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Linking Young Minds Together
     Volume 2 Issue 21| May 23, 2010|


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Distant Diary


Nabila Chowdhury

CUNY is the City University of New York. It is the nation's leading urban public university serving more than 480,000 students at 23 colleges and institutions in New York City. It is the largest university in the United States, and the 23 institutions include 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the doctorate-granting Graduate School and University Center, the City University of New York School of Law, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.

CUNY students are very diverse who come from over 205 countries. The black, Caucasian, and Hispanic undergraduate populations all together complete an approximate of a quarter of the student body, and Asian undergraduates complete about 15 percent.

My under-graduate experience and the journey at CUNY Queens College was magnificent. Each of the long lasting, fun-filled years held many outstanding moments. During these last years, I have created countless memories. Along the way, I have had the opportunity to meet great faculty members, a varied group of new people, and made some lifetime friends.

My first year in Queens College was frightening. I still remember being very quiet and shy. Most of the time I used to sit in the corner of the room, and not talk much. However, now among the whole group of friends that I have, I am known as the most out-going one. I started this journey with the Sociology, Philolosophy, Geology and Math class.

Completion of an undergraduate bachelors degree requires the completion of 120 credits.

I spent my first two years in completing the basic requirements. I had a great experience as I exposed myself to a different environment and professors. The most memorable courses include Islamic Music and Culture taught by the very well known and famous Muslim rock star Salman Ahmad. He has remained the lead guitarist and composer of the first rockstar and popular band group, "Junoon," in Pakistan. It was an honour to be a part of his class. We learned about Sufi music, history of Qawwali, background information and success of famous musicians like Cat Stevens who is now Yusuf Islam, The Beatles, Ahmad Zahir the most popular hip-hop musician of Afghanistan and also about Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In addition, Professor Ahmad shared thoughts about his personal struggle as he traveled back to Pakistan, and met mullah's to share the thought that music is not sinful and should not be banned from the citizens living there. His struggle still lives till today, and it actually led him to write a book titled, "Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution."

He encouraged all the students who participated in his class, to carry out his message and understand it by reading his book. He also distributed the class with a free CD of his new released album that is coming out in June 2010. Professsor Salman Ahmad has been an inspiration, and his kind and positive attitude will always be remembered.

I am a person fond of Literature and writing. I took a Comparative Literature course titled Representation, Photography, and Literature. It was a very interesting class, as we compared photography and other visual arts to fiction, poetry, essay, and other forms of writing. The focus was to raise questions about how stories are told by the visual arts and by literature, and how these different forms of arts establish believability. I also enjoyed Introduction to Philosophy in which we discussed basic conflicts like knowledge, reality, meaning and value. The nature of people and their political and cultural environment were introduced through selected readings of great philosophers such as Plato, Socrates etc.

Lastly, I had a great time in the class of Introduction to Dancing and it was really enjoyable. The class was a beginning-level studio, discussion, and film course that introduces dance as a performing art. Our mid-term was a dance showcase, performed with, "Beat it," by Michael Jackson (RIP). The final showcase was an independent project; with each group's own preference of music and style of dance. The last three years were spent in completion of Accounting, Business, and Economics courses, which was emphasized more on Balance Sheets, Income Statements, and annual reports. I had an opportunity to meet some great professionals like Professor Satenstein, Solieri, Amy David and Dignam who all are Certified Public Accountants (CPA), and Professor Milich who is both a lawyer and a CPA.

A friend and I started the, 'The QC Photography Club,' and had a great opportunity to serve the photography majors in the school. Many students took interest in Photography and participated in the club, as I served as the vice-president, and along with the other officials planned ahead and organized events such as discussion meetings, workshops on photo-editing and using the single-reflex (SLR) camera and

of course Fun filled Field trips that allowed the members to practice with their own lens. In addition, we attended many college events, and took photos for the official silhouette 2010. Our student Union president, John said, "The QC Photography club is present everywhere I go." The club involvement and being exposed to new-motivated people was a great experience.

It is the season of graduation. Students all over are graduating from elementary, middle school, high schools, college and even kindargarten.All-Nighters. Killer quizzes. Final Exams. We've survived them all to get our college graduation. A graduation is both the time of thankfulness of achievement and sadness of departure. The more I look back, yesterday means too many happy memories to forget and it is easier for me to realize that friends are much more than just hellos and goodbye. I'm completing my final semester in less than a week, and then it is finals week, followed by the Commencement ceremony. As I recall my associates, friends and I couldn't wait to it be over, and finally start life that is better. We were fed up with everyday assignments, quizzes, papers and the awful long exams, and it was nothing but torture. It is quite ironic, that the same us who feel something completely different now, as our under-grad college days are slowly coming to an end. We are anxious to leave this place and it would be a complete lie, if we were to say that we won't miss this old place. I carry a lot of knowledge within me as the most valuable gift, endless friendship from a few true friends, and a lot more memories that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. However, I am very sure that we would never again be able to feel what we once felt together in Queens College during the past few years.


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