Getting BookSmart With Dr. Zee with a Review of The Fault In Our Stars

 

Dear Readers,

It has come to my understanding that each and every one of you, (well, those who are not in summer school) have been enjoying your summer to the fullest, occupying yourselves with good company, occasional barbeques, days in the sun, and of course, Netflix. Needless to say, it’s best said that I advise that you all enjoy these moments while you can before the end of August, when post-summer depression will hit you harder than a football thrown at you at full speed, aimed at the center of your face.

But regardless, some of us who are not currently occupied with work or anything to distract us from the heatwaves of the summer season are suffering from a condition called boredom and have nothing else to do at the moment. And as much as I hate to say this, I would be included in this category, despite my workaholic attitude. But until fate turns in my favor, read on.

And because of this, I’ve had the time to finally get my hands on a copy of The Fault In Our Stars by John Green and because I have no other ideas to blog about, I thought I’d take a change and dedicate this blog post to a review on the book itself.

Something I’d like to say because I think it’s necessary:

For anything that I’ve been recommended to read, try, watch from others, I’ve noticed that my expectations seem to skyrocket, almost making me believe that whatever I’ve been recommended to (I know this is redundant0 read, try, watch from others, etc) is absolutely perfect and free of flaws. I like to think that if someone recommends something to me, it’ something beyond this world and will make me want to recommend it to someone else as well. Unfortunately, I keep learning that reality does not work that way. Each of us is bound to differ in opinion (hello, human race) and therefore, while someone may recommend something to you to try, it may turn out that you will or will not see it the same way as the recomendee (I hope I used that word right).

Therefore, it’s important for me to point out that my taste is beyond different from anyone else’s. The books I read and what I think of them will be significantly different from what someone else may have in their bookshelf. Having said that, I’ve always been more interested in historical fiction and the most interesting novels to me that I’ve read in my lifetime that I’ve never been able to put down are the following:

1. The Help -Kathryn Stockett

2. Water for Elephants -Sara Gruen

3. A Thousand Splendid Suns -Khaled Hosseini

4. The Kite Runner -Khaled Hosseini

5. Still Alice -Lisa Genova

 

Having never read any books by John Green before, I decided to actually accomplish one of my New Year’s Resolutions and take a literary risk. And so, I picked up a copy of The Fault In Our Stars.

TFIOS (Thank God there’s an acronym for it considering how much of a mouthful it is to type out #BloggerProbs) follows the romance Hazel Grace, a girl with terminal cancer, and Augustus Waters, a boy she meets who is in remission. (Basically the same line you have probably read on Google before reading this blog post from yours truly. Sigh.)

Being a teen romance novel, there’s many cute moments (that really brought out the inner chick-lit-loving-girl in me and believe it or not, made me blush) and lines here and there that I wouldn’t mind quoting in a tweet or status any time soon (Just a heads up.)

Regardless of my expectations, I’m glad that I took the time out of my life to finally read a book by an author that I had never read any books from  and because I wish not to give any spoiler alerts, (and I understand some of you may not be thrilled to have me mention this because everyone who reviews a book says this but…) the ending is just…something you will only find out if you read the book.

I know, I stink at writing book reviews….so…

Overall, I think that if you’re the type of kid that’s into contemp stuff, I say go for it. If you’re a Nicholas Sparks fan and found yourself almost finishing an entire box of Kleenex by yourself when you read (not just watched) The Notebook, I would say that this book is definitely for you.

And if you’re an old soul like myself, with the mental mindset of a person who’s been there done that, you might find yourself flipping a few pages just to finish it.

But don’t rely on my thoughts too much ( I know, defeats the purpose of a blog post that is meant to be a book review…) because you could always be the rare exception (refer to the first couple paragraphs).

But to get to the point…

Something I would definitely recommend is doing some post-reading research on the novel as well. What I found to help me understand and therefore appreciate the novel more was to understand the thought process behind the book itself. The copy of the book which I read contained an actual Q&A section with John Green himself, where people on Tumblr asked him questions about the title, and the overall playout of the characters. Reading the significance behind the title and the meaning behind the entire work of literature that he crafted has made me realize a couple of things.

1. Writing is like a marriage. You will find yourself hating it one minute, only to come back to it and force yourself to work on your writing skills to make it better.

2. There is a reason behind everything. Thought that the curtains were blue because J.K. Rowling didn’t have any other color in mind? Not so much. Authors think about all the details, even when they’re subtle and practically unnoticeable.

3. It takes a lot of time to make something ready to be published

4. Being an author is easy. Being a good author is pretty darn hard.

5. It’s never just you. Unfortunately, as our individualistic culture (Hello, Psychology reference) likes to dictate, you aren’t the only one who deserves credit for writing a novel/essay/story book. You gotta have a crew. People to back you up, tell you what needs to be fixed, what you did right on point. That’s what the credit pages are for. The people who helped you along the way.

6. It is really rare that something comes right off the top of your head (warning: I may sound like I’m repeating 2). All of the characters, events, plot in a novel are formed from past memories that the author may have experienced.

Hope you’re all having a book-tastic summer,

-AZ

 

 

Artifacts of The Past

May  28th marked one year since I had graduated from my past and moved onto better things at St. Louis College of Pharmacy.

Similarly, today I had the pleasure of driving nearly 4 miles out of my comfortable radius called home and ventured to the place that held every artifact of my past life. It was something that I had no choice to do, given the fact that my duty to play chauffer was calling me along with the many other errands I was doomed to run in the last few hours. It’s the dreadful place that I swore I would never see again, let alone step foot on ever again. Not out of hatred, but as a goal to move forward with my life and for goodness sake, to move on to greater things. I begged and pleaded my soul. Was there anything else I could possibly to do avoid this, I asked. I hoped there was mercy at the end of the tunnel, but my orders were clear. Drop off your sibling and stay there till she is done. Nothing more, nothing less. I almost wanted to cry.

Today, I revisited a part of my life infamously known as high school.

*insert dramatic symphony music that matches my emotions which cannot even be sustained with background music*

Perhaps I seem a little too smug to feel such a way about a place that was my academic shelter for the past four years pre-STLCOP. After all, it was my progress, the opportunities in high school that brought me to STLCOP to begin with. It was the place that had led me to my career choice, actually. Need I say more?

It could be a possibility that I’m being dramatic (as always) for saying that I’m too cool for high school having only experienced my first year of college. I still consider myself a newbie in this new experience. But there’s no denying that for every person that has ever lived on Earth, high school was a time when it’s all the more acceptable to dye your hair hot red without having any fear of what people will think-scratch that-you’re self conscious of what others think because it’s what causes you to immediately dye it back to its original color leading you crazy piercings instead. In other words, we were all completely different people in high school.

In my case, Dr. Zee sure as heck did not exist, nor was it ever dreamed of by yours truly.

And POOF! You’re off to college, and your past identity is nowhere to be seen except in photos framed by your mother in her free time as she grieves over your presence.

As I drove into the parking lot, memories of a year ago already flooded my head. I could already feel the aura of self conscious, cliques, conformity, fear of rejection, and extremely strong Hollister perfume just as I dropped off my siblings to the front and proceeded to park my car. The ghost of my past self was here to haunt me. Here to taunt me of what had occurred four years prior to college.

I slowly walked the pathway that led me to the front door. I could already see tiny prepubescent kids notoriously classified as freshman waiting for their parents to pick them up. The poor souls had not even tasted true independence yet, let alone even had their permit. Seeing this, I walked forward with a more confident stride in my step, willing and confident that I would survive this moment. I was not about to give up.

While waiting for my sibling, I was able to walk the halls once again after swearing that I would never do so, not out of hatred, but the fact that life does indeed get better after high school. There’ s more beyond the athletic field; your diploma is the ticket to seeing life beyond the phase in your life called “High School.”

As I waited there for a while, I came to see this place not as a place full of horrible memories and times of despair caused by none other than the stress of AP classes and other acronymed standardized tests, but as an experience that I will cherish as an artifact of my past. While most would argue that moving towards the future cannot be done when looking back at the past, I will disagree to that statement because sometimes it doesn’t hurt to look at what you’ve endured before to combat the hardships of the future.

-AZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just when you thought…

After months of being at STLCOP and watching time pass as quickly as sand escaping the palms of one’s hands, I’ve realized how much of a blessing and privilege it is to have a summer break. Because for STLCOP students, (maybe even others in the world who have a life like us) if you’re not studying and utilizing an entire box of Kleenex every week just to keep yourself sane as you fly through hoops and rings of fire just to save your grades from falling to their doom of 2.75….you’re probably on summer vacation. That is, unless you’re taking summer classes which are another story. But for those of you like myself who have gone home and are currently enjoying a home cooked meal, you know what I mean.

However, there are probably other matters that are on your mind at the moment. Like why I’m still writing a blog post even though school is well beyond over…

Because just when you thought I would abandon all of my wonderful and loyal readers and selfishly disappear off the face of the Earth, just when you thought I was gone for the summer, just when you thought the constant reminders on social media about Dr. Zee in 19 would temporarily cease for the next few months (or 80 something days for those of you who are mathematically logical), the truth is…I will be present among the blogosphere with my presence forever and always.

In other words, for those of you who are not a very big fan of me beating around the bush, what I’m trying to say is that I, Dr. Zee in 19 will  be here 24/7 and 365 in the sense that I will still be able to blog at my own ease this summer with at least 10 tons of stress lifted from my shoulders. That’s right, while my STLCOP self will currently be recharging her academic battery, Dr. Zee will be here to stay, here to update you on her summer adventures, even when she’s not in the good ol’ STL. Or should I rather say that I will be here to update you on my summer adventures even when I’m not in St. Louis. And so yet another dramatic post begins with this…

At approximately 9:04 am on May 14, 2014 (nearly who knows how many hours ago from this point), I took a deep breath (knowing my attachment issues when it comes to test taking) turned in my last final, and after a few smiles and yet another rendition of wishing my professor a wonderful summer (which I had politely done after every final), I slowly walked down the stairs of Jones while dramatic and inspiring music by the talented Ludovico Einadi (Divenire, which is my favorite piece, to be exact) played in my head, while I took small steps towards the path of that marked my temporary but none-the-less freedom from the 9 month academic prison that shackled me almost every weekend and demanded that I sit down and study while the rest of the world was outside and able to enjoy a privilege called fun. It was at this moment that I was almost unable to believe that this was it. Let me type this again for you to read just again to emphasize how dramatic this seemingly not-so-dramatic moment was. This was it.This seemingly tedious-to-mention yet ridiculously dramatic moment in my eyes was hard to imagine, and ultimately marked a milestone in history.

I was now done with my first year of pharmacy school.

At last.

It was a thought that echoed though every space in my soul for seconds that almost stopped time itself (because that correlates with fundamental and universal logic so well), as just the mere thought of what just happened, what I had just accomplished at that moment, made my eyes fill with tears of joy, as I suddenly felt more powerful than I ever could, and felt as light as a feather with no care in the world. In fact, I was almost convinced I could fly-

-that was, until I realized that as much joy as I had just experienced in the moments that had just marked that I finished one out of the six years I would spend in pharmacy school, there were other joys in life that demanded the same amount of happiness and enthusiasm. Such as the 7 giant suitcases and infinite amount of cardboard boxes worth of luggage and unnecessary goods that the Res Hall had requested that I pack and  painstakingly haul away in my van almost five hours and 240 miles away from state lines despite the hardship that it took just to bring it to St. Louis to begin with. Not all moments were meant to last, I figured. And so I pulled up my sleeves and began to pack away-more like throw everything I owned  in a box or suitcase so would know that if I didn’t see it in a drawer/dresser/closet, at least I would find it packed somewhere when I got home. I like to formally call this the Careless Packing Technique for those of you whom have possibly employed your packing in the same manner.

Unlike most of my other peers whose finals had briefly and if I may add-luckily ended on Monday, I still found myself fatefully and therefore reluctantly dragging my backpack and my extremely reluctant self to the library right after my Anatomy final so I could hopefully ace my Psychology final, which meant I had used as an excuse to not even start packing until the day of. A perfect choice for all of you like myself to make, especially if you love to push all necessary tasks till the last minute, and never seem to learn from past mistakes. Sigh.

Before I knew it, I had no choice but to part with my keys whom I had under the protection of my five wonderful penguin key chains in the last five months, said some tearful goodbye to friends, and I was already passing the arch and well on my way back to the Land of Lincoln.

While most would assume that home would provide comfort from a rigorous environment that I was used to back in St. Louis, I would argue that being home did the opposite. The first night was one of many firsts, indeed. Unpacking everything that I had packed that day was already a chore. But having nothing else to do afterward except relax and eat a home-cooked meal to my liking was a whole new story that only made me feel lifeless and so unaccomplished.

Waking up the next day to my first day of summer gave me many things to accomplish. I resorted to a hobby that I had abandoned months ago and relearned my knitting skills at last, even perfecting them. I actually had the nerve to open a book that wasn’t a textbook and got to hang with the current love of my life, or the “bae” as some would address a loved one….my man Steinbeck in fact, who is notoriously known for his literary work called East of Eden which I am currently reading and surprisingly enjoying as well. I decided to be social and actually retie relationships that I had lost by none other than texting back. I got started on a writing piece that I would not have been able to finish had the semester been extended the whole summer. I filled out job applications for potential employers in my hometown. While my soul longed to procrastinate as I had promised myself I would do once school was over only weeks ago while finding motivation to study for finals, the mental effect of second semester was still making me want to be…well, productive.

While this would seem to be a good thing for a college student like myself, it turned out to be something others would take advantage of, preferably those in my South Asian household who found every reason to keep a dusting or other sort of cleaning mechanism in my hand when I wasn’t sleeping or chauffeuring the young ones.

And so dear readers, while I may not be on campus, whether I may be dusting ancient Indian plates, knitting myself a textbook-warmer of some sort (seeing how my knitting skills are going), crying myself to sleep from boredom since I’m not sure how to live with myself given the fact that there is no homework to complete, no quizzes to cram for, no exams to be anxious about, or mentally preparing myself for Orgo which as far as I know is nothing short of getting ambushed by a million dementors at once…

stay tuned for some more outrageous and ridiculous posts and adventures from yours truly right on this blog (hopefully) every Wednesday and Sunday.

See you soon! :)

-AZ

 

 

 

A Weekend of Nothing Yet Something

Dear Readers,

Due to the demands and cries I’ve heard from each and every one of you about my not-surprisingly MIA behavior in the last few weeks or so, I’d decided to do two things.

First and foremost, I’ve decided to change the look once again, coming to the conclusion that balloons and the orange/peach/red/whatever-color-it-was background was inevitably not suited for my blog and its content.

Two, I’ve decided to adhere to my blogging duties and do nothing more boring but update you on my life as it is currently running.

As most of you know (okay, let’s be honest: all of you know this) , the last few weeks have been nothing of something called “He” and two hockey sticks if you know what I mean, with exams, quizzes, Camtasia videos, and burets being thrown at us first years left and right, along with obligatory Legislative Day meetings and so much more. Our nights in the last few weeks have been consumed with nothing but titration problems, homologous pairs (for those of you in Biology), and many too-hard-to-memorize-to-heart Latin/Greek root words that we are all destined to forget once we take that gosh darn term quiz every Thursday. Despite the workload that is being thrown at us as the semester will soon come to a close in a few weeks, I, along with many others am thankful that although the end of the semester is meant to be nothing short of brutal, this blessing of a not-so-stressful weekend has been nothing but enjoyable. By enjoyable I mean no pre labs, meaning that I will be able to sleep in peace instead of busting my behind in the chemistry lab on the usual Monday evenings while others have the privilege to watch the sun set along the quad as they peacefully keep up with their academic duties-or so they say. By enjoyable, I mean that I will be able to take a minutes and actually type out my feelings and emotions for the whole world to see without fretting over lost time that I could be using to study for another quiz, exam, and such. And so, after weeks of being busy with school work and having to always sheepishly, sometimes reluctantly and sometimes enthusiastically answer “fish fillet” in chem lab when Deep Patel asks me “What she order?,” (a pop-culture reference, nonetheless), I ran to my room the second I was done with my Psychology class and was ready to start my weekend during which I planned to do nothing. Rather than updating you on my thoughts on the recent episodes of Chicago Fire and Grey’s Anatomy, I thought I’d spare the drama and thought it would be best if I sum up the course of my weekend so far in this post as I was not only able to transform into a couch potato, but was also able to seize the opportunity that had come before me to venture outside of the outskirts of our quad/patch-of-grass, eat until my stomach stretched enough to be four times its previous size, and get to know the new place that I’ve called home since the upcoming weeks would say otherwise. Here it is:

First Stop: Delmar Loop

Saturday proved to be one of many firsts. My first adventure involved getting out from my Hermit-esque rock that I always use to study in and actually put on a pair of clothes that were not pajamas. After passing a few stops, I reached the Delmar Loop where I had to walk long distances, past many appetizing shops and stores and found Corner 17, a Chinese Restaurant that makes noodles from scratch. Thinking of cutting down on processed edible, unauthentic Ramen, and McDonald’s? Head on down to Corner 17. There I ordered Shrimp Noodles (my all time favorite) and had a chance to eat desert: the famous Fluffy Ice that is a must for anyone who is going there for the first time. Covered in mango pulp and fresh fruit, this is definitely the bang for the buck.

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Mango Fluffy Ice at Corner 17 located at the Delmar Loop

And as if the Fluffy Ice and Shrimp Noodles weren’t enough, I thought it was only all the more appropriate to get a fancier and therefore better quality McDonald’s strawberry milkshake, creatively covered in what appeared to be a Jell-O like substance that tasted like grape. Let’s just say I had no regrets.

 

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Strawberry Milkshake at Corner 17 located in the Delmar Loop

Second Stop: Bissinger’s Chocolatier

After walking for half an eternity, my crew and I (just my cousin and I, actually) decided to take a break from the cold weather and went for a third round of deserts at Bissinger’s Chocolatier right in the Central West End. This time, I decided to order something else other than the Cococcino (which I would definitely recommend to anyone going there for the first time) and got myself a hot cup of Gourmet Hot Cocoa to end the night, followed by a movie night of Ten Things I Hate About You.

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Gourmet Hot Cocoa at Bissingers located in the Central West End

-AZ

 

 

 

A Short Post About Adventures at the Gym

As always, (you shouldn’t be surprised at this point) I’d like to dramatically start my blog post that has been long due for days with these words:

Desperate times, as the typical clichéd sentence always seems to begin, calls for desperate measures. It is  now beyond evident that the not first, but second semester of your first year of college is upon you, full of many experiences both old and new. First semester was one of many firsts. And you’ve managed to take what you’ve learned from that semester, hoping not to repeat any of your past mistakes again. However, some habits do not simply wither away so easily, and it appears yet again  that you’ve managed to succeed in being unsuccessful in your attempt to fit, and by fit, I mean more like suck your stomach enough to squeeze your muffin top, love handles, and whatever junk you have in your trunk into the skinny jeans that once fit you perfectly in a short period of time called your senior year when your only purpose in life was to look absolutely perfect and nothing like your usual and unglamorous self at your senior prom which was many, many months ago.

Welcome to the wonderful world of college, where all the hard work you once put to eat healthy has withered away, replacing your usual and semi healthy diet of the past with Chipotle takeout, subs from Jimmy John’s, vending machine goods that only consist of salty chips and my all time and constantly and excessively mentioned favorite- chocolate, and drinks that contain an unexplainable amount of a biological molecule; a disaccharide in fact, called maltose. Bio kids of the past and present, I expect that you know what that means.

Upon hearing the news that our precious gym, the only place, the holy grail of our lives as students here at STLCOP,  that ensured us that we would not leave this campus 100 pounds heavier, was to be *gasp* torn down, I took it upon myself to squeeze 60 bucks from my wallet and hoped that going to the new gym would be a good investment.

It sure was, and still is.

I realized it when I walked into the doors that held a world that was unknown to me until now.

Going to the gym has exposed me to a world that coexists outside of our wonderful “patch of grass,” also known as the quad,  to most students. It has given me motivation, and the ability to interact with non-STLCOPians who I never knew existed. I’ve realized the following things which I will proudly categorize into a list that I decided to name ” #GymProbs “

Dr. Zee’s #GymProbs:

1. Seeing a fellow senior citizen be able to do more sit ups, push ups, and leg lifts than you can ever do in your entire life. While it takes you a good 2 hours just to burn 100 calories, the man who is at least 50 years your senior has already done 100 lunges around the track. The good part? It motivates you to unsuccessfully try to do more sit ups despite the fact that you’re very much out of shape. Or it could make you feel hopeless considering how your youth could be so deceiving to your physical ability to do just about anything.

2. Having a little friendly competition with the person next to you on a treadmill. Ever casually made it oh-so-obvious that you could run a little faster than the person next to you only to see them subtly increasing their speed with a smirk on their face? Some like to say it’s obnoxious; I like to think that it  brings out the best in each and every one of us who are trying to be healthy. It’s an unspoken competition. First one to fall flat on their face or even give up ultimately loses.

3. Silently scoffing at the person who decides to come to the gym looking like they’re doing a photoshoot for Vogue when you’re breaking a pool of sweat on the elliptical in your dad’s old T shirt and baggy sweats, chilling with your hair tied up and no make up on. Only Drake would understand. *sigh*

4. Ramming into the person next to you not once, but at least a million times and excessively apologizing afterwards during the course of your  hour long Zumba class even though you have an entire row to yourself. What can you say? Your mother always told you that you had very poor hand-eye-coordination. Guess she was right…

5. Learning how to cross the street without getting run over by those who are too careless and lazy to stop for as little as 10 seconds at the stop sign.

-AZ

A Confessional Prequel: Before There Was Dr. Zee

*Warning: Content is extremely hard to believe. Some may faint.*

Dear Readers

[whoever or (with all due respect) " whatever" you are (because all creatures human and non-human are welcome, by all means), whether it's your first time your millionth time, or your last time ever clicking on the link to my blog,]

It had been recently revealed to me from the spirits that run the world and community of blogging (cough-cough-not really), that for some strange but not so strange reason that has been unknown to me, many have been lead to believe that my blog had magically manifested itself on earth one day and have failed to know the backstory of how it all started. In other obvious and unnecessary words that will make me appear rather redundant, very few know how it all began. Well, lucky for every one of you who decided to click on the link to my blog, you will get to hear, no, read, the story of Dr. Zee before there even was Dr. Zee in 19, before there even any mention of STLCOP in my life. So here it goes. But before you do, feel free to microwave yourself a bag of popcorn and gain countless calories conveniently in a matter of minutes. Enjoy:

Truth be told,  before there was Dr. Zee, mind you, Dr. Zee in 19 to be exact, along with the outrageous posts ranging from gaining the Freshman Fifteen, Biology rants, to even the most bizarre rant about losing my lanyard for five very long and dreaded hours that almost cost me my sanity and my wallet and have ultimately scarred me to life making me all the more paranoid about losing items that belong to me, nonetheless, items that I paid for, to the most famous one about Blogger’s Block, there was just me…there was just Afreen, my actual name that caused me to publish a post on the challenges of having a foreign name especially when many struggle to pronounce it.

Before STLCOP, I was definitely not the same person I was when I stepped foot on campus. Contrary to popular belief, I was extremely quiet. Actually, take that back. I was practically mute. In fact, I remember giving a group presentation in which my own classmates at the time had to give each one of our group members feedback. All I remember is most people asking me what my name was. In my junior year of high school. And even after coming far after my awkward stages of adolescence with untamed frizzy hair and giant classes, there was still I much needed to improve. I was determined to make those changes prior to coming to STLCOP the summer after my senior year.

Only a few months ago (more like back in August 2013), I would  have never believed that I would have the courage and even the guts in myself to click “Publish” and make my thoughts public to the whole universe including potential students who were researching STLCOP and wanted to see it from a current student’s interesting perspective on what it’s like to eat, breath, and sleep the life of a big, hairy, and yellow, Eutectic…only I’m not big, and hairy. I’m just brown. Nor would I have ever expected, even setting foot on campus, that there would be many who would even bother to read this blog and its random and dryly sarcastic content. In fact, I was expecting the very worst. Hearing stories of people of the past and present who have been tantalized and harassed for their views (thank you history class, Google, and Wikipedia), as well as a suggestion from my (if I should call him my supervisor?) to always come to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion if I were ever to be bothered by anyone initially gave me chills and a whole lot of a feeling called reluctance with a capital R. I was under the impression that I would have people endlessly sending me hate mail filled with four worded insults and limitless threats. I was expecting to get epic, first class slushy treatment in all ways Glee style, not for singing (I’d probably deserve one considering how heavenly my singing voice sounds), but for blogging about my life here. Would I have to use the duck-and-walk technique and rely on the protection of bushes to get to class in fear of being bullied? Or worse: would I have to wear a brown paper bag on my head and poke a hole in it so I would be able to breathe and still set foot outside my room? Would I have to stay like a hermit in my room in fear of being ostracized by potential haters around me? These were the very thoughts that were running through my mind and my consciousness, and maybe even in my bloodstream…which probably doesn’t make any anatomical nor biological sense. Despite the fears I had, I was hopeful that I would at least be able to accomplish one thing on my bucket list and possibly expand my experience as a hopeful novelist. Seeing how having my own blog would be a new beginning to my hobby and possibly second career, I decided that I would start on this journey having no idea what was ahead. Nonetheless, I managed to what I like to call ” wo-MAN up” and virtually scream my thoughts to the world, wondering if there would even be a soul to click on it and see what I had to say. My thoughts and courage to blog would prevail, I thought to myself vehemently as I was about to stab my finger through my mouse pad thing or whatever that object is called-

But wait. The initial fury that I had to ruthlessly publish the truths of being a STLCOP were halted. Metaphorically, the fire that had fueled my blogging fingers to their maximum typing potential had been ceased and was equivalent to a frozen candle that had never been lighted to begin with. Because there was one thing that I was missing. I needed a name for my thoughts. My voice. I needed a name for my blog.

*face palms herself.*

Of course. For the last two days I had fun playing around with fun designs, even considering making my blog go neon. But considering how many people would potentially go blind, and the lawsuits that would consequently follow, along with wonderful letters I regularly get from my “friend” Sally May, I would have to decline to the idea. Days prior to discovering the “Customize” button on WordPress.com, I had a list of names that had been lost among the growing clutter in my room.

As I looked at other blogs for inspiration, I was given a suggestion to simply go with the flow and make it simple and straight to the point: My blog should be called “STLCOPAFREEN.” I wasn’t so easily nor happily convinced. In fact, I wasn’t too fond of it, actually. Would people mistake it for a random house object, or the name of a rare species of fish? Having a foreign name that already turns heads, and to pair it with an acronym just didn’t sound right. I began to write a list, hoping that one of those names would click. In order to let my creative juices flow, I wrote down the most bizarre names that I wouldn’t have ever considered even writing on paper, let alone, think of to begin with. Here are some for you to laugh at for your own pleasure if you ever feel down from a bad grade or a long day of studying.

1. The New Pill

(a name I had considered since I was to be a first year. Someone new to pharmacy field. Pharmaceutically speaking, I was the “new pill.”)

2. Dr. Zee

3. Freen2019

5. 019Dealer    (I was feeling a little 007 when I came up with that one. Smh)

6. STLCOP2019   (kudos to clichés…sigh)

Looking at the list that I had accumulated in the last few days, I still sat there, looking discontent with what my brain had come up with. Surely, there must be a title that would be well suited for my new blog. And then, in a whisk of a moment, a part of me decided to take the blog naming to a stretch. I quickly scratched my ball point pen and wrote: Dr. Zee in 19. This, to me, felt epic. Almost like how Spiderman had discovered that he was indeed, a spider and a man, having a unique power that would help him do good. Looking at what I had just written, I mentally read it to myself at least a million times: Dr. Zee in 19, Dr. Zee in 19, Dr. Zee in 19, almost saying with a beat after a while. It kind of rhymed. But would people get it? Would they understand the concept? I consulted with a friend just in case, who immediately approved. I optimistically thought to myself that it was different. It would hopefully make heads turn. It would make people curious. I thought to myself, this is me. This would stay. I wasn’t sure how others would react to this new identity I had formed for myself, but I was sure that it was one that was a keeper for the next six years and possibly beyond.

Keeping this all in mind, I quickly pressed “Publish” with my fingers crossed.

And from there, that’s where each and every one of you came in, contributing to the unimaginable number of views I’ve gotten within a semester and beyond.

And this is the part where I’d like to say thank you. :) Thank you for giving me feedback both online and in person. Thank you for every single like, share, or comment you have made. Thank you (to those who don’t even personally know me) for spontaneously stopping me in the halls of campus and giving me your thoughts about my blog. Without you guys (and girls,) Dr. Zee in 19 wouldn’t be the same…nor would it exist in the first place.

Until my next post,

stay tuned for yet another outrageous blog post from yours truly.

-AZ