I have to confess. My admission at FC College was an accident. I did not want to go to FC but I had no idea where to go. The only reason I chose FC was the swimming pool.
I still remember being really disappointed when I found out they didn’t really have specific timings for girls, back in 2008. Also, I had no idea there was a CHERYL BURKE at FCC and that she could get legitimate problems solved in less than a second (figuratively). She is big on girl timings for any facility available at FCC! But I didn’t know that then and I heard Janette Coufal was into swimming so I decided to go to her. And there, I had the swimming pool all to myself for 12-2 pm. It was scary being alone there.
Coming back to the fact that I didn’t want to go to FCC, and with an A, B and B I could have easily (maybe not easily) made it to LUMS and studied biology but I could not have burdened my mother with that tuition fee. I thought it was sad that the best education and the best teachers were being kept from us because we couldn’t afford them. This wasn’t true.
Forman Christian College gave me excellent teachers and all the inspiration that I wanted to become something. After 3 semesters at FCC, I lost interest in biotechnology. I was good at biology, my mother was a doctor (still is, obviously), I had tried for medical and I had always been a science person. Somehow, all of this added up and became biotechnology as my only option in life. It was probably something my mother wanted for me but not what I wanted. The rote learning and memorization had reached a saturation point in me. And I decided I did not want to learn biological terms all my life or grow plants for that matter. I wanted more and there it was.
The Socrates of my life, Dr. Myron Miller, and I am sure it sounds like a movie but my life changed. Inspiration meant everything. Philosophy was interesting and it was like nothing else. It was knowledge. Simply knowing. And this is where I found in me the thirst to know. Before that, I was a robot memorizing and reproducing for high scores.
Aristotle, the next chapter of my life, is Dr. Ghazala Irfan. Amusingly, Aristotle comes before Plato in my life. Throughout my bachelors, she was an amazing friend and her encouragement meant the world to me.
And then, Plato. I wish I could have taken more courses from Dr. Boone but we only met in my last semester at FCC. Dr. Boone is what I want to be as a teacher. He is not all-knowing, which Dr. Miller probably is, but he learns with you. The epistemology class discussions were just the most perfect learning experience.
I believe my last semester at FCC was probably the best of all. I was taking biotechnology courses from Dr. Natasha and Dr. Leslye Johnson; they revived my interest in biology. But I had long lost my heart to philosophy. And there was the independent study course with Mr. Memon
on Political Philosophy; I read the best readings of my life with him. His discussions on the readings and the ideas he introduced made me want to stay back for a third major in Political Science. I couldn’t have done that. But it did leave a huge impact on my life and now, I read the newspaper. As a science student, it was impossible to read the newspaper. As a student of political philosophy, there is nothing better to do.
And it doesn’t end here. There is one more thing that Forman Christian College gave me that I cannot compare to anything else in life. And had I not come here for the swimming pool I would not have learnt the most significant lessons in life, lessons of love. I have learned to love and respect people who do not share the same beliefs that I do. I have made friends and I have been inspired by people so different. I have seen people of Jesus so helpful and so friendly towards Muslims that it hurts to know there are some of us, out there, full of hate. I have assessed that God is with the Christians of this country if he is here, in Pakistan, at all. They are united, they love, they give and they help us. And outside the boundaries of FCC, we are a full of hate. Hate for our own brothers.
I know a degree from LUMS could have given me a high paying job but it is definitely not something that matters to me. What matters is what I have learned and how I am going to teach and inspire others, like me, to want to learn.
Christians, Sunnis, Shias, all learn under the same roof and party together in Forman Christian College. This is the Pakistan that I want to see.