Goldfish Memory

I read somewhere that a goldfish has a memory that lasts for just 3 seconds. This means that when a goldfish is experiencing any particular emotion, it feels as though that emotion is the very definition of all of its existence. Hence that hungry goldfish thinks it has been starving since the day it came to life and dying goldfish thinks it has been dying all its life. Of course, it’s all internet hogwash but it seems to have an application in human interpersonal relationships.

Many relationships are described by the circumstances that ended them or the most recent condition of the relationship. This and outcome bias go a long way in tainting the plausibility that these ending circumstances could be one-offs or misunderstandings and not necessarily a defining aspect of the other’s caliber. I’ll explain with an example.

KFK was a sworn member of the Barger cult in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was the personal bodyguard to the cult chief and as such, was a well known member of the cult. KFK died on enemy turf trying to broker a peace during a cult beef in 2011 while keeping the cult chief in the dark. The Barger cult didn’t attend his burial because it was believed KFK wasn’t a loyal member of the cult. KFK had been a member for 3 years.

In the end, this introspection into a person’s ethos only comes up when it seems rational to do so because a rapist is a rapist and a sex offender is a sex offender (the game is the game). I guess the moral of the story is that it’s human nature that relationships have some friction or even make the leap to end, but we shouldn’t let isness become the full story of our lives. Either that or that I can still put sentences together and call it a blog article.

R. I. P KFK.

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THIS UNRULY MESS I’VE MADE

You may be familiar with the frog metaphor. If you put a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump out of it. If you put this same frog in a pot of cold water and applied heat to it, the frog will remain in the pot, get boiled and die. The point here is – people hardly notice little change, then it’s too late.

A little detour from the subject matter of this article would help explain the meshwork that holds the topic together with this metaphor. I have never given any serious thoughts to white privilege for two reasons. One, I really don’t care. Secondly, the few things I’m interested in that involves most races in the world have no such thing as white privilege. These few things are sports and rap music. As far as I know, rap has always been a black thing and the GRAMMY Best Rap Album of the Year award seemed like a category to celebrate black excellence in the world scene. Hence, when Macklemoore and Eminem won this award in a back-to-back fashion in 2014 and 2015, it seemed like blacks were slowly losing their heritage in music, and if not checked early enough, it could be the end of black dominance or supremacy in rap music. Some months back, Macklemoore released an album titles “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” and well, I don’t personally think white privilege will be a problem rap fans will protest against any time soon. But I hope you get my point.

A very recent experience of mine has left me well-acquainted with the complex relationships of paranoia and nonchalance. Worry too much, you blow nonissues out of proportion, then your dreams blow up in front of you. At the other end, when you have absolutely no worries without any sort of plan in place, your dreams don’t even see the light of day. A simple solution emerges in the form of a fine balance between the two ends; but that’s too much middling, and gives you boredom – an odd by-product of the supposed gold standard. Hence you have a lot of people living mostly in this balance, yet shift positions from time to time to avoid boredom. These oscillations are so far-reaching that most people are in a period of transition for most of their lives; making most described philosophies of life – including those four temperaments that attempts to describe why reactions are premeditated – not just of a spurious nature, but also quite dead on arrival. This has been my life for a very long while. A story that has been a hitherto unruly mess with very limited clarity as to its origin or extent. A trainwreck in the form of a con artist, who has a lot of expectations from those who believe they know him, without any true skills or any clear directions as to what he wants to do next – forever replaying different scenarios in his head and picking that with the highest trade value as the major plot in the next episode in his life series. Maybe today is the day it all changes – after all, the purported first step in solving a problem is identifying the problem. Or maybe this is just another chronicle in the life of a very confused person. Ciao.

School Spirit

Hello there! I wrote an article for Nigeria Campus Connect. You can check out their blog too for more good articles from writers in other universities. Anyway, I decided to put this up here too because I love you all too much or that it’s probably better than everything else I’ve posted here. Enjoy.

17-09-2015 17:35 GMT+1
I’ve just resumed a new posting. By the time you get to read this, I’ll probably be unto another one. This is my life now, measured in seven or eight-week intervals. I even think of events relative to how many postings they are away from me. If you told me your birthday was in December, I’d be more inclined to say “That’s during Surgery 2.” than saying “Oh wow, that’s around Christmas”. Heck, Surgery 2 means no Christmas for me this year, again.

I must say that I don’t like medical school a lot. Even though that’s not the point, it’s somewhat beside it, giving it life, fortifying it, maybe it’s the soul of the point. Ironically, the only reason I chose medicine was that it was deemed too tough for the simple-minded, or at least, it was tough to gain admission into. Hence, it presented itself as an early opportunity for some of us to distinguish ourselves, or so we thought. There was also the side reason of a supernatural calling or a more than superficial yearn to come to the needs of the helpless; but that only adds to our braggadocio, more vanity, more to our portfolio of being fundamentally different.

Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why – Hunter S Thompson. This is a sidebar feature to every medical student as he finds his way through one exam and moves on to his next, hoping that at the end of it all, that he finds the right environment to harness his profuse talent, to demonstrate what’s so special about him.

Watching the average medical student over time and with an intentional eye for detail, what becomes abundantly clear is a strange air of inner conflict between a student who wants to be adored yet should rebel against the temptation of pride. A person who wants the spotlight, yet resists the scrutiny. A figure who is groomed to be the leading man yet must embrace the tenets of teamwork. Most of all, a person who wants to enjoy his youth but must dampen all forms of social proclivity. More than anything else, however, there is an obvious relationship between the student and the course that appears more at times built to insulate him from impartial examination; puts him in a bubble that camouflages him with a cult of oomph, personality and nostalgia. His apparent shortfall – or shortchange – of social skills is the kink of his grand design.

Last year had seemed to be more of a last chance saloon for me – pass this exam and all wrongdoings of the past will be forgotten. But here I am, again bothered over the next exam, albeit being one year away (well, it’s just 6 postings away too). It’s pretty easy to foresee a strange tale that is sure to have more turns than a corkscrew and is going to become very complicated over the next few months that everybody involved would have to deal with a breakdown, physical and nervous, soon; whilst raising the levels of diligence as color-coded alert status tilts to red.

To say that other people have passed means that there isn’t much to worry about is the laziest narrative in the marketplace of ideas at the moment. The typical medical student is the rarest, productive villain carried to near-perfect precision while done in by his own excesses whereas my kind can be largely defined as frustratingly untapped potential with limited clarity into what truly motivates me. We – me and the typical medical student – are both complex, but we are not the same.

There is absolutely no question at all – even now in these weeks of relative calm, watching the shoreline recede into the sea as the tsunami mounts from murky depths – that this exam will be ground shaking. This kind of savage reality may be too much for some of us stuck on figuring out why we really are here. But for most of our lives, the key and driving point has been a deep belief that we are addicted to overcoming, at any cost, because we were born to survive it all.

Middle ground, school-boy malfeasance, youthful exuberance, wild nightlife didn’t interest us and is better left for misfits in search of a trade. We were in search of discipline, work ethic, responsibility and larger-than-life. This has led us to discover that the typical medical student is “some high powered mutant never even considered for mass production, too weird to mix with society but too important to be left out”.

Cheers.

Okay, I admit “School Spirit” shouldn’t be the title but “Furor Medical School” didn’t sound really appealing. Also Kanye West has a song named “School Spirit” so… Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to follow the blog.

@HoodYeezus

Matriculation

Numbers hardly lie, but do they exaggerate? Riddle me that. Forty thousand, that was the number: the number of students at my school yesterday playing their own version of a combined “March Madness” and “the game of their lives” in a single stroke. Forty thousand students, three thousand vacancies, or maybe less. Oh, I think I’ve heard this story before, only with much crueler scenarios.

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Trust me, it’s true. Anyway, this forty thousand aren’t applying for jobs, at least, not yet. They are actually seeking admission into my school (the greatest) and yesterday was their aptitude examination day (because calling it Post UTME doesn’t sound very cool). For some, it was a mere formality. For others, it was a Mourinho-at-the-last-minute moment; in simpler terms, just get this one right and all past wrongs will be forgotten. Even though it seemed like a voyage into uncharted waters for most, everyone definitely had their eyes on the bigger prize – matriculation. I don’t know about you. I know I did. This reminded me of one secret (till now) peri-matriculation day event of mine. (For non-anatomists, ‘peri-‘ basically means ‘around’).

It was at 27 Amina Way, Unibadan around 9:30pm. Two friends of mine were in the room. One was Yoruba, the other was from Bayelsa. Their names are Tayo and Santino in that order (fake names obviously but close to the real thing). They were playing PES 2011 while waiting for me to come back with food. We had gone for long hours without food and you can only understand how hungry we were if you had been in such a position. Add the scorching afternoon sun, frustrating lecturers during registration, distances trekked between departments and the hustles-and-bustles of those registration queues, then maybe you’d get a glimpse of the murmurs coming from our intestines at the time.

Well, I reached the room to inform them that I wasn’t able to buy the food because the food seller didn’t have “change”. This is one of our biggest problems in this school (and maybe town, at large). Tayo volunteered to cook noodles for us. Do you remember the excitement written on Mesut Özil’s face when they won the World Cup?

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Our excitement was tenfold of that. Tayo pulled out his electric cooker while Santino got the pot. The electric cooker had a short wire and since the electric switch was very close to the bed, the only option (if you’re too lazy to move the bed) was to cook with the electric cooker on the bed. By the way, it’s the kind of electric cooker we call hot plate here, just so you don’t think it’s the foreign one. The water in the pot was still heating up and there was an explosion, a brief silence and then fire in that order. The cooker was on the mattress, and as expected, the mattress started burning. I was coming into the room with 3 freshly washed plates and forks for the noodles when I saw the mattress burning. Tayo, being so thoughtful, rushed out to fetch water from the tap while Santino and I got sachets of water from the fridge and doused the fire. About two minutes later, ‘hero’ Tayo jumped into the room with a full bucket of water and poured every drop on the mattress. I told you he was thoughtful, didn’t I?

We didn’t get to eat any noodles or any other thing that night but we still have our room and our lives for that matter.

For those of you who know me and can guess, you already know Tayo. Well, if you don’t, sorry. Share and drop your comment(s) below. Do not forget to follow the blog before leaving.
Cheers. Ciao.

VALENTINE SEXCAPADE

It was a terrible, terrible weekend in all. The disappointment I had felt was culminated upon realisations that it was just one weekend which wasn’t worth all the preparation. And added to wasted efforts, it was one weekend out of a limited fifty-two weekends in my calendar year which bore no fruits.

I had secured my Valentine’s Day date long before the transfer deadline day, February 13th. The week had been brightened with all sorts of hook-ups in love garden, botanical garden and even the zoo. Indeed, a ‘love’-ly season. Even very random ravishing girls smiled at me then. I would return the smile and congratulate myself. I had gotten a girlfriend just because girls would rather run after guys with girlfriends than be with me who was single. Now, I had a girlfriend, and even though girls just smiled at me, I know they are running after me :p

Finally, Val’s day came. I had a school test on a lot of things. Technically, half a semester’s work of a medical student was assessed that day. Terrible, like I mentioned earlier, very terrible. Well, that’s out of the way, right? Val’s day continues. Like my day wasn’t headed the wrong way already, I fell on the wrong side of the bro code thing. I had to sacrifice the room for my roommate. Really, girls do not know how much their boyfriends’ roommates sacrifice for them. I had to call my girlfriend to discuss fallback plans and we resolved to club that night. A very good friend of mine lent me his Mercedes Benz 190 SL ’70 model aka the regular flat boot.

We had partied like the rapture was upon us and were fatigued to the core. We went outside to chill; and it was on. We did some small stuff, the usual, and then opted for something less conventional. We went into the car to continue our mushiness. This turned out to be a ‘how I almost got disvirgined’ story.

The backseat of a car thing is clichéd, I know. But here’s where this story gets not exactly interesting, but a bit retarded. I kept my shirt on. It just seemed weird to take my shirt off in a car. I mean, it’s definitely weirder to have your trousers off in a car, but given the scenario, it was a utilitarian must. At the time though, shirt removal seemed somehow hubristic. When I think of it now, I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for my girlfriend to have a boney, teenage me advancing her shirt-no-trousers like a condom clad Winnie the Pooh

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There was also a combination of factors that ruined the night. Did I mention the sweltering heat such a car could dissipate? The cushion rugged seats looking all retro-1980 and all… which makes me think my girlfriend must really love me to have even considered the whole arrangement at all. I was also going through a soul-music phase at the time, so we had started with Kanye’s Bittersweet Poetry ahead of John Legend’s All of Me. This was worsened by the playlist that also shuffled Diamonds from Sierra Leone and Eminem’s Not Afraid which all played before All of Me. Well, I still have my virginity :p

Valentine ended and I had to pay my sleep debt (test TDBs and sexcapade night). I had a dream which I could make a wish. I wished to see my test results and it was granted. I was still on my way to the notice board when I saw…

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Thanks for checking in once more. I don’t have any subscribers though. Would be a pleasure if I got any. Cheers. Ciao 🙂

 

Heavy: Lift With Caution

The meeting took place in his own personal library, the library in which all his vast knowledge was inscribed upon. He wouldn’t let me see the contents of his magic chest of honours, not until he had told me his story. He emphasised that his story is the mantle that proves his greatness. That’s as close as a lock you can get … unless, of course, you subscribe to his theory, “Before God, we are all equally wise and equally foolish”. Albert Einstein is a very wise man on two fronts. If you combined one Sherlock Holmes with a heaping dose of Michael Scofield from Prison Break, you will get one Albert Einstein. Seriously, brain power meets sweeping imagination, my kind of people.

He started his story with his childhood. Born to Jewish parents in a German town, grew up like any normal kid would, excelling through primary and secondary education. His father had delighted him by showing him a pocket compass. This would be the moment of clarity for young Albert as it kept him pondering on what caused the needle to move. At age 15, his father’s business failed, his family had to relocate to Italy, stopping first at my beloved Milan. He completed his education in his series of trips to other countries gaining citizenships on the road. At a point, he was in Belgium (this might explain the exaggerated reincarnation of his hair in Belgian football).Image

Then, he opened his chest and took out all his awards, plaques, certificates etc. He wouldn’t let go of the Nobel. He clinched it to himself like they were a pair of Siamese twins. Slowly, he talks about each award and how it inspired the next. He went on to say that “education is what remains after one has forgotten what one learned in school”. Like I said earlier, brain power meets sweeping imagination.

He brings me back to his story to conclude it. He talks about Israel extensively. He was preparing for a television appearance commemorating Israel’s 7th anniversary. He was then diagnosed with abdominal aortic aneurysm. He refused surgery, saying, “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly”.

He took me to his autopsy. His brain had been preserved with hope that future neuroscience would discover what made him very intelligent. He passed the jar that had the brain in it to me. “That’s your gift. Quid pro quo”. I opened the jar, from which copious doses of formalin erupted from. I looked in; the jar was too big for the brain. My shadow was cast upon it. In disappointment, I slowly moved away, and so did my shadow. Then I saw some words heavily inscribed on the brain. The doctor in charge of the autopsy had written that. It read: Heavy, Lift with Caution.

“Ekene! Ekene!” my brother barked, “your shift is over, go in!”. I had slowly realised where I was. I wouldn’t be the first person to break into sweeping imagination while on sentry duty, Timon from The Lion King had. Now, I have that, all I need now is brain power 🙂 Cheers. Ciao.

Your comments are well appreciated. My very first.