If you have followed this blog for more than two years, you will know Saka. My faceless friend who chronicles his life as a Naija person who moved to yankee in the series called Saka Diaries. For this guest blogging series, I begged for him to reveal himself to readers but he threatened not to write anything again if I did, and I can’t afford that, so ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce hilarious Saka Tinubu (befitting surname. No?), whose writing leaves my ribs in cracks all the time.
So I’ll give you some background; I graduated from Engineering at arguably the best University in Nigeria. I finished with a 2-2 which, considering the rigours of education in my school was equivalent to a 2-1 in other schools (yes I said it :p). So, yes, I was a sharp guy. I never read during the semester, or attended classes. All I did was study for 24 hours during the 1 week lecture free period we got before exams, and that was it. Anyway through sweat, and blood, and copying other people’s work, I graduated from school.
A side bar on copying other people’s work, I had a gang of about 10 unserious buddies in 100-level. We would all sit in a group and help each other during exams. (Needless to say 90% of them eventually dropped out of Engineering to other courses considered easier). In my second year, I found out I had Keratoconus, (google it) and my vision deteriorated past where I could see what the person beside me had written, that was the end of copy-copy in exams. I realised I had to start studying *face-palm*.
Anyway, fast-forward to now, I had worked for about 3 years in Lagos after school. I was able to wrangle an admission to an excellent school to study a great course, on a 100% scholarship!! I was on a roll and I was determined (in an Igbo accent) to be the best student ever. Do all my homework on time, keep up with studying during the semester, sit in front of the class and raise my hand to answer questions. So help me God. I wasn’t here to play.
1st quarter swings in, I took 3 core courses and decided to take one more from my undergrad department to brush up on one of the courses I got an A in. LMAO, who was I kidding? After the attending the 1st three classes in which I had no idea what they were talking about, I dropped the course. Kids in the class understood the professor’s gibberish. They laughed when he cracked phantom jokes I didn’t understand, they would even shoot personal jokes at him while I cringed in horror at the instantaneous destruction that was coming to the kid’s final grade, but nothing… I could really get used to schooling in Yankee, I thought to myself, but first…I’ll drop this course.
So anyway, my adviser advised me to take a course he was teaching; Statistics. Anyone that graduated from my school or studied Engineering knows that is not a course you want to take twice in your life. He said, “I have seen your transcript and I know what you got in your undergrad (which shall not be disclosed here), but I think you will do well. There won’t be any in-class exam, just homework and take-home exams.”
I was elated. Yes I can do this, an opportunity to rewrite my history with Statistics.
Fast-forward 3 weeks into the quarter. I had made friends in class, I was doing well…keeping a poker face and nodding in understanding though I usually had no clue what the teachers were talking about half the time. There was this awesome girl, I’ll call her Zara, we were the only ones in our department taking the Statistics class, the other students in the class were from other departments.
We got assignments every week from the Stat class which was on Thursday evenings between 4-9pm. I was in the zone; I’d sit from Friday, into Saturday, Sunday, and even Monday working on these assignments. I would call or text Zara, “hey, have you started your assignment”? Her response was always “no, I haven’t I’ll start soon”.
I’d laugh to myself and mock her in my mind, being the judgmental Nigerian I am. “This one is not even serious; she should have worked for some years before coming to grad school”. “I am such a great student”, I would feel the warmth of satisfaction spread as I continued working. I was 27, she was 20. I had worked 3 years, and she had transitioned from undergrad into grad school straight up. Monday morning I would begin putting together everything I had worked on for my assignment from 7am, and text her at 9am. She would be asleep. I wanted to compare answers before assignment was due at 4pm.
She would start her assignment at 11am, finish before 4pm and still manage to explain one last question to me so I could finish. I never understood how she did it. The worst part of it was that our results would come back and she would get a higher grade than me…and most times our answers were the same ☹ HOW!!!
Anyway, after all my tedious weekend and study hustle, I got a 4.0/4.0 in my 1st quarter and gave myself a pat on the back. Naija no dey carry last now. However, till date, I blame the University for the disparity in the results of our individual efforts- Zara and I. I cannot take the blame for that…
Not even the classes I skipped and all the time I spent chasing females in undergrad took the blame then, let alone now.
I have since found out though that I can be efficient or atleast learn to be, so I don’t spend the rest of my life struggling to get tasks done over time, when they could have been once and for all done.
Saka is a psedonym for a Naija guy living in yankee, He’s not a fancy person so no cool bio. You can read his previous posts here