Sunday, October 21, 2007

My Nicknames

First, let me talk about the nicknames I have acquired over time. My nicknames are precious and they have specific meanings to me

I'll start with my favourite:

Sisi - It means 'young lady' in Yoruba. Reason I love it the most is that, it is a term of endearment given to me by my father and mother, don't know who started using it first, my mum or my dad but I suspect it's my mum. When I hear it, it just sounds like they are calling my very own name and it just sounds like 'love'. They called me sisi more than they used my original name when I was younger. My mum would tell me stories of how I was a primadona when I was a child. Lol. I would sit pretty at the back of the car with my head held high, legs crossed, staring straight ahead, then maybe in traffic, someone shouts out 'sisi' on the road, which is quite common in nigeria, I would look around in annoyance and fuss 'who is that calling my name?' My mum said she used to have fits of laughter just watching me do that.

When I started going to pre-school, my dad dropped me off and in the process of petting me and promising he would check on me as often as possible while i was sobbing, he forgot to tell the teachers my first name as they only had Miss XXXX (insert surname). The teachers came to me and asked me what my name was and I told them with much confidence 'Sisi'.

They asked me if I was sure and I said yes, so they assumed I had a lisp and was trying to say 'Titi'. Hence I became Titi for a few days till my doting father overheard them in one of his visits. There's even a song that goes with the nickname...

I still love it when my dad, mum or brother call me that, which they do when they have missed me much or we haven't seen each other in a long's such an intimate thing! I might call my first daughter Sisi too...

My second favorite nickname would be Elenu O. It isn't so much about the nickname but rather the person who gave it to me. She was a friend of my mother's who was one of the most motherly women I have ever known. They were part of a ladies' society together and all the women in the society doted on me. She however was a favorite so she nicknamed me, after my tiniest mouth that she said was permanently shaped like a little cute o (my mouth was pretty much a tiny pink o on my face)..then she got the nickname 'Mummy Elenu O'. It sounds long but people got used to it so quickly that it was not that long anymore. Everytime she saw me, which was at least twice a week, she would spoil me with loads of junk that my mum never allowed me between meals; chocolates, ribena and loads of assorted sweets!! I took a great liking to her. I still saw her two years ago and I spoke to her this year and yup, she still calls me 'Elenu O'

Cinderella, Barbie, Redskin, Indian: Were all given to me by 4 different guys in high school. Each obviously needs not much explanation, the redskin and indian ones,

Oh and there's Irish that my darling 100%lighty gave me. I don't know how she came about that because she couldn't even come up with an explanation herself, but somehow, it stuck, that's what she stored my name as on her phone and that's what my username on my laptop is. Lol. I liked it cos it was very original and no, I am not irish.

Speaking of names, choosing one's children's names must be a very daunting task, just thinking about it hurts my head. Wow, there are so many decisions to be made in life, and some of them, would affect your life and other people's life for the rest of your life. I think of those who name their kids 'Fellowship' and I think, how unfair!

Anyway, I'm off to eat a very late lunch.

Have a fab week!


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Flashback: Teachers

Hi guys. It's been a while. Sorry for the late update. Been extra busy trying to sort a lot of things out, moved from london back to the north, which I wasnt planning on doing, but well, I'm :) good.

When I've been away for long I always come back with random stories, don't know why but anyway I'll start with a funny thing that caught my eye. I was watching Eragon and well, it was just another Lord of The Rings typa film. It got to a part where they were going to war and the hero turned to the heroine, gave her a dashing smile and said 'You look.... fit for war' (insert cheesy smile) and I'm like COMMON!!!! this girl has got a golden feather in her hair. Her hair is rolled into a perfect bun with lovely designs that I can't even get into my hair with hours of work by myself. Are you telling me that something that looks demonic with his army that even look more demonic than him are coming after my town and friends, and I will still have time to put gel in my hair...and a gold feather???!!!!

On to Freedom Writers. I' m one of those people that see some films like a year after they have been released, unless it is a film I have been waiting ages for like RATATOUILLE which is FINALLY HERE (though I havent seen it yet lol)
I saw 'Freedom Writers' recently on my laptop and I was basically sobbing for a quarter of the film. This amazing, naive but nevertheless amazing teacher changed a couple of kids' lives. Well you all know the story, a couple of washed out kids (the jerk, the violent, the quiet one, the girl who is a tomboy, the half good but nearly going bad guy, the guy who swears incessantly etc) get an amazing teacher who changes their life for good! It is a great film.

..BUT it got me thinking (oh oh know)

Why don't I ever get to be in one of those SUPER AMAZING LIFE CHANGING CLASSES??? Why is it that my lecturer who teaches me stats isn't a woman who screams at us everyday 'YOU'RE ALL HEROES' or who buys us new books with her own salary or who gives us glasses of champagne at the start of a new semester to toast to a new year??? Why do I have to have the frumpy doctor who expects me to understand her while she's mumbling to herself while lecturing?

Ok, to be fair, I've had what, two amazing teachers in my lifetime. The first wasn't so much of a teacher, she was my primary school headmistress. This woman had a big role in shaping the kind of person I am today. She taught me love because she simply reeked of love! She taught me as a mother, a friend, an aunt, an educator. She would call me to her office ever so often and we would talk then she would pray for me. I will always remember her all my life.

The second teacher was my english literature teacher in high school. English lit was my favourite class in high school. She taught me that language was powerful. She taught me to tear down words and build them up. She taught me the beauty called poetry. She made Tess of the D'Ubervilles come to life, she made Othello seem so much more tragic and she made Romeo and Juliet much more about love lost. She also taught me a phrase I can never forget and I have seen come to life so many times in my life, I can still see her 5'2 self telling us 'More Haste, Less Speed'.

My english teacher was a different case!!!!! Gosh, if I didn't have an original love for english, I would have failed because of this woman. Yes, even in an english-speaking country. She hated my guts!!!! Rumour had it she had a particular girl she always picked on in each class. Unfortunately for me, it was me representing my class.

There was a day we had a test and I got 19 out of 20. There I was thinking, Yay, I've got this out of the way for this half of the semester. She sat at her table, with her spectacles down her nose, and her big eyes staring at all of us. I presented my mark proudly to her with a 'you can't touch me' attitude. She first put the 19 down after making some comments, then she looked at me and said 'why are you looking at me like that?' I knew immediately there was trouble. What did I do now? I was merely breathing!!! She continued 'I don't like your eyes, you're looking at me funny, you want to initiate me into your circle of witches eh? God will not allow you. Infact, I am going to rub the 1 off the front of your mark' I just opened my mouth in amazement as she scratched the 1 off with her red pen and left the 9.
9 out of 20 in english?!!! Could she do that???? I couldn't think!!!! I got 9 men. For that term, I got 9. Still cannot forget.

Then there was the day, she took the whole class to the school football field and told us to all kneel down. Imagine oh, we always considered ourselves posh kids (lol razz children) and there we all were on the grass. After she abused all our mothers and fathers, she then turned to me and said, 'You this girl you're a witch. I can see you looking at me, why are you looking at me? stupid girl. you're just a bimbo. you think you're all grown up abi? you think you're now beautiful that all the boys are chasing you? shaking your yansh up and down the whole school'

The slim kid I was almost shouted at her 'I DONT EVEN HAVE A YANSH' lol
She proceeded to tell the whole class to stand up, that I would suffer for everyone instead, and there I was, on the grass, looking off into a far direction, and wishing upon a star, that this woman would just be swallowed by the ground. Didn't happen. She bullied other girls in other classes and, we the victims, always got together and talked about our ordeals. Most girls cried each time because she was just mean, but I made sure I didn't cry for her. She made me kneel down so many times in that school year, it was too embarassing. I mean this is a school where you don't get punished unless you beat up a teacher or something, and there I was, kneeling in front of the class in every english class.

One day, the girl who sat in the row next to me was asking me a question and she told me to kneel down for allowing her to ask me the question!!!! Needless to say the girl didnt get punished.
The day I broke down was when she told me to kneel down, then told a boy to rub off the chalk on the board, and the chalk dust was falling on me. Fair enough she wanting me to look like a ghost, but I react to chalk dust and get a bout of asthma. My classmates told her, and she said 'so what? if she gets ill we have a sick bay'. I just smiled. When she left the class, I just broke down and started crying and shouting, 'it's not fair. why is she picking on me. Why!' lol.
The whole class was so sad for me, boys even started talking about organizing a beating for her (LAWL), but men I didnt send being a babe oh, I was just crying like a baby. I guess the frustration had reached its peak. I can't forget her anyway. I try to find a good side, like, maybe she was just trying to instill discipline in me, but HECK NO, she was JUST MEAN.

Needless to say, if i decide to become a lecturer, I will be the type who will shout 'YOU ARE ALL HEROES ' to my students, maybe a trip to the bahamas for everyone to analyze the relationship between relaxed environment and emotions....Sweets anyone? :)