INEZGANE, Morocco - As a student in Highland high school in Albuquerque, I was more interested in getting good grades and reading as much as I could in my free time. Strangely enough, my free time extended to late hours at night.
INEZGANE, Morocco – As a student in Highland high school in Albuquerque, I was more interested in getting good grades and reading as much as I could in my free time. Strangely enough, my free time extended to late hours at night.
Thus, I spent a great deal of night time reading. Back then, I spent part of my time reading the Albuquerque Herald Tribune early in the evening and as night goes on at times I read different types of magazines but my favorites were Newsweek and Time magazines. I spent some time after that doing my school assignments then I switched to reading more substantial material; books and encyclopedias. I had a feeling that the time allotted to study in the US was not enough for me to read all I wanted to read before getting back to Morocco.
I knew that was a great opportunity to be seized and a great challenge to be met. On that perspective, I was a real workaholic. Hence, “burning the midnight oil” was not quite accurate to describe the case as it most of the time went on well beyond 2:00 am. What made that possible for me was first, that most Moroccan students get quite seasoned while hitting the books for the Baccalaureat and second because I personally was a “night owl” by nature.
Staying up late at night almost never caused me any trouble vis-à-vis my commitment to school rules and regulations. I almost never was late for school and my school assignments were almost always done on time. It so happened that one night I spent too much time reading and went well beyond 4:00 am. Time went by so quickly and I failed to realize it being absorbed in reading a book entitled “The naked ape” by Desmond Morris.
I felt very much alarmed when I came to realize I went too far beyond my bearable time span as the following day was yet another plain school day. I felt thoroughly exhausted so I switched off the light and went to sleep. I was accustomed to getting up at 7:00 a.m., doing all the morning daily “rituals’ before taking breakfast and making it to school. On that particular day, I checked my alarm clock; it was seven so I felt happy I woke up on time for school. I was still dizzy with sleep when I got out of bed and opened my bedroom window.
For a while, I was in shock as I came to “realize” that the sun was “rising” from the west; an indication of the end of the world according to the Islamic faith. After a while, I got back to my senses and noticed that the alarm clock had been right; it was seven but in the evening. I overslept on that damn false doomsday!
Articles written by Mohamed El Hassan Abou El Fadel in Morocco World News are taken from his Cultural Journals. The articles feature his reflections on an important part of his educational and cultural experiences in the US as an American Field Service exchange student, a Fulbright exchange teacher and a University of Delaware alumnus.
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