Rene’s Story

by: Hoda Joudi Haghighi

A student working in a lab.

Rene, a young Mexican student who was very hardworking, spent all day in the microbiology laboratory. Although he was very warm and friendly, he did not have many friends and preferred to spend all his time improving his knowledge. For this reason, he was the youngest doctoral student in his field. Unlike Rene, his girlfriend Tin was very sociable and had a very large circle of friends, and social life and helping friends and others was a priority for her. 

After a short time, Rene moved to a smaller house with fewer students to focus on his studies with more freedom. We didn’t hear from him for a long time until, after months of studying in a distant town, Tin came to Carbondale and invited all her friends to a party at Rene’s house. A year later, I saw Rene again, now more focused on his studies, welcoming and greeting guests with a laptop always by his side. 

Tin told the story of her trip to Mexico to meet Rene’s family. The story begins with Rene struggling in the laboratory, unable to solve a persistent problem despite his best efforts. It seemed that a crucial part of the equation had been forgotten in a remote corner of the world.

One night, while working late in the lab, Rene heard a man’s voice calling him. When he stepped outside, he was startled to see the ghost of a tall man in indigenous tribal attire, who invited him to meet at a sacred place in Mexico. The ghost vanished as suddenly as it appeared, leaving Rene in a state of amazement and disbelief. 

According to indigenous beliefs, Rene knew that such occurrences were not without reason. He began to investigate the location the ghost had mentioned and discovered that it was a forbidden area governed by a native tribe. Intriguingly, the area was home to a sacred plant with reputed magical properties. Determined to solve his problem, Rene decided to take the risk and journey to the promised land to test the plant. 

Rene then recounted his terrifying meeting with the tribal chief, where he felt he was on the verge of death. Contrary to his fears, the chief welcomed him and Tin, treating them as honored guests for a week. After days of searching for the sacred forest, they finally found the magic plant. With great respect, they carefully removed the plant from the soil and brought it back to the university in a pot for further experiments.

Miraculously, Rene was able to solve the previously insurmountable equation, leading to groundbreaking results in his research. 

Are you an international students interested in SIU? Apply here.

Disclaimer: the above story is fiction.

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