As we dive well into the semester, I can’t help but emphasize the value that practical learning has had on my experience as a second-year Biology major and Health Studies minor. During winter break, I worked as an extern at the Neuroradiology department of University Hospital, Zurich in Switzerland. Over a period of three weeks, I was shadowing a neuroradiologist on his daily rounds from 6 a.m.-6 p.m., scrubbing in to see surgeries that made me realize how critical the science of the nervous system is and how strong communication and apt stroke management can help conduct critical neurointerventions effectively. Owing to how busy my schedule was, I only ever went out into Zurich during the weekend, but I was able to immerse
myself into a world of Swiss chocolates during the duration of my trip!
My father decided to surprise me because I was unable to go back home to meet my family. We spent a wonderful weekend at one of our favorite cities – Lucerne. The quality father-daughter time during the last week of my externship made me more focused going into the spring semester. The experience not only helped me to relax by allowing me to work in a different country, but it also planted in me a newfound respect for neurologists and the meticulous manner in which surgeries are conducted.
This semester, I am mostly taking science-heavy courses and I am also getting EMT certified. One might think that I rarely ever have time for myself to do the things I love, and although that may be true, I have taken up journaling as a hobby. Not only does it help me to organize my thoughts and provide space for introspection and reflection, it helps me keep track of my progress throughout the semester.
I have also made it a point to go out into the city more, and I do so by volunteering at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP). I volunteer at a surgical unit and assist the full-time staff with the day to day operations of the hospital.
I am currently in a Human Physiology class and am absolutely enjoying the lab component of the class. We had to dissect frog legs in order to gain a better understanding of muscle composition in the frog’s legs. Organic chemistry lab is also taking an interesting turn and we are embarking on a 5-week long independent synthesis project where we aim to synthesize warfarin analogues.
The South Asian Students Association had their cultural showcase during the first week of February this year. The theme of the show was “Shakti” – a Sanskrit word meaning female energy and power. The performances were powerful and empowering. The show also featured “fajjr+ali” – an indie based duo from New York City. There was a fashion show towards the end – highlighting the colorful plethora of South Asian traditional wear – it was truly a good start to the weekend.
As mentioned in previous blog posts, I am a student coordinator for the Body Image Council. This year’s peer leader training workshop will be happening soon! My fellow coordinators and I are excited to share our vision of a more inclusive Bryn Mawr with interested participants.
It’s a very busy time for all of us, but Spring 2019 is proving to be the most dynamic semester yet!