Experience So Far: The Reading Week

If finding the way of imparting education in United Kingdom was a 180 degree shift, getting a reading week was a surprise. The sixth week of the course was the Enrichment Week commonly known as reading week. As per the course module this week was given to catch on any missed reading. And it was expected from us to be on top of our game for the rest of the semester. But ever since the reading week begun for some strange reason I stopped reading the little bit I was doing. The only work I have done during the week is rewriting some of my old stuff according to the feedback received.

But I have done some work; rewritten the only story written so far, edited my blogs and some other small work. It was a good experience to rewrite the stuff for me as I don’t even a habit of rereading my writing. As it turned out for me it was a bit difficult, even more from writing something new. But I am very glad that I did it as it certainly gave me the opportunity to relook and evaluate my work. I also got few new ideas as well which I incorporated in the story and I am confident as ever that it is a master piece. But I would not have done it without the support, guidance and encouragement of my course mates and my tutor.

For the best part of my life, I have been hearing about Halloween and all the good things related to this event. (By good things I mean chocolate and sweets). But I never really got the chance to experience it until this year. And I had planned that I would stop being couch potato and definitely go out to experience it. But I was a bit apprehensive as well since I have never been to any such event before. As a result I was double minded. I only needed a reason and kick to go. I finally landed at a bar in University with a friend. And unfortunately we were there too early and one of the few things I have learned from my family came to haunt me. We always have to be there on time. From there we went to another bar on the riverside and I had the chance to meet some new people, some unknown faces. But it was an eventful yet tiring night as we had to stroll back to the hall at 2 a.m. (Two days later I got bucket full of chocolates and sweets, thanks to my nephew and niece. Which, they have collected from their ‘trick or treat’ trip across the area.)

On the 5th November the British people celebrate bonfire night to remember the day when the plan to attack on the House of Parliament by Guy Fawkes was foiled in 1605. They used to burn his effigies along with the sparklers and crackers but it is not common anymore. The bonfire night is celebrated now mostly with firework displays across Great Britain, in the stadiums, parks and houses. And we did our very own fireworks at home with some sparklers and crackers. It was fun to see the fireworks all around the area. And the funniest part was when the neighbours replied to our effort with back to back rocket bursts. This was noisy and amazing as well, made us to think how they did it. As we could only manage two rocket fires at a time, whilst we could hardly manage two fires at a time. During all that time we kept thinking where the sticks were landing but after that blitz we made a wild and vague guess.

Such is the concern for the people that while shopping for the firework goodies we were not allowed to go anywhere else but cash counter. The first question asked before selling material was, ‘have you done your shopping or do you plan to shop after that’. And if you do then finish that first before you buy the fireworks as we cannot allow anybody to move around with them considering the safety of the people.

For the first time in my life I had the honour of holding the Olympic Torch. Even though it was not lit but still of holding it was more than enough for me. Definitely a historic moment in my life and I have it saved in my memory and the hard drive as well, thanks to the organizers of the event and my University.

This would be my first Eid away from home ever and that too in a foreign land. I don’t know yet how the Eid celebrations will be like but I am sure that they would not be even close to the ones we have in Pakistan. I will definitely miss celebrating Eid with my family and friends, seeing the sacrificial animals being slaughtered in the name of sacrifice in the way of Almighty (unfortunately without knowing the real spirit and sense of it) and the weird smell of their waste.

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