Archive for July, 2013

Blog 3: Leaving On a Jet Plane

by on Jul.26, 2013, under Uncategorized

For many people, airports, plane rides, and especially those dreaded red eye flights are just a means to an end…a way to get from point A to point B. Not me. I absolutely love airports and plane rides and even airplane food! I’m actually on a twelve hour flight right now even as I type this entry. I’ve been traveling these twelve hour plane rides between Taiwan and the U.S.A since I was in kindergarten and as such I’ve developed quite a fondness for all types of planes, trains, and automobiles. In short, I love the idea of going somewhere…the excitement of packing (which always seems much less stressful than unpacking, why is that?) and scouring any of the souvenir shops and the duty-free shops available or even just sitting in front of the big windows, watching airplanes take off and land. There’s something so awesome about travel because you always come back or leave a little different than before the trip.  Specifically relating to airport traveling, I have perfected a routine of buying too much junk food, a Readers Digest magazine, and calling one of my high school best friends before departure. My friend and I each used to have to travel to Asia a lot during school breaks to visit family and created a tradition since high school of always calling each other whenever the other is at the airport. And even though my friend and I live on opposite ends of California now, both out of boredom and in the spirit of friendship, it’s a tradition we still keep up when we’re at the airport and I don’t intend to mess with it.

Nowadays I don’t get a lot of time to read for fun and when school starts in the fall, I don’t expect to be able to leisurely read either so these long flights are the perfect time for some good ol’ reading.  My devotion to Readers Digest as a “travel-must” began in 5th grade when my teacher brought them from home as extra reading material for the class and I’ve been hooked ever since! It’s got an excellent blend of inspirational stories that have left me in tears more than once, some awesome joke pages that actually make me chuckle out loud, deliciously simple recipes to try, as well as providing health advice of some sort. Best of all, it’s published almost all over the world. I grew up reading it in Chinese when I was in elementary school and when I got a little older and started buying my own books, I realized that they sold them at airports all over and now it’s a travel staple of mine. I think I’m over-selling it a little, but if you’re ever looking for a good read, but not sure what to read exactly…might I suggest picking up a Readers Digest? Of course, I’ve got my novel reading, too! In my back pack, I’ve also packed Game of Thrones (who’s watching with me out there on HBO?!) and the more light-hearted Learning to Exhale…just to cover all my reading genres, just in case my mood changes abruptly during the flight.

So when it comes to my flight out to Boston at the end of August, I will still be following my routine of picking up a Readers Digest, calling my friend, and packing extra food to curb the impulse to splurge on expensive airplane sandwiches. As with all my plane rides somewhere, I’m pretty excited!


I’m finishing up my blog entry now that I have landed and gotten a good night’s sleep. I wanted to show everyone one of my biggest reasons for making this trip back to Taiwan (aside from visiting family and the delicious food)…my thirteen-year old cat, Candy! She’s my pride and joy because I’ve had her since 5th grade and aside from what the Veterinarian called “bone spurs,” she seems to be a pretty happy old lady. She has gotten more high maintenance as she’s aged, refusing to drink water and eat food that is more than half a day old, and becomes highly vocal when you are near her and neglect to rub her back. Does this happen with everyone’s old pets? Or is it simply the stereotypical “cat ego?” Either way, I love her. She was one of the first reasons I wanted to go into the health care field. As I am the only child, I grew up extremely attached to my pets. When my first cat died of leukemia in 3rd grade, I decided I would become a veterinarian when I grew up so that I could help other animals. However, as I grew up and attended different veterinary and animal welfare research internships, I found that I was too much of a sucker. I couldn’t bare the sadness that often came with the position, but I knew I still loved the science of medicine and the amazing feeling of helping others. After two years as an optician/exam scribe, I knew that optometry could provide me the same intellectual stimulation while providing an environment that was suitable to my friendly persona. I love that the field has direct patient interaction and as an optometrist, you are not just addressing illness, but increasing longevity by providing practical health changes regarding diet and daily habits. So while sometimes I feel like an outsider because I was not born with the notion of becoming an optometrist, I feel that my path led me straight to it. And now, I leave you with a picture of Candy, in all her sexy, lady-like glory! Stay cool this summer, friends :)


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Reflections of a Melting Popsicle!

by on Jul.02, 2013, under Uncategorized

As I sit here at 11pm at night, in 86 degree weather writing this blog entry, all that comes to mind is ice cream, shaved ice, and taking an actual ice bath. There’s a gripping heat-wave that’s currently rearing its ugly face on the West Coast, and my money-pinching side is rebelling against turning on the air conditioning ( after all, it has been on for the better part of the day just trying to keep the apartment at a cool 85 degrees). It hit my town approximately last Thursday and seems to have decided to extend its stay indefinitely. My phone is constantly on a weather update and it tells me that for the rest of the week, I am to face above 100 degree weather, to which I cry “Weather party-foul!” I’ve been trying to train for a half marathon race on July 13th called the Davis Moo-nlight Race (it’s a night run and UC Davis is known for its cows, hence the silly pun title) and the seemingly inevitable possibility of a heat stroke proves more daunting with each passing day as I am having difficulty running outdoors for training. For all you social media gurus out there, I say #californiaweatherproblems, #runnerproblems, and #firstworldproblems. Kidding aside, though, if any of you guys are keeping up the active life in this heat wave, I really commend you! Don’t forget to keep a bottle of icy water by your side and stay safe out there!

Since sitting here in the heat, I’m reminded of what one of my friends once told me about the Boston weather and how besides the fact that it gets extremely cold in the winter, there is also a REAL summer! As a Californian, I think I’ve got an extremely skewed perception of what a year round weather should look like. Any variation that extends beyond a 15 degree change from 75°F and I will feel uncomfortable. The rumors about Californians are true; we’re very delicate and whine a lot about the weather. I admit it! As the move for NECO inches closer and closer, I’ve recently added Boston, MA, to the weather category on my iPhone. It makes me feel that I am always in contact with Boston and helps bridge the 3,000 miles between the two coasts. Currently, my phone tells me that it’s 72 degrees in Boston at about 3am in the morning and there’s a chance of lightning. That tells me that Boston isn’t fairing much better and, honestly, it’s kind of nice to know that my current and my future are all experiencing similar things, even if we’re only talking about the weather.

There are so many changes coming up that my head is spinning a bit. I’ve been working at my current optometry office for two years and in three weeks, I will be leaving this second family of mine to prepare for my next adventure. I have laughed and learned with them and I am absolutely positive that I would not have been able to attend optometry school without their help. Last week, my office officially hired my replacement and the newbie has been shadowing me as I try to teach her everything I leanred in 2 years, in a mere 3 weeks. As I go through the basics of glasses adjustments, lens materials, and the meaning behind each pre-testing machine, I can see the newbie’s head spinning. In the process of training her, I have realized all that I have learned regarding the field of optometry in the last two years and I almost can’t believe it myself! Conducting visual fields, taking retinal photos and non-contact tonometry are all standard pretesting procedures, but on top of that, I’ve gained a wealth of knowledge regarding the optical aspects of running a clinic. Words like digital freeform progressive lenses, various levels of anti-reflective coatings, and the mess of sorting through insurances have all, unbeknownst to me, become second nature. And all I want the world to know is that I am grateful for the learning opportunities that I have encountered and the people that have come in and out of my life through this period. I’m excited for the next chapter, but sad to turn this current page…I guess that’s why they say growing up is hard. Anyway, if you’re thinking about optometry, or any health field, I highly recommend immersing yourself in the process and fully taking in all aspects of the field. This way you’ll learn the good, the bad, and if you’re lucky, meet some great people along the way who are willing to help guide you through the hardships of the future. Also know, dear readers, that no matter where you are, if you’re stuck in a heat-wave, or this is your normal summer weather… that I am with you and melting, too! Stayed tune for my travels to Taiwan in my next entry!
P.S. I am attaching a screen shot of my weather outlook for your viewing pleasure :)


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