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Showing posts from December, 2014

(36): Fate and Preference II (A Real Story)

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 I was his favourite student. Our Agricultural Science teacher at junior secondary school was confident that I understood his lesson more than others. He soon also became my fave. I admired his pretty handwriting and his good command of English. He would occasionally call me to another class when members of the class failed to answer his questions. He would throw the same question to me. I never disappointed him. As my reward and a punishment for the student(s), he would imprudently order me to slap him very hard in the face. That endeared him to me but also made me somehow infamous among my mates. By virtue of this endearment, I was slowly tempted to be like him, in fact, to become him by studying his discipline. Once I told my brother about it. He suspiciously asked why. He simply laughed it off when I finished. I was earlier afraid that he would blast me with the litany that was not what everyone wanted me to do, or at least show his dis

(35): Fate and Preference (A Real Story)

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 Yippee! I got a new bicycle! This, coupled with my recent admission into a private primary school, inflated my ego so high. Admittedly speaking, I sort of started feeling pompous among my peers. A very few children were that privileged in all our neighbourhoods then. I had, though already, finished another primary school when I was taken to this school. It was an expensive, prestigious, privately-owned primary school now, so no problem. I would stay for only a year and then proceed to another famous, private college. All of this was meant to pave my way to study medicine at the university. Before taking a bath and breakfast, it became my routine to go to my new best friend, my bicycle. I would check it, dust it, and try it. Until I was satisfied that everything was fine, I could not move to another thing for the morning. I would then get ready and bid farewell to my stepmother and siblings and set out to my new school. The school h

(34): Writing: A Gift or a Hard-Gained Skill?

Muhammad Muhsin Ibrahim @muhsin234 Writing—not speaking, reading or listening—is the most complex aspect of language learning skills. Writing is a talent which not everyone is endowed with. Writing is best done by the students of language or those in the Arts, and blah-blah-blah. Often one hears statements like these. No doubt writing is not a piece of cake, but it is neither a gift nor, with apologies to Niyi Osundare, an esoteric whisper for any coterie. As you are able to read this article, you also can write and write a well-composed piece. Yes, you. An award-winning American cognitive scientist, Steven Pinker asserts in his book, The Sense of Style that “Writing is an unnatural act”. He further quotes Charles Darwin who observed that ‘Man has an instinctive tendency to speak, as we see in the babble of our young children, whereas no child has instinctive tendency to bake, brew or write’. I can’t agree more. Language is acquired by a child and no