Saturday, June 26, 2010

First Award

Kanwalful gave me my first blog award=)

Where will you be in ten years?

I don’t know. However, I know where I want to be in ten years. I want to be done with my Optometry Doctor degree (O.D. degree) and possibly have done my Masters in Microbiology. I want to be married to a financially, mentally, physically, as well as spiritually stable man, who is a couple of years older. I want to have already written at least one book on either overcoming depression as a disease, or maybe a fiction book about a Pakistani young man living in Mexico. I want to be a frequent contributor and an expert on eye-health issues for Prevention magazine. I want to have established an Islamic educational organization that deals with informing the Non-Muslims that are either elderly, deaf, blind, or homeless about Islam. Lastly, I’ll just throw in some cute little kids (no more than two) that I’ll be raising with utmost care. There is a LOT more that I want to do, but in ten years, this seems like quite a bit.

Ten people who deserve this award?
1. Amber Misk
2. Zaufishan Iqbal
3. Bubbli
4. NeverEver
5. Sister Safiyyah
6. Abez
7. The Gori Wife
8. Sister C
9. Banana Anne
10. Sadaf Farooqi

And I would like to include all my followers in this award as well. You girls deserve this award too=)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Lucky Student

Getting added to classes that you are petitioning for is purely a matter of luck. During my time at  University of California, Irvine, the system for adding classes involved wait-listing myself online and hoping that others would drop so I could get in (It also helped if I was at number 5 rather than number 55 on the wait-list). However, for ‘classes-in-demand’, due to an easy professor or because it was a pre-requisite for Upper Division classes, the chance of getting in were almost 0 (at least with my kind of luck).

In Golden West College and possibly other community colleges, the system for adding is a little different. The teacher decides how he/she wants to add petitioners to the class. I’ve had an English Professor who had the students write their names on a piece of paper and then he did a draw, where he pulled out as many names as seats available (due to the absence of registered students).

Yesterday, I wanted to petition an Anatomy course at the same community college. I got to the 8am class at 8:20am. A huge line was neatly formed from one corner of the room to the other. At the beginning of the line stood the Professor with a Halloween ‘Trick or Treat’ bucket. Students were pulling out something from this bucket, and then moving along.

I asked a girl about this unusual scene and she told me that the bucket had little cards with either a smiley face or a sad face on each. Whoever got the smiley face could grab a chair and stay for the class, while the ‘sad face’ people had to leave. The ‘smiley face’ individuals would be given add-cards that they could use to add the class online. 

Considering my luck, I decided that I would probably not get the seat. Nonetheless, as always, I still had to try. I was the last person in line.

When I got to the ‘Sorting Bucket’, I pulled out a card that would determine my fate.

And guess what? 

I got in the class!!

My first quiz is tomorrow and my first exam is on Thursday, so I should probably be studying right now.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Join Sisterswhoblog!

If you’re a Muslim woman with a blog, you need to join sisterswhoblog network. It’s a great place to meet other Muslim sisters from around the world, and get more followers to your blog. It’s easy to join and very laid back. I’ve made many friends already in this past month.

Plus, there’s a competition that’s going on right now.

You enter your blog in the appropriate categories, and if you win, there is a possibility that you get to travel to Queen Rania’s palace in Jordan. How cool is that?
So, what are you waiting for? Please join NOW! There are about 73 followers when I last checked. However, the goal of Sister Amber Misk is to increase the membership to 1000 followers. If you’re a follower on my blog, or even if you are not, if you read this, then go check out sisterswhoblog network. GO!

Click here for their online magazine.

*all pictures taken from sisterswhoblog site.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tired of follower hunting?

Let me just answer the question plain and simple: Yes.

I am guessing a lot of people feel the same way. Let me explain.

Obviously, I am not going to get to the point right away. First of all, here’s a little history:

Roughly two years (or more) ago, I started a blog titled ‘Naina’s Dilemma’. I wanted to write about a fictional character Naina, and follow her story through blog posts about her post-graduation life and mid-nagging-mom-to-get-her-to-find-a-suitable-husband life (phew! That was a long one!). She was eventually going to get married during the course of the blog. I was new to blogging and wanted to see what it was all about. I secretly wished I would get many comments on the blog and my blog would become a hit with people from the same cultural background as myself. However, after a couple of months (like two months), I got tired. And I deleted the blog. I was disheartened and thought that this was the end of my blogging ‘career’. I was a failure, I thought.


Then, last year, I decided to start another blog after I had shadowed an optometrist. I wanted to write down all my shadowing/optometry experiences in one place and when I got interviewed (hopefully) at a optometry school, then I could tell them all about my blog. Who knows? Maybe they would be impressed. 

I had two posts on that blog when I decided to delete it and move all those posts to another all-encompassing blog, Rukhpar Mor. I had commented on a couple of blogs with this same nickname (which I had made up in a matter of a minute when I was commenting on a blog for the first time) and thought that it reflected a lot about where I was in my life. This new change of blog name and address took place in September 2009. A new blog had been born.

A few months into blogging at Rukhpar Mor, I decided that I really did want to have a separate blog for my optometry experiences because I didn’t want all my thoughts to get muddled together in one big mush of a mess. So the optometry blog (now called ‘The Ocular’) was reincarnated.

Two months ago, the blogging fever got the better of me and I started yet another blog called ‘Destination Orange County’. I have decided to blog about my adventures/dining/aimless-roaming-around in Orange County in one secure place.
With these new additions to my writing life (which previously only consisted of endless journaling and essay writing), I decided that I did not care about getting any followers. I just wanted to let out my feelings and share my thoughts/experiences/emotions/anything with whoever might be fortunate enough to come across my blogs. Secretly, however, I prayed. I prayed that I would fill my blog with great content that would attract readers. I prayed that my readership would grow to a vast number, the size of facebook users.

Then, one day, wham! I thought to myself: “I need to start commenting on, and following other blogs. Maybe that way I could grow my followership" But I was still too picky. I went around the internet and found a couple blogs that I thought were interesting and followed them. I started to comment regularly. I got some of my earlier followers that way. Everything was sunny and bright on my side of the fence.

Last month, however, I got frustrated again. I wasn’t getting anymore followers! So I looked around for ideas to grow my readership. I found out about two different networks-Sisterswhoblog and 20somethingbloggers. I decided to join and see if it would help. Luckily, I was able to increase my followers from 10 to 19!!!!!!!! ( yes, this deserved that many exclamation points). I was, needless to say, on the greener side of the grass once more.

But now, my dear reader, I am becoming a follower-holic. I have been spending hours and days on these networking sites and leaving comments along with my blog name for prospective followers. I am getting weary and tired, like a sailor caught amidst a storm. My head has been hurting from spending too much time in front of the computer screen (at first, I thought it was dehydration, but I have been chugging down numerous glasses of water to no avail).

I have decided that I am thankful to my Lord for the followers I have. I will focus on writing great content that will benefit my current peeps (followers) and maybe new followers will make their way to this blog. I will (at least for the time being) not stalk other blogs to get more followers on mine.

In the meantime, I want to send a message to all my lovely followers:

I really appreciate that all you women (yes, all my followers are women!) are following me. I want you to know how much it means to me. I also would like to ask you peeps to write me a comment and let me know what kinds of topics interest you. I want to write content that will be interesting to those that are following me, so that they can come back over and over again to leave comments. I love you all! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What was I talking about? Memory.

Humans have an extraordinary capability to remember faces, interactions, emotional experiences, and ‘interesting’ facts. Notice the wording-‘interesting’.

However, most of the time, our brain is bombarded with information that is useless and dull-think Calculus and Physics-and it has no other option, but to go into a hibernation mode when we are trying to study. For example, think about college students pulling all-nighters. (First of all, I never understood that. Sleep is such a precious time for me. Why would I want to wake up all night, cramming useless, pathetic facts in my brain that I won’t remember after turning in the exam?) Almost all of these students, either on the exam and most certainly after the exam, will forget 90% of what they tried to cram in their brains.

Obviously, when the topic of a recent Neurology of Learning lecture was on memory, I was thoroughly excited.

The process of consolidation (compiling information from short-term memory and putting it into long-term memory) is what limits our memory to a large extent. The brain does not see all things as memorable and hence, filters out all unimportant information. This is a mechanism that the brain evolved that works efficiently in terms of energy expenditure and usage.

Certain events, however, are stored by the brain relatively easily. Emotional responses associated with a memory will be retained much more likely than the same memory without the emotional cue. Bad memories can be prevented from consolidation by blocking norepinephrine receptors. (Norepinephrine affects our responses to stressful situations by increasing blood pressure, constricting blood vessels, etc.) This hormone also induces better cognitive function. Cognition refers to the process of learning, memory, and judgment. (A better cognitive ability would be an advantage in such situations)

There are interesting cases of people, called savants, that have an extraordinary memory, but limited mental abilities.

A patient called S. had a limitless memory; he could remember a table of 50 numbers horizontally, vertically, as well as diagonally. However, in other times, this ‘limitless’ power proved to be a curse. He was unable to forget bad events and was eventually unable to discern fantasy from reality. This shows us that our brain has the capability to remember an infinite number of things, but  it might not be a benefit in the long term.
There are two kinds of memories: declarative (facts) and non-declarative (perceptual and motor skills). A patient called H.M. had recurrent seizures that could not be fixed by medications alone. Doctors decided to remove his temporal lobes. His case gave an insight into the parts of the brain responsible for consolidation of memories.

The hippocampus (located within the temporal lobe) is responsible for the conversion of short-term memory into long-term memory, which affects our ability to recall information.

Following are a few tips that will help you with memory retention in the long-term (courtesy of the Professor):

-Right after class, write down the whole lecture by yourself. Then, look over the notes you took in class.

-Repetition. Look over the notes every couple of days.

-Get emotional. Memories linked to emotional events are retained much more easily than other non-emotionally associated events/facts. You might want to try associating the concepts with something that you encounter everyday.

-Listen to ‘Sonata for 2 pianos in D major K.448” by Mozart while on the way to the exam. (The only musical piece that has been shown to help with cognitive improvement). The research was done at University of California, Irvine and an excerpt from the paper can be found here (courtesy of the guy/gal who uploaded the video).

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Star Blogger Award

I would like to award a star blogger award. I was fortunate enough to get in touch with a blogger who has been very kind and helpful to me. The new style of this blog is due to her generosity. She took some time out to design this new layout and I would like to thank her for this favor. I made this award for her. I don’t know how the blogger award system works, but this is my attempt at expressing my gratitude. Here you go, Johana:


* you can check out her AWESOME blog here.

P.S. The disqus commenting system is not cooperating. All the pre-current-template comments have disappeared from the blog. If someone knows how to fix this, do let me know:)

Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 Best Blog Award

Sisterswhoblog invites YOU to give your suggestions/ideas/whatever-pops-in-your-mind in order to make this award special. Any and ALL suggestions are welcome.

You might get one these for sharing your lovely thoughts:-)


*Organized by Sister Amber Misk.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Fatima wants to fly!

Click here to be taken to a website that shows you how to make an animated film very easily. I have tried Windows movie maker, but this is much easier. Enjoy my pathetic attempt at an animated film:

For some reason, my animations never have that ‘clean’ finish. *sigh* Now, back to studying for Physiology…

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Followers Update

Thank you my followers, for following me!!

*big giant teddy bear hug*


Oh and I would also like to thank my followers on this blog:) I love you gals!!

*Inspired by Johana Hill

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Twitter Maze

twitter maze
I made it past the twitter maze.

I joined twitter this weekend, after I deleted my Facebook account (which I sort of regret), and for the past couple of days, I have been sending out pointless ‘@messages’ to random people (on twitter)  just to figure out how it actually works. Don’t worry if you don’t know what these ‘@messages’ are-that’s why I’m writing this post.

I am happy to announce that I finally understand this world of twitter and want to share some basics with others who might still be confused.
Here’s the un-official Twitter Guide:

Twitter is a social networking site that keeps you in touch with your current as well as prospective friends, family, employers, employees, etc (?). It’s like facebook because you constantly update your status to reflect your current financial/emotional/mental/etc. state. However, there is a shorter word limit to these statuses (only 140 characters) and there is a new ‘code’ you have to learn in order to send your messages to specific people.

I just want to make some things clear before proceeding:

-If you want to send direct messages to someone, the recipient of that direct message needs to be following you in order for him/her to get that message.

-If, however, you want to send a ‘shout-out’ to someone, that person need not be following you (and you don’t need to be following them either).

Now, let me explain what each of the above means:

-A “direct message” is a message that only the recipient can see (i.e. it is not posted on their homepage, but they get it in their ‘direct message’ link on the right side of their homepage). It’s like the facebook’s inbox feature. If you want to tell someone something privately, you would use the inbox on facebook. Similarly, “direct messages” is twitter’s private messaging system.

To send a direct message, type: d username message. For example,
d rukhparmor I LOVE your blog!
-A “shout-out” is actually called an ‘@reply’ or ‘@mention’ in twitter. It’s like writing on someone’s wall on facebook.
To send an ‘@reply’ , type: @username message. For example,
@rukhparmor You are so AWESOME!
To send an ‘@mention’ , it basically means that you are mentioning that person’s name in the body of your twitter message. For example,
@rukhparmor did you know that @XYZ is single?
(the person with the username XYZ will also get this message since you have the ‘@’ symbol in front of their username)

Now you know how to send messages on twitter. You should also know how to find the messages you have received.

On the right side on your homepage, you will find a box with your username on top and ‘following’ and ‘followers’ right below it. If you look under that, there is a menu that has these options:

‘Home’, ‘@username’, ‘Direct messages’,  ‘Favorites’, ‘Retweets’

If you want to see who mentioned you in their message or if someone sent a ‘shout-out’ to you, click the ‘@username’ option.

If you want to see your direct (private) messages, click the ’Direct messages’ option, and so on.

I hear that there is a lot more to twitter, but this is where I’ll stop.

The above guide will hopefully make your journey with twitter a bit more pleasant and enjoyable. :) Don’t forget to follow me on twitter!

screenshot twitter

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