Monday, April 23, 2007

The Astrotrek Essay by Saad

So,Saad aka the brat aka laddoo is heading out to space camp at the NASA space center in Huntsville,Alabama come May. He is among a hundred students that were selected out of over six hundred in his school. I loved how they were asked to write essays about why they want to go to this camp and why they in particular should be selected. They were also to get recommendation letters from their fifth grade teachers in elementary school.It was all so official what with the letters being sealed and stamped. Anyways, based on the essay he wrote which I've been meaning to post here for a while now, I am certain he won't have any trouble writing personal statements (for whatever reason)when he grows up.Enjoy!

Why I want to go to Astrotrek.

By Saad

I would like to sign up and go to Astrotrek for many reasons. First of all, I have a great liking for both math and science. Second, I would like to increase my knowledge of space and the natural world. Also, I think it would be a great experience for me and many other students. Furthermore, I know that it would be a great chance for me and many others to go to an actual space program, experience what it is like being in space, and doing many other activities that scientists’ and astronauts’ go through most every day.
One of the reasons I, individually, should go is because I have tried extremely hard to keep my grades up. I was hoping to go to Astrotrek since I first heard about it in 4th grade. It has been one of my many goals in sixth grade and in my opinion it is one of my most important goals. I have behaved very well, achieved a lot of excellent grades and have gotten a lot of great titles while I have been at the Sixth Grade Station. Along with that I am a good role model; polite, and kind.
Moreover, I think I might be interested in a career in Science when I come of age. For example I am very interested in the space, stars, and sky so I might have a career as an Astronomer. Astrotrek will help me understand and gain knowledge of how scientists’ work every day.
Another reason I think I should go to the Astrotrek Space Program is that I’ve heard from my Science teacher that in Astrotrek you get to see a real spaceship and you get to make your own small rocket and hot air balloon, plus you get to do a lot of other wonderful experiments. As I said I take a liking to doing labs, so I would love to watch and do many marvelous experiments or demonstrations.
I am also interested in how the space program affects our everyday lives. Plus, I would want to know the history of the station. Along with learning about the Space Program, I would be very anxious to try the simulations and learn how it actually feels to go out into space like an astronaut. I know it would be great to experience the life of an astronaut in a simulation. Also, I would like to gain some knowledge on what devices astronauts use in the shuttle/Space Station and what the scientists at the base use to communicate and interact with the shuttle.
Other than that, I have many questions that will most probably be answered if I go to the Space Program. For example, I am very interested in the planets’ orbit and revolution around the sun. I would also like to learn about why the other planets are so different from planet Earth and how the gravitational pull on the Earth works. Overall, I would like to know the answers to many of my questions and I think I can accomplish that by going to Astrotrek.
That is my essay on why I want to go to the Astrotrek space program."

Friday, April 20, 2007

Are You Smarter Than A First Grader?

From time to time,I volunteer to give small science talks to first graders at the school where my mother teaches. Its quite an experience and always gives me something to smile and laugh about. No matter how many times I tell them that their questions will be taken and answered once I am done talking, there's always a handful of them who'd raise their hands in the midde of it all, ever so eagerly,all wide-eyed."Yes?Do you have a question?",I say.A nod and an ahan later they get permission to ask the question only to be followed by an "ummm,I forgot". They are all really intelligent and inquisitve and ever so often they have questions that have me stumped. For example, the time when I talked to them about the skeleton. I had taken in a little plastic skeleton model to point out the different bones and just when I was almost done a little girl raised her hand and asked,"Aya,is that a boy or a girl?".Two years out of medical school and about five down from those anatomy lessons on differentiating male and female skeletons on the basis of which notch was deeper on what bone, I truly was at a loss.So,I told the little girl that I couldn't tell and that someone who was an expert at differetiating "girl and boy bones" would probably be able to answer that question...heh.The puzzled look on her face could very well be translated into a "But I thought you were a doctor!".
Another amusing exchange took place while I talked to them about the digestive system. I was telling them about food being absorbed by the intestine when I heard a kid sitting in the front row ask another, albeit in a loud whisper,"So, what happens to food our body doesn't want?". The answer,"What do you think poop is, silly?!".So, we eventually talked about poop amongst a lot of "ewwwww-s" and "yuk-s"(courtesy the girls in the class).Anyways,just when I thought it was over and done with, this one kid who I think is the smartest of the bunch shot up his hand and said,"I know another name for poop!". Expecting him to use the scientific term "feces" (this kid knows what arteries are and even the name of the smallest bone in the human body!) I gave him the go ahead and he said,"Its dung!"...heh.I wonder how many kids actually caught on to "dung" and used the word at home!
On a serious note though,my interaction with these kids often makes me wonder about education back home and how its different from what kids get here.There is need for improvement in a lot of quadrants but theres one thing that always stands out, at least in my eyes. Now, I draw upon my experience as a child growing up and it might be different now or so I hope. Its how there was never any encouragement to question what was being taught.It was there in the text or the notes and thats the way it was. In time, this practise,I believe totally sucks the life out of what should be an enjoyable and rewarding learning experience. It breeds unmotivated learners, blunts mental development and I'd go as far as saying that it has a bearing on moulding a child's personality. Private schools in Pakistan are probably implementing a change in startegy but what I'd love to see,some day, is for this to happen at all the government run local schools too.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Six Weird Things About Me

I owe this tag to Que sera sera who tagged me eons ago.

1.Even though I don't consider myself to have a particularly sweet tooth, I just have to have something sweet after lunch and dinner(much like ques sera sera) and these days its a handful of my little brother's cocoa puffs cereal(he ofcourse doesn't know I've been stealing).
2.I hate leaving voice messages and do so very rarely.
3.I have adirectionia (don't look the term up--its randomly coined.It means I have no sense of direction). I find it very hard to remember (and give) directions off the top of my head and actually get around because I've set(weird)landmarks(like that big billboard,this old chruch and that tree).That said, give me a long journey and printed out mapquest directions...I am the best navigator ever!Now thats a paradox if ever there was one.
4.I am a compulsive jasmine green tea drinker.A massive mug full of that stuff with lemon/lime is the ideal remedy for my post-pig-out guilt trips.
5.I haven't had red meat in over ten years!The terrible cooks in the dorm kitchens(of the two colleges I spent time at) are patially to blame....them and my first day in the anatomy dissection hall.
6.I can not and do not window shop.Aimless browsing at the mall would be in my list of least favourite things to do.

I tag whoever wants to be tagged. :)
I remember Rai tagging me ages ago but since he killed his blog and with that the tag I shall consider my self not obligated.Next in line is the freak(Beautiful stranger)who's come up with her very own rather mind boggling tuned?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

More "DP News"

The familiar monotonous drone of the USPS truck going around the neighbourhood delivering mail was a source of nervous excitement for me these past two days.I'd stand by the window peeking through the blinds and watch the mailman put the mail into our mailbox and wait for him to leave.Then, I'd rush out,get the mail and as I walked back to the front door, I'd leaf through the envelopes to see if what I'd been waiting for was here or not. And today, it came...DP's step 2 score report was finally here!
I opened the envelope praying for it to be an awesome score and thats exactly what it was, alhamdulillah!DP scored an amazing 96/238 on his step 2 exam!! I couldn't be happier or be more proud of him!I called him to let him know the good news but not surprisingly his cell phone was turned being his wedding today. So, I've shot him an email with his score in the subject line (as per his instructions) so he won't have to wait for the page to load (and have a minor coronary..heh).Its his valima tomorrow but knowing him he'd log in to check his mail and find out about his score and I bet it'll more than double his joy!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Antoine Dufour - Spiritual Groove

Thursday, April 12, 2007



If you can't find
what you're looking for
Look again
at what you've found

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DP's Wedding

My friend DrPak aka DP is getting married in two days!! Thats right...two days!(For those of you who know DP ;It sounds sudden because it is sudden!). DP and F have been engaged for four years now and a nikah was in the works for round about this time before he headed out to the US in pursuit of a residency.However, two days ago his and F's family decided on going ahead with not only the nikah but the whole shebang. DP leaves for the US a little over a week after his wedding and F should be joining him as soon as her visa gets sorted out inshaAllah.I am thrilled for the two of them mashaAllah and would've loved to have been there. Too bad I can't but I think I am playing my part quite alright all the way from here, by bugging him and perhaps making him feel a little edgy with stuff like "OMG!I can't believe you're getting married!" , " Have you picked out your ties yet?" , "Do you know what color her dress is?...make sure the color of your tie doesn't clash with it." ," Have you made all your phone calls to invite people?"and well lots more...heh.I hope everything goes perfectly and that the two of them are blessed with a blissful and happily married life inshaAllah!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Photo Implosion

I came across this blog not too long ago courtesy Que sera sera's links and fell in love with it. I am not well versed with photography but I believe I do have an eye for whats good and most of what I've browsed through till now is just brilliant.You all should definitely check it out! :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Of About Me-s and I

An "about me" I came across while random blog hopping : "I am fun,smart and very very pretty". It made me smile.I have never been good with "about me-s"...I don't know why and so my blog doesn't have one.Perhaps there is too much and too little to me at the same time to be put into words.Perhaps secretly,somewhere deep down I do care about what random strangers(stumbling over my blog) would think or maybe its just that I've never really let go to be enough of me to know what actually is me. I thought about this a couple of days ago too, when an "about me" email chain was started by a fellow intern to-be in order to get to know each other a little(prior to being forced to work together..heh).I think I handled that one quite gracefully(read did not smack my head after hitting the send button) but I did wonder about how one would go about conveying their personality to total strangers over email without feeling awkward.And then,I thought about what would be worse;having to actually meet strangers and make conversation with them especially when there is absolutely no connection...with the current pathetic status of my "making small talk" skills,I'd take the email over this anyday!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Sanjaya Anthem

Comedian Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E celebrates the magic of American Idol's SANJAYA!

I seriously think he should quit the show. I've even stopped feeling embaressed for him!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Why Aya shouldn't mess with Saad...