Memory Book/Elisa Kolk (Karynn Ehlanii)
Hi :) I'm a female medical resident in my late-20s and in the middle of my training to become a family physician. Although I used to think I was going to take care of kids with cancer and blood disorders (a hematologist/oncologist), I've decided to become a family physician and do primary care for patients from birth to the end of their lives. I'm thankful to be part of the way there, but I still have a few years to go until I can practice on my own.
Real Life information
Residency keeps me really busy, so I don't often have time to do many other things. On top of that, I'm married and have young son, so that limits my free time even more. When I do have the time, I love to crochet. It helps keep my hands busy while I'm watching TV, movies, or even recorded lectures from school. I have made a few "crochetted quilts" where I made small crochetted squares and then put them together. Each one has been different but they've all ended up looking pretty cool! :) I have an interest in genealogies and I sometimes compose for the piano and flute. As far as compositions go, I'm most proud of a collection where I set hobbit songs from JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings to music for a class project.
How you came to UFOP: SB118
I found the group through my then-boyfriend, now-husband. He joined the group about 7 months before I did. At first, when he joined, I thought it was just silliness, and got pretty annoyed when he would spend HOURS reading, writing, fussing with pictures, etc. Then, I started reading some of the posts (just to see what was so funny). For a few months he started his own tiny group for a small group of Trekkie friends who were far too busy for UFOP:SB118 but who might enjoy the general format. I started really enjoying the SIMming format but the rest of us weren't nearly active enough to keep it going. Around that time I started reading posts from the ship Jack was assigned to again and got HOOKED. (laughs) I couldn't quit reading. So he suggested that I actually join. I was worried about the time commitment, but then as we thought it over, we figured out that it was probably do-able with my schedule. I joined in Late September of '07.
I was first placed on the USS Ronin, which I requested because it was where Jack was assigned. It was helpful that Jack had already "broken the ice", and that I had done a lot of reading of the SIMs ahead of time because he had already made friends out of character. I started talking to a lot of the same people out of character and it has really eased my transition in character, I think.
After a year on the Ronin, I transferred to the USS Independence-A with several other crew members. It was a rough transition at first, but ultimately our crew started to really mesh. I was on the Independence for nearly 3 years, and it was there that I made the transition from Counselor to First Officer. I was First Officer under two COs and really enjoyed serving in that capacity. As medical school got pretty hectic, I stepped back a bit, and ultimately took a Leave of Absence (LOA) for about 6 months after my son was born.
When I returned from LOA, I knew I needed a ship that was a bit slower, so I requested a transfer to the USS Drake. I've loved serving as Chief Science Officer there and it has been great getting to know such an awesome crew. I've been able to write with some of my old crewmates from the Ronin, and that has been a true treasure.
I have served in several capacities: Counselor, Chief Science Officer, First Officer, and several more unique positions (Deck Officer, Xeno-anthropologist). My favorite post, though, has been counselor. As a Counselor, it was a fun challenge to gain the crew's trust, no matter what ship I was serving on. I had the benefit of great command staff, though, who worked hard to a) send people my way for mandated counseling, b) give me diplomatic-type tasks to help me develop that skill and c) give me science tasks to work with my character's other strengths. As more people got used to having me around, they were more willing to have a chat with the counselor.
Another thing that really helped was talking to people out of character. Sometimes Karynn's best Counseling moments don't take place in her office. Talking with others ahead of time helps me plan how to approach their character in a way that won't scare them off.
My most treasured achievement in the group is being awarded the Order of the Valiant Heart, the fleet award for Counselor. I am honored to have been recognized in this way. I have also been elated to have been selected to serve as First Officer on the USS Independence-A and to have been promoted all the way to Commander. I'm proud of a number of my SIMs, some of which have even been entered in the Top SIMs contest. There are a few more awards that I wouldn't mind earning, but mostly now my goal is to improve my writing and have fun.