Friday, December 30, 2016

All the Good Things of 2016

that happened to me.

Since this is the last blog post of 2016, I figured it should end on a happy note. I've decided to open up my happy jar and see what I've accumulated over the year. I may not have written ALL of the happy things down, but I've written a few and I can make do with them.

In case you don't know what a happy jar, it's basically a jar or a container that you put slips of paper in describing the good thing that happened to you in the day. You fold it up and put it inside the jar. I made myself this little project so that I could open the slips whenever I'd feel depressed, so I would remember all the times I was happy and I'd know that there is so much more to me than the situation I'm feeling helpless in. Thankfully, I have not come across a single occasion in this entire year where I had a depression "phase" as bad as the ones in I had in first year. I never opened up my happy jar before this.

In retrospect, there's something I want to say before you start reading this.

I've decided to share this post on Facebook. Not because I want point out who ended up in my happy jar, but to mention how these little actions and comments can really make someone's day. There are some things I've written I don't remember, but there are some things that I can remember the entire scene of. And I will always have a positive outlook on the people who have said something positive to me or have boosted my morale in some sort of way. Always, always say something nice to people. Be spontaneous about it. It's not hard to end up in someone's happy jar, the subconscious shelf of memories we have in our limbic system.

(also i need 50 followers ok 2016 is almost over and I've been stuck on 48 for a good six months, facebook is my utter and last resort)

Anyway. Back to the point. I'm not writing them in chronological order, but in the order that I take them out in. Are you ready? Let's start.

You can draw and knit and crochet! You are talented!
I don't know what prompted this... What a way to open a happy jar.

22nd July. When that lady followed you out of the masjid because she wanted to help the hypoglycemic lady inside and you gave her cookies.
Oh I remember this. I remember this. I remember walking out of the masjid with my bag. I remember her asking if I had something sweet for the hypoglycemic lady inside and initially saying "no" to her and then suddenly remembering I had a pack of cookies, and I quickly brought them out and gave it to her. I remember walking back to class with a spring in my step. I remember feeling helpful.

26th Feb. When you showed your notes to Laiba and Dr Bilal asked for your book and said that you should talk to a publisher for these- the notes were useful even for him!
I remember this. We were in our Neuroscience module. We had a formative. Laiba must have been in my study group. I remember what page I had out- it was the page with all the cut sections of the brain stem and spinal cord. I remember. I felt very good about my notes, especially since I write them in a way to make even a stranger understand and to be told by a member of a teaching faculty that they were helpful really boosted my self esteem.

When you and Amena and Maryam went out to eat gol gappay together and brought chat to eat in Shifa greens! Wasn't that fun? You had a formative that day!
I don't remember this! But I appreciate how the then me is emphasizing that putting fun before formatives was definitely the way to go!

Remember SIST 16 where you met Lalarukh, Samera, Zainab and Mahnoor? Remember how Samera hugged you and was so glad to see you? Because we're friends.
I really do. Have phases in my life when I feel like I don't have any friends and I wonder if there's something wrong with me or why no one likes me or talks to me. I know it's all just me, me and my bad thoughts, and this memory here proves it. I do have friends. I have lots of friends. I love my friends. Of course I remember this. How could I not?

27th Feb. When you and Lalarukh went to Maryam's house to surprise her but ended up getting surprised yourself.
I don't remember this! But judging from this, I'm guessing the 'ended up getting surprised yourself' refers to Maryam's engagement? I'm not sure, but that's probably it. (Note for next time; be specific about surprises).

Remember that time Zak saw your notes and started shouting about how perfect they were? Like you selected a font on Microsoft Word and printed everything.
I remember this. I remember. I remember the session. It was a research session where Dr Sajida divided the class into four groups. I remember that I was sitting in the corner, next to the wall. I remember it was the Endocrinology and Reproduction module. I remember someone taking my notebook for some reason and I remember this guy shouting to the entire class about my notes. Haha. I've never seen anyone that enthusiastic about something I've done.

Remember that time Orooj said she used to read your Instagram posts and she really liked them?
I think I remember this. This was after I came back from Kashmir. I had been writing long posts on Instagram on how things were going. I really felt good, knowing that someone was genuinely reading what I was writing and actually liking it. It made me feel like maybe writing these things on Instagram was worth it. It made me want to continue using Instagram as a creative photograph blog.

Remember that time you made the PBL presentation and your entire group huddled to see it so you could explain it? You felt so useful.
This was kinda dumb actually xD no one in my group wanted to make the presentation so I ended up doing it and then the day of the presentation, I got everything set up and I had already shared the presentation with Laiba who was going to present it. Yes, this is another Neuroscience memory. But then it turned out that the entire group needed to be on stage? Or something like that? So we had a sort of an emergency meeting in the middle of the class where everyone tried reading the presentation on my phone and I explained it as best as I could. I suppose it's a good memory since it reminds me that I can be useful and I can get some kinds of jobs done for sure.

Remember that day when Bakhtawar said that she was glad you were her friend and that if it weren't for you, she would not have stayed in Shifa?
I can't remember this even though it's been written pretty clearly, but this makes me feel warm and fuzzy already.

Remember when you went to Karachi and Dr Shazia asked about where you went because she missed you and thought you were a smart person!
I remember this. Dr Shazia didn't ask me, specifically. She asked Mehpara where I went and Mehpara told me how Dr Shazia said these things. I remember sitting in Karachi and grinning so hard like 'Really? She asked about me? She thinks I'm smart?'. I'm not smart. But if someone thinks I am, then I'll do my very best not to disappoint them.

Those are all the chits I have for 2016. One of my resolutions for 2017 will be write more of these because they were genuinely enjoyable to read and remembering them really did make me feel better about myself.

How would you sum up your 2016?

Monday, December 26, 2016

I Remember 2016 With You

A lot of things happened in 2016. Some things were good and some things were bad. It's a bit of a universal agreement that humans tend towards remembering the more negative events that have occurred rather than the positives. And it's true. We're more likely to be impacted by events that hurt us in some sort of way cause that leaves scars.

2016 is a year that seems to have more loss than gain. So many things happened and the world seems to be changing at an alarming rate every day, always for the worst. Whenever I think maybe- just maybe, the year will have something happy to close it off- something bad happens, whether it was a city under siege, or it was an ambassador getting shot. I personally feel like these negative events made me more receptive to the positive events as well, few as they were.

But today is not for the positives. Today is for all the people I will always associate 2016 with, not because they were tragic headlines and news stories, but because 2016 was the last year that they had to give something to the world. And give, they did.

Muhammad Ali
(January 17, 1942 to June 3, 2016)
“Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”
I'm not from the generation that regarded Muhammad Ali as a hero. That generation was my father's, back when young boys would listen to the radio in fascination about how a black Muslim boxer beat a white Christian opponent in the ring in still racist America. Muhammad Ali had been the champion of the Muslim world with all the social odds stacked against him and he emerged victorious and people loved him.
For me, Muhammad Ali was always associated with Malcolm X. For me, he was a side character, a relic of what was left of Malcolm X, because all I learned about Muhammad Ali, I learned from The Autobiography of Malcolm X As Told To Alex Haley. An amazing book, by the way. I've read it several times over and I can't shake off the feeling that I somehow knew Malcolm X, like he is somehow my friend. Which is a bizarre feeling, but there it is. That's how good that autobiography is.
When Muhammad Ali's demise came around, everyone felt it. There seemed to be a palpable depression in the air, as the legend of an entire generation's childhood breathed no more.
I learned more about Muhammad Ali after he died. I learned what he did, what he said, what he believed in and I realized that we really did lose an iconic human being this year.

Abdus Sattar Eidhi
(January 1, 1928 to July 8, 2016)

“So, many years later there were many who still complained and questioned, ‘Why must you pick up Christians and Hindus in your ambulance?’ And I was saying, ‘Because the ambulance is more Muslim than you’.”

Abdus Sattar Eidhi was a humanitarian and a philanthropist who did Pakistan a great service. Whenever you see an ambulance on the streets, there is a 90% chance it's Eidhi's. He had been quite sick, but had refused to leave the country for medical help. There had also been one or two incidents on social media where people visited Eidhi and took 'selfies' with him which prompted a LOT of backlash as people did not like how Eidhi was being treated (despite claims of Eidhi being okay with pictures).
Anyway, I personally feel like Eidhi was a great person. He may have said some controversial things in an effort to get his point across, but considering where he came from and what he's done and how much of a service he has given to his nation, he truly is a hero.

Junaid Jamshed
(September 3, 1964 – December 7, 2016)

My aim in times to come is not to just work with Muslims but to actually sing songs for everyone and sing songs in which people all over the world can relate to.

Junaid Jamshed has always been part of Pakistan with his ever famous "Dil Dil Pakistan".
Once again, I just wasn't that crowd.
I was never interested in Junaid Jamshed. He wasn't my childhood. My childhood was Dawud Wharnsby, Sami Yusuf and Yusuf Islam. When I came to Pakistan, I was stubborn and I refused to get into what people listened to, preferring to stick with the little bits and pieces of America that I tried to drag back with me to Pakistan.
My cousins though. When I moved to Islamabad, my cousins were my first interaction in regards to Junaid Jamshed. It had been a 14th August and everyone was pumped, having dragged speakers outside and hooked up national anthems, but always playing Junaid Jamshed on repeat.
On their insistence, I brought home a USB filled with his works. In this environment, my mother also began playing his audios through YouTube. My brother loved singing with him.
I think there was still some stubbornness in me, still carried over from America, that did not let me like Junaid Jamshed. I remember when Ali Haider took the same path, switching from pop songs to nasheeds, and I secretly hoped he would replace Junaid Jamshed, or at least become an alternative to him. To say I was disappointed, is the truth.
Nevertheless, I was much more attached to this figure than the first two I've mentioned because Junaid Jamshed was a constant entity in my house through his nasheeds. When I found out about his unfortunate airplane crash, the point hit home the next day, when it was clear that things weren't a joke. This man was gone.
Of course, he's said some controversial things, but you can't deny that he too, has been the face of Pakistan. My mother, when his funeral prayers were being broadcast, kept saying again and again "do you think Junaid Jamshed ever dreamed of his funeral to be like this? Did he ever dream of being given so much respect after his death?" (and of course, being the desi mom she is, she'd start lecturing us like "this is how you should die! affecting as many people as possible who will pray for your maghfirat!" and I'm like uhhhhh ok mom I'm not a pop singer but I'll see what I can do with my blog).
After he died, lots and lots of people wrote things about him on Facebook, his family came on tv to give interviews, and I realized how much of an affect he really did have on people around him. You can say he wasn't perfect, but you have to admit, he did give everyone something to be proud of. He was a national icon. He will definitely be missed.

These were only a few of the many famous people who've died in 2016. Some honorable mentions include Alan Rickman (Professor Snape of Harry Potter), Fidel Castro (that guy we read about in the world history chapters and I forget what he did), Harper Lee (author of To Kill A Mockingbird), and David Bowie (that guy who was in the Labyrinth movie with all those puppets).

What people will you remember in association with 2016? Have a nice day!

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 is Coming to an End

It's 23rd December. Some of you might be really happy about it, since you're got your holiday season starting (winter vacations for my siblings has started) and other people have events like Christmas and New Years coming up. Unfortunately for me, I have neither of these things.

You heard read right. I have no winter vacations and certainly no festival or holiday to look forward to as 2016 ends. So I figured I could do something all on my lonesome. First of all, I really stepped back and evaluated myself. Here are a couple of things I've picked up so far
1. I have not been blogging seriously. Most posts were written on a whim and I feel as though the quality bar has really plummeted. That's not what the Lunar Descent is about! 
2. Continuing that last point, can you believe that I completely forgot about the Lunar Descent's 2nd birthday? Completely forgot about it. In fact, I remembered when I wrote the date at the start of this post and I just sat there and stared at my screen for a good 10 minutes wishing I could turn back time and write that 6th December post. How could I forget my own child's birthday? I feel like a horrible blog author. 
3. I've stopped doing a lot of productive things I used to do for my blog. I don't know where my blogging notebook has gone and I've stopped writing down ideas for blog posts. My art journal has been put on a halt and I can't find the energy to take out my paints. I feel like I've been pouring all my creativity into my studying and let me tell you, it doesn't feel good. 
4. I've also been taking a lot of random stress, whether it's a lost history notebook or an exam or an unfinished syllabus to study. Not to mention I've been trying to study for the USMLE as well so everything been pretty jumbled up together.
You know what this means? This means I have to sit down and really get everything back into place, whether its blogging or USMLE or my art or general studying. The only resolutions I've going to be focusing on for this blog post however, are blog resolutions, mostly to make up for the blogoversary I missed.

Look at me making random pictures for like, no reason.

Blogging Resolutions for The Lunar Descent

  • Make more medical related posts. Kind of like the one about Neurosciences. I feel like this post really became quite a hit. The format is easy enough and it really helps break things down for me as well. This way, I can have content for my blog as well as get some studying/revision done in a fun way!
  • Write more study posts. I've started brand new subjects that sound super cool like Forensic Medicine and Pathology and Microbiology and these really deserve a post of their own! Plus, like I said before, I've been pouring a lot of my creativity into my studying so I should really show off my new shiny notes! Although the downside to this is that my iPhone camera is being really messed up and I'm not sure I want to use the camera for any blog pictures or instagram pictures anymore. I tried to handle this by charging my old phone (the HTC HD7 I cried a lot about on my old blog) but it's not charging for some reason...
  • I also want to some sort of giveaway. Like maybe I could mail people something really nice (something that would fit in the envelope and wouldn't weigh a ton) or I could draw/illustrate something for people digitally. Either way, I really want to do something nice for the people who read my blog! I'm thinking about holding the giveaway in April so I can announce the winners in May (which is when I have my birthday) and celebrate that way :p
  • Create a pdf compilation. Listen, when Eve from Edge of Night compiled all her poems into a book form and then sent it out, I was impressed. I was impressed beyond description. I want to try something like that. For that, I need to learn how to create a pdf document with good editing and formatting, but way before that, I need to have good content...
  • Make versatile posts. No, I don't mean in terms of content. I meant like, writing poetry, and descriptions, and flowery things. The kind of stuff that means utter nonsense but looks and sounds really nice so people love it. That kind of stuff. Hey, I'm adding things to my writing portfolio, remember?
  • Write more about my experiences in med school. What happened to my "It's Medventure Time!"? I need to kick it back into action. 
Well, those are all the resolutions I can think up of from the top of my head. I might add some things sooner or later. My last posts of 2016 will be focusing on just that; the end of 2016. It might be good, it might be bad, but it'll definitely be worth the read. Have a nice day!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Oye Kuch Kar Guzar

I just finished watching this new "online" movie, recently released by DJuice Pakistan. Of course, I didn't watch it episode by episode, but rather all in one sitting.

First of all, it's a pretty innovative movie. It consists of the viewer making choices for the story to progress, but of course, it's all very simple and more often than not, the characters are breaking the fourth wall. I found this very interesting! Even though the choices were very limited and the story had only one way to go (there are no "multiple" endings, just a single one).

Nevertheless, there were definitely some moments that I liked (Sangeen Khan was really cute at the end) and there were some moments that were a little "ehh" (like when Sherry did some kamehameha stuff....) but I have to admit, it's a unique effort and I've never seen anything like it before.

Of course there were also several promotions going on during the story of DJuice services, whether it was their internet services or clear voice communication, which wasn't bad enough to be seriously annoying.

One thing I really didn't like about it was how it's not really a genuine movie. It starts off with a plot, but it doesn't reach it's end. We don't see any of the characters reach Karachi, even though they had all been yelling about getting there on time throughout the film. Where did Xara's clothes and purse go? Yes, the same things that she had been crying about half the film. So in that regards, I felt that the whole movie was quite inconsistent.

The whole point of the show (writing your own story in life) was nice although something about it still makes me a little uneasy. Maybe it's the whole delivery of it? Whatever point they were trying to convey was pretty much muddled (I guess DJuice needs to work on their communication skills) and I ended up feeling like what I had watched was very incomplete.

However, I must stress again. This was an amazing effort and I genuinely enjoyed watching this online film. If DJuice makes another, I would definitely watch that one as well.

Here's the first episode if you want to watch it/play the story for yourself! Have a nice day!

Friday, December 16, 2016

How To Write Reflections

Today I'm going to teach you how to write reflections for multiple reasons which I'll list out below:
-I got an assignment on reflective writing
-It's the most easiest solid thing I learned that I can share with you guys
-2016 is coming to an end and what better time than this to learn reflective writing?

What is reflective writing though? Reflective writing works on this model:

Fair enough, right? You work in that order to think about a problem you've had. That's it. That's reflective writing. That's all you gotta know. You start writing or thinking. It helps to make this a regular habit since you'll be able to seriously learn from your experiences.

Here's what I wrote. Not only will it give you an idea about reflective writing, but it'll also let you know about how my week had been going.

Earlier this week, I found out that my history notebook had been misplaced. This history notebook was very important because it needed to be submitted at the end of the gynecology rotation. I had given it to one of my receptors to get checked and it had gone missing in the process. 
When I first found out about my notebook going missing, I was not alarmed since I had been told that I would get my grades put in without the history notebook. When I found out that the entire portfolio needed to be submitted, I became worried and decided to check in with the clinical administration. They told me that I would need to rewrite the entire notebook in order for it to be submitted and my grades to be calculated, which made me feel like the entire procedure was very unfair for me. My friend and I forwarded the incident to a few other preceptors, which made me feel apprehensive. I received a call just this weekend explaining that my notebook had been found, which made me feel very relieved. The incident came to a close with some received feedback. 
The good thing about this incident was that it made me get out of my comfort zone to talk to people in order to get my work done. It also showed me all the ways that you could approach an issue, such as talking in person, sending an email or discussing with the correct authorities. I also learned that it's important to cover all of your bases right from the start and that if something seems fishy, it's important to hammer out the details, as well as the fact that there is a hierarchy that needs to approached in a correct way if you want your concerns to be addressed. 
The bad thing about this incident included the fact that I ended up getting quite stressed over it and was finding it difficult to focus on my studies. I also kept imagining the worst outcomes and was mentally preparing for them. At one point I had even given up and decided to start working on a new history notebook quietly. I also found myself more easily irritable and on edge. 
Thinking over this incident, I have decided to focus on all the things that went right. I feel that it was the right thing to do when I decided to approach the administration to question on how the mishap could be dealt with. It was also the right thing to email the correct authorities to update them on what had happened and ask for their help. These actions should have been done right from the start if there had been continuous communication though. 
Concluding this incident, I realized that there were ways in which the situation could have been handled better. First of all, this entire situation could have been avoided if we had decided to value giving things directly, instead of giving things on time. My friend and I had been focusing on trying to get our work done on the time we had promised to turn it in and this had resulted in a mishap with stress and a whole week lost. Secondly, we should have gone to get our history notebooks checked up by the person they were supposed to go to. That way, we would have found out about the mishap much earlier and been able to do something about it. Thirdly, we had ended up thinking about making a new notebook entirely, instead of looking for the lost notebook. Assuming that notebooks would get lost in a hospital that runs on patient files that look absolutely identical was not the right course of action. 
If this sort of incident was to happen to me again, I would definitely react in a different. My first plan of action would be to find whatever is missing. Most of the time, such things have only been misplaced and people dismiss the value of the lost item by just saying "get another one". I should also improve my communication skills. I found myself stuttering half the time when I needed to speak out about what my problem was. Maybe I didn't appear to have any communication issues to a third person, or even the second person I was talking to, but I certainly felt some fluency was lost under the pressure of the situation. I should practice my verbal skills more in order to be able to convey my grievances properly next time. Apart from that, I also need to pay more attention to orienting myself in regards to the hierarchy of authorities to approach for a problem, instead of approaching whoever I find most accessible. It's important to work within the system in order to minimize more problem arising from the primary concern.
Have you ever thought reflectively about things that have happened in your life? This whole exercise would especially be interesting for people who keep daily journals, although if you don't keep a journal, this could definitely be a good prompt if you would like to get started! Have a nice day!

Monday, December 12, 2016

What I Expected in Youtube Rewind 2016

I just finished watching Youtube Rewind and I'm going to be straight up honest with you; it was horrible. I didn't recognize anything at all. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was just a bunch of random things put in that did not reflect 2016 at all.

The 2015 Youtube Rewind was much better! Before I get started on 2016, watch the 2015 one (if you haven't). It's really nice!

I can actually recognize people in here? There's Lilly Singh and Miranda Sings and Lindsey Stirling and the JUST DO IT meme! And I actually knew about the Nae Nae song xD The whole video was overall really happy and catchy! And Markiplier was in it too with his Five Nights at Freddys (probably my most favorite segment of it?) as well Pewdiepe (how can he not be in a Youtube Rewind, he's literally the face of Youtube, the biggest channel there is...). I also saw the mic drop reference there, the ALS challenge reference, . I mean seriously, this video made so much sense in terms of what Youtube was doing in 2015.

Anyway, let's move on to 2016...

All I recognized from this video was
- The Rock. Why is he even in this rewind though. Is it cause of Moana? I don't know!
- Pokemon Go
- Pine apple pen
- Mannequin Challenge, dabbing
- Pewdiepie, Markiplier, Lilly Singh, Trevor Noah, that 21 pilots guy.
That's it. That's all I recognize.

Here are five things that should have been in this year's Youtube Rewind:

5) Donald Trump
No, for real. All of 2016, EVERYONE was talking about the American elections and making videos on Donald Trump. How is this not in the Youtube Rewind?? You'll put Alpha Cat pretending to be Barack Obama in the 2012 Rewind but you can't put all the people who tried to look like Donald Trump and talk like Donald Trump throughout Youtube, whether they were talk show hosts (you put Trevor Noah in there!!) or other Youtubers. Well ok. Whatever floats your boat.

4) 2016 Movies
No one mentioned Star Wars? What about Marvel? Or DC? There were a ton of movies that came out that every one had been really excited for! What about Finding Dory! Not a single movie reference anywhere. I mean come on, everyone will be remembering 2016 as the year of Civil War in terms of cinematics, right?

3) But
No reference to all the videos spamming everyone's feed like "The Bee Movie But every time someone says Bee, we show you a meme" or "We Are Number One But a crusader edition" or something like that. No reference to this at all. Even though it's been flooding Youtube. Nice.

2) The End Of Vines
Now I personally don't watch vines very much, but come on. Everyone's heard of Thomas Sanders, right? He's got the nicest vine videos! His main platform was vine and of course, he shifted to Youtube later. But the point is: YouTube rewind will put in Damn Daniel, but not Thomas Sanders? This is an unfair representation of vine's end (if that's what they were trying to get at). And if they put in Damn Daniel just for the meme, there were lots of other better memes in 2016. Like the kermit meme. Or Harambe. Or Joe Biden and Obama.

1) Youtube Drama
There was so much Youtube drama and I am honestly very surprised it wasn't mentioned at all! Not even a little bit! There was no mention of Leafy, Keemstar, iDubbz or GradeA. There was no mention of the "roast yourself" challenge or the whole "diss track" thing that was running all of 2016. So yes, this was really disappointing. I'd been watching these videos and wondering how they would show up in the rewind, but they didn't show up at all? This, apart from everyone complaining about Youtube's 'new' algorithm was all that everyone ever was talking about on Youtube!

I THINK I KNOW WHY THIS REWIND HAS SUCH AN APOLOGETIC SONG NOW. Why else would you constantly have "Oh oh did I let you down? Is it too late to say sorry now?" play through out your rewind video? Oh is it because you knew you dun goofed even before you wrote the script? Or is it because you jumped on the mainstream band wagon of "2016 has been a horrible year"? Either way, I'd been waiting for this rewind since 2016 started and I am honestly, kind of disappointed.

What are your thoughts about Youtube Rewind 2016? Have a nice day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

5 Reasons 2 Hire me

If you've been following me on twitter, you might be a little confused as to what I'm up to. One day, I'll post an ad for hiring a personal assistant, the next day I'll be complaining about how I can't seem to be able to save money.

So of course! The obvious answer was to get a job! Cause that way I could hire a personal assistant (or at least be able to pay them in the candy and dinner they deserve) as well as have money to spend instead of save. The next question was; how do I get a job?

I thought a lot about it and then I remembered that you can sell anything on the internet, so I decided to market myself out and try to get an easy job, right? Especially since I've signed up on websites like and but can't ever seem to find a job that fits my requirements, in terms of skill needed and time given.

Here, ladies and gentlemen, are 5 reasons why YOU should hire me + a bonus reason.

1. I'm creative.
Look at me! I run a blog! Have you looked at my instagram page! I have a theme there! Let me show you my art journals!

2. I'm flexible.
Have you seen a medical student blogging painting tweeting and studying for the USMLE at the same time? No, right? There we go.

3. I'm experienced.
Please, I'm blogging here and simultaneously running my society's instagram page while just having finished compiling a booklet for them which I did right after I entered data for a bunch of questionnaires and also got a couple of histories taken and submitted. Got a job? 900% chance I've done it before and tweeted while I was at it.

4. Help a future doctor out.
Listen! If you give me a job, I'm automatically in your contact list. You know what that means? Your kid gets a cold? You call me up and I'm giving you a free telephone consultation. Do you know how valuable a telephone consultation is? I'm saving you a trip to your neighborhood clinic and that's saving you a good two hours and quite a bit of money. Trust me, I'm a valuable investment.

5. Equivalent exchange; work vs money.
We're both getting what we want? You get me to do stuff for you and I get money to go buy myself some books. Completely a win win situation.

6. I can make nice graphics.
Get me to draw for you or something. Some of the stuff I make isn't actually all that bad! 

And there we have it, 5+1 reasons why you should hire me. Have a nice day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Doctor Strange

Last weekend, I finally got the chance to watch Doctor Strange! I've been wanting to watch Doctor Strange in theaters since I found out that Mads Mikkelson plays one of the villains and I absolutely refused to watch it in any way or place apart from the theater. Why was I excited about the villain?

Because it was a perfect match for the hero! Benedict Cumberbatch, aka Sherlock. Mads Mikkelson, aka Hannibal Lecter. Basically, it's a Sherlock V Hannibal movie, set in the Marvel Universe. At least, that's what I wish it was because honestly, Kaecilius (the bad guy) didn't really get much a back story.

I really enjoyed the movie though! My favorite character was definitely Stephen because it was great to see all the different aspects of him. My favorite parts about Stephen were;
  1. He's incredibly arrogant about his skills as a neurosurgeon (like when he gets his hands operated on and gets told that "they did their best", he says "I could have done better") and I really liked how they showed the despair he felt when he lost the proper use of his hands.
  2. Stephen Strange really doesn't like being pitied and he's willing to squander his entire earnings to somehow get the use of his hands back, even though he technically lost them by his own arrogance (solving a case on his way to a neurosurgery conference and decides to overtake a car while driving at high speeds on a cliff road). All these efforts result in him losing his money, other doctors ignoring him, and the only person who gave him company was driven away.
  3. Even though he ends up learning about mystical arts, he still considers himself a doctor and wants to uphold the Hippocratic Oath of "do no harm". The outburst he has when he kills someone for the first time was great! I really liked how his whole Oath made him decide not to follow Mordo's path, but to create his own where he would violate the rules of time and space, but end up not killing anyone!
  4. "Dormamu! I've come to bargain!"
  5. The cloak of levitation. 

Regarding the movie, I REALLY HAD A LOT OF FUN WATCHING THE KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD. It was just mesmerizing! I already love cityscapes (you can tell, my phone wallpaper is New York City) so this was a real treat to watch.

I also liked the comic relief that was scattered around the movie, whether it was Stephen's Cloak, the WiFi password, referencing to current music or just overall sarcasm and sass from Doctor Strange.

Overall, I'd give this movie a 4/5 and would 10/10 recommend you to watch! I watched this at Centaurus Cineplex (Islamabad) in 3D and while it was initially a little disorienting, it got better when the action started!

Have you watched Doctor Strange? What did you think about it? What was your favorite part? Have a nice day! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Third Year and Clinical Rotations

While I'm writing the first half of this post, I'm still technically not in third year. Sure, classes have started, but I haven't officially been promoted yet. The exam results aren't here and there's rumors everywhere- that thirty people have failed- and so it's not surprising that a lot of people are feeling demoralized and unable to truly study in third year until they know for sure that this is where they will be staying.

I've been trying my best to be mentally in third year as much as possible and to have high hopes that I will be promoted from second year on my first try. So here's me being excited about third year!

I won't be studying basic sciences anymore (good bye anatomy, physiology and biochemistry!) although I will be revising them over and over since I'm planning to give the USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam). My new subjects are Pharmacology, Pathology and Forensic Medicine. They sound pretty cool right? (especially forensic medicine. that sounds like being in CSI: Islamabad or something xD)

Being in third year with all these new subjects meant getting new books too. I like the idea of new books (smelling the pages) and I've got most of my books already. The pharmacology book is gigantic (and painful to read) so I got a smaller book to review it from. I plan on annotating the smaller book and then discarding the larger book. I don't need gigantic text heavy books to give me lots of stress before the exam!

I also realized taking notes was going to get pretty hard, so I've decided to use a notebook for lecture notes, which I would combine with the lecture slides and then add to the margins of the textbook I intend to use thoroughly.

Clinical rotations have also started, we're supposed to spend one day a week with the clinical side of the teaching faculty. Some of our class has lectures depending on which department they've been assigned to while others go to the OPDs (out patient department) to approach patients and take histories from.

My first clinical rotation is in the gynecology department and so far, it's been pretty interesting. I had two other people in my group and the doctor we were assigned to was nice enough to let us take our first history together. So we settled together on one patient and asked her a ton of questions, noting things down before we could repeat the information to the doctor.

After that, we had to learn how to physically examine a patient. The doctor walked us through the general things before taking a patient and showing us how to examine someone who is pregnant. Careful palpation can help you figure out how the baby is lying, where it's head is and how the delivery might happen. Of course, you need experience to be able to say these things confidently.

Another thing we were shown was a fetoscope. It's basically a cone cylinder thing. You find out where the baby's shoulder would be and then place it there to hear the baby's heart sounds. I couldn't hear the baby's heart at all and I said it like
"I can't hear anything"
"Take off your scarf" the doctor said.
I fumble with my scarf and manage to expose my ear before trying to listen again. My earring bangs against the metal and "I still can't hear anything"
"Listen carefully"
I'm trying so hard to hear a heartbeat but... I can't hear anything. I'm debating to get my hearing checked cause I can't really hear anything on stethoscopes either. I get up, fixing my scarf haphazardly.
"Yeah, I heard the sounds" I say hastily. What else was I supposed to do?

I'm sure things will get easier to do as time goes on. As I write the second half of this post, I would like to tell you that I have passed my second year examinations and have been successfully promoted to third year. I have no excuse not to slack off now. I've got a lot of stuff on my plate apart from studying, like SIST, research and this blog. I'm not sure how I'll manage it, but I definitely will!

How has your academic year been going? Have a nice day!

Monday, November 21, 2016

5 Things That Would Happen in The Walking Dead

if it took place in Pakistan....

The Walking Dead is a pretty popular television series. The newest season started not too long ago and the hype for the show has been recreated. Don't get me wrong though, this series is fantastic. It has the elements I love when it comes to a futuristic dystopian setting filled with zombies. More than mindless killing, it's the aspect of survival that really reels me in. You can probably tell which season was my favorite. Definitely season three.

Anyway, after watching such an intense series, I couldn't help but wonder what kind of show the Walking Dead would be like if it happened in Pakistan. Here are five things that would be different about the Walking Dead if it happened in Pakistan. More specifically, Islamabad.

1. Homes here are a lot more secure when it comes to construction. Every single house is walled and gated, a sharp contrast to the houses in the US which only have a door separating living quarters from the outside. Windows of almost every house is reinforced with steel (which means no walkers coming in and no humans jumping out). So yeah, you can definitely bunker down in your house. With most of the public secure like this, a handful of zombies aren't too hard to deal with and kind of takes the fun out of a fight.
Another important thing to remember is that having every house gated helps to contain freshly turned walkers. So if one house gets infected, it's not very likely that it will become an instant pandemic.

2. Pakistan is already a country of power outages. No one will be too disoriented when infrastructure fails. Hopefully. Although one of my personal opinions is that news will spread and the first thing people build is walls around power sources like dams, coal factories etc. Of course, these end up failing with no one to properly maintain them once the epidemic spreads.

3. The call to prayer happens five times a day on loudspeakers in almost every neighborhood. That's definitely a walker magnet and can be utilized to effectively cleanse every nook of the city five times a day. That's great, isn't it?

4. Everybody and nobody will be making road trips. First of all, everyone would be off running to their villages BUT there's going to be a super long line at the petrol station because come on, if regular days can have CNG shortages and 50 vehicles long lines, what can you say for the start of the zombie apocalypse?

5. Pakistan doesn't have anything like a CDC or a prominent research department that people would turn to for a cure. In fact, there's not much of a future that people would see and considering how pessimistic most people here are, they'd just start living in this apocalypse world instead of looking for a way out. The entire show would be people trying to reorient themselves and adapting to the new threats. Nobody would be going on a trip to 'Washington' and even if someone was roadtripping for a cure, no one would believe such a thing would be possible.
In fact, no one would even be surprised to hear that everyone is already infected. Pakistanis would just shrug their shoulders and keep going with their lives.

What would happen if the Walking Dead took place in your country? Or in your area, if you're already in the United States. Have a nice day!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Highlights of This Week

I have just been having this general feeling of negativity this week. Like there is some sort of blanket of unhappiness on the world and it's affecting everyone in some sort of way. I'd talk about all the bad things that have happened to me but it's much more better to talk about the things that went well and that I'm grateful for. Here are a couple of things that made me happy this week.

My Monday morning went well. Surprisingly, I did not fall asleep in any of the lectures; I had my books opened and I was highlighting along the lecture. I may have not been listening attentively (since I was reading at the same time) but at least I was paying more attention than I usually do when I'm sleeping!

I decided to take the day off Tuesday! I debated on the matter on Twitter when Tanya chimed in too and I finalized my plan. I slept in till ten and spent the day pretty relaxed. I had Wednesday off too so it was basically a 'weekend, Monday, weekend' kind of week for me :D

Thursday was the day I had my rotation! It started out with me and my batch mates looking for our preceptor, running up and down hallways when she finally arrived half an hour later and right off the bat, started scolding us on how we should have been attending patients instead of looking for her. She handed us patients after she was done and I got to take the history of a patient who had just gotten out of surgery not too long ago.

Fortunately, the patient was really nice, including her attendant. They both knew I barely knew what I was doing but they were so nice and answered all my questions with lots of details and I was very relieved that this wasn't going so bad.

Once I was done, I headed back to find my preceptor back with a couple of other doctors who were going to start their round. I told my preceptor I was done taking a history and she was about to ask me to present the history when the other doctor interrupts, saying "We need to do our rounds. Tell the medical students to make themselves useful and take out a catheter"

My preceptor blanched and said "What are you saying! They're just students!"
Meanwhile, I was like "Of course! Catheter! You got it!"

The doctor brushes my preceptor aside and says "Well, how else are they going to learn? Put away your notebooks" and she leads all the doctors out to start the patient rounds.

My friend and I are standing next to the in bed patient with the catheter. My friend asks my how we're going to do this. I say "What do you mean how are we going to do it? Call the nurse"

So we got the nurse to go through the notes and she told us that we were supposed to get a urine sample, not remove the catheter. She also went ahead to show us how she clamped down the catheter for a while before opening the tube and getting a sample.

So yes! Thursday had been pretty interesting. As soon as I came however, I had a lot of work piled up. I wrote up histories and did some research (a fancy word for tallying questionnaires) while trying to study for the exam I had on Friday (today).

As you can see, I barely studied. I spent the entire day doing the research because it's due on Monday? And I have so much left, it's making me cry.

It's understandable, even predictable, then, that Friday was going to be pretty stressful. Right off the bat I tweeted about it. Needless to say, my paper did not go that well (everything felt surreal) and once I was done, I talked to my friends for a bit before heading into the library.

Another friend of mine and I are both collaborating on a separate research and we went through a couple of medical journals to get the hang of what we needed. After that I settled down alone to my due Monday research.

I'm not even kidding, this research is draining me out really bad. And I feel worse because my siblings (more specifically, my sister) is helping me out so much and it's such boring work but she's still doing it. I don't know when I'll finish it. I keep pushing the date forward over and over and it's just honestly giving me a headache.

See? It gave me a headache enough to type out all my aches in one sitting.

I hope your week is going better. Have a nice day!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Let's Play Chapter One: The Village of Death

No, this isn't a click-bait title. Not in the truest sense, at least. You know how there are some Youtubers on the internet who make videos of themselves playing games? So I figured, why can't I make a blog post about me playing a game? Considering how many blunders and face-palm moments I give myself, this might actually be fun to write!

The game I'll be talking about in this post is the Witcher. Released in 2009, the Witcher is based on a series of novels written by a Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski (I have no idea how to pronounce that). It's a role playing action game, where you make decisions for the main character, Geralt (pronounced Ger-ult, where the G is like the G in gum). Geralt is a Witcher, a modified human who specializes in dealing with the supernatural. However, Geralt has had an incident occur to him, resulting in him losing his memory. Fortunately, his Witcher friends in the tutorial help him (i.e., you) get the hang of using your sword, spells and potions.

The Witchers have been attacked by a group who call themselves Salamandra. They have stolen the Witchers' scrolls and secrets and have started to put them to bad use. The few Witchers who remain have split up to search for Salamandra. Geralt's search takes him to the village that lies on the outskirts of Vizima.

"Geralt, you have to help the poor woman who's stuck outside the gates!"
Ah yes, tis' I. Kanra the Silver King, here commanding the white haired Witcher known as Geralt. Fortunately, Geralt knows how to wave his sword around and I think I can lead him well enough to save the poor woman BUT FIRST I MUST RAID ALL THE BARRELS AND CLICK ALL THE CLICKABLE THINGS.
If this was a real time game, all these NPCs would be pretty sick of me by now, and it's only been about two minutes into the chapter. Nevertheless, I bravely lead Geralt out to slaughter the demon dogs who have been attacking the woman and have already killed her. Perhaps I should not have been looking through people's barrels...
Fortunately, her son of sorts, named Alvin, is safe and has just started mysteriously floating in the air with light coming from behind him like he's some sort of angel before uttering a horrifying prophecy, all with a straight face. I am mildly disconcerted. Geralt thinks this is completely normal. Then again, he doesn't have many facial expressions to choose from either.
There's a orange haired woman named Shani who says she can help Alvin recover from his ordeal. Shani acts like I know her. I've never seen this woman in my life. Geralt doesn't know who she is either but he's got amnesia so we decide to ask her to explain herself. She's a friend of Geralt's apparently.
My objective is to find the Reverend, the leader of this village, so that I could ask him about Salamandra. My journal tells me he should be around here somewhere, so I search the inn thoroughly, several times until I at last come to the conclusion that the Reverend isn't here. What's the point of this map anyway? It's all dark and I have no idea where to go or where the Reverend is. Does it want me to aimlessly explore?
I start aimlessly exploring, killing demon dogs on my way. I'm making a lot of circles and loops, talking to peasants and travelers on the road (hoping they'd tell me where the Reverend is). I saved one of the peasants from a demon dog and ran up to them to see how they would thank me. Geralt misinterpreted my command and proceeded to stab said peasant with his sword. I screamed and ran away from the peasant. I did not look back and ran half a mile away where I could no longer hear them yelling "Stop him!"
I finally find the Reverend and he looks like a nutcase. He wants me to light some candles at altars scattered around the village. That means running through all the grass lands and dirt paths again. I really wish I could get a bike. It's awfully stressful watching Geralt run and run and run. I feel like all this virtual exercise is psychologically making ME lose weight.
Every time I light an altar, there are three demon dogs at my heels. I usually run away from them.
The last altar is near the inn I was at from the start. I see there are bandits near the gates, and I, leading my Witcher, decide to beat those bandits up! I push Geralt into the battle and he waves his sword and manages to kill most of the bandits (until his health drops and I run away from the battle, heal Geralt and come back at a different angle) when I see that there's a woman fighting the bandits too! Once we defeat the bandits, she thanks Geralt for the help and then asks if he could escort her to her home.
I was in a bit of a hurry and in my haste, agreed to help her out.
I couldn't even find the Reverend's house, how was I supposed to find this random lady's house? I searched the inn thoroughly, she kept following me, I tried talking to her but all she'd say was "Hurry up, I haven't got all night!" in this really annoying sort of way. Like wow, thanks Lady, no address? Not even a street number? How am I supposed to get you anywhere at all?
I decide to just roam around the village, knocking at random doors until we find her house. Unfortunately, we get attacked by demon dogs again. Geralt pulls out his sword and the random Lady has her knife out and we start butchering the dogs until I notice that the Lady's health bar is going down. The dog lunges at her, bites her and she falls to the ground and dies.
My face:
I goofed this up, she's actually dead oh my God what am I going to tell her boss? She worked at the inn, right? He'll never let me in through the door again, I goofed so bad, oh no-

Geralt's face:
I have failed the quest. Check that off the list in the journal and time to move out.

I meet a witch named Abigail and I like her very much- except the entire village wants to kill her with fire. I decide to run in and warn the witch about the blood thirsty crowd outside.
"Abigail! Don't die! I'll save you, unlike the poor waitress I couldn't protect-"
Needless to say, Abigail is grateful but-
"Abigail, no. No. Don't turn this into a shippy romance sim game cause I'm not shipping myself- I mean, Geralt- with anyone in this game!! Although now that I think about it, why are all the women around Geralt red/orange haired?!"
I manage to block Abigail from trying to flirt with me by walking out of the cave she's hiding in to confront the mass of angry villagers outside. They want blood. I go back in to fetch Abigail and I tell the Reverend that he'll have to deal with me.
I really didn't expect them to attack me but they did. What do you expect from fat merchants and nutcase Reverends to do against a Witcher? I slayed everyone pretty easily and took all their money (they didn't have an awful lot, I'll tell you that) when the greatest dog demon of the demon dogs arrived.
I uh... I died a couple of times...
When I finally manage to defeat the dog with Abigail's help, I go back to the inn where Shani is waiting for me. The entire village I pass through is eerily quiet, there's no one anywhere and I've realized that I've killed the entire population.
The inn is empty too and I figured I could give Shani something since she was waiting through all the deaths I had, so I looked through my inventory and saw that I had 2 red shawls. Item description: Perfect gift for a lady.
Shani. Take the shawl. I have two of these. Take it. I said take it. Why won't you take it!!!!! It's a gift!!! Haven't your parents taught you anything about accepting gifts?!!!

Essentially, I mentally yell a lot while I play games. I should definitely start my own Youtube channel :p

Friday, November 11, 2016

Game Review: Mystic Messenger

no the game is not really 1.5 GB, don't worry
This isn't exactly a popular game, but it has certainly caught on in some communities on the internet. I played this game and completed it once and that basically makes me think I am eligible to review this game, although it is far more complex than that (really!).

Mystic Messenger is a game which basically revolves around the app being a messenger and the story playing out through the medium of chatting, texting and calls. It's a really unique game and I was honestly surprised at this ingenuity. I didn't think that this game would get me so invested in the story.

You start off by joining the RFA (Rika's Fundraising Association) which consists of six people. V (one of the founders), Jumin Han (rich corporate boss), Jaehee Kang (Jumin's assistant), 707 (hacker and technical support), Zen (narcissist actor), and Yoosung (college kid). You join the organization and end up taking Rika's place. Rika was the original founder, but sadly died some time ago by suicide.

The organization used to hold social parties and gather funds for charity. However, with Rika gone, there haven't been any parties but now that you're here, everyone wants a party to be held. You have eleven days to gather guests for the party!
This whole party inviting thing is a real headache though
During the course of the game, you have different 'routes' to take. In the casual route, you can end up with either Yoosung, Jaehee Kang or Zen, while Jumin Han and 707 are reserved for the 'deep' route. The choices you make in the chatting options are what dictates the routes and branching in the game.

The first time I played, I ended up getting a bad route. I had been playing the game as I would normally play; being off with everyone and not really trying to be friends with anyone (as I usually am xD). The game tried dragging me down the Zen route however, and at first, I thought, why not. Zen seemed like a good guy (except he was obsessed with looking at himself in the mirror) until I decided to try out the call feature in full. 

The call feature involves plugging in your headphones and picking up the calls of the other members. The calls are basically recordings of the characters speaking in Korean, with the English translation coming on the screen. I really like how that worked, it was really interesting to hear the characters although you didn't understand a word they were saying and I personally ended up just reading the screen and ignoring the voices. 

Right so where was I ... oh yes, so one of the first calls I actually listened to was Zen's and of course, Zen is pretty theatrical so when I actually heard him going "muah!" I was so creeped out, I backpedaled extremely fast and starting shutting Zen down. It didn't help with Jaehee Kang (an avid fan of Zen's work) constantly on my case though...
there Jaehee I hope you're happy, man you're so naggy >__>
With me backing out and becoming extremely anti-social with the characters, it wasn't a surprise that I went down the bad route. The game is divided into segments and the first segment always ends with one of the characters talking about a "weird" dream, where they dreamt that they were all "artificial intelligences" in a "game" and that "nothing was real". This was a really cool segment and the game does this a couple of times, which I call the 'breaking the fourth wall' effect.
Look at 707 breaking the fourth wall and talking about the routes that the game has.
The game then warns of branching before taking it's new route. My route ended with Yoosung getting kidnapped which, to be extremely honest, left me absolutely horrified. Basically, this was my reaction: (disbelief, incoherent screaming, denial, more denial, followed by a renewed desire to play the game again and this time, doing it correctly).

So of course, I HAD to restart the game and save Yoosung. I felt terribly guilty about getting him kidnapped (although I'm STILL not sure how and which decisions of mine got him kidnapped). I played the game again, this time being super nice to Yoosung.

Let me say, this game is extremely cliche at times but at other times, it's super sweet. Of course, at the start it's all really creepy (cause there's like, four male characters jumping in your face for attention and you only have a total of two responses to pick from) but once you get used to it, it's not that bad. The story is nice, the characters have their own quirks and it gets enjoyable.
However, this whole game works in real time. That means that characters will be online and chatting at specific times of the day, so if you're like, spending most of your day in college without wifi, you're going to be missing A LOT of chats and calls. You can make up for it by spending hourglasses to take part in conversations that have already passed, or to unlock the entire conversation list of the next day. However, hourglasses are difficult to gather.

If you're interested in interactive story-telling like this, you should definitely try this game out and complete at least one route. After completing the Yoosung route, I started the game again in 'deep' story mode and tried going down the Jumin Han route (but I got fed up of his cat obsession and tried switching to the 707 route midway) but of course, like I said before, the game worked in real time and I did not have time to spare.

I give this game a rating of 4/5! Check it out and let me know what you think of it :)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Having A Schedule While Blogging

I recently commented on a post on Instagram where the poster asked for help in regards to scheduling for their blog. I thought it would be interesting if I shared about what I do with my blog schedule and hopefully, it would motivate me to keep posting regularly!

Before I start, I just want to say that writing a blog is not as easy as it looks. A lot of people think that blogging is just like a diary, you write whatever you want and press publish. Unfortunately, things don't work like that. Yeah you could treat your blog as a diary or a text dump, but it doesn't really bring in readers the way a properly structured post with pictures and content does.
You could say that blogging isn't all about readers and stats and comments and stats, but admit it. A lot of us find the number of reads and the number of comments a big motivator to keep writing. And to pull these views in, you need to put genuine effort into your blog. You have to make it look pleasing to the eye, the content has to be catchy and the reader should be like "oh! this was fun to read!".

Once you've established yourself a good blog- a quality blog- then you have to maintain the quality and one major way you can do this is to post on a regular basis. I can't tell you how many blogs I've come across that had amazing content and I loved their posts, only to find out that the last post they wrote was in June 2016 and there's been no announcement about them leaving. Or you follow a blog and that's when they stop posting.

Let me say this loud and clear, blogs like these lose potential followers. And to prevent this from happening to your blog, here are a couple of things I do.
  1. Establish when you are going to publish a post. You shouldn't post things as soon as you've finished writing them. Decide on how many days a week you'll publish. If you produce a LOT of content, consider going for three or four days a week. But if you have days when you can't write or can't publish anything, cut your posting down to once or twice a week and use your extra posts to buffer for the days you can't write anything
  2. Announce this schedule on your blog. Write in your bio "I post thrice a week" or "I post twice a month" so your readers know when to check out your blog. You could also mention it in your twitter and Instagram profile. For example, it's a standard part of my about, I write "binge seasons seasonally and blog biweekly". That lets people know that my blog is fairly active.
  3. Keep a planner. For real. Set aside little tasks to do every day, like maybe "make a graphic for new post" or "photograph the flowers in the garden" or "write down ideas for new post" or "spell check drafts". Do something every day and set aside the exact days that you will press publish. For example, my "deadline" days are Monday and Friday.
  4. Always have a large stock of pictures. Don't post just words only. Always punctuate with pictures, it helps a lot. A picture means a thousand words and no matter how small a piece of writing you post, if you add a picture, the content value jumps up and you've got yourself a decent post. If you're a primarily writing/musing blog, this can really help build a queue and create consistent activity.
  5. Don't be afraid to mix things up once in a while! If you don't feel like publishing your writing just yet, choose something else to post instead. Or if you're photography blog and you want to try an OOTD post instead of nature photography, go for it! Expand your horizons. It's your blog and you get to decide the content. Don't restrict yourself to one category.
  6. Try starting a 'series'. Like a "what did I do this week" series, or "blog-posts I liked" series, or "new blogs I read" series or whatever really! The thing about writing a series is that it already gives you an entire structure to post with, all you have to do is fill in the blanks. It's great for days when you have no idea what to write, just pull out one of the blog series and write one of those!
  7. If you really don't know what to post, how about doing those chain awards? You know, Liebster Awards and Blogger Awards. People love reading those kinds of posts, especially if you nominate your readers for doing. Not only do you get to post something people actually click to read, but you're also interacting with your fellow bloggers! Of course, don't let these awards pop up too often, cause that just becomes repetitive and kind of childish.
  8. Go out and talk to people. Whether it's your friends or blogger buddies, sometimes a fun conversation can become the perfect content for a new blogpost!
What would you advise to someone in regards to keeping a blogging schedule? Let me know in the comments below. Have a nice day!

Friday, November 4, 2016

My Favorite Youtubers #2: KhanAcademyMedicine

I started up this series and I aim to keep up with it! Surfing Youtube is a past-time that everybody enjoys. You can find a lot of things on this website to watch, whether it's painting tutorials or game channels or drama episodes or cooking shows or whatever! Even vlogs and comedy videos and cat and dog videos or documentaries or troll clips. You'll find anything and everything.

So I thought I would compile a list of some of the Youtube channels I enjoy watching. They're not in any particular order though! You can find the first of the series here. Please remember that this is just a random series about what kind of Youtubers I like! I noticed that when bloggers talk about the kind of Youtube channels they watch, everyone has different favorites and I often can't find people who like the same channels as me. I figured somebody needed to talk about these channels, so here I am with-
Okay, so today, I'm just going to talk about the greatest channel on Youtube, the one I spend hours watching and often watch one video on repeats of six or seven times because they're just that good? And they're honestly a life-saver? And everybody should know about this channel because when Kanra Khan the second year med student says they're a life-saver, you better believe they're a life saver.

Haven't guessed what channel it is?

KhanAcademy // KhanAcademyMedicine !!

I can't even begin to talk about how much I love this channel and how many hours I've spent on this channel and how unbelievably helpful this channel is. I talked about this channel briefly before, but this time I'm going to go into some more detail.


But in all seriousness. Khan Academy, created by Salman Khan, is a completely free teaching channel. Initially meant for teaching math concepts, it has expanded towards chemistry and physics as well, before launching a new channel; khanacademymedicine. And I am speaking from the bottom of my heart as a med student, that this channel is a blessing.

I'm the kind of person who gets bored really quickly. I end up opening khanacademymedicine, look for the video of the topic I need to read up and watch the video for a general overview of things. The thing about KhanAcademy is that they simplify things so much, you can't help but go "Really? That simple?". Of course, it doesn't mean you should rely solely on the videos, they just give you a really easy way to grasp the concept and make reading the textbook much much easier since now you know exactly what's happening.

So if you're starting up med school this year, really. Calm down. It's not as hard as you think. Gather your resources together and let khanacademymedicine guide you.
If you've just entered med school, here are a couple of posts you should definitely check out!
Welcome to Med School 
10 Tips on Studying Anatomy 
BioDigital Human 
Failing in Med School
If you're in high school and are struggling with maths or chemistry, please. Just use KhanAcademy. It will save you so much headache. I remember how I didn't really get chemistry in 10th grade and I was in my mock exam seasons and I heard about KhanAcademy. I watched the videos on the periodic table and oh. I loved the periodic table after that. Everything made so much sense, from the trends up and down the table to the trends left and right. These were things that I kept mixing up but KhanAcademy presented logics that stuck in my head and helped me get an A on chemistry :)

Do you use Youtube purely for entertainment or also as an educational platform? What do you think about KhanAcademy? Have a nice day!

Monday, October 31, 2016

My First Time Failing A Brand

I don't normally like to chuck dirt around and make a mess but sometimes, you just can't help but defend yourself. I've signed up for a bloggers newsletter of sorts where brands ask for bloggers and you can pick which 'assignment' you want to apply for. I rarely find anything I can apply for since everything happens in the UK to the point where sometimes I actually resent this country (DON'T EXPECT ME TO SAY THANKS FOR THE RAILROADS AND OUR INDEPENDENCE).

I feel like the blogosphere is very saturated with specifically English bloggers. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but when all the English bloggers are focused on English bloggers, then it's kinda hard to get noticed. You'd think people would like variety (hey look, a blog written in Pakistan!) but it turns out birds of a feather flock together.

Anyway, back to the point. So I applied for an assignment and got accepted (you hear that? You have to apply and get accepted) and I had to review an app. You can check out my review here. Now one of my personal policies on this blog is that I'm not going to blow anything out of proportion (unless it's something actually cool). And I didn't do that at all! I didn't make mountains out of mole holes, I wrote exactly what I thought about this app. In fact, I even kept some of the more negative opinions to myself.

It didn't take long till the deadline was done and I got an email in my inbox. Here is the email in its entirety. I've taken the liberty to highlight all the things I have a problem with.
It has to come to our attention that you have written a blog after spotting the Blogger Require competition. 
If you had read our Terms and conditions via the website you will have seen the clause which states that you cannot mention that the reason you’re writing the blog post is because its a competition.
Although you have your opinion on Huggle, we feel it is unfair and in parts wrong. And I kindly ask that you remove your blog post, or at least edit it. There are a lot of things in your blog which are not correct and we do not want this to damage our brand. Firstly, you can add places when you first download Huggle. You can choose up to 5 places anywhere. Therefore you can see places/events that you have previously visited. 
Huggle launched only a month ago and unfortunately it seems that your country has not many users. Until the app grows, users will start to expand in your country. However if you have visited other areas such as the UK - you can add these places to your list and will therefore see more people.
The reason we ask users to have a profile photo is so that other users can see what you look like. 
Our safety features have been praised as the best in the app world. We use hyper-local technology and a 1 minute photo verification, which stops fake check-ins and profiles. Our 24/7 monitoring team are also on the watch of any abusive or abnormal behaviour from our users; so Huggle is in fact a very safe app. The reason why we use Facebook is because we want to verify every user.  This again makes the app safe. We are working on other ways to verify users but for now this is the only way. 
Kind regards,

Initially when I got the email, I felt very upset because I too felt like this email had been drafted wrongly about me and that there had been an attempt to harm my entity (as opposed to me writing falsehoods about them and trying to damage their brand). I gave it a few days and then decided that there was no reason for me to be upset about what they said and there was no reason for me to do what they said at all.

First of all, I did not merely 'spot' the competition. I applied for it. I got accepted. The application involves you mentioning your location. You wanted someone from a third world country to review your pretentious first world country app.

Secondly, I did not mention the word competition anywhere on my post. This just goes to show that you haven't even read my post. If you thought I was going to be talking about Huggle the whole time, no. I wanted to mention Bloggers Required so that my readers could sign up to them (not you) if they wanted to.

You want me to remove or edit my blogpost? Are you trying to tell me what to post on my blog? This part really makes me mad. Not only am I the one to apply, spare a couple of MBs on my small 8 GB phone, sign in to said app with difficulty, check said app every day, but also be the one who's supposed to censor my content? You want all of this done for free?

Oh wait, it's not for free, I get my name in a stupid competition I know I'm not gonna win anyway cause whatever you're offering me didn't even interest me that much in the first place. I just wanted the experience of working with a brand and let me say this, it's been terrible.

There's a lot of things on my blog that are not correct? This will damage your brand? Check out that wording. Thanks for making me feel like my blog is all wrong, instead of just the post about your app. Did you notice how this whole brand is all "ME! ME! ME!"?

Do you honestly think I- or any of the bloggers who applied- care about your brand? You didn't even make a decent effort to make me care. It was just "oh here's the app, try it out, write a review and you just might win some English money!" but I think I know why. It was probably because they already got their stats and technicians to decide that it was better to invest in the English bloggers than a Pakistani blogger.
Me: I'd love to write a review for the app but there's a lot of features I can't seem to use mostly because there's only one user apart from me using Huggle in my area. Would you still like a review from me? I could talk about the potential of the app. Let me know what you think. 
Them: Yes obviously in your area and due to us being a new app there may not be lot's of people. We're very busy here in London though and in the bigger cities. Perhaps talk about what Huggle aims to do, and the functions it has and essentially get people to download it, so you'll have more and more people to connect with eventually.
Oh yes, so much more ME! ME! ME! going on here. The only time when it's really about me, Kanra, it's "oh just get people to download it so you eventually have people to add on the app". Wow. Seriously? And hello. Islamabad is a big city. It's the capital of Pakistan. But you English people probably don't know that cause you're busy with London and Royal Weddings and British tea :C

If only you had visited other countries like UK. ????. ??????????????. NO. I DONT WANNA VISIT UK. NOT ANYMORE.

If you're a brand and you want me to write for you, here are a couple of things I want to say.
  • Do not expect me write your brand like it is amazing when it's not amazing and you should know that I won't ever blatantly say your brand sucks.
  • Do not expect me to change my content to suit you. I don't change. What's written is written. And only I get to decide what stays. This is my blog. Not yours.
  • Do not expect me to keel over when you play a victim card about your brand. I don't care about your brand image. Just as you don't care about me or the other bloggers you're using.
  • Do not expect me to promote your brand when you can't properly reciprocate my efforts.
  • You expect to get brilliant content for free? Over 20 people wrote posts for Huggle. Only three people get paid.  You're not allowed to be picky about the kind of content bloggers are posting about you if you can't even give them any sort of payment for what they're doing for you. Just take the three posts you liked and use those. Don't tell everyone else to fix themselves.
  • Do not expect me to change my personality for you. I have social anxiety. I will not post my picture on this app no matter how secure you say it is. I don't care if it's the most securest thing on this earth. I have anxiety.
Well, that's all the salt I have for today. I feel a lot better after typing this out! Have you ever collaborated with a brand? What was your experience?

No. I will not take down this post or the review post. These are my unpaid opinions.
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