Wednesday the 24th of June 2015 was a relatively relaxing day. I looked over my proposal question in the morning and attended my Polish lesson in the afternoon, after the lesson I didn't have to go to school so I went back to working on potential interview answers. That night, I tried to relax and although I went to bed early, I couldn't sleep. My brain wouldn't calm down, it felt like I had a soup bowl full of facts, dates, books, names and theories in my head and I was just stirring them around with a spoon. I must've fallen asleep at some point because I awoke on Thursday morning with a bit of a headache and two hours to get ready.
I arrived at Pałac Staszica early and I approached the same security guard I met before my application submission. I don’t think he remembered me but he went to fetch his glasses (as he did last time) and told me where to go. I got into the elevator and made my way to the same dark corridor as before, unlike last time there were two grey chairs in the corridor, the interview room was practically opposite the admissions room. I decided to choose the chair furthest from the door. The chair closest to the door didn't look right, I wondered if it was my eyes playing tricks on me due to the unevenness of the floor or if it was something to do with the legs, either way, I wasn't going to sit on it. I read the notes on my iPad for half an hour sat outside the room, occasionally standing up to crack my back and stretch.
Nothing could've prepared me for the moment I was actually asked to enter the room. I recognised the man who invited me and decided it was now or never. I walked through the door and felt rather disorientated, there was a lady sat at a desk to the left of me, I believe there was a window directly in front and another room to the right. Nervously, I entered the other room and waited to be told where to sit. There was a large, old, wooden table; sat around the table were the Admissions Committee. I recognised most of them from photographs on the internet and various videos I managed to find. They were so pleasant but the entire situation was so intimidating, I only noticed the chocolate biscuits on the table as I was leaving. I would usually always notice chocolate biscuits.
I thought it went well for about twenty five minutes, there were perhaps five where I royally messed up and another five where I nervously babbled. I left feeling as though it had gone disastrously wrong and that there was no way I would be accepted into such a prestigious institution. I looked at myself in the reflection of the door on my way out; I sighed and sat on the steps outside the building. I looked at the architecture around me, I looked at the sky, it was so blue, I looked at the statue of Copernicus holding an armillary sphere and I made a wish. I made a wish the way a child would but rather than staring into the night sky, putting all of my hopes on a star, I considered my place in the universe, I thought of Earth and all of the astronomical features that surround it, I made a wish on that armillary sphere in Copernicus’s hand. “Come on universe…” I thought. I was sat on the steps of the Polish Academy of Sciences making wishes rather than using reason the way I ought to. My emotions took over and I was left completely deflated. My SO took me to McDonald's, which helped. I taught two lessons that day, then came home and set up an operating system on my SO’s new computer. Although, there were so many drivers to install that it seemed to take forever.
On Friday, I woke up in a slightly more optimistic mood, que sera, sera. I taught one lesson in Łomianki, then two in Reymonta. After my first lesson, I received an email update; I wasn't thinking straight, I couldn't concentrate, I asked my friend (and centre manager) if she could read it for me, she read it, I asked if I had got in, she said that I had, we jumped, I hugged her. I was so happy, I'm still so happy, I can’t quite believe I've been given such an opportunity. I called my parents individually, one call to Saudi and another to Southport. I later realised I might encounter a rather large phone bill this month but despite that I know I've made them proud. Admittedly, I finally feel proud of myself too. This was always a goal of mine and I'm on my way to achieving it. The results of the application were posted online here: http://newwww.css.edu.pl/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/PhD-June-2015-application-results.pdf I was also given a lovely gift from one of my students that day, an orchid and box of chocolates. I've never seen such beautiful flowers; I made sure to replant it very carefully. My summer holiday started today, my family are coming to visit in July and the day after they leave I’ll turn twenty five. I'm moving to a new apartment and I’ll be going back to work in August for enrolment.