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How to Ride a Bicycle

Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

  shoes and equipment

Do you remember learning to ride a bike?

I remember the day vividly. It’s one of the more defining memories of my childhood, one I’ve been thinking about a lot these days. I’m sure my dad and twin brother have different accounts of what actually happened, but since neither of them blog, allow me to tell you the true story.

I was six. We were vacationing in Montana and it was a gorgeous summer day. My brother had already mastered riding his bike (a mere day and a half before, but of course he made it seem like he was practically the bicycle’s inventor). I was determined that today was my day. My bike was shiny and red. It deserved to soar past my gloating brother.

My dad is calm to the core. Even at my most reckless, I have always been able to rely on his steady, factual, collected demeanor to guide me. He assured me that he would hold the back of my bike seat and not let go.

With the steady weight of his hands on the seat, keeping my balance, I peddled. One leg winding around, then the other. I saw my brother in the periphery, eyes widened, watching me. I must have been having so much fun watching Montana’s landscape inch past me that I didn’t notice my dad had let go at first. But then all of a sudden it hit me: The steady guide of my dad’s hands weren’t there anymore. Instead of being excited and reacting like a normal person, I whipped my head backwards, saw my dad shrinking in the distance, screamed bloody murder, and fell.

My brother’s mirthless laughter echoed around me. I threw my bike off the path, and with eyes narrowed to slits announced to my dad that I would not be riding bikes ever ever again.

As a parent, I’m sure my dad had to learn how to let go. But at the same time, whether six or 26, it’s just as hard to learn how to be let go.

Fourth year externships are a constant reminder of my bicycling saga.

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Fun with Lasers

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

So in terms of labs, I think third years get the best ones. We have a new course offered at ICO: Ophthalmic Lasers. Dr. Chaglasian organized an awesome lab with the help of the doctors at TLC Laser Eye Centers to give us first-hand experience working with lasers. We had several different stations set up and got to learn the components of each different type of laser refractive eye surgery.

At the first station, we were each given our own pig-eye-in-a-cup to work on, and had the opportunity to remove the epithelium, simulating how we’d prepare it for laser eye surgery. It was at this station that I saw a bag of real eyeballs for the first time in my life. Most people might feel a little squeamish about it, but for me, as an eye nerd, it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen (besides lasers, of course).

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My pig eye in a cup

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Tools we used to remove epithelium

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Our tools in action under a microscope

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Pencil Crayons and Other Memorization Tools

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

As my fellow blogger Fatima has noted, spring quarter is upon us. It’s crazy to think that in two months I’ll be able to call myself a “second year,” and it makes me realize how fast the the school year as flown by. I’m already counting down to summer–our first and only summer off during our time at ICO.

We’re a four weeks in, and at about this time each quarter I find myself getting extremely overwhelmed with the course load. The amount of work we have seems unmanageable until I’ve gotten a few exams under my belt. Fortunately, we now only have two exams per week instead of three, as in the previous two quarters. Still, I already feel exhausted and ready for the next break (despite the fact that our last break ended only a month ago). Unsurprisingly, some of my classmates have made fun of me for this.


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Avoiding the First Year 15

Avoiding the First Year 15

Posted by on Mar 18, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

When you start your undergrad career, you probably hear about the infamous “freshman 15” that may slowly start to creep up on you as the late-night pizza and bottle or five of beer become a multiple-times-a-week thing rather than the occasional indulgence. I admit, to my dismay, that I succumbed to those additional 15 lbs. of disgusting, unsolicited fat. After I lost all of it and then some following graduation, I promised myself that upon starting at ICO, I would never again fall victim to such unwanted poundage.

However, when the weeks begin to fill with 26 hours worth of class, two-to-three 8 a.m. exams and not nearly enough sleep, so begin those terrible habits you’d just gotten in check: those late Jimmy John’s orders, infinite calorie-laden coffee drinks and cookie binges that you justify with, “Hey, I deserve it… I have an exam tomorrow!” Right. We’ve all been there.

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Spring Quarter, Second Year

Spring Quarter, Second Year

Posted by on Mar 13, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

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.

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Chicago Restaurants: Michigan Avenue Edition

Chicago Restaurants: Michigan Avenue Edition

Posted by on Feb 27, 2014 in Blogs | 0 comments

Chicago’s Michigan Avenue is famously home to the Magnificent Mile, the city’s toniest shopping strip. Go five miles south on Michigan and you’ll find ICO. Something else you’ll find: a plethora of great restaurants. Below, four of my favorite dining experiences on the Windy City’s best-known street.


My highlight of 2014 so far was a trip to Waffles! It’s a delicious retro-style diner just over two miles from campus in the South Loop. From campus, hop on the #4 bus headed north and you shall be there in about five to 10 minutes, closer to five. I ordered the red velvet waffles (served with an unbelievably good whipped cream cheese topping), and my friend had the Mexican chocolate waffles. Unfortunately I didn’t ask my friend for a bite so I can’t tell you how the Mexican chocolate waffles tasted, but it’s worth a trip back for the red velvet waffles alone! When I went on a recent Saturday morning, there was no wait–a nice surprise. And, the service was great.


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