I have a keen interest in writing articles, essays, short stories, and fiction. And I love to share them here.
My first semester at the Stuttgart University of Applied Sciences, Germany had just completed in February 2004. It was a break from the university after the exams. Many of my friends had gone to their home countries for a short vacation. But for me, it was not possible to do so because of the high air ticket costs. I remained behind. Then the blues set in. I started to miss my family very much. I tried to divert my attention to various other issues but in vain. Tolerating each day in this foreign land became very painful for me, but somehow, I managed to survive.
Soon the break was over, and it was time to begin a new semester. I remember we were asked to do a 3-day short introductory course, Presentation Techniques. It was an exciting new course for us. We learned how to recall new faces and their names, mind mapping, increase our concentration power on various objects, and a whole lot of other things. We were also taught presentation techniques that the university authorities believed would especially help for our upcoming thesis presentation in the last semester. On the last day, we were asked to present something of our choice for 3-5 minutes in front of the whole class.
The night before the presentation day I tried to think of a suitable topic to present. I played around with a whole lot of topics. The Transport System in Germany. I wrote a draft for it. Then I thought everyone in Germany was acquainted with it. It was nothing new. I thought about the topic, "How I Feel About the People of Germany." But then I changed my mind because I might somehow hurt their sentiments. Then I remembered a line, "You always excel in something that you truly know about.”
I thought of my family and remembered how I had missed my family that I truly know about. And therefore, I took the final decision that I would present the topic, “My Family” the next day.
I jotted down some features about my family, some real aspects such as, where my family now lives, the members of my family, where we had been during our childhood, our educational backgrounds and the painful death of my father, and the departure of my two younger sisters for the USA. Then, with a purple-colored sketch pen, I wrote down some important points about my family on a transparency that I was to present the next day. Doing so and rehearsing for some time, I was satisfied. I went to bed in a pleasant mood.
The next day arrived. I took the yellow underground U-Bahn train to my university. It was almost time for the presentation. My classmates started to present one by one. I felt a little nervous, but I was confident. At last, my turn came in. I went in front of the class, put my transparency on the top of the projector, and began.
I was anxious at the beginning, but as I had practiced the previous night, I didn't make any flaws. I spoke intelligently, smoothly, and fluently. I came to the end of my speech soon, and the whole class went chill.
I remember the last words of my speech. “My father has left my family for good. My two younger sisters are in the US, and I am not sure if they will return to my home country ever. But I am here in Germany, counting my days, waiting to graduate successfully from my master’s program and go back to my home country and give a warm and loving company to my family back there and take with me sweet memories of my stay in Germany.”
After hearing my speech, the whole class was moved, including the professor. The professor had the most understanding face. She said gravely, “That was quite a speech, Rosina. We all feel with you.“
I was feeling extremely happy. I made an impression on everyone. I had made it successfully and went home very joyous that day.
Two days later, a German female classmate said, “Professor Kreitmeier wants to see you in her office." I was puzzled. We had just finished her 3-day short course successfully, and why did she want to see me.
I went to her office immediately. The professor addressed me enthusiastically. She said, “I have news for you.” And out of a white envelope, she produced me 700 euros. She said, "This is your two-way air ticket fare to your country. I can't stand seeing you go homesick."
Tears streamed down my cheeks. It was my turn to feel moved. I couldn't speak for some time. When I gained back my composure, I thanked her warmly. We hugged. She said, "Don't go to your country now. Go in the summer break." I nodded and came out of her office exhilarated.
After the second semester was over, there was indeed a one-month summer holiday. I took the opportunity to buy my two-way air ticket with the 700 euros given by my professor. Having done so, accordingly that summer, I had a memorable vacation in Dhaka. After my holiday, I had gone back to my university for a six-month-long thesis course.
Finishing that course successfully, I had attended my graduation ceremony where Professor Kreitmeier turned up, surprising me pleasantly. I was conferred upon the honorable MSc. degree in Software Technology. I took photos with Professor Kreitmeier, my friends, and of course, my supervising thesis professor, Professor Dorothee Koch. After that, I came back to Dhaka.
The last words of my speech had turned out a reality. As far as the sweet memories of Germany were concerned, Professor Kreitmeier would be one of the most indelible and sweetest memories. Because who can forget the kindness and goodwill of that noble professor who not only helped me to overcome my homesickness but also encouraged me to boost my soul with new vigor to become a competent master's graduate.
© 2021 Rosina S Khan