Vision checks were a routine fall activity. They also occurred throughout the year when a teacher noticed a student who squinted while looking at the board. This was the case when Quy was sent from his 6th grade classroom to see me. Quy was part of a new family in the community and had recently immigrated from Vietnam. He confirmed he did have a problem seeing the front of the room from his desk.
I set up the vision chart and had Quy sit at the proper distance. Handing him the eye shield, I explained he should cover his left eye and read the chart with his right eye first. He correctly covered his left eye and it was apparent his English skills were coming along well.
I pointed to the large E at the very top of the chart. He laughed and said, “I not that bad! I see E.” I laughed too and asked, “Well, how about this one down here, Quy—can you read it?” He squinted, wrinkled his brow and replied after quite a few seconds, “I sorry nurse, I see it starts with ‘Ed,’ but I never saw the rest of that word!”
It was then I realized my instructions lacked quite a bit as I had not told him to read one letter at a time. We had another good laugh as I tried to give better instructions!