17. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: PhD

Welcome back from the holidays, everyone! My winter break in Florida was very successful. I saw all my family and friends I wanted to see and even some dolphins! Now I am back to school, clinic, and boards prep.

I love my new spring schedule. I have three absolutely packed days-Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday- but then I am usually free for most of the rest of the week. This gives me time to study on my own schedule for classes and boards.

No one can study all the time. We all need breaks every few hours. Lately I have taken up baking as my form of break time. I’ve made (from scratch) bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and blueberry scones so far. They are the perfect way for me to relax, satisfy my hunger, and share with friends and neighbors.

When I was visiting my family over break and sharing my new baking hobby with my cousin’s wife, she shared with me how her grandparents had amazing cooking abilities and that she’d wished those abilities had been passed onto her. I also have regrets about not learning more skills and knowledge from my family members before they passed away. Things our grandparents did from memory in their daily life can easily be lost in time if we are not careful to preserve them.

Then I had the idea that we should be sharing family recipes between bloodlines and generations. Although a specific recipe from my family may be forgotten, a borrowed one from a friend’s family can be just as cherished. In fact, the recipe I use for bread and scones came from a close friend’s grandmother.

Another highlight to my break was spending time with my grandma from Oregon while she was in Florida. She is 81 years old and very sharp. She likes reading, doing word searches, drinking tea, and sometimes even mows her own lawn. She also has age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease I’ve learned much about in optometry school. She visits the best doctors in Portland and she is always learning about future treatments and new research on AMD on her own.

We went to a large chain bookstore in Florida and were browsing around. I came across the large print books section in the store. It was a tiny section with limited choices, but I was surprised the bookstore even carried some large print books. I was curious if my grandma had noticed it and ran over to tell her. She had not seen it and was very interested. She ended up picking out a large print book written by a medical doctor that she would read on the plane ride home.

I felt so good helping my grandma find an interesting book in large print that would be easier for her to read. I know she gets the best medical care from her doctors, but sometimes lifestyle alterations can be overlooked. I’m very thankful that my low vision course at NECO has enabled me to help people like my grandma function better in order to enjoy the most out of life.