Success.

In addition to being a teacher, I’m also a student. It is really interesting to be on the other side of the desk. You really get to grasp what your students have to endure with daily. This serves as a reminder how well to teach to avoid boring students to tears. More than boring students, there is the issue of inspiration.

What do you inspire your students to?

How high should they aim? What measures the limit and pursuit?

To be better, successful. Reap from their hard work. That’s what most teachers desire from their students. Aim to doctors, lawyers, respectable men& women in society. A constant reminder.

But is that all they should aim for? Soon they will get that good job, then begin building their career.

How are they to achieve this? Performance is the measure so it’s said.

When I began my studies, my aim was to maintain a stellar high score record. That ambition has with time changed. I still do my best to get good grades but it’s no longer my top ambition.

Not in any way saying good grades seize to be a priority. Having being a student for half a year now, I realise success is very much present. All around me. Not a thing worth achieving out there.

It took the help of my mom to see this. My exams record is not as beautiful as I wanted it to be. That pierced my heart. Mostly my ego. At some point, I felt deflated.

Then my mum sat me down for a talk. Our lengthy conversation producing the following key points. Points I believe as I share with you will help shift your focus as well to where real success lies.

  • The pain of failure stems from pride. Most times the good grades we desire are meant to prove a point. That I’m smart or best of my class.
  • Success is all with you, you only need to look around. How many times have you helped out a fellow classmate? Have you contributed to making the lesson enjoyable? Do you have a good relationship with all around you? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are successful. For success goes beyond self.
  • Your presence is a success. Opportunities to study do not exist for everyone. Some have health but lack the funds to enroll for studies. Others have the funds but are not blessed with an environment conducive for study. They may be battling a disease or struggling with family problems. You are present & available both physically &emotionally. Count that as success.
  • Adaptability is success. Change is inevitable. It is bound to affect studies. The ability to adapt& continue to pursue your studies is success. It may be in the confines of a school or in the world as you interact with skills. The desire to be achieve has not died. And that my friend makes you a success.

I enjoy my learning experience. Opening my eyes to the opportunities to achieve daily. To achieve you must believe. I have come to believe success is now. Becoming that which I aspire to be. A more fun loving, engaging teacher.

My students are already reaping from my hard work as our classes are brighter & more lively. Looking forward to each lesson.

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Time, Place, Setting.

As people so are words, related. Literature is written expression. Place, time and setting; words correlated. Place, a portion of space. Time, duration. Literature speaking, setting combines both time and place as it is the time and place in which a story occurs.

To literature, we all supply to its aspects. In occupying space in a given duration, we unconsciously pen stories. The why, when, who, where and how expressed with each interaction. This the power of who we are. Our actions and inactions rendering genres real. Comedy, romantic, thrillers, inspirational, poetry, to name but a few are daily created.

“Watch this space!” A common cliché.

Ever wondered which space? The present or the future. If you speak of the future then probably the present isn’t pretty. If the present, I’m hoping for a guaranteed benefit. That my time will reap a benefit. Time is a resource and every second counts. Again, present and future are correlated. More of a coin with both sides heads. Daily interactions give worth to our present and future.

So what’s your worth?

Occupy your space, engage your duration. In your place, time and setting; create worth inspire Literature.

I do not know if it’s just me or other writers experience a spur of the moment as I do. Your mind is flooded with an idea like a Eureka moment. Get to putting it down; the idea suddenly condenses to almost a flash fiction. The few seeming the perfect fit. Kindly do not add or subtract, it is beautiful. Post it as it is. Beauty of piece morphs with each individual reader. As a butterfly fighting to free itself from its cocoon, do not interrupt. Let nature take its course. Be amazed by beauty.

Oh Mama.

Oh Mama, I’m not good at poetry, sadly.

Teacher says it helps capture emotion,

But how capture emotion if it’s always in motion.

Remembering when we first planted the marigolds,

Enjoying summers hot.

Reminding me that though Papa be at times grumpy,

He loves me; he’s just old with worry.

Oh mama.

Ours may have been of rickety doors, worn out chairs and leaking pipes,

Food little but shared in delight.

All grown up now,

A lawyer, having what I did not have.

Your love warm and smile deep, treasured.

That I would rather have for money cannot buy.

They call it verse,

I say it is my heart for love cannot be rehearsed.

Logos.

Latin. Meaning study. Theology, sociology, biology, etymology among others. These all study some aspect. Aspects that all intertwine to form that which is the human world. Theology studies the Bible, sociology studies society; biology covers life while etymology reveals the root of words. Each study in depth with interesting findings. It should be, after all humans are interesting beings. Offering every reason for study.

I seek to attempt a study of my own. I say attempt for no study is perfect. Shortcomings very much expected. Eduology (A coinage of my own. Root words education and logos). Education the beginning of all studies. In this context, formal education. The basics on how to read and write igniting study. These skills pricked by curiosity. Curiosity among children knows no limits. Among them, there is no rhetoric.  Curiosity confined within a curriculum. Though confined, creative, critical and analytical thinking are expressed. Under proper guidance.

Question, is education a double edged sword? Cutting through both teacher and student? My answer is yes. Both teacher and student share a dialogical relationship. Same but not equal. As a teacher, by sociological standards, holds an upper hand as authority. Bearing the roles of an academic specialist, methodologist, character trainer, and a member of the school staff as well as society. The student bearing the position of child in need of training. Dialogue offers in my opinion, not only a chance to reason together but learn from each other. Both in training not under training. The older eating humble pie to listen, observe and learn. Just as the students do.

Whatever the curriculum in play, both benefitting. For we all are in constant studying motion. The teacher, the wise teacher, able to note dishonest scales. The student arising to the pedestal of teacher through creative, analytical and critical thinking. Character, the oar crafted to row the boat that is education.

 A teacher will not ask of her students to do that which she cannot do. If marking examinations and compiling the results requires time, she will not overload her students. Student riots will reduce as much of their time is spent in innovation. Course books though bulky will be a colourful discovery. Double lessons feeling a single lesson. Education finding true application as is all other studies.

Guidelines serve a good purpose, but lack in practicality. Remaining as ink on paper. Eduology, my logos, challenges quality. Quality training and resources challenged to improve both the teacher and student. They both service providers. Benefitting before society. All benefits reaped, they benefit society. Being the wise farmer who thinks of before, during and beyond harvesting.

Unlike other studies, mine is not written on paper neither a mention in history. Therefore, if education be dear to you carry on the conversation.

Goals.

They match on into the field. The whistle sets the action into motion. Rolling on the green, the ball is kicked about. The supporters chant, clap, sing and shout. All urging their players on. Soon up on their feet as closer and closer it nears the inzone. Then, Humph. Deflated hope as they slump into their seats.

Sounds familiar? Very much familiar.

After a pep talk, motivational speech or movie, many arise. Armoured with paper and pen we jot down strategies. Strategies to achieve goals. We all have them. Improving self-image, moving up the career ladder, being a better father or mother, financial freedom, security, health, religion. The list is endless. As the ball that fails to strike goal, so are goals simply put down on paper. Hyped up emotion that quickly passes away.

Back to our earlier analogy, how sweet be it if a goal be realised?

Strategy is the motion but if action be missing then we lose out big time, no matter how good the strategy. That’s good. You jump into action and viola goals are getting scored. Feels good doesn’t it? But what’s that feeling? Satisfaction or contentment? Does your philosophy apply to areas of your life or some?

These questions lead towards asking another. What’s your purpose? As in, everything.

Coach Grant Taylor in the movie, ‘Facing the Giants’, poses this question to his football team. “What is the purpose of this team?” One player answers, “To win ball games.”  Further he asks, “Then what?” The same player answers, “We win a trophy and people talk about us.” Coach Grant states this fact, “Maybe. For a while.” Then asks, “Then what?” Frustrated, the player answers, “I don’t know. Win a scholarship, play for college then coach the little league.” To which his teammates burst out laughing. Following this scene reveals a deep truth.

Coach Grant shares a truth that draws us to desire the main goal not the secondary goal. Winning ball games is good but not the main goal. It is too small a thing to live for. Satisfaction creates collectables. Which collect dust and are soon forgotten. Contentment rejoices in purpose. That win or lose, my efforts towards a goal achieved more than my selfish needs. Purpose improves me to impacts lives. It’s greater than my desires. We are to do more than make money, get glory and die.

Missing the main goal misses the mark in everything. As a soccer game, a lost game is more painful to the experienced players than we the supporters. In this life, there is only one main mark. To honour God. Our strategy must be geared to this pursuit. Living for that which is real and can hardly be forgotten.

As assistant coach JT puts it, “I actually feel good about Friday night.” Asked why he answers, “Just on board with what you’re doing. If they get a hold of it, it will change their lives. You count me.” Goals draw others in as well. Inclusion thus getting help as well to better achieve your goals.

  Get hold of the main goals. It will change your life and in turn change others. Soon you’ll be screaming Gooal as you watch the rest of your goals find the back of the net. Your sweat paying off as you enjoy the motion of your actions.

The losing Shiloh Eagles go on to win the State Championship two years in a row, the revival sparked by the team unforgettable.

 As for your goals, achieving them will bring contentment.

Silver Grey.

Painting on black canvas,

White dots with shapes diverse.

Black and white converse,

Touching the universe.

Nature’s presentation,

All part of the grand preparation.

Feel the breeze, hear the hill song,

Trees dance for indeed it won’t be long,

Beauty parades affection.

It is here, but a curtain raiser,

Attention given, but not much of a difference maker.

Dim gets brighter, hill song raised higher.

Boom. Boom. Boom. Then hush.

She is here in all her pride and glory,

Difficult to ignore more than story,

Allegory, searching minds and hearts for bravery,

Elegancy challenges might.

She needs not speak for she is meek,

Patient knowing she’s not weak.

A beauty to be held, the strong taking hold.

He burns, she glows,

Cools the blaze.

Silver Grey.

Head Tall Shoulders High Concludes.

Halfway through this pleasant journey of story. Taking in more than sights and sounds. A tiny village gripped with famine, Loyar granting us interaction with her place, time and space. What more does she hold for us? Is there hope for her village and her? Want to know? Join me in the last stretch of the journey, as Head tall shoulders high concludes.

“His eyes search to and fro the earth, looking for one through whom he can show Himself mighty.”



Back in the capital, the business community in partnership with the fourth estate were making numerous calls for relief. Dubbed, ‘Kenya Yetu.’ Calls for monetary and food donations were echoed in the entire nation. People of all races, tribe and colour rallied together towards this goal. Both young and old. The President joining in the famine relief appeals. Most of the relief failing to reach the intended party. Poor road infrastructure and food storage highly affecting the process in the negative.

******************************

Soft roars could be heard from afar. Dust billows drawing closer to the village. The strong helping the weak out of their akayis. Soon the village was engulfed in a cloud of dust. The villagers simply closing their eyes, the best they could do to shield themselves. Dust settled. A black helicopter with a yellow strip on both sides of its tail, revealed. Military trucks driving into the village adding to the spectacle. All watched in silent amazement. Offloaded supplies slowly growing into a heap. Greatest surprise of all, black and white men working side by side! A black man speaking their language then a strange language to the white man.

Intrigued, Loyar volunteered to help the strange, but kind and loving visitors. Milk, processed milk, blankets, canned fruits and vegetables. And many more. Gifts that were spread abroad. Loyar mistakenly acknowledged as the chief’s wife. She stood out. Her family getting most of the aid. The visitors camped in the village for a month. They had given them fish; they now taught them how to fish. Knowledge was passed on. An irrigation scheme initiated. Dates, pawpaw, sweet potatoes, water melons and green peas; the crops they were taught to cultivate. Loyar soon turning into a teacher too in the trade. As the visitors exited, Loyar earned her position as chieftess. Among her people, her name would be mentioned in the same breath as Kenya’s own Mekatilili wa Menza. And Queen Ann Nzingha of pre-colonial Angola.

1990 was ushered in with rain. The visitors gone, life resumed its beautiful flow. Suitors in their numbers gracing Loyar’s akayi. Loyar turning them all down. She was moving out to live alone. Making room for her sisters in law who slowly filled her father’s homestead. Her decision was no surprise. She and her family well known to offer surprises. She was now living her aspirations. Her family well provided for. Her community grown into civilisation. The how and when answered.

Her parents peacefully laid to rest. Loyar passed on the leadership baton to the youngest of her brothers. A wind of change was blowing through the country, Loyar’s village (Lekuro) feeling the breeze. Women rising to leadership. The girl child empowered. A new age dawning. The sun set to rise.

THE END.

It has been a pleasure accompanying you through this short story installment. Hope you did enjoy. Thank you to all that have liked the story and all other publications by En route. Baraka Ajab to you all. Looking forward to honouring your readership with another short story series. Until then, let us remain on life’s journey together.