“These days are as good as gold…”
Another blog, another reference to a favorite song of mine (by a band called Knuckle Puck of course… yes go ahead and giggle at their name), but it’s quite applicable.
It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in Fry 22 for 8 hours + nearly every day of the week… Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s pretty darn close. It’s hard to believe that the first semester of second year is nearly over! To be honest, we’re all very ready for our last 3 week Christmas break/freedom because starting third year, we’ll be in clinic!
So far, second year has taught us a lot about each other and ourselves. It’s taught us how to take a practical, how to problem solve during a practical, how to keep our cool (or what to do when we’re not) during a practical, and how to become “expert” test takers. Do you notice a common theme this year? PRACTICALS. Just when we started to get more used to the rigorous exams of optometry school, they threw another curve ball at us, but it was not something we couldn’t handle with loads of practice and effort. Being in pre-clinic has finally allowed us to feel like clinicians and become one step closer to our dream jobs. From tonometry (taking eye pressures) to dilating and viewing the retina, we’ve all had those, “NO WAY! This is so cool!” moments when we get our first glimpse of those various landmarks and anatomical structures. Of course we’ve seen them in textbooks and through the teaching tubes on the slit lamps, but when you actually perform a skill yourself, it’s incredible.
So what else has happened other than exams and practicals? Well… Let’s talk about Academy!
What an amazing experience! This year, the American Academy of Optometry was held in San Antonio, Texas. Having personally never visited the grand ‘ol state of Texas, I was excited for this opportunity not only in optometry, but also in traveling. It felt good to step away from our iPads and studies to see what other folks in our field were up to. It also amazed me at what myself and my fellow second years were able to comprehend. Listening to these well-educated and esteemed O.D.s lecture on topics from transient vision loss, convergence insufficiency, anterior segment diseases, and much more, I was astounded at how much we were able to follow. Don’t get me wrong, some of the research was still above my head, but OSU has truly prepared us well for both clinical and research based knowledge.
Academy also had much more to offer, such as looking at scleral lens fittings, trying out the latest Johnson and Johnson contacts, learning about the new transition contact lenses, automatic phoropters, networking, etc. The companies, free T-shirts and whatnot were wonderful, but probably one of my favorite experiences was getting to mingle with students in different levels of their optometric education. Conversing with first years, third years, and some fourth years was great. I’ll have to admit though, getting to hangout with our professors outside the classroom was probably even more engaging and entertaining. Sometimes you don’t realize that the people teaching you are more than just the ones handing you exams and watching you during practicals. They’re people too, of course. To simply hangout, kick back, and be outside of the classroom with them and not just discussing school content really embodies the family element of OSU optometry. Speaking of family, our very own buckeyes won the Essilor Academic Challenge at Academy! Congrats fam! This was the first year this event occurred, and the buckeyes came to win. Our entire optometric family came to support them during this pseudo quiz bowl/academic games, including all of the professors and students at Academy. It made me proud to see that OSU really does prepare you for anything- not just clinical or boards- but even for fun challenges like the one held at Academy.
So a word of advice– go to Academy! Network, explore, learn the latest and greatest in research, hangout with your professors, and do something out of your comfort zone because the calendar days are flying, and “these days are as good as gold.”
Class of 2021 with our very own, Dr. Pierce.