Friday, December 3, 2010

Starting the end on a good note

Well hey!  I finally have a second to breathe and update this blog after one hectic week.  I had two final lab practicals and test and a quiz all this week... right after the Thanksgiving break!  Everything went well!  My final lab grade for anatomy was a 96, I got a 95 on my optics test, and I did really well on my final lab practical for Theory and Methods.

For the Theory and Methods practical we had to take visual acuities and perform retinoscopy, manifest refraction, and binocular balance within 15minutes.  If we had extra time, we got to do one extra task chosen at random for extra credit.  I did everything within my time limit and had just a little extra time after completing my extra credit - I got lateral and vertical phorias.  I really needed that wonderful grade because my last practical didn't go so well.  I got cover testing which I hate - so obviously, it wasn't a pretty picture...

I have 6 finals standing between me and my Christmas break!  I am so ready to knock 'em out and drive home to see some wonderful faces that I haven't seen in a while!

Anyway, I'm going to take the night off, so off to some much needed relaxation!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The beginnings of a newly decorated apartment

We still have a little ways to go, but here are some pictures to show you the start of our newly decorated apartment!  I painted the furniture that Tyler's mom gave to us with a dark brown paint and found some sleeker style handles to put on the drawers.  Tyler put two coats of polyurethane on there, and now the bedroom is starting to come together with some style!

The living room looks fantastic with red slip covers.  We decided to extend the red black and white theme in the kitchen out to the dining room and living room since it's really like one big open space!  I will show the pictures we have so far! :)

Before: Bland and white...

After: Red black and white!  Tyler hung the "curtains" (they're actually flat sheets from Wal-Mart), and the picture above the sofa that Tyler's mom got for us from Kirklands :)

We love the red slip covers from Target!!!

The gorgeous mantle that matches the style!

Before: white like the walls
After: Brown and sleek

The end table and repainted lamps
After: The furniture is a sleek brown with new handles!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A long-awaited update

Well, obviously a lot has gone on since the last time I made a post, especially since the reason I haven't been posting is that I'm super busy!

Well, I had a chair skills practical for my Theory and Methods lab.  It didn't go so hot because I crashed under pressure.  It's tough having someone watch your every move, but I need to get used to it.  I will hopefully continue doing well on tests and learn from my mistakes to do well in the class :)

Tyler and I went to Asheville, NC over Halloween weekend to see his cousin get married with the Biltmore house as the back drop!  It was such a beautiful outdoor wedding followed by a nice dinner and open bar reception.  I finally got the opportunity to meet Tyler's dad's side of the family!  They are certainly an interesting group, but I love them all!  It's definitely different going from a very small family to tons of family!

This was also the same weekend as our cadaver lab, so I was certainly exhausted Monday after class.  I had to be at school at 7:45am on Saturday to see this cadaver, go straight to the airport, and fly to Asheville for the ceremony at 4:30.  Then some of Tyler's family members had planned a brunch and lunch at his grandparents' house on Sunday.  Finally, we had to fly home.  We didn't get in Sunday night until about 10:45pm.  It was also surprising that we made it to the ceremony on time because we landed at 3:45pm and the Biltmore is at least 30 minutes away from the airport!  We walked right up with all of stuff, dropped it off at a picnic table in the back and found the seats his dad saved for us!

Unfortunately, I didn't find the cadaver lab too exciting.  I was hoping we could see more with the eye, but (not to gross anyone out), this cadaver was frozen, so not preserved the regular way.  This made it very difficult to cut into anything related to the eye because all the pressure was gone.

It's going to be a rough few final weeks... I have 3 tests this coming up week, 2 tests and a quiz the week after that, Thanksgiving break then more tests, final lab practicals and final exams!  Even though the work load is intense, I have certainly been enjoying learning about the eye ball!  :)

In Theory and Methods lab, we are finally learning manifest refraction!  I can find someone's prescription using the phoropter, which has been really fun- especially since it's the bread and butter of optometry!  This skill (as opposed to chair skills) is something I am more familiar with from being a patient for so many years, and I find myself much more comfortable playing with the phoropter... and asking, "Which is better, one or two?"

This weekend was also pretty packed!  This morning I helped with Stop Hunger Now, an organization that packages fortified rice and soy meals to be shipped to areas where hunger is a huge problem.  In just under 3 hours, we packaged just over 40,000 meals!  I was a boxer, which required a lot of running around picking up packaged meals that were ready to be packed into boxes for shipping.

Finally, we had the chili cook-off from noon-3.  Teams competed and students/family members got to vote on the winning chili in 3 different categories: 1. best tasting 2. most unique 3. best spirit.  There was a team named "Chili Carnival" who had deep fried chili ball, a balloon animal maker, and lots of spunk!  I voted for them for most unique.  Another team, "Team Chilizion" was my favorite in the category of taste.  They had a white chicken chili that was amazing.. not to mention a very creative name for optometry students.  A chilazion is a swelling caused by a clogging of an eyelid gland (Meibomian gland).  It will get very large, but not cause the patient any pain.  Anyway, they used the term to come up with a funny chili cook-off team name :)

Tyler is doing well!  He has picked up some more hours at the gym and is working with the guys team a lot more.  I know he's really enjoying it, and the employees and parents appreciate him there and like him a lot as a coach.  The only thing that's hard for me/us, is that our schedules don't match at all!  He works from like 4:30-8:30, and I usually don't get home from school until 5:30.  He also helps on Saturdays with birthdays or team practices.  Today was even harder because he was there for over 9 hours helping with a meet, but it was volunteer.  He didn't know how long they would need him, or what they would want him to do, so he just said he could be there for whatever they needed.  Well they used him for the whole day... 11-8.  I didn't get home from stop hunger now and the chili cook-off until 1:45pm.  Yet another day where we didn't get to see each other much at all!

However, we did have a nice date night last night.  We went out to Applebee's for their 2 for $20 meals and got one drink each.  It was nice to not have to cook and go out in public together.  What was even better was that our waiter didn't charge us for the drinks!  I think we'll have to come back when he's waiting tables again- he was a really fun server!

Well here I will share some pictures from the chili cook-off.  Until next time.... Anatomy, optics and neuroanatomy are all calling my name!!

Wish you could actually see the little chilazion that they put on the eyeball, but it doesn't show up too well in this picture.

Gotta love the balloon man at the Chili Carnival

Hawaiian Munch- very unique chili- a sweet and spicy taste with a hint of pineapple.... a little too much spice for me though.  

Pyros!  Very tasty :)  Thank goodness they had a mild version and a hot version, because my mouth was burning by the time I got to try theirs 

Nothing goes better with chili than beer, especially when the keg is pumped by a security guard and the beer is poured by the SGA president!  :)


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Special Occasions!

I'm going to start with some old updates, but during my White Coat weekend (about a month ago, oops), my parents came up and we took some time to go to the zoo!!  The Memphis Zoo is amazing!  Here are a few snapshots, just to give you an idea of what we saw:


They have pandas!  Oh so cute :)

The entire weekend was great!!  We had a big BBQ dinner Friday night, the zoo on Saturday, and then we came home to watch the wolfpack play.  It was great to see my parents, but it was sad to see them leave.

I also wanted to share this picture....
... To prove that we've been keeping up with wolfpack football!

Finally, it's Halloween in one week, so Tyler and decided to carve a pumpkin together.  We went to the pumpkin patch last weekend to pick out a fun pumpkin!  I had a lot of tests this past week to study for, so we decided to carve it over my birthday weekend!  Here is our final product... GO PACK!!

We are sooooooo proud of our awesome pumpkin!

Finally, some pictures from my birthday celebration!  We went to Silky O' Sullivan's on Beale Street.  It's a really fun dueling piano bar/ Irish pub!  My friend Joey was celebrating his 26th and I was celebrating my 23rd!

Dueling pianos!!!  These guys were hilarious!  

They called me and Joey to the stage to sing Happy Birthday to us!

Those are all the updates I have for now!  If you're reading this, keep in touch!  I miss everyone so much!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Birthday in another City

So tomorrow is my birthday, and it's really not feeling like it.  With another wave of tests finally completed, I feel so drained.  A part of me is thinking that sleep would be a wonderful present.  However, tomorrow morning is the Vision Walk.  I am really excited about it, and a ton of SCO students go to raise awareness and walk to join the fight against blindness.  It just always seems that there's something to do on your special day.  Last year at this time I was interviewing to be accepted to Southern and now I'm here.  I cannot believe it's been a whole year! 

Tests have been going rather well.  Not the same great grades from undergrad, but the material is way harder and there's no give from professors (aka a curve).  I'm definitely enjoying what I'm learning, but there is a lot of material to keep with.  I'm starting to forget what a "break" really is!

A lot of classmates are going home this weekend, whether it's for their undergrad's homecoming or just to visit friends and family.  It was a great weekend for it since our next test isn't until Thursday.  I kind of wish I had made the effort to go home now, but I still don't think we would be able to afford it or really have as much time as I would like to visit everyone. 

Tomorrow night I'm going with some friends to a dueling piano bar downtown.  It should be fun. :)  One of my friend's fiance, who is here with her, has his birthday on Sunday the 24th.  His dad is coming in to celebrate with him, so we will all be downtown!  

I'm so ready to go back home sometime though.  Although that's practically months away, I cannot wait for it!!  I miss North Carolina so much- especially people's ability to drive better.  Every now and again I will get really home sick.  I like being in TN because this is where SCO is, but I hate the fact that it's 12 hours away from home...

I will let you know how my birthday celebrations go :)  I MISS EVERYONE SO MUCH!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Learning so much and wishing it could stick better!

I just need to keep practicing!  I need to keep drilling and studying!!!

I have learned so much already and I find myself randomly thinking, "what was that pathway again?"  "What are all the branches of the trigeminal nerve and what all do they innervate?" "How am I supposed to perform this chair skill?"  "Should an esophore have base in or base out prisms to correct their phoria?"  And the list goes on!

I found out in my Theory and Methods lab that I have some exophoria (a tendency for my eyes to turn out).  Don't worry- You'll never see me wall-eyed, because I have enough positive fusional vergence to overcome this tendency, but it makes sense since I am a myope (blurred distance vision).   I've never been told this before, but it's never been an issue, so it's okay.  :)

I am studying for my Theory and Methods test that's tomorrow, and there is so much information!  We've learned about AC/A ratios (the convergence response to the convergence stimulus), how to take proper visual acuities, how big letters on the Snellen chart need to be to have 20/20, 20/30, 20/40, etc. letters, why pinhole accuities are taken, how to test the cranial nerves through extraocular motilities, and the list goes on!

I've been doing very well in the class thus far.  I made a 98 on my retinoscopy practical (the two points were because I forgot to write DS after two of my spherical measurements- so I still got all the powers right).  My first test was okay, but I'm hoping to do better on the next one.

I just got another work study position that's much better than my other one!  As a class we are split up into 5 lab groups.  Each group has a different lab at different times every day.   Each group has a day off; my group's is Thursday.  However, one of the groups that has theory and methods lab on Thursday had an odd number of people in the lab.  Now I get to have an extra day of Theory and Methods lab to make that lab group have an even number of people... aka I get paid to have extra practice!  YEAH!  God is so good :)

Optics is one of my favorites classes!  At first I didn't like it because we're doing 'team-based learning' but now I really enjoy it!  It's like constant group studying to really test my knowledge everyday and work out kinks that I don't understand!  Plus, optics is one of the main reasons I got interested in optometry!!  I made a 100 on my first test in that class and my group grade is like a 97 right now :)  I've really enjoyed learning about astigmatism, and now I know that I am an against-the-rule compound myopic astigmat in both eyes!  Because of my -0.75 DC astigmatism, I get to participate in a study that Dr. Jackson is doing!   I love participating in studies at school.  We always get some kind of compensation, so it's great for struggling students :)

Life at home is going well.  Tyler and I don't get to see each other that much, but we try to spend as much time together as we can (even if I'm sitting on the couch next to him studying while he watches TV).

Next week I have an Anatomy test on Monday, and an Optics test on Wednesday and my BIRTHDAY Saturday!!!

November will be a rough month, so I will try to get in a couple more blogs in before then!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Future in Funny Videos!

I don't know who in my class found this first one, but it is a hilarious depiction of what I will deal with when I'm finally in clinic at SCO- and for the rest of my life.

The next video I have watch to help me study for my Neuroanatomy test.  It is a hilarious remake of Bush's song "Glycerine."

Please do enjoy fellow optometrists/medical doctors' creativity!

Now off to more studying... sorry for the short post, but this neuroanatomy is tomorrow!  I will give a more detailed update soon! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's been a while- FIRST TEST!

Today I had my first test in optometry school!  It was in Physiology, which was okay.  I could've studied more, but it's always really hard to study for a 40 question multiple choice test over TONS of "review" material.  I had definitely learned everything at least once before, it was just definitely rusty in the back of my brain and it's hard to decide (when studying), what he will find important.

Anyway, after the test in Physiology, I had a quiz in Optics.  We always have a quiz on our reading at the start of each new unit.  I made an 80, so that's not too bad.  The majority of that class is based on group work, and my group works fantastically together, so I'm not worried overall in that class.  However, I did wish we had more lecture time (sounds crazy doesn't it!).  I mean we read a lot outside of class to teach ourselves and then work through group assignments together to "learn" Optics.  It's just difficult sometimes because if we don't truly understand what we read, we "brew up" ways to solve the problems.

I have my next two tests on Friday back to back.  The first one will be at 7:45am (Anatomy), and the second will be at 8:45am (Theory and Methods).  Anatomy will certainly be tough!  I've never had this much information for one class in my entire life!   It's intense!

After lab today, I had work study for 2 hours, then I went up to the lab room to practice retinoscopy.  We have a practical next Thursday, and I've been really inconsistent with my ability to do well.  Basically, we can find patient's prescriptions by looking at how a beam of light is reflected.  We try to see if there is "with" or "against" motion, and from there we know whether to add plus or minus.  We also have to take into account if there is any astigmatism.  We look for the astigmatic band and make sure to neutralize the correct meridian first.

When I'm in lab, I have a lot of trouble because there are so many people around me doing different things and we have to work side by side with our partners using one chair and one phoropter- not much space at all!  Plus hearing other people talk about how their neutralizing their schematic eyes doesn't help me think through why I am doing what I am doing.

I practiced for another hour and fifteen minutes after I got off work, and it went much better.  I still need to work on my speed.  By next Friday I need to be able to neutralize 10 lenses in 30 minutes.  It should be crazy, but I am going to practice more this week, weekend, and next.

My white coat ceremony is NEXT THURSDAY! :)  I am so excited to finally have that thing in my possession.

Well... now that I have rambled enough- I am going to go study for optics and anatomy!

Kim :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My First Eye Exam at the Eye Center at SCO

I had my first exam at the Eye Center today.  It was very different for me as it was my first exam not with Dr. Moser.  We get to be patients for students in their 3rd year of optometry school, so they can't be as fast as the doctors.  I knew it would take a while, and I couldn't be impatient since that's going to be me in a couple of years.

I told them about how I can never keep my two-week lenses for a full two weeks, so they are making me use clear care solution.  I've never used it before, so we'll see how it works.  Everyone who uses it seems to love it.

I certainly get homesick sometimes from the little differences here and there.  This appointment was one of them.  The one doctor I went to in Raleigh who I actually enjoyed, and whose energetic personality got me interested in the profession, was Dr. Moser.  The students needed practice with a lot of things that didn't need to be done, so it was hard to sit through monotonous procedures.

The exam took 2.5 hours, and I have to come back Wednesday the 29th to follow up on the contact lens prescription and get dilated.  I'm not sure if I find this Rx as sharp as my previous one, but I think they took away some of my minus.  As Dr. Newman told us, myopes will fight for their minus, so you don't want to take it away... but they did!  Oh well.  I will mess with these for a few weeks and see how I do.  I have toric lenses in both eyes now, instead of just my right.  It's weird.  Nonetheless, the students were extremely nice and patient- especially with my inability to have my IOP checked with a puff of air.  I don't think she's ever seen anyone blink as much as me.  Oops!

In 2 weeks I will have my first two exams in Anatomy and Theory & Methods.  Both of those exams are scheduled for Friday.  The following week I have two exams, a quiz, and a lab practical on retinoscopy.   One exam is Physiology and the other is Optics.  My quiz is in Biochemistry.  I would say keeping up with 23 hours and a work study is the most time consuming schedule I have ever had in my life.

I'm going to try to join the Optometric Private Practice club and FCO (Fellowship of Christian Optometrists).  I wanted to do SVOSH (Student Volunteers for Optometric Service to Humanity), but there is a TON of lab hours required to go on the trips and you have to do a lot of jobs to raise money for the trips.  It's a very time-consuming volunteer organization that I just don't think I will have time for while trying to maintain happiness in my first year of marriage.  Hopefully, I can join it next year, but if not, FCO still does amazing mission trips!  Furthermore, my reward for myself was to under-commit myself in graduate school :)

Speaking of marriage, Tyler and I are doing wonderful!  He is working at a gymnastics gym about 15 minutes away from our apartment.  He is also looking for some other part time jobs to cover the morning hours that he doesn't work.  I know he will be able to find a teaching job whenever his NC license comes in, but we're not sure how long that will take.

Our tadpoles still haven't gotten legs and we have NO idea why.  We also lost the female frog about a week ago.  Tyler went to Petco yesterday and got another female.  We had never named the frogs before (beats me why not), so when Tyler got the new female we decided to name them.  The female is Kirby and the male is Sleven.

Work study is pretty good.  I am working with Campus Security and it's pretty low key.  I feel like we make work for ourselves that's totally pointless (radio checks every 30 minutes, writing our hours down in two different places, and putting our initials on printed e-mails that our boss receives).  However, I get paid $11/hour to pretty much sit at the front desk in the tower and make sure no one without a badge enters the building.

Wow!  That was a lot of updates.  I'm really tired, but I still have some more studying to do before I can sleep.  Class starts bright and early at 7:45am on Fridays, and I don't get to leave until 4:30 (theory and methods lab).

E-mail me if you have any updates to share with me or just want to say hi!   :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Keeping up as an OD student

I had my first day of work study yesterday, and getting ready to head to my second day in about 15 minutes.  It's pretty low key considering most people who enter have badges, so I don't need to check them in.

I am working really hard to keep up with classes.  There's a lot of reading, and a ton of tests coming up.  I have so much terminology to learn and I've just been using to make online flashcards for myself.

I've got different types of ductions, versions, vergence, and phorias to rememeber.  Plus all the names of muscles that control eye movement and and the cranial nerves that control those muscles.

We looked at a bunch of ocular anatomy slides in my anatomy lab today.  It was really neat to see how the glands and muscles looked on a microscopic level.  It was also amazing to see the different layers of the retina on the slide.  We're going to go more in depth with this ocular anatomy later, so we'll look at those parts in greater detail, but it was still good to get an overview.  My favorite is how the iris looks, and being able to see the tiny projections from the ciliary body called zonules that connect to the lens.  I can't wait until we actually get to dissect an eye to really see all the parts in 3D.

We got to see virtual and real images in our optics lab yesterday using a screen a light source and a lens.  The lens was set up between the light source and the screen and we had to figure out where the image was using the screen.  It definitely helped in understanding virtual images.

I have my first appointment at the eye center tomorrow.  I hear it takes a really long time, because students are doing all the procedures, but that's okay.  I must be patient because that will be me in a couple of years.  I honestly just need contact lenses, so I can't wait to get in there and get my Rx figured out!

Until next time  <3  :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

updates from the student

So I've had a nice day off so far.  I got to sleep in and make a yummy french toast breakfast for me and the hubby.  We tried to go out to learn to drive a stick shift, but I'm really impatient with myself and I get very frustrated every time I kill the car.

I spent the rest of my time today listening to lectures online, finishing my reading for Optics and working on practice problems for theory.  There's a ton of material to keep up with, so I'm trying really hard to stay on top of things.

Tomorrow I kick back into full gear for the week with class from 7:45am-12:00pm, meeting with my advisor at 1:15pm, Optics lab at 1:30pm, and work study from 4-5pm.

I'm really enjoying what I'm learning but it's becoming a little more than I can handle sometimes.  My favorite class is still Theory and Methods.  It's the most relevant to what I've seen as a technician and we get to play with our awesome equipment in lab.  I'm trying to practice with my retinascope everyday to work on neutralizing powers.  Honestly, the most difficult part in that process is calibrating the schematic eye.  It's also neat to have to establish a working distance for your entire career; it's exciting to really see how what I'm learning now will be used all the time in my practice.  My working distance for my short self is 50cm.

I'm also learning how distances for anything in practice is crucial or the wrong prescription will be given to a patient.  That makes me want to apologize to the doctors for potentially taking very poor visual acuities when not paying attention to how far away the patient was from the near point card or the Snellen chart.

Other than that life at school is steady.  I get the second Wednesday of every month off, so this Wednesday I don't have classes.  I still have lab in the afternoon, but no classes. :)

Super jealous of my family who get to travel down to Florida THIS weekend for the NC State vs. UCF game!  I'm very excited for Wolfpack football after our win this past weekend against WCU.  Tyler and I got to watch the game on our computers using!  :)  It was fun to watch the game, but it certainly made us homesick.   It's nice to know that we can watch the games if we want to though!  GO PACK!!

Until next time, I'll be practicing with my retinascope!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

loving being an eye NERD!

Well, as the title says, I'm loving my time at Southern so far.  It's certainly difficult stuff, but I love being around people who find the eye equally as fascinating as I do and who all have similar work ethics!  For the first time in my life, school is not just for a grade in the eyes of both the students and the instructors.  It's wonderful and everyone is so helpful!  I've had the time of my life while learned some new terminology :)

I'm an anisometrope but not an antimetrope.  Both are conditions of ametropia, which is anything other than emmetropia (or the lucky ducks with perfect vision).... yeah!  haha

40 is apparently "old" in the world of optometry because that's the golden age of presbyopia (and I'm over half way there!) - don't worry, I still think 40 is very young!

By age 65, accommodation is apparently non-existant... good money for optometry, but not what I want to struggle with when I'm old... so someone figure out a way to change the hardening of the lens PLEASE!

The world through a rotating cylindrical lens is the coolest thing ever... or maybe the most un-sturdy ;)

I can tell if someone's lenses are plus or minus without knowing the prescription of the lenses (yeah optics)

Due to First Pass Metabolism, oral dosages are higher than injected doses.  The small endoplasmic reticulum found in liver cells gets rid of ingested toxins!  The cells are still one of the most fascinating components of biology.

The human heart becomes very large in a morbidly obese person because it has to work hard to pump blood throughout the body.  The results parallel lifting weights: few reps of high weight increases bulky muscle mass, but low weight with many reps increases lean muscle mass.  Therefore, a large heart is not a healthy thing.

Lysosomes filled with undigestible material eventually form lipofuscin.  An example is drumen, or the yellow dots seen in macular degeneration.

Just like last time... if you understood half of this, you're definitely a nerd... like me!  :)

Tomorrow night we will have a BBQ dinner (stereotypical Memphis) to meet our advisors!   I've heard from other students that mine is really sweet, so I'm super excited to meet her.

Southern College of Optometry is simply the best school to be receiving my optometric education!  I'm ready to keep learning about the eye and how to be a great doctor!  

Monday, August 30, 2010

first day of classes

So... I made it!  I survived my first day of optometry school!

* I learned that images through a lens can move with or against the movement of the lens depending upon whether the lens is diverging or converging.  (And how to create no movement by adding opposite powered lenses)
* I learned that my one-word definition for accommodation from undergraduate physiology is certainly insufficient - I guess I just underestimated how much work our eyes do to accommodate for changing focal points.
* I learned that I can pop an eye out of socket while in clinic... and if (when) I do, I must put it back in any way I can!  Yeah, we got to see a picture of that too.
* I've learned that about 25% of the adult population has eyes that will focus parallel light directly on the retina (emmetropes)... which was much higher than I thought it would be... and I'm very jealous of those people!
* Trial lens kits are the coolest things to play with - yes I'm a nerd!
* I have a schematic eye to practice with until I can play doctor using real eyes!  Can't wait!  Bring it on!!!

If you understood more than half of this, consider yourself a fellow nerd!

Now it's back to the books!  :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

orientation day 2- EQUIPMENT!

After another day of listening to professors and administrators, we finally got to get our equipment.  It's really exciting to have all these toys that I have no idea what they do!  It will certainly be a fun journey finding out!

We also got our books and course packs.  There are so many books and they were so heavy!  At least they gave us a nifty bag to carry them in and it came with a matching water bottle!

I start tomorrow, and I'm really nervous!  I can't believe my dream to become an optometrist has actually started, and in just under four years from tomorrow, I will have my O.D.!!

stereotypical doctor

Yes... those are all of my books for just the first semester!!  Check out the size of that clinical refraction book on the bottom!  I'm certainly going to be busy!
I have no idea what like 90% of this stuff does!  But it looks like fun!
My OWN trial lens kit!  Yes, I tried my prescription, and looked at some of the crazy lenses!  
Sweet "suitcase" with the Southern College of Optometry logo for me to carry my new toys!

Enjoy the pictures of my toys... and be jealous ;)  I know I'm an opto-nerd as our friend Joey (one of my classmate's fiance) calls us!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

orientation day 1

Orientation!  I can't believe it's already here and summer is officially over.  It's time to hit the books and become a serious [professional] student.  The day started off slightly awkward, but still fun with free breakfast and time to meet and mingle with other students and faculty.

We then moved into our classroom and listened to the president's rather intimidating welcome speech.  It's going to be a rough 4 years, but I know it will be worth it.

We had to listen to a few more representatives (Student Services, Library Services, Security, etc.) before moving on to getting fitted for our white coats, getting pictures made for our ID badges, getting our mailboxes and locker numbers, and sitting in a few more tutorials about resources available to students.

We then had a specially made lunch before a few more talk sessions from other services.  It ended with a nice ice cream social.  I have such a mixture of emotions running through me, which creates an overwhelming feeling overall.  I'm nervous for the amount of stress that's about to poor on... I'm not quite sure I'm ready for all of the responsibility... I'm excited to learn new things in the profession that has fascinated me for years... I'm anxious to see what my professors are like... I'm hoping I will believe in myself... I'm worried I might fall behind... I'm scared I won't have time for the things I love... but most of all I think I feel ready!

From this day forward, posting will become much more rare and facebook will probably be non-existant.  Please just keep my success as a future O.D. in your thoughts and prayers.  I'm here in Memphis, working hard for my future patients!  God bless!

Monday, August 23, 2010


So it was a nightmare, but I finally have a license with my new name on it.  Unfortunately, we moved right after the wedding, so I had to get a TN license in order to change my name at a DMV.  Well, Memphis is quite a big city and I didn't want to drive too far in case I was missing something I needed.  So I decided to go to one in the city- that was a mistake.  It took 5 hours of my day!

The line was out the door when I went to park, and I stood in this line for a good 40 minutes or so before I finally made it inside the building where I waited for about another 25 to actually talk with someone who could get me an application.  I knew I had to have "2 proofs of residency," but apparently mine were not "valid."  Installation slips and photocopies were not valid.  Bills were, but Tyler and I pay our bills online.  One of the valid proofs that blew my mind was a work badge... because, well one can live in Mississippi and work in Tennessee.  Go figure- the DMV is ridiculous!

So she gave me this list of all the things that were valid and a ticket saying that when I came back the same day I didn't have to wait in line.  I went back to the apartment (scarfed down lunch) and found the one electricity bill that was sent to us (after that first bill, we signed up to pay online).  I tried to find anything else that matched the list the DMV employee gave me... but nothing!  So I took a couple of post-marked envelopes addressed to us at our new address and the photocopied lease, praying that she would take these as proof to let me apply.

It worked!  I'm sure it only worked because I looked trustworthy... at least I hope that's why.  I mean honestly, why would anyone go through that much agony to have a license for a state they don't live in??!!

After this, I waited for another 2 and a half hours before they called my number.  Then all I had to do was the vision test, wait for the next employee to type in a bunch of information, and take my picture.  Tennessee DMV is a PAIN to say the least!  Glad that's over...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weather in Memphis

Rain, Rain, Rain!  That's summer for ya.  But at least there's something beautiful that can come from that!
this picture was taken from our apartment complex on the way to get sushi to celebrate our first month-iversary!

So as you can tell, we have a TON of summer rain and storms out here, but they're very enjoyable to watch!  In addition, it's HOT HOT HOT and humid!  I hope it cools down (or the humidity dies down) a little bit before I start school next Monday!

The Weather in Memphis

It's been raining like CRAZY here in Memphis.  Typical summer storms about every other night.  Last night in particular was an epic storm.  We decided to sit in a church parking lot by our apartment to watch the lightning!  I took a video!!

The video is about 2 minutes long and there's a lot of lag time between bolts.  However the few that I captures on video are totally worth waiting for!

After the video it started to downpour and we had to drive very slow on the way home just to see a few feet in front of us!  When we got home, we sat on the futon in our sunroom, looked out the window and watched some awesome cloud-to-cloud lightning.  Some of the bolts had some many branches coming off of them it was ridiculous.  I wish I had gotten a video of those bolts, but I didn't.

Pink Palace Museum in Memphis

So as already known by many of you... the Mitchells are nerds.  So we took last Tuesday to go to the Pink Palace Museum.  They have free admission from 1:00-5:00pm on Tuesdays, so our low-budget selves decided to make that a good cheap date :)

The museum was very different from the museums in Raleigh.  It had a small science section, a history section, and a BIG rock/crystal section!  We really enjoyed it, but their science section has NOTHING on the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.  We're hoping to go back when we have a little more money to spend because they have an IMAX theater and a planetarium- however, those both cost money.

Enjoy the pictures of our adventure together to the museum :-D

one of the MANY cases displaying rocks

Check out the cube-like figures growing from this rock!  Awesome!

This jaw bone was found in someone's back yard in Memphis recently and is part of the same family as elephants , but no longer walks the earth.

They had an awesome Piggly Wiggly exhibit.  It was this large room that looked exactly like an old grocery store.  You could walk up and down the aisles to see how food would have appeared on the shelves grocery shopping years ago.  It was very interesting to see how many brands are still around... and how many labels haven't changed after so many years.   Even better, check out the prices!

And Candy at the counter never changes :)

We can't wait to re-visit the museum!  I hope you enjoyed the pictures! 

Friday, August 20, 2010


So we have gotten so much done while we've been here.  We visited the Pink Palace Museum, framed some pictures, arranged our entertainment center, bought an xbox, and began deciding on some real decorating for the apartment.  I've purchased some school supplies for my upcoming classes and I'm really excited.  I'm possibly the biggest nerd ever, because I'm probably the most excited about my new backpack that I got for only $17!  Below are some pictures of our first place and our adventures  :)

tyler's eagle and the basketball picture we are in hanging in our office :)
our living room entertainment center (40" tv, super nintendo, dvds galore, and xbox!)
our kitchen... red, black, and white... GO PACK!
the picture our friend Kevin painted for us as a wedding pressent
our bedroom.  it will look better soon- next project- get posters and refinish the furniture so it stands out against the white walls!

My First Blog as Mrs. Mitchell

So it's been quite hectic getting everything together.  All of our furniture is neutral hand me downs and I can't wait to start decorating.  We're waiting until Tyler finds a job before we start spending unnecessary amounts of money on decorations, but we can at least get some things started :)

I've met some great people here in Memphis so far.  My orientation starts August 26th (next Thursday) and I cannot wait to meet more people.

I decided to start this blog to allow friends and family to keep up with me, especially if they don't have facebook.  I'm trying to figure out how to make the blog very personal!

<3 Kim