26 June 2013

Knock, knock, and knock.

Knock, knock, and knock.

Silent was the reply. I walked away and returned to the seat which is located just about the entrance of the gloomy hallway. Not sure what to do, I though of killing my time by launching Falcon Pro, scrolling down the timeline, replying some mentions, and then turning it off, launching Instagram, scrolling it down, liking some pictures, accidentally liking others, I hate this, but shit happens anyway. Then I open up twitter again. This continues with the hope of my supervisor will step in that hallway soon. But he was nowhere.

Then I heard the sounds of rushing steps. A man came in. A lecturer. He was older, probably fifty-ish. But he moved like a young man and his hair wasn’t completely bald. He was neat elsewhere. I stand up automatically for paying respect with salam. He smiled then he went straight for a door. I sit down again as he passed me.

Knock, knock, and knock.

I sneaked upon him.

“Prof, I was waiting for him too.”
“Did you contact him?”
“Few times already, without response.”

He left, urgently and swiftly.

Few minutes later, he came again with a few papers in his right hand.

“Can you please just slip it down his door?”
“I will.”
“Thank you.”

Hurriedly, he handed all the papers to me. Then I turned around. Before I take my first step toward slip-in mission, I looked at him again. I saw he packed himself together with a couple of heavy luggage and clearly, a force of determination. 

At the moment, I just knew where he was going. It is the same place I long for, a place called home. 
For him, it’s somewhere around Algeria.

Ever since the last semester, I understood one thing about dealing with my supervisor (sv). He is the one who are hardly available without super duper early notification. He really is a CEO type of person.


It was as early as 6.30am in the morning. I was lying down on my praying matt. The phone rings. A message is received. It says “Meet me by today.” 

I sighed automatically. It’s not because meeting him is like having a forever moment of “lecture”, but it was me for not preparing anything on due.


"Is this engineering?" everytime people asked about the topic.

Yesterday was different. For the first time in a year of the progress, we actually talked about something off-project. We talked about life. It was so mesmerizing how ironic my SVwas. 

“Do you know how long will you live?”
“Say, 80 years”

He took the calculator and then showed me the figure.

“You have only 29200 days to live. It is only 700800 hours. It’s not much. You already finished the first quarter. How many objectives have you achieved?”

I gulped. The conversation went further than I ever thought. Some perspectives were corrected, some were debated. Sorry to say, I will not rewrite the conversation here. I would love to keep it a secret. But, surely, it was the most significant and enlightening conversation I ever had with my supervisor.


One day, using his liquid paper, he tried to wash off the word “Assoc.” in the front of his name. His liquid pen stacked. Technically, he failed. Indeed, he was no longer an Associate Professor. 

He is a professor.

Instead of shaking it over and over, he hobbled into his room, opening the document on his computer, scrolling down a list of students. My name was there. 

Thank you, Prof.

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