Central PA Medicine - Summer 2017 - 35

daup h i n c m s .o rg

After the Code
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP AN
INTEREST IN YOUR PASSION
FOR WRITING?
I've been interested since first grade when
we would practice writing on the dotted-line
worksheets. One assignment was to scribble a
life event and then write about it. I wrote about
a car crash that I had seen. I remember I tried
to write the word 'bumped' and didn't know
how to spell it. Ever since then, I kept writing.
I even started writing long stories even though
it wasn't part of the curriculum.

WHAT MAKES WRITING SPECIAL
TO YOU?
I grew up with Harry Potter books and I
admired the author for playing with the emotions of the readers. I like how she captured the
incredible sense of loss or sorrow of her characters.
That's what I strive to do as a writer. I enjoy
conveying emotion.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT
YOUR BLOG AND HOW THAT
STARTED.
My blog is called Life at Hogwarts College of
Medicine and can be found at hersheyhogwarts.
wordpress.com. Initially, I did it as a joke to
update my neighbor in Santa Barbara, CA who
wanted to know how medical school was going.
This blog is me putting myself into Harry Potter
characters' shoes, and writing about my experiences in medical school. I ended up liking the
way it came out. Blogging gave me more room
for creative expression. Once I realized I had a
blog following, I kept writing and now have this
creative record of how I've grown.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE YOUR
READERS OF YOUR BLOG TAKE
AWAY FROM YOUR WRITING?
First and foremost, I hope it gives people
outside of medical school a glimpse into what
really goes on. I wanted family and friends to
understand what it's really like. People think it's
all about suffering through caffeinated shifts. I
want them to know it's more about learning from
doctors and patients and that we really have a
lot of humor and friendship in medical school.

Originally published in the 2017 issue of Wild Onions
Lydia was dreaming.

In her mind, she was still a twenty-something-year-old medical
student; her lingering memories of breathing tubes and pomegranate
sheets convinced her of that much. Nonetheless, her mother harbored no suspicion that the pigtailed, three-foot-tall preschooler
in a pink-and-purple polka-dot dress was anything but that - a
little girl.
Lydia found her mother sitting in the dining room, flipping
through a photo album that rivaled the dinner table with its
wingspan. Lydia inhaled through her mouth to avoid sampling the
reek of old mothballs. When she was ready, she hoisted herself
up to the first horizontal beam connecting two legs of the table,
gripped onto the floral engravings for balance, and tugged at the
hem of her mother's cardigan.
"What is it, Lily?"
Her mother's eyes were just as Lydia remembered them - dark
chocolate, with a touch of warmth for a chilly evening. Within
seconds, Lydia was climbing into her mother's arms.
"Ma -" Lydia buried her runny nose in between the sequins on her
mother's blouse. "I'm really sad."
Then she started to cry. There was no one else there, there
was nothing to be ashamed of, she didn't have to feign emotional
strength in front of her mother. She clutched the fabric of the
blouse, crumpling the synthetic silk in her miniature fists, as
she let the tears and mucus soak in between the buttons and into
her mother's undershirt.
She stayed there for a long time, curled in her mother's lap
like an unborn baby. She never explained herself, and that was
the best part. She wasn't expected to justify the relentless,
scalding pain rippling down her chest for the past week, or the
sickly-sweet stench of saturated sheets that trickled back at
inopportune moments. For now, she simply treasured the time she
spent sobbing without a sound, surrounded by the scent of chamomile and lavender extract. Every tear that dribbled down her chin
cleansed her of another pang of isolation, of false fortitude in
the face of all she had seen.
"I know, Lydia," said her mother. "I know."

DO YOU EVER PLAN TO PUBLISH ABOUT THE WRITER:
A BOOK?
Homaira Zaman is a fourth-year medical
I would like to, but I'm just not sure what it
would be about. In my blog, I've been writing
pieces that involve Harry Potter in the same stage
I'm in at medical school-most of it documents
my first, second and third year in the clinical
setting. My vision going forward is to continue
writing from the resident perspective to becoming
a confident practitioner. If that works out, I hope
that will be something readable. I'd like to see
that be published.

student at Penn State College of Medicine. She
was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA, and
performed inorganic chemistry research at UC
Santa Barbara before devoting her career to
medicine. In her free time, she enjoys creative
writing, befriending neighborhood squirrels,
last-minute travel-planning, and volunteering
with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Central PA Medicine Summer 2017 35


http://www.dauphincms.org http://hersheyhogwarts.wordpress.com

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