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Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives: Nana

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Blogs


How do you celebrate being free of finals? I, of course, eat. My partner in eating saw a place on a Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives episode that served Duck Confit Eggs Benedict. Sadly, after talking about this restaurant (Nana) since August, we found the menu. They have Duck Confit and Eggs Benedict, but unfortunately, they remain separated! However, we decided to try it.

There is good reason why Nana was featured on the show. Imagine a mix between an organic Mexican restaurant and a fancy coffee shop, and that’s the atmosphere you will find. When its Fall, I find it mandatory to have hot cider, and I have no complaints. For an appetizer, I recommend the avocado fries, but only if you like crispy avocados lightly battered, fried and dipped in some kind of chipotle lime sauce. It was so good that I couldn’t get a photo before the sauce was sampled.


For the entrée, I ordered the daily special of steak tacos. My partner got the Nanadict, which is eggs benedict with chorizo (a spicy sausage), popusas (instead of an English muffin), and a green sauce on top.

Nana is also very easy to get to from ICO. All you do is go west on 33rd, go straight until you can’t anymore, and its on your right. No traffic, and if you go on a Monday at 2:00, there is no wait (knock on wood).

I cannot wait to go back and try their other menu items. While their desserts sound good, we were too full to try anything. Maybe next time we won’t eat as much!

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Delivery during Finals

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in Blogs


As most everyone knows, during finals week, we students pull all nighters and eat whatever is the easiest (I had McDonalds at least three times, twice in one day.) Some of us wear the same clothes every day, and we are lucky if we get five minutes away from our notes. This year for Halloween, we had to give up our costumes in exchange for the notes… but that doesn’t mean our dinnertime meal had to suffer! Instead, over finals, I learned/tried something new: Postmates.

Most people have probably heard of Postmates. It is the genius app that delivers Chiptole, McDonalds, and many upscale places to your door (control your excitement.)


The place I tried was the Soupbox. They are famous for their homemade soups, and the menu changes daily. I tried the chicken and wild rice soup and the chicken noodle. Unfortunately, I decided not to get the bread-bowl, but the side of homemade bread I got was delicious. This is definitely someplace I would recommend for when you are sick and miss your mother’s soup.IMG_0825

Postmates works similar to Uber, where you order what you want on the app or website, and a driver will pick it up for you. The best part is that it takes less than an hour to get your stuff or they will call you and let you know why it’s late. You can also order groceries, alcohol, or products from Walgreens.


Between GrubHub and Postmates, there is no reason why I need to leave my couch or my desk to explore what Chicago has to offer my taste buds.

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My first Academy: A quick summary of NOLA

Posted by on Oct 13, 2015 in Blogs

Ready for our first convention

Ready for our first convention

At first, NOLA seemed like a great opportunity to learn more about our future profession, meet our future colleagues, try new technologies, and see a famous city. At second thought, two exams and one project made me second guess if I should really be going on this trip. However, if your first exam back is an optometry exam, then the best place to study is a town full of optometrists. While studying NRA/PRA during our layover in Atlanta, we ended up asking a Resident (from a different school) for his help.

Pit Stop at the AAO booth

Pit Stop at the AAO booth

Once we arrived in NOLA, the notes were set aside. We decided to try some New Orleans cuisine before attending our first Academy meeting. I had the brisket and mac and cheese, someone else tried fried gator. Throughout the trip I tried the famous beignets at Cafe Du Monde, a po’ boy, a Pig Mac, another brisket, and ribs (which were amazing.) However, you might note that I had no seafood, and as a stranger on the street told me, I was in the wrong town to eat.

The Pig Mac

The Pig Mac




After eating, we visited what we really came for: the American Academy of Optometry. We got our name tags, put on our ribbons (student, new member, first academy!) While I won’t bore you with all the details, I will share some of my memorable experiences.

Some included great sales pitches, such as when we were talking about the automatic phoropter, and the salesman said that our patient would be more impressed with this than the 200 year old manual phoropter. We also met a salesman selling a new slit lamp that was more accessible for “Americans,” a.k.a. larger people. We had to remind them that we were only second year students, and promised to come talk to them when we were looking to buy.

The Smart Vision Labs had us try out the SVOne, a smartphone-based autorefractor. We saw blue light lenses that block blue lights, and different types of trial frame lenses. I got to try 1-Day Acuvue Define (my eyes are too dark for shimmer and shine,) which made my iris look huge. I got a Cup-to-Disc Ratio guide and I got to pick some informational posters. Of course, I got a fews bags and beads (we were in New Orleans, after all.)

Free Pamphlets

Free Information Pamphlets

1-Day Acuvue Define

1-Day Acuvue Define Sample

My eyes look huge

Wearing the Define contact lenses. My eyes look huge.

Even though Saturday and Sunday were filled with cramming for optometry and trying to catch up for the upcoming week, Academy was worth the panic of studying. It was a great opportunity and a great reminder of why we are studying to become optometrists. I wish I could go into every detail of Academy, but it would be too long to write, and too long to read. My only advice is if you haven’t gone, you should start planning your trip for next year. I can’t wait to go again, and next year’s is in Anaheim (Warm weather? Yes, please!)

My ribbons and bag

My ribbons and bag

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Count down to Boo Bash

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Blogs

The Save the Date was sent out, ladies and gents, so starting planning your costumes- Boo Bash is upon us! While Boo Bash is a great way to let off some steam from studying (this year it is two weeks before finals,) it is also a great time for the whole school to come together and have some fun. And if ICOlympics didn’t prove it, our school can get into some friendly competition during the costume contest (a certain Wolverine look alike won last year.)

For anyone who is new to ICO, Boo Bash is an annual event where the entire school is invited to dress up and go out in Chicago. I should be studying for exams and trying to get ahead before Boo Bash starts, but thinking about a good costume is a welcome distraction.

While looking at photos, I came across costumes from my past. Maybe they will give some inspiration for someone (I’m thinking Teletubbies might be a good one.) I might also grab an extra costume for October 31st, because who doesn’t love trick or treating? Bonus points for eye related costumes (Worth 4 dot anyone?).







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The Money Making Class

Posted by on Sep 10, 2015 in Blogs

The first book I bought for Optometry school

The first book I bought for Optometry school

Second year is here. With a quick review of all the tests and tricks we learned last year, we are ready to learn even more. While we have started learning about near vision, binocular vision, etc., there is one class that I think all Optometrists should be excited to take. I call it the Money Making Class.

Now, you may be wondering, “What is the Money Making Class? Do we learn how to print the greens and the loonies (we can’t exclude the Canadians)?” No, the Money Making Class is also known as the Ophthlamic Optics Course taught for the first time by Dr. Goodfellow. I call it the Money Making Class because a lot of the money that we will hopefully one day make (dang loans!) will come from the sales of glasses in our future offices.

Face Shapes and Glasses Guidelines

Face Shapes and Glasses Guidelines

So far, we have learned all about the anatomy of glasses (I mean spectacles, as we optometrists like to say.) We have learned about the different types of materials the frames can be, and the lenses, and which glasses should be used for Dress glasses, Athletic glasses, or Safety glasses. I can tell you when the MRP and OC should be aligned, and calculate an image jump (However, I haven’t even taken this exam yet, so maybe give me a few more weeks before asking.) We even talk about the shape of someone’s head and which glasses we should give the person. Round glasses on a round face? Big no no!

Unfortunately, reading teen magazines didn’t help me that much; I still find it hard matching a shape to a face. With a little bit of practice, I’m sure I could get an article into Cosmo telling women all around the world what type of glasses are best for them! The bright side is, if I don’t become the next big fashion editor, I know I will be ok because I took the Money Making Class.


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