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Small handwriting sample of C.J.'s First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page


trophies and medals

20 February 2006

Arabic conversation class on Monday morning marked my start of the week. Arabic and Inter-Group Dialogue classes soon followed to mark the end of my Monday. Tuesday began early with the Argument class followed by Arabic and I was soon done with the day after quickly finishing my Government class. Wednesday seemed normal with only Arabic and American Dispute Resolution on the schedule. And Thursday, my last day of the week, began with Argument, included Arabic, transitioned into Government and is still dissolving into my consciousness as I type this journal.

To be precise, all of the above piled up to a total of about 16 hours of classes in a 168-hour week!

But identification of my week in this manner does not do justice. It perhaps needs more description to really bring forth the “real week” I have had. So here it goes…

Everything began, as usual, with an early Arabic conversation class at 10 a.m., Monday. This week, however, the situation was different because of the first interview test of the semester. In spite of everything, the interview went well and I was finished with Arabic conversation within an hour. The next step involved the actual Arabic class but I was done with it within an hour as well. A thorough revision and polishing of my two assignments for Inter-Group Dialogue class took the remaining time from noon ’til 2 p.m. The Inter-Group Dialogues class itself went from 2–5 p.m. It is needless to say anymore about the remaining day because the rest of the time was spent in the library (perhaps ’til 11 p.m. or midnight) in preparation for the upcoming quizzes and midterms.

My Tuesday started interestingly with an 8 a.m. Argument class as well. I was catching my breath after Argument when it was already time for Arabic at 11 a.m. A little Arabic here and a little mumbo jumbo there eventually led me to my Government class at 2 p.m. I was not even finished with Government when I had to rush to join a meeting at 3:30 p.m. That meeting, in turn, had barely finished when I had to literally sprint to make it to a lecture series beginning at 5 p.m. When I was finally done with the lecture, I had to then push myself back into the library for another toilsome session of working on a paper for the American Dispute Resolution class. The remaining part of Tuesday is in the history books!

Wednesday did not have anything particular to offer although it served the purpose of a “calm-before-the-storm” day. Arabic smoothly started the day at 11 a.m., but the remaining day was spent in continuing work on the paper for American Dispute Resolution. The class itself ran from 4–6 p.m. and I was already preparing myself for the next battle before I was done with it. The same spot of the library was occupied yet again to prepare for the midterm exam for Argument and remained occupied ’til noon. The spot in the library was finally vacated when I eventually moved back to my dwelling. However, even that migration did not deter the preparation process of the Argument exam and the gearing-up procedure literally went on through the entire night.

Thursday never dawned on me because I never went to sleep in the first place and the exam promptly arrived at 8 a.m. Although not overjoyed, I came out of the Argument class with mixed feelings of relieve and distress. I had to get rid of all these sensations instantaneously though because of likely chances of pop quizzes in both Arabic and Government. Arabic was not cooperative and I undoubtedly was on the receiving end of a pop quiz but all went well and no surprise activity in Government provided the “icing-on-the-cake” effect at the latter part of the day.

All of the rest is history and here I am writing this journal at 5:50 p.m. from UT’s Life Sciences Library in a very interesting situation. At the start, I did not anticipate that this would be such an intense week. I did not anticipate that I would sleep for a combined total of 18 hours in four days. I did not anticipate that I would end up spending a total of about 35 hours in the libraries in four days. I did not anticipate that I would eat my breakfast in the evenings. I did not anticipate that I would pull off all-nighters in preparation for my midterm exams. In short, I did not anticipate all of the above and many other factors at all.

Even though I did not anticipate all the above-mentioned actions in advance, I did know that a successful completion of each individual hurdle would be a cause of enormous satisfaction and sheer joy to me. This pursuit of personal satisfaction and sheer joy perhaps fueled and continue to fuel a body that is about to head off for breakfast at the sweet time of 5:45 p.m.

Fortunately, I don’t have any classes on Friday. No classes on Friday at all! However, I already know that I will be back in the library tomorrow once again in the same pursuit of enormous satisfaction and sheer joy!

There are countless other things that I did not anticipate when I started my university experience, but the opportunity to confront hurdles and that strong desire to achieve enormous satisfaction and sheer joy by overcoming them is what keeps me coming back and working hard every day. Apart from this, it makes me look forward to tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after that tomorrow and the tomorrow after that and….

—Zaid (…and off to breakfast…)

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