A Personal Encounter with Students

This week was a sad week for me. It comes around every few months, because that is when some of my students leave, after having spent several months with me at the Martha Eliot Health Center. One of my favorite parts of my job is working with the students and getting to know them. Each student is unique, having come from a certain culture, region, family, and educational background, and they each have different goals in life.

I have met students with such wonderful stories. I once had a student who wanted to open a butcher shop when he retired because he enjoyed slices of fine meat. Another student loved to make pastries, and would have become a pastry chef if she hadn’t become an optometrist. And of course she brought delicious cupcakes to clinic and shared them with us! Professional ballroom dancer, salsa dancer, marathon runner, boba tea fanatic, handyman…these are just some of the personalities I have gotten to meet when they come to my clinic.

I have also shared some interests with my students. When the Twilight book craze was going on (and I guess it still is), I saw my interns reading during lunch. They asked me if I was reading them and I scoffed and said that I didn’t want to read a teen book about vampires. The next day, the first book appeared on my desk, and my intern said, “Dr. Moy, you HAVE to read this.” I suppose if I can assign reading, I should be open to my intern assigning reading to me! I took the book home for a weekend trip, and by the end of my 2nd day, I had devoured Twilight. And yes, I have now read all the books and seen all the movies so far. I also make it no secret that I am a Florida Gators fan. One time I had a student who was a Georgia fan. When the two football teams played each other, there was a bit of trash talking going on. When Florida won, I could tell my student was sad, so I didn’t rub it in…too much.

When I know my students on a personal level, it makes it so much more enjoyable to see them on a daily basis. The most memorable students are the ones who have gotten to know our staff and the patients, and who take ownership of the clinic when they arrive. When we acquired a new Optical Coherence Tomographer (OCT) at Martha Eliot, I loved it when my students were just as excited as I was about a new “gadget.”

This week was bittersweet in saying goodbye to some of my students, but I’m also looking forward to getting to know my incoming students. They will be unique in their own way, and I look forward to telling them more about myself as well. Maybe someone else will share my love for Jeremy Lin on the New York Knicks.