Saturday, May 23, 2015



I thought about sharing some personal things about myself today, particularly, about where I live and the friends I made. If you don't know yet, Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan. Although it's my location, I wouldn't exactly say I'm "from" here. Usually, when people talk about belonging to a place, it usually means that they've been living in that area for a very very long time. I've only been here for about five years and during this duration, I have probably not even gone out to see half the places worth going to.

We moved here in the summer of 2009 (this year's summer will make it six years) into a house not so far away from my grandmother's place. Once we were here, the hunt for a school began. My mother's cousin suggested the very school I went to, but my parents wanted to check out all out options. I found myself visiting a few schools and giving exam papers and waiting for results to see if I could be accepted or not.

I'll be honest, I failed most of those. The education style of Islamabad was different from Karachi. The main reason I failed was because this was the first time in my life that I had been handed a fat stack of papers and told that I had three hours to do everything.

Three hours?! my brain wailed. I've never even sat that long in class!

(You can imagine the rest, me flipping through papers and ending up skipping half the questions just to get out within 2 hours)

Even though my performance wasn't the best, I was accepted into a local high school and I remember that it was raining the first day. I remember who talked to me first and who I was seated next to in class. Apart from that, nothing much. The years passed by really quickly and I was in the senior most class in 2011 with three friends I regularly hung out with.

The thing about me is that I thought it was pretty cool that I could count the number of friends I actually had on my fingers. I thought it meant I could pick out what kind of people were best for me and that I had a great dynamic going on with whoever I got along with. This meant that I wasn't okay with going out of my way to make friends with new people.

As all stories go, I had to learn my lesson.

After graduating from high school, it was time to apply to an institution that had A Levels. After searching and gathering several prospectuses, we (the four of us) settled into a small, all girls school and were eager to start 'college' life together- until one of us decided to switch cliques.

Like I said, I wasn't okay with going out of my way to make new friends. And I wasn't okay when a close friend decided to go for someone else's company. It was wrong of me to feel betrayed, but I guess that was the wake up call for the remaining three of us. We had to stick together even more than before to make up for the gap in between and that's what happened.

Until someone else walked out in second year. (you know who you are)

If you asked me, instead of fraying our friendship, events like these simply changed the dynamics. Back in school, we used to call each other and talk for hours. In first year, we dropped the calling and stuck to in person chatting. After that came the time when we just sent the occasional text to each other. And now's the time where the three of us are in our own, separate institutions, studying for different degrees and walking down different career paths.

I like to think that our friendship has become something that's so there, it doesn't need to be called out anymore. We don't need to call and talk for hours. We don't need to text every day. We don't even see each other for months, but we know we're right here and that if either of us needs something, we'll be right there. I like how I don't even know what you guys are up to most of the time, but that I can strike up a conversation and we can be at it for hours, cracking our old inside jokes and making new ones.

I think that's beautiful. Don't you?

What do you think about friendships? Do they change in nature as we grow up?

I ran out of creativity when the time to color dresses came. Sorry :P 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

App Review: BioDigital Human (1)

Am I the only one who finds this intro extremely cool?
Today I'm going to be reviewing this really nifty app I discovered this week! If you're a faint hearted reader and find dissections or diagrams of dissections too explicit, be warned. I like reviewing things with lots of pictures :)

I'm going to start off by introducing the PC version of this program.

You don't have to create an account or anything- just sign in with your Google or Facebook account! You also don't have to download anything- it's all in your browser! After logging in, the experience is just about to begin...

Would you look at that! Your very own digital human play thing! You get to choose what you want to see- do you want a plain old skeleton, or maybe a skeleton with blood vessels, or a muscle man with no bones, or a floating digestive system, or a whatever you want from the list given beside your Human!

If that's not cool, there is something wrong with you .__. sorry.

Apart from that, you can zoom in, rotate, dissect specific structures off of your Human, highlight structures and isolate them, make things transparent and explore this realistic simulation. This is like the best interactive atlas I have discovered.

I had my Human with bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics on.
Did I mention that the program goes FULL SCREEN if you want it to?

The only thing lacking I found here was how I couldn't utilize my touch screen. You can use your mouse to rotate the Human. Zoom and moving the camera left, right, up and down are all down by specific keys on your keyboard. But touch screen is a no no on PC.

If you're a medical student or an anatomy student or just a curious biology student or just someone who wants to explore the universe inside you, BioDigital Human is just for you!

I would give this program a 4.5/5.

So go ahead. What're you waiting for? Dive into the world of anatomy!

If you're a crazy person like me, you'd do this too to see what it would look like if you were a heart.
(this is the view from inside the chest, approximately where the heart would lie)

I'll review the mobile version in another post ^^.

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 10, 2015



I thought it would be a nice time to tell ou guys about how my med school is going. The current running module is LMS, which stands for LocoMotor System. (The other kids call it "Leave Med School").

This is a very anatomy heavy module, which some of you might have noticed from most of the pictures I uploaded about the April wrap up. Anatomy is a very interesting subject, but it is vast and detailed and doesn't seem to finish. It's amazing to see what's going on in our body and figuring out what movements muscles can produce. At the same time, it is very difficult to remember everything in the span of a few days.

And a few days is exactly what this entire module feels like.

On the first week, we covered basic muscle physiology, histology and embryology. The next three weeks were spent on the entire lower limb, gluteal region to foot. This week, we covered the entire back. The next two weeks will probably be about the upper limbs.

I'm so glad my head hasn't exploded yet.

Apart from the course, I also got to see cadavers up close. Cadavers are basically dead bodies that are either dissected (the whole body opened up) or prosected (a limb or something cut off and then dissected). Before we got to see the cadavers though, we had a lecture on ethics.

Why, you might ask. Well, the thing is, dead bodies are considered something short of sacred in Islam. Bodies are vessels granted to souls by Allah and once the soul is called back, the vessel is supposed to be returned to where it came from- the earth. Also, there's a Hadith which I'll share the main idea of. The Hadith was that if you break the bone of a dead body, it would be equivalent to breaking the bone of the person if he was alive.

So that's why there is no religious Muslim out there who is going to say "yes take my body and dissect it". That explains the precious few bodies we have in our college for learning purposes. But how did we even decide to dissect them if we've agreed that bodies shouldn't be harmed?

Basically, when tackling new situations like these, you have a sort of whole council of Muslim scholars who decide what to do. They look at the pros and cons of the problem and then issue the Fatwa, or edict. Dissecting dead bodies for students to learn is something that has more pros than cons- so dissection for purely academically purposes is allowed as long as you paid proper respect to the body.

Apparently, my class wasn't very good at the respect part and we had a creative writing session a few weeks later. The topic was "Write a letter to the cadaver" and at first, everyone was complaining, but I was ecstatic. Here's what I wrote.

Dear Cadaver,  
You probably don't know why I'm writing this because technically, I didn't touch you or rip your skin off or cut your legs or pulled open your chest or anything like that at all. But I guess what's happened to you is mostly because of me, so I could learn from the dead how to treat the living. 
I never really thought of you as a person the first few times you were on the table, because it's difficult to associate yourself with a single leg, stripped of skin. Although I did find myself flinching every time a facilitator's hand dug into your thigh to pull out a sciatic nerve high up and trace it into the gluteal region or a tendinous attachment of your hamstrings or posterior tibial muscle, or use forceps to pull something else out, ripping delicate strands of- I'd better stop here. I wouldn't want to know what graphic violence was going on with my body after I died, so I guess I'll spare you the details. 
The first time I associated myself with you was when we had the session on the muscles of the foot. Your foot was the one thing that look almost exactly like a living persons- the extended sole and arched toes and nails and skin- my over-active imagination could already see my own feet and my own leg and my own body on the cold table.  
The whole cadaver, skin still on, was even worse. You looked like a person who fell asleep there- and could wake up anytime. I could imagine you jump off the table in horror and scream for clothing. 
Anyway, there's not much I can do for you, except use you as a reminder for myself. 
So here's what I experienced in med school, related to cadavers and death. Have you ever had the experience of dealing with death or dead bodies?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Game Review: Clash of Clans


Today, I decided to talk about this game that I've been playing on my iPhone these days. This game was suggested to me by an online friend who told me it was a lot of fun. Deciding to take their word for it, I installed the app and prepared to play it.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Clash of Clans.

I have 777 experience and 666 trophies :3

Uncannily like Farmville, Clash of Clans has you building your own personal space and creating buildings to expand your buildings. Unlike Farmville, however, there is a severe limit to how much you can build- because you only have 2 builders and most buildings takes quite a while to build when you're at a higher level..

Let's be honest, I'm not the most patient person. I'm the type who checks the app every hour or so, hoping for a miracle to happen and my buildings to be upgraded and builders freed.

13H 9M for one project, 4H for the other. Till then, you can't really do anything...

I can't help it! The time taken for these two fat builders to do their job is too much. Out of sheer anger and frustration, guess what I did..

That's right. I deleted the game. I don't need this kind of slowness and dependency in my life!

Another thing that I really didn't like was how the game ran purely online. If you didn't have connection, your game just wouldn't open (that's the part where my Temple Run 1 app comes into action).

Being purely online means having a multiplayer feature. Yes, you really do have clans and people attacking each other. That's why you have to build these walls and cannons and archer towers to defend your Town Hall from being destroyed by other people. It's satisfying seeing your village defend itself successfully from outsider attacks (there is a replay option when you find out your village has been attacked).

So yes, you can also go raid other player or the goblins of the story line! Train your army and swell your ranks an march off to battle. (I got stuck halfway and realized I needed to upgrade my buildings, but it's taking soo long, I'm so bored!!)

To sum up, I'd give this game a rating of 2.5/5.

This game is not for people who play games to relax or enjoy themselves. This game is for people who like spending time to build an online empire by monopoly. Even Farmville was more exciting.

What games do you play on your phone?

Friday, May 1, 2015

April 2015!

AssalamuAlaikum ^^.

It's May!! It'll be my birthday in a few days, I'm so excited and yet, I'm not! I'll be at the very last year of my teens and then I can't play the "angsty teenager" card D: and I'm going to have to be an adult D:

But before we have a nervous breakdown on teenagers and adults, I'll be recapping what I did in April!

Here are the posts I wrote for this month:
Notebook Entries #2
Tokyo Ghoul: An Anime Review
Guest Post: Scholars in School

Here are the pages from my planner:

Is it just me or did the quality mess up? Oh well.

Here are some April photography

See how many things you can find.
There's a chocolate box, an upside Apple and my house keys in a corner. Oh- and a plastic ball with earrings inside it.

Draw on your foot if the book doesn't make sense.

I took a photograph of the letter Birdie sent me.

Found an old Pakistan Studies project that my brother hijacked; see below

How crudely hijacked ;_;

Rained in Islamabad in this last week of April!

I haven't written many journal entries this month- but I'll try writing more in April and then posting both of the segments together.

So how did your April go?
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