It’s been two weeks since spring break and approximately one week since the first day of spring and yet no sign of spring has shown itself here in Boston! In fact, the only noteworthy events we’ve had thus far is an over-hyped snow storm that consisted of 1 hour of floating dots that melted before they touched the ground and a whole weekend of rain. I think often the weather is congruent with how people feel; after all, you hardly see a bright and sunny Monday, right?
That was my one interjection of complaint coming from my inner, whiny Californian. Onto optometry related events! Vision Expo East happened in New York this past weekend, but I did not have the good fortunate of going, sadly. Although to be fair, most of it was my own mind of trying to save money since I just traveled to New Jersey during Spring Break, but a part of me still wished I was in on the excitement. Word on the street was that it was a lot of Luxottica glamour, freebies of reusable grocery bags, and fun raffles where one of my classmates even won a pair of free sunglasses! And if any of you are unfamiliar, Luxottica is the mecca that owns such brands as Ray Ban, Prada, Gucci, etc. They are the Google/Apple of the eye wear world…owning virtually all the top selling brands you see celebrities wear and their booth at Expo was reported as being pretty impressive! Having gone to Vision Expo West in Las Vegas last summer, I thought it would be relatively similar so I decided to skip New York this time in favor of catching up on school work, but it definitely had me reflecting a bit! I went to Vision Expo West as an optician before and I had the opportunity to attend talks on topics such as office management and practice set up while the actual convention offered a peek into the latest technology available along with the latest fashion trends and new contact lens materials for optimal patient comfort. Vision Expo isn’t just about learning, though. Many companies will host events that include free food or a limited open-bar, and the location itself usually has tons of things going on. So if you’re ever around Las Vegas during the summer time, Vision Expo West offers the smart decision of mixing knowledge with a little bit of fun! And if you happen to be on the other coast, definitely keep an EYE out (ha!) for Vision Expo East in the spring.
On a more reflective note, I wanted to do a follow up to my note-taking strategy because I know everyone has been waiting with baited breath! I can honestly say that taking a midterm in neuroanatomy and and then anatomy a day apart from each other was probably on my top 10 list of most stressful things I’ve ever done in my short-lived life so far…and I don’t doubt it will be the last. Each semester has one week of midterms and one week of finals where you will cry and laugh and get a little delirious, but it’s about coming through to the other side with your sanity! One of the most awesome things that Dr. Nancy Carlson (life-talk and optometry doctor guru!) told me was to listen to meditation music 10 minutes before an exam. It sounds a bit silly because pictures of sitting on a mat cross-legged and humming to yourself come to mind, but in reality, I just play a 7 minute you-tube video on my phone whenever I start to get overwhelmed or if I can’t fall asleep because I’m too cracked-out on caffeine from earlier in the day. It allows me to take 3 steps back and forget the detailed crazy detailed exam that’s coming my way and allow me to just realize how cool the material really is. Both professors are excellent teachers and their wisdom is pretty evident just in how they carry themselves during lecture. However, my test taking anxiety is evident and I’m always in some sort of a panic mode no matter how prepared I feel. The music just lets me breathe for a second before my sympathetic system kicks in (fight or flight, anyone?). And while I still made a few stupid errors, I know that without having developed a new study strategy and seeking some life-advice, my sanity would probably be lost in the abyss by now. So if you’re ever struggling a bit or find yourself falling behind in your notes, it never hurts to take a step back and reevaluate your learning style. Often we get stuck in a habit that by definition is hard to change, but perhaps graduate school needs you to push a bit further than before…so push back!
On a less academic note, I recently discovered Dine Out Boston! It’s the equivalent of “restaurant week” that happens across cities all over America and it’s a blessed, glorious event! I’m a foodie by nature and this magical opportunity allowed me to eat some of the yummier foods that don’t fit in my normal budget. I had a full 3-course seafood meal that included plate of garlic seasoned clams, pan seared tuna and chocolate lava cake for $33 in the North End and a deliciously refreshing 3-course baked salmon French cuisine lunch down on Newbury St. for $20. If you’ve got these events near you, utilize it! Often times students are either stuck in a pasta-rut (like me! 88 cents for a box of pasta is just too good of a deal) or spend like mad men because hey, what’s some change on top of our already overwhelming debt, right? BUT Dine Out Boston gives the perfect compromise of delicious luxury at a guilt-free price. It’s important to find time for studying, but it’s even more important to find good foodie people who can help feed your soul (and stomach!). In this day and age, apps like Yelp, Alfred, and Walk Score can get you to good eating in no time. I’d like to think that I will always be hungry for knowledge and good eats…hope you guys are the same.
CLICK HERE TO TAKE 8 MINUTES OUT OF YOUR DAY AND JUST…RELAX!! (Note: No copyright infringement intended, nothing belongs to me, just trying to sharing the good vibes.)