Monday, July 3, 2017

8-4-4, how it almost ruined our lives had we let it, and the school trips that made it worthwhile​.

First, in Form One, I realised this was high school and I had not the slightest chance of being popular. This was when I tried for the debate club. The debate club was set up in the Physics lab, every Wednesday, and me, being a good English student according to my standard eight English teacher, a conclusion based on my composition writing skills, thought I should fit right inside with the debate club. And I marched in in my green form one skirt, long to the ankles, with my long sleeved sweater and big shoes, the ones that had a clasp on the side.

To be in the debate club, you had to go through a test of tongue twisters. I failed the first one. I didn’t get into the snobs club, so I tried for drama. The drama instructor, some college guy asked me to act like a drunkard. He didn’t specify which kind of drunk. I did the village one, the- I-have-herds-of-goats-,and-many-wives version and failed. He wanted the town drunkard that gets blinded by cheap alcohol kind of drunkard.

I could have joined the badminton or table tennis club, but it was a rich kids affair and who could buy me a racket?

Is it for Maths?


Is it for Chemistry?


What is it for?

For games.

Iĩ? Because they are going to grade you in games? Wee…chunga sana, ebu take your Chemistry books and revise… you have seen a money tree growing behind the house..?

Time was running out, you had to be in some club of sorts, and read Gifted hands all in the one year. There was the wildlife club, boring, Agriculture club, boring, Rangers, boring, the school magazine, snobs, Math club, Hockey, Basket Ball. And then the free for all clubs. C U and C A. I

Joined C.U, on the basis of , maybe drawing close to Jesus will help me get through this high school business. C.U had enough trips to keep one occupied, they also brought young ruddy preachers who drove us all into a dancing frenzy you would be counting the days until Sunday. The next term we had a trip to Alliance boys. Boys!

When I came back, my deskmate, who had an ongoing crush on Sisco and Eric Wainana before I knew you could have a crush on a celebrity wanted all the details, so she and the two girls behind us drew in close to hear all the details.

‘We were very blessed.” I said, righteously.

-Mh! Ciss you should be hang- Edith said.

-How about the boys?- Emma asked.

‘We met one boy, the brother to Peaches in form 3.’

-All of you?-

-You all met one boy?! Get serious-

So my popularity scale scaled down some more. What was the point of going to a boys school and not meeting any boys?

I decided to join CA. CA had an attraction. This was a Catholic school, so Catholic Action club had some freedoms, they could make mandazi’s on Saturdays to raise money for a new white fabric for the priest’s table or something like that. It also had the cool kids who could ‘borrow’ Usher and P Diddy’s tune to sing the Psalms during morning mass. A break from the routine, We knew there was a new song by Joe or TLC by attending morning mass.

C A was also lenient on boys matters. When there was a big mass and other catholic boys were around, we could chat them up.

Then I decided to take it to another level. I decided well, C U and CA is good enough to introduce me to other people, but that is just a small cluster of those in the religious scene.

Science Congress

There was a ‘call for papers’ for chemistry projects, and my holiday tuition teacher, a young man a few years older than me gave me an idea, which I passed of as a very original idea and me and Georgina presented it to the chemistry teacher.

The chemistry teacher was a very interesting human being.

He stood very close to you and looked at you directly the eyes. You would move back a step because you would be standing outside the staffroom, with the entire Form Two Pluto peeping to see how close you and the Chem teacher were standing.

We took turns to discuss the project with him, to avoid being overwhelmed. Now that I think about it I wonder might he have been hard of hearing?

For your project to be presented outside the school, it had to impress the school teachers first. So they held an inter stream competition. The first school we went to was a girls school. And we realized Science Congress was not quite a hit like we had been hyped to believe. When we finally made it to another level and went to a boys school, it occurred to me that I was better off frying mandazi back in school.

Let me put it this way. A science congress is the difference between a College of Design and A College of Accounting. For a teenager with blood running through the body, when you think of a tour outside school to a boys school, discussing titration with a short boy in a baggy school sweater and a Chelsea belt clasp is not really how you plan to spend a day.
It also occurred to us that science congress had very few girls, meaning the teachers just hang around and hovered around us to avoid -misconduct- and by the time the sessions would be all over, we would have got one name and school address, between us.

Anyway, we survived. We got certificates. Maybe I should attach them to my CV next time I go job hunting.

By form three, I had resigned to the fact that the one Geography tour and two outside excursions to fetch water from the stream when the water system broke down were the only trips I would experience in high school.

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