A busy but fun November

December 1, 2014

National Novel Writing Month logo

Image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

November has been a very busy month for me. My studies are in full swing and I took part in a writing event in November called NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a time where writers do their best to write a novel. You have to write every day for a month so that you can reach your word count goal or, better still, you have a novel by the end of the month.

With university in full swing, it was definitely not easy to try and juggle NaNoWriMo and studies at the same time. Of course, my studies were my priority. I could only write once I completed homework and the revision that I wanted to complete for the day.

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Assumptions of people

November 3, 2014

Free time? What is that?Most other university courses held in my country have assignments and examinations. However, they do not have a final examination that completely decides the grades for that year. Instead, they have many tiny exams that add up to make the final grades.

Since my course does not have assignments and other tiny examinations, people assume that I have a lot of free time or that my course is easier in that sense. To some people, this means that I don’t have to study until the examinations are nearby and thus, I have loads of free time.

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So it begins…

October 1, 2014

EMFSS study guidesWell, year 2 has begun. Actually, classes have already started for the past three weeks. However, it is only now that I really feel that my year 2 has really started.

The reason for that is that I am beginning to realise how interesting and challenging year 2 is. It makes me wonder if year 3 would be much harder. Anyhow, that’s for me to worry about in year 3. Since I am in year 2, I should be worrying about year 2.

This week, I received my subject guides and it makes me very happy.

I suppose I really like receiving parcels. It feels some sort like Christmas.

The parcel feels like a present and unwrapping makes me really excited. Even though I know what is in it, it still makes me very happy.

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Studies On-The-Go

November 30, 2012

I’ve written before about how my study plan has to as flexible as my work schedule. My full-time work in the orchestra has some really busy periods and my moonlighting as a dance critic and journalist means that sometimes it’s really difficult to find the time to meet my weekly and monthly goals.
Autumn was a particularly busy time – Ireland has many arts festivals around this time of year, so I travelled all around the country to see dance shows. On top of that, the orchestra had a really busy period with performances and recordings, including playing live for the second Lord of the Rings movie.
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Feng shui for your word processor

November 23, 2012

I have a desk. Sometimes it’s tidy, sometimes it’s messy. But undoubtably I study better when it’s tidy. Some people can revel in chaotic surroundings, others need to Feng shui their working space. I fall somewhere in the middle. I can certainly cope with messy surroundings, but it’s easier to organise my thoughts into a tidy logic if my surroundings are similar.

In front of a computer something similar happens. I’ve never been one to tweak my computer’s wallpaper and colours, although I might just adjust the default setting to something a bit more me. I prefer simple themes rather than glaring, flourescent setups.

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New Year in Egypt

January 13, 2012

Surrounded by a peaceful breeze, I sat on warm sand watching the marvellous scene of sun rise. I looked at the pure sky while sun rays were ascending in a wonderful glory reflecting a fulgent shadow on the crystalline waves of the red sea. The birth of a new day always fills one with hope and passion, while the ebb and flow of tides motivate endless metaphors. A vigorous wave followed by a tranquil one just resembles the movement of Egyptians in revolutionary protests in January followed by their flow to arbitrative polling stations in December.

Stimulated by natural beauty, I started reading in my Social Policy subject guide. Reading on ideological perspectives on an Egyptian soil has a special taste; reflecting my studies on the current situation in Egypt is particularly challenging. As shown by the first parliamentary elections after the revolution, the overarching ideology in Egypt is an Islamic one, which is not archetypal of any of the ideologies I’m currently studying. However, what is tremendous about the University of London courses is that they provide one with the analytical tools applicable to any setting.

For Islamist parties in Egypt, winning a majority after being banned of engaging in political activities for over half a century is an accomplishment. Nevertheless, history suggests that real achievements are to be judged based on sustainability. As an electoral, I can tell that our votes in the first free elections were driven by trust and it is clear that Islamists have proven successful in trust-building on the national level. However, voting in subsequent elections would naturally be based on actual performance which is the real challenge facing all political parties in Egypt, especially the ones that Egyptians have put their trust into.

As the early morning urges one to look for what the day has to bring, the first year of the Egyptian revolution urges one to look for what the future has to bring. An appreciation of the historical and cultural background of the country makes one anticipate distinctive outcomes of the Egyptian endeavour.

Studying in Cairo, life after the revolution…

November 24, 2011

Writing from downtown Cairo 42 weeks after the Egyptian Revolution, I still cannot find words that would express my feelings as an Egyptian student experiencing 18 days of unrest and absolute uncertainty. For more than two weeks, protestors crowded the neighbourhood with outcries that shook the ground; one could not help but hope for a better future to come.

Throughout those grave days I had one source of light: my studies. I was full of faith that one day the sun would rise on free Egyptians empowered by their aspirations and ambitions to build their country. With these thoughts in mind, I knew had to start with myself and build my future by studying hard -even if there was no hope of reaching my school or taking my exams under that turmoil. Read the rest of this entry »


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