Biology, strudel, and other housekeeping items.

Hello! I’m Sonya.


No, that’s just my pseudonym of choice for this site. I thought about creating a cute, clearly-a-nickname moniker, like Bakerella and the Pioneer Woman did, but it appears that the “creative naming” part of my brain has withered away and been replaced by a pool of Doctor Who trivia. When I consulted Buzzfeed for name ideas, it suggested Queen Ketiraka, Keeper of the Western Front and Defender of the Vale, which is super catchy but a little long for a blog handle. So, Sonya it is.

My alter-ego: Ketiraka the Warrior Queen, destroyer of krill.

My alter-alter-ego: Ketiraka, Destroyer of Krill.

What do you do?

Well, I’m a big fan of turning oxygen into carbon dioxide, through a process I’ve studied multiple times and forgotten as soon as the tests were over. I think ATP is involved … and maybe the Krebs cycle? And something called NADH? Or is it NAACP?

This is the part of the show where I admit that I’m a full-time graduate student.

Clearly not in the biological sciences.

But if it helps my quad cred, I do still experience research snafus and massive sleep deprivation. Heck yeah. Sing it with me, grad students, to the tune of “Rule Britannia”, key of C:

On, on, we march to employment,

Fueled by coffee, fear, and debt.

Though our path seems never-ending,

Still we march with faith unbending.

Though doubtful friends and family

Fail to see our field’s validity,

Though we have long marched unfed,

Still we go with steady tread 


March on, cohort! March on!

March in pursuit of metacognition!

I’m so glad we can have these chats.

What’s the point of this blog? Are you just going to sing at people?

Sure, some of the time. I also have a lot of recipes up my sleeve that I want to share, and books that I want to review, and happy stories about good people that I think should be spread around.

Where did the blog name come from?

The long answer: When I started mapping out my master plan for this blog (twirling my mustache evilly the whole time, I assure you), I had two things that I absolutely did not want to do.

1. I did not want to hop on the Eat, Pray, Love bandwagon and give my blog a name comprised of three short verbs in sequence.

I did this with one of my first blogs. It still keeps me up at night.

2. I did not want to get all touchy-feely and spend my time talking about Thoughts and Feelings and What the Ocean Can Teach Us About Ourselves. Some people can pull that off really well in their blogs. I can’t, so I’m aiming for more of a colorful, quirky vibe.

It’s how we roll here in the blogosphere. If your passion in life is chocolate-chip cookies, don’t let anyone tell you to switch to pretzel dogs. Be true to your heart, man.

Unless your heart tells you to feed said cookies to a frog puppet. Then we'd need to talk.

Unless your heart tells you to feed said cookies to a frog puppet. Then we’ll need to talk.

In Which the Shadow Learns to Yodel, in addition to being a vivid image, is a metaphor that works on a couple of levels. The shadow is myself, with a long history of depression and anxiety and an even longer history of being shy, feeling self-conscious, and staying quiet. Yodeling, on the other hand, is loud and cheery and tells people, “Hey, I’m here and I’m doing just fine! Come on over! Bring strudel!” So through the topics of cooking and reading and affirming people, and then blogging about it all, I’m trying to break out of my usual cycle of flying under the radar. In a way, this blog is a personal training exercise for a more open life. And if I get to spread a few laughs and recipes and thoughts along the way, then that’s just the applesauce on the latke.

The short answer: Coffee, Fear, and Debt wasn’t really the tone I was hoping to strike.

Whether you’re here for thirty seconds or two hours, I hope you’ll depart with a renewed sense of hope and passion. I’ll post new content every Sunday and Thursday, so until next time, keep it real, keep yodeling, and keep the coffee coming.

~ Sonya

Photo credits: The banner photo, the penguin warrior, and the cookie picture are all from the fine folks over at Pixabay, with whom I am not affiliated.


6 thoughts on “Biology, strudel, and other housekeeping items.

  1. Pingback: Book Chatter: Airhead | In Which the Shadow Learns to Yodel

  2. 1) I did laugh a few times reading this. (Also at the yak picture.)
    2) I have severe anxiety, so I feel your pain there.
    3) I think you’re pulling off the colorful, quirky thing pretty well.
    4) Can we be best friends?
    5) I would bring strudel, but . . . I can’t make it. Is store-bought alright?

    • 1) & 3) Huzzah! I’m glad to hear it.
      2) Anxious people unite! … preferably through writing so we can spend inordinate amounts of time analyzing what we’re going to say before we send it out into the ether …
      4) After your “Almost Royal” post, I’m inclined to agree. Hilarious!
      5) I’m a firm believer in never looking a gift strudel in the filling. Especially since I can’t make it either.

      • 1) 😀 When you say/write huzzah! . . . Do you always feel like you’re in some sort of epic battle? Just wondering.
        2) That would be preferable. I’m an absolute moron when having to speak to people in person. Ah, if only we could have computer screens separating us from the rest of the world at all times. Time to analyze is always best.
        4) I’m SO GLAD!
        5) WHEW, that’s a relief!
        Does anyone actually know how to make strudel?
        Does the toaster sort count?

      • 1) Can I join you with that? Do you have any extra face paint? Because that sounds awesome.
        5) That looks DELICIOUS.
        I’m going to save the recipe and probably not make it as well. haha

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s