Family Philosophy Painting/Drawing Religion/Culture Indie Music
August 23, 2016
Last semester was a learning experience. I learned that doing work in my room distracted me, so the library or any other vacant place is a better study place for me. I learned that my favorite dish at D-Hall is the pasta…and I mean, come on, we all know nothing can beat pasta (and I’m talking about pasta you can customize with the ingredients of your choice and is then cooked right in front of you!). I learned that getting B’s on essays isn’t too hard but in order to get an A I have to trade an arm (kay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little). For all future English majors, know that getting your professors to look at a draft in advance (if they are willing to) will let you know what aspect of writing your teacher places emphasis on: is it diction, concision, structure, logic? I learned that I am not positive I want to be an English major because part of my heart still yearns to be a midwife.
Because last semester was a learning experience, coming back this semester, I think I had a better grasp of what to do and what not to do. Here were some of the highlights:
1. I met a group of girls who lived in the Substance-Free Housing, which is essentially a living arrangement free of alcohol, drugs, and other substances. I had dinner with them and they all seemed really close. I found myself thinking how fortunate I am to come to college and always feel comfortable living the lifestyle, which includes no partying and alcohol, I have chosen for myself. What is more reassuring is having hallmates and girls from the Substance-Free Housing who share a similar lifestyle as me.
Oh, and, one of the girls loveeeeee late night walks and nature as much as I do! I'm so excited to show you guys all the cool places we explore!
2. I went to my first Muslim Student Association meeting and Multi-faith Dinner. (I’ll expound on these experiences more in a future blog post.)
3. I cannot possibly explain how much I missed D-Hall food. A thousand thanks to all the staff members at D-Hall that keep me happily fed with delicious food!
Look how festive D-Hall gets when celebrating other cultures!
4. My childhood friend came to visit. When I showed her around campus, I brought her to the library and she said something along the lines of: “Oh my gosh. I love the layout of this library! Now I really wish I went here!” I didn’t know U of R would win her over with library décor, but, hey, this university has a weird way of wooing people.
And because I’m in here at 2:00 am on a Friday night and no one else seems to be here, I thought I’d go ahead and take a picture for you guys.
By the way, I’ve lost my ipod here several times and someone always turns it in to the lost-and-found for me. I feel as though everyone here is always respectful of each other’s belongings.
5. Although I’m not rushing to join a sorority, my roommate and I helped some friends who were rushing get ready. I personally saw how much being a part of a sorority meant to them, and this helped me reevaluate my negative preconceived notions about sororities. My Pre-O special told me about one co-ed group that is more philanthropy oriented than party oriented, and I respect that.
6. It snowed. A lot! What wasn't fair is that my sister in high school got out of school like 430958039486 times and I only got out of 1 class. 1 CLASS. Buttt, I did get to play in the snow!
My name is Jannatul, which is one of the seven heaves in Islam, but I prefer to go by the name Thamine, which supposedly means “precious” in Arabic. You might be thinking, “Where on earth did you get Thamine from Jannatul?!” My answer: My family appears to disregard all naming conventions. You see, my mom and sister also share my first name—Jannatul, and everyone in my family has different surnames. And to make things even more confusing: my sister goes by her last name, and my brother and I go by names our parents just decided to call us by (now thinking about it, though, I’ve seen many of my fellow Bangladeshi friends go by names other than their legal names). In Islam, children are commonly named after words found in the Qur’an, and “Thamine” is supposedly in the Qur’an according to my mother. To this date, I haven’t found it in the Qur’an.
Anyways, now that the basic explanation of the etymology of my name is out of the way, I can get to the more general details that make me… well, me!
I was born in Bangladesh (an itty bitty country beside India), and immigrated to the US when I was two. I’ve been raised in Richmond, VA most of my life. I did, however, visit Bangladesh once when I was ten and still find the experience awe-ensuing—from meeting my 9375902384 relatives, to riding in a noka (boat) and exploring the Noakhali country side, to buying chapati from a street stand.
Apart from my religion and ethnicity, things I love would encompass:
Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite animated movie!!! And don’t even get me started on Avatar the Last Airbender….
Florence and the Machine is the wind beneath my wings.
I have a passion for Chicken Biryani and Alfredo Sauteed Mushroom pasta….. yuuuummmm!
--Little T signing out!
Why UR?It was April and most of my classmates were finalizing and visiting their colleges. I on the other hand, kept prolonging the decision, because I was utterly confused. But as the end of April was rearing its head, I finally decided to visit the University of Richmond for a second time-- just on a whim. I registered for the 2:15 p.m. program on April 20th. When my family and I arrived, the admissions office appeared to be locked. I tried asking around campus for more information on the tours and was amazed at how kind the students were, how they earnestly tried to help me; alas, I never found out what happened to the tour, but my family and I decided to go on our own private tour. It was spring. The flowers were in full bloom, there was a subtle, periodic breeze, and I could see the beads of sunlight dancing on the ripples in the lake. I could vividly picture myself perched on the side of the lake with my paint brushes, oil paint, and a wood canvas, spending the day away just painting (Yes, I have a passion for anything artistic, which includes movies, music, literature, and painting). You might be thinking this is how University of Richmond won me over, but wait-- it gets better! My sister, my mom, and I were sitting in front of what seemed like an art gallery, waiting for my dad to pick us up, when two students casually walked by. One of them looked at my mom and said, "I like your salwar kameez." My mom smiled and thanked him. The student continued to ask where we were from, and my mom answered we were from Bangladesh. "Ami Bangla bolte pari," was his reply. I can speak Bangla. My mom was so in shock that she didn't know what language to speak anymore-- broken English or Bangla! Guys, it was amazing. It's common to meet people who aren't native Spanish or French speakers, but it's not everyday you meet someone who actually took the time to learn Bangla! And that is how U of R wooed me. I know. What an un-academic reason to pick U of R, right? But I already knew U of R was ranked as the 28th National Liberal Arts College on US News. I already knew about U of R's jaw dropping financial aid packages for low income students like me. I already knew about the countless, and I mean countless, opportunities that awaited me at U of R, from research to study abroad and living learning communities. There was no question that U of R would provide me with a quality education. But that day, I experienced something I will most likely be sharing with my grandchildren; no other school made that kind of a lasting impression on me. I couldn’t wait for U of R to continue to amaze me with bazaar, exciting, and new experiences.