To say the City of Boston has been filled with excitement this week would be an understatement.  With the World Series in our back yard, the cool, crisp weather rolling in, and midterms being over (for us NECO kids), everyone has been in a great mood.  I will admit it, I am not a Red Sox fan, but with the possibility of getting a day off of school if they win, I won’t complain!

As I am sitting here writing this post, I can hear the cheers from Game 6 (I live very close to Fenway Park)!  My roommate and I went outside to check things out, and it is crazy out there!  People are swarming around the stadium, watching the TVs that are just inside the gate.  Police are everywhere and the roads are all starting to get blocked off.  It is just really neat to be right in the middle of all of this.  I may complain that it is hard to get my work done, as I can hear cheers whenever someone has a hit or someone makes a good play, but the more I think about it, I am living a part of history right now.  I was reading the news this morning and this is the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox could win the World Series in Boston (and in 1918, Babe Ruth was on the team).  As much as I do not like the Red Sox, that is still pretty cool.  Tickets were selling for absurd amounts; one was sold for $12,000 for a seat behind home plate!

Aside from all of the sports excitement in the city, it has been a pretty exciting time at NECO.  Midterms finished last week and you can just tell that the level of stress has decreased significantly.  It always seems like midterms week will never end, but once it is over, everyone feels relieved and it is always a nice time to sit back and relax and enjoy the city of Boston.  After midterms ended, a bunch of us went out to lunch at a local restaurant here and just enjoyed each other’s company while not having any exams to worry about.  We were rewarded with a nice long weekend off (Columbus Day just happened to land on that following Monday), so many of us took advantage of this and did some pretty fun things that weekend.  I took a mini vacation to Virginia and visited some family, while my roommate and some other classmates took in some of the New England fall sites and went apple picking!  When I came back to the city, I got to try some of the apples, and I must say that New England has some nice tasting apples, and they make a mean apple pie!

As the excitement of finishing and surviving midterms week began to wear off, the stress levels started to increase again as all of the second year students started practicing for their fall proficiency exams.  As second years, our expectations were increased a lot compared to our first year proficiencies, so everyone feels like the pressure is on.  Proficiencies are a little different this year, as they are spread across a two week time span and some students are doctors the first week, and some are doctors during the second week.  Another twist that was thrown in this year is that we perform the tests on actual patients, not just our fellow classmates.  I personally liked this twist, as it gave me more incentive to really practice and prepare to perform all of the tests we have been learning on someone who does not have a background in optometry.  When we practice on our classmates, sometimes we tend to help each other out, and we almost know what to expect as patients (we know that the 20/20 line should come into focus after so many changes of lenses, but when we are doing these tests in clinic, the patient does not know what to expect).  This is what we will have to know how to do for clinic, so I found it really helpful and very rewarding once proficiency day came along, and things went well!  After all of this practicing, I feel a lot more confident in my clinical skills, and I am excited to go to clinic this week to try everything out!


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