*By Rinani Nyakenyanya*
The exam is underway. The silence in the room is palpable. Paleness sits on everybody’s face. The invigilator, with his stern face splodged with a maze of wrinkles is pacing up and down the room. The clock is ticking, and ticking fast. Whatever has to be done has to be done quickly. The student seated on the rear row spots an opportunity and quickly hands a note to the bright chap in front of him. After jotting down something, the note is handed back again. “Ungesoma bro,” is the content of the note. Well, all of you are familiar with this meme doing rounds on social media.
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It is an unwritten law among the students’ circle that the guy who sits on the front row during the lectures should not squeeze himself with the back-benchers, never mind that her or she could be short-sighted. The guy is left to walk alone in the sparks of his own kindling. Others say that earning a university degree is a ‘harambee.’ Well, before I am accused of everything from nerve to effrontery, let me delve in and tackle the whirlpool of contradictory beliefs.
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Over the holiday, I enrolled in a driving school. Like every school, we were to sit a test. My former classmate, on receiving the test, unleashes a book with road signs and other stuff, uses Google to respond to the test and even asks me to help; though I did not – not because of my integrity but genuinely I was also stuck. Within split seconds, he submits the test way before time. However, when the results came out, he only scored a third of the test. That got me through sessions of acupuncture and meditation. Guys, is there an exam which people should not cheat, if cheating is a norm?
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A joke goes that after the four or five years in campus, the graduate tries to recall what he has been learning to no avail. Hilarious as it may sound, a sense of foreboding hangs over our future like the sword of Damocles. This labyrinth of confusion is as a result of under-prepared graduates churned out by the university every year. The quak doctor will prescribe wrong medication, the sub-standard civil engineer will oversee buildings which kill and trap people beneath the wreckage and so on and so forth. Society will be standing on legs of straw.
Things are not all gloomy though. There are people who hate every species of dishonesty though and are using their God given talents and skills wisely. Before I am castigated as a whited sepulcher, let me make the confession, I have been entangled in this web of affairs too often than not. That settles the score.
For those taking their exams in the course of the week I wish you all the best. The ball is now squarely in your court.