Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida
Guest Column

New Year; New Vision!


Resolutions and New Year’s Eve go hand in hand. Both of them eventually pass.

Some things though can stay with you to enhance your New Year and new goals. Vision is one such commitment.

With technology today, practically every refractive error (glasses and contact lens prescription) can be addressed so you can become more independent and enjoy your work and personal life. I like to classify patients into the following three categories:

1. Virgin eyes: Patients with nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism or those annoying, after 40 reading glasses;

2. Previously operated eyes: Patients who have undergone LASIK/PRK/RK or cataract surgery and have noticed deterioration in vision over time;

A: Due to aging changes unrelated to surgery;

B: Surgery-related regression or loss of effect;

3. Complications of LASIK or cataract surgery: Patients who underwent surgery and ended with side effects (haloes, dry eyes, glare) or complications (decreased vision/corneal scars/irregular astigmatism).

All of the above categories of patients have an option today to see without glasses and not only improve their vision but also enhance the same. Make sure you see your eye doctor and get evaluated to rule out any disease and then look for an eye surgeon who can offer more than just a Lasik or cataract surgery so they can actually design technique and apply technology suited to your vision goal.

Gone are the days when patients walked in for a “cookie-cutter” Lasik surgery or “routine” cataract surgery. Today, every surgery and choice of technology makes the surgery a pathway to give each patient a custom-tailored technique and technology application leading to their best vision potential (BVP), which in many cases could be beyond 20/20.

Diagnostic technology can determine not only the main culprit depriving you of your vision (i.e. astigmatism, cataract, corneal scar, etc.) but also outline an individualized plan toward your vision goals.

Further, combination of techniques such as Lasik+ cataract surgery can turn “Not Candidates” patients into candidates.

Abnormal conditions like Keratoconus, thin corneas, dry eyes, etc., can be addressed individually to normalize first and then undergo a specific technique and lifelong best vision can be maintained by fine tuning or applying age-specific surgery as you go.

So, make vision your priority in the New Year as even if you decide not to have any surgery, you at least will have a thorough eye exam and that is also an important part of maintaining your vision for life.

Arun C. Gulani, M.D., M.S., is director and chief surgeon of Gulani Vision Institute in Jacksonville. He can be reached at gulanivision@gulani.com or visit www.gulanivision.com

Tips for Getting Into the Best Colleges

By Robert A.G. LeVine

There is a lot of misinformation about how the most highly-selective colleges evaluate potential students.

Colleges select applicants by one of two basic methods. State and local universities use a “simple” method, focusing on SAT (or ACT) scores and grades. Although applicants are required to write essays, those with high scores are often selected without intense scrutiny of their essays. Particularly for in-state applicants, it’s purely a numbers game.

The most selective colleges use a “holistic” approach, looking at all of an applicant’s qualities. This is why Stanford, which has no athletic scholarships, has won the Director’s Cup as America’s best athletic university for an astounding 19 straight years. Highly selective colleges look at the whole person, not just brain function.

Almost all highly-selective colleges evaluate applicants in three areas: academics, activities, and personal qualities. They use grading sheets, with objective criteria, to assign a numerical value to each of these attributes. After grading each attribute separately, they assign one overall grade to each applicant. This “first read” is used to separate those who will be considered from those who will not. After preliminary meetings to narrow the field, colleges collect additional information to differentiate between the applicants.

Perfect SAT scores and perfect grade point averages do not guarantee admission to any college. If an applicant’s scores in the other attributes are low, the applicant will not be considered. Conversely, if the test scores and grades are imperfect, high scores in the activities and personal attributes can give an applicant a superior overall grade.

Many families, especially Indian-Americans, focus too much on grades and testing and not enough on activities. Activities include extracurriculars, athletics, community service, employment, and family commitments. Applicants are not expected to be superior in all forms of activity. Rather, selective colleges look for the highest levels of achievement in one or more activities. They seek quality, not quantity. Nobody’s perfect, so colleges seek indicators of success and are less concerned about things that one does not do well.

Yet, for all applicants, the most difficult attribute to score is also the most subjective: personal qualities. How does an applicant present personal strengths? It’s difficult to do convincingly in an application, because applications are biased presentations. To evaluate personal qualities, highly-selective colleges look first to teacher and counselor recommendations, then to admissions interviews conducted by college alumni.

Although many people believe that great essays make the difference in the college admissions process, essays are not independently graded, but rather are used to support the criteria used in grading the three attributes. However, because of the timing of admissions meetings, interviews – which are usually conducted after the “first read” – can be a most important differentiator between candidates.

Along the same lines, students should make an effort to get to know well the teachers and counselors who will write recommendations on their behalf. By the junior year of high school, students should be practicing for the SAT, preferably with an experienced tutor. Starting as early as the freshman year, students should keep notes of all of their activities (in and outside of school), including the details of what they actually do in the activities.

Most important, applicants to the most selective college should understand, and direct their efforts towards, the grading rubrics of the college admissions offices.

Robert A.G. LeVine, president of Selective College Consulting, Inc., can be reached at (813) 391-3760, or email BobLeVine@SelectiveCC.com or visit www.SelectiveCollegeConsulting.com

homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontentclasses/places of worship newseditorialhealthimmigration
Real ESTATEfinanceayurvedatechno cornermoviesfashionmusic/dancebooksbusinessbeatIIFA 2014art/youthastrology
Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Music and Dance Fashion Movies Techno Corner Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Classes/Places of Worship Content Find us on Facebook!