WOES OF A STUDENT
“You all are here to be better, to harness all you have learnt as undergraduates and improve in that area which you are suppose to be passionate about”.
Whenever Dr. Ambode spoke it was like therapeutic music, it brought focus, a desire, it rejuvenated my resolve to make something better of myself.
“I am going to give a term paper” he continued.
“Sir no now, we are choked as it is”
“Sir don’t do us like this now!!!”
Different chants from different students. What was so interesting was that Dr. Ambode was just smiling. After a while he raised his hand for silence and as always everyone behaved.
“You guys know this isn’t undergrad. We will not pamper you. We will not feed you everything” he spoke as he strolled through the middle aisle of the lecture hall. He was quite tall, about 5’9″ and had a healthy amount of flesh on him. “Nomso abi am I wrong” he smiled. For a minute I lost concentration ad my eyes drifted to the epitome of beauty that was called Chinomso. She smiled at him uncomfortably and nodded.
Chinomso Orji!!! I could write a book about her you know. She was tall like me, but slim, she had this … how do I describe them? … ‘child-bearing’ hips that swayed as she walked. She wore glasses and she was left handed. I don’t understand my obsession with left-handed girls but it just makes them more attractive. Oops, see me day dreaming; back to the story.
“So you have to do your research” Dr. Ambode concluded. O shit, I missed the assignment.
“Pssst, Bally” I whispered to my friend sitting in front of me.
“How far?” He leaned back.
“I didn’t get the assignment ”
“Between 1000 – 3000 words on how your option can affect this present day Engineering” he repeated.
“Thanks” I said. That should be fun. Dotun and I were always having such conversations at home.
“Okay people, we will see next week” Dr. Ambode said shutting down his laptop and turning of the projector. Everyone else in the class was either shutting their laptops down or making small talk about the term paper.
“Salako, see me in my office before you leave today” he said as he passed me.
“Okay sir” Dotun replied. I gave him a questioning look, he raised his hands, he had no clue what the lecturer wanted.
We got up and walked out of the hall. Ibadan and its humid air. It was hot outside, I almost wanted to go back into the AC-ed lecture hall.
“Badt man” Dotun hailed Chigozie who caught up with us on the stairs of the Department building.
Faculty of Technology was located on the left of the school map, way inside. University of Ibadan was like a small local government area to be honest. It was that big. But it was beautiful. I had done my undergraduate degree in Owerri and served in the North so doing my masters in the West was an easy decision to make as it made me feel like a full Nigerian and University of Ibadan is one of the best in the country.
“Nna (friend) dey hunger wey dey do me now eh” Chigozie started.
“Guy you like food” I teased.
“Nooo, you no like food na, na why you fat like this” he retorted.
“Hi guys, Tobi what’s up?” Nomso smiled at me . . . sorry at us as she passed.
“Nwanya oma (good woman), how far?” Chigozie just had to form tribal. I shook my head and smiled back.
“Fine girl how now?” Dotun answered
“Hey Nomso, I’m good, how are you?” I replied.
“I’m fine. You guys have a great day okay” she smiled again and walked down the stairs.
“Come oh Dotun, is it only me that noticed she put me and you inside ‘guys’ but Tobi greeting was on its own?” Chgozie said. Dotun began to laugh.
“Chingy you have started oh” I said, knowing he was about to start his banter.
“No now make we reason am. You no be guy? Why she say ‘hello guys’ THEN ‘Tobi what’s up’ or you didn’t hear her?” He insisted.
“Guy I am hungry” I deflected the question.
“Oooh, na now hunger dey catch you abi?” We all laughed. “That babe like you oh, I be your guy, I no go lie you“.
“Chingy make we go find food abeg” I tried to change the topic.
“Tedder Hall fa? Their food isn’t expensive at all” Dotun said.
“Oya let’s go. From there we will just head home” I suggested.
“Okay, let me see Dr. Ambode then I will meet up with you guys” Dotun replied.
“No problem” Chigozie said and I nodded.
……… ………. ……….
[2:23 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Doubting Thomas
[2:26 p.m.] Me: Mystery Lady
[2:28 p.m.] Mystery Lady: How you?
[2.28p.m.] Mystery Lady: Is that what you call me? Lol
[2:29 p.m.] Me: Sad, You?
[2:29 p.m.] Me: Well you didn’t give me an option.
[2:29 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Why sad?
[2:30 p.m.] Me: Because it is an emotion and i tend to feel it from time to time.
[2:30 p.m.] Mystery Lady: I’m pissed. At work while on leave.
[2:34 p.m.] Me: oh you work, well one new thing I know about you.
[2.34 p.m.] Mystery Lady: Well not all of us have the brains to go for Masters.
“Guy you just dey press phone since” Chigozie cut into my thoughts. I raised my head smiling.
“Na woman you dey chat with abi?” He winked at me. I laughed. We had been waiting for Dotun for over 15 minutes now.
“Na this babe oh” I replied.
“Has she finally said her name?” He asked. I felt my phone vibrate. I shook my head as I picked it up.
[2.44 p.m.] Mystery Lady: How is your day going?
[2.45 p.m.] Me: Just finished from class, want to eat.
[2.45 p.m.] Mystery Lady: and you didn’t invite me😔
I mentally rolled my eyes. See, she won’t see me, but I should invite her to lunch. Girls and their drama. Just then, I got an idea.
[2.47 p.m.] Me: so that you will job me again? Naaa I’ll pass.
I hoped it worked. Let’s see if some guilt tripping would have any effect.
“This girl is either a tease or annoying. Either way the excitement is running out” I said to Chigozie.
“Did you do the video call with her that day?” Chigozie asked.
“If I hear. She jobbed me again” I replied. I checked my phone, still no reply. Oh well she didn’t care I guess. Just then Chigozie began to wave. I turned and realized he was trying to get Dotun’s attention. He had just arrived.
“How far, sorry oh, Doc and I were just talking ” he apologized.
“I was almost eating my finger na. As this yeye boy just dey smile at him phone” Chigozie said mocking me. We laughed. Got up and went to buy our meal.
“So what did he want?” I was curious to know what my favorite lecturer wanted with my friend.
“Just wanted feed back on his teaching and his course as a whole.” Dotun explained.
“And he asked a student?” I asked surprised, “mehn that man is humble”.
“Same thing that crossed my mind” Dotun agreed with me. “He told me chat is students were the best tools to use to evaluate himself so he finds those he feels will be comfortable enough to be real with him”.
“Wow” was all I could say as we took the food we bought back to our seats.
“Meanwhile some lecturers will be forming boss oh. One thin they don’t know” Chigozie added.
“As in eh, you will think people will try and learn from him” Dotun stated.
“So this term paper, how are we running in?” I asked.
“Baba this is something we are always chatting about at home now” Dotun replied “we’ve got this”.
“Same thought I had when I heard it” I laughed.
“Anyhow una wan do” Chigozie said with a mouthful of rice, ” make una no loose guard your guy. Una be my guys oh”. Dotun and I laughed and shook our heads.
“Baba by the way, madam fit show this weekend oh”. I smiled.
“Really?” I asked, Dotun nodded. “That’s good oh”.
“Omo it is not good oh. That NEPA issue got me bad” Dotun complained. “Still recovering”.
I could understand with Dotun because I too was running out of cash fast and it was till mid-month. Just then I noticed three girls giggling were they were serving food. They were mumbling something and stealing glances our way. Undergraduates I guessed, I shook my head as I felt my phone viberate. Finally she had replied I thought.
[3.34 p.m.] Mystery Lady: I see you. Stop shaking your head.
I nearly dropped my phone.