A New Mr. Pharmacy Is Crowned
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By Steffie Tu
Chanting. Hooting. Hollering and clapping. Words of encouragement echoed throughout every crevice of Cole Hall, as the usually staid lecture hall was transformed into a rambunctious theater last Thursday night.
Pharmacy students from all four years gathered for the exciting Mr. Pharmacy Competition, cheering on their respected representative for each class. This much anticipated event occurs only once every academic year, and the camaraderie and pride that runs through each student’s veins for their class’ representative was evident.
The competition started with the MCs, second-year pharmacy students Shannon McCabe and Patrick Halmer, opening the competition with laughs and jokes and welcoming the contestants as they were led onstage one by one, by second-year student Carly Bliss.
This year’s Mr. Pharmacy contestants were: Daryush Tabatabai (P1), Daniel Polchinski (P2), Ruzly Mantara (P3) and Jeff Moss (P4). Judging was based on four categories: hobby, talent, pill counting and lastly, an interview conducted in formal wear.
Kicking off the hobby competition, Tabatabai’s entry was a video compilation of what his first-year pharmacy classmates thought of him, and ended with him strutting around the stage with just half of his wet suit on, causing the crowd to go wild.
Meanwhile, Polchinski’s jiu jitsu skills and amazing level of fitness awed the audience, convincing them that he, indeed, was an athletic god. Mantara’s gift of braiding was absolutely incredible; making braids the trendiest hairstyle in the 21st century. Jeff Moss’ hilarious slideshow showing him standing upright on rafts in giant rapids had the crowd keeling over in laughter.
After showcasing their hobbies, the contestants displayed their talents. The spectators sat in silence, as Daryush Tabatabai’s beautiful piano playing took their breath away.
The audience swooned as they watched Polchinski’s magic show, and Mantara’s creative and beautiful song dedicated to the support he had received from his classmates brought tears to the eyes of many of those listening. Lastly, Moss’ witty and deep poem of his passions had the audience pondering over every word.
To be awarded the title of Mr. Pharmacy, the winner must not only possess incredible talent and have unique hobbies, but must also be skilled in the art of counting pills. Each contestant was timed to quickly count 50 M&Ms, place them in a pill bottle and label it. It was a close match, but Polchinski came in first.
In the final event, the contestants were grilled in an interview. Each was dressed handsomely: Tabatabai sported a tuxedo vest with his chest bare; Polchinski dressed on point in a classic suit and tie; Mantara was elegant in a leopard-print cape that flowed across the stage. Moss was simply dressed in scrubs, carefully detailed with dress shoes and a bow tie.
In the end, Daryush Tabatabai (P1) was declared Mr. Pharmacy of 2014, bringing pride and joy to his first-year class.
Even with the sparkle and fame that comes with the title of Mr. Pharmacy, Tabatabai remained humble.
“I am grateful to my wonderful classmates for helping me with my introduction video,” he said. “They inspired me to be more outgoing and to try things outside of my comfort zone.
“I was super-nervous, to the point I inadvertently starved myself that day,” Tabatabai joked. This may have helped give his abdominal muscles that extra boost.
He also said he had doubts that what he had planned “wasn’t going to be good enough.” Judging from his comfort level and charisma on stage, it’s difficult to imagine that doubt ever crossed his mind.
Steffi Tu is a first-year pharmacy student.