In school, I was adventurous in a lot of aspects but when it came to girls, relationships and “toasting”, I was “cool, calm and collected”. Not because I really was cool, calm and collected but because I didn’t have “liver”.
As a teenage boy, definitely, there were girls I was “tripping” for, but it was like only boys knew I existed. When I look back, it was like I could only see the girls but they couldn’t see me, especially the ones that I would have wanted to even at least notice me.
In our school, we had an area between the dining hall and the gate of the girls’ hostel that we called LA, short for “Lovers’ Avenue”. It was here that guys and girls “blocked”. All manner of perfume and body sprays would be in the air. It would be dark except for the moonlight most times. When I first got to Idoani, I found it quite funny to discover that some seniors used to brush their lips, in addition to their teeth, before going for their LA dates. I tried to brush my lips a few times too but got tired of it. Nobody to “toast”.
There was one time like that. I had a crush on one of these girls. All I could do was fantasize that she was mine….but to brace up and approach her, I just couldn’t find it in me to do. Oh….how I really praise the guys who, back then, had their way with girls. I wished I had their super-powers.
So, one day, I came up with a crazy plan. I would compose a “love letter” and go and drop it in the class locker of my crush. I cannot clearly remember which class we were then. Maybe JSS3 or SSS1.
So that evening, I, by myself, with my “destiny” in my hands, took a walk from the hostel to the classroom blocks, and tried to identify her locker. I kept searching but suddenly became confused which locker was hers.
Well, *I cannot categorically tell you one (reason) now*, whether it was because I wasn’t sure which locker was hers, or whether because I still lacked the courage to do this thing, all I can say is that I still didn’t drop the letter. I went back to the hostel depressed. I think I tore the letter on my way to the hostel after reading it one last time.
It is very funny to me now.
One of the qualities that formed in me from boarding school was learning to be independent, realising that everyone is for himself.
I remember the school farm.
There was one session (likely the JSS3 year) when we were given portions on the school farm as part of practical work credit requirements for our Agricultural Science class. By the way, I hated Agric Sci. then; so many things to cram from the voluminous notes: Advantages & Disadvantages.
The portions were strips of land, measuring 20 metres in length and maybe about a foot, or more, in width. Side by side were our portions. We were to prepare the land for planting. Maize planting. The preparation of the land was the whole nine yards. Clearing, Ploughing, Making heaps and every other necessary activity. And then the planting.
I had never been given such a task in my life. I was like, “How will it happen?” I watched as some guys skillfully took on the task, clearing and uprooting grass and stumps, like they knew what they were doing and the kind of work wasn’t strange to them.
I think we had a deadline of maybe a week or two. I eventually got around to my portion. At the end of the day, I was proud of what I did. Even if my heaps/ridges weren’t as impressive as those of some other students, I was still impressed with myself.
It was an experience worth keeping memory of.
Lastly, for now, in our JSS3 NECO exams, in the Fine Art paper, there was a question like this: ‘Draw one of the sandals you have on your feet.’
Ah…ah… What kind of question is this.
I looked around me. Because we were arranged alphabetically then, according to our surnames, I wrote my exams with the S-Z surnamed students around me. So I looked around me and saw people had put their sandals on the table in front of them drawing like professionals.
“This is serious!!”, I thought to myself “Is this how I am going to fail Fine Art?!” It was an afternoon paper. I think I was sweating, with a slight headache. I felt stranded. I foolishly asked a guy to my left whose surname starts with U to help me draw. He didn’t even answer me. He just looked at me and kept on with his work. Arrgghh…!
You know the worst part? Hmm. I didn’t even have sandals on! I think I wore bathroom slippers to the exam hall that afternoon…or something like that. Seeing that I had no one else but myself, I started to draw from my imagination…and I drew a beautiful imaginary sandal…but I still had a P(Pass) in that subject. The only subject I had a P in, in JSCE.