One of the concepts in the IB curriculum for history at my school is 20th century authoritarian leaders. In order to complete my Paper 2 (the IB exam) I was presented a question that had to be backed by two different authoritarian leaders. In order to do that, I had to learn about more than one authoritarian leader. To keep things interesting, we learned about Fidel Castro as a group but then my class was separated in two and we each did a different leader. The other group did Pol Pot, and mine did Gamal Abdel Nasser, authoritarian leader of Egypt. We divided the assignment into three parts; and I was in charge of the beginning. This paper is basically “intro to Nasser & how it all started” so there isn’t much of a conclusion.
My French is incredibly weak in this paper which bothers me but wasn’t my main focus since I wasn’t graded on that. This project was really interesting and let me try some new tricks on my iPad, but it was also the most draining piece of work I think I’ve ever done in my life. I was stressed because what I was writing was going to be used as class notes for the other part of the class and I didn’t want my project to lack (hence my twenty-something page paper.) I was the first out of both groups to share, so I wasn’t sure what this was supposed to look like, and deadlines for a bunch of different assignments were all meeting up at around the same time. There was also the huge crisis I had in the middle of this paper where I just realized I can’t tell this like a story and there was no structure to the paper (which is why I created the extensive table as a first page.) Lots of worries from my side.
This was also difficult because I knew nothing about Nasser, so everything had to be learnt in order to teach the material to others. I read the entire section of the IB Authoritarian Leaders textbook on Nasser (which ate a tragic amount of my life away,) seven complete Wikipedia pages, four random textbooks I found online, and the encyclopedia or something. It was so much reading and I was unable to read any of my for-fun books. And I had like 4 word docs of notes it was just the biggest mess. And I felt like I didn’t have enough time to write all of the content before the due date because everythingelseseemedtoneedtobehandedinatthesametime – anyway, research took way too much time (4days) which only left me two to write. Gladly, it was the weekend but sadly, I was stuck to my freaking desk for 32 hours because I just wanted this damn thing to be perfect. I’m proud of this research paper and have received extensive praise for the quality of it, but in reality I had just gotten a terrible math grade and felt like I had to validate myself by going all out on this paper, which only led to me being sleep deprived, eating like crap for two days straight, not seeing the light of day for 48 hours. You get it. This was in no mean fun work to do (not because it wasn’t interesting because it truly was,) but it was just not the right time for me to jump on writing a twenty page paper. But the amount of relief I felt after having this done was so overwhelming I literally broke down crying and slept for 16 hours. Maybe this is TMI, but I’m beyond caring at this point and if anything I think I’m making a point, because almost all my “exceptional” and “highly praised” work has costed me my literal wellbeing. So maybe dont overdo the assignments like I do. My chronic need to people-please has brought me down dark places, which is one of my flaws I need to work on -but thats a story for another post. I have friends that just write the essentials or “bare minimum” if you will. And that can be fine guys. Go to bed if ur damn tired.
Anyway, long story short: I’m proud of how I pulled myself out of this. It sucked. The relief in the aftermath was awesome; but it made me realize that I cant live my life waiting for the aftermath in order to let myself live and be happy?! But nonetheless, here’s the Adam of my labours:
My teacher said she would use this to teach in the future though so at least all this work hopefully won’t die with this post!