One Last First Day

Avril 2022

You set foot on campus for one last time. You walk past the security guard, who not once asked to see your student ID.

You walk towards the elevator, looking to go up to the 5th floor. You wait an eternity for that lift to arrive, because for some reason, the campus is a ghost town except when it comes to taking the elevator.

After having aged 2 years, the elevator finally arrives. You press number 5 because your class is on the 5th floor only to realize that you took the wrong elevator. This one is the “pair” one. You should have taken the “impair” one. But since you’re already here, just go up to the 6th floor and take the stairs down to the 5th.

Before the elevator door closes, your Spanish teacher from the first semester of your first year gets in as well. At this point, you have to say hello, but instead, you say “Hola”.

You instantly regret your choice of words because the teacher starts speaking to you in Spanish, but you only took one semester 5 years ago so you remember almost nothing.

The awkward elevator ride is over. You arrive to the 6th floor and take the stairs down to the 5th.

You remember you needed “war2it daman” from madame Wafaa. You head to her office to ask for that “war2a” for one last time, but Mrs. Abi Nahed’s office is swamped with students, and you are not willing to risk your life for a paper. Guess “war2it el daman” will have to wait.

As you head to your class, you see Ms. Mary in her office, already on her 10th cup of coffee writing down a list of complaints students have come to her with.

Once in class, you sit down for one last course with Ms. Lina Sader Feghali. It is then when you realize that you will be leaving ETIB knowing that, “dans l’absolu”, your answers were correct, but they were never plain correct.

As you look around the classroom and see everyone wearing masks, you wonder, would Ms. Nathalie el Hani still love the smiles even if she is no longer able to see them?

Your classes are over. You leave the classroom only to reminisce about the times where you and your friends would walk up and down these hallways trying to catch the cute “ajenib” who were taking Arabic lessons. Spoiler alert: mission failed, we’re all still single!

For one last time, you take the elevator down to the lobby, stand in front of the vending machine waiting for it to steal your money.

You step out into the “jardin”, sit down with the few friends you have left, gossip a bit about what had happened during the day, and...

For one last time, we walk past the security guard who not once asked to see our IDs.

We step out of the doors that welcomed us for the last five years, each one of us walking towards a first day they will be spending somewhere else.

With that being said,

Class of 2022, cheers to new beginnings!


Sami-Joe Issa

M4- traducteur-rédacteur