On October 13, 45,000 people took to the streets, putting their bodies through a grueling 26.2-mile trek through the concrete jungle of the Windy City, and I was one of them. Finally, after months of training, the day of the Chicago Marathon had arrived. It was an exhausting journey filled with muscle-ache, Gatorade and snacks only runners could put down.
The night before the race I had everything planned out. Pasta dinner, check. Clothes and race number, check. Small runner’s fanny pack with my energy snacks, not the most fashionable, but check.
Everything a runner needs.
The only thing left was a long deep sleep. As I lay in bed, the only thing running through my mind was how much more training I should have done, and how embarrassing it would be to fail. I look at the clock and it’s 10 p.m. All of a sudden the months of training I had put in and the long hours running along Lake Michigan didn’t matter in my mind. Suddenly I was reeling in horror trying to decide how to explain my inferior athletic ability and how I didn’t even make it halfway before collapsing in a heap of disappointment and incompetence.
I look at the clock and it’s midnight. I try in vain to relax. I take deep breaths. I even count sheep. I got to 78 sheep. On one hand I’m surprised I stuck with the counting sheep idea for so long, on the other hand I curse the images of those soft fuzzy sheep and their inability to put me under.
I’d never been to Detroit, but then I’d never really had the desire to go, either. All this changed last month. At a time when everyone else seems to be leaving, the AAU Junior Olympics descended on Motown last month, the event bringing countless athletes along with a contingent of soon-to-be optometrists to the city.
Similar to the athletes who were ready to test their well-honed skills, I was excited to show my stuff at my first vision screening. This wasn’t just a few hours at a community center either–this was the big league. We’re talking about three jam-packed days of screening some of the best junior athletes and their families, and all thanks to Vistakon, it was completely free! The athletes and their families got a thorough check-up, the attending doctors were able to gain valuable data for research, and I got three nights in a hotel plus dinners paid for.
The ICO contingent, ready to go!
After arriving and spending a few hours setting up in a large downtown convention center, I was excited to get started and delve into all that first year knowledge I had accumulated. After setting up all the tests and looking at the equipment, I realized that over the summer I had either forgotten everything I had ever learned, or there were some new instruments that I had never seen. Turns out it was a mixture of the two.
For the last nine months, free time was a rare commodity. It was coveted by all and seldom achieved. It was all anyone ever talked about, and when it finally came, I slept through it and was left wondering with everyone else, where had all my time gone?!
Now however, I have a very different problem: too much time. The perk of finishing my first year is that I actually get the summer off to enjoy one last time. So before I started up work and got swept into that, I decided to take two weeks off to just unwind. After sleeping straight through the first few days, I finally had enough energy to get things started. I made the trip home to visit my folks and then went on a whirlwind tour of my old stomping grounds in the Northeast. What was originally a short trip to see a good friend graduate from law school turned into a nine-day journey of rekindling friendships and couch surfing to the extreme. I mean things really escalated quickly. Now after all that, I find myself back living the quiet life at home. Almost too relaxing, which brings me back to the problem I stated before: I think I have too much available time.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. On the contrary, those who know me best will agree that taking naps is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. However, when is the last time that you spent two hours of your day examining and trying to identify a spider? Until today I probably would have had the same answer as you… never.
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:
If you’ve been keeping up with the recent blog posts, you’ve read about how Jenn and Fatima were preparing for Eye Ball. For the women out there, those posts were full of helpful hints and lovely pictures of dresses and accessories. For the guys out there, it was an unprecedented look into the female mind showing just how much effort goes into looking fabulous. Now how about an examination of the event from a guy’s perspective?
We all knew about the event for months, we’d selected our dinner entrees weeks in advance, and people have been buzzing about outfits since I found out I was accepted. So what did that mean for my close group of guy friends? The week of the event, it was go time. We’d waited until the last possible moment, something I have a knack for, and had to throw something together that actually looked presentable. One proactive roommate bought a polka dot shirt online a week or two before and another friend bought a new suit the morning of the event (apparently his old one was sporting a few holes), but for the most part it was time to raid the closet.