I awoke to a sound of adzan from the nearby mosque. I grabbed my Blackberry and immediately checked on incoming emails and left astounded by the news I just received from Oslo. ” Dear Maria Serenade Sinurat, your grade is A!”.
A implies excellency. It took a moment of courage to admit that I don’t feel I am that excellent. I never asked for an A. I just enjoyed being a student and learner when I joined International Summer School. It somehow brings my mind back to my summer sojourn.
We were a group of 17 students in Media Studies course, accompanied by a charming tour leader, the one and only Maria Utheim. It was my first time being in international class. I cringed. Some of my fellow classmates have already finished their Master degree, some others hold a top position in their companies. I am nobody from a land of chaos. I recalled some friends thinking Indonesia is part of India and there was one boy thinking it is part of Tunisia. Oh, boy!
It is inevitable to talk about grades when you take part in a course. Some students will put their very efforts to get good grades. I never am that kind of student. As a Media Studies students, we were asked to write a ten-pages paper as a final exam and we would be graded solely based on our papers. It was a bit unfair since we made several projects at the first five weeks.
The tour leader gave us three questions, one of which we had to pick as a subject for the paper. I picked question about the relation between freedom of expression and freedom of press, that was avoided by most of my classmates. Why? It seemed so huge and abstract for them, it was difficult to look for the references, and it was an unlikely subject that will bring you a good grade.
Most of the students then chose question about Nordic Media. The best thing about this subject is all of the books and references we already had during the course explicitly talk about it. I made up my mind and worked on my paper.
I did not put my very efforts to get good grades. I put my very efforts to write a convincing paper delivered in English, which I had never been done before. I forgot how to write academically and always tempted to write in journalistic style. The foremost problem : oh come on, it’s in English!
I spent almost four days writing my paper. I can say I was enjoying the process. I read a hell lot of books and all of them are interesting. I think I will not ever find them in Indonesia. I believe my six-weeks experience can not be traded with just an ‘A’. It’s already awesome without an A.
I am not yet an expert in Media Studies, nor an exquisitely sophisticated English speaker/writer. I embrace things that come in my way and have a lot of fun with them, and good grade will follow.
Good things will follow.