12 August 2016

A chapter a day

Today marks the end of an interesting #UGBlogWeek challenge. Even for me, the chairman of the Lazy Bloggers Committee, this particular theme could not escape my pondering: ‘School did not make me any better.’

Most people have school issues, true? But what I know is regardless of where one studied, everyone has school memories they treasure and those they trash.

School was a jungle, a war zone, a purgatory to some extent and it was heaven, paradise, even utopia to some to some extent. As for me, school was where survival among peers rivaled the tyranny of various teaching regimes.

Earlier this week, I visited Kings College Budo to follow up deliveries of my latest poetry collection. While I was taking pleasure in the catching up with colleagues, an incident occurred which reminded me of my school days. A student-boy, tail between his legs (the pun NOT intended,) meekly walked up to where we were seated chatting, just outside the staffroom (police headquarters, as we used to call ours back in the day.)

After seeking and being granted audience with one of his teachers, he mumbled some words in that low tone of a student conscious of his guilt. I could tell he was apologising for something terribly wrong he had done, and was willing to atone for his sins.

His crime, later I discovered, was reading a novel during the school assembly time! His novel (a school copy in fact) had been confiscated by, of all, his literature teacher, and here he was to apologise for this crime. After his confessions, he was readily forgiven upon the promise he will never do such a thing again. The boy sped away in unbelievable joy.
In my school days, not only did I not enjoy assemblies, I tried my best to religiously dodge them. Why else? With scary looking adults whose chosen career was being uninteresting on Monday morning assemblies, and whose only calling to humour were their self-induced public speaking defections in self-caricaturing accents, always carrying sticks like they were herding goats (the pun is NOT Intended,) they always served us their boredom warm.

This happened every week! Imagine having to stand for two long hours to such a forcefully compulsive discomfort! Then you have to go for classes, motivated to learn! Sincerely in such environs, who wouldn’t find Robert Ludlum, or Jeffrey Archer, or Black Moses, or Song of Lawino more fascinating?

How Silhouettes or Mills and Boon compared to assembly? Recently, a team of researchers at Yale University School of Public health published a research paper confirming people who like to read have ‘a survival advantage.’
Normally, they live an average of two more years than the non-readers. So if an apple a day just keeps the doctor away, a chapter a day will keep death away. Now it can be said aloud: READING SAVES LIVES!


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