Sometimes I wonder if the people that went to school before
us made such a fuss of exams as we do.
It is as if we are the first lot to do exams at Makerere.
True, the general consensus is that no one ever gets used
to exams and whenever they are around the corner, we all
have to look extremely stressed.
Although I completely agree that the exam period is an
unpleasant one, I also think that we should maintain a bit
of sanity in our lives or else we might come out of the
exam period looking all wrinkled like grandmas.
It is a bright, merry day and in an effort to remain happy
amidst all the stress that is around us, we start telling
jokes and thereafter laugh very hilariously even if the
joke is not very funny. Then, in comes this thief of joy
and she starts to stress all of us with her bad mood brought
on by books. Granted, she does a very serious course (I
wonder which ones are not very serious and who drew the
line between the serious and unserious ones) but, I mean
even those charged with the safekeeping of a country’s
security smile once in a while.
Anyway, her problem is that we are laughing too much (is
there anything like that?) and she thinks we should all
get a tad serious and take to reading our books. “Some
of you are surely going to get numerous retakes,”
she says. Ha, we do not take kindly to this last statement
for hey; no one likes to see their intellect being undermined.
We spare her any insults and go out of the room and continue
to make merry.
But, this leaves me wondering as to how many people out
there could be letting exams stress them to bad levels.
It is not rare to find a student crying simply because a
roommate has used their cup and not washed it. Do not think
they are mad when, they are just using that small issue
to let out their stress. Take the medical students for example,
they work so hard and move long distances in order to get
to their lecture rooms in Mulago and by the end of the day,
they are too tired that a minor issue can make them howl
and weep like they just lost a dearest of relatives. Some
medical student actually told me that by year two, most
of them have no other friends other than those that share
the course and their books.
I strongly believe that we should strike a balance between
books and a social life. Of course, I am no psychiatrist
but at least I know of fixations, when I see them. You do
not want to be the 55-year-old who jumps onto campaign trucks
to scream for your candidate simply because you missed out
in your youthful days.
You could even turn into one of those middle aged mamas
we all look at queerly in Club wondering why they are not
in their beds resting their tired bones at a late 4.00 am.
It is important that one enjoys themselves whenever they
can for you never know when the world’s real grave
problems might pay a visit.
Not only do campusers read like there is no tomorrow, they
have these queer reading habits, that leave one vastly amused.
People reading from under trees, shrubs and in bushes is
not a thing left to high school students any more. Probably
they do this to avoid the heat in their rooms but even when
it is chilly; it is not rare to find someone under a tree
It is all about choices anyway, but I am not about to make
myself fodder for insects and caterpillars that inhabit
If you think reading under trees is not so abnormal, let
me divulge another group. Some students decide to discuss
their various subjects in their mother tongues. I am not
against the use of one’s mother tongue, but the exams,
except languages are set in English and it is only proper
that they discuss in this language for proper preparation.
I chanced upon such students around the School of Education
and at first, thought they were having a non-academic conversation
but on listening closely, they were actually discussing
History in a language I would describe as historical Luganda.
When I inquired as to why they were discussing in Luganda,
they told me that some of their companions did not understand
English very well and they had to be accommodated. I wondered
how those wrote out their exams and how they got that far
Queer all this is but, it is a queer world we live in.
But my simple advice is, take life easy. Read a lot and
play a bit. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a