On Anonymity, Make Believe and other random musings…

Just felt i needed to get this off my chest……..

Last week marked the third month of my latest episode in the ongoing saga of “DB goes to school”. I’d been away from my books for about 6 yrs — served the nation for one year and worked 5 – but then a number of work related events made me ask myself the hard questions… On the surface I had a great life – an OK job, loads of wonderful friends, and I was racking up experience in an area of engineering i loved…. But somehow, one morning in March — after yet another emergency at the plant had made me come to work on a sunday and leave by past 9pm — I decided I’d had enough and I applied to a school for an MSc placement…. Got a letter of admission a couple of weeks later, and thus started my journey back to books…..

Have met loads of new people — some great, some ok but some downright lousy..Like the dude who always boasts loudly in class about how many years of experience he’s got working in the industry.. How he’s led project teams, travelled to about 7 countries on training (at the last count — unfortunately the number increases each time he decides to regale us with his importance……..), how he’s got a plum job at Esso, Shell or BP waiting for him and all what not……Or the chap who had this classic yoruba accent(apologies — i mean no tribal slur here) when we resumed school – but now has this unconvincing Geordie accent – that sounds like someone has a chicken wire around his throat and he’s gasping for air…….

I prefer the anonymity that staying quiet gives me… The ability to stay undercover and quietly plot my trajectory.. Maybe that’s why I’m hooked on blogsville.. for the anonymous window it gives me to say it the way I feel, without fearing that anyone’s ox is being gored…….

Or then maybe I should start practicing trying to sound like a scouscer in front of my mirror!!!!!!

Exam Fever II…

WOW..took some advice from y’all on blogsville and joined a discussion group plus reactivated my library card… Have averaged 4 hrs of serious book work a day since sunday… I should be on course to smash my exams at this rate..

Hmm – Just curious but can guys and girls be “just friends”? What do y’all think? I know a dude who’s stuck in limbo land over some young lady who he is “just friends” with and i’m wondering if that category even exists in the first place……. Fire away y’all…

Exam Fever….

Got a rude shock a couple of days ago… My Degree Program Administrator circulated an email to all of us chaps on the provisional examination timetables.. Exams start off in just over a month and this dude has been chilling instead of reading since… Told my friend that I was having problems motivating myself to read.. His advice? Print out all my fee receipts and my pay slips from 9ja and put them on my white board… His reasoning is that if i keep looking at how much I’ve paid and how much I will not earn this year, I will sit up and read..Great advice anyways..

So i’ve decided to scale back on blogging and facebooking, restrict my email checking and replying to once a day (at night) and try to clear the backlog of book work.. Currently have the equivalent of two reams of A4 paper to peruse – and the bad part is the bulk of it is theoretical — with very little calculations….. God go help im boy sha…

On Social Responsibility..

Just saw the shocking videos referenced by the waffarian . Such behavior is not only appalling, it is simply unacceptable. I’d hazard a guess that while Akwa Ibom may be in the spotlight on this issue at the moment, things like these are happening all over the country in the hinterland…

The combination of spiritual zeal and half-baked knowledge has always being a fatal mix. I’m deeply ashamed to admit that I spent a couple of years in Eket and did not realize the full extent of this problem – yes we saw kids on the road and occasionally gave them money – but there was no concerted effort on our part to do something about it.. A couple of expats came together from time to time and provided funding to get some off the streets and into safe houses in other states for their safety – but the overwhelming response from us Nigerians was one of apathy and studied indifference…

Its all too easy to stand aloof and say “its not my cup of tea, let them do whatever they will as long as it doesn’t affect me”.

Options for facing this particular problem are not exactly copious — I’d expect that more community engagement from the companies working in the area to educate the uninformed (they typically do a good job of laundering their images — maybe for a change this will be a good cause to spend some PR money on); getting the Local Govt Authority to cater for some of the cast-aways may also help to ease some of the burden on the individuals who are doing something…

Granted the Helen Ukpabio lady has put out a film which is being labeled as the source of the new “inquisition” but these kinds of films depicting satanic powers at work have been around much longer – in fact a whole genre of Nigerian film developed around that in the 90s if my memory serves me right. Blaming this upsurge entirely on her is absurd to put it mildly.. Especially considering that not too long ago almost every serving from the Nollywood buffet included some flying god from the village wreaking havoc on an illustrious son or some witch doctor poisoning some one in its various incarnations.

Ultimately, its about a battle for “hearts and minds” – that all hands have to be on deck on..

Even the Bible has some words on social justice… “Judge true judgment, and practice kindness and pity, each man to his brother. And do not crush the widow or the orphan, the alien or the poor. And do not devise evil in your heart, of a man against his brother”.

Not all things bad are Nigerian….

Found this interesting article about forgeries of academic qualifications by some Asian students who somehow got admitted into Newcastle University.. With all the bad publicity 9ja has been getting (no thanks to crackdowns on journalists, inventive facebook scams and the brutalisation of a certain Ms Okere); its somewhat gratifying that not all things bad are Nigerian. On a more serious note though – what do y’all think drives the need to forge documents to gain entry into a University especially when these Universities have access to a plethora of tool for verifying these documents?

At a minimum, its a high risk gamble, and quite possibly has a greater than 60% chance of failing.. Then maybe again its the whole risk averse vs risk accepting argument..

Full article can be found at..
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2008/11/12/students-are-thrown-out-61634-22233973/

Unfortunately i’m no good at html.. so u’ll just have to copy the link and paste it into a browser window..

Off to school now..

From the archives…..

A poem I wrote many years ago — when i was still a beardless teenager way back in Nigeria.. Enjoy…

Waiting for forever.

We had our hopes, we had our dreams,
We somehow believed,in words and swords,
We somehow believed, that one more coup,
That some more troops,
Would consign to the past, the pains we felt forever.

Somehow we believed, in sugar coated tongues,
In “fellow country men”,In “khaki covered men”
To wipe away the past, like a bad night’s dream forever..

Somehow we’ve waited, somehow we’ve panted,
Some how hoping long, even against hope,

Somehow expecting the recurring “Joshuas”
To bring on us Utopia, Like fresh breezes from the sea.

The more we wait, the more the pain it seems,
The more distant the land of promise seems,

Of course we all but knew, somehow we’ve realized,
We’ve waited, Yes, We’ve waited,
Waited for forever.

Rattled by the Fire Alarm…

Meen — Haven’t felt this miffed in a veery long time… Had a 9am class today, woke up at 6.30am, browsed through blogsville to catch up on all I’d missed over the weekend and popped into the bath.. only for the fire alarm to sound… The silly porters had decided that 8.15am on a Monday morning was the best time to have a fire drill…

The resulting 30 min delay meant i only completed preparation for classes at 9.00am and finally arrived the lecture hall a full 30mins after the lecture had started… Doubt I learned anything form it by the way……

On WHINEger, Manure, Chelski, Rafa TINKERman and a weekend of Premiership Football..

First off an apology — Was tied up with my books (U know old men and books need time to gell together o)..

Looks like some sort of normal service has been restored to the EPL…Prof “WHINEger” getting a response from his boys against the Manure, Anelka shaking off his characteristic lethargy to score twice and send Chelski top of the table again and Robbie Keane getting “the monkey off his back” as Rafa Tinkerman so succintly put it..

I’ve never been a fan of Arsenal’s immitation of “total football” but I have to admit I loved the way they put Manure to the sword – granted there were comical comments (like the back pass that Almunia picked up early in the game), dodgy moments (like Clichy’s handball – or ball to hand incident) but overall Arsenal were good value for their win… The text messages I’ve been receiving seem to suggest that Arsenal fans feel like they’ve turned the curve — but remember this was Manure and they generally do not come to kick you off the pitch like a Stoke City would do… Let’s see how Arsenal do against a more physical side.. That will be the true test of how far they’ve banished the devils of the past.. Good part of the win is that it keep Manure several point behind Liverpool — which bodes well for us…

Chelski on the other hand have a knack for playing the smaller teams off the park in the short time Scolari has been around. My personal take is tyhat they will struggle to get results against the other member of the Big Four – a draw at home to Manure and a loss to Liverpool have not done much to change my mind on that..

Lots of positives for Liverpool from this weekend – two goals from Robbie Keane, a run out for Torres and a clean sheet would have helped settle some frayed nerves at Anfield.. Still early days, but quite possibly its shaping up to be a challenge that will last well into the new year at least……

Anyways, a great weekend of football was made exquisite by my completing “Half of a Yellow Sun” (after 3 months of sitting on my shelf), a trip to Yorkshire in the UK and a return to Facebook (yeah — uunfortunatly i seem to lack the will power to stay off completely so I’ve promised myself two logons every day in my brand new account – once in the morning, once n the evening) Hope i succed at that….

Saturday Evening Blues…

Felt really bad last night… Guess the initiating event was Liverpool’s cruel defeat to Tootenham Hotspur after bossing the game for 60ish minutes and scoring as early as the 3rd minute… and the flurry of text messages I got form all over the globe (seriously).. Chaps from Nigeria, the US, the UK and even one from Australia all bombarded my phone with messages on how Liverpool have once again flattered to deceive and all what not….

Too bad — hope the guys can pick themselves up and go on a good run… like after the Stoke game.. Feel that Rafa “Tinkerman” Benitez had a hand with some subs that didn’t need to have happened.. Well.. hindsight they say is perfect sight.. So i’ll not second guess the chap.. that’s why he’s paid so much and I’m just a bloody unknown guy lost in the crowd…..

Anyways — stumbled on this video on YouTube (what will we not see on that site sef..) of Whitney Houston doing “One Moment in Time” at the opening of the Arthur Ashe Stadium..
Enjoy… .