Derek vs Time

Time is an uncaring nuisance that was devised to thwart ambition. That’s a verifiable fact. I feel like I’m constantly running out of time and negating to follow through with the myriad of ideas that I come up with on a regular basis. The most recent example I can think of is my failure to successfully throw German Village’s first feral cat wedding last month. I spent countless hours finding the perfect bride, groom, flower girl etc… but before I knew it, school had started and it was time for me to focus on more important things. I just wish I would have known the wedding was doomed from the start before I made a deposit on all that cat nip, but I digress. As an optometry student, we are given a break our first summer before a continuous slate of classes and clinic for the next three years. That puts a lot of pressure on this one and only summer. I planned on maximizing leisure, maximizing socializing, maximizing career goals and then capping off the summer with the breathtaking union of two cats that fell in love and proved all the cynics wrong. Sigh. ¬†I’m obviously excited to be back in school learning how to perform eye exams, but I feel like I didn’t accomplish all that I could have with my summer. Hmmm time to reminisce about what I DID do this summer ….

T35 Program

You know how people like to take a picture of their feet hanging out on a beach or by the pool? I never understood that. What are they trying to say? Why should I care about the aquatic adventures of someone’s feet? Alas, I spent the majority of my summer in the lab and didn’t have a chance to make it to any bodies of water; so, this is my version of that.

A lot of my summer was spent doing research via the T35 summer research program. It was a lot of fun. I am being sincere when I say that cutting 10 micron sections of frozen mouse and chicken embryo lenses was a lot of fun. At times I felt like Willy Wonka, especially when I successfully expressed transgenic DNA in a 3 day old chicken embryo. I’ve never had a child before, but I imagine the overwhelming feeling of love and pride that parents feel is similar to the feeling that I had when I saw my first developing chicken embryo expressing DNA that I introduced into their lens fibers. *wipes tear* I may have been in the lab for the majority of my summer daylight hours, but aside from costing me a delicious browned biscuit skin shade from the sun’s relentless rays, I feel as though I didn’t miss out on much.

Optometry’s Meeting

What’s this? Did I go to some A list awards show this summer? No! This is a photo from the big stage at Optometry’s Meeting in DC. The event was HUGE. There were thousands of optometrists, lots of educational talks, socials and most importantly: swag and free food!

One of the highlights of my summer was attending Optometry’s meeting in Washington DC. This yearly conference has it all: opportunities to network, educational talks, free food, social events, and an exhilarating student bowl competition that pits a representative from each optometry college against one another in a Jeopardy style quiz competition. While there were numerous events to partake in, there was also plenty of time to explore the city and enjoy all the awesome monuments, restaurants, incessantly beeping cars and sweltering humidity that DC has to offer. Okay so those last two things weren’t actually awesome, but it was definitely memorable almost dying of heat stroke when walking around the city in the day time to the constant sound of aggravated motorists who spend their time driving with one hand constantly pressed on their car horn. Oh DC, don’t ever change.

A Brain Break

Perhaps the best part of the summer was the time I had to decompress after the first year of classes. When summer started I told myself I’d stay fresh and study a little bit each day, but of course that didn’t happen. It turns out, using the summer to relax was perfect for me. It allowed me to start my second year of optometry college refreshed and ready to learn!

So I guess I had a pretty successful summer. Now school is back in session and it’s time to resume life as a student. This year I’ll try to remember that while there are numerous¬†social events, club meetings, optometry related job opportunities, and volunteering opportunities, it’s impossible to do them all and that’s ok. It’s important not to beat yourself up if you feel overwhelmed. Enjoy the experiences you have and don’t worry about the ones you don’t. Doesn’t that sound like an inspirational quote from a 19th century first lady or a CEO from a cereal company? I promise you that it’s not. It’s simply the wisdom that has been instilled in me from matriculating at Ohio State. Go Buckeyes!