MY STUDENT, MY TEACHER (II)

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When the computer lessons began, I pitied Emma because I gave him nothing to build on. And I seemed rather dense in the early days, being in an unfamiliar territory and all that. But he patiently explained everything as often as I asked him to. I wanted to write stuff down and although it amused him, knowing I’d soon be conversant with those rudimentary steps I was documenting, he opted to do the writing for me.

He had initially tried to give me the history of computers and explain how they work. Some of it I could grasp. But that binary (01) stuff. He completely lost me on that one. I told him to focus on the hands-on stuff. I could read those ones up if I ever needed to.

An ill-mannered youth would have begun to despise me on the basis of those encounters or ignore my lectures but Emma was smart enough to know that inability to operate a computer or snap up the workings of binary mathematics didn’t mean I was an idiot. His respect for me did not diminish and he paid good attention in my courses.

He did his best to impress me and when those efforts yielded a “B”, he sought to know why. I explained that perhaps, because of his natural science inclination, his answers were sometimes sketchy. He seemed to think that if he provided the bare bones, it should be obvious to whoever was reading that he knew the rest. I told him it didn’t work that way. If the question required explanation or discussion and you treated it in a cursory manner, you got less marks than those who supplied more detailed answers, hence the “B”. He picked that advice up because he had no interest in “B’s”. He wanted only “A’s”. That may explain why his final Grade Point Average was just .09 shy of first class.

Since Emma was coming over to the house frequently to give me lessons, my “daughter” and I decided that the least we could do would be to offer him dinner whenever he came. Due to the “fatness” of my purse, the non-vegetable protein on the menu was usually ice fish. One day towards the end of the classes, Emma joked that with the amount of ice fish he’d eaten in my house, he would probably not touch the stuff again for the rest of his life. I believe I cuffed him on the head for that.

He was disappointed when I refused to go beyond basic word procesiing to master the whole Microsoft Office package or venture into designs with apps like CorelDraw and Pagemaker. I told him to be content that he had succeeded in teaching an old dog some new tricks but that he shouldn’t push his luck. I needed time to feel at home with what I’d learned before piling on new stuff before I regurgitated everything or got submerged in it.

But by God’s grace, because of the solid foundation I got from those lessons, I’ve been able to figure out whatever else I needed along the way. I may be far from a geek but I know my way around what is useful to me, especially with the apps being user-friendly to everyone that is computer-literate.

So when I surf the net for research, to keep abreast of current events, to fill out students’ recommendation forms or for entertainment; when I type my academic papers and prepare the slides or compose articles on my device for the social media and design illustrations for them; I remember that this whole journey began then: when a certain young man who insists to those who err that his middle name “is Udo, not Udonna, not Udochi or Udo anything else but simply Udo,” graciously offered to teach his teacher how to use the computer. Glory to God!

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MY STUDENT, MY TEACHER (I)

 

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

50 comments

  • Edith Ohaja

    Learning strange things isn’t easy at a certain age but there is something called God’s grace and it works.

  • Most what i read online is trash and copy paste but i feel you offer something different. Maintain it like this.

  • I honestly believe this amazing site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more.

  • Okpechi Augustina

    Aww, nice.

  • Shade

    Kudos to his patience and wisdom.

  • Onuorah chinemerem

    Wow. So inspiring

  • DIM CHIKODIRI VIVIAN

    VERY Inspiring STORY

  • ugwoke onyinyechi sylvia

    Hmmm, so sweet. He is such a wonderful boy.

  • Nwanna Eugenia chioma

    nice write-up
    thanks

  • Oweka Chioma Sandra

    Thank God for Emma Okwara

  • okonkwo benita chidimma

    interesting write up

  • Amadi victoria chinwendu

    Wow! very nice

  • Ugwuja cynthia chioma

    Wow i admire you ma

  • Rose Jonathan

    I think more kudos should go to you. It’s for allowing yourself to be taught. That’s unlike what’s obtainable with most adults

  • Rose Jonathan

    I think more kudos should go to you. It’s for allowing yourself to be taught. That’s unlike what’s obtainable with most adults.

  • Ndukwe Catherine U

    That student is really a great teacher for him to teach a teacher. nice story.

  • okereke chukwuemeka matthew

    these kind of patient people are hard to come across these days

  • Nweke Jemimah Chisom

    nice one

  • Ogechi Ugwu

    May God make us humble enough to neither be proud to teach or learn when the opportunity arrives. Lovely!

    • Edith Ohaja

      Amen. There’s always room for more knowledge and you never know when it might come in handy. You are blessed!

  • iheanyi ugochi elizabeth

    most people love computer but can’t see an enduring teacher like emma to teach them

  • Victoria Nonike

    wonderful piece ma! I hope your student is doing very well, God bless his efforts ma.

  • Njoku Chimamaka Elizabeth

    Indeed education is a life-long process…in this case the student became the teacher. Nice one!

  • Joseph Edidiong

    Wow! This got me so emotional. Investments made in the right source is always profitable.

  • Agwu Tochukwu Frank

    It is rare to see a reliable and dedicated someone like Emma in this modern world. The young man does not even focus on what he may benefit in return as almost all the students do,while rendering services to their lecturers.
    Emma’s selfless attitude is worthy of emulation by all the students
    Thanks ma, for sharing this wonderful experience with us.

  • Orji blessing chidubem

    No knowledge is a waste…teaching a teacher is actually giving back in appreciation because their line of business is not as easy as people think and I think they are being under appreciated in this part of the world.
    Inspiring story Ma,keep it up.

  • UGWUOKE BLESSING NNEDINSO

    Humility shines on people who have it like light shines on gold. It’s not everyone that humble themselves to be taught by their student or by someone in a lower class.

  • The teacher must be a humble woman to have stooped low to learn computer operation and the young boy Emma did a very nice job by teaching his teacher even without grudges or with the mind set that she (the teacher) is an illiterate. God bless u, ma!

  • okechukwu Victor

    Being submissive is an attribute of righteousness, to learn is not to trust in what you already know or believe you know, but to realize the potency of relevant knowledge.

  • Ugwoke Jennifer chinecherem

    It is very difficult to find humble students like Emma who could teach his own teacher without any grudges. Kudos to Emma.

  • Kelly Tiffany

    Being a teacher is one thing but being a teacher that understands is another thing and you have shown that you understand.

  • Nnamani Eunice chidinma

    So interesting! Ma you are such a humble person, not all lecturers will allow their student to teach them, instead they will pay for the training in a computer center, lots of lessons to learn here…

  • Theophilus Blessing

    Aunty, you are so funny! “.09 percent shy of first class” that must have been so annoying. Emma really did a great job in my Aunty’s life o.

  • Afiadigwe Nnedinso Rita

    So kind of Emma to pay attention to your weakness ma , I think that he will make a good teacher in the future since he started so early.

  • Kat

    Yay! I knew you’d do well in the computer training. At least now you know how to use the computer for everything that’s important to you. Unlike me. But then you had a good teacher and wonderful background in the device thanks to Udo. I’m happy you didn’t regret becoming friends with your student. I guess not every lecturer can say the same. When or if he Visits you again, don’t forget to change the ice fish on the menu o, seems like the poor guy has eaten enough fish to last him a lifetime ?

  • Any one would be grateful to have an Emma round him, his humility, resourcefulness quest for the best are virtues I admire. Emma was definitely equipped both in character and in learning.

  • Adeke Chukwuka

    Respect is really reciprocal. Just as Emma as a student didnt try to cross his boundaries by feeling too big teaching his teacher, so did Aunty herself tried not to be dominant towards him as his teacher.

  • Charles D.

    Learning is a continuous process. A teacher can learn from a student also but we should maintain our boundaries.

  • Michael onyedinma

    For someone to have such respect and humility in this age, it means that he has a good up bringing. God bless him.

  • Chima ella

    Respect is reciprocal. New things are always strange and seems hard to learn but its needs someone who is patient to learn and also have a good and understanding teacher too. A teacher can learn from a student. As they say learning never ends.

  • Ominaki pamela

    Patience is a virtue that most people don’t have but it yields the best results, he wasn’t harsh he tried his best and achieved the best result,he was also very focused and didn’t let the “B” he had gotten to hinder him from reaching the top

  • Ikwuakam Oluchi Francisca

    My student, my teacher…
    Emma was indeed a wise student as well as a good teacher, his ability to teach his teacher well without letting the whole encounter becloud his sense of reasoning thereby making him think lower of his lecturer shows how wise he is. If only all students were like this, campuses will be way better.

  • Richards Orighomisan

    Mummy if someone like you can humble yourself to be taught who am i?

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