Friday, March 2, 2012
Find the Time to Compose Three Essays and a Medley
Here in Tanzania, we’re down to the wire when it comes to final papers and exams. But, as the old Kiswahili proverb tells us, “haraka haraka haina baraka.” Or, for the rest of you guys, “haste does not make for blessings.” It’s exactly what my parents and wise older-folk have always been fastidious about pounding into my brain: that getting the job done quickly doesn’t mean that it’s done correctly, or in the best fashion. You get back what you put into your work, and I’m not about to let my A+ grade average falter because they were the last assignments. Yes, that’s right friends and family, I’m actually maintaining an A+ (and even one perfect score) grade average here. I’m not sure what powers of the universe are acting in my favor that I should receive these fantastic scores in a field that is quite far from my own, but I fervently pray that I remain in their best esteem.
(Note: this post shall be accompanied by some lovely, treasured photographs from Tarangire).
Three papers: Two written in Kiswahili, and one written about my observations at my homestay, and what environmental or conservational impacts their actions may warrant in every-day living. Faced with these final essays, I pulled a classic Kristin P.
I turned on my music, checked every email outlet I had (to my dismay, no emails to distract me), organized my room, swept the floors, uploaded some pictures, made a snack, cleaned my water bottles, showed off my new skirt, and read a bit of Moonwalking with Einstein. Everything else, but sit down and write what I knew to be simple papers. One was about my stay here so far in Tanzania, and the other about shopping in Rhotia with 500 Tz shillings. And yet another short essay about a great day at my homestay. Compared to my papers at UNC, which are never shorter than 5 pages, these papers are always a short 1, or 2-3 page written opinions and observations. Honestly, they’re systematically documented fact sheets divided into sections, and they’re so easy to compose. And any paper written in Kiswahili is bound to be fun, because I get to practice what I’ve utilized in conversation so far.
So why was I avoiding them? Two reasons, actually. One is – and I’m often falling victim to this decisive thinking – that the subjects are so simple. Why worry about them when I know I have ample amount of time to do it later? The second reason is because I’m in Africa, living with some fun individuals, and preparing for what is bound to be a frantic few weeks. So I want to have fun. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the wonders of the area, and the culture, and forget that you’re actually in school. In attempts to reconcile with my procrastination, I took the time to finish my papers. My rewards are plentiful, because now I can enjoy tomorrow (a non-program day we’ll spend shopping and going to a pizza place) without having to worry about my papers. Also, I can focus on my upcoming exams (this I’m less enthusiastic about). But the best news?
I have no more papers to do for the rest of the semester, and the only tests I’ll have are occurring next week. The only thing I’ll have to focus on is my directed research in Kenya… which, I recently discovered, will be a lengthy 15-25 page research document… but at least I’ll be living with the lions!
A quick message to some loved ones:
Miranda, Roomie, and D: I apologize for missing your birthdays, and I hope you all had a great time!
Mom: I've taken every malaria pill on time!
Dad & John: Don't have too much fun kayaking without me! You guys can't hoard all the fun to yourselves.
Red: Travel agents are always a pain.
And to my followers: You guys are awesome, thanks for following my adventures here in East Africa! I love hearing from you all.