1615 BC. I am a final (fifth) year undergraduate student at a local university. The course of study is the Bachelor of Pharmacy. In the final year, you are not particularly keen on intellectual pursuits. You are beaten down and old and you have academic fibers for beards; all you want to do is finish school and go do whatever people do after finishing school. So who cares if you beat pass marks by a quarter a mark? Who cares if your CAT marks can’t buy a mandazi?
It is exam week. The unit in question is Pharmaceutics V; something on Pharmacokinetic Calculations (You all know what that is). I just remember it had some weird graphs, complex theories, borderline calculus, and I didn’t like any of it. I had flanked both CATS and the final exam was my only hope. It was read or die. I had come too far to get supplementary. I pitched a tent in some fancy library; head bent, elbows on the table, eyes low, mind full-voltage. I turned those graphs inside out till they made sense. I reduced calculus to one plus one. I simplified scary theories to ABC. Nilitesa kutesa. The lecturer with a long title and a strange mode of teaching wasn’t the problem, after all, I was just lazy. By the time I lifted my eyes from my notes, it was 7 hours later. I left the library. Brisk walk. Looking life in the eye. Burnt beyond recognition.
Next day. Exam day. Boy child is all gamed up. A particular girl child walks in and takes a seat next to boy child. Prior to kick off, girl child admits she’s empty and needs boy child’s help. Boy child is highly philanthropic but seems girl child promised to make the juice worth the squeeze, anyway. If you are good at something why do it for free, anyway.
We begin. Boy child breezes past number one, girl child breezes past number one. Boy child plots a weird graph for number two, girl child plots a weird graph for number two. Boy child informs the lecturer that number three has a problem, girl child does the same. Boy child writes at 100 kph, girl child writes at 100 kph. Boy child pauses to cool off his overworked hand, girl child pauses to cool off her overworked hand. Boy child requests for an extra answer sheet, girl child requests for an extra answer sheet. Boy child punches his calculator, girl child watches on as she waits for yours truly to write down and double underline the answer. Boy child proofreads, girl child proofreads. One hour to time, boy child arises to collect his answer sheet, girl child follows suit.
After the slow students were finished, boy child brags to them how the answer to number one was 67.009 and not the 150.3 those losers got. Girl child does it too. Girl child goes ahead to announce to the world how the paper was a piece of cake courtesy to her having kesha with multiple revision materials. Not even God can fail her, she proclaims.
Results are out. Boy child standing tall with his A. Girl child standing tall and high with her A. Higher than her stilettos could ever manage.
By the way, she has never spoken to boy child since that day. No Hi, No forced ‘Thank you’, No those lazy one-arm hugs famous on campus. Boy child didn’t even eat cat.
Boy child wishes he asked for a deposit before offering his services. Lesson learned.
Now you know why on Fridays boy child responds to the seductive ‘Aki babe tuma fare nikam’ text with a curt ‘Tumia doh yako nitakurefund’