Saturday, August 27, 2016

Blog Break!

Hey guys. You may have noticed that I'm behind my schedule again (I'm supposed to post on Mondays and Friday but lo and behold, today is Saturday).

Anyway, I've been off from school since Wednesday but it's for studying for my finals. I'm starting to have a tough time studying and writing together so I decided to give blogging a break. It won't be long, just a few weeks and in the mean time, I'll be writing down ideas and stuff (cause we all know how exams bring forth tons of brand new ideas, just when we can't carry them out) and I'll be back with tons of posts and hopefully, no more skewed schedules!

I won't be completely gone though. You can find me rambling away on twitter (@optic_chiasma), occasionally posting on Instagram (@thelunardescent) and probably playing games on Steam (@Miasmedic). I might even show up on Snap-chat to rant a bit (@KanraKhan).

Anyway, hope you guys have a great time. I'll be lurking around here, reading catching up on blog posts and comments. Oh and there's going to be a scheduled post for 5th September 2016, so look out for that! Have a nice day :)

Blogging Hiatus: Saturday, 27th August 2016 --> Friday, 7th October 2016
Product Review Post Scheduled for Monday, 5th September 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How Bad is it to Fail?

It's pretty ironic how I wrote an entire post on how to study anatomy just a few days ago. I'd written the post after my exam on the gastro-intestinal system, partly because I had finally figured out how I should be studying these things and partly because my exam hadn't gone very well and I decided to write everything I should have done down was a good way to ensure I didn't screw up an exam again.

Unfortunately, I wasn't prepared for how badly I had screwed up.

You heard that right. Kanra Khan, second year med student, failed an important exam for the very first time in med school. Was I shocked? A little bet, yes. I'd realized my exam didn't go so well, so I had been expecting a borderline pass, like maybe 50.01% or just 50%. Results get emailed though so when I finally went home and opened the document, I didn't get past the bare minimum to pass. I had gotten a 48%.


So I was shocked, yeah? I study quite a bit, writing notes and drawing drawings, but it just didn't seem to be enough. I realized that when I saw the paper, and I realized it again when I saw my result. For real, guys, med school is tough. You put in so much effort and time and it all literally drains you and then you find out you weren't even up to the mark.

Does it hurt?

Yes.

But no pain, no gain, am I right?

Here are five reasons why failure isn't as bad as it sounds and feels.

1. It's a chance to evaluate yourself.
Where did you go wrong? Did you think this class, this subject was going to be easy peasy? Or maybe you decided to party out with your friends all weekend? Or maybe you did study, you really did, but you focused on the wrong things? Either way, you need to sit down and think about what you've done. We're so caught up with staying ahead in class, we never really stop to think about what we've been doing in the past. Here's your chance.

2. It's a wake up call
Whatever you've been doing, it's not working!! Just reading the text won't get you to pass this class- the way it may have helped you pass all the other classes. Do you need to change your study strategy? Switch from detailed reading to smart strategic learning? An F on your exam is the clearest sign you can possibly get that tells you "Hey, whatever you were doing, it's not going to work. For real, change your strategy".

3. It's your chance to ask for help
I'm a student so I know how there's a sort of facade us students hold up. Whenever it's that time of the school year where grades come in, people ask around "What did you get?" and if you got good, you'd announce your result. And if you didn't do good, you'd just try to play it casual, like "Mmh, yeah, I passed at least".
Well yeah, you didn't do good but in your attempt to look cool in front of everybody, you really missed out a chance to ask for advice. When you fail, there's no way you can continue this facade. You should just take a deep breath and admit that your failed. You'd be surprised at how nice people will be about it, giving advice and tips about studying and test-taking.

4. It proves you're a human
It's okay to fail every now and then. If you always passed with flying colors, wouldn't you stop working so hard? Wouldn't it give your efforts less meaning? That and, a lot of people would be pretty mad at you for being a know-it-all super genius. Failing means you're flawed and human. It's a perfectly normal thing to happen.

5. It tests you as a person
How are you going to react to this? Are you going to sit back and cry about it? Or get up and do something about it instead? What you're going to do after failing is what will decide if you are a winner or a loser.
So pick yourself up, get a plan running and get back into the game! I believe in you and you should believe in you too!

Have a nice day!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Olympics And Words

This post was supposed to published earlier but wait! I have perfectly good, plausible excuses for this late blog post! First of all, I had my cousins from the US over on Thursday, an important exam, friends eat out and research workshop to attend on Friday. My Friday started out pretty good, my exam went decently- except for the fact that it was freezing cold in the hall and when I walk out, all of my muscles ache so much.
It's like they were tired of constant thermogenesis.
I seriously thought about skipping the hanging out plans my friends had, as well as the research workshop but fortunately, I decided to soldier on and see how things would go. I had a lot of fun with my friends, the research workshop was mildly interesting, but when I got home, I was 100% sure I had a fever and my legs wouldn't stop aching?? It felt like I'd been walking for miles when I'd actually done like maybe one mile maximum walking from here to there. I don't get any exercise at all, I admit my lifestyle is unhealthy.

Moving on!! I got tagged for these two really interesting tags by two amazing bloggers (they're in my Hall Of Fame if you haven't visited that place yet!!) so without further ado, let's start!

I got tagged for the Olympics tag by Zelus over at My Hopeful Pencil. Thank you so much for tagging me, Zelus! You guys should totally go over and check out her blog! It is an amazing and inspirational blog all about studying.

Questions

Team? Well, I'd support my country for starters, and then I'd like to support my friends' countries next! So I'd be Team Pakistan, Team USA, Team Netherlands and Team India!

If you could compete in an event, what would it be? I would probably compete in either swimming or running. I'm not very good at either, but out of all the sports out there, these two might be my only relative strengths.

Favorite event to watch? I'm not really a fan of watching sports, to be very honest! Mostly because I can't make sense of what I'm watching. If I had someone with me telling me what's happening, I'm sure I'd enjoy watching events :)

Olympian you most admire? Again, I don't watch the Olympics, but Envy told me about an interesting thing that happened in the last Olympics where Usain Bolt got run over by a Chinese reporter on a segway. The reporter apologized to Usain Bolt and gave him a friend ship bracelet. I just really liked that little story Envy told me!

What sports do you currently play? We established this at the start- I don't exercise at all and I've admitted that my lifestyle isn't the most healthiest. So yeah, I don't play any sport at all currently.

Summer or Winter Olympics? Winter Olympics sounds the greatest!

Ever been to the Olympics in person? Nope! Not at all.

A sport that should be in the Olympics? Do they have a Math Olympiad? I bet not!

What do you think would be going through your head right before you were about to compete in the Olympics? I'd be a nervous wreck! Probably be chugging down some sort of sedative or relaxant so I don't freak out in the middle of my event xD BUT. I'm sure, if I'm good enough to be in the Olympics, I'd be quite able to handle stress and also be good at taking the Olympics as they really are- friendly games between countries!

Once again, thanks for tagging me Zelus! Here are the rules of the tag:
-Publish a post with the questions (you can add your own)
-Thank the blogger who tagged you
-Tag others
-Use the Olympics post image (attached) or create your own.
Here are the questions.
Team?
If you could compete in an event, what would it be?
Favourite event to watch?
Olympian you most admire?
What sports do you currently play?
Summer or winter Olympics?
Ever been to the Olympics in person?
A sport that should be in the Olympics?
What do you think would be going through your head right before you were about to compete in the Olympics?
I'll be tagging people on twitter!

Envy tagged me in this post a million years ago and I kept saying "I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it, it's such a great tag, ooh, BRING IT ON" but of course, life whacks you in the face and you're like oh God, I need to give this post so much attention but I don't have any attention to spare D: Better save this tag for later! Well, guess what! Now's the time!!

What's your favorite letter of the alphabet?
This is such a tough question! I like Ks and Rs and Gs and Qs because it's so much fun to write those kinds of letters with flourishes and curves. Sound wise, I like pronouncing Bs, Ps and Ls!

What are three words that you love?
Okay, so there's this letter in Urdu that's pronounced like Z, which is interesting cause we have like, three letters that all make Z sounds but this one is different cause it's got three dots on the top (and other characters of the same shape only have one or zero dots and this one shows up with three? Wow!)! Anyway, you rarely see this letter around, but when I saw my first word with this letter, I loved it?
Azdaha: اژدھا literally means boa, but I always imagine a basilisk, like the one in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Whenever a kid walks up to me, like 3-4 years old, just learning how to make proper sentences, I just pick them up and put them on my lap and ask them to say words like orange and blue because I love how little kids say these kinds of words! "Say blue!" "B-roo!" and "Say orange!" "Oh-wanj!"
So I guess those two are my favorite words as well.
I also like the word deja vu. It sounds really mysterious and it often ends up being a mysterious experience too!

If you were to create a word, what would it be and what would it describe?
There should be a word for the moment when it feels like time slows down when actually, things are going so fast all around you. Like at an airport when you're running for your flight (and you're not the one dealing with tickets and stuff) and there's panic of some sort everywhere and you're just looking at everyone, really fascinated with how much of a hurry they're in. And you end up reaching your gate like 20 minutes early with nothing to do.

What are your three favorite punctuation marks?
Ooh! I like
;  !  "
What are your three favorite fonts?
Well, I really like typewriter fonts and brush fonts. Some of the fonts I've been frequently using on my blog are
Which do you prefer, handwritten or typed notes?
I really like hand written notes! I feel like they convey much more personality than typed notes! If I could hand write my blog, I would definitely do it.

Thanks for tagging me :D Once again, I'll be tagging people on twitter! You can check out who I tag on my profile (@optic_chiasma) and I'll be pinning this post up as well. Have a nice day!

Friday, August 12, 2016

What's Your Personality Type?

When I signed up for psychology classes in A Levels, I thought it was going to be the coolest subject ever. I thought I'd become some sort of an amateur criminal profiler, or a lie detector or be able to manipulate people into doing things they normally never would, or perhaps forget they did it at all. Or maybe I'd be able to hypnotize people, or put them to sleep or maybe I'd be able to reconstruct their entire personality from a short conversation.

Basically, I thought psychology classes would turn me into some sort of Sherlock or Will Graham. Is it surprising that I was wrong? Psychology classes were mostly about research articles and various studies and theories. It was a very enjoyable class, don't get me wrong, but there's still a part of me who still wants to study psychology to delve into the human mind and somehow discover myself not as I appear to myself, but how I really am.

Of course, you could always take one of the many tests available on Facebook and Buzzfeed (Which Sesame Street character are you, Which Famous Fantasy Novel are you, Which 1D member are you, etc etc, you get the gist of it). Most of these tests are written by amateurs. If you really want to know what you are, consider the following test.


MBTI, or Myers Brigg Type Indicator is a test designed to put you into one of sixteen predetermined personality types based on four different aspects.

Aspect #1: Introvert Vs Extrovert

Aspect #2: Sensing Vs iNtuition

Aspect #3: Thinking Vs Feeling

Aspect #4: Judging Vs Prospecting

I took my first test from here and my result came out to INTJ. Here's what they told me.

INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging): The Mastermind

  • independent, insightful
  • Able to absorb extremely theoretical and complex material
  • Supreme strategists; extremely logical and rational
  • Future-oriented and easily able to see the big picture
  • Have strong insights and intuitions that are trusted by others
  • Bored when dealing with mundane routine
  • Value knowledge and efficiency
  • Comfortable being alone
  • Have very high standards for performance

Of course I thought this was pretty cool. I read it up a bit on Wikipedia too and the stuff they wrote there was... interesting to say the least.

INTJs are strong individualists who seek new angles or novel ways of looking at things. They enjoy coming to new understandings. They tend to be insightful and mentally quick; however, this mental quickness may not always be outwardly apparent to others since they keep a great deal to themselves. They are very determined people who trust their vision of the possibilities, regardless of what others think. They may even be considered the most independent of all of the sixteen personality types. INTJs are at their best in quietly and firmly developing their ideas, theories, and principles.
— Sandra Krebs Hirsch
The thing about these personality tests is that I don't really trust them 100%. I had read a book several years ago which was basically a deconstruction of a 'psychic' circus act; when the performer asks a series of questions and the person being questioned, as well as the audience, is awed about how precise the questions are. The book basically said that the 'psychic' would ask questions that are general, or could be applied to a large population. For example,

Someone close to you has died.

Now this is the type of question a large percentage of any population would answer yes to. And even if they answer NO, under the guise of oh, sorry your past is a little foggy, I think it's a close friend of yours I'm seeing? Has a close friend of yours experienced death in their family?, the whole psychic drama can still be salvaged.

What I'm basically trying to say is, I feel that a lot of these test results can be applied to a lot of people. Everyone likes thinking of themselves as independent, creative, insightful, determined, how is it that this test decided that these qualities were mine? That brings us to the question:

Is the Myers Brigg Type Indicator a reliable test?
Yes it is reliable- you can take the test again and again and you will fall in mostly the same categories (apparently, the most variation you should get is in one of the four letters). But is the interpretation of your four letter personality really, well, your personality?

That's really up to you to decide! I felt very uplifted when I went through my MBTI result for the first time- it's supposedly one of the rarest type out of the sixteen totals- and the results made me want to blurt out my ideas more often (something that really turned out to make my day better, since I stopped doubting myself and just hit SEND on a lot of conversations. Does it surprise you that my ideas were well-received?).

You should definitely take the test and see what you get too! You can take the test on 16personalities or Personality Perfect. I personally prefer 16personalities. The test style for both are different though! Try them out and see if your results correlate. Let me know how it went! Have a nice day :)

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Silkworm (Robert Galbraith)

I'm really behind on my book reading! I bought three books about four weeks ago and so far, have only been through two of them. I'm not sure when I'll get time to read the third! Anyway, while the entire literary club was busy reading the Cursed Child, I picked up this title, the second book of the Cormoran Strike Series.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...
 

~Goodreads

This was such a great book! I really enjoyed reading it! I always love the idea of a book, being about a book, which is basically what the Silkworm is about. The entire mystery and murder revolves around author Own Quine's latest book, yet unpublished, but distributed among editors. The first book had been all about the world of a model, the second book is about the world of writers. It's no surprise that Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling is well versed on how publishing and editing works.
“...writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.” 
The novel is a detective novel, there are interviews to take, notes to be made, people to be followed. I really found the entire exercise very fascinating, how Strike would ask for interviews, how he would get into places to get a closer, inside look of situations. His assistant, Robin, was also interesting. She is ambitious and excited to work with a detective, but is being held back by her fiance and Strike as well. She manages to break through the barrier and assert her stance on how she felt about helping to solve cases.
“Hard to remember these days that there was a time you had to wait for the ink and paper reviews to see your work excoriated. With the invention of the internet, any subliterate cretin can be Michiko Kakutani.” 
The ending of the book was quite a twist however. It was certainly a strange turn of events, although there had definitely been clues and hints littered in the previous pages. I liked how Strike relates Owen Quine's novel to the reader and now I can't help but want to know what the actual novel was like! (Mild spoiler, but it's okay).

All in all, the book was enjoyable. 4/5 stars and I would definitely pick this up again for another read.

Friday, August 5, 2016

10 Tips on Studying Anatomy

I don't profess to be a good student, let alone a great student. I do try my best and while sometimes the best may be good enough, other times it's not. The important thing is to keep trying. There's no perfect way to do things, what works for one subject might not work for another subject. And what may work for me, might not work for you. So before I start this post, I just want to let you know a couple of essential things

It's okay to not know how to study. The important thing is to not give up heart and to keep trying out new styles.
Don't be harsh on yourself while you're adjusting. Yes, being harsh could get you to work harder, but save that study technique for when you can actually work hard and efficiently.
The study methods I've outlined here will not be the perfect or only way to study anatomy, and it also may or may not work out for you!

Glad we cleared this out! Now here's the big question: how can you study anatomy?


Anatomy is a subject that involves a lot of description. There are descriptions of the locations of organs, their insides, their outsides, their neighbors, their blood supply, their nerve supply, their lymphatics drainage, their supports and maybe even their development as well as their microstructure.

What I noticed about anatomy is that it needs constant revision. There's so much material to remember, it may seem trivial and confusing, but it's all really important. Here are 10 things you should focus on when you're studying anatomy.


1. Skim through the chapter first. Don't start studying from the first sentence, just go through the text and familiarize yourself with what's written. How much of this have you already studied? How much of this makes absolutely no sense? Skimming through the chapter will give you an overview of everything and it'll help keep you focused. If you start studying from the very sentence, you'll just end up tiring yourself out!

2. Always keep an atlas open. It's good to have a picture to help guide you through the long pages of text, whether it's the muscles of the limbs, the organs in the abdomen or the arteries around the heart.

3. When studying about a specific organ, always focus on it's relations. What's behind it? What's in front of it? What's beside it? Check it out on the atlas!

4. Similarly, it's important to know about a structure's blood supply, nerve supply, veinous drainage and lymphatic drainage. 

5. When studying about arterial supply, it can be really helpful to draw out an arterial map, starting from the aorta, all the way to the structures that your are reading about! The same can be done for veins.


6. Always go through the clinical conditions thoroughly. It would be a good idea to write them down in your atlas so you can go through it quickly to remind yourself.

7. In fact, write a bunch of quick facts (after you're done studying everything!) in your atlas next to what you've finished studying. I try to compact as much information as I can on my atlas so that when the time for the test comes, all I need is the pictures and the information scribbled next to it to remember all the important things!

8. Study developmental anatomy with gross anatomy. Sometimes, studying about development can help make things easier, like nerve supply and blood supply!

9. The same can be said for histology! Studying histology will help your understand the organ on a microscopic level and this can also really help you out when it comes to studying physiology too!

10. Go through the chapter over and over, whenever you get time! It's easy to forget what you've studied, but by going through it again and again, you can consolidate it in your memory :)

So here were ten little tips to help you study anatomy :) It's a great subject to study and it's satisfying to know everything, especially if you can see it on yourself, like the muscles in your limbs or the bones in your hands and feet. Have a nice day!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Urban Legends: Campfire Tales Entry

Before being a blogger, I always wanted to be a writer. I used to have this composition book (you know, the 50 cent ones that everybody had for school) and it was black and a light blue- a little like the color of the sky, but more bright, or more artificial, almost neon, you could say. 

I used to write a bunch of little poems in it, poems I can't remember now, poems I don't have, poems I can't write again because I lost the notebook and I was just a little girl. I couldn't remember everything I wrote, but I remember that I wrote it. 

Fast forward to when I'm an adult (by the law, but neither in mind nor in spirit :p) and I'm just too busy to sit down and right poetry. Inspiration does not come to me, time evades me and the work that spills so fluidly out of other people makes me feel cheated out of my own childhood writing muse. 

Why did I have to lose that notebook? Why did I have to stop writing? What can I do about it now?

I thought I could just pick up little stories and start writing, anything, but I can't seem to continue projects that I've started. You could go see my profile on wattpad and you would see that I've been on there since 2011. I've been on wattpad for five years. During those five years, there have been countless books I published the first chapters of, only to lose focus and delete them.

Maybe being a poet or even a writer just isn't in me.

That doesn't lessen my wish of writing a horror piece. So when Eve announced a writing competition, I couldn't help but give it a go. It was especially exciting considering she was only taking acrostic poems and short stories and the theme was urban legends.

I decided to enter this competition by writing a poem for it. I have never written a poem in this format before and I thought it would be pretty neat to try! Thank you, Eve, for introducing a new style of poetry to me.
Whispering at night,
even though there seems to be
no one outside.
Darkness veils everything and
I am afraid to
get up and go, 'cause the
owls are hooting mournfully,
Stay away, child, stay away! 
It's dark tonight and there is
no moon to light your way. 
Peeping through the window there is
a pair of eyes, we must lure it
kindly, make soft mewls, ask for help.
It is easy to be what we are not.
Softly stalking, 'cause it doesn't matter if
they don't come. They are alone
and we are a pack, we
need to feed 
- Wendigos In Pakistan
I hope you liked it! Make sure to enter Eve's competition if you're interested! Have a nice day.

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