Morocco, Interrupted

To Mourad

Dear Mourad,

First, I want to say thank you for all that you have done for me. You have been an incredible role model to me, and I deeply appreciate your willingness to teach me. Thank you.

A lot has happened since I saw you last. I’m sure at this point you have heard about our chaotic adventure back to America, so I will avoid explaining that again. What I really wanted to talk about was my recent decisions concerning my major.

I have decided to completely change my career path. Although it is not yet official, I am changing my major from secondary education to health, wellness, and occupational studies in order to become a physical therapist. The catalyst for the decision came from something you told me in one of our last conversations. You told me that “I would go very far in life.” This is something I had plenty of time to ponder on the long trip back home.

I began to think about my current major and what that would mean for the rest of my life. I would probably get a job pretty quickly out of college, make enough money to survive, and remain a high school teacher until I retire. Thinking back to what you told me, I decided that I could never “go far in life” as a teacher. I don’t want just to survive. I want to thrive. This made me think of alternative career choices. I needed to find something that would propel me through life as well as keep me happy.

I browsed through different careers until I came across physical therapy. It seemed like the perfect choice. It involved helping people, I really enjoyed my anatomy classes, I enjoy working out, and it seemed like the perfect profession for me to expand my horizons and go far in life.

I have emailed my advisor about my plans and have begun the process of switching over. Although it will be sad to leave the education department and all the kind people who have guided me this far, I know that this new path is a much better fit for me.

Trying to contemplate all my experiences from the last two months is a daunting task. The number of people and places I discovered is overwhelming. I have so many cherished memories, it seems as if I was in Tangier for a lifetime. Looking back, you are consistently there, supporting myself and my classmates along the way.

Throughout the semester, you have shown me the power of kind words and even kinder actions. I will never forget you giving away your son’s leftover rghaif to a nearby homeless man or our experiences at the Association Aide et Secours. I will never forget our “Knockout” games or you stepping into my anatomy class to say hello. You inspire me to be a better man every single day, and I can’t thank you enough for that.

Thank you for all that you have done for me.


Pat Mead

Patrick Mead is a Secondary Education major at the University of New England.

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