It’s about time I write a post.
I just got home from a fundraising dinner for my good ol’ school, Noor-Ul-Iman. Alhamdulillah, 2013 marks its 20th birthday. I went to the event as a volunteer and an alumna.
The last time I went to an NUI fundraising dinner, my eyes filled with tears upon hearing the little kids sing the burdah–I’m such a sap, ugh. I can’t even recall when I turned into one of those.
Driving through the snow flurries to the venue today on the first official day of my 2013 spring break (yeah it snows during spring break here…), I expected my sap-ness to surface once again. But as a registration table volunteer, I wasn’t moved by the speakers and the presentations because I didn’t get to hear most of them. Regardless, I got to see so many of the people I hold dear to my heart gathered in one place, supporting the school that we all truly believe in–and that’s the main reason I went.
Meeting my old teachers and classmates earlier this evening was such a blessing. I sometimes wonder how they changed and all that–since I used to see them every day, and now I see them only a few times a year. But somehow, when we’re all there together–it’s as if nothing about our relationships changed.
When seeing the kids who are in high school now I think, “Uhh…why don’t I know any of you?!” They’re the people who look really different because I remember them as elementary school children, if at all. But the students that were my high school classmates–fellow NUI alumni–they’re definitely recognizable, and it always feels great to catch up–no matter how short our whispered conversations are as the fundraiser tries to get a community member to pledge X amount of money to the school’s expansion.
I think until recently my mental “What I Love About NUI” list was ordered wrong. As I reflect on my days there, I realize countless blessings, sometimes in disguise, lurked in the hallways of the modular units and masjid building. What I thought was most important or what I’d miss most when I graduated is now redefined, and I can look back on my NUI experience with a less fogged vision. It feels really great, even liberating.
Maybe we did change a little bit–the alumni and I–and each of us looks back at our grade school days with an appreciation we can only fully realize after we’ve explored beyond our NUI bubble.
But, it’s nice to be welcomed back in every now and then.