Chairs Missing by Joe, resident at the New England College of Optometry


Mild Writers Block, The Zone of a Thousand Projects and the Eye Ball

I just can’t quite finish what I started.

Writing the follow up to my last post has taken 4 weeks and three restarts from scratch, but so far has yielded nothing solid in terms of publishable material for the blog. It’s not like there hasn’t been stuff going on to write about. But no dice. For now I’ve got a couple of okay, half-finished posts about the nostalgia of giving exams in Portuguese, people from NECO cat-sitting my crazy cat, and also one (super long) short story about people I know affected by brain tumors, which is probably a little too sad and too personal to post as of right now.  But the deadline is here, so once again I must dip back into the idea well…

Sticking With a Recurring Theme: The Stealth Busyness of Third Year at NECO...

Once the hump of Part 1 of boards is passed (still no scores released as of today), it seems like it would be smooth sailing into fourth year. After all, we have the least amount of classes ever this semester, right?  It’s basically a mirage. We are officially in full swing of group project season.  We’ve begun to have weekly group projects due for our Pediatrics and Business classes.

Now I usually love working in groups, and I can see the value of learning how to manage the group dynamic, delegating the workload and so forth. That is the reality of owning or working for any size optometric practice. But unfortunately, this semester people seem to be on a different trip every week, making meetings with the groups almost impossible.  Prior to the advent of Google Docs, I have no idea how people did it.  Basically as a third year, the opportunity to travel is endless; there is the SVOSH trip (head over to Kristen’s blog to read all about it), the Vistakon trip (the makers of Acuvue Oasys fly students to Florida to wine and dine them), ARVO (a conference for scientific presentations for folks doing research), AOA-PAC (lobbying Congress) and on and on. But hey, being so busy never was so much fun.

Piled on top of this are several individual papers and projects in other classes, and that’s only if you’re not involved in extracurricular activities, like clubs, on campus.  And the final hurdle, planning the logistics of fourth year, takes time as well.  There’s a flurry of forms to fill out and fax, vaccination records to update and, if you’re going far away, finding accommodations and transportation in the cities you’re headed to.  Overall, it has the feel of senior year of high school all over again.  We even have a yearbook to create and our very own “prom” of sorts….

Like Prom for Grad Students

Luckily for me, my failure to meet a deadline actually works in my favor; I can tell you about the annual spring formal here at NECO, which was just this last Saturday.  It’s (puntastic-ly) called the Eye Ball.  Turns out several other schools also have an eye ball, but ours is the oldest (82nd annual this year) so we get to use a capital “E” in the name (look it up, it’s true).  Every year, the third year student council does all the planning. Our class did a great job.  This year it was held at the State Room in downtown Boston, which is on the 40th floor.  The views of the city at night were sweet. There was dinner and dancing and even a neat little photo booth to take group photos in.

Fun fact from the dinner portion of Eye Ball: broccoli rabe is not the same vegetable as broccolini. I never knew this. Broccoli rabe is neither broccoli nor rabe.  It’s bitter and a little nutty , sort of like asparagus, nowhere near the flavor of broccolini. Not a huge fan. Bonus fun fact: broccolini is a trademarked vegetable by Mann Packing Company.  Here come the lawyers.

Below are some pictures from the night.  My wife and I went for a retro Mad Men theme for our outfits. Based on the other guys’ evening attire, it seems like the bow tie has gone from a hipstery ironic accessory to full blown, serious comeback. Kinda getting played out, in my opinion. And now the pocket square officially is the next big thing on the horizon of cool.

W for winning
Kong Joe Ash
The Crew


Well, that’s all I got for this time, short and sweet.  Next time will be my last post of third year!  I may try to rescue one of my false starts, maybe combine them together into a post about talking to cats in Portuguese.  Or maybe not. Maybe I’ll do something else entirely.

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