The Virtue of Finding Yourself a Covid-19 Shelter
Personal and Professional Development
Muscat university September 17th, 2017
In these strange times, mockery and hope are both a weapon and a shield. They are a weapon against the daily pressures and a shield from our inner sinister thoughts. Hope in particular, was quiet often the fuel that kept me going against all odds.
“Never stop dreaming,
never stop believing,
never give up,
never stop trying, and
never stop learning."
Roy T. Bennett
The Light in the Heart
Around two years ago, I embarked on my journey with Cranfield university on an MSc program in Air Transport Management delivered in Muscat University. Back then, it has been four years since I let go of my dream to become a linguist to follow a borrowed one (flying). The thought of going back to long hours of boring lectures and endless classroom lecturing was terrifying! All I knew about aviation at that stage was the basic cabin crew knowledge of safety drills and the service manuals which I learnt by force of repetition. I felt my whole being was reduced to a series of redundant tasks, to serve and protect, which was noble in nature, but very monotonous in practice.
Towards the end of my first module, I knew what I wanted, and I knew how to achieve it: commitment and persistence were key!
I always knew I wanted more; I wanted to know why and how. It was an aspect of aviation that felt aloof to me. I wanted to understand the logic behind every little operational decision, why did we have to divert, or why did we have to extend an overnight stay? Why trainings were postponed, and leaves were cancelled? I wanted to crack all the codes and to grasp all that there is to grasp. I knew what I wanted but I was never sure if I had what it takes to achieve it.
It was when I met Dr. Keith Mason for the first time, when I realised that I had a glimpse of hope. I still remember very vividly what Dr. Keith said when I told him that I was not sure I have what it takes. He reassuringly smiled and nodded: “I know a professional when I see one.” And despite having little faith in me, his words were my mantra all along. The journey was not an easy ride. After four years of flying, and six years of background in arts and humanities studies; planning, finance, accounting and operations were just Chinese to me.
I like to believe that I started the program on the perfect time. My first module was “Personal and Professional Development” with Mr. Graham Clark. Modules then followed, and I had to manage a crazy schedule. Apart from flying, I had to organize my timetable so my off and leave days cover the mandatory module attendance. I had also to finish long lists of reading materials and deliver assignments while rostered for flights. Time never felt enough. There was always something new to learn, new targets to meet and another module was always waiting just around the corner. What helped me get through? Words can never do justice to the amount of unprecedented help and unconditional support I received from both universities. Classes were actually my escape. There was never a dull moment. We were simply taught by the crème de la crème of what both academia and the industry had to offer. I saw myself in my professors. They had a magic wand that transformed your fears into passions and your worries into hard work. If truth to be told, I never felt I was walking into a classroom. The connection and the mutual respect and understanding I developed towards my professors during classrooms were translated into lifelong vows of friendship. Towards the end of my first module, I knew what I wanted, and I knew how to achieve it: commitment and persistence were the key.
Muscat university, July 18th, 2019
In the process of learning and developing my personal and professional skills, I found myself. My calling was leveraged by the perfect marriage of both universities. In the midst of all of it, hope kept me going and hope got me through.
I am sharing this with you today, because finally, after long sleepless nights and quite a few assignment extensions I managed to graduate despite all odds.
You too, despite all odds, can find yourself. COVID-19 is definitely a global crisis, but if we are to evaluate the current situation logically, we are all having a chance to slow down and reassess our lives, to probably let go of borrowed dreams and follow the ones in heart, to prioritize our tasks, and to finally embark on the journeys we always sought. And if aviation is your passion, it is then a must that you check out the Cranfield website!
This too shall pass, but when it does be well prepared for what’s coming next!
Best of luck.