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HOME AND ABROAD

Back home in Nigeria, I used to wake up as early as 5am, say the morning prayer with my family and head out to deliver crates of bottled soda (Coca-Cola and Limca products) to customers before heading to school. My mum was the owner of the business and I and my siblings had to help deliver the products to customers in other to make gain. This became my daily routine. School started by 8:30am, but sometimes, before I finish my morning routine and get to school, it was already 8:45 or 9am. This happened at least three times out of the five school days a week. In my secondary school (Christ the King College Onitsha) late coming is against the school rule and attracts punishment. My principal, Mr. Olisa, had a way of getting late comers. At the assembly ground, each class prefect would write down the names of students that attended the morning assembly. And if your name was not on the list, like mine sometimes, sorry for you. Mr. Olisa would lie in wait for late comers and lash them with a cain that we call KOBOKO. Getting the lashes made me think: ‘should I skip my morning

Cooper Zale’s Learning Story

JLO. Before Jennifer Lopez’s fans laid claim to this three-letter combo, it was the acronym for the unique youth theater group I participated in from 1970 to 1975, playing a role either backstage or, later, onstage in over twenty musicals, comedies, dramas and children’s theater. During the years I was a member of ‘Junior Light Opera’, it was a group of some seventy youth, ages five to twenty and just two facilitating adults — my speech and stagecraft teacher Michael and a school orchestra teacher named Sue. Michael played a pivotal role in funding the enterprise, picking the plays, pulling the key team members (producer, director, etc.) for each play. Sue, our musical director, would recruit and rehearse a full youth orchestra of maybe twenty kids from her various orchestra classes. Given that, the bulk of the responsibility was distributed to their company of talented youth. Unlike any other youth theater group I have seen where all the key jobs — director, producer, lighting and set design, costumer, choreographer — are performed by adults, a typical JLO musical had teenage youth in these critical roles. For example, we did the musical ‘Oliver’ with a seventeen-year-old director, a thirteen-year-old choreographer, an

Alec Wyeth’s Learning Story

Larry Myatt’s story is much like one of mine. I had a passion to be a surgeon and in high school I read all the books I could find on the heart and heart surgeons. During my junior year I spent a month at Bellevue Hospital in NY volunteering in the Recovery Room. I observed surgery and spoke with patients. My senior year I took a well taught course on Human Physiology that required a real-life research project. I designed a project to study the effects of Physoderm (remember that green bottle?) on fetal rats. I used histology techniques to look at the cell structure of the rats’ brains. I was pumped. So off I went to a well respected university to study pre-med and … I think you may have anticipated the climax of my story. But first, a hallmate and I spent our Saturday nights in Nashville’s city hospital’s emergency room. We saw surgeons in action and assisted where we could. Believe it or not, I was even allowed to tie a few stitches! I was pumped! However, much like Larry’s experience with paleontology, I was turned off by freshman chemistry (the weed ‘em out course). Trying to

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