Friday, August 31, 2012

Blogger Spotlight: Hannah of She Could be a Pharmer!

I am so excited to introduce you to Hannah of She Could Be a Pharmer! Hannah is one of my blogging friends and I am so glad she agreed to grace the halls of Introvert's Introduction with her presence. So without further adieu, I give you Hannah of She Could Be a Pharmer!

1. First things first, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

My name is Hannah and I write the blog she could be a pharmer in those clothes. My blog is a frivolous collection of outfit posts, science, cooking, and bitching about grad school. I was born and raised in Colorado, but right now I live in the Washington, DC area where I’m studying to get my PhD in pharmacology. I live with my boyfriend, Jason. He’s pretty much the best person in the universe and our nights usually involve sitting on the couch, drinking beer, and watching some sort of geeky TV show. We have two cats named Aspen and Velcro. They fight a lot. We also have a scorpion named Fenrir. He gives me nightmares.

2. What inspired you to start your blog (congrats on your one year anniversary a few weeks ago!)?

I had been an avid blog reader for some time and after a while I thought, “hey, I could do this!” Plus you don’t see many bloggers in the sciences and I was excited about contributing to an underdeveloped niche. Plus I grew up “blogging” (does livejournal count as blogging?), but hadn’t done it for a few years and I found that I really missed it!

3. What is the meaning behind your blog name?

“She could be a pharmer in those clothes” is a pun from a line from Clueless:

Gym teacher: Tai- you don’t have time to change, but you could hit a few balls in those clothes.
Amber: She could be a farmer in those clothes.
(Maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh)

(skip to 1:00)

Ah yes Clueless, a classic.

The “pharmer” bit comes from what I’m studying in grad school – pharmacology, often shortened to “pharm,” therefore making us pharm students the “pharmers.” I mean, a Clueless reference and science puns? How could I resist?

4. How do you balance between blogging and grad school?

Not very well! Haha. My blogging definitely tends to go in spurts. When I’m having normal/slow weeks at school I will blog a lot more, but when school gets crazy my blog definitely suffers. Being a grad student, school isn’t just about my education but it’s also my job, so it comes first. I try really hard never to blog or check blogs while I’m in lab. It’s a bad habit and it totally kills my productivity for the day. I have a hard time with self-control though, so I downloaded this awesome app for Google Chrome called StayFocused. Essentially, it limits how much time you can spend on certain websites each day. I set it so all of the “distraction” websites (facebook, pinterest, tumblr, blogspot, etc) have a limit of 30 minutes/day (cause I need a few minutes of downtime a day or I will go crazy!) It’s made me way more productive and I definitely recommend it!

5. Since I'm just about to finish my first week of college, can you give any advice for incoming freshmen?

Oh yes! I love giving advice. Don’t like to follow it, but loooove to dish it out.

- Get involved, especially in the first few months. Join every club that even sounds remotely interesting. You’ll probably end up only sticking with a few of them, but it’s worth it. People like to pretend that college is more mature than high school and it’s some sort of clique-less utopia, but it’s not. Social groups form tight and fast. I was too shy to go to a lot of social gatherings for the first few months of college and it made it really hard to break into them later – everyone had already formed their social circles, which meant I was always on the outside. It sucked. Don’t do it!

- Don’t bring your laptop to class unless you have to, and even then download some sort of productivity software like StayFocused or Concentrate (an app for Macs). 90% of the time I brought my laptop to class it ended up with me talking to my friends on aim (yes, when I went to college everyone still used aim. Don’t judge me!)

- Go to class. I know I know, this is probably the opposite of what so many other people would tell you. Yes, college is the perfect time to try new things and party and have an awesome time. But don’t do that at the expense of your education. College is expensive - make the best of your money! (Or your parents hard-earned money! Or a scholarship!)

- Take fun electives. I was in such a rush to finish college in four years with all the majors possible, that I forgot to relax a bit and take some fun classes. Some of my friends took classes like history of The Lord of the Rings, yoga, and glass blowing – for credit! The only elective I took for “fun” was called “insane in the membrane” and it was about membrane proteins. Even for someone who is a proud nerd, this is painfully lame.

6. How would you describe your personal style and how has it evolved over the years?

I would describe my style as “geek chic.” In college I wore jeans, thrifted t-shirts, and converse non-stop (I also woke up every day at 6am to straighten my hair. Insanity.) In recent years I’ve started to expand from my tomboy roots by incorporating more dresses and skirts. Also a necessity since it is crazy hot in the summer here in DC.

7. What would you say you have improved on since starting your blog?

My photography skills have definitely improved! In high school I had a passionate infatuation with photography, but my SLR camera broke sometime in college and I never really got back into the hobby. But with blogging I have started to get into photography again. I’ve been dabbling with lomography and just bought the chemicals to develop my own film, and I got a DSLR for my birthday and it’s been a blast figuring out how to use it! I probably wouldn’t have started up on any of this if not for blogging.

8. If you could try anything in the world (be it food, an activity, anything), what would it be?

I’d love to travel. I never studied abroad in college (ooh, add that to the college advice – study abroad! I will never forgive myself for missing out on that opportunity!), and I’ve never traveled around Europe or Asia or anything. I’ve been with my family and I even got to go to Italy for a conference last year, which was amazing, but I definitely want that experience of gallivanting abroad for a few weeks/months with no real schedule or obligations.

Thank you Hannah so much for letting me interview you!

And be sure to check out her blog!

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