The 1am Fan

         Hello everyone. Let me start by apologizing for my disappearance. I have been lazy, and life has happened to me. Adulthood, to be precise. I have become responsible for and to myself, and it is all much too sudden. I always thought adulthood was supposed to be something you slowly transition into but apparently my friends and family don’t think so as they assume my new status as an undergraduate means I am ready for the adult world. Now, everyone involves me in conversations about a cousin that insists on getting married to a man involved in shady business, conversations that would be held in hushed tones in previous times and no one waits for days before breaking the news of an aged uncle’s demise to me because it is believed that I can handle it. Now, it’s most likely I am ready to handle all this adulthood business, but I’m not sure I am ready to lose my innocence just yet. I have been ignorant, or pretended to be, and it has been blissful.
        So presently, I am a “fresh” undergraduate, and I can’t say school is everything I expected it to be because I didn’t particularly expect anything before I resumed; I didn’t want to get my hopes too high up. But generally, I have observed that university is a place of many things, one of which is self discovery. The social confinements of family and friends are not present and we discover how far we will take our newfound freedom. It’s also a place of reinvention. People make new friends, people create new identities, while others latch on tightly to their past, as it is familiar territory.
       As a student, there are two new sets of people that I constantly have to relate with: roommates and classmates. My roommates are all sane people, at least for now. They readily listen to my lamentations and wails when I get overwhelmed and start to rant about how the toilets cause you physical and emotional damage when used, or how horrifying it is that water doesn’t run on our floor, or how poorly managed everything in the country is, butting in ‘Yes!’, ‘Nawa’ or ‘May God help us’ in the right places. My classmates at first glance appear to be annoyingly eccentric and overzealous students on the brink of insanity but on a deeper level they’re just people innocently excited about learning.
       Now here’s what my typical week in school looks like:

Sunday: Sunday is my only free day of the week as I have classes Monday through Saturday. I attend a church near my school, and I like it there. The worship is more liberal in that I don’t have to worry about looking too spiritual or ‘hip’ if I lift up my hands or jump up when I’m excited or worry about a concerned mother who calls me after service to tell me that my braids are too long. By noon, I’m back in my room at the hostel and I usually cook myself a fiesta on Sunday afternoons as it is the only true time I have to myself, so I usually go all out to treat myself. Sunday is a good day.

Monday: I’m usually very angry on Monday mornings. I wake up and discover that my fan has been mysteriously tilted up in my bunk mate’s direction during the night. I realize that I have slacked; I have forgotten that this is war and I am on a battlefield. On Mondays I’m angry at how tiny the ‘moin-moin’ I buy at the cafeteria is. I’m also angry on behalf of the cats in my hostel because the rats eat almost everything and leave them with nothing to live on. I have tutorials on Monday and I’m usually angry that my tutorial teacher is sexist and does not have a potbelly. I feel like he should get some sort of judgment for saying things such as: “These questions are too feminine, we’re not going to solve them” or “a boy that wears pink is not a real man” or how someone should speak in a baritone voice if they want to ask a question.

Tuesday: On Tuesday I am prepared for battle. Usually, I set an alarm for 1am and find the fan tilted up in my bunk mate’s direction. I tilt it downwards back in my direction and with a peaceful smile, I return to sleep. My fan is back in my control. It is a great day already.

Wednesday: Wednesday I’m usually too busy to be angry at anything or anyone.

Thursday: On Thursday I wake up earlier in order to sit near the air-conditioners because I have noticed that people faint the most on Thursdays. There is a probability that someone faints any other day of the week, but the probability increases on Thursdays. On a certain Thursday, someone fainted, and I was overwhelmed with shame when for a fraction of a second I felt like the lecturer should continue with the class, since it was a recurrence.

Friday: Friday is hardly different from any day of the week because I have classes the next day.

Saturday: I unconsciously find myself looking forward to Saturday classes because matters such as female condoms and adolescent behavior are discussed which are a welcome respite from tales and observations of a chemist who studied 200 pea plants for 50 years.

Sunday: Once again I forget that war is going on and drop all my weapons. Chances are that I wake up on Monday an angry young woman.

Truly, school is stressful, but I just might be getting attached to the life. The semester is nearly over and I promise to pay more attention to this space. Thanks to everyone who kept asking what happened to my blog. Thanks for reading.

I still wake up by 1am to check up on my fan.


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