There is a saying, “Every cloud has a silver lining”. In this dark cloud of comradeship, the silver lining has a way of showing up for only two or so weeks, at the tail end of every semester.
Choppy change is observed among university students as they recess from asininity and settle to tackle their main examinations. When the exams begin, even the noisy winos among us shut up and a semblance of sanity can be witnessed across the campus.
Tests instil fear into comrades in a remarkable way that puts the likes of religion, police, Al-Shabaab and even grandpa Richard to shame. It is amazing how these assessments can apprehend my comrades into toeing the line of desirable behaviour.
During this period, they can be spotted prancing about nervously like cats on hot bricks; some even become eschatological. They understand quite well that failure to pass can have far-reaching deleterious consequences.
They will do anything, including sacrificing goats and lizards, in order to excel.
While all through the semester places of worship had been as empty as Ole Lenku’s promises, during exam time these places fill up to the brim.
Students experience a Pauline conversion to sainthood, morphing from flaming heathens to devout worshippers, albeit temporarily. Opportunity presents itself for the likes of Pastor Kanyari to recoup their investments.
The country’s economic planners dread these periods as Kenya’s economy takes a cataclysmic plunge. This is because the beer factory down in Ruaraka, a leading tax-payer, incurs heavy losses as students choose to uphold sobriety.
Clubs around campuses have to downsize as students no longer take pleasure in gallivanting from pub to pub. They desert shebeens and choose to crowd in libraries instead.
Cannabis suppliers are abruptly cut from the speed-dial and pasted into the block-list. Manufacturers of flavoured condoms feel the pinch too, as comrades take a break from fornication.
CRAMMING FOR EXAMS
Exams don’t test students on how much they know. Rather, they test them on their ability to cram the night before.
It is said that the night before exams is akin to the night before Christmas – you can’t sleep, yet you hope for a miracle. This is likely to be the case until technology that enables one to fit a memory card into their brains is developed.
Comrades rarely grab as much as 40 winks when faced with a paper that decides their life. They prefer to drink coffee as they slap each other across the face all night long.
One becomes a veritable expert in Condensed Matter Physics in just one night.
A little hair in the soup is that, throughout the episode, personal hygiene tends to be put on the back burner. It becomes impossible for comrades to fit more than three minutes for grooming into their frenetic schedules.
It isn’t uncommon to spot both lads and lasses with hair looking like grass in Kasarani Stadium after a tough rugby match.
Exams are their kryptonite, these comrades of mine