At the University of California, Berkeley School of Optometry (UCBSO) everyone starts their optometry student career with a ropes course during orientation just two days before their first year begins with jumping straight into learning the slit lamp exam sequence. This is where the UCBSO family is seeded. Throughout the school year, we have many fun school-wide events that continue to strengthen our bond. Annual highlights include the rafting trip down the American River, iceskating with professors, the ski trip to Lake Tahoe, Skit Night, and, of course, Eyeball. This year’s Eyeball was held at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in downtown San Francisco, and there was a record number of attendees!
Located in the Bay Area, there is never a shortage of things to do (or eat!) when we are not honing our clinical techniques! Like running or hiking? There are many trails in Berkeley which lead to breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay. Like playing sports? This year, first and second year optos formed intramural dodgeball teams and duked it out to the bitter end. If physical activity isn’t really your thing, there are plenty of places for great food whether you get it from a sit-down restaurant or a food truck! Also, downtown San Francisco is just a short BART ride away. In San Francisco,there’s always a variety of events happening such as Fleet Week, the Cherry Blossom Festival, and Holi. Want more of an intellectual activity? The Lawrence Hall of Science is located just a short hike up in the Berkeley Hills (free for students!), while the California Academy of Sciences Natural History Museum is in the heart of Golden Gate Park.
On April 25, 2013, UCBSO had the pleasure of welcoming American Optometric Association (AOA) Trustee Dr. Samuel Pierce to come speak to students about getting involved with organized optometry. Dr. Pierce is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Optometry. He has been a member of the AOA Board since June 2009 where he serves as liaison to the Affiliate Relations & Membership group, the Contact Lens and Cornea Section, and the workforce Study Expert Panel Project Team in five different states. He is also past president of the Alabama Optometric Association and served as a member of the SECO Board of Trustees. We had a great turnout of students, and everyone enjoyed not only Dr. Pierce’s presentation, but also his sense of humor.
Here at Berkeley School of Optometry, there’s more to it than just studying and practicing. With the vast amount of resources and opportunities this school has to offer along with the convenience of being located in the Bay Area, there is never a shortage of activities to do here!
Author: Alex Chow, Berkeley School of Optometry 2016, AOSA Trustee Elect