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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

The Third

Alright kiddos, it’s time to start thinking about NBEO Part III.

As soon as something gets to have III attached to it, you know it’s a big deal. As mother always said, if something is epic enough to have three versions of it, you best come ready, guns a-blazin’.

To wit: Alexander III of Russia. Robert Griffin III.

But let’s be real: Even though I’m living and breathing optometry more than oxygen these days, I still have to practice. This requires motivation to schedule a practice partner, and the willingness to sit for them in turn.

To no one’s surprise, I haven’t started.

The occasional vague text of “we should practice” gets sent and received, but laziness takes over and cleaning the fridge seems like a better way to spend the night. Except who cleans their fridges? Right now I’m proud of myself for just thinking about eventually cleaning it. #ProgressNotPerfection  (copyright Mark Marquez)

Part III is unique because you can schedule it whenever you want in fourth year, and you go to North Carolina. Fun fact: Babe Ruth hit his first home run in North Carolina, and Pepsi was invented there. I can’t think of any better reason to visit a place than that. Sadly, at this rate, I’ll be drowning in my own tears too long to enjoy the famed Southern Hospitality.

Some skills are easier to pick up than others–we could all do FOLDARQ (frequency, onset, location, duration, associations, relief, quality) in our sleep and chase the red dot ’til the cows come home. But who does distance vergences? My three-mirror gonio lens has sat stoic in its case for over a year, with the much sexier four-mirror getting all the action. The last time I practiced injections I was abysmal. As Dr. Keith once astutely pointed out, watching me tie the tourniquet was “like watching a first grader learn to tie their shoes.” I’m only half joking when I say that come Station 5, I may just shake the fake arm’s hand as I introduce myself (one point on the objective sheet) and then have a conversation with it instead of injecting the saline (0 points, but A+ for style.)

And some stations are video-recorded, which seems oddly more terrifying than if someone were in the room with you. At the very least, the added body heat would make for a more comfortable environment.

But last weekend, I forced myself to practice. I’ve summed up the efforts for your reading pleasure.

Attempt #1 Harminder. Emmetope, cool for her, boring for me.

No proparacaine in sight, so no gonio (she didn’t trust my gentle touch on her cornea without anesthetic, can you believe her?!). Left the Risley prisms on while I did NRA/PRA. Swore out loud when I realized it. Solid first attempt but Harminder secretly thinks I shouldn’t have made it to fourth year.

Attempt #2 April. Getaway Driver.

When you put me and April in a room, you should expect something to be broken, set on fire, or kidnapped. It’s not that we are trying to be raucous or deviant–but we just can’t help it. Crime finds us. Clearly we should have known better than to practice together. We scared away the others, our fake case histories were littered with inside-joke jargon, and if we had been videotaped, we might both have gotten sued and/or arrested.

Attempt #3 Jaskirn. Neighbor masquerading as super spy.

If you need to contact the CIA, call Jas. I’m pretty sure he works for them. It’s impossible to schedule this kid for anything, even though we are neighbors and pseudo-friends. I regularly scare the other people in our apartment building by knocking on his door and loudly demanding he let me in. (Aside: It’s important to scare your fellow apartment dwellers a little bit—this prevents being robbed in the future.) Anyhow, we haven’t practiced yet because what I qualify as pseudo-friend he obviously labels as deranged psychopath. But I’ll keep trying.

As you can see, practicing isn’t going so well.

But on the plus side, I’m getting better at painting eyes. Do you think NBEO would let a few things slide if I can draw the ora serrata instead of visualize it through my 20D?

Here’s hoping my real patients during the week are better than my friends, because based on my skill set this weekend, I may be taking Part III three times.


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