So far so good. We were in the seventh period, and I think I’d managed the first six pretty well. I hadn’t taken the word ignorance to a new level….yet, and my self-respect hadn’t depreciated, at least not significantly….I was on top of the world…
Until my lecturer decided to switch things up a bit, and put the weight of the world on my shoulders instead….You guys are familiar with Atlas, that Greek titan guy, who’s supposed to be supporting the earth with his shoulders right now, yeah, he was free to go. I took his place, courtesy of Mother Theresa’s reincarnate over here; call it charity if you may. This entire transaction was carried out with a simple question, which I obviously didn’t have the answer to….. Now questions like, do you wish weapons of mass destruction were made legal? Has terrorism ever crossed your mind? Did you at any point in time blow up a local restaurant because they were employing too many light-skinned people? I have the answers to, but when things start getting mathematical, I go numb. I once saw so many zeroes, I had a seizure…I mean it shocked me to see that amount of chalk wasted on just one number, but that’s past.
For the question, he said something that had ‘x’, integrate, and pi in it. The last thing I heard was ‘solve’ …. I was lost. Nigerian teachers tho, they’ll do 2+2 in their examples, and then tell you to calculate the mass of the sun. I wasted approximately 20 minutes of my life in front of the board, the next twenty minutes I spent trying to survive the barrage of character-crippling invectives being hurled at me from this man—-“”Your future is not bright…whoever allowed you into school does not love you, and neither do I…Otondo…public education has failed you, go home! e.t.c.”” , and as for the remaining GOD knows how many minutes I had left in my life, those were off limits……Anyway sha, the lecturer thought that I either had brain damage or was just trying to make fun of his class. I sha explained to him that it wasn’t a case of either… He still told me to leave his class to seek medical assistance (he probably opted for the possibility of brain damage)…..I happily obeyed.
The next 40 minutes found me comfortably perched on the burnett of a shaded car not too far from the lecture hall, taking cognizance of every curve known to man…I mean this in the lewdest way possible; the female specie is a highly underappreciated one, tell them I said so. I was already lost in reverie with one really hot random, and just as I was about to kiss the ‘bride’, my lecturer’s raspy voice froze my puckered lips solid. “Oya, put away your notes and textbooks…TEST!”. That was the cue to the beginning of my failure, and sadly, the end of my wedding.
I’ve never really been a big fan of this whole continuous assessment thing that most of these overzealous 21st century teachers are so addicted to. I would rather watch carpet grass grow than expose my eyes to documented formulae and rigid academic definitions for so much as 5 minutes, bearing the prospect of them finding a temporary place in my deficient short-term memory, or at least hoping that they can stay there for anything more than 2 seconds, if they ever manage to get in at all. But I had bigger problems, like presently not being allowed into the classroom….But no shaking sha, I always had a plan.
I tiptoed up one of the anterior staircases that led to the back of the L.T., and squatted behind some old dysfunctional speakers in the hall. I used the size of the speakers to my advantage; who ever knew inadequate storage would be of benefit one day. With exaggerated enthusiasm, I ripped the answers to the test right off the screen of my phone, and plastered them onto the sheet of paper in front of me, courtesy of BBM (big shout out to Kolade). But just when you think you’ve gotten away with murder, karma gets up, and gets a little elaborate……… Hold up tho, when you want to commit a crime, you’re supposed to be all clandestine and top-secret and stuff like that, right? Can someone please tell me why I forgot to put my phone on ‘vibrate’ or ‘silent’ or something more covert? And again….why on earth would two ‘supposedly’ normal people, ‘coincidentally’ pick up the phone and decide to call me just when I was about to commit a felony like this ?….. Anyway, to cut the long story short, ‘Sidechick 2’ and ‘Amaka Jollof ‘ successfully made themselves single women that day………good luck with the rest of your lives.
As I was saying, I heard footsteps, I heard them quicken, I knew the jig was up; my lecturer was on to me. I dropped my pen to the floor, closed my eyes, and raised my hands in surrender; it was the honourable thing to do.. The white flag had been hoisted.
When the movement had ceased, I knew it was just a matter of time. Slowly, I opened my eyes to the potential punishment that awaited me, but I was in for a surprise…a big one.
With feverishly dilated pupils, I stared down the barrel of a shotgun (pause) a shotgun……
(Wait,wait,wait)……Okay, things may have just gotten a little out of hand—this may be legal in countries like Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, I don’t know…. but what kind of lunatic brandishes a gun in front of his student? I have to admit though, I was kinda humoured by the dramatic sequence of the whole thing, the way it played out and all….it was like something out of a movie or whatever, but I digress.
Now where was I?
Ah yes (ahem), at this point in time, the lunatic was already pulling back the trigger; he told me, and I quote, “young man, you’re time is up!”.
Well, I’m not really one for theatrics and what not, so I quietly said my last words, and made well to swallow enough spit to keep me from thirsting out in Hell. I bid the world farewell, and submitted to the inevitable…….
……….BANG!!! BANG!!! BANG!!!
I opened my eyes to a new world……
…A deserted hall with about only 5 students left in it, and an incandescent Mr. Deji, ( the invigilator ) who stood in front of me, angrily hitting away at my desk.
” Oya-oya, my friend, your time is up! I repeat, your time is up!! Submit your paper now or I tear your script!”
I looked at my answer sheet, it wasn’t smiling back; it was as blank as the facial expression I wore at that moment.
My face was worth a thousand words that day, literally…
Happy Easter…The Lord Is Risen, Hallelujah, Amen.