There will be quite a bit of this…

People will approach me and tell me how much they prayed for me, with that crinkling of their brows and slight tilt downwards of their heads, the sheepish supplicating grin and, to top it off, the sanctimonious nod. It was their special exhortation to their imaginary friend that cinched it, it was their words, only theirs, that finally enabled me to pass that exam and graduate. It was definitely not the hot crawling days that drew out like a prison sentence which I spent scouring YouTube for relevant tutorials, not the staring at Biot-Savart and Ampere’s Law equations until my eyes ached, not the reading and re-reading of numerous descriptions and derivations until words lost meaning and became soggy biscuits sitting limp on my brain, not the approaching of my professor and borrowing his notes to photocopy, not the drudgery of sticking to studying for at least twenty minutes everyday no matter how dead I felt, not the pure grind of keeping still to get through the less exciting but relevant videos, not institutions like Yale University that publish some of their courses online for free access, not the constant and silent encouragement of my parents and my friends in their own different little ways – a pat on the shoulder, my youngest sister, even without grasping the implications of what I was pursuing, telling me everything will be all right, an invitation to have a beer, a gentle knock on the door to let me know that supper is ready, a phone call from an old schoolmate to say hello that degenerated into a motivational speech as if from an evangelist’s pulpit, an unexpected text message from my mother, that barely followed any rules of grammar and punctuation, the spirit of which was to stay strong (my mother teaches English. This may have been more a technology problem than a language one). No, none of that shit. I will, of course, keep this to myself, and smile back, nod in agreement, and say thank you thank you praise God, like a good boy.

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