Bringing a dream to fruition

Osmel Almaguer
Osmel Almaguer

When I was still in my teens, I discovered my vocation to become a writer and from that moment on decided to dedicate myself fully to the goal.

With this in mind, I spent several years reading and writing at home, until I discovered the importance that a university career could have in my life. However, by that time it had been several years since I finished high school and the country’s economy had taken a downturn. So I decided to work and study at the same time, something that had been unusual for my generation.

I enrolled in the University of Havana’s School of long-distance education system whereby working people or others, who for one reason or another were unable to enter university after finishing 12th grade, can get their degree through this alternative method.

Thus, I advanced through independent studies and readings on my own, with occasional guidance from the University, until the point where I could pass the exam for each class and in this way complete the entire plan of instruction.

The exams are held twice a year, on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. for eight consecutive weeks. If you fail once, you have an opportunity to repeat the test during the next period, and so on until you pass that class. Each week certain subjects are assigned, so you can’t just take the exams in any order you want.

Today, I have only 5 classes left to graduate. Nevertheless, if I don’t finish this year, I may not be able to complete my studies in the long-distance faculty because there has been a definitive decision to close it, at least in my city. Those who have not completed their program of studies will have the option of the Municipal University which is a new system of study.

In this system, the students receive classes in a nearby location with professors and books guaranteed. This has more advantages than disadvantages, but for me in particular the change would be awkward. But however I do it, I hope to graduate and I hope that many others like me can bring their dreams to fruition and take advantage of this new system of study or any other to become what they really want to be.

One thought on “Bringing a dream to fruition

  • Congradulations, Osmel! I know that coming as far as you have already come you will reach your goal. Even if the structure of the program changes, and there are new obstacles, this is is part of your education also, as once you graduate you will have to contend with such changes. For example, up here many newspapers are declining, or already dead, and more people are getting their news from either cable or satellite channels, or from the internet. Especially the latter is good, because it is more democratic, and the writer can communicate directly with his or her public, rather than be filtered and censored by editors and publishers, often with a corporate agenda, which is the case with newspapers. The downside, though, is that an editor can often be a mentor, teaching the writer the skills he must have to write interesting, cogent, copy. On the other hand, if you read widely enough you will come to recognize what is good writing, and what is trash!

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