Last spring I started running races. Not far, 10Ks. Despite always being an active person and enjoying running, training for these few extra miles gave me something to push myself towards. When I was tired, that was the time to push through and finish off the run I had planned for the day.
In a similar manner, I’ve started to look upon my studying these past few weeks as my “training” and in a sense it is. Just to be able to sit and take an exam for 6-7 hours each day (as is required in Part I National Boards) will require a mental and physical stamina, the likes of which I’ve not known before. That being said, when I’m tired, and when I think my brain can take it no more, or my mind starts to wander, or I’m hungry, that is the time to push through. Maybe I’m thinking about this in a bit too extreme of a manner, but I think it’ll better prepare me for the day of…
So how did I get myself into all this anyway? When did I first realize, hey optometry sounds like it could be for me? Whenever I’m asked this, my answer always starts, “Well, my dad is an optometrist” to which most people generally say “Ohh” and are ready to move on from the conversation. Looking back on it, it seems I was surrounded by optometrists in my early years and never thought anything abnormal of it. My father, god-father and countless family friends all examine eyes for a living. I knew my dad helped people and that his patients were appreciative. After all, we wouldn’t have gotten Ferrero Rocher and zucchini bread at Christmas-time or the biggest tomatoes from their gardens if they weren’t, right?
Even after working at his office, first as a tech, then selling glasses and constantly jumping between the two throughout high school and college, it wasn’t until sophomore year of college when I took a class that I began to see what a small world I had been living in and how much bigger the world (and its problems) truly were. I came home that summer and saw a photo at my dad’s office of a group who provided eye-care for individuals within our own country as well as abroad who had no access to eye care. And from that moment on, I was hooked. I would do that.
Since then I’ve wanted to be a part of one of those international clinics that helps give sight to many for the first time. Last year, I was able to be a part of two trips, one to Honduras and one to the Dominican Republic, where I like to think we did just that. This was just my first exposure to the bigger picture of global eye care, or lack-there-of in many instances. Currently, we’re finalizing the details for our upcoming VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) clinic to be held again in the Dominican Republic this April. (There is a light at the end of all these exams.)
Once I finish this mental training at the end of the month, I plan to get back into some more physical training and sign up for some more of those races.
But, oh I can’t forget, the picture of the week. Well, last week friends, hopefully you got a chance to get out, explore Boston or Cambridge, and find where it was. I admit it was a tricky one especially since I changed it to look like a sketch, but that was over the river (the Charles River for those of you out-of-towners) in a little town known as Cambridge at one Memorial Hall. It’s a beautiful place. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check it out, do so, I’d recommend it for one of their many concerts they have going on regularly.