DREAMS

It’s been a long time since I last posted here – 5 months to be exact. A lot has happened in the meantime such as the following:

  1. I’ve started to enjoy medicine again.
  2. I got a cozy room.
  3. I was admitted in a hospital for three weeks – trust me, you don’t wanna know why.

I am sorry for keeping you all in the dark for so long. I can blame it on writer’s block but that would not come close to sufficient reasons for my absence. Let’s begin today’s article.

I remember when I was a young boy.

I had limitless dreams. Being a doctor was my foremost dream. As time elapsed, my dreams took on form – that of a trinity.

The trinity consists of medicine, teaching (I say teaching and not lecturing because I consider the latter a waste of time) and the art of motivating people.

MEDICINE

Practicing medicine has been my goal since I was a child. My father is a Doctor and my mother, a nurse.

DADDY

A medical doctor who has had a private practice for about two decades now – that’s my daddy. He is a disciplinarian with a high level of maturity and organization. He has served as my role model for a long while. In my eyes, he was the best doctor in the world when I was a child. He still is – in his own way.

MUMMY

A midwife with diplomas in Orthopaedic, Accident and Emergency nursing. A kind-hearted and loving mother, she has, in conjunction with my dad, unconsciously motivated me to study medicine.

With my parents in the medical field, it was pretty easy for me to choose medicine. One of my reasons was that I felt I would get a lot of directed support from them. Although, my experiences have taught me that I expected too much from them, my parents have helped me a great deal.

Medicine is also a highly rated course. You’re awarded a high level of respect as a medical student. People expect you to be responsible – and most medical students are. I love medicine.

TEACHING

When I was much younger, my siblings and I acted plays with whatever we had in the house when we were alone. Curtains, dolls, torches, radios, wardrobes, just anything.

Sometimes, we pretended that the curtains and dolls were students. We took turns to teach the ‘students’ and we flogged and scolded the disobedient and lazy ones – just as was done in class proper. That was the beginning of my love for teaching.

Throughout my sojourn in primary and secondary schools, I observed the problems of conventional teaching. Some of them are:

  1. Teachers used fear to motivate students. This, they did by flogging and scolding students. I feel there are better ways to do so.
  2. Teachers were too slow and lecturers were too fast. I learned the latter in the university.
  3. Most teachers were esoteric.

I didn’t know then that I would want to solve them later. I just identified the problems.

I had to spend an extra year after secondary school because my initial UTME score was below the cut off for consideration to be invited by the University of Ibadan, Nigeria for their post UTME.

I spent a few months reading on my own before I started attending tutorials. It was during these tutorials that I developed the flair for teaching. I wasn’t outspoken. I wasn’t an extrovert. But, teaching gave me an avenue to reach out to people in need. I still like teaching today.

MOTIVATION

For the first 10 years of my life, my parents were always there to motivate me to do things I didn’t want to do but had to.

When I was 10, I entered into a boarding secondary school. The Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, was no joke.

I was faced with independence for the first time. In a school with poor facilities, bullying and brutality, ever-present tension, peer pressure and a host of others, I was alone.

I remember crying every visiting day during my first three years there that my parents should take me away from that school. I ended up adapting.

There, for the first time in my life, was an average student. I, that was normally always coming tops.

I learned to tap motivation from friends. However, that didn’t work out well for me. This was so because as I tapped motivation from people, they would demand something in return. Sometimes, it was money and provision. Other times, it would require some of my intellectual ‘services’.

At age 14, I started to seek self-motivation as an alternative. I was tired of being used. I was tired of copying others. I wanted to be myself!

It worked. I improved at academic work. I even represented my school in quiz competitions and spelling bees. I was cool until I entered university. I guess then I needed to do what I did when I started secondary school – start with external motivation. Instead, I motivated myself until I was exhausted and drained. I broke down.

It took a whole year and a half for me to gain ground. And I’m still recovering as I speak.

My point is, I know the value of motivation now.

 

My ultimate dream is to convert medicine, teaching and motivation into one grand job. I have no need to think about money. It will come in excess once I can achieve this. I just need to know how to teach medicine and motivate my students at the same time.

End of article

Thank you for reading. Adios!

Nostalgia

I miss the days when I thought my dad was the best doctor in the world.

I miss the days when I didn’t need to read to come out top of my class.

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I miss the days on the sling – waiting for daddy to pick me up from school

I miss the good ol’ red Toyota Corolla

I miss the days when I could do so much – I had the energy

I miss the days when reading was fun

I miss the ever present tension of my military secondary school

  • the fear of seniors
  • the rationed food
  • the manual labour
  • the competition for neatness, organization and intellectual prowess

I remember when I had a school father who help me to keep my provisions safe. Only for me to find out later that he would take them for himself and lie to me that it was stolen

I miss the fame I had in freshman year.

I miss the plethora of ideas I had in sophomore year.

nostalgia

I miss a lot of things

Nostalgia is fun.

#Kaluspeaks

The good side

A lot of constructive and destructive criticism has been fired at the university education system today that I feel I have to encourage the protagonists involved by pointing out the good side of the education system.

Here goes the points:

  1. We have lecturers who take out time to summarize large textbooks and educational material into relatively small lecture notes and slides
  2. In my school, for example, efforts have been made to transform the education system into a digital one. The use of projectors, Power-point slides and microscopes are good examples.
  3. Some lecturers go the extra mile to give assignments to assess the level of understanding of the students.
  4. Some attempts has been made to produce indigenous textbooks that focus on the regions the lecturers want emphasized.
  5. Most great men and women were diversified. This knowledge has been imbibed into our education system. Various courses from different fields are incorporated into one field of study. For example, a medical student can take courses in Philosophy, Entrepreneurship and English.
  6. Efforts has been made to make the environment conducive. For example, In the Nigerian university where I study, there is a lot of beautiful vegetation and a few parks.

 

That’s all I’ve got. Add more in the comment section please 😉

Bipolar Affective Disorder: A blessing or a curse

You are blessed with so many innovative ideas but have to take drugs for the rest of your life.

You have a high self esteem and get along well with people.

You are threatened by spiritualists that your illness is spiritual and you need a spiritual revolution in your life – deliverance, miracles, the whole shebang.

Your attention span is halved and your stress threshold drastically reduced.

The reduced ability to cope in a stressful environment

You feel this more when you live in an underdeveloped country with little or nothing in place to cater for people like you.

For the fear of a relapse, you have to put restrictions to everything you do.

Finally you have found the extent you can go before you breakdown; something you searched for all those years you worked for hours on end without stopping until you were exhausted.

The new alarm system your body has developed to tell you when it needs rest – tension and headache.

The spiritual revolution your family undergoes for fear of losing you.

The small but wonderful supportive circle of friends you earn.

The convictions you have, having faced the worst possible thing that can happen to you

Bipolar affective disorder: what a blessing, what a curse!

#Kaluspeaks

If I were a father

bmw-m9

Yes, It all begins with a BMW M9. I believe I am going to be successful in future – in this case, I mean rich. I would be rich enough to afford such a car, and a nice house too!

 

houseNow that house is quite an exaggeration, but at least you get my point.

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If you notice the car is a two-seater. This article is about an outing with my future son.

So it’s a Saturday evening, say around 5:00pm. I call my 17-year old son and tell him to kit up for a boys’ evening out. I tell him we are going to the beach. I tell my wife goodbye and we step into the car to begin the journey.

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I believe by then, Nigerian roads will be as good as the above.

We start to talk about school. I give him some ideas on how he can survive better academically so he doesn’t end up with my manic depression.

He talks about some mean bullies in his school. I tell him to avoid the menacing ones and make friends with as many as he can. I also tell him how I used to ‘bribe’ the bullies in my time with bowls of cornflakes. He chuckles and I laugh.

I ask him about the education system. As a part-time philosopher, I try to find out how to improve the field that affected me negatively the most – Education.

Then, I take the bold step and ask him about women.

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He’s shy and doesn’t respond. I decide to break the ice. I tell him there are different types of women out there. I tell him that I had crushes on girls since primary school but never went too serious until much later. Sadly, my secondary school was an all boys school and as a result the only girls I knew during that period were my sisters and Nma (his grandmother).

I tell him of my first experience with a girl. It was in primary two. A girl and I entwined our legs together throughout the day. I didn’t know her before that day nor did we interact after that. But it was wonderful. It was then that I found out that it was possible for a girl to like you first.

He starts to glow with interest as I continue my story.

I tell him of my second experience in primary school. It was the last day of school and John and I were playing catch with the most beautiful girl in the school. Then time came for John to go home.

Then, I stood and watched as he confessed his love to her. I watched as he told her he prayed and wished they’d meet in future and get married. Hey, I liked her too! I just didn’t have the guts to say anything.

I tell him about senior secondary school and of how my mates got their girlfriends. Once again, I didn’t have the guts to get one.

I tell him of the three things I think he should look for in women.

british-princess-kate-middleton-is-second-in-well-dressed-women

They are: beauty, morality and spiritual similarity.

He looks at me with a confused face and asks me to explain.

I start with beauty. I tell him that my grandson must be handsome. So yes, I am talking of physical beauty. The woman should be physically attractive. But even if she isn’t, she must possess at least two of the three qualities.

Next is morality. Her mode of dressing, her words and her deeds must be pure. She should be a role model when it comes to morality. She shouldn’t be a proud and judgmental nag. She shouldn’t be easy to provoke and she should be able to obey the ten commandments as explained by ABD-RU-SHIN.

Oh, that falls under spiritual similarity. She should have similar beliefs with you, I tell him. She shouldn’t just adopt those beliefs because she likes you but because she was trained in that manner.

I also tell him that he is free to disregard these rules without any fear of condemnation from me. They are my principles and may not work for him.

I ask him if there is any girl he likes. He nods to denote the affirmative. We discuss the qualities of the girl.

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We arrive at the beach. We sit on long chairs and observe the sun set. The gold above and the gold below.

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We play around in the sand.

It’s 6:45pm. Time to go. We take the most beautiful route home.

evening-road

We enjoy the last glow of the sun.

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We are just in time for dinner.

dining-table

I love my future family.

#Kaluspeaks

Just one tip

reading

THE PROBLEMS

For two decades, I have been in the education system of my home country. I believe that is enough time to learn the trends, study the system, find the loopholes and fill them.

It’s no news that our education system is bad. The university in which I study medicine is one of the best in my country yet not even the 6000th in the world. I have seen so many loopholes that the thought of them just makes me sad.

The lecturer to student ratio is very low (as low as 1 to 300). Even when the lecturer to student ratio is increased to about 1 to 60, the lecturers are expected to carry out researches (which have no point and even those that do are not used practically), treat patients (as is the case amongst some good lecturers in the field of medicine), write papers and still teach! So much workload with poor financial compensatory mechanisms to at least alleviate their suffering that I wonder how they cope.

There is a saying very popular among these lecturers that goes thus: “we are here to lecture and not to teach”. As a result, little or no effort is put in place to carry along most of the class. The primary motive of these lecturers is to finish the syllabus as quickly as possible. The students have to read up 90% of the academic work, with sham practical sessions.

The result? Stress induced ‘creativelessness’ as well as frustration, drop-outs, suicide attempts and mental disorders to mention a few.

There is also the issue of tests and examinations. They are spaced out and so few that one has to cram so much for so little marks.

Philosophy states that it is creative to identify a problem but innovative to solve it.

learning-systems

ONE SOLUTION

So far, I have only thought up one solution, one tip for the education minister or whoever wants to or is in charge of revolutionizing the education system.

The tip is to make marks more  easy to get. It is better to do this than to add marks to students at the end of the exam as a result of mass failure.

The system such be reorganized in such a  way that marks are awarded for innovation (like for organizing a quiz), for answering questions in class and for asking practical and useful questions in class. This would make the class more interactive and fun.

A review of every class should be done to ensure that learning did in fact take place. A special mechanism should be put in place to identify and help weak students.

In summary: Stop lecturing and start teaching!

It is not how fast, but how well.

#Kaluspeaks

The challenge of being Satisfied!

Short. Precise. It is one of the best blogs I have ever seen. I wish to make something like this. Welldone

Writings of my Life. .

The challenge of being satisfied. .

As I was going through some write-ups, I came across this image. . . Which so beautifully says ,’You cannot always get what you want, but if u try sometimes You may get just what you need’. . . .


Many a times, We are not satisfied with what we have, and feel if I get a little more I will be much more happier.. Its good to some extent to have a thinking like this, especially in your work life, where you work harder and harder to achieve more and arrive at greater heights. . But too much of something may prove to be too bad for us. . .We need to give this a thought. . .

If we always get habituated to the very habit of not being satisfied and demanding more and more , its something surely not always possible…

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My very first blog post :-)

welcomeHi there! I feel overjoyed that someone out there is reading this. I have finally decided to tell the whole world about the day to day burden that I, Kalu Torty Kalu, a 300 level student of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria carries on his shoulders. If I may add, I say 300 level because although I have written my final exams, I am yet to know if I passed the promotional exams or not.

This blog was opened for various reasons. Some of them are as follows;

  1. To serve as an open diary to the whole world
  2. To save me from boredom
  3. They say that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. So, I wish to use to use this medium to keep myself busy writing useful articles.
  4. To talk about issues I consider important. I once wanted to be a pressman but my principles did not augur well with the judges at that time. Here, I am free to express myself.

I am a very unique and interesting person. A boy with no religion, bipolar affective disorder, addictions, goals, plans and so much more. I am sure there is much you can learn from me and I from you. I look forward to it.

with love,

#Kaluspeaks

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