Time and Time again

We used to journey down the stairs
To what looked like a garage
Found a little crevice in the cemented ground
And sowed two seeds of beans
The daily shower of love
And the helplessness that contorted our faces
the moment its green began to yellow
Triple our initial investment, it did give
Mother could not have been prouder

Etched into my memory
Are the days of fetching water two blocks away
How horribly we tied our ‘osukas’
The struggle for hydro-equilibrium
And how we got home with half the amount
No matter how hard we tried

Recall the time we had tuberculosis
Or whooping cough
Or a strain of both
How injections brought no relief
And ‘alabukun’ felt like bants
The combined disappointment on our faces
knowing that the elixir we so fiercely sought
lay in the urethra of a cow

In what has been two decades
You have been a constant
A stubborn constant
Putting the derivative to shame
Time and time again

To you, my first friend

_aJibola

 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Her Fiery Majesty

 

Above the furnace
A differential hell- fire
Bursting forth in her fury
Tonnes of metals who have lost their way
wait in line for the molten salvation
With fifteen hundred degrees of correction

Below the furnace
Literally sang horrors
Something the elders call the Hum of Death
Thirty four thousand volts of unfiltered baritone
featuring souls of metals beyond correction
seeking the ultimate forgiveness

A distant peep reveals
how turgid wires made of pure copper sagged
In obedience to gravity and heat
Bearing water and power to nourish her
This is a woman
who clearly does not joke with her rations

She possesses a temper so great
some call her The Consumer
Not of metals but of men
For on a spot not far away
Seven men met their end
With many more to come
… … …
We definitely know how
We just do not know when

Her job, she takes to heart
Correcting metals of their impurities
And she is darn good at it
She loves to feel in absolute control
A fourth wave feminist if you will
But we silently pray she never knows
the true extent of her power
For she could make so easily that which only exists in our religious books
A thermal reality

_aJibola

 

2016. Her Year in view

By: Leambivert

We plan, God also plans but God is the best of planners.

I ended by 2015 review with ‘2016, cheers to you. Please, be lit’ and now that 2016 is almost ending, I realize that it was actually a positively and negatively lit year. I refer to the statement ‘There are years that ask questions and there are years that answer’. 2016 for me answered a lot of questions and asked even much more.

I started my 2016 on a vessel off the shores of the country as part of my 6 months internship experience

%ed%81%ac%ea%b8%b0%eb%b3%80%ed%99%98_1233445563

The Akpo FPSO where 2016 met me. The  waters make room for unwarranted reflection.

and at the same time, I was nursing a heartbreak I saw coming. It’s safe to say my 2016 started out as very average because the 2 events mentioned earlier cancelled out and gifted me an average beginning to the year. I rounded up the internship, returned to school to complete the final lap of my university education.

‘Certainly, we have created man to toil (in order to achieve a marvelous goal)’

The normal school struggle started coupled with issues of finding a final year project topic. I particularly had issues because my project supervisor was away for the whole of first semester but after a lot of struggle and bouts of lows and worrying sick, I was finally able to come up with a topic my supervisor and I agreed on. Asides project, there was also the pressure to keep up with my grades. I had heard that final year was relaxing but I couldn’t even relax because a lot was at stake.  A whole lot.

‘Verily, with every hardship, there is ease’

This year was a particularly interesting one for us as a class. It was like people broke out of their cocoons and more perverted jokes flew around the class every day. I also cannot leave out the fact that by the beginning of the second semester (our tenth and final semester), we had all lost the drive for school and classes. As usual, there were tests (and examinations) that were unfortunate in epic proportions but we moved still. It all seems like yesterday when we started this journey but it’s actually been five years and all I can say is we really have come a long way from where we began.

‘And say: My Lord, increase me in knowledge’

I told myself at the end of last year that 2016 was going to be the year of increased self-development which I think I did to the best of my abilities. At different times this year, I joined a Qur’an memorization group, a book club and I started learning to play tennis. Although, I am not where I hoped to be as regards the Qur’an but baby steps are greater than no steps at all. Prior to joining the book club, I had already read a lot of non-school books on my own but joining made me read even more.

img-20161230-wa0004

Physical books because e-books cannot be stacked atop each other.

I know that there are weeks this year I went without reading a book but if my memory serves me right, I read more than 30 books this year and they have gone a long way in widening my horizon and even make me eligible to join in more conversations. I had never been the sporty kind of person so people especially family were very surprised when I decided to take on tennis. To be honest, I am very surprised that I have been very consistent with it and I actually enjoy and look forward to playing it every weekend. Also, I indulged in leisure writing a lot more this year. In all, I think I surpassed my expectations as regards personal development in 2016.

‘Is God not the best of judges?’

I also learnt this year not to judge people by my own standards. I have come to realize that we have different realities and I have stopped expecting people to reason or do things the way I do. I had a roommate this year who is the complete opposite of me with almost different ideals. I thought I was going to have issues living with her but she turned out to be an extremely amazing person. Though very different from me, we still found common grounds and objects of banter every single day.

And he found you lost and guided you’

On the religious front, this year was a rollercoaster ride. It was quite an undulating year in that regard but never for once did I feel rejected by God. It was like anytime I felt lost and needed to find Him, He was always there to dump all my problems on. On days of tiny and huge worries, God always came through in vast amounts. 2016 also made me realize that I don’t talk about my major life problems with people except in extreme cases and that I am not as open as I think I am. For someone who talks a lot when she wants to, I think I have perfected the fine art of saying a whole lot yet so little. The only problems I speak of are probably my boy issues because they are usually the least of my worries.

‘…and We have made you tribes and sub-tribes so you may recognise one another’

‘…All of you are descended from Adam and Adam has been created from dust.’

‘And we have created you in pairs’

This year was a pretty eventful one on the relationship front. I think my mother’s prayers got answered this year because I stopped meeting doctors and started meeting fellow engineers, a whole lot of them. I learnt this year that sometimes you need to make your parents understand that some decisions are mostly yours to make. I met someone this year that is from a tribe different from mine and my parents told me in a diplomatic manner to discontinue the relationship. This sort of thing had never happened to me so I was both clueless and shocked as per how to handle the situation. After a lot of struggle, I summoned courage to tell them I was going to do what I was going to do in the most polite and diplomatic manner. I bet my mum was taken aback because in the words of my brother, I had always been the golden child that always listened to them. But I had to do some things for posterity and for the records.

Well, I think in the end my parents won because though we had tribe issues that got settled, timing still reared its head and we had to discontinue what we had. It was pretty painful saying goodbye majorly because of timing, the normal me would have cried about it for like a year but I got past it faster than I thought I would. Now, I am tabula rasa and back to square one, I am not emotionally tethered to anyone and right now, all I have left are crushes and admiration on and for people.

‘…and He has induced mutual love and tenderness between you…’

I cannot end this this aspect of my 2016 without mentioning my major crush. Yes, I liked him at first “sight” (sight in quotation marks because it was on the internet) and it’s been on for like 6 months now. We talk very often, he is aware that I like him, he likes me also but I am not sure how to deal with anything so I have been taking it a day at a time without harbouring any expectations in my head. I don’t even know if it is still a crush and frankly, I am too lazy to start figuring it out. Perhaps, it is more than a crush. The previous me would have started thinking of all the things that can be but I guess I have grown up a little and I have come to understand that things can go south pretty fast.

At this point, I’d have said I am still waiting for the love of my life and anyone who finds him should bring him to me but I will not. If by chance, anyone of you meets the love of my life, tell him I will not be ready to entertain him until December 2017 except he can overly impress me before then of course.

Will I even be doing justice to 2016 if I don’t mention that I met loads and loads of amazing people on Twitter whose names I can’t begin to pen down in this review. Do I start with Abubakar Sambo that makes me feel better when I am down without him realizing it himself? Or with Adetoun Alamutu that is many shades of amazing? Where do I even place Abdulrahman that makes me laugh effortlessly? Or Farida, the IPS baby girl?

‘And when you have made a decision, put your trust in God’

I bagged my first degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering this year. 2017 is going to be the most defining year yet of my life and so I did a lot of critical thinking and planning ahead this year most of which entailed where to undergo my NYSC, what to do during said period, where and what to do my Master’s Degree in. Last year, I was totally clueless about what to pursue for my MSc but 2016 provided answers which are of course subject to change.

Hopefully by August 2019, I should have bagged my Masters in Control Engineering. All things being equal, 2017 is the year I tick the NYSC box amongst other things. I intend to meet more people, go out more often, do more volunteering and probably teach pro bono. Of course, all these are highly dependent on where I undergo my NYSC. I have really high hopes for 2017 and I hope that in 365 days from now, I’ll be writing a happier piece than my previous yearly reviews.

Give glad tidings to the patiently persevering.’

2016 has been the year of learning huge loads of life lessons, realizing things, becoming a better person, adulting in unanticipated proportions, making huge life decisions, getting answers to questions asked by previous years. In comparison with 2015, it was an average year but I sure learnt a lot. I like to refer to this year as the most realistic year I have had. Truly, this was the year of breaking out of my cocoon. I made compromises and did things I could have sworn I wouldn’t do. It helped me realize that if I truly care for someone, I can go miles just to make the person comfortable. I almost made decisions this year that may have greatly changed the course of my life but I am very glad I didn’t.

Here are a few things I picked up from 2016:

  • Stercus accidit.
  • The world will never stop for you to grieve because your problems are minute in the grand scheme of things.
  • You never know how to react until you find yourself in certain shoes.
  • Don’t expect everyone to live their lives the way you live yours.
  • Parents mostly want the best for you but they may not know what is best for you.
  • Most of the time, if you stand your ground, your parents will begin to reason with you.

Won’t it be inappropriate of me to end my review without mentioning names?

Cliché as it may seem, I am extremely grateful to God for a realistic and well spent year.

Jibola, Bisola and Temilade I couldn’t have asked for better siblings.

Mum and Dad, thanks for always coming through.

Brother Suleiman, you are my favourite person of 2016. You were amazing in epic ways this year. I can’t thank you enough for being there every single step of the way. I still hate that you are always right.

Raheemah and Salamah, God bless you for being sisters to me.

Samuel, I am not sure I’d have had a memorable year without you.

Oyinda and my other ladies in Engineering, I hope we all meet at the acme.

My classmates, the Ohmie$, it’s been an amazing 5 years. I hope we all find what we are looking for.

To the junkies in ABH, it’s really hard to forget how thoughtful you guys were on my birthday. I hope you all win.

My Hifz sisters, Aminah and Fola, you made a difference in my 2016 life.

Ridwan Oladipupo, I am surprised I started off this year loathing you but now, you’re one of the closest people to me. Thank you for being a friend on days I could no longer pretend to hold it together anymore.

Quadri Adewale, you were a huge part of my final year project and by extension, my 2016. I really appreciate everything.

Aisha Salaudeen and Fu‘ad Lawal, thank you for being there on days when things were pitch dark this year.

Ladi Williams, thank you for being an inspiration. I hope you keep knowing things.

Suleman Aneru, you were a significant part of my year. I hope you keep winning.

Abdulrahman and Abubakar, you guys will never understand how much I value you both. Stay amazing.

Adetoun Alamutu and Lamide Bello, I hope you both find happiness.

To everyone else, thank you very much for being a part of my year.

2017, I have a very terrible feeling about you but I still hope you go as planned.

LeAmbivert.

The Unheard Orator …3 of 3

She is being told to speak singly
Rush not those words
And take deep breaths
But the reality, by God,
is as depressing as it is saddening.
Because over this,
She almost has no control

Many of these battles he loses
Some he wins
Draining his lungs of air in the process
But whatever you do
Never look away when he speaks
During that vocal battle
A moment that characterised by closed eyes
May be accentuated by gaped mouths, clenched fists
And probably downward glances and tramped feet
He is aware
But do not look away.

He wants your attention
She silently begs for eye contact
at that lowest moment
In the heat of battle
When the words make their exit
That victorious moment
When those words make it out in one piece

O-or   t-two    pp-pieces

_aJibola

* Stammering affects more than seventy million people worldwide.

 

photo credits

: http://suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/

Adedolapo

The city is Lagos. The time is nine. The sun shone differently that day. The wind also ate the humble pie. I innately felt something was in store. Then she walked into the class and by extension-into my life. I was ten; but the boy in me knew what beauty represented at such age. Was it how she effortlessly rocked the checkered uniform? Or how her cute little cheeks parted to reveal an even cuter smile? My little boy fantasies were cut short by a tap from my then sit partner, Deji. Twenty minutes into her entry to the class; it was clear I was not gonna let go anytime soon.
Fast forward nine years later, separated my continents, I hold on to my promise. My promise of not letting go.
Happy birthday sweetheart. May your remaining days be your best. It is not too late to have a nice time. Have fun.

 

photo credits: http://www.mystudycorner.net/

The Unheard Orator…2 of 3

That young man possesses a mind
perfectly engineered for humour
He guards a brain
functionally destined for satire
But his is the case where
all is literally lost in transmission

They call him humourless
He is being termed a melancholic introvert
Because he onlooks
when his friends chatter
And rehearses
when his friends laugh
He eventually drops a line or two
to maintain his relevance

He is blamed for speaking too fast
The hot-yam-in-mouth analogy
He feigns a smile and whisks it off
But you lot know not
What it feels having to prep for war
the moment those vocal cords begin to vibrate
The uncertainty of success
And the vivid discomfort of the person
On the other side of his face

_aJibola

 

photo credits: suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/

The Unheard Orator …1 of 3

First, she thinks, or maybe not
Like everyone else whose thoughts don’t have to rot
Words repeated in her cerebral
Before vented through her buccal

A consistent battle between within and without
Almost like a caged bird with no out
Wanting to man the skies higher
But for a red muscular barrier

She silently hopes her tongue and vocal cords
Have reached a ceasefire as regards their discords
So many jokes and words and clapbacks
Consigned to the bins of her mind in black sacks.

Without being told
“I live to speak another day” was a motto she grew to hold

_aJibola

photo credits: http://suburbanprepping.com/the-sound-of-silence-by-disturbed/

That B*tch : Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics (thermo for short) was a course I took in my sophomore year in college. I made zero inquiries about the course beforehand. So I had just two things in my mental arsenal in my first thermo class: basic SAT physics and whatever I had left from my secondary school.

A few minutes into the class when the camaraderie with friends phase expired, our professor walked in and everyone adjusted to the current reality. Merhabaler (Hello), he said. A few words of introduction and off he went. His name was Prof Abdullah Ulaş. A man whom legends had it that he situated his house between a turbine and an industrial compressor. His love for thermo knew no bounds. A smart man he was. He was on the other side of the class some twenty two years ago and graduated tops. Confidence (or cockiness if you may) was expected. Those unverified legends also opined that the sole purpose of his employment was to keep the class average colloquially termed ‘curve’ at a minimum. His exam questions could be spotted from a distance by their complexity. He had built a reputation around those killer questions. And nothing was going to stop that. Not even two hundred and sixty six second year mechanical engineering students.

So thermodynamics was meant to span the entire session. Thermo 1 in the fall semester and thermo 2 in spring. Thermo began on full throttle as expected. Sadly, the SAT/ high school knowledge expired after second week at best. I was in no-man’s land from week 3. As the weeks eased in, names like polytropic processes and steady-state devices began to surface. With little effort, I was able to get the hang of it. Common, everybody (okay, maybe not everybody) understands that the power generated by a turbine is the product of the difference of enthalpies and the mass flow rate of water or whatever fluid is used to drive it. (Ignoring kinetic and potential energy changes of course).

Sadly, these good days did not last for too long. Things began spiraling out of control when we began Entropy. As its definition suggested, it left my head in complete disarray. There were so many ways in which one’s mind could be messed up. And that was exactly what happened to me. On the bright side though, it was the last chapter of thermo 1 so it didn’t hurt much. I did not get the best of grades but it could have been worse. I hoped for a better spring semester.

Three weeks later, spring semester did come. But Entropy was still pretty fuzzy. Don’t think I took this entropy issue lying down. I actually made a conscious effort at understanding it. Read notes, consulted textbooks, met friends. But it just never clicked. So I basically crammed my way into thermo 1 final exam. It was the only way out. Don’t judge me.

Thermo 2 kicked in hot with a topic: Exergy. A completely new, completely stupid concept. Something having to deal with maximum achievable energy from a given system at some specified conditions. Yeah, that was me trying to make it sound cool. And it sure had connections with Entropy, a concept I mortally dreaded. Not wanting a repeat of the previous semester, I ate my pride and went back to that textbook: Fundamentals of Thermodynamics it was. This book, as I would later find out was a waste of 30 USD. Not sure if anyone can relate but with this book, I had to resort to reading singly (word after word) but it was as though the last word got lost in my head the moment I proceeded to the next. Yeah, it was that bad. Zero student friendliness, it was. I say this with every ounce of anger: NEVER USE THAT BOOK.

Days turned into weeks and midterms were approaching. I knew I had to go back to cram those Entropy/Exergy formula again and the mere thought made my skin crawl. Midterm 1 exam came and I was prepped to the best of my ability (or crammability if you like). In my defence though, I understood every other concept asides Entropy/Exergy. I received my question paper. Three questions from three professors. It was as though they were trying to run a survey on which professor could set the most difficult question and we were nothing but test subjects. Bloody guinea-pigs! Critical reflection made me agree more with the term ‘test-subjects’ and reduce the word ’students’ to nothing but a euphemism as well as a gross understatement.

While I was desperately trying to understand what I was to do with the first question, six to seven students left within the space of ten minutes. And I’m pretty certain this was the case, if not worse, in other exam halls. Call me a douchebag but there is some kind of positive feeling associated with a fellow leaving a 120 minute exam about 15 minutes in. Not that you are any better off but the faint idea that people are having the same exam worse than you is enough encouragement. I took my head off my paper and cast a leftward glance towards my friend Rabban. He probably did not know I caught him smirking almost internally. No need to judge; we are all wired that way.

On a personal side, the exam was bad for me too. But the worst was yet to come. I got to class that Thursday morning to find out that almost a fourth of the class was gone. Damn! I inadvertently exclaimed. They dropped the course. While I was glad the class would be less stuffy, it immediately hit me that the scores of students who dropped the course would not affect the average grade of the class. Tables had turned. And I clearly was on the wrong side.

We then got to the pretty cool stuff. Diesel cycles, Compression ignition engines, jet engines and all the associated topics I really do not want to bore you with. I really enjoyed these parts but I know not how affection for these topics could not translate into good grades. But I kept on going. It was too late to back out.

So there was this Thursday morning I got to class a few minutes late. Class had begun at the time. I saw a lad aged eight (nine at best) on the last seat on the first row. This must be the professor’s son. I muttered silently. My anger was not even because he displaced me from my much-coveted first row seat; I was more concerned with what wrong the lad must have done to warrant a two-hour thermo class as punishment. Cool kid though. He was with an iPad all through the class. Gaming away. For what it is worth: that is no way to inspire thermo in little children or anyone for that matter. Unless of course the kid gets inspired by lost and depressed faces. Having them paint a thermo-meter might be a good start.

Final exam schedule was released and it was terror undiluted. I had three exams in one day. Last time this happened was in primary school and even then, I barely made it through. And please, spare me that time management bullcrap. Classes ended two days before my first exam. So there actually was no way I (we) could pull it off. It became the subject of discussion among students in the department. While we all laughed away on how miserable we all were; we internally succumbed to the fact that it wasn’t going to end well.

Life got super difficult that week and I fell sick. What this meant was that I would not be able to take the general exam. An arrangement would have to be made specially for I and other indisposed students. I thought the sickness was a good idea. I could give thermo one last shot. But the reality was different. The exam was hell! Never take a make-up exam unless you absolutely have to. It is a brain-strangling activity. Who asks a student to derive from scratch the Clapeyron equation in the exam? A topic so unimportant it was skipped in the class.

Grades were announced a couple of days later. I had to face the inevitable. Reluctance made me sleep all through the day. I then woke up afterwards to a waiting episode of Game of Thrones S06E09. Yeah. Karma did right by me that Monday. That killer episode. The combined effect of Daenerys’ dragons, the dexterity displayed by the unsullied guy, Sansa and the death of Ramsey Bolton drove me so high and even bad grades could not stop that. At least momentarily. Then I got bitch-slapped into reality. It could have been worse, I thought. I recently adopted that mantra because it confers a false sense of satisfaction with the status quo. It makes one seem grateful when the antithesis was eating up one’s within. A more dignified version of ‘fake it till you make it’ so to speak.

Yeah, I did do badly in thermo. Trying really hard not to use the word ‘fail’ here. I subsequently spiralled into depression. Almost clinical. I began binge-watching TV series I could lay my hands on. Twenty four really came in handy. I also automatically configured myself to get at least fourteen hours of sleep daily just to escape it all. I couldn’t even bring myself to cry. Those tear glands got disconnected from my academics the moment I began my second year.

After coming clean to my parents, I became overly defensive when it came to grades. I told no one else my grade breakdown. Friends, except Zan, who tried to guess/ tease me about it were met with my immediate anger. They probably already drew their correct conclusions. I personally had not come to grips with the result myself. I needed no one reminding me of something that until then had a permanent residence in my head .

But there was a way out of all this: Summer school. It was going to cost me six weeks and some cash. But I had a dignity to restore and a point to prove. After sulking for the better part of two weeks, I crawled out of depression. It was a long road home. And I have God to thank for that. ‘Past is past’. ‘This would make a compelling story eventually’. With these words, I reached for my flip-flops and bolted to the shower. That was all it took.

Salman was his name. Pakistan was his country. An acquaintance who would later elevate to being a bro. He was the beginning of my success story. And to him, I am eternally grateful. His singular act of introducing a new book to me was what did the magic. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who had issues with the recommended text. Only that some people actually did something about it.

I started by paying my arch nemesis, entropy, a visit.  I did understand it this time. And by God, all thermo obstacles assumed the form of a perfectly ordered domino. From exergy through diesel cycles to air conditioning, I coasted on happy waves; solving, absorbing, retaining and unconsciously thanking Salman every step of the way. Summer classes were basically about reconciling what I had read previously. And it worked. Confidence was at its peak. It was a good time.

But karma thought I had it too rosy. I had to be put in check. First midterm grades were announced just after the second midterm exams. I was thrown into instant sadness. I knew I did not deserve such a score not after the amount of work I put in. I receded into a milder form of depression. Karma clearly took it too far this time.  I began binge-watching again. This time, it was Silicon Valley. Pretty awesome series. You should try it. My little ride with depression came to a halt after second midterm grades were announced. My initial rank was 19th but I moved up 12 steps. I was now 7th. Chances of a distinction began to surface. It wasn’t impossible after all. Finals were in a weeks’ time. Prepped enough to get my confidence back. I felt ready.

After 190 minutes of sweat, four extra sheets and thirst. I handed over my paper and walked out with a sigh that translated to ‘Thermo, go rot in hell where you rightly belong’. It was awesome. I eventually ranked 2nd in the course and had a wonderful grade at the end of it all.

It did make a good story after all. And I most definitely got my dignity back. Thermodynamics 2 amongst other things made me subject myself to uncharted terrains. You know: the other path never traveled till now. I don’t think I need more convincing on which field to pursue in my senior year. Because guess what?  Thermo and I just made it official.

Boeing, take note.

 

 

*photo credits: http://www.kellyfidel.com/4-reasons-prospects-go-cold/

Inverse Proportions- Beyond the Mathematical Perspective

 

What seemed to be an unending struggle with comprehending proportions dates as far back as my fourth year in primary school. I occasionally came across them in algebra but never knew them for what they really were.

Evidently, this math concept wasn’t done haunting me. It surfaced once again during my third year in secondary school. But this time around, it looked meaner than usual and it managed to carve out a topic for itself — Variations. Since only little had changed about me since elementary school; I only took a superficial approach to its understanding.

Allow me say that I come from an educational system where one progresses to one of  three fields upon completion of the first phase of secondary school education. But for some reason which I find unclear till date, I opted to go into the sciences. Probably because I felt science was much cooler or my initial distaste for the arts got the better of me .

Few weeks into my Chemistry class, my teacher walked into the class and introduced the “Gas Laws”- eight of them; which basically discussed the various relationships and proportions between the properties of gases. During the lesson, some voice at the back of my head made it clear that proportion was like a shadow i could not hide from. Surprisingly though, I still managed to scale through without really comprehending what proportions really signified.

Fast forward to first year in college while I was burrowing into my soul as well as watching tender snowflakes drop on the ground far below- It was then I struck gold. I was eventually able to conceptualize the very meaning of proportions—Inverse Proportions. I finally was able to see through the confined horizons of mathematics and perceive it for what it truly meant. I see inverse relations to mean the relationship between 2 quantities where they pest on each other for survival; where an increase in one quantity will evoke a corresponding decrease in the other and where one quantity wants the best for itself without caring whose ox is gored in the process.

I initially tried to explain simple situations with it; but surprisingly, this system jibed with every possible scenario I threw at it. But the first thing I did was to borrow the notorious Law of Conservation from science which states that there is no such thing as creation or destruction; everything merely shifts from phase to phase. Things also got less tedious when I decided to view occurrences as a Universal Set with just two large subsets without intersections or mutual compliments.

blog inv 4

Inverse proportions

My thoughts were mainly about happiness and sadness, time management and time wastage, love and hate, and a host of other scenarios I thought are in tandem with each other. Even most of the issues that plague our society can be exemplified through this very concept. Talk about power structures among nations, climate change versus industrialization, resurgence of imperialism and what not.

It is totally fine should this come off as rather basic; but major flaws are born not only because we decide to depart from the rudiments but also because we tend to treat potential mistakes as insignificant.

And speaking of rudimentary mistakes, what better example to cite than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy. Wikipedia tells me that a mere 4 degree angular deviation at the base made a 3.9 meter offset at the top of the tower. This means that the top of the tower is about 4 meters from where it would stand if it were totally vertical.

blog pisa

Yeah, that’s the power of  only 4 degrees

 

 

Over time, Mathematics- in its finite mercies- has provided us with the luxury of expressing ourselves in more ways than one.  For instance:

      You = 1 / Your misery      and         You * Your misery =1   

The concept of cross-multiplication shows that these above expressions preach the same gospel. But a lot of people err in thinking that this mathematical model bears semblance to the real world. I am afraid this is one of the few places where math will come off as rather disappointing. My little insight as to why our world has degenerated to such levels is because we refuse to create a fine line between ourselves and our stumbling blocks. We always try to co-exist with our respective albatrosses because we come up with this self-imposed delusion that we are in control. We never are. If anything, we should be wise enough not to place “what we are” and “what we are not” on the same side of the equation.

Choosing a preferred side always seems to be easy; but the crux of the matter lies in keeping each side in its domain. But now that I think about it, isn’t that what the equality sign was destined for in the first place?

But then again, like every article of this kind that floods the cyberspace, I believe the bigger problem here is not one of comprehension but one of application.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits:

www.gettyimages.com

http://www.scoop.it/t/cad-design-and-drafting-solutions-in-india

 

 

 

 

2015- Her Year in Review

By : Abolaji Amina

‘Do people think theyll be left to say they believe and not be tested?’

2014 was a horrible year for me, couldnt even write its review halfway, got hit my a lot of harsh realities so I naturally hoped for a better 2015. The first quarter of 2015 seemed like 2014 all over again. Results were released and I did relatively terribly, no thanks to 2014. I was plenty shades of sad and  I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents or myself. It was really a hard pill to swallow, I didn’t have any explanations. I finally summoned courage to say it and they were suportive and encouraging in their little way.

‘No soul will be tested beyond its scope’

The first few weeks of the new semester was hell, my failure haunted me. I started taking the semester one day at a time. Tests and assignments were rolling in and there were plenty courses I had issues with, there was a lot of pressure to do well and sometimes, I’d just break down and cry. On the upside, I got closer to some of my classmates and they ended up making the semester worthwhile. I remember how we’d laugh and banter  before practicals, in between classes, amidst struggle for internship placement and after horrible tests.

‘When something disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up’

I broke someone’s heart because I was tired of  him being on my case and wanted to be alone but it was for the  good of our souls. He was on my case for over a year but sometimes, these things don’t work. We are good friends now, always been. If I want a genuine convo filled with bants, he’ll be the first person I’ll call.

I also moved on from an ex of two years,  I love hard and its very difficult for me to get over someone I genuinely like but I did it. Things like this are only funny in retrospect and now, I just laugh at myself for the things I did. I was such a youngin’ , I wish I had taken all the advice and was more mature to handle it but we move still.

‘Call on me and I’ll respond’

Ramadan came and by God, that was the best part of my year. It was so beautiful and the inner peace I attained then was unparalleled, I didn’t feel my life belonged to me anymore. I just left everything in God’s hands and I had no cause to regret. I felt like a new human ready to take on whatever. At this point, applications to different companies for internship was on going and that was the major talk of the class. Tests and exams were at the door and it was the time of the semester where the motto usually is ‘Lack of sleep is temporary, CGPA is permanent.

‘Put your trust in God if you’re true believers ‘

Exam timetable was released few days to exam and it spelt ‘terror.’ We were to write 8 papers in 6 days, I couldn’t even cry. My schedule then was snack-pray-nap-read-repeat. Yeah, you read that right, I was snacking and taking naps as opposed to eating and sleeping. I read in ways and places I had never done before. Exams finished and God really came through, like I almost cried after certain exams because of His mercy. The struggle to find placement for 6 months internship intensified, had to deal with rejections here and there from companies. Sometimes, i’d just call my mum and tell her to keep praying. The fear came back, of failure, of ending up just anywhere, of the unknown.

‘With every hardship, there’s relief’

Shall I compare August to a summer’s day? August was lovelier and more temperate. Results were released and I did great. I also got job offers from 3 companies so I went from hoping to get a placement to thinking of which company to pick. Everything was just too good to be true considering that I also met this guy I liked and liked me also . Aside little lows, my year has been great since August, the company is fine, the exposure is unparalleled, I have generally been happier, attended more events and met more people .

‘…God is the best of planners’

2015 was a funny year on the bae front. At the end of 2014, I said I wasn’t going to be single on my birthday (June) and I’m sure 2015 was just looking at me saying ‘LOL. Dont be a joke.’ I spent the first half of the year pushing people away and in August when I met someone, I thought ‘ooh 2015, let’s do this’ but it laughed at me again. We didn’t work out and unlike my normal self, I moved past it fast. I hate failing so I’m basically tired but 2016 is another year. Maybe it’s going to be that cute guy at work or the fine doctor at the hospital or no one I’ve met at all. If you find the love of my life, tell him im waiting for him. Time is going, delay is dangerous.

‘…and when you’ve made a decision, put your trust in God.’

Did I mention 2016 is also the year I finally bag my B.Sc, Electrical Electronic Engineering, ceteris paribus? Im not particularly excited about it because labour market struggle plus I’m not sure I have what it takes to be a great engineer. I’ve not found my passion in life so I am very scared of the future because of the many brilliant minds in this field and i feel im not worthy but ill trust God as always. Hopefully, I’ll have my career plans figured out in the coming year.

‘Be thankful and i’ll give you more’

My friends were really there for me this year. I don’t feel I’m worthy of all that support. Sometimes, I don’t think I care for them as much as they for me, I do but I just don’t show it. 2016 is hopefully the year I become a better friend, show love to people and encourage my encouragers, these people need support sometimes.  Maybe 2015 just feels great because the previous year was horrible but I’m thankful regardless. I  made difficult life changing decisions and I’m still on the journey to finding myself. I realized that I’m stronger, more understanding ,daring, confident and outspoken now. Its been a year of highs and lows but no one ever said it will be rosy always.

I had a near death experience this year. It happened during a work training that was to qualify us to go offshore (visit the oil rig ), it involved underwater escape and I literally saw death because I was just scared and not used to water. To be honest, until that experience, I always thought swimming was easy but I know better now and it taught me to value my life more. Its the 29th December, 2015 and I’m writing this somewhere 200km off the coast of Nigeria on an oil producing vessel owned by the company. It’s safe to say 2015 was too good to be true and I don’t think I’m deserving of it. I hope I’ll write same time next year with good news from 2016.

I learnt quite a few things this year:

– Trust God always as cliche as it may seem

– Dont take blame for the wrongdoing of others just to feel better

– Dont lose yourself trying to find happiness

– Live. Love. Laugh.

Can I even end this without mentioning names? I give unalloyed thanks to God for answered and unanswered prayers.

Samuel, you’ve been awesome, i dont feel i deserve you, you’re my favourite person of 2015 and i love you for everything.

Raheema, you’ve been bae since day 1 and i appreciate you. You’re amazeballs.

Sulayman, thanks for all the advice, I promise to get my life in order and not call you at odd hours to fix me.

Chinwe, we found friends in each other this year, I hope we keep it up. You are the strongest person I know.

I can’t leave out my roommates who were there when I needed shoulders to cry on. Thank you.

Olamide, I think 2016 can be better.

Quadri, we dont hate each other afterall, I find you exciting, I hope we become better friends.

To everyone else, thank you for making 2015 what it was. Its been an amazing year.

2016, cheers to you, please be lit.

LeAmbivert.