I was well exposed academically at an early age. I got interested in reading from my days at University of Lagos Staff School. We used to have reading periods where all kinds of books were brought from the university library for us. We would read, return and pick a fresh one. Reading was made fun.
I have had to attend about four schools from Nursery to Primary school. Sometimes I have to skip one or two while filling out forms because most forms leave you with space for 2 or so primary schools. I guess that’s the number for normal people. I am supra normal.
I have always been self confident, maybe over confident, about knowledge I had. I always aimed for the best. I argued with my teachers in primary school, especially in the subject English language. My mother did a good job as she taught me to consult the dictionary for myself pretty early. I still remember Chinyere Adeyemo and I had MICHAEL WEST and THOMAS NELSON dictionaries as our first.
Fast forward to secondary school. Command Secondary School Jos . My grades were great from year1. I still remember how I cried when I came 3rd. It was like my world had come crashing down. During our JSS exams, I had the best result in my school. This earned me an award from the Directorate of Army education that oversaw my school then. I was excited.
Transiting from JS3 to SS1 (grade 9-10 in some climes) was not a walk in the park. My parents could not afford to send me to school on time. If you’ve not been there before, you wouldn’t understand how demoralizing it is for a father, much more a child. Your child is deprived of education because of impecunity. It’s not a place to be.
Finally, when the world had given up I would go back to that school, my parents raised the funds and I went back to school-during midterm. I had lost so much ground. Being the best student in Js3 and wanting to be a medical doctor Elisha Sunday can identify with that, I insisted, despite advice from our school counselor that i would do sciences. She obliged.
By the end of the term, I came 35th out of about 42 people. The only thing I am still amazed at today is who those 7 people I beat were. And they were in class all term long?
The summary is that I failed. And woefully too. I fell headlong from the very top. That was supposed to be my albatross, my end. But I survived. It was hard, but I came back. I failed but I was not a failure. I felt rejected, stupid and retarded. But those feelings did not define me.
Are you going through a failure bout? I’ve been there and have got your back. If you forget anything, do not forget that FAILURE IS AN EVENT AND NOT A PERSON.