I promised I’d share my education experience with you guys. I hope the last two days provided a good background for that. Not even giving you the link here if you haven’t read them 😐
I think I was the last person to start writing in my class. I preferred the counting with bottle covers games we’d started with in playgroup. When my mum was told about it, she asked that I be left alone and that I would be inspired by jealousy to start writing so I could be like my mates. She was right.
I hated homework. Counting in two’s and three’s was a matter of overflowing tears. I would be so blinded with tears I would be unable to see the numbers on my 2A exercise book. My mum had to help do almost all my assignments till I was old and mature (ok 8 years old is mature, right?) Even then I still hated maths and my dad lost patience with teaching me. I think it was the word problems that did it. I could not fathom how I should let the number of boys be x. What was x? Why x and not p? How did boys or oranges or mangoes suddenly transform into x and transform back? I just couldn’t get it!
Equations too were a real pain. Negatives jumping over the river Niger (the = sign) suddenly became positives. Let’s not even talk about inequalities. Inventions of the devil. My mum had to learn maths all over again because of her first son. Salute to that great woman’s courage. I was not an easy child. All this while I was sucking my thumb (till age 11) and coming down with all the childhood diseases you could name. But she persevered and somehow I finished primary school.
The time came for secondary school and after passing the entrance exam, my name was somehow not on the admissions list. My mum had a church sister in the state ministry of education, who had to prevail on the principal to grant me my due place. I think my JSS 1 classmates were in class for over 2 weeks when I finally joined them.
Our maths teacher was a sharp witted hottie with geeky glasses. It was an all boys school in Kano (St. Thomas) and I think we all had a crush on her. Candy Crush in my case. Somehow maths became a bit less of a drag (or dragon in my case) and more of a time to look forward to. Plus, the demonic assignments had stopped with secondary school so this was fun. My grades went up slightly and I moved to 2nd position in class by the end of the year. Side eyes were made at the principal at the speech and prize giving ceremony when I was called up.
After JSS 1, my family relocated to Warri because of the religious riots in Kano. I had to do “direct entry” exams into class 2 in DSC Technical high school. A new class arm was created for the misfits, JSS 2F, and we were all thrown in there. Again, I resumed late because though I placed 14 out of 30 in the test, somehow the principal had other candidates. The vice principal was my mum’s French teacher in school and had to put his foot down to insist on my admission. When I resumed one month late, there were about 40 students in the class already, and counting. (My future wife was also in the same school then but we didn’t meet each other. We may have bumped shoulders one day during break but none of us remember now).
My classmates later told me I was on fire that first day in class, answering all the questions and being the new ITK (know-it-all) on the block. They called it smarting. I was oblivious of the culture of knowledge hiding until exam time. When results came out I was 60-something overall (for all the arms). I think subjects like home economics, office practice, shorthand, music, Christian religious knowledge, and Yoruba dealt with me and I could not be great. I also could not be bothered. I was running my personal race.
The next turning point for me was when I became a teen and entered senior secondary school.
The story is becoming longer than I thought let’s continue tomorrow please. LOL
Take good counsel and accept correction, that’s the way to live wisely and well. (Prov. 19 vs. 20 The Message)