On Holiday Break

Even if it is a weekend, I shall make the most of it.. Even if am coming back to mvce into dreaded hall 2 (I shall miss my dear old room), to new roommates….

How about this….

Someone was saying beer(6-7%) is an expensive way to get drunk, ghetto champagne is the way (ghetto champagne=KK 65.7%)

Before you get alarmed, my favourite past time is actually swimming.

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Course Stereotypes

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.

Part I

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?”

“No, why?”

“It’s just that most chicks do Food Science. How about..eh..Horticulture?”

“No.”

“BCom?” (Bachelor of Commerce)

“No.”

“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.”

“Really?”

“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.”

Part II

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:

BCom

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.

Architecure

(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….

Engineering

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.

The cost of the strike

In the end, it is the students who lose. I mean, whenever I go, everyone is telling me:

“So you are the ones who burnt buses and harrased motorists?” Its not use denying you were not among them.

And everyone wants to know why we striked. Frankly, the issues were petty, but here are some of them:

1. Fear of exams

How else can u explain why the strike was timed two days to the start of exams? But nothing was achieved because we open to start exams immediately, and we had to read at home, a Herculian task for me.

2. Eviction from rooms at the end of the semester

If anything, the directive is in the papers, once we clear papers, its out of the hostels with our belongings, even though its only a weekend break between the semesters.

3.Increase of cost of food in the mess

I have a feeling the prices are going to remain stubbornly the same, if they haven’t gone up this week.

4. Damages caused

What is achieved by attempting to burn Hall six? Or why did guys have to torch the bus? So now all of have to pay Ksh. 3500, which when I calculated came to around 24 million. What will they do with the rest of the money? Am sure the damages cannot cost that much. I hope they build a swimming pool. Am a dreamer like that.

5. Others: Like maybe ghost internet, lack of well equipped computer labs and the rest….we should try negotiation. At least they cannot call cops to throw tear gas at us.

Ultimately, the students are the losers in the strike. It achieves nothing. Except maybe impromptu holidays if u are lucky to run away before the cops turn to live ammunition.

Is there a nice way to do this?

Is there a way to do this without feeling like a jackass afterwards? Xs did a post on break-ups, how about one on turning down someone before it even begins?

This impromptu holiday can hardly be enjoyed. We open in a week to begin exams immediately. Since I left with no books, I had to look for alternative reading material. Between hustling for books from neighbourly classmates, I found myself at some resort (nyama choma joint more like it) turning down a prospect.

“Nimekumiss.”

Shrug

“Na umepotea.”

“Mi niko.”

“Sa unaendeleaja? Nilisikia mlistrike.”

“Yeah, we did. But I ran so am ok.”

I know you are wondering if I have switched to Sheng but this was the actual conversation. The waiter interrupted, no Alvaro so soda for me. Him too.

“How come you are taking a soda?” I ask.

“Mi huwa sinywi. Nilikatazwa na dockie.”

“Really?”

“Lakini ni mi tu hujiambia. Mi hunywa wine lakini…..ni vile tu inataka mtu akuwe na dough kwa mfuko, unaget?”

“Yes I do. So how u doing? How is college?”

“Colle ni poa tu, lakini saa hii niko atacho. Exams zangu ziko November so manze tumechop. Ni vile tu leo nime-create time nikasema lazima nikuone…”

“So after you are done? Graduation?”

“Kabisa. Nianze kutafuta salari..”

Weak smile from me. Stare around. What to say? How about I stop beating around the bush and just get to the point?

“Listen..”

“Sema tu.” Flirtatious smile from him, dammit.

In my most serious tone:

“Sitaki kukuwastia time.” (I dont want to waste your time.)

“Mi nime-complain? Leo nilikuwa free..”

“Si hivyo. What I mean is, this (hands waving around)… can’t go on. I can’t give you a false hope when I know it will lead to nowhere.”

“Yaani hivyo ni kumaanisha? Unacheki, mi sitaki mob. Kwani nimekuwa so demanding? Ama sikutia bidii sana.”

“No, its not you, its me.” (Te classic one liner)

“You see, am not ready for anything..” I continue..

“Mi sihitaji mob, unaget? Sina haraka mimi. I just need someone ninaweza trust. Na saa hii mi naku-trust.”

“For me, am okay with nothing.”

“Saa umeamua kunitupa hivyo? Unataka ni-do nini sasa? Nisiku-call? Tusi-meet?….”

“Yes. Am ok with that. We never meet. You never call. You never text. Just forget you ever knew me.”

“Mbona unanikazia hivyo lakini? Kitu gani sikufanya,hebu nielezee. Najua bado hijani-hit. I just want someone beside me, unaget?”

“I cant be that someone.”

“Mbona lakini?”

“There is no reason good enough.”

“Ama hinifeel?”

Yes, that’s the crux of the matter. But how do I tell you that? Plus there is the Sheng part. I can picture years down the line, you are the type that will call easy FM and say “Napenda Sheilla jo..anapea compe wife ya mine.” Or when he is addressing my dad,

 “Baba Savvy jo, ni hivi, mi napenda huyu mtoi wako. Nataka akuwe dame yangu. What I mean is, nataka akuwe wife ya mine. Ka ni watoi, tutawapeleka machuo poa poa..ka ni ng’ombe unataka, naweza leta wengi wadhii wakule…”

at which point my dad shall remain in a frozen state incomprehension… I wasn’t thinkint it would go that far, but then I have a fertile imagination.

“That’s not it….” That’s more like it.

“Ka ni ku-call nitaku-call more. Siwezi nikaku-make uchange mind? Na we hata huwezi ku-beep? Hata please call me huwezi tuma?”

“Its just that I detest flashers so I can’t do it myself.”

“Lakini mi nakwambia niko sawa nayo.”

“I just can’t. Why don’t you want to let go?”

“Hunielewi. Kwani nani ame-make hiyo decision? Ni wewe, ama ni Mungu ama ni fate?”

“I think that is a decision we have to make ourselves.”

“Unajua mi sitaki mob, unaget?”

“Look, I have already made my decision. You have no choice but to live with it.”

“At least ni-allow niku-call manze. Lakini wee msawa…”(How do you romance in Sheng? just wondering..)

I shake my head.

“Hata wewe unaweza ni-call…acha kuwa hivyo…unaweza hata ni-flash….”

I decided to reveal another truth. I know the truth hurts, but honesty is the best policy?

“Let me tell you. Mtu asiwahi kuambia ati hana time au credo. If you want to be with someone, you will create time no matter how busy you are. It is not like my phone has never had credo, it has, but I just call other poeple first…”

“So there is someone else?”

“No actually, there is no one else.”

“Manze hiyo ni hard.Usinikazie hivyo. Nikipiga simu uchukue, sawa? Hata nisikie tu sauti yako..”

“Ok, I’ll pick you calls.”

“Na umesema hatuwezi meet?”

“No.”

“Hii ndio goodbye sasa? I will never see you again?”

“Never..”

(What am listenig to: Crossfade, So cold)

Oh no, not again!

First it was the high schools, for whatever reasons, maybe it was post election violence, or it maybe it was the lack of strokes (sio what u think, rather strokes of the cane..), and now us? Nzembi are you reading this?

In case you havent watched the news, jkuat has gone on strike. do not even ask me what we are rioting about, could be  mismanagament of funds, and God knows where our money goes. they could use the money to buy generators so we have electricity during blackouts. how do ou explain the lights disappearance daily?? then the generators gets overloaded, and it is not like there is no money?? then there is the fact that there is ghost internet, non-existent swimming pools… there are many reasons, but why the fuck now?

as i type this, i have two days to exams. had two days. now i have no idea what is going to happen. am in town instead of school, in bathroom slippers (they are luminous orange, and am in a green outfit!..i look like that guy Xs dissed on his post..the one with yellow shoes..) and on my way home.

for the first time in my entire life, i have been thrown a tear gas canister at! i was there fucking running all over for a strike i had no idea would be this huge! i mean, i wasnt throwing stones at anyone or anything..i was walking away and this cop just looks back and sees me and my classmate walking away fast so we can reach the road and he fucking aims the canister on our way. it landed just a cm from my foot, and am telling you i ran, i’d ve won 100m dash in the olympics. luckily, it did not explode.

then there is the fact that the huge truckloads of cops was armed, and i heard shots being fired in the air! it was like being in a fucking action movie, but it is a scary feeling. so now cops are jut throwing tear gas at a mass of students, and am somewhere in the middle with my bag which just has my journal (i still keep one..), my fone and cash. everything else i left it the way it was.

you see, i was just in my room thinking this is a small thing that shal blow over in a few minutes, the next thing students have burnt a mat on Thika Road, then they stared burning hostels, so i just rushed out..leaving my breakfast behind and forgetting to wear shoes.

i wonder which campus will now be next? what’s with cowards who cant organize a non-destructtive strike? and why days to exams? i know some of you fear exams, but we all have to work hard, dammit! i just wanted them done and over with..

let me just go home now (not Malindi..more like an aunt’s place..whose son is also at home coz their school striked!!!), am kinda hungry…come to think of it…the last meal i ate was yesterday lunch, a day ago! 🙂

On Exam Break

 

It is that time of the year again…

Someone please get me this book…

 

Very soon, I shall be sitting in a room that looks like this on the outside:

 

and like this on the inside:

Zoom in to find me:

I need my grades to look like this:

but only if you send me your success wishes…

adios, for now, i shall be taking a short break to revise… those eight units ain’t no joke..

Dr.T

After the experience with the lecturer, whom I shall call Dr.T for now, I went digging around for his stories. Actually, it just came up in one conversation when we were in some study group discussing vector analysis, a unit about imaginary vectors in space. (it helps to watch Foster’s home for imaginary friends on cartoon network). So this classmate says
“Have you heard the stories about Dr. T? He is someone to stay away from.”
“Really…..Why?”
“He is a womanizer. He has been to the disciplinary committee many times but nothing happens. You still see him around.”

“Are you for real? He doesn’t look the type.”

“I hear he just asked some chick out, she refused and he told her outright he’ll fail her.”

You can imagine my shock. There I was thinking he is just having one of those irrational moments. You see, when I say Dr.T does not look the type, I should elaborate. This guy will always come to class 5 minutes to time. He’ll do his teaching, explaining so well, and pausing to answer questions. He’ll finish the syllabus in time, give you revision questions to revise. He’ll mark your CAT papers and return, and revise the CAT. He is generally the typical hardworking professor. But apparently, under all that lies a pervert who chases after anything in a skirt.

Back to his story
“There is a fellow lecturer who was dissing him indirectly saying he knows some lecturers who might be carriers and they have even been to the disciplinary committee.” (carriers..as in HIV)

“And?”

“Nothing happens. It is like lecturers protect their own.”

“You aren’t serious. How come you didn’t tell us this before?”

“I never thought he’d try anything.”

“What else?”

“He used to go after this chick in 3rd year now. When she refused his advances, he failed her, plus her boyfriend who was in the same class. He usually goes after many chicks at the same time.”

“Oh?”

“Yeah. He has f#@%d so many chicks. And he does them in his office.”

“Huh? That office??? Si he shares the office with another lecturer? OMG!”

“Why are you so shocked, has he tried anything?”

“He sort of asked me out.”

“I was told the way to deal with it is not to act a mjuaji but also not to act coy. Just take him around in circles. Besides, you are lucky the semester has come to a close.”

Lucky, aint I? well, he hasn’t attempted anything so far. Am keeping my fingers crossed. From there, a discussion ensued, trying to unmask the creep behind him. This is the time you remember stuff, like how when he stopped to let you pass at the zebra’s crossing, he sat there watching you walk away instead of just driving away. Or how he always stops to chat when he meets you. Or did you remember the time you were on the notice board and he sort of just sprang behind you asking you what you are reading?

Someone told me how she came to class early that day, and since Dr T is always punctual, he found her alone. Their conversation went like this:

“ Hi how are you?”

“am fine thank you.”

“You were supposed to come see me this week.”

“I have been busy.”

“With what?”

“Reading for so many CATs and exams.”

“That’s why you should come to the office. Afterwards, you’ll be feeling relaxed…”

Eeeeeeeeeeeew! Did he mean what am thinking??

When you agree to sleep with a lecturer for a grade, how does that help you? In my course, I shall probably do around 64 units. What am I supposed to do to get a good degree, #$%@  64 lecturers?

This semester will be over soon. Dr. T may never teach me again, but he sure is going to teach another class with chicks who’ll might get caught in his trap. I just wonder, is there anything I can do to stop him? After all, he’s been here for 13 years, and to the disciplinary committee many times.
And so I came to learn that he is not the only one. This sex for grades thing also affects this campus. It goes on silently, there is not much known about it like main or maybe KU. There is this other chick who has been abandoned by another  lecturer  she was going out with because she is pregnant. It is sad,  it is disappointing. But then so is life.

P.S. Thanks for all you comments on the previous Jesus H Christ post