Saturday, December 14, 2013

Life lessons from the trenches: Boarding school 101

The bible says, train up a child on the way he should go and when he is up old he will never depart from it (you can close your mouth now. Yes, it's true I just quoted the bible. Lol). From JSS1 -JSS3, I went to boarding school in one village like that. It definitely wasn't an Aje school but it wasn't  as rugged as the pro unitate school, I went to SSS in (fear no let me be boarder for that school. The seniors in that school were direct agents of lucifer and I liked my life and sanity). Back to my JSS, I think it would have been fair to say my life prior to this had not prepared me for boarding school. It was there I was first called an Ajebutter like it was the worst insult ever. I still remember how the senior spat it out at me in disgust because I wasn't sweeping the leaves on my portion of the Apian way properly. I cried because I was homesick until first term of JSS2! But in JSS2, I was placed in the same dorm room as the girl who became my best friend and partner in crime and I forgot about being homesick and got into mischief. That's when I stopped being quiet and became a troublemaker. She was accused of spoiling me and I was accused of spoiling her. We were good for each other, I guess. Our Dorm prefect was too calm and soft spoken to handle us and sometimes the A dorm prefect (we were in B) had to take it upon herself to punish us. But I'm jumping ahead.

I didn't like being in boarding school but I resigned myself to it and honestly liked it better when I went home on holidays. Twisted I know. I think I learned many skills which serve me till this day. More than anything, I learned how to adapt at a very young age. On the list of things to bring to school in JSS 1 was an iron bucket. I'm not exactly sure why it had to be an iron bucket, but that's how I started out with an iron bucket. We had a well and 3 plastic tanks for water. The plastic tanks were for drinking water and the well was for bathing water, laundry and cleaning. That's how I had to learn how to fetch water from a well, then carry the water in the iron bucket to my hostel. 

I initially started out carrying the water like a normal person, but as small as I was back then, I'm not sure who was carrying who. No be person tell me make I start to dey carry the bucket for my head. So I started carrying my bucket of water on my head because that was the only way I could make it to my dorm without stopping 10 times and spilling half the water. Second term, it's not my clear eye I used to tell my mother to buy me a plastic bucket as lots of girls had plastic buckets and it wasn't a problem. When we started we were supposed to get 2 checks (uniforms), I got my first check, then the tailor decided to pack all the abandoned checks people had left in the laundry rooms and start handing out. When he got to me, I refused to take it. Thinking back now. I'm surprised at myself (e don tey wey I stubborn). He now said that was supposed to be my second check and he was not giving me a new one, I said fine. I went weeks wearing only one check, until one senior called me to curse me out for being dirty and I told her what the tailor did. Sharp, sharp, she summoned him and I ended up getting my new check. Funny enough the next year, that senior became my mortal enemy when she flogged me 31 times (my friend who was hiding counted) and ordered me to wash a pit toilet because I was caught on a Mango tree plucking mangoes during class time. I was sick for 2 days and didn't wash the toilet. I hated her because there were 3 of us caught, and she flogged her school daughter like 10 times, the other girl like 15 times and me 31 times. I guess since I insisted on keeping a straight face and not crying or begging, she wanted to break me. I cried o, but after she left. Lol. I guess the flogging was effective because I never climbed another tree until I left that school. 

After my first term in boarding school, I came back home and started greeting my older cousins who were in university. They were shocked, like what happened to this rat. I figured since I had to respect those little rats in my school who were way younger than my cousins, I might as well respect my cousins too. I had to greet these girls, couldn't talk back, put my hand of my waist while talking to them. Woe betide you if you look them in the eye. The one wey dey pain me pass were the girls who were a year ahead of me and I knew we were the same age but by virtue of them being a class ahead, I had to respect them. By force, by fire you learn respect. 

Something happened on Wednesday this week that reminded me of boarding school, hence this post. 

To be continued


  1. Lol memories. Boarding school wickedness and adventures is what happens when you give a bunch of 14 - 17 year olds too much power.

  2. talk about boarding school woes... i went to KC lagos, and even though jss and sss were split... those little demons were brutal and devilishly creative in punishments.... i was spoilt before entering boarding house, by the end of the 1st term, i had straightened up well well...i was homesick more times than i could tell, and Boarding school was traumatic for me... i learnt coping mechanisms and diplomatic strategies when dealing with ego conscious people. while in boarding school, i often times fantasized about how it felt to be a day student, and dreamt about being wisked out of boarding school onto a flight to the US. i grateful for the experiences, though im not really sure i would want to re experience again at my age.

  3. Lolz..@ Apian way!
    Can't remember when last I heard that.


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