Wednesday, December 12, 2018

You’re Who You Surround Yourself With

You’re Who You Surround Yourself With

We meet a lot of people throughout our lives, but there are a few we decide to call our friends; but as we’re advancing in time, it is witnessed that the word “Friend” has become underrated and is often misinterpreted. If students realize the huge impact that Friendship has on academics, they’ll think a thousand times before calling someone their friend. Thomas Fuller said,

“If you have one true friend, you have more than your share.” 

To understand this, we have to know the difference between a Friend, and an enabler. An enabler will allow you to do everything, let it be good or bad, as they don’t care for you; while a true friend will never allow you to harm yourself, let it be in academics, or in any other way. It is not necessary that if your friend is a high achiever, you’ll magically become one yourself, it doesn’t work like that. But, it is a fact that he will advice you to study on time, will help you whenever you’re in need of it, and will always enable you to push your limits. A better company can be judged in many ways, one judgment can be made by your habits in the company you keep, as if the company you keep enables you to indulge in healthy activities such as sports, and are not indulging in health ruining activities like drugs, you can consider yourself in good hands. But that is not the only factor, another factor can be the usual topic of discussion between you and your preferred company, as the famous Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”

The quote itself is enough insight on defining the judgment criteria of the company you surround yourself with.  How you’re treated in good or bad times can be one of the greatest factor on judging the company you keep, as it is extremely easy to be there for someone in good times, but to be there for someone in their bad times, when they really need a helping hand and have nothing to offer in return, this is the stunt that only a true friend will pull. Lastly, if we try to simplify this whole dilemma of what a friend actually is, we can say that a friend is someone who stays, no matter what. It is as simple as that.

To find a friend that is true to you, it is easier said than done; but once achieved, it can serve as a support system in not only academics, but in every aspect of your life, through every thick and thin and through any hurdle that life throws at you, because it is a bond that transcends all barriers, and all it asks for in return is the same. Helen Keller said,

“Walking with a friend in the dark, is better than walking alone in the light.”

By: Zafar Ali Khan

Zafar Ali Khan (ZAK) is an O/A level Computer Science Pakistani educator, entrepreneur, and former programmer. He supports a free online education platform to impart O and A level resources. His resources include notes, video lectures, online discussion groups, an artificial intelligence based virtual assistant, upcoming Android and IOS based apps and a website.

ZAK is teaching a wide spectrum of learners, mainly focusing on Computer Science 2210, 0478 and 9608. ZAK has a stellar online following, which is evident from his 50,000+ online followers. These exist wherever CIE is offered.

ZAK has taught in many auspicious and renowned institutes throughout Karachi for the past 23 years. His teaching methods coupled with his most innovative digital resources helped students achieve outstanding grades including distinctions in CIE. ZAK is an associate of The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), which is a Parastatal body, working under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources of Mauritius. ZAK's yearly seminars and one-day marathon classes are very famous among the learners.

Before opting for a full-time teaching profession, ZAK has had the privilege of being associated with renowned public and corporate organizations. He has worked in a diversified array of the large local and international corporations both as a part of them and as a consultant. This wide array of organizations commence from Pakistan Army Engineering Corps to the Galileo Emirates, Dubai and The Acutus NY, USA. Industries that ZAK has experienced with, before opting for a teaching profession, are engineering, pharmaceutical, digital video R&D and customer reservation system (CRS). His expertise as application developer, IT administrator, project manager and IT teacher in a wide variety of business applications has always helped him in innovating teaching styles and resources.

To reap a maximum result out of Zak’s efforts it is important to understand his point of view. In simple words, he wants to showcase his research to widest possible audience, enhance subject’s reputation, fulfill social responsibility – provide education for all, share best practice locally & internationally, allow his work for peer review, maximize the use and increase availability of O/A CS educational materials, and to raise standards of educational resources by gathering more contributors.

Additional O/A Computer Science Resources: 

To save costs for students, provide access to more quality choices, help preparation for CS courses and retention of knowledge gained after course completion, more clarity and certainty regarding reuse of materials, Zak has developed few of the following resources so far:

A Detailed Website ( For O/A level computers all of the resources possible are built, optimized and made available through this website. These resources include but not limited to notes, lectures, assignments, and topical past papers etc.

Online Subject Discussion Groups (OL, AL For good understanding of a subject, learning never ends without sharing own and contributing to others’ efforts. These groups make that possible effortlessly. With several hundred teachers and thousands of students from many countries this group will never put you behind when you are in need of CS related help.

YouTube channel ( Modern learning is half done without online lectures’ videos. Here it all ends to seal the deal.

An Artificial Intelligent Chat Bot ( An effort to enhance 24/7 help, a virtual tutor A.I bot is on the way; not perfect though, it will keep you busy learning and may be entertaining.

Mobile Apps: Coming soon, these Apps will keep learners on toes when it comes to support seeking.

Student Encouragement & Support:

Education Fund: Not a big one though but in personal capacity and with friends’ help many students are given support for their tuition fees at schools, centers and universities.

Football Club, Karachi Intrepid FC: Zak being owner and president. Up-and-coming football club from the central region of Karachi, who soon will make in your hearts, gather your support, and will have the whole region glow with the memories it will make, and the echelon of success it will win! 

Online & Offline Tuition Classes: Reinforcement classes for school students and primary source of CS education for private students.

ZAKathon, Education Tomorrowland ( Initially started as a random experiment, these workshop classes in five years’ time have evolved phenomenally in strength and fame. ZAKathon are longer hours’ revision workshop classes that are held just before the CIE paper days and purpose is to help students increase their understanding of O/A level subjects, bolster knowledge gained during these classes and leave students fully prepared for their exams. Certainly it can be termed as "Education Tomorrowland".

ZAK can be reached at:
Contact Card

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