studied so hard for so many hours and still never got As until my last year in undergrad. If you’re out shopping with friends, shop with your friends. Don’t feel guilty about what you’re NOT doing, otherwise you never allow yourself to take a real break and get your mind off school. And your mind relies on those breaks to refresh and unwind–they’re a necessity if you are to maintain your sanity.
Last time you heard from me I was packing up my last few things before leaving for my road trip to Chicago, with a stop in Minneapolis along the way. In Minnesota we stopped at the outlet mall in Albertville, but there weren’t too many great sales and we were promptly on our way to our primary destination, the Mall of America. Here I found awesome deals: I got lots of shirts for $5-10 each from places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Club Monaco.
After spending some time in the Mini Apple, we drove down to Schaumburg, a suburb of Chicago. We spent a day just exploring the community and its vibrant downtown, and we also visited the newly opened Chicago Premium Outlets in nearby Rosemont. The mall was filled with upscale shops that I couldn’t afford, but it was fun to look anyway. I enjoyed my last evening with family in Chicago at the Purple Pig on the Magnificent Mile. This place is tons of fun. The patio is tiny, yet they manage to cram so many people in it… let’s just say this isn’t the restaurant to go to if you’re planning on telling your big secrets.
Move-in day quickly arrived and I could barely contain my excitement, although I did drag my heels a little bit at the hotel because I knew I would soon be alone. I arrived at the school and was promptly greeted by some very pleasant second year students ready with their carts to get me moved in. The moving-in part took all of five minutes, and the unpacking and settling-in part took close to three hours. Getting acclimated is an ongoing process. I’ve had to make a few quick trips to Target for little things for the room, and these mini trips are a nice way to get out of the RC and wander the city a bit.
At this point I have stopped feeling guilty about all the ice cream I’ve been eating–I have become addicted to this one parfait called the Zebra at our local ice cream shop. It’s vanilla soft ice cream layered with crushed Oreo bits, melted white chocolate and hot fudge. Hopefully I will be able to find something as good in Chicago that can be my go-to when I have a craving, or just for a treat during a study break.
I have been spending as many weekends as possible out at the cottage. The summers in Winnipeg are short enough as it is, let alone the fact that I will be leaving halfway through it. The cottage is the best place for a long walk along the trans-Canada trail, or just to the campground store for a Saturday newspaper.
Hello again future colleagues!
It’s the end of June–which has flown by a little too fast–and although I am so excited for my first day of classes, I don’t want to forget about what I will be leaving behind: my boyfriend, my best friend, my comfort zone. Despite how much time I still have left before August 1 rolls around, I find my agenda book filling up quickly in an effort to tie up loose ends and visit friends and family before my departure. I really look forward to the third week of July when I’ll get a week off work to just relax and maybe go to the cottage.
One of my “loose ends” that I recently tied up was cancelling my gym membership, which was very sad. I really enjoy going to the gym, seeing the same people each morning in the fitness classes and knowing that we all share the same thoughts about doing another set of squats and lunges. Luckily, ICO has a gym conveniently located on campus for student use. I plan to be an avid user, but I take the laughter of my co-worker–a second year student at ICO–as a subtle hint that I may not have the time.
As I prepare for school, it seems my wardrobe is the most difficult thing to put together. It’s easy to imagine things I might need for my room, but when it comes to what I’ll be wearing every day, it seems to require more effort. And in terms of obtaining the required items, I keep having to remind myself that Chicago might possibly have much better shopping than Winnipeg. I found out about an outlet mall near Chicago that has countless stores where I am sure I could find anything that comes to mind.