“It was sunsets that taught me that beauty sometimes only lasts for a couple of moments, and it was sunrises that showed me that all it takes is patience to experience it all over again.” ~ a.j. lawless
As I prepare myself to sign off with my last AP Hunni blog, I ask myself- what do I write about? How can I inspire and leave a mark? But honestly, I don’t know if, as Malika, I have anything left to say. So maybe instead I can attempt to help you understand the condition of my heart.
Three years ago, I sat in a 10-1 English classroom watching a film engulfed with symbolism of Adam and Eve- I couldn’t help my excitement, turned over to the boy sitting beside me and tried to explain my thoughts. Quite frankly he didn’t care. And so for the next few days as we watched the film, I stayed after class to share my opinions and new-found learnings with my teacher, having conversations that stretched over the span of multiple lunches. Very quickly, we understood that 10-1 wasn’t the place for me. There was no stimulation of thought or care towards the art we were studying and it limited my possibilities as a writer and a thinker. So my teacher and I, did what we thought was best; I enrolled myself in AP for grade 11.
And that is truly where my journey of self-growth and understanding began. I spent my summer reading the AP students’ critical and personal responses. I spent days and days overthinking my decisions, as I realized my writing was not nearly as good enough as some of the work I was reading. So I psyched myself out, promising myself to go the extra mile to prove I was capable to be in that environment.
And so day one of grade 11, AP English arrived and I realized I was not in a classroom with students, I was in a room with thinkers, readers- intellectuals. For the first few days, I just sat listening in awe. I remember hearing Siddharth, Vanessa, Megan, Queeny, Sara, Ali all share their wise insights and I couldn’t help but reflect upon all of the “bred crumbs” that had fallen from just a few in-class conversations. Inspired by these thinkers, I found myself a home, where I learned how to articulate my thinking and synergize with the brilliance of others. I’d found a family in Nilave, Joel, and Siddharth as we spent the semester debating, conversing, and inspiring one another every single day.
I remember all the conversations I had with Hunni about living in grey rather than black and white, as she guided me through my various stages of personal development. She pushed me every single day to read, analyze and reflect- to create myself through learning about the world I live in.
And so, through all of the conversing, learning, crying, and laughing- semester one of of my AP journey came to an end. I was about to write my personal response exam in Hunni’s room (a complete fluke since they didn’t have room for us, AP’s, in the gym) when the twelves came by to yet again motivate and inspire us. And right before I was to write, Siddharth came by and gave me a huge bear hug. Caught up in emotion, in the goodbye, I remember tears of gratitude falling from eyes as I began to write my piece.
Fast-forward past my summer adventure to my second and final semester of AP. I had just come back from the most life-changing summer and without much time to process I was back in school- back to routine. But the thing with AP is you’re constantly reflecting as an individual as you connect with different texts, authors, and poets from around the world; therefore, I was given the opportunity to process my summer through my educational pursuits in AP.
This semester I had the great fortune of being a twelve paired up with Rehman, Victoria, Kelley, and Judy. And I cannot possibly be more grateful for the love and support I received from these talented and wise individuals along with the entire AP family. There were so many moments I was left awestruck by the talent and perspectives everyone brought to our conversations. Be it Bryna and her emulations, Mariam and her life experience, Timi and her eloquent use of language, Emily and her logic, and so on and so forth. Every single day the passion in our classroom motivated me to continue on, even when I felt so detached from my own life.
And so, with my bundle of memories, I think of signing off- for good this time. And it scares me to think, I don’t get to live another day in the life of an AP student having a Socratic discussion or pondering about why I am so attracted to Stanley (from A Streetcar Named Desire) with the many others in the room, who are also infatuated by his masculinity. It terrifies me to think, that this is my last blog and I don’t get to sit in our class and inspire and be inspired every single day.
But this life. And we create these attachments because we love. And this is the heartache of love- when you give up a part of yourself to what and who you love, you have to be ready to live broken when it’s gone. And this heartache is also the beauty of love. It is beautiful, to live with the memories, words, and knowledge of those who have left their imprints on your heart.
So thank you- for leaving your imprints on my heart. For providing me with the love, support, and motivation I need to constantly nourish my soul.
Thank you Hunnisett, for teaching me how to live. Thank you to all of the AP students I’ve had the honour to work with, for exploring the world of love with me. And if you remember me at all, I hope you remember me as the girl who loves.