by Elishba Abel
I honestly have to admit that FC was not my first priority when I considered going to college. It had this negative image in my mind, and I told my dad that the only way I’d go, was if my brother was going with me. Thankfully, he did. Imagine my surprise when I came to FC and found civilized human beings – a far cry from the cave-dwelling, extremist, women-hating people I’d thought existed there.
One of my favourite things about being at FC was the fact that the campus was stunning –that every tiny flower bed was full of splashes of colour (the violets!) only made me like the place even more. There were wide open spaces, and much glorious sunshine – even more welcoming that first, cold, winter’s day. Chatting with the gardener in the Rose Garden next to N-block or lolling under the yellow flowered amaltas tree come spring are tied up with my memories of FC’s undeniable charm.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my years here. From being challenged by concerned, well-informed teachers, the healthy rivalry with my peers, the making and keeping of new and diverse friendships and being a part of numerous extra-curricular activities on campus. I love how I could walk into any building and find friends, how teachers stopped in the corridors, or in E-square to ‘hang-out’ or answer questions. I liked how the parking lot attendants knew who I was, and how they told us to be careful when we were driving out to Liberty for paratha rolls. How I could ask for, and get, a loan from the cafeteria, how the librarian rolled his eyes when I walked into the library to look for some obscure book. It felt like home – everyone knew everyone, people looked out for you. Text messages went around when Mr Nawaz was on the warpath, notes were photocopied for friends during class time; once a deep and intellectual conversation started in class, both teacher and students were inevitably late for the next period.
FC has given me what I wanted from a college experience, at a price my parents were more than happy to, and could, pay. I got to study under teachers who were knowledgeable in their particular fields and who had different world views. I got to interact with people from all across Pakistan and even some places beyond our borders, who represented different strata of society and often from backgrounds very different from mine. I got to act, sing, play a musical instrument, compete in a track event, care for the environment, debate, do social work, do fun-literary things, talk about issues that affect me today and tomorrow and still have time to grab a biryani from the cafe and laze around in the grass while having randomly important conversations with my friends!
Today, as part of the workforce, I’m glad for the many assignments I had to write and, sometimes, re-write. I appreciate how my professors pushed me to think outside the box, to do better, to be better. I’m grateful for all the nights I stayed up trying to perfect my lesson plans for Dr Dubash’s classes or developing strategies for helping children with special learning needs for Ms Burke’s class. These are just a few little things that have helped me immensely as a teacher. And because of the great training I had at their hands, and of countless others, there is a large amount of respect that has grown for graduates of FC (four more students majoring in Education are working where I am!). We have been lauded for our work ethos and the fact that we “deliver the goods”!
FC taught me how to take my first steps in a big scary world. I learnt that knowledge without application is useless, just like application without an attitude of service is ridiculous. And in everything, it is love; for the people around me that will define who I am, and who I am accountable to. And that to me is Forman Christian College.