It’s been a while

Over the past few months, I haven’t been writing the way I want to. All I’ve been writing are research papers, exam papers, and articles here and there. I think I wrote a couple of short stories and a poem or something.

What I can remember are the moments I took to update my WhatsApp status. They aren’t particularly eloquent, but they capture the moments I typed them out in. They feel like writing. Not the painstaking writing that captivates readers. Only a brief hint of a life. They reveal a little something about me. That is why I am using them to craft a story. Mostly my story, but I think it’ll mirror what some people feel in the last few months of school, college, and other things we feel we need to get away from.

_____________________________________

nerd smiling emoticon

She smiled as she wrote. The words appeared on the screen nearly as quickly as she thought of them. The feeling she got after the last word was typed was one of accomplishment. She had finished. She had made it through her final research paper after three years of typing and retyping and editing and proof-reading. It was one of the last things to do on her way to freedom.

A lot of lasts

She knew it was true. Others seemed to be getting more nostalgic by the minute. She couldn’t wait to be done with it all. She was quite literally counting down the days. But there were moments when she thought, “I’m going to miss this.” or, “I wonder when I’ll see them again.”

Back to the same old

As excited as she was for the end, there were a few more hurdles to clear before she could go on to the next stage of her life. And it was the same old thing, another set of tests to measure something undefinable. She was back to waiting, waiting for it to be over.

Done

The classes were over. Just weeks remained of what had begun to feel more and more like a life sentence. Every other minute, she was tumbling from joyous heights to depressed awareness of what remained to be overcome.

The frequency with which she felt compelled to share her state grew.

Just a few hours more.

2 weeks and a bunch of hours

                                                 angry face

Words seemed to be failing her at times. The exams had never felt so awful. She knew it barely mattered. But she felt awful on the days when she had to drag herself to that place. Sometimes she felt unable to deal with it on top of the other worries weighing on her.

flat mouth face

It felt like the days she hated lasted too long. She stared at nothing and everything. She sent messages to her friends. She was able to relax when she focused on something totally unrelated. Those moments were precious.

Counting down the hours

She could see the end of a three year journey which had been interesting. She was more than ready to leave interesting behind.

Vacation!!!!!!!!!!

She was there. Where she wanted to be. Needed to be. The other worries had more room to float about her head. She was looking toward the future. And that was partially dependent on the exams. The results took their own sweet time.

Finally!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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MOOCing all the way home

With my rather tame obsession for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) I have completed two and am at present enrolled in three more. My tendency to multi-task has backfired rather painfully—the work from all three is colliding with the work I have to do for the college I actually attend. The weekly assignments from the MOOCs are interesting, but quite frankly a pain in the behind when Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and R.L. Stevenson beckon from the Victorian Period.

To get on to the more positive aspects of MOOCs, they help to really make you feel better about yourself. This is not just in the clichéd “Oh, it is so nice to meet new people” sense, but in a more complex way.

As far as meeting people goes, I like to preserve my anonymity, so I really don’t interact too much on the forums and discussion threads that are constantly popping up from sources all over the world. It is interesting to see the things people write, and occasionally the ludicrousness of the opinions will make me laugh, but often I agree with certain views. When people disagree, there is a fair amount of debate that I find entertaining, sometimes informative and otherwise just completely unintelligible!

When people hold views I agree with I feel a sort of anonymous approval and self-affirmation. This is how these courses help me, apart from the most obvious way in learning about some topic or the other. The courses can help you remember that there are people out there who agree with you about things, which somehow makes me feel I am not alone in the big scary world. It is like when you meet someone and you agree about everything, you feel connected. This happens on a much larger scale with some of the MOOCs, especially where you get to read people’s assignments as part of the peer grading system.

The most interesting thing perhaps is that the videos and assignments force you to rethink some of the ideas you hold. Either by directly proving their fallacy, as in the case of myths about Psychology that were debunked in my course- Introduction to Psychology as a Science, or by just pointing out chinks that you can go on to attack, until you are left without any armour (just to complete my metaphor).

Some see MOOCs as a waste of time, but I think people who stick it out to the end become more critical about the subject of the course, and can apply the positive aspects of it however they want. Or even the negative aspects, I mean, who knows what some people choose to take away from a course?