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Lo Siento and Other Gems

Lo Siento and Other Gems

Posted by on Dec 5, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

Hola mi nombre es Siva!

(Pido disculpas por mi terrible español)

Yes, darlings–now that I’m at my second externship site where I’m fortunate enough to be learning Spanish on the fly, it’s time to brandish the big guns and start putting my money where my mouth is.

Let’s be real, Spanish is probably one of the most musical languages in the world. Everything sounds better in Spanish, like you’ve just sipped a delicious margarita or something.

It helps that I have a tenuous grasp of French (12 grades of French immersion but I’m still conjugating verbs with the help of my handy Bescherelle). French and Spanish have that common Latin root, and once your tongue can roll those “r”s you are pretty much set to jet.

I’m always amazed at the amount of patients that think I am Spanish–but then again it does really cut to the chase of why they made an eye appointment. If my ethnicity doesn’t scream Indian to you, it makes sense why you’re getting your eyes examined, doesn’t it?

No problema, senor. I’ll get you some nifty glasses.

All jokes aside, with the diversity of Chicago and the multi-ethnic tapestry that makes up the country as a whole, speaking multiple languages is more than an asset. It’s a sheer necessity.

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Trip to Texas

Trip to Texas

Posted by on Nov 22, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

I’m a firm believer in three things.

Everyone should have a favorite book, a favorite vacation destination, and a favorite pen.

But after a whirlwind weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, I’m now a firm believer in a fourth indisputable truth.

Everyone should get to feel like a celebrity at least once in their life.

I achieved this pinnacle of the human experience when I went to the Academy of EyeCare Excellence  earlier this month. Alcon, a global company specializing in eye care products, invites fourth year students to travel to their headquarters in Texas for a weekend and learn about their products. From my arrival to my departure, I was treated like a princess. And not a reality show princess–a legit “I fly on a magic carpet, have a pet tiger, and only bathe in Fiji water” princess.

I knew that I was going to like Texas because that’s where Coach and Tami Taylor reside.

(If you didn’t understand that reference, go to Netflix and watch “Friday Night Lights” seasons 1-5 immediately, and we can reconvene our friendship afterwards.)

So how does one prepare for a four-day, all-expenses-paid trip?

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Good Afternoon, Mr. Lee

Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Blogs | 3 comments


Alright, kiddos: A few weeks ago I took Part III of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam. The morning started at 5:45 a.m., and I was en route to the airport for my flight to Charlotte, N.C. But let’s be real, I didn’t sleep that well because anticipation and anxiety are the thieves of rest. The trick, I’ve discovered, is to set your alarm to something that doesn’t immediately upset you when it goes off. Personally, I wake up to Beyonce’s “Love on Top.”

Half of you think I’m joking—I assure you, I’m not.

Luckily I have fallen asleep in my contact lenses without washing off my make-up, so I’m pretty much ready. OK, now I am joking. Kind of.

Aside: Don’t sleep in your contacts. Just like your dentist can tell you don’t floss, we can all spot the non-compliant contact lens wearer, even the immaculate one looking back at me in the mirror this morning.

The train to O’Hare is surprisingly uneventful. No one is singing, being offensive, soliciting, or even making awkward eye contact with me. Is it weird that I’m bothered by this? Normal train rides are the worst. Then it occurs to me, maybe I’m the weird one on the train.

For once I know what terminal I’m supposed to go to, and I march confidently towards my gate. I’m not one to brag, because I have so few marketable skills, but I will say no one can pack a carry-on suitcase and breeze through security like me. In a flash, I am shoe-less, belt-less, coin-less. Laptop’s out, liquids in their baggie, I’m waiting to get full-body scanned. Ain’t nobody got time for pat-downs.

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The Third

The Third

Posted by on Oct 2, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

Alright kiddos, it’s time to start thinking about NBEO Part III.

As soon as something gets to have III attached to it, you know it’s a big deal. As mother always said, if something is epic enough to have three versions of it, you best come ready, guns a-blazin’.

To wit: Alexander III of Russia. Robert Griffin III.

But let’s be real: Even though I’m living and breathing optometry more than oxygen these days, I still have to practice. This requires motivation to schedule a practice partner, and the willingness to sit for them in turn.

To no one’s surprise, I haven’t started.

The occasional vague text of “we should practice” gets sent and received, but laziness takes over and cleaning the fridge seems like a better way to spend the night. Except who cleans their fridges? Right now I’m proud of myself for just thinking about eventually cleaning it. #ProgressNotPerfection  (copyright Mark Marquez)

Part III is unique because you can schedule it whenever you want in fourth year, and you go to North Carolina. Fun fact: Babe Ruth hit his first home run in North Carolina, and Pepsi was invented there. I can’t think of any better reason to visit a place than that. Sadly, at this rate, I’ll be drowning in my own tears too long to enjoy the famed Southern Hospitality.

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Arrested Development: Pretending to be an Adult and not Succeeding

Arrested Development: Pretending to be an Adult and not Succeeding

Posted by on Aug 27, 2013 in Blogs | 0 comments

When you see license plates from Oregon, Texas, and British Columbia on Indiana Avenue on a hot August day, it can only mean one thing: it’s Move-In Day at ICO.

Now that I am far removed from moving in, I can look back on the beginnings of ICO with fondness, instead of what it actually was.

(insert “Jaws” music)

The first few weeks of ICO are fun and games until someone pokes an eye out. Luckily, we have all chosen a profession where eyes falling out are child’s play. A second year can suction that bad boy back into your orbit and continue studying for Pharm.

The start of a new season is always met with an elusive combination of excitement, anticipation and a touch of fear. At least for me. I was the kid in elementary school who laid out what I was going to wear for the first day of school every September. I am now the adult who looks forward to the excuse to buy new pens because I am an elitist stationary snob and if it’s not a fine-tipped RSVP pen, it might as well be a crayon.

siva watermelonSeeing the incoming first years get to experience all the fun “beginning of the year” events through my aged, fourth-year, cataract-ridden eyes is kind of a trip. Remember how fun ICOlympics is when there are 184 of you to participate? Now the 30 of us here look around and shrug our shoulders. I guess Siva’s going to be in the watermelon-eating contest, by virtue of being a girl.

Full disclosure: Alex Golden and I won that contest. I don’t care what anyone says.

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