Know your Professor

Am that type of a person who would rather skip class and catch up later on my own. Not that I am a genius or anything, as my virtuosity itself has been hovering around rock bottom. It’s just that am the kind of a person who would rather bunk class and instead have some fun with my plans. You know, when I look back in my life, I come to a realization that classes never made me smile. Memories did. Again, what’s the use of attending class when you’ll have to beat me to concentrate? Not that I haven’t tried, wallahi nimejaribu! But no matter what effort I put, I usually end up daydreaming or facebooking during lectures. In fact, the only time I look forward to class time is when I got this poem I need to write or when I want to put some finishing touches to some script that’s due. I mean, in class, while my professor is yapping away, that’s the time when my brain gains maximum attentiveness and my poetry skills go from good to super-genius. I know there is this rule that requires students to attend at least two thirds of all lectures before they are allowed to sit for exams, but who actually follows up on that? Remember that story of that billionaire who never paid attention in class? No? Okay, me neither.
And again, am not ashamed to admit that am super lazy.
The semester had gone almost halfway, and there is this one (actually several) unit that I had never attended. All I knew about the unit was that it was mathematics, but I was clueless as to what area of math it covered. Don’t look at me that way now. I’ve got good reasons as to why I never attend mathematics lectures, first and foremost being the prophecy that was foretold by my high school mathematics teacher, that my head would forever be impermeable to mathematics. Can you believe my own high school teacher told me that? The irony of it? I ended up at the School of Engineering.

Occasionally I’d get a text message from the class representative that read something like: “Dr. Makokha’s class at two. Please attend.” Then I’d reply “Thanks for informing me, but am not around.” For all I cared, Dr. Makokha could kiss my ass.
One day, halfway through the semester, I got a text from the class representative that said. “There’s a cat on Tuesday, Dr. Makokha’s class.” A cat? How now? Tuesday was only two days from the day I was informed, so I had some time to catch up. I went to the library that day and downloaded all the pdfs remotely related matrices, and locked myself in my room that night boning up on the matrices. But it wasn’t a smooth ride. There were a hell lot of stuff that seemed Greek to me, and I had to seek some clarification. So the following day I walked into a classmate’s room in full arithmetic regalia, calculator, SMP tables et al, with a numerical mindset and attitude to boot.
“Brayo, there a few things on matrices that I didn’t quite understand, and I think I could use your help.”
“Matrices!?” He snapped in surprise coated with angst.
“Yea.” I answered. I was starting to get a little uncomfortable, coz Brian was looking at me as though I was growing a second head.
“Am sorry bro, but I know nothing about matrices. What are they? A new breed of monkeys?” He chided. I was started to get irritated. One more sarcastic remark and I swear I would have adjusted his dental formula to resemble that of Kiyiapi’s.
“You want to tell me you haven’t read for tomorrow’s cat?” I asked, getting really impatient.
“Oh, you mean vectors?”
“Vectors! Whatever! I mean ECU 106.”
“ECU 106 is about vectors my brother. Not matrices!”
I couldn’t believe how stupid I was. I had burnt the midnight oil last night reading for things that were not even in our scope! If that wasn’t the height of senselessness, then I don’t know what is. I knew I was by now a poster child for advanced folly and idiocy. What could I do? I simply asked Brayo for his notes, photocopied them in a jiffy, and went back to the drawing board.
The D-Day came and at exactly nine am, we were all seated in the lecture waiting for Dr. Makokha to arrive. I had done my homework well, and I was sure I was going to perform well in this cat. Turns out vectors were not a very complicated unit, and terms like Dot and cross product  which a day ago had been foreign to me were now at my fingertips. Told you am a genius, didn’t I?
A few minute past ten, Dr. Makokha had not yet arrived. I was really eager to meet this professor, I don’t know why. In his place was a certain lady who, in her prime, she still looked attractive. She announced that she would be conducting the cat in a few minutes and passed around the answer sheets. The cat commenced soon after.
The lady was pacing all over the room, keen on nabbing anyone foolish enough to have brought along their mwakenya. Then she stopped beside my desk. I could feel that she was staring at me intently, and I was feeling really uncomfortable. “All is well, all is well.” I muttered to myself. I was sure I had nothing to fear, coz am the kind of person who uses underhand tactics in exam rooms.
Then she tapped my shoulder and I nearly defecated in my pants. I slowly tilted my head to face her, then she spoke. “You don’t seem familiar, gentleman. Are you in my group? Do you even attend class?”
“Y-Yes madam.” I stuttered. “Am in the other group.”
“Which one?”
“Dr. Makokha’s class.”
Everyone sited around me burst into uncontrollable laughter. I became more confused than a homeless guy on house arrest. I mean, what’s so funny about me being in Dr. Makokha’s class? The next words that the lady spoke made it all crystal clear why once again; I should be crowned the idiot of the century.
“I’m Dr. Makokha.” She said.
It all sunk in now! You mean, this pretty lady here was the Dr. Makokha I was looking forward to meet? Oh my gosh! That was truly a shocker. For Dr. Makokha, I had anticipated a MAN so manly that his beard alone could make a little girl squeak. I had projected a man with a voice so hoarse that it would scare King Mufasa of Lion King. I mean, the name itself evokes images of stout rugby players, doesn’t it?
“See me in my office after this.” She commanded.
The Moral of the story is; KNOW YOUR PROFESSOR.

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.