Hello readers! A lot has happened since I last wrote. The second round of midterms came and went, and finals are right around the corner – but first, we got a much-needed break! Many of my classmates flew back home to spend Thanksgiving with their families; however, I opted to stay in Memphis to get some studying done as well as some practice in lab.
A couple of weeks ago I took part in “Dining in the Dark” with the Lions Club at SCO. Dr. Karen Squier was the guest lecturer at the meeting and instructed us on how to properly assist visually impaired individuals on everyday tasks while remaining respectful of their space and encouraging independence. We each had a “buddy” who guided us as we not only served our food, but also as we ate while being completely blindfolded. As I stood blindfolded and unaware of my surroundings, I felt completely vulnerable and dependent on my “buddy”. I realized that vision truly is a precious gift that can sometimes be taken for granted – even by us future optometrists. It’s very hard to know what life would be like in the dark, when all we ever experience is life with the lights on.
Furthermore, I learned that communicating and assisting someone who is visually impaired is harder than I thought! I found myself at a loss for words as I tried to guide my “buddy” throughout the room as she served herself spaghetti and meatballs and then as she attempted to gracefully eat while wearing her shinny white coat. We somehow got through it, but I quickly realized how hard it was to describe everyday items such as tongs to grab some salad or a brownie (my favorite), or even a fork and a knife. I must say the hardest part of this exercise was describing depth perception and spatial arrangements; who knew telling left from right or up from down could be so complicated! I’ll definitely be needing more practice!!
On another note and since I’m on the topic of vision, I thought I’d share some future plans of mine. Next summer I will be attending a SVOSH mission trip somewhere in Central or South America and I couldn’t be more excited! Last year SVOSH preformed 7,463 eye exams and distributed 7,527 pairs of prescription eyeglasses in just one week!! I look forward to being a part of this great cause and providing free eye care services to those who are less fortunate and don’t have these services readily available to them.
Lastly, if you’ve been following my blogs you may recall a statement I initially made with regards to colder temperatures…
“The cold never bothered me anyway”
I was wrong!! I am definitely not Elsa, and the cold does bother me, actually.