Friday, July 15, 2011

Life After University

When does one stop becoming a university student? Right after they take their last exam, or after the graduation ceremony?

People of the world, July 14th will always be remembered by me as the day I finished my fugly years at Birzeit, or Birzift University. In a fitting manner, my last exam was permeated by classical music sounding out from the teacher's cell phone, in order to soothe our nerves, before Mozart gave way to a Nancy Ajram song. In my mind's eye, as I skipped down the steps and out of the gate, behind me campus resembled an Alice Cooper stage set, fireworks fireworks and more fireworks.

I had dreamed of this day since my first week back when I was a sanfoora. My parents and older cousins would always tell me that I would regret my attitude toward university, as these years would be "the best years of your life." To each their own but they were in fact the worst years in my life owing to a number of factors.

  • A sense of humor is not celebrated nor advocated
  • The uppity faculty members who won't look you in the eye because your name doesn't start with Sir/Lady
  • The students. The goddamn students
  • The academic atmosphere which is encouraged to stay conventional

Graduation for those who finish after a summer semester is usually in August. That's what I keep telling everyone, and I'm slightly worried because their reaction has been the same: Are you sure?
Even if it wasn't, it's no biggie because graduation ceremonies are the gayest things since Tim Gunn came out. Which is fine if you're all for sappiness and smart dressing, but I'm not too bothered about attending or not.

Due to my increasingly dormant partner in crime Hebz, I've been too scared to find out the answer to whether a new blog must be made if I wanted to change the name of it. Hebz has another semester left, so I can always write here using that as an excuse. Oh I've just been struck by a sudden light of inspiration: from now on I'll include my memories of Birzeit, in addition to the increasingly non-related university shtick I post. And believe me I have a lot of pensive recollections.

By starting this blog, the bitterness and hatred of studying at BZU eventually ameliorated into good-natured humor. Well as good-natured as the circumstances would allow anyway. Whenever something pissed us off we wouldn't sit, cross our arms, and glare ferociously at the world like we used to back in our first year. I'd whip out a notebook and we'd start brainstorming for a post to put together on the blog. Sometimes we reverted back to our sanafer stances but that wasn't our fault at all. So yes, WRITING HAS BEEN THERAPEUTIC.

For me, [cliche warning ahead] it's time to step out into the real world. For my family, it's time for me to gain back the weight I've lost during the past three years, to develop a more positive and relaxed psychological state because as my mama keeps telling me, it's the only way I'll ever regain the thickness of my hair again.

Real World: find a job. There are some students are start working during their last semester. I'm not one of those students. I used to be in such a rush to finish just so I could work and bring home the moolah, but I've forgotten how good it feels to sleep at 5am and wake up at 2pm the next day, something I haven't done since I graduated from high school. Eh, I'll start looking next week. Or after Ramadan. Ok fine, next week.

Job Prospects
NGOs pay good money. I fucking hate NGOs and their policies. Plus I've heard that they are laying off a lot of people because they're scared that come September, all that USAid cash will stop flowing in.

Teaching is a massive no-no in my book. That's all.

I suck at translating. I also don't enjoy it.

I wish I was a waitress back when I studied. That sounds so wrong and so promiscuous in the context of Palestinian Arab culture. Efft.

I think I should just work on publishing my first book. It'll take years out of me, and I'll end up living in a sewage garret at one point, but then my book will explode on the scene and shake the world. J K Rowling used to be my role model. She's richer than the Queen now.

Family: My aunts like to point out that wink wink nudge nudge, watch out for a 3rees/suitor to come any day now for you! Suitors are also up there with teaching, another massive no-n0. I can't tell that to my aunts though; they'll think I'm deranged. So it's all about tight smiles bordering on grimaces and a few inshallahs to placate them.

Even though once again in our Palestinian Arab culture, I'm running out of excuses. Hey, you graduated from high school, that's good enough for the geezer generation. Hey, you graduated from university, that's good enough for the parents. Hey, you started working, you'll be doomed to a life of singledom and celibacy now. You can take the Arab out of the fob, but you can't take the fob from the Arab.

One thing I'll be doing soon--and hold your laughter I'm still quite sensitive about this topic--is learning how to drive. Whenever I'm in the driver's seat, the parent/uncle next to me suffers from a serious case of frozen Petrifying syndrome. What, can't help it if I've got the Schumacher genes in me.

For now, it's definitely onwards for me. Using Gaddafi's catchphrase, ILAL AMAM!

1 comment:

  1. "I suck at translating."
    I see that you write in English here and in Twitter. The blogs in the right side are in English. It looks like English is your first language. Translating should be very easy for you unless your Arabic is not that good.