Karam Hamada, Class of 2024

Karam Hamada, Class of 2024

 

The KU School of Medicine Class of 2024 started medical school virtually due to COVID-19 pandemic. They were the only class for whom the white coat ceremony was held virtually. Most students got to know each other through the class GroupMe chat, and other than that, there were not too many chances to get to know people outside of small groups. One way through which students connected with each other was student interest groups led by several students in the class. One of these groups is the KUMC Student Community Providers, which organizes student volunteers to help with actionable ongoing needs in Wyandotte County. The group is currently managed by several students in Class of 2024, but it was initiated through the efforts of Sophia Leonard and Karam Hamada. This is a conversation between Karam Hamada, a second-year medical student at KUMC, and Kimia Memar, one of our Med Intima Narrative editors from the same class. 

  • How do you describe yourself?

I consider myself to be different if that makes sense. I have a fascination with not fitting in, and I have an issue with doing the same thing repetitively for long periods of time. So that’s why I always need to be doing different kinds of experiences all the time and meet different people.

  • From personal experience, I know not fitting in the mainstream is not easy. However, I see how you are embracing that and letting it liberate you.

I think part of it could be that I bounced around many different schools growing up. I went to 8 different schools, and every one of them was so different with regards to its identify, with students ranging from very low to very high socioeconomic statuses. Having to switch and adapt my identify to each of them was really taxing on me. So in college, I decided to be myself because I would never be able to fully fit in. I want to help my family and everyone around me, but I also want to uplift them to feel comfortable in doing what they want to do. I’m really big into service and that is not just community service: it is giving back and inspiring others to give back.

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Plaza Art Fair at Sunset

Plaza Art Fair at Sunset

Sricharan Yadali, M1, Class of 2025

Last year I unearthed my parents’ old Pentax point-and-shoot that they purchased in the mid 1990s. Upon asking them about the camera, my parents told me about fond memories that they had using it to capture their first few years in a new and foreign land. To all of our surprises, it still worked! I quickly purchased some film and took the camera with me on family trips. When I got scans of my pictures back, I was astounded. 

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Botanical Study

Botanical Study

Angela Li, M3, Class of 2023

If the constantly changing schedule of a third-year medical student has taught me anything, it has challenged me to branch out from my comfort zone and pushed me to seek out a different creative medium than what I am used to. While I am very familiar and comfortable with inkwork, having completed projects both casually and for my undergraduate art courses, it has been more than a decade since I’ve picked up watercolors. 

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Windows

Windows

Trent Edwards, M1, Class of 2025

You’ve heard it said that no man is an island, but during COVID’s prolonged quarantine, it was difficult not to identify with that floating, isolated unit of life. As minutes turned into weeks, I found myself starving for the very sense of connection which Maslow postulated was a human need. When quarantine ended, I stumbled out into the world with a cautious desperation to rekindle relationships. I participated in conversations with vigor and listened intently. Yet, despite my enthusiasm, I still felt… distant. Sure, there was physically 6 feet of distance, but I found myself confronting another barrier. How could I connect with someone while half their face was covered? 

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Himalayan Adventure

Himalayan Adventure

Katelyn Schumacher, M4, Class of 2022

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Nepal in 2019 to take on the Everest Base Camp Trek. This entailed about a week of trekking and staying at teahouses along the way. The first photo was taken about halfway through the trek near Thukla Pass, which is where all memorials for those who lost their lives attempting the famous summit were located. Each one was made of stone and typically decorated with prayer flags. The second photo was taken of Mt. Everest. Seeing the mountain felt surreal and made the thin air worth it. At 5,364 meters elevation, the air was thin and landscape completely covered in snow and ice. Glacier water ran next to the base through the crevasses. The moment we made it gave me a sense of accomplishment, humility, and clarity. 

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Chasing Waterfalls

Chasing Waterfalls

Vy Le, M2, Class of 2024

I picked up gouache painting during my first semester of medical school. Some time during second semester, things got busy, and I stopped painting as much. By the end of the year, I realized that I just didn’t feel happy or did as well because I wasn’t taking the time for myself to relax and paint. So I decided to take some time over the summer to paint. In the time that it took for me to paint each of these pieces, I didn’t have to think about anything but color mixing and creating a scene into which I can escape. Waterfalls have always interested me, and in finding references for and creating this series, it was almost as if I was transported to each of these locations. I hope that anyone looking at these paintings can not only see them but also hear the falls and imagine that they’re in these peaceful places surrounded by nature. Hopefully I’ll be able to chase all of these waterfalls in person one day.

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Quilling

Quilling

Edith Sigler, M1, Class of 2025

Quilling is a form of paper art that traditionally uses only paper strips and glue.  I learned about it when I was very young at a festival in Ohio, but I never thought of it as something I could do.  Several years ago, I was given a quilling kit for Christmas.  It wasn’t until a very long Christmas break due to the pandemic last year that I started to learn how to do quilling.  I loved it, and after learning some basic designs from a book, I started to try to make 3D objects based on pictures or real objects.  The first thing I made without a pattern was a miniature mountain dulcimer for my grandma’s birthday.  As a musician, I was careful to try to get the correct relative spacing of the frets.  Now I love to make various quilling projects when I have time and give them to friends and family, especially those who I didn’t see much in the last year.  

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