I can remember when I first started my job at the eye hospital as an ophthalmic photographer. Being a junior and not really having much of a background in eyes it was all a rather daunting prospect. Everywhere part of the hospital I was required to visit spoke eyes. It was to be expected, seeming we were in an eye hospital. Then, as I became more integrated within the life of the hospital, social events came about from the various departments that I worked with - ranging from a few drinks after work with my fellow photographers to having a barbecue at one of the consultant ophthalmologists huge country houses. One thing eventually came clear. We all spoke eyes outside of work as well. Sure, there were other topics of conversation, but eyes, OCTs, fluorescein angiographies, visual fields, cataracts and the rest of the eye related topics came back into play within minutes of talking. It was something I noticed when I started my studies back in September. where in the dispensing lab our lecturer walked around and told each student who wore glasses what their rough prescription was, what type of material their lenses were likely to be and what coatings they had. It did make me stop and think if other jobs "talked shop" all the day and if they did, would they be as so passionate about their work that they just knew nearly all that there is to know about their field? I also wondered if we needed to be able to know that much about lenses by the end of the first year... Iit came to me the other day midway through a workshop on communication. The lady providing the lecture was talking away and all I could notice was her glasses. The lights of the room we were in reflected a nice greeny-blue reflection. My instant thought was to the lecture two days previous where we had been taught about anti-reflective coats and how they work. Further more, I tried hard to do what my lecturer had done to me on the first day of term. I tried to look at her lenses - were they correcting myopia? Hypermetropia? What material were they made of? It was interesting to see how much I must have picked up throughout my first year - perhaps not as much as the lecturer knew, but I felt proud I'd applied my knowledge. Just to clarify to anybody wondering, I was also paying attention to the communication lecture as well... But this fascination with optometry doesn't just stop with dispensing. I was lucky enough to attend the 75th anniversary meal for optometry in Cardiff (albeit I was only selling raffle tickets). As part of the evening's entertainment was a comedienne , who also worked as an optometrist. For those that haven't heard of Sarah Morgan and her song about presbyopia, the following link should take you to her youtube video . She performed a stand-up routine and several other songs that picked up on this fact that eyecare professionals talk a lot about eyes. It's well worth a watch! Finally I would like to share something from the social aspect of the optometry student. Whilst out at a local pub, relaxing after a day full of lectures, I overheard one of the other students say "LNACONEA". I instantly jumped up and said "6/4!" (for the potential non-optometrist reader, that line is the lowest line of letters on one of the clinic's Snellen charts). I think this outburst surprised everybody as I am rarely refracted to that level in the student clinic... showing I'm even managing to memorise the Snellen chart to aid in my routine eye examination efficiency! The rest of the evening was spent practicing the cover test on each other with the variety of beer mats available on the table. Although it may sound strange, being this focused on the subject can only be a good thing. It helps us to be knowledgeable, gives us the means to be able to become more efficient in our roles and finally it shows we must have passion for our chosen career (I mean, if we didn't enjoy it, we wouldn't talk about it all the time...right?). Let us hope we all can put all this to use in our upcoming examinations!