You must be wondering why I would write this. I didn’t. Dickson Otieno did, just for my birthday. He made me chuckle and my eyes well up with tears. Like seriously, thank you Dickson. And thank you all for making my 25th birthday as big a deal as I thought it would be. I will stop now, before I cry. 25-year-olds don’t cry all the time, do they? Here goes.
I am so tired, but somehow I had to do this. October was just a few minutes past and I promised myself I would share lessons I have learnt from the month with you. It has been one interesting month.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I ask my kids in my Sunday school class the other day.
Their little hands are wiggling up in the air, the mostly six-year-olds eager to share their dreams with me.
“A doctor,” one girl says, and another and another.
“A pilot,” a boy shouts, and of course there are several more.
You know advertising is powerful when you walk into the ladies and hope there is tissue paper and then when you see it, you think, “Tissue si tissue, tissue ni Hanan.” Epic fail. I hate that advert. Nevertheless it is engrained in my head. In fact, come to think of it, if I was responsible for buying tissue in the house, I’d actually try it out. I will try you out when I move out, Hanan. You can go ahead and thank that guy. What’s his name again? I know it’s not Otoyo. Wait. Think, Shiku, think. Colourful clothes. Luo accent. I give up.
Anyway, who goes into a public facility and makes away with an entire roll of tissue paper?
You have 40 minutes to write this composition. Go! Cue in the heart palpitating like the tom-tom drums of West Africa. You have to make sure you create a situation where that simile will apply in your composition, right? If you remember those times, you are Kenyan. Congratulations. If you remember that simile, you are definitely a millennial, Generation Y species. Pat yourself on the back. You wrote about being lost in a forest. You wrote about being kidnapped. You wrote about a fire at your neighbour’s. You wrote about the day you would never forget. And that day was always about some cheesy event where you either won something or toured some special place. This is where you went all out, whether in truth or in fiction. There was no Instagram or Facebook to show people. You could only do it in paper and only your teacher could see it.
You know that bout of unwanted thoughts that invade you from out of the blue? That annoying urge to go far away from everything and just be alone. I have a lot of those. Especially on Monday mornings. I have nothing against Mondays. Actually, I kinda look forward to them. Mondays always breathe a new sense of being into me. Because you never know what will happen that week. You don’t know what weird man will honk at you as you take your routine 15 minute walk up that suburban Westlands road. You have no idea who you will bump into in the bus or on the street. Your employer may come up with a whole new way of doing things. You might even end up writing a post you had no idea you could in here. Your computer could decide this is the week it freezes a gazillion times between 9 and 5. The possibilities are limitless.
Today, I am feeling bad because I am still single. Yes. It happens. All the time. I always wonder how long this will go on. What my chances are of meeting someone while behind the keyboard for 3/4 of my days. The other 1/4 I am asleep of course. The thing about this feeling of desperation today is that it is different. It is different because I am no longer in campus. I am about a year old out here since leaving the great Moi University. That institution was quite something. If you frequent this space (or rather, the old blog) you know how I could go on and on and on about that institution.
Announce your arrival, way before the day, to ensure you get to a place to spend the night in Main Campus. Otherwise you will end up walking to the venue and perhaps not even make it to the ceremony.
Bring your own camera, despite everyone else bringing theirs and tagging you incessantly on Facebook. You have to record these memories.
The day is finally here with us. I graduate from the unparalleled Moi University on the 17th of December 2013. Let us all breathe a sigh of relief. My endless posts on my dissatisfaction in the institution are almost over now. It has been an interesting journey. If it was not for Moi University, I probably would not have started this blog. We owe it that, if not anything else. I travelled to Moi this Wednesday the 11th to collect my ‘academic attire’ or, in layman’s terms, graduation gown (pictures coming soon). During the journey, I jotted this down:
I was sent away to campus with all sorts of speeches from concerned parties about the ‘hellhole’ that […]
“School? What school?”
Okay, people. It has come to my attention that some of you think I am still in school (going by the messages I am receiving on phone and Facebook). Well, here is the news. I am no longer a student. I cleared from Moi University on Tuesday the 9th of July 2013.
- Is on his last semester of his 8-4-4 and age is catching up. Either that or he has thrown caution to the wind. He has no idea what courses he’s taking. If he has, he has no knowledge of their titles, leave alone their codes. He never missed classes in earlier years but today, attending lectures is the exception, not the rule.
- Will remember that registration forms are filled on the day before exams, she will then scribble on some course registration form very fast, forge the signatures then fill in an examination course form. It will then hit her that she has not paid her fee yet. She’ll rush to that tiny National Bank and stand in an endless line. Back in the day, she paid her fee a month before the opening date, a good faithful freshman.
I live in a room that offers a vantage point to Hostel K and L entrances. When I say Hostel K and L, I am referring to the ladies’ hostels, make no mistake. All the same, I will tell you about the men who frequent both hostels. That common joke about the number of men who’d emerge from either hostel in the event of a fire is very true. I will describe them to you, one by one. I will do this using Hostel L since what I see there is replicated in K. (You may think I have a lot of free time; I will let you be the judge of that.)
When you have spent four years in an institution of higher learning, you learn a lot from simple observation. I have seen and heard enough to authoritatively categorize campus couples into five types.
You are seated at home enjoying a movie or getting warm by the fireplace. Your phone rings. Almost by reflex, you pick it up and hit a button. Ah, it’s your friend from class. He’s remembered me after three months, you think to yourself, must be something important. You sit up and take in the contents of the text. “Sasa, my dear! Nimeona kwa 3rd Eye ati tunafungua next week.”
Maybe you are not reading it right. You read it again.
So you won’t marry a campus chiq, huh? But did you pause to think, even for a moment, that maybe I do not want to be married to a campus dude? You are not the only one with a choice to make, you know?
The other day there was outrage from my fellow campus ladies who could not understand why a man would not want to marry them. I have good news for you sisters; there are plenty more fish in the sea and that sea is much bigger than Moi University. No one should make you think you do not have a choice.