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