Monthly Archives: February 2016

Tales From FEGO: Mondays – Morning Beans, Assembly and Others

The shortest night in a week for any student in the boarding house of a Unity school has to be the night before Monday morning. With little or no hostel chores to do, the day before Monday is blessed with such goodies that i will need another post to be more detailed.

The rising bell breaks your dreams into shattered pieces, bringing you to the reality of the beginning of the working week. Yes, we were not workers but education is work and Monday was the beginning of another challenge. It is the opposite of Fridays but without a Monday, there is no Friday to look up to.

Monday brings out the best in most of the students of FEGO – Everything seems to be normal and in other. Clothes have been ironed the previous day, or just washed if the luxury of ironing could not be attained. Whites are brighter than ever, ghettos are sharp enough to bring down the elephant grasses on the road. Socks clean, shoes clean, hair combed, a wonderful week to look forward to.

Apart from the Saturday inspection mornings, the hostel is in a cleaner state on Monday mornings than any other day. The portion bell signals the awakening of the lazy room heads and the whips of the officials coming to ensure sanitation of the hostel before the legendary food bell – who doesn’t eat? Food bell is like the biblical trumpet to signify the end of time. The food bell brings so much joy not just because of the food but because it releases you from the morning cores just like we would leave this mortal body.

If there was a meal that was least attended by FEGO students, that meal has to be Monday Morning Beans. Loved mayor, avoided by the girls, the beans was a kick starter to the week. Depending on the times and kitchen supervisor, it was served with hot pap – so hot that it could zap your brain of all you have learnt if not eaten with respect. The beans was so hot that the cold in your system will be heat exchanged in no time. Mayor loved the beans so much that he could do anything for it. He was once baptized with a full pot of hot beans. His immaculate white bore the grunt of his love for the protein. The white was the messiah for the beans. Mayor wept… how much he loved his beans.

After the battle of the beans which is usually fought and won by junior boys, everyone heads to the Assembly Hall for the first of the two assemblies in a week – excluding the dining hall assembly and hostel shenanigans. Before the era of queuing out side the hall, we had the luxury of sitting in the hall. There four rows of long benches with about 20 benches per row.

The first row was for the junior students, especially the newbies and fresh students – JSS1. it was occasionally infiltrated by older students by reason of authority or as a means to enhance immediate escape from the hall in the case a “wait-behind” is announced. The second row was for SS1 student, the third was for SS2 and the fourth for SS3. In all of these rows, if you are not siting on the first 5 bench, then you are more likely to be bounced.

Just like Newton discovered, every action begets a reaction – every bounce begets a counter-bouncing. SS3 bounces SS2 – SS2 bounces SS1 – SS1 bounces JSS. The JSS is left with nothing to bounce but to head up to the gallery where he is to sit down on the dirty slabs and hearken unto the voice of the principal.

Graced by the National anthem, opened by a Christian morning prayer, the Monday morning assembly was peculiar and unique. It was a day to announce the results of the Saturday inspection – Mr Balogun and his Cross House Gang took delight in winning the hostel inspections. I missed those “Cross House tour jous!!! Plueur vous!!!” – forgive my french spellings. Class sanitation inspection results were also announced. House and class captains involved gloried in the temporary plague that was presented at the assembly.

It was also a day where most results of competitions were announced. I was blessed to be one of those that stood in front of the school as we went for various competitions. Offenders had their share of the mornings too. New innovations are introduced and other matters as deemed relevant by the Principal or VP. To many of us – especially junior students, we cared less. We longed for the new school anthem to signal the end of the meeting.

In all, nothing suffers most on Monday morning than the first period. Assembly has never finished on time – Never. so the first two periods of the week is usually wasted.

An afternoon load of Eba with Obe romanced with Ewedu, the very short siesta, the afternoon prep, an hour of freedom or captivity, evening white rice and night prep summarizes a regular Monday for all and sundry.

How were your Mondays in Boarding School?

@AmosCP

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The Plan: Whose Budget? Whose Pocket?

At the beginning of the year, my little sister gave me her  financial budget and i was like “wow”, “seriously”. I didn’t expect the figures I saw but I had initially told her to express herself so I can have a clearer picture of her needs. The fulfillment of the budget is another story entirely and has been taken care of privately. Her plan was for a given project which is to span for a given period.

Plans and budget are made as per project or period. The plan determines the budget or is it the other way? I will need to ask my economist friends or maybe email Arsene Wenger, the professor of Economics managing affairs at the Emirates. But when you hear “budget”, “money” takes center stage. A full plan will have its cost implications but the actualization or adjustment of such plan is dependent on the budget or available funds for execution.

A budget is a quantitative expression of a plan for a defined period of time

My sister had to change her plans to suit my pocket but she made sure the key goals were not chalked off her list. Somethings can wait till later in life, some others are time dependent and may be even more important and as such classified as priority. Without a plan, a budget is a joke.

The national budget joke can be classified as a disgrace and shows the level of importance ascribed to it by the persons involved. Today the budget is stolen, tomorrow it is found. Next tomorrow, the figures are tampered, by weekend, the allocations alarmingly wrong. It is just like a cartoon with so many funny scenes to add comic relief to the suffering populace. 39 days into the a new year and a nation is yet to have a budget. 11% of the year is gone. When are we going to have the 2016 budget?

It is funny that you start planning for a thing after you have started the thing. It is weird that you are on the road moving in a directionless manner. Even the particles in Brownian Motion may have more direction than the one we find ourselves in. Imagine Noah building the Ark as the rain started. If you have failed to plan, you have planned to fail. The process of planning gives you the opportunity to look at the goal and the steps you intend to follow in achieving them.

Luke 14:28 – For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have [sufficient] to finish [it]?

As Christians, we are encouraged to plan. Every December, I join a group of friends and workers in the Lord to review the ending year and make plans for the coming year. It requires a lot of soul searching, dedicated personal screening and keying into the God’s plan itself. We engage in prayers and seek God’s face and direction as to the immediate future. We encourage ourselves to write these plans/goals down.

Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire. –  Napoleon Hill

It’s not the plan that’s important, it’s the planning. – Dr. Gramme Edwards

Away from planning, the execution lies within thy reach. I am usually not happy seeing people spending more than they earn, biting more than they can chew, sewing coats bigger than their sizes, wallowing in debts as a result of wanting to belong. It pains my heart and my head is tired of shaking.

Whose pocket are you depleting? Who bears the pains of your excesses and flamboyancy? Who joins you in counting the ceiling boards in your room when you are left with nothing few days after your wage has been paid. Where is thy modesty? Where is thy plan? Are you competing with anybody? You should be competing with yourself and nobody else. You wear the shoe and knows how much it pinches you. You can’t have it all. But you can be happy with what you have.

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other. – Douglas H. Everett

I worked with a guy who blew his salary away within the first 7 days of payment and goes around asking for alms. I was a mere intern but I knew that was not a way to live. He spent his money on women, drinks, friends, parties and before he says “Jack Robinson” (whose name is that?), he is back to ground zero. It was a disgrace but you must not live a disgraced life. His Grace is enough for thee if you allow him to govern you daily activity and engage him in your plans.

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. – Proverb 16:3

Be responsible. It is not about what you earn, but how you spend it. Manage your pocket.

You are no longer a boy, and one of the first duties which a man owes to his friends and to society is to live within his income. ― Thomas Hughes

Have a nice weekend friend. Live Responsible.

Enjoy in Christ.

Decisions, Actions and Reactions

Originally posted on the Experience Series on The Exceller Blog. Follow and be refreshed.

… Choose you this day…

Last time I shared my experience about “Believe” and how it was one key element of my successful college sojourn. But as I said, belief is not enough. It needs action to make it work. These actions are born out of decisions taken as a result of believing. If you simply fold your hands after believing, then you must have slept, slumbered and the poverty of success as in Proverb 6:10-11 will surely be thy greatest companion. images-17

Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

One major decision I made in school was that of life – Eternal Life. I knew little about the university but I have been told of the immense freedom being enjoyed by all and sundry. Freedom can be misused and it is usually misused in higher institutions. To help myself, I joined a fellowship that could act as a guardian to my acts. It was a strict fellowship and they were known for condoning little or no nonsense. I took that decision long before I got my admission and I acted in line with it after resumption.

The fellowship you are associated with can make or mar you. It could hinder or enhance your life. It can misinform or under-inform you. You can be misled or properly led. The opportunities are numerous but the choice can be made by consulting the Alpha. Just as you cannot count the number of denominations in Nigeria, there are numerous in the campus. So how do you choose? Which do you join? You have to decide.

Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend – Proverb 27:17

After my life and relationship with God, I focused on my course of study. I had to make decisions about the department and course. I decided I will attend all lecture and ensure that I am not late for any. I decided that I will do all of my assignments and made sure I never missed any test or practical. For a technology school, tests and practicals were key and absence can result in an outright failure even if you get 100% in the exam.

I took actions to make the above decisions a reality but it was not perfect. I missed a couple of classes for reasons ranging from ill health to lack of interest. But I reacted to my failed actions by making sure I was up to date with what I missed from those classes. I missed a test which dented my first year record. I was ill and believed the lecturer for saying that she will not give us a test. Lo and behold, there was a test that Thursday.

Respect the Lord and make careful decisions, for the Lord our God disapproves of injustice, partiality, and bribery. – II Chronicles 19:7 NET

I also made a couple of heady decision. I decided not to buy any past question in school. I had been discouraged by the accuracy of the ones I saw around. Questions were answered wrongly and I was bold to tell one of the vendors that his answers were wrong. He didn’t take it likely but I was scared that many people will buy and follow the wrong steps. That influenced my decision. But I had to get a couple of past questions after writing my first 200 level test. It was Engineering Thermodynamics. I was lost. I couldn’t answer more than one question out of four. It was disastrous. I had no option than to bury my head in the past question throughout the 3 months strike period.

Making the most of your time, because the days are evil – Ephesians 5:16

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? – II Corinthians 13:5

An unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates

I had series of personal examination. I had to adjust to avoid sinking my ship by myself. I had to hearken to the advice of the experienced ones to excel at that point. If I was to achieve the goal of getting a 70 in every course, I must adjust my sail and tap in to the wind properly. I got 70 in that course to my surprise.

I decided I will not attend night class nor pay for tutorials, but I will be attentive in class, try examples, use the library, and ask colleagues for help if in difficulty. I tried to read ahead in courses that I had the textbook or knew the pattern of the lecturer. It was a complex society of which I needed to maximize every advantage. I fled from social nights and parties, but had an eye on the politics of the department. I wanted to get it right.

Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:17

Enough of my narrations now. The point is that you must take a stand, act towards it, see the consequences, bear the consequences and if possible make adjustments. The man that is open to change will learn faster but our God is unchangeable and thus his values cannot be compromised.

Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord. – Romans 12:11

Be wise and choose your path. It may not be like mine. Let Jesus order your steps and choices and you will not regret it. We work towards perfection daily. Don’t hesitate to run to Him when you have stumbled. Pick up yourself and surge on.

@AmosCP

An Interesting Prayer

This interesting prayer was given in Kansas, USA, at the opening session of their Senate. It seems prayer still upsets some people. When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open
the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard:

Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says: “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done.

  • We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
  • We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism.
  • We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism.
  • We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle.
  • We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
  • We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
  • We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
  • We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
  • We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
  • We have abused power and called it politics.
  • We have embezzled public funds and called it essential expenses.
  • We have insitutionalised bribery and called it sweets of office.
  • We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
  • We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
  • We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
  • Search us, Oh GOD, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free.

Amen!”

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in
protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea.

With the LORD’S help, may this prayer sweep over our nation and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called “ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

Culled from a message from a colleague

Happy New Month.

Enjoy the goodies of February.

By @AmosCP