Odyssey Scholars » Lauren



Lauren (Senior) - Researching Vision Therapy

Hi everyone! For some reason it seems like it has been forever since I have written a blog, even though February is a short month. It’s weird. Maybe it’s because I got so much done this past month.

Anyway, onto the important topics. Since my last blog, I was able to accomplish all the goals that I put in place! I watched and wrote response papers for my two documentaries of the semester, and recently, I finished my last book and wrote the response paper. This is so exciting for me! This means that I am done watching and reading for Odyssey; it’s bittersweet.

I was also able to get two interviews done. Since we are nearing the end of our projects and it’s hard to get in contact with people, we changed the interview requirements for the semester. Instead of doing three interviews, we only need to do one or two. So, I interviewed Dr. Leenheer, a pediatric ophthalmologist via email. I was also able to interview Mr. McJimsey, a parent of a child who sees a pediatric ophthalmologist (and a Prep teacher), over Zoom. These were very helpful interviews, and I am so grateful for their time.

Moving forward, I am going to begin working on my pamphlets. I already did one outline, but I need to add some information, do the second outline, and actually complete and design them. This is what I plan on working on until the seniors are released from school to work on Capstone/Odyssey projects. Then, during that time, I will work on my final presentation.

I am almost done. It’s scary, exciting, and sad all at once. I plan to finish this project and school year as strong as I started, but I am nervous for the future. Please keep following my blogs if you would like to see how this all ends, I really appreciate the support! 

Hi again! Thank you for reading my January blog. I really appreciate your interest in my project and your support.

Unfortunately, I do not have much to say in this blog because at this point I am still just researching. I’m chugging along, doing the same thing that I have been doing for the past few months. At times, this has been challenging for me. It can be really difficult to find motivation when there are piles upon piles of work in my other classes, and when I feel as if I am just repeating the same steps over and over in Odyssey. Sometimes I don’t have enough motivation to work on my project as much as I would like. That’s where I am at this point, and I am pushing through this block to the best of my ability. I am hoping that I will get more motivation in February and the months following because I have work to do!

I have found all of my books and videos for the semester, which helps because I have a more structured plan. I just finished a book titled Eye Power by Ann M. Hoopes and Stanley A. Appelbaum. I really enjoyed it, and it will be very helpful in my final project related to vision therapy. I will also be reading a book on pediatrics, watching a documentary on pediatric ophthalmology, and watching another documentary on ophthalmology. Lastly, I am trying to interview two pediatric ophthalmologists who work at Family Eye Care and Children’s Eye Care in New Mexico and one other physician that I have yet to find. My plan is to finish reading/watching/interviewing by the end of February or early March, so that I can incorporate them into my final projects ASAP.

As soon as I’m done with my research, I am going to finish my outlines by plugging in that information and information from some of my old research. Then, I plan to actually start my pamphlets. I have been doing some research on what website to use to create a pamphlet, and I am leaning towards a site called Canva. I will create my two pamphlets on there and hopefully print them to send to the school and potentially ophthalmology/optometrist offices. I will also make the link available to as many people as possible. I’m hoping to begin working on this quickly, so that I can start to work on my final presentation. That is why I am trying to cram this semester’s research into such a short period of time.

For my final presentation, I am going to record myself going through a Google Slides presentation. I haven’t figured out the details, but I am hoping that those will come to me when I start working on it after my pamphlets are finished. I will keep you updated.

That’s all that I have for now, but I will “see” you at the end of February.


I hope everyone had a good month and a good Thanksgiving. November has been a particularly busy month for me with school and college applications, so it has been hard for me to find time for Odyssey. Although I am not spending as much time on Odyssey as I was able to last year (which is also partly related to the pandemic), I was still able to do research, conduct interviews, and brainstorm ideas for my final project this month.

Beginning with my research for the month, I finished reading Endless Journey: A Head Trauma Victim's Remarkable Rehabilitation, which was an amazing book. It was more of a story than a research book, but I was able to learn about neurosurgery, ophthalmology, and vision therapy through the story.

I was also fortunate enough to interview Dr. Goldblum this month. Dr. Goldblum is a pediatric ophthalmologist working at Family Eye Care and Children’s Eye Care of New Mexico. He is a very busy doctor, so his responses were brief, but they were very informative. I was particularly interested in his struggles with insurance companies because it was the one thing he disliked about this specialty.

Lastly, I gathered my thoughts, research, and ideas to come up with a final project. I am leaning toward the idea of writing two pamphlets; the first will focus on interest in the medical field as a high schooler from a high schooler’s perspective, and the second will focus on describing vision therapy as well as vision therapy exercises. I have already written a complete outline for the first pamphlet, and I hope to finish the second outline by the end of the semester. I finally feel as if I have a legitimate idea of where my project will end, which is very exciting.

Things are beginning to wrap up, but I do have a few things to complete before the end of the semester. I have completed my research, interviews, and most of my response papers, but I do have to finish my last response paper and my final paper reflecting on the semester. As the first semester of my senior year comes to an end, I feel as if it is the beginning of the end of my high school years.

Hi! I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe! Since my last blog, I have conducted two different interviews, one with Dr. Press (who I mentioned in my previous blog) and one with Dr. Gole. I have also been doing lots of research.

I was able to get a response from Dr. Press, a vision therapist in New Jersey, which was very exciting! I asked him questions that pertain specifically to vision therapy. I asked him about the different eye exercises he uses and for what conditions, if positive affirmations can help to improve a patient’s vision, how success is measured, if poor vision can truly be treated with vision therapy, and similarly how much a patient’s vision can improve with therapy. His responses were very informative and helpful, and I really appreciate the time he took to help me.

Next, through my contact in Ohio, I got in contact with Dr. Gole. Dr. Gole is a pediatric ophthalmologist in Australia, so I was able to get my out-of-the-country interview done! I asked him almost all of the same questions that I asked Dr. Mangano. His answers varied from hers in some ways, but they were also fairly similar. This interview was very educational. It was interesting not only to interview a male versus a female in the specialty, but someone who worked outside of the United States.

As far as my research goes, I finished one book and its corresponding response paper, another video, and I have started my second book of the semester. The first book was called “Visual Fitness” by Dr. David Cook, and it focused on vision therapy exercises. If you read my previous blog, you probably know that I already completed the first video requirement for this semester. So, by watching “Day in the Life: Retina Rotation, Day in the Life: Ophthalmology” this month, I completed my video requirements for the semester. The second book that I am currently reading is called “Endless Journey” by Dr. Janet A. Stumbo. It is about a head trauma victim who lost her eyesight but was able to improve her vision through vision therapy. Pretty cool, right?

I apologize that there isn’t much for me to write about and that my content is a little boring. Without shadowing experiences, I have been struggling to find alternative ways to research my topic. I believe that I am doing the best that I can given the current situation, but it can really be frustrating at times.

That’s all I have for right now, but I wish you the best! Thanks for reading my blogs and your continuous support.

Start of Senior Year!

Hello again! If you are new to my blogs, my name is Lauren, and I am an Odyssey Scholar. This is my first blog in Odyssey 2, which is really exciting. I am so happy to be starting Odyssey 2 and senior year! Even though it’s been a difficult start, and it’s not what I planned, I’m going to make the most of it. My project started by examining the different medical fields. Last year, I shadowed various doctors in different medical fields. After my experiences, I began narrowing down on pediatric ophthalmology. Over the summer, I contacted ophthalmologists and pediatric ophthalmologists about shadowing them in the fall. Sadly, no student shadows are allowed at this time due to COVID. So, my project has changed quite a bit.

Since I was really interested in pediatric ophthalmology, I have started looking into vision therapy. Vision therapy is like physical therapy, except it is for your brain/eyes. Vision therapy includes a variety of different eye exercises for different conditions and, in some cases, even positive affirmations can help. I have been doing lots of research on this topic, and it is fascinating. I got in contact with a vision therapist named Dr. Press from Press Consulting in New Jersey. I emailed him interview questions and am eagerly awaiting his response. Hopefully, I will be able to include his answers in my next blog. I also watched 15 short videos produced by Vivid Visions Optometry. Each one taught me about a different eye exercise, and I really enjoyed watching them.

Next semester, I am hoping I will be able to shadow again. Nobody knows what’s going to happen, but I can always hope. For the remainder of this semester, I am going to continue to do research on vision therapy. I am also hoping to set up a study involving some of the eye exercises I have been researching. This is still in the planning stages, and it may not even be allowed due to COVID. We’ll see. I am also still in contact with the pediatric ophthalmologist in Ohio that I interviewed. She is currently trying to get me an interview with a pediatric ophthalmologist in Australia. I have a relative plan for this semester, but a lot of stuff is up in the air right now. I’m going to keep researching and planning, and hopefully by my next blog, I will have a more definitive plan.

I hope everyone is safe and well!