On Tuesday it will all be over. On Tuesday, I will finally have written my final exam for my “Arab Israeli Conflict” course. Three hundred plus pages of reading later, I will finally be free. Done. Conflict solved.
On Tuesday, my academic study of the Arab Israeli conflict will be over (for now). On Tuesday, I will now be responsible for studying this conflict out of my own free will. No longer will I need to learn about the domestic determinants of the Israeli-Syrian peace process (or lack thereof) to achieve a good grade in the course. It will now be my own initiative. And I’m ready to take it. If this course has taught me anything, it’s that I know nothing (and that’s often the case – the more we learn, the more we realize we have so much more to learn). From every one hour of lecture, I’ve left with thirty questions that I want answers to. But I think the main thing I’ve learned is that I want to learn those answers by myself – I want to figure them out on my own. I want to open up history and start learning facts and I’m confident that I can do it.
I almost teared at our last class this past week, because it meant that the knowledge I gain about this conflict is now mine to discover – I cannot rely on others to teach me what I want to know. Of course, I love to study and discuss academia with other students, professors and colleagues. But in order to even discuss, or to form an opinion, I must first have a basic knowledge of what it is I am discussing. And that is what I’m off to discover.
Who knows, maybe in a week I will have already forgotten this thirst for knowledge. But maybe not. Because as I’ve continued down the path of my university education, I’ve learned that the thirst for knowledge can rarely be satiated.