Dr. Aroosa Kanwal Interview
In 2006 a confused and nervous Munaza went Islamabad for her studies. I was never been on my own in another city. As I woke up earliest on the first day of uni and reached 25 minutes ahead of the bus timing on bus top, I was constantly thinking of how strict my university teachers would be.
As I was sitting in my first lecture, I observed a tall, fair young lady entering our classroom. I still remember she was wearing white suit (shalwar Kameez) in self print with high white heels (later I came to know she was a woman with best heels and hand bags in the department). I was mesmerized with her elegance, calmness and the eloquence she talked. She did not create a horror or terror among us of the higher studies (sadly unlike many teachers who did that to us in our first classes of different subjects). She was Ms. Aroosa Kanwal.
On that day, while she was speaking in the first class, I dreamt and said to myself one day I would carry myself like her and teach in the same way. Till this day I am trying to be a shadow of her in some way.
Back then she had many distinctions and later on she kept collecting more and more. She did her PhD from Lancaster university. She got her book published, won an Alumni award from British council and what not. Currently she is working on her post doc in Lancaster, England
There is so much more that I can write about our heartfelt, kind and intellectual Dr. Aroosa Kanwal but what best way would be to know a person but her own words.
1-How would you define the life you have spent so far?
Meaningful! For me it is not all about ‘me’! Move out of your comfort zone and do something for others, especially for your parents, your family which will give you happiness and contentment. You need to grow every day and learn new lessons.
2-How much success has meant to you in life?
It depends how do you define and measure ‘success’. For me it’s not about the achievement of planned goals. The true meaning of success for me is ‘to live a life full of happiness and joy with my family.’
3- If you are given a chance to live all over again what would you want to change?
Academic environment in Pakistani universities! bullying, escalated incivility, stressful environment, career sabotage, ego-driven professors, professional jealousies. This is a culture that is thriving in some Pakistani universities. This must be replaced by a healthy and supportive academic environment.
4- Tell us about Lancaster experience over all (not just PHD)
I always say that Lancaster is my second home and that’s why I chose to come here for my postdoctoral research as well. I have found my lifetime friends here. Generally, people are so warm, friendly and supportive.
5-you are a style icon for so many, how much style and fashion matter to you?
hahaha. This is an interesting question. I am not a fashion victim, but I have a sense of style. And I do make an effort to create a graceful wardrobe for myself.
6- When you are 70 years old (IA) and you look back on your life what are a few things you want to have accomplished personally?
There is no point in looking back! concentrate on present.
7-What is your biggest fear of life?
I can’t think of it let alone say it!
8- How do you keep yourself motivated?
Your life should be purposeful. How can you live a meaningless life? So, set your goal(s) and plan your first step. That’s all what we can do to keep ourselves motivated.
9- What are the qualities of a good student?
Just one quality: passion to learn something new without thinking about grades.
10-what are a few things you want to change about yourself.
I must learn (and honestly I am learning) to be impolite sometimes. I trust people easily.
11- Can you name a few students that have stayed in your memory for good reasons? and kindly also tell us the reason.
Well, there are so many students who I still remember, and they are not necessarily the bright students. I love them because they are humble and respectful.
I am so grateful to Dr. Aroosa Kanwal for agreeing to do this interview. I know how busy and occupied she remains with her personal and professional life. Thank you for being the kindest and an exemplary teacher.
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