PCO Memories

Mittelman TBTWhile I have many fond memories of my time at PCO (Pennsylvania College of Optometry), the one that first comes to mind was having the opportunity to meet my wife during my externship at the Indian Health Service Hospital rotation in Rosebud, South Dakota. Tanis is a registered nurse and was volunteering at the hospital during my tenure as an extern there. 

So here’s the story:
Several of us took off for South Dakota in early July to begin our rotations. Upon arriving in Rosebud, I was introduced to my trailer living quarters and the hospital dining room which consisted of about six tables and a cafeteria-style serving area. The dining room was used primarily for staff and volunteers who lived on the compound. It was a nice perk of the rotation as they also provided food and shelter!

Mittelman and TanisDuring one of my first dinners there some of the nurses happened to come down for dinner around the same time. I noticed this really pretty dark-haired lady with really blue eyes and wondered who she was. That same evening, after dinner, the staff got together for a sand volleyball game, which they did regularly on Thursday evenings (don’t ask how I remembered that part). Well, this pretty young lady was there so I decided I needed to play volleyball as well. We ended up on opposite sides and I managed to spike the ball pretty much right on top of her head. Well, you may think that was awful or even on purpose (I’ll never admit that), but it did give me an opportunity to apologize and to at least learn her name. 
After that we ended up having dinner together several times (almost every night) and since she had her own truck, we had the opportunity to check out the Badlands [National Park] and other parts of South Dakota together. Things were going so well I asked to do a second rotation in Rosebud, which was approved, and we had the opportunity to spend much more time together.  And, as they say, the rest is history…

-President  Michael Mittelman, OD ’80, MPH, FAAO, FACHE, RADM, USN (ret.)