Sitting alone, in the corner of a busy café overlooking the street, she looked up at the obscure sky. With each passing hour the temperature seemed to fall a degree lower, as the icy winds mercilessly whipped across each passer-by’s face causing them to huddle and dig their hands even deeper into their pockets, their faces red and blistered.Her breath had fogged up the glass and she moved her face away, slowly drawing patterns on it with her finger.
It’s over!! The semester which seemed to take forever to pass has finally come to an end amid much anticipation and joy on my part. All exams have ended fairly well and I have to thank God for helping me to get all my submissions completed and submitted in time, regardless of it being by the skin of my teeth.
Despite marking another huge tick off my calendar towards an exceedingly fast approaching finishing line, I couldn’t help but be glad when I came out from the exam hall this Wednesday completely exhausted, entirely spent, yet over the moon! The subjects I had to complete as part of the core modules of my degree this time round were dry enough to have me weeping tears of frustration and gulping down lattes half way through the night, for the sheer lack of focus and concentration I could barely muster. For the most part they consisted of three boring, theory based subjects relating to professional issues and legal aspects of computing, data modelling and Information technology infrastructure. At one point, the data protection act, its dates and amendment’s had me stuck on one single line for almost an hour-Yes it was THAT mind-numbingly tedious!
However, now that I look back over those weeks they seem nothing more than a blur. I spent the entire night and half the day catching up on lost sleep, woke up after 2 pm and smiled at myself just thinking of the three weeks of holidays I now have left to enjoy before the next semester begins sometime next month.
The first thing I did today was to transfer the tons of random pictures of friends I took these last couple of months from my phone onto my laptop. I have come to be known as the photographer of the group, based on my love for pictures. I just feel this need to ALWAYS take a picture of the moment; it’s like an urge to click away and capture it, simply helping me to stop time in its tracks and enclosing within it a memory which if treasured well enough can last a life time.
Looking through these pictures always gets me laughing. The funny faces, silly poses, and the very act of remembering that moment in its essence no matter how recent, is always so beautifully invigorating.
Any picture, however insignificant at the time stirs memories like no other. It brings back that smell of coffee on the morning of the exam day. The reminder of anxious, frustrated students, with filthy habits; smoking by the main entrance. That heavy stench of weed which fills the air often attempted to be concealed by chewing gum. The loud music blasting through the speakers in the early evening just as the sun begins to set and the Caribbean students come out with their roller blades, carefully manoeuvring through the outdoor benches, pulling somersaults in the air amid applause from other students.
Nothing beats reminiscing over such instances which bring with them hope and faith for the future yet sorrow at how fast time seems to be passing.
I can’t help but think of how quickly I will be out of this place, away from all the people and moving onto the next phase of life. Though I may be happy this semester is over, I’m still sorry it went so fast…
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid-air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight. And as we fly, we still may not know where we are going to. But the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You may not know where you’re going, but you know that so long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Exhausted is a word which barely begins to describe my state right now. To say I’m physically, emotionally and mentally spent would be an understatement. Yet here I am, busy hammering away at my keyboard despite having a back load of reading to catch up on, exam revisions to undertake, pages upon pages of learning to do and a million other things on my mind, which if I were to begin to explain, would literally take me the rest of the year maybe more.
As students we are given deadlines to work towards, assignments to complete, projects to undergo, presentations to give and of course the exams, which simply passing is never enough for me; I have to get that top mark or distinction. This need to excel and perform better than the rest is probably a genetic malfunction I would happily blame on my parents any day. But don’t take me wrong, I’m not complaining. In fact this growing sense of ambition which seems to get stronger day by day is one of the biggest blessings I have been given for which I am truly grateful.
Something which is completely beyond me however is my unwillingness and desire to revise. Throughout my education I have come to notice that whenever exam time approaches, each and every single student will do their hardest to make excuses for not sitting down to study. Be it catching up with old friends, replying to emails, sorting out your wardrobe, even doing house chores will seem more enticing than opening those bland text books or lecture notes and making yourself concentrate on them. Focusing at this time seems beyond us all. Facebook seems to be visited more frequently, mobile phones are checked every other minute for no reason other than to while away the hours and don’t forget the food; gouging on fast food, downing lattés like water and generally feasting on every single thing we can lay eyes on becomes something of a compulsion for students of all ages.
It’s strange really. When being forced to do something, in this instance revising for an exam, we begin to resist and look for any outlet which will allow us to spend as little time in doing the very thing which ultimately needs to be done at every cost. However, be it any other day that very same activity will seem to capture our interest and cause time to pass us by without us caring. For example the subject we took a lecture on, will seem exceptionally interesting on any other day other than exam times ,so much so that we might spend an extra hour just reading through extra material for basic general knowledge.
Being unable to grasp the strangeness of these occurrences, I will simply bring it down to the nature of human beings to resist any form of forceful constraints which we are bound by and must uphold. Either that, or a general unwillingness and fear of facing the consequences and results of our actions which are a part of every one of us. This trait is displayed particularly during the result announcement day.
As for me, for now I must tackle that back log once and for all!
The ground is silver from the residue of left over early morning frost. The skies are an expanse of dusky grey with hints of white, depicting an aura of misery and gloom. People walk about hurriedly, bundled up in multiple layers of clothing, yet chilled to the bone. The unmistakable feeling of dread hangs in the air, like a heavy stench of rotting carcasses; intolerable, yet inescapable.
From my perch at the window sill, I look out at the world. My feet numb from the cold, my nose a bright red. I get up off my seat to warm up a little.
The world is an austere picture of bleakness. Every colour seems to have evaporated along with the cold icy wind, leaving behind forlorn faces clouded with desolation.
Appreciation is found in the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the warmth of a crowded café and the crackling of the fire. I find a reason to be grateful. Looking up, meeting the eyes of a beautiful stranger and returning his smile, I’m filled with a sense of contentment and warmth, and gratitude far beyond my comprehension.
Did someone just say coffee? Mmmm yum yum! The mere mention of the word is enough to make my taste buds start tingling. It’s as though my brain cells can sense its presence and start dancing this crazy joyous jig, together with that intoxicating divine smell of freshly filtered coffee, makes me feel almost HEAVENLY! There’s something rather magical about that freshly brewed brown/black liquid, that delicious concoction that brings a caffeinated joy that only coffee can give.
Coffee is that sole beverage which is considered somewhat of a comfort food or should I say drink and is popular among the masses, irrespective of age, gender, religion or culture. It is consumed daily on a humongous scale throughout the globe especially in the USA. Some would argue that coke and tea are just as well-known and widely favoured, but I beg to differ-Tea is barely popular among kids and coke is forbidden for those suffering from diabetes– In addition I must also point out that coffee is now added to cakes, muffins, toffee, ice-cream and even chocolate. Taken cold, hot or however your heart desires. In comparison, ever heard of tea flavoured cake? Or even tea flavoured ice-cream? I doubt it.
Personally I absolutely refuse to call myself a coffee addict, (my mother would say otherwise) though one mug per day is mandatory for my little body to function at its best. Be it freshly ground filter coffee, Brazil’s best instant ground beans in a jar or a little sachet of some unknown brand packed up with powdered milk and sweetener, I’ll hungrily gulp it all down.
Let’s rewind a few years .I was 17, sick of tea and in dire need of something to keep me perked up and focused during the long endless nights of college exam prep. Coffee presented itself to me in the form of a beautiful steaming hot mug full of deliciousness. That’s when my love for it really began. Almost three years down the line, we’re as inseparable as a newly wedded couple.
Back then, my mother had this inconceivable notion that if I were to continue having coffee I would not only develop stomach ulcers but would also tragically die of intestinal rupture. No exaggerations there (I think I have succeeded in reassuring her now).She even used to go as far as hiding the jar of coffee or else putting it on a shelf beyond my reach, some place she thought I’d be innocent enough to overlook. But not me, no. I was never that easily fooled. I would ransack the kitchen whenever she was out, hunt down that coffee jar and make myself comfortable while I sat watching the kettle boil. Then I’d sit back and enjoy my steaming cup of heaven, wash up my cup after I was done and creep out of the kitchen like a criminal. Turns out I’m not very good at hiding things, she used to come back and somehow know what I had done. Maybe it was just that guilty look on my face that made her suspicious!
However, despite my adoration for coffee I barely ever exceed one mug per day (excluding exam time of course, but extra is justified during that stressful period). My mother’s continuous warnings have finally hit their mark and I dare not surpass my limit for fear of those dreaded ulcers and burnt out intestines.
According to a recent study, on average 300mg of caffeine is safe for adult consumption on a daily basis. However this is also duly dependent upon the person’s weight and age as well as their general reaction towards caffeine.
I came across a number of articles while trying to prove to my mum that a mug full a day was perfectly safe (she’s a tea drinker, through and through). Clink on the links below if you’re interested. You might just find them useful.
Till then, for all those coffee lovers out there, consider us soul-mates!