You’ll be missed one day!

Goodbye exams!!

Goodbye exams!!

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

The long hours in the library! The beautiful view kinda makes up for it..

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.

Living on Latte's!!

Living on Latte’s!!

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.

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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.

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” -Leonardo Da Vinci

Nadia Nawaz

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Musings of a sleep deprived, preoccupied student looking for an outlet!

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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.

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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. 252272_385510414830202_528117318_n

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!

nadia nawaz

The shame of an ID check-For the love of TED!!

November 2012

Almost three months on from my 20th birthday and I can already feel myself ageing (or maybe that’s me being paranoid again). My growing ambitions seem to be creating a mountain too big for me to climb and I feel the need to push myself and try to make the most of these years. The other day I was told I was freaking insane being a tad bit ridiculous for wanting to pursue an undergraduate placement, and then move on to do a masters. I’ve learnt to not even mention my aspiration of remaining within academia after masters, for fear of being termed a hopeless, goal-oriented over achiever.

But this post was meant to be anything but a lamentation. In fact it’s quite the contrary. It’s about TED!

The movie was released a couple of days prior to my birthday sometime in August. Having had seen the trailer on you tube, my expectations were extremely high and I was awaiting its release with anticipation. This was also around the time I was working at the Olympics. The day of my birthday arrived. I left work early and walked to the cinema along with a friend.

Being students, we often look for the cheapest ways of filling ourselves up. Counting calories is considered a crime. So we stopped by the supermarket, loaded our bags full of junk food and made our way to the cinema.

Once there, we found out the self-service ticket machines were out-of-order. This led to twenty minutes of queuing up and another painfully frustrating ten minutes of having to watch the women in front of us haggle over ten pence.

Finally, it was our turn. Since we were paying individually we took turns to buy our own tickets. By the time it was my go, the women at the till looked agitated enough to want to bite my head off. I politely asked for a ticket, stating the time slot I wanted. The last thing I expected was an ID check; that too on my twentieth birthday, for a movie which was placed in the “15 plus and over” category. Oh the shame!

One of the best scenes from the movie, and precisely how I wanted to react to the ID check! But being led away by security would have been far worse. Just wasn't worth the risk!

One of the best scenes from the movie, and precisely how I wanted to react to the ID check! But being led away by security would have been far worse. Just wasn’t worth the risk!

For a second I got confused and actually turned around to check whether she was talking to the kid behind me. Turns out I was her unlucky target. The conversation unfolded like this:

Big robust women at the till: “Hi darling, what can I do for you today?” (Trust me, she may sound polite but her expression was lethal)

Timid faced me: “Hi, I’d like a ticket for TED. The 3 p.m show please.”

Big robust women at the till: “I need to check your ID please.”

Timid faced me: “Excuse me? Are you talking to me?”

Big robust women at the till: “Yes, I need to see your ID. Can you hurry up please there’s a queue behind you.”

Timid faced me: “You can’t be serious!!! It’s my twentieth birthday for God’s sake”!!

Big robust women at the till: “Well Happy Birthday love, now you wanna watch the movie don’t you, so hand over your ID.”

By looking at her face I knew she meant business. I was left with no alternative. After fumbling through my pockets I took out my university student card, and despite wanting to shove it at her, politely held it up for her to see. I’m guessing the long queue behind me saved me from the shame of having my picture scrutinized. As soon as I had paid, I grabbed my ticket and head handing low, made my way over to the screening room.

All along, my friend’s expression went from one of utter disbelief to complete annoyance. Personally I always knew I looked a little young for my age but never THAT young. Once the momentary annoyance has passed and I had gotten over the shock, I found it quite amusing.

The next day another work friend, having heard the entire incident, tried to make me feel better by relating funny stories of how he was never asked to show ID when he was 18 but since turning 24, he was asked for proof of age every time he went to buy a pack of cigarettes. That wasn’t much of a consolation since being asked for ID to watch a movie about a foul-mouthed hilarious teddy bear is a far cry from buying a pack of tobacco. But we still managed to have a good laugh afterwards.

That teddy bear lives on weed! :D

That teddy bear lives on weed! 😀

All in all, it was the most embarrassing/ annoying/ funny incidents that took place this summer. As for the movie, it was absolutely hilarious. I paid to go and re-watch the whole thing with another friend. Thankfully this time round the self- service ticket machines were working!