Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Glazed Donuts

I had originally planned to wake up at 7 a.m. so that I could visit some of my favorite teachers at West Potomac High. That, regrettably, did not happen, as I ended up rolling out of bed at 9 a.m. Opps. I’ll make the trip tomorrow for sure.

My day was rather productive today. I went to Best Buy in Springfield with Baba and my older sister Maryum. We spent about an hour picking out three laptops that I would take with me for the journalism program I plan to initiate at the Al-Imtiaz Academy (AIA). I was picky with the specs; I wanted to make sure each laptop had high speed, enough memory space, a good operating system, and all that good stuff. We finally settled on buying two Lenovos and one Dell. While AIA has a computer lab in both the girls and the boys' section, due to random daily power outages, those PCs are not reliable. The reserved battery on the laptops will not hinder the students from their work—writing stories, doing layout, etc. I also purchased two digital cameras for students to practice photojournalism as well. In total, I spent over $2,500 of the Davis grant money on these items.

I also purchased a digital voice recorder. It’ll come in handy when I conduct interviews with for my sociological research. I’m studying the perceptions of Pakistani college-aged students of Pakistanis living in the American diaspora. Thanks to the Roberts Fund, a mini grant out of Bowdoin’s office of Student Fellowships & Research, I was able to make this purchase and will be able to conduct my entire research project.

I’m leaving for Pakistan the day after tomorrow and anticipation is growing. On the one hand, I’m excited to launch this program and see my students again. On the other hand, I hope my stay there is safe. I realize the current state of things in Pakistan is not the most ideal for traveling. But I also realize that being fearful is not a healthy attitude. I am going to Pakistan—cautious, yes—but not scared for what awaits me. I got to see my best friend Emily today and we went to our favorite place, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. As we devoured the hot, freshly baked glazed donuts, she told me how proud she was of me and how she knows I’d come back home to Alexandria A-okay. Her—and countless others’—encouragement and confidence in me makes me all the more determined for a summer that promises to be transformative.