I never put my hand up in class; I’ve always considered myself too mature for that shit. Too old, too polished, too classy, even. I never do, partly because when I put my hand up and I’m picked I always end up just saying stupid things; things that weren’t even asked in the first place; things that are just lying around in my head, dying to be let out. Like this one time in High School, my Chemistry Teacher asked “What is the composition of Nitrogen in air?” and because my hand was the first one up, he pointed at me. I rose and very confidently answered, “The President of Nigeria is His Excellency Hon. Olesegun Obasanjo.”
Sometime last month, my ‘Distributed Systems’ Lecturer asks, “How many of you people here will not be getting married?” I put up my hand. I consider women of my generation too “displaced” for my liking; too focused on money, instead of the heart. Too much into fun, too involved with Shisha and Flirt Vodka to genuinely want to be with a man of my calibre, and ego (but I don’t even say). So the lecturer points at me and asks, “Why? What’s your reason?”
I say, “One, because 90% of the couples in the world are bound to break up. And most of them end painfully, and in such crude messes, I’d rather just avoid all the same.” The he asks for the second reason and I say, “Well, almost all men in marriages cheat. So why waste each other’s time?” Because he’s married, he tells me, “Speak for yourself.” But, of course, he knows I’m telling the truth. Acting like he’s a saint and shit, like we haven’t downed Cold Tuskers at Capital Centre together, fondling onto some naive missy from the School of Human Resource.
Then a couple of weeks ago this lecturer comes to class and asks us why her sessions are not so productive. Asks why people seem to always be off during her class. Asks why people always seem too bored. Asks what can be done to prevent this sort of behavior. Chaps put up their hands and give her all manners of solutions. From, “The class should be pushed forward, 3 p.m. is not a good time Madam” to “Ask random questions after every topic, to heighten concentration, Madam” to “If you see someone not concentrating, tell them to stand up to the end of the class” and ” You know what, you don’t even have to teach this unit, we’re fine reading on our own.” But No! All these weren’t enough for Son of Were. Son of Were just had to put up his hand and – when pointed at say, “You have a very boring voice Madam. A voice that easily drives folk to sleep. Have you ever considered bringing a microphone to class?” I swear, I almost saw a drop of tear trickling down that lecturer’s cheeks.
I’m pretty sure my whole class thinks I’m cuckoo right now. Shit, going by the things sometimes I write, I think I’m cuckoo. And now, even the school administration thinks I’m cuckoo. Let me break it down for you.
Last week the Dean summons me to her office, right? I show up, and she sends my ass over to the Student Counselor, where a very awkward conversation ensues.
“Hello, Ian Duncan. Have a seat.”
I take a seat. I don’t say a word. Then she goes;
“Is the seat alright for you? Do you feel fine sitting or just standing up?”
“The seat’s fine, thank You.”
“Okay, Ian. My name is Miss Pia, I’m a Student Counselor. So I’m going to ask you a few questions, Ian. And I want you to feel free to be honest. Okay, Ian?”
* Honestly, at this rate, if she says ‘Ian’ one more time, I’m going to jump out of this chair and shoot her in the nose; put a bullet right up her nostrils. *
“Okay,” I mutter.
“So, how many are you at home?”
“Uhmm…too many. Let’s just say too many.”
“Okay. Are you fine?”
“Are you OK? I mean, how is life in general?”
“Well, now that you ask, someone stole my laptop last week so, NO, I’m not fine.”
“You were attached to it?”
“Yes. It was my source of food.”
“You mean, you ate your laptop?”
“Yeah, I took bites of the monitor every now and then.”
“You don’t think that’s strange?”
“Biting your laptop?”
“Oh, No, People do it all the time. You don’t bite yours?”
“I don’t have one.”
“It’s 2016, how do you not have one?”
“Let me ask the questions here, Ian, please. Okay?”
“Is everything Okay at home?”
“Uhmm…I think so. The other day My Mum called and said I’m dead to her. That should be good news, Yes?”
“How do you figure?”
“Because dead people don’t ask for money for imaginary school trips. Duuuh!”
“I hear you’re also a Writer? And a gifted one, at that?”
*Adjusting in my seat* “Well, Thank You, I Try.”
“What do you write about, Ian?”
“Women fascinate you?”
“Do you watch ‘Nairobi Diaries’?”
“Well then, you wouldn’t understand.”
“One last question, Do you consider yourself to be of sound mind, Ian?”
“I”m sorry, what now?”
“Would you classify yourself as mentally stable?”
“Coming to think of it, someone stole my laptop – my only source of life – and I haven’t stabbed anyone yet so…uhmmm….No. I don’t think I’m mentally stable. I mean, you would expect me to stab someone, right? Like, say, my most immediate neighbor? Or, better yet, the Caretaker, No? I’ve never really trusted that bugger.”
By the time I realized what was going on in that room, we were already in too deep. The story goes, someone high up the Administration Ranks had been following my writing activities – my writing activities – here, on my personal blog, and on social media, and forwarding them high up the corridors of power with lewd comments. This person, apparently, was 110% convinced that I, Son of Were – chok Omondi Were achiel kende, nyathi ma wiye bith ka sindan ajuoga, wuoyi ma silwal ma ka odonjo e choo to gweng’ duto ywak, wuoyi ma pinde ne yom to chunye ler, ani kijana dhumo kisungu ma nyaka PLO Lumumba tetni – was bananas. Yaani mad; mentally ill; unstable; cuckoo; brain dead, kaput!
So he/she had forwarded my case over to the Dean who, in turn, sent me to the Students’ Counselor; a tired old woman with a ringing voice who wears glasses (those ones with strings) just above her nose and mentions my name every 0.000000350006 seconds. I mean, really, guys, who’s mad here?
To whoever that was – and I know you’re reading this – first of of all, I want to thank you for all your concern. I want to thank you for always reading my rumblings. And I want to thank you for forwarding them up the chain of command and making the Dean read my blog. I also want you to know that – even though you seem to me like those chaps who change the class email password, or remind the lecturer about a pending assignment when he/she forgets – I do not judge you.
To the JKUAT Administration, I’m fine. Seriously, I’m fine. Thank You.
Fully Sane Citizen.