Life as a BME III: How it’s not so BME after all

Name: Liny John

Year: Class of 2009

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Favorite Hopkins Spot: Favorite Hopkins spot has to be the Johns Hopkins marble sign in front of “the beach.” Whenever you are bored you can just climb on top of the sign and just sit there and hang out. Best hang out place ever!


Hey all! Wassup?  My name is Liny and I’m a sophomore biomedical engineering major at Johns Hopkins, born and raised here in Baltimore, Maryland.  So I know Tanmay already wrote a guest blog about “Life as a BME,” but I thought I’d elaborate a little more and dispel some myths.

Definitely one of the main myths about us BME’s is that we have absolutely no life at all.  Come on guys, I’m sure you’ve thought our life only revolves around studying in the library 24/7 and maybe doing research here and there.  So I thought I’d give you all a glimpse of some different clubs I’m in, to prove to you guys that this is totally not the case.  BME majors are involved in a lot of activities and we have fun too…I swear!

Well first of all, I’m not going to lie, pursuing a BME major isn’t the easiest thing in the world.  Right now I’m taking nineteen credits, including classes like Molecules & Cell, Thermodynamics, and Genetics.  And yes, I am also involved in research.  I have been working in the Physiology lab at Hopkins Medical School for three years now.  My research right now focused on the oxalate transporter and it’s involvement in cystic fibrosis.  But does all this mean my life revolves only around classes and research?  Absolutely not!

I thought I’d let you guys get an inside look on the dance team I’m in, Liny2 Shakti.  Our group focuses mainly on a type of Indian classical dance called bharatnatyam.  A lot of the dances we do though are a fusion of classical bharatnatyam beats to more modern Indian tunes.  All the girls on the team have been practicing this form of dance for at least five years before coming to Hopkins, which makes practice really easy.  In no time we can get pretty complex moves down and coordinated.

If you’ve ever seen classical Indian dance, our costumes are pretty intricate. It’s really important to get things coordinated especially with our type of dance because of the bells we put on our feet … the bells sound awesome when we do our complicated footwork in unison, but when one person messes up it’s really noticeable.  Right now, we have sixteen people on our team.  The two main performances we’ve had so far this semester were at Diwali (a big event here on campus, celebrating the Hindu holiday) and at the Culturefest show.  This semester we’re also performing at the SASH (South Asian Society at Hopkins) fall show.  Next semester we’re hoping to do a lot more performances off-campus.

On this note, Hopkins also has a number of other Indian dance teams here on campus.  We have a Bhangra team, Hareepa (if you don’t know what bhangra is, listen to Jay-Z’s song Beware of the Boys and you’ll know what I’m talking about), a Raas team (it’s the Indian dance with the sticks), and two fusion dance teams, Masti and JOSH (an all-girls team).  All these teams are also performing at the SASH show, along with some guest acts from UPenn and UMBC.  It’s on December 1st at Shriver Auditorium, so if you’re in town, you should definitely come and check out the show!

Talking about dance, I’m also involved with the Center for Social Concern (CSC)’s dance department.  As part of this I am able to teach ballet to elementary school students.  I absolutely love kids and this makes volunteering so much fun!  I go once a week to a local elementary school and teach to students ranging from the age of 5-8 (they’re so adorable!).  At the end of the school year we put together a performance with all the kids.

I’m also marketing chair for Hopkins Spring Fair.  If you haven’t heard of Liny1Spring Fair, it’s one of the largest events on the Hopkins campus.  We have food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, carnival rides, and a lot of entertainment (we got Talib Kweli two years ago!) and we take up the whole Hopkins campus.  If you’re going to be on campus the weekend of April 14th definitely check Spring Fair out!

Beyond all this (and being part of admissions too!), I make sure to take out time to go out to concerts, movies, etc.  That’s what makes Baltimore city so awesome; it has so much to offer socially – especially with the Inner Harbor right around the corner.  I have absolutely amazing friends here that I don’t know what I would do without.  I know I’ll keep in touch with all my friends well after college.

Liny3So I’m hoping that if this blog proved anything, it’s that a Hopkins student, especially us BME’s, aren’t the typical nerds we’re stereotyped as.  Hopkins gives you so many opportunities to explore academically and take part in various types of research.  But Hopkins also has numerous opportunities when it comes to all the different types of extracurricular activities you’re interested in.

I hope you guys loved reading the blog and it helped you get a look into what Hopkins is like.  Definitely add some comments to my blog!! I’d love to read them!  Take care!!

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  1. hey Im a jr. in high school just checking out possible colleges and my friends were talking about how hard it is to get into this college and I’ve always wanted to major in BME. I was just wondering just how “smart” or hard it is to get in?

  2. hey katie!
    it’s really hard to make a measure on how “smart” you have to be lol…admissions is all about looking at a good, well rounded student…of course grades matter…but they also look at leadership, involvement in extracurricular activities and volunteer work, etc….just make sure you’re well balanced and try your best in everything, and i’d say you have a good shot :-)

  3. Jenna Schmidtman

    Hi, Liny. I hope you remember me, I sat down and had an interview with you last Wednesday. Well, I finally returned home from my trip and i just wanted to send you a short email to thank you for taking the time to sit down and talk with me. I enjoyed talking to you and I’m sure you will definitly be receiving my application in the fall. I hope you have a good summer, and I will be sure to contact you again if I have any further questions. Thank you very much, Jenna Schmidtman.

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