Monday, February 9, 2015

Hilo Days: I Can See! I Can See!

Sometimes, vanity and just plain stupidity prevent a kid from doing the right thing. So does peer pressure. Well, one day in junior high school, my friends and I decided not to fake our eye tests any more.

Here's what I wrote about it in my old Hilo Days website.

A Spectacle

All through eighth grade, and especially during the preceding summer, my eyesight was getting worse. Nobody knew it except me.

Every year, we would take those eye-screening tests, the ones with the big E at the top, progressively getting smaller until you could hardly read the ones on the bottom.

If the E pointed to the right, you'd point to the right. If the E pointed upward, you'd point upward, and so forth and so on until you couldn't make out which way the E was pointing.

When we took the test in the eighth grade, I memorized the positions and faked it on the test. Of course, I had problems all year. So when it came time to test in the ninth grade, I cinched up my belt and finally admitted that I needed glasses.

And in the process, surprised everyone when I gave up on the third row.

Two things I remember about the eyeglass-fitting process: First, the eye drops the doctor used dilated my pupils and the lights bothered my eyes all day.

And second, when I put on my glasses for the first time a few days later, everything seemed to sparkle — reds were redder, blues were bluer, and everything seemed so crisp and bright. It was as though the world had turned on the lights just for me. What a jerk I was not to have taken advantage of modern eye-care.

Of course, everyone thought I immediately looked studious (remember, they already thought I was smart). I had expected an onslaught of "Four Eyes" jokes; they never came. What a jerk I had been.

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