I have been out of ‘formal’ academic education since 2009. The truth is I miss that ‘intensity’ of writing an assignment. Researching on the internet and finding articles that aid ones point of view. Discovering ideas that challenge or reinforce what you think. Being introduced to new knowledge and having intellectual discussions. Writing copious notes whilst listening to a lecturer or a power point point presentation (how technology has developed.) Checking and re-checking work ensuring all the necessary information is there. Having that relief once the work or exam is finally complete. Returning books back to the library as you no longer need them. Then anticipating the grade and feeling elated when you get the results for your labour.
Admittedly I am a geek. I loved school, sixth form, university and post-graduate study. I thoroughly enjoyed my subjects whilst at school and eagerly looked forward to returning from holidays equipped with new stationery and the new uniform. Sixth form was another great time for me. I studied French, English Language, Psychology and English Literature. At this point I began to think long term and believe I made friends who have left long lasting impressions as well as sentimental memories. I was fortunate to have friends in sixth form that were broad on their outlook of life and had high aspirations like myself. At university I studied Linguistics which was AMAZING. This was one of the best times of my life alhumdulillah (praise be to Allah.)
I was simply immersed in the course. At that point I have to say my writing was not so great (I did not possess the academic flair.) However, I approached everything with passion and heart ( a bit emotional I know.) From the first lecture about communication, to second language acquisition to sociolinguistics I simply devoured everything. I would methodically go through reading lists- highlighting books I would purchase and books I could loan from the library. Then I would annotate journals and articles immersed in the writings before me. I became a reader of Foucault, Bernstein, Chomsky and even Diante. I learnt the meaning of epistemology and etymology. I found joy in deducing the lexico-grammarglotto chronology of places in England. I was able to connect to the wider world through my love of linguistics (and social sciences at large) noting the contributions it makes in fields such as Speech and Language Therapy.
Since leaving I have pursued knowledge but in different ways and those memories of learning have never really left.