About the author: Farida Royesh is a former student of Star Educational. She has her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Kateb University. Farida Royesh has worked as a researcher and scholarship adviser since 2010. Currently she is teaching English language and Writing classes at Marefat High School and Star Educational Society.
As a student I have had many teachers; starting from my father to the latest teachers from Kateb University in Afghanistan and those from Asian University for Women in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
From my father I have learned about personal and social ethics, as well as democracy and politics. Later, when I attended Marefat High School, I learned about Persian, Dari, Pashto and English literature; moreover, I learned about living and growing as a global citizen. From Kabul University’s Economics faculty, I learned about political economy and public policies. I also learned about the Fulbright program, the TOEFL test, project management, economic planning and SMART goal setting in the spring 2009 from Kabul University. I met with amazing youth of AIESEC-Afghanistan which opened my eyes to a cross-cultural life. After I left Kabul for Bangladesh, I didn’t know that I would transform to a stronger lady with a heart full of passion. For the first time I learned about yoga, meditation, my passion for writing and research, there, at the Asian University for Women. I returned to Afghanistan in 2012, hoping for a teacher to emerge in me; a teacher, the combination of all the teachers that I have had since my childhood. One whose power I wished to observe emerging within me is Victoria Reis.
Ms. Victoria Reis, my reading and writing instructor (2009-2010), inspired me to learn and teach writing. I have been applying her POWER writing techniques in all my other courses, both using English and Persian languages simultaneously. It was through her words to me that I found my true self. She was indeed tolerant and wise. Victoria Reis asked me to keep diaries and to write daily journals; she read all of my diaries and through that, my heart and mind. For the first diary, I wrote about my mind, capturing all the thoughts and feelings, visual images and voices from my memory. She encouraged me to keep writing the diaries, listening to my heart and mind. As I listened to and wrote more and more about my mind, I learned to acknowledge that the first impression of my soul was true: a parliament of mind, heart and conscience; debating and judging each and every feeling and thoughts passing within me.
To be frank, during the first days of writing diaries as a student, I was too tense and shy to disclose the hidden battle within my mind, heart and conscience. I was even too timid to admit that those feelings and thoughts, attitudes and dreams were mine. In the first days, I used to brainstorm, using a piece of scratch paper and then rewrite and review them in my diary. Later, as I kept writing more and more, I would feel comfortable and confident enough to directly note my thoughts in my diary. Writing diaries and keeping journals bestowed upon me two unique gifts. First, for the sake of disclosure and being saved for the future readers, I strived to first control my thoughts and feelings and do deeds with goodwill. Later I noticed that I was improving with each day. Second, I created a true self in me, my own self. This self was not similar to the real Farida; however, she resembled the potential and ideal Farida.
Miracles started to sparkle in my life when I got closer to this potential, ideal self. I scolded this self, cried out loud with this self and helped this self to reveal her façade in my reality. This self-helped me to start a lovely life with my life partner, Soroush. She also helped me to complete my Senior Thesis and finish successfully the undergraduate program with a GPA of 3.4. This self-helped me with three risky research projects. I have not hoped for anything more than these achievements.
Nowadays, I am experiencing stability in my life. I am teaching English language and writing. I am also a counselor for scholarships and higher education studies. I am planning for my internship in the Afghan Parliament and I am hoping to pursue my post-graduate studies. I am blessed to have this new self-beside me and within me. This self is looking at me now, writing with me, breathing with me and smiling at me. I can’t wait to witness more miracles in life with the help of this precious self. Tonight, more than anytime, I feel deeply grateful to Ms. Victoria Reis for introducing this self to me. I hope this self will soon grow to be a wise teacher; a combination of Victoria Reis and all the other great teachers that I have been blessed with since my birth.
 SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely
 POWER = 1) Pre writing; Preview the notes/readings; 2) Organizing the idea; 3) Writing; 4) Editing; 5) Reviewing