This post may be long. I suggest you get yourself a cup of tea and settle in. It’s also the last in this week I shall be doing exams. This is the stretch from the main road to school, where cops lined up to ‘welcome’ us when we reported back after the strike.
I wouldn’t have written this if my phone hadn’t refused being charged, and since I had no budgetary allocation for a new one, I decided to see the ka-local repair guy downstairs.
“What’s wrong with it?” I asked after I’d explained how I charged it all night and it still wasn’t getting full.
“Hii inadrain moto.” He said rather importantly. (It’s draining the power.) Hmmm..I suppose that makes sense.
“Kwa nini?” Smart ass me deiced to continue.
“Ni regulator imeharibika. Si ati unaweza elewa hiyo ni nini. Hata huwezi kujua regulator ni nini.” (it’s the regulator but it is not like you can understand what it is.”
Now I know I wasn’t looking my smartest most. After all, the repair shop is just downstairs. Perhaps he thought am a househelp; I was having a bad hair day. But this guy was arrogant and dismissive. I think the physics I have learnt so far can help me understand what a regulator is; except why would I want to? I can’t know all the hardware and wiring behind every gadget I own, can I?
This reminded me of my first year days. Those days, we were polite and welcoming, even to these groups of guys who thought they’d “ponyoka with a fresher.”
“Caro ako hii room?” They’d ask and before you can say no, there is no Caro in this room, they’ve already sat and made themselves comfortable.
“If there is no Caro in this room, si basi you tell us your names?”
As I said, we were polite, probably bored too so we’d grant them audience.
“What course do you do?”
“Guess…” These guesses have elicited strange answers.
“Um..let’s see, Food Science?”
“It’s just that most chicks do Food Science. How about..eh..Horticulture?”
“BCom?” (Bachelor of Commerce)
“Post harvest technology?”
“There is a course like that? No..continue guessing..”
“What else? Si you just tell me?”
“Those aren’t the only courses in this campus. There is engineering, computers, IT….”
“Hizo hapana. They are too hard and very few chicks who do them.”
Meaning? It’s too hard for me? So I answered…
“I actually do computer science.”
“Yeah, why don’t you believe it?”
“You don’t look…..” am sure he was going to say bright. But the look on my face must have made him complete with “….the type.”
I guessed it was time to get myself a geeky look, if I looked not-so-smart. How do smart people look? Spectacles..it was time to get my myopic self specs, though ironically, my parents thought I wanted glasses just to look cool.
“I don’t understand, why you? I have perfect sight. Your mum has perfect sight. No one in the family wears glasses.” My dad complained when I told him I was writing notes from my desk-mates because couldn’t see the board. He insisted I get checked at the hospital, and not those spectacles shops. I must admit he had a point. You only get one check at those shops. You have at least 5 checks at the eye hospital. Advice: carry a novel because those queues are long. I remember getting so engrossed I never heard my name being called. But I think it was partly due to the way my name was being pronounced; ch is mistaken for sh or vice-versa, r’s interchanged with l’s etc….
Back to my story. With my glasses and serious look, I thought I’d put it all behind me. This other day, am walking to class with an acquaintance who does engineering and he’s saying…
“Am headed for a Calculus class. Not that I expect you to know about Calculus.”
“Actually I do. I did Calculus 1 and 2 last year.”
Not to be deterred, “You must have found them very hard. Now picture Calculus 3.”
I realized he just wanted to prove he was doing hard stuff.
“Yeah…they were quite hard.” I answered. I didn’t add I got A’s in both.
Yet another day after carrying out the experiment in the lab, I was signing out when I got chatting with the lab tech whom I know from church.
“Oh, I didn’t know you do comp science. You must be a tough lady, that’s a tough course. I must say am surprised.”
Which brings be to course stereotypes here. You see, the ratio of chicks to guys is like 1:6, and the only classes where guys and chicks balance are BCom, Horticulture, Food Science and Technology, IT maybe, Acturial Science? And um….Diploma courses. For instance, we are 9 chicks in a class of 36. So here’s is what someone might think when you mention your course:
No wonder that outfit. BCom chicks are known to dress up on everyday of the week, and freeze-n-shine is their motto. On the coldest days, they’re still in their mini-skirts and halter tops. They are the party animals. They hang out in Studiz (Student’s center), drink even on weekdays and are not thought to be bright, after all, BCom is relatively easy in comparison to engineering. However, they bring the much needed hype in a dull studious campus like ours.
(Nzembi don’t take this to heart…) They think they are cool. They think they do the most important course on earth. It’s not strange to hear them declaring self-importantly, “Am from the studio. Am going to the studio. I was in the studio all night. Studio this, studio that….” Ok, we know you draw in studios, and yes, you are gifted and artistic and important, so you can stop looking down on everyone else. On a lighter note, they are interesting characters, well, most of those I know are, and I wouldn’t mind having my portrait done, one of these fine days….
These guys think their course is the hardest thing since rocket science. And to show their seriousness, they will carry those giant T-squares and wear overalls to a theory class like HIV/AIDS. We do understand these guys have a lot of work, all those drawings and metal work and surveying, but the thing is, others are not doing A,B,C,D…
Horticulture, Food Science, Post Harvest Technology…
I don’t know who still thinks these courses are for chicks. I know you miss those caves. These guys do not study how to cook, but the science behind the plants, the genes, carbons, and all else…however, since people think their courses are easy, they have to prove to others they are not having an easy time. So they go around talking in scientific terms.
Computer Science and Technology
These guys feel good coz they don’t do IT. They will tell you IT is the easier option, because IT has only like one unit of Math. It doesn’t matter if all these guys know is theory and they don’t even know where the switch on button is, or they panic when the screen saver comes on….ok, just punking. They are used to most people thinking “Ms Packages” when they say they are doing CS or others nodding knowingly “Oh..IT”. They can have interesting personalities or be naively charming or irritatingly annoying. They tend to read a lot all the time though, got to maintain the geeky look.
Bachelor of Science, General
These guys are the most hard working. At least most of them anyway. I’ve seen them. In the few shared classes we have, they will come half an hour early, ask and answer questions, and remain behind to ask for extra notes or clarification. Their classes are big, and if they want to specialize in something like Biochem, competition is high. Hence the studious type. But there are some among them who think school is a waste and want a degree in name only. They derive pleasure in missing classes and miss no opportunity to spread the news the many classes missed. They forget when you are in an institution with freedom to skive classes, actually doing that is far from cool.
Did I leave out anyone? Include yourself here and you shall get stereotyped pronto.
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