Third year marches on

First and foremost, sorry for the summer hiatus. The summer semester was a busy one adjusting to being in clinic on a regular basis while still taking a full course load. To say the least, it was a bit stressful and trying at times, especially when it was so nice outside and I was stuck inside studying.

Overall though, the summer was good. Being in clinic completely on my own definitely took a few weeks of getting used to but the attendings I had helped make the transition easier. They understand we’re certainly not professionals at this yet and their expectations match that well. Plus, my attendings were very encouraging which is really helpful for those more difficult patient cases or with techniques you maybe don’t have completely mastered yet. But after a few weeks I felt like I settled in a bit and started finding a good groove. My exam times have been getting slowly better and I’ve certainly seen some really interesting things. I’ve learned a lot too and have a few crazy patient stories to boot – nothing in a book or a lecture can quite replicate a real, live patient sitting in your chair.

Fun with prisms!

We do get some down time here and there in clinic though if patients don’t show or the schedule isn’t completely booked. In those moments of downtime we have a sheet of paper of skills to work on with classmates who also don’t have patients. Practice makes perfect right? Well one day we had some downtime and were playing around with our prism sets. Prisms distort the image as you can see to the left. It’s the simple things that entertain us in optometry school.

Besides being very busy this summer with clinic and class, I still found time to have fun. As I’ve told many of the new first years in the class of 2020, you have to find ways to get away from school and studying. You’re going to go crazy otherwise.

So a fun thing I did around the 4th of July was go to a golf tournament up in Akron. I went with one of the classmates and though I’m not a golfer by any stretch of the imagination, it was a really fun and enjoyable experience. I’ve watched enough golf on TV to understand it reasonably well and I’ve played enough golf in my life to know how hard and frustrating it can be. Even knowing that though, watching these guys actually hit the shots they do in real life is pretty incredible. It gave me a whole new appreciation for how ridiculously good pro golfers are.

They were adamant about not touching the trophy. 🙁 Oh well, still pretty cool!

The other cool part of going to the tournament was that it occurred shortly after the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA championship and the day we went they had the NBA trophy on display for pictures. Having grown up in Northeast Ohio, this is a big deal. Cleveland sports are notorious for finding ways to loose, not win. Being the baseball fan that I am, I still distinctly remember where I was in my house (past my bedtime as well) as the Cleveland Indians lost Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. So to have the Cavs win was pretty exciting for me and many of my friends. Getting a picture with the trophy? Icing on the cake.

And finally, no summer of mine would be complete with an outing to an actual major league baseball game. So after summer finals in early August I headed to Pittsburgh to see a good college friend and take in a game at PNC Park. I’ve probably mentioned it before if you ever get a chance to see a game there, the view won’t disappoint. It was a nice reward to myself for making it through another semester and onto fall semester.

I can always take in a baseball game when the view is as good as this one

All in all, the summer was a busy one and we’re now about 3 weeks into the fall semester. It’s kind of crazy to think we’re into our second semester of third year already and we’re going to be getting our 4th year rotation assignments in about 2 months. On top of that, the sign up window for Part I of our boards exams opened last week as well, which we will take this upcoming March. Everything is getting very real, very quickly but I’m excited to keep moving forward and working towards May 2018. It’s all happening too fast and not fast enough at the same time. As for this blog, I’ll strive to keep this updated more regularly now that summer is over the true academic year has started once again.