Recent Entries by Rasha  

Google Calendar and Me.

If you're like me, forgetful and lagging behind on deadlines, get yourself acquainted with a calendar. You might ask, "What's the best and most innovative calendar to be acquainted with?" My definite response: the Google Calendar. If you haven't heard, you better start listening. Here's what I love most about GC.

1. You can add professor Just Ask Hours directly from the Just Ask site.
How cool is that?! You can switch on/switch off the Just Ask calendars as you please. This, by the way, is a great time management tool. You can quickly see and decide which Just Ask hours you are available to attend to get your questions answered. This is by far the best tool for those (like me) who lack time management skills and cannot seem to find time and arrange to see a professor during their Just Ask hours.

2. Never forget about another meeting!
If you check your email frequently, set up an email reminder that will email you a reminder about a meeting (or any event you set up). Or you can set up a pop-up reminder, which (as long as you have your calendar open somewhere on your task bar) will pop up your calendar to remind you of your event. It's like a personal secretary, but free (stupendous!).

3. Thinking about hanging out? Send an Invite!
Every Friday, my friends and I go out and about to spend some time away from all the studying, homework, and stress, Sometimes I find it best to just add an event to my calendar and add my friends as guests to the event. I can click on my event to find out who's accepted my invitation and who can't make it. It's fast and easy, and takes 30 seconds to add to my calendar, so I don't forget.

The best part about all of this is that you can access your calendars via phone, iPod, tablet, etc.

There's more greatness to this wonderful invention. You'll just have to go explore on your own. Seriously though, it doesn't take much effort to set up a Google Calendar for yourself. Get yourself on track with school work deadlines, so you never miss another assignment.

Moral of this blog: Use Google Calendar!

Alright, I'm done preaching. ;P


Traveling/Study Abroad

I feel like people don't do enough traveling in their lives, and it's really unfortunate because there's so much to see in this world!! I know that there's a lot of reasons that people might not be able to travel, such as money, time, and even fear. Not many people want to go and visit new countries, because they're too comfortable where they are now. But here at UMR, everyone is given the chance to study abroad! Which is so convenient and really cool. Not many schools spent their time helping you plan such an amazing experience for your last year of college.

I really think that traveling and exploring other countries and their cultures really changes a person's views. Unfortunately, not many people are familiar with cultures other than their own. Being able to experience other peoples' cultures is a really awesome experience. Many of us may have misconceptions about people and their cultures, but to be able to actually go and visit their country and learn more about how they live would be such a great experience!

A few months ago, I met a guy at a different college in town, and he was taking an Arabic class and trying to learn the language because he wanted to move to Egypt. I thought that was so amazing!!! I definitely wanted to keep in touch so that I could answer any questions if he had any. That's another thing too, there's plenty of people who might be from the country you want to visit, and if you take the time to ask them I'm sure they can give you great tips such as where to stay, good schools and programs, and they can even explain a little more about the culture over there.

So I guess what i'm saying is that you should go out and see what the world has to offer! Even in America, there are many differences between the East Coast and West Coast. Just imagine how much different it'll be outside of the country! I really encourage everyone to take advantage of UMR's study abroad options, and go out and learn something new!

Here are some places I recommend going to/plan on traveling to:

Alexandria, Egypt
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Tokyo, Japan
New Delhi, India
South Africa

Safe travels! xo

Waking Up the Sleeping Dragon.

January 29th, 2013 marks the day my inner dragon was summoned. In other words, some serious self-realization type of stuff kicked in. After a great start to my first year and a successful end, I didn't look out for the tough semesters ahead (a.k.a sophomore year). I began the sophomore year with my head up high, which I now realize was a bit too boastful for how it ended - with my head way down...

Hakuna matata though! This is a story with a happy-ending!

I came to realize that "Behind every success is failure." In my case, failure to prioritize, organize, manage, and most important of all - plan. As the saying goes, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Whatever the saying may be, the point is that planning is the key to success. In college, planning begins with successful goal setting. That is, TANGIBLE goal setting.

A few days ago, a group of friends and I were socializing and we came across a discussion about whether the Student Success Series: Academic Goal Setting Workshop at UMR was worthwhile attending. After much thought, we decided to stop by and see what we could learn from it; little did we know the impact it would have.

The workshop really couldn't have come around at a better time. With the last semester's results in the past, I was motivated to kick off the new semester and take on a new set of courses. One important lesson learned from the workshop was that its easy to set goals. However, it's not so easy to follow all the way through with the goals you've set. So, it's important to check in every now and then to assess and evaluate yourself. One good way to do this is to check in with a good and reliable friend, coach, academic advisor, parent--someone who will keep you on check and "smack" you back to reality when you've lost hope in following through with your goals. The workshop really opened up my eyes to the victim game I was playing with myself. With the SMART goals strategy we learned about, I feel like I have successfully set some good goals for this semester. This isn't just blabber! I'm seriously committed to following through too!

After attending the workshop, I had walked out with great motivation (to fix what I deemed a failure), one important goal (and 3 specific action steps in achieving that goal), and a group of friends to keep each other in check. Now, with my action plan already set and written, I think it's safe to say that sleeping dragon doesn't want to sleep anymore. It's action time.

So, however long your inner dragon has been hibernating, it's time to wake up!

These are some of the pictures from the Cultural Awareness Week at UMR, where some of the students and professors dressed in their traditional cultural colthing and shared their customs and traditions with other students.

This event was organized by the Intercultural Club of UMR.

Soumya (left) wearing the Indian sariHawa (middle) and Muna (right) wearing the Somali diraac

Soumya, Hawa & Muna.jpg

Abdullahi (left) wearing the Somali macuus, Dr. Ford (middle) wearing the Afghani pakol (hat), salwar kameez (a loose dress), and Eric (right) wearing traditional clothing from the North West Province of Cameroon


Jessica Walia in traditional hispanic clothing

Ayan in the Somali diraac

Part of the Intercultural Club members:
Megan (most left), Eric, Hawa, Muna, Zeinab Ah.,Zeinab Ab., Logain, Abdullahi (Ahmed), Abdullahi, Dr. Ford (most right)

Abdullahi (left), Omar (middle) and Mustafa (right) all wearing the Somali macuus
Abdullahi, Omar, & Mustafa.jpg

Rasha (me in the left) wearing the Sudanese bridal wear: toub (long wrap sheet of cloth) and accessaries; and Ayan in the Somali diraac
Rasha & Ayan.JPG

Part of the Intercultural Club members: Hawa (most left), Soumya, Paola, Eric, Zeinab Ab., Logain, Annabelle and Muna (most right)

Khadra, Abdullahi and Sara setting up for the event
Set up2.jpg

Eric briefing guests about difference currencies

Cultural Awareness Week at UMR

A small percentage of students come from different countries. UMR really encourages all groups to interact with each other. This is so important in that, it prepares its students well for the demands of their career! Being able to work well with others--who may be extremely different is an important skill and tool to have.

UMR really tries to relief some of the symptoms of culture shock. One of the ways this was done was through a Cultural Awareness Week.

Just this week, lower classmen heard about the experiences of other UMR students who had a travel abroad experience.

Upper classmen who had a study abroad experience came in as guest speakers to the CLI course of the lower classmen to talk about their experiences studying in a different country. It was interesting to listen to the experiences and see pictures of different places where they studied, lived and people they met. Some of these places in which the students traveled included Tanzania, Spain, Morroco, etc.

Also this week, UMR had the Cultural Awareness Day were a good handful of the students and some of the professors dressed up in their cultural traditional clothes for the day. A powerpoint slide was playing in the 3rd floor commons area- showing pictures and interesting facts of each of the countries that students and professors are from. Students got to learn about other cultures that were present at UMR. (Check out the pictures in the next post!)

During this week, in many classes such as History and Writing Communications, culture was discussed. For example in the Writing Communications class, we discussed many concepts about intercultural communication, stages of ethnocentrism, racism, first impressions, and importantly dealing with these kinds of issues. We also had a guest speak Jessica Walia (McFadden) a writing assistant at the Just ASK (who is also has a Master's in Communication and has a culturally diverse family) came in and presented the importance of culture and communication. We took a cultural quiz to see how well acquainted we were about the taboos and customs of other cultures around the world.

The lesson we learned is that when we take the time to learn about others who are different, we learn about ourselves too--how we are similar and also different.

Getting this kind of exposure makes us better empathetic, open-minded people--especially in the field of healthcare. And UMR has a majority of the appreciation, for preparing its students in that kind of way.

Of course no one really knows where they would have ended up if it wasn't for "X." 

"X" in the case being some really great miracle or person or organization that happened or helped them in their life.

This "X" for me is UMR, the organization that has exposed me to and offered me many opportunities and I am still thankful for. One of these opportunities is the Mayo Physicians of Tomorrow Program (MPOT). This opportunity was given to me through Jenny Hegland (Capstone Coordinator at UMR)-- to whom I owe great thanks and gratitude.

This was a 5-day program that was offered through in part by Mayo Clinic and its partner institutions.

The program offers underrepresented college students, like me, the opportunity to interact with Mayo Medical School students, staff. We were given the opportunity to shadow Mayo physicians and interact with patients. I learned and gained many important skills from the workshops. And the experience lead to met people like with the same interests.

I met medical students that currently attend Mayo Medical School. They gave us their great insight, tips for improving and shaping ourselves as applicants, future medical students and doctors. They shared with us what worked with them and what didn't.

I had the opportunity to shadow a dermatologist and a neurosurgeon and even though my career goal was not to be either of those occupations, I wanted an open perspective to see and explore other parts of medicinal practice. Why? Because a physician interacts and refers his patients to all these other occupations in the hospital. 

From this I was really able to see that medical practice is NOT: "Case of melanoma: cut "some #" inches deep, send autopsy to lab, etc."

But that medical practice was REAL. It is a human being you are caring for and that his or her needs come first. 

And that the patient you are trying to cure is NOT a broken computer part: Cut, fix, package, ship back, done. It is more than that. Being empathetic is an art and its not something that everyone has.

I learned from the workshops the importance of professionalism and how to carry myself as a practicer of medicine and how to better my public speaking skills.

I learned how it is that I can get people to listen to me and really understand me. I learned from the workshops grades are not everything. 

We had the opportunity to get a mock medical school interview by members from the admissions office! This was probably the highlight. I received full points on my mock interview and the best part was that the interview did not even feel like one! 

The mock interview was more of a conversation. And from it I got a personal invite opportunity to participate in a summer research program! 

The students I met through this program were amazing people from all different undergraduate historically black colleges around the nation, and the best part was that we all were striving at the same goal: becoming physicians.

And between ourselves, we shared many tips and secrets to the MCAT and medical school. We mock interviewed ourselves to improve our answers to interview questions like: "why did you choose medicine?" And in the matter of these 4 or 5 days were all very close to each other.

I am forever thankful for X (UMR) for providing me this opportunity. I don't know where I would have been if it was not for "X."

(Below is the MPOT or the Mayo Physicians of Tomorrow group of Summer 2012)

MPOT Group.jpg