My School Aid

16/04/2018

[A WORD FROM AKAN]: "LIVE LIKE AN ANT!"

5:56 pm 0

Live like an ant! 

Ants are organised and disciplined: Ants living as ungoverned species is what dazes me. Don’t be misled, they are not controlled, not even by the queen -her sole responsibility is reproduction and nursing. They have no commander, overseer or ruler yet every member has a very high sense of responsibility of what to do and when to do it. As higher animals (so scientists say), we possess the instinct in an advanced form naturally, but somehow for one reason or the other, we pushed the reset button.

Unselfish unity and Teamwork: In every colony, every individual ant has its responsibility; from the queen who repopulates the colony, to the soldier who protects the species working via a huge network of individuals. In humanity, there is a bright future if we can learn to work as a TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More.

Spirit of Sharing: If a scout ant finds a resource which provides more than a single serving, he quickly leaves a trail of pheromones to help other ants find the shortest path to it, thus saving time to reach it. In humanity, I have come to realise that many people hoard information and resources, if only we can emulate that spirit of Sharing, certain life issues would not even exist and the struggle for success will be short-lived.

Action in Time: There is a saying which goes: "work while you work and play while you play, to be useful and happy, this is the way". Ants do not procrastinate, they do not halt necessary activities to send a tweet, update a Facebook status or reply a BBM message. They understand and execute their utmost priority in the right time and the right season.

Amazing sense of discipline: The ant distinguishes when to work and when to play, hibernate and when to scout. It stores food in summer and gathers it’s food at harvest. Except you are being paid to reply a Facebook message or tweet within the hour, you shouldn’t waste so much of your time on unfruitful activities. Discipline yourself and put all your time to proper accountable use.

Ants are tireless and persistent: Ants work all through the summer piling up stock for the raining days, they recognise that there would be rainy days, so they work endlessly when they can. They do not give up easily; as a matter of fact, they never give up.  Try placing a huge rock on the path of an ant, it will find a way around or over this ‘problem’ rather than sit in self-pity.

Ants dream big: An ant-hill is made up of earth, that is sand and dirt that leads into many tunnels of their nest. This huge nest is not built in a single day, and its size is determined by the size of the colony which continuously expands as the colony population increases. The hugeness of this nest is never undermined by their individual size.

Other characteristics of the ant vary from their incredible speed, to their strength and many more. But the most important moral is that to be a more successful specie and build a more promising society, we as humans must be ready to evolve from our current state of selfishness, laziness and idleness to united and hardworking individuals. Also, we must adopt long range vision as individuals, adopt the right attitude with absolute integrity and initiate great team work in whatever we do.

Live like an ant!
Insight gotten from Oshodi Moses Ayoola
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11/04/2018

[EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]: "I GOT TIRED OF SCHOOL... THE INPUTS WERE THERE, BUT THE GRADES WERE NOT COMING AS BEFORE" -WILFRED EMMANUEL

3:54 pm 0
It is a well-known fact that attaining academic excellence is not an easy task. However, after attaining it, some students still find it difficult to maintain it. Here, Wilfred Emmanuel, one of the best graduating students from the Department of Accounting in the University of Uyo, speaks of the challenges he faced, maintaining an excellent result till he graduated. Excerpts:


May we meet you?

My name is Emmanuel, Wilfred Kufre. I'm a Social  Media Marketer/Manager, Publicity Strategist, Online Reputation Manager, and a Growth Hacker for small businesses. I recently graduated from the department of Accounting, University of Uyo -not too recently though, I finished in July 2017, precisely.
I love surfing the net, reading -I read a lot- and pressing my phone (that is where I make my money from). I am not a fan of proud and dishonest people.


That is a stunning profile! I did not, however, fail to catch the phrase "I read a lot". Can you say that love for reading is one of the driving forces of academic excellence?

Thank you.

Yes, I love reading. And I will submit any day that an excellent student is one who reads.

For you to ace your courses, you just need to read. There are no two ways about this; I can remember when I was an undergraduate, I spent my evenings reading; I read everyday, even if it was for an hour or two. Consequently, reading was one of the driving forces of my academic excellence.


But, is it just about reading? You know, the process of reading is not always exciting to everyone. Does that mean that those wtho do not really love reading are bound to encounter academic failure?

Let me highlight a sentence from your question: "The process of reading is not always exciting to everyone".

Honestly, for an excellent student, reading is a daily habit. And it is very exciting to them. Very. If you came to the four walls of the University with a goal in sight, you won't have an option, but just to cultivate the reading habit.

You know why I call reading a habit? It is because it can be groomed; you can grow yourself to love reading.
Now to the question: my answer is an emphatic Yes, with a 'but' accompanying it, though.

The 'but' is, any student who cannot settle down to read or does not love reading will definitely encounter academic failure, and for them not to fail, they opt for other crooked methods to pass their courses, ranging from sorting of lecturers to cheating to impersonation, etc.

So my candid advice to any student is, "My friend, just sit and read. Graduate with good grades because the labour market no be play...Your grades might not distinct you, but the fact that you spent your time to read and study judiciously, will".


Okay. There is still a pending question, however: Is it just all about reading?

You want to hear God?

Okay, God!

- Believe in God and commit your endeavours to his hands.
- Attend classes and listen with utmost concentration.
- Take and make lecture notes.
- Don't be a truant: attend lectures
- And then again, Read! Read!! Read!!!


You were on the Honours' Roll of the University of Uyo in your third year in the University. How were you able to cope with the University system up till then?

Well, I really do not like answering this question because it just reminds me of how much of a failure I left school. But then again, for the sake of the readers of this platform, I will.

It all started with a MINDSET. While coming to school, I wanted to graduate with a First class; that was the goal. So, having such mindset, all I did was to find the fuel to help drive me closer to my goal and the fuel needed were those factors I highlighted earlier.


So, what can you really say doused the flame?

Honestly, I got tired of school. I wouldn't want to tell a lie. I did. But the flames were never doused. The inputs were still there, but the outputs (grades) were not coming forth like they used to. 

Also, in my third year, I became more career -and money -conscious, I looked into the structures and systems of education in Nigeria and I concluded that it would be better if I concentrated on  adding  more skills to my inventory, and that was what I did. While I did that anyway, I just really did not see the need for the first class again.


I think a lot of students can relate to your story, especially the ones who came in with the blazing desire to finish with a first class and their current results do not reflect their initial desire. However, despite your venture into politics in the later part of your second year, you still managed to graduate with a stunning result! Does politics affect academic performance?

It does not, at all. It never did. My grades even started dropping when I left politics. As a matter of fact, one of the past SUG Presidents, Engr. Kufre Samuel graduated with a First Class from the Department of Petroleum Engineering.

Politics never does.


That is incredible!
In the same vein, would you say that being a successful student entails more than just reading and passing exams?

For a successful student, yes. For a graduate, a 'BIG, FAT' No!


Could you give us a brief summary of the idea behind the negation?

As a graduate, you need more than reading and passing of exams. It is pertinent that one acquires core skills and professional career skills.

For example, a graduate of Accounting should have knowledge of Accounting software packages like SAGE50; a graduate of Architecture should have knowledge of architectural software like AutoCAD, etc.

In 2015, World Economic Forum identified  top 10 skills that graduates should grasp and they included complex problem solving, negotiation, people management, creativity, amongst others.

Also, recently, a report including 10 top skills 2020 graduates should acquire was released, and it included creativity, emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility, service orientation, amongst others. So you see, It speaks for itself!


That was really insightful.Thank you for sharing with us. It is really an honour to have you.
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10/03/2018

THE JAMB SERIES: "BEFORE JAMB CHANGES YOUR DESTINY"

4:07 am 0



Majority of people, right from a very young age, desire to study one professional course or the other in the higher institution as a result of the kind of orientation they get as kids. This leads a lot of students to making up their minds to become Medical Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, Bankers, Newscasters, Engineers, etc.
Also, due to peer pressure and the inaccurate advice of friends, students make the wrong choice of what to study in tertiary institutions. It is very common among children to hear something like, “You can talk very much, you need to become a newscaster”, or “You like arguing, you should become a lawyer”, or “You like money too much, you should become a banker” and even “You don’t like to see blood, how do you want to become a doctor?”
Statements like this have helped to shape the thinking pattern of majority of students, negatively, and they end up making the wrong choice of what to study in the tertiary institution…



…Until JAMB changes their destiny.




JAMB is known as the second most frustrating exam body in Nigeria, the first being WAEC. This is due to its ever-consistent habit of “frustrating” students in their quest to gain admission into the University (most especially). The truth about JAMB is that it only shows the student the real world and because they are not ready for the gruesome challenges the real world has to offer, they become frustrated.
Now, part of the blame can be apportioned to JAMB, but the truth is that most students pick the wrong path in the first place, that is why they end up frustrated. You may be good at arguing, but if you do not have the patience to read for a long period of time, at a stretch, you may find it difficult to cope in the Faculty of Law; that you are good with keeping money does not mean you should become a banker or an accountant –if you are not very good at calculating, you may find it difficult to actualize your dream (although, these are not the only defining criteria).
Before you allow JAMB to “change your destiny”, you have to reconsider what that destiny entails in the first place –Do you want to become a medical doctor because your friends want to? Do you want to become a pilot simply because you love the sight of a plane? Do you want to become an accountant because they handle a lot of money? Do you want to become a banker because of the way they always appear in suit and tie? These questions query the primary purpose of your choice of profession, but they do not query the secondary aspect.
After ascertaining that you are not choosing a particular course because of a frivolous reason, you need to question your secondary reason for choosing to study that course. You may love to talk a lot, but when you assess yourself, do you think you have what it takes to become a newscaster? You may be good at calculation, but are you very sure that you would cope studying engineering?
It goes beyond paying attention to the practice; you also need to be capable of conquering the challenges you will face while preparing for practice. A student that wants to become a medical doctor but is doing poorly in Physics and Biology should have a rethink before venturing to sit for UTME. In the same vein, a student who wishes to become an actor/actress should first fall in love with Literature because it may be difficult to study Theatre Arts without having a concrete knowledge of the tenets of literature.
There are a lot of professional courses that keep many students at home for a very long time when, in fact, they could study something else that would be more profitable with a combination of their skill set.
In summary, before you decide to define your course of study in the higher institution, you need to be aware of what it entails both physically, emotionally, psychologically and otherwise. This is the first step.
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12/02/2018

[QUICK TIPS]: COMPLETE GUIDE ON WRITING BOOK AND CHAPTER REVIEWS

11:08 pm 0


Despite the difference in nomenclature, book reviews have, often a-time, been mistaken for book summary. A book review is a systematic analysis of the contents of a book, indicating the thoughts and opinions of the reviewer; a book summary, on the other hand, is a brief presentation of the subject matter discussed in the book.
This article is not bordered on the disparity between book reviews and book summaries, but from time to time, the various tips indicated below will help to show their differences. Below are the important points to note while writing a book or chapter review:

1. INTRODUCTION
The introduction of the book review is almost as important as the book review itself. This is because the introduction is the first point of contact between the reviewer and the reader (lecturer). The introduction has to show how well the reviewer has read the book; it is, more or less, a presentation of the thoughts of the reviewer about the book and if it is not well presented, the reader may lose interest in the review without even looking at a page.

2. ORGANIZATION OF CONTENT
Book reviews are systematic analyses and need to be treated as such. Unlike a book summary where the contents of the book can be interchanged and mixed up in order to give a better meaning to the subject matter, book reviews have to be done on a chapter-by-chapter and point-by-point basis. This implies that chapter one has to be reviewed completely before chapter two is reviewed.

3. TENSE
This is simply the tense in which the review is written. In most cases, books are written in either present or past tense and this always tempts reviewers to do the same thing. However, good reviews are written in present tense.


4. REPORT
A good book review is written as a reported speech; this implies that the reviewer has to make reference to what the author said in the book. For example, book reviews should contain statements with “in the author’s opinion…”; “the author identified…” etc.

5. LENGTH
Most times, students write much more than is needed in a book review. It is pertinent to note that a chapter that has 5 pages cannot be reviewed correctly in 8 pages; the review has to be done in less than 5 pages, preferably in 2. While reviewing a book or chapter, writing more than the pages of the book is most likely to mean that the reviewer does not know how to do a review and this will definitely lead to the student being scored lower than is necessary.

NOTE: Book reviews and chapter reviews are, more or less, the same thing. The only difference between a book review and a chapter review is that book reviews encompass the whole chapters while chapter reviews talk about only the subject matter in the chapter; therefore they should be approached in the same way.

Conclusively, avoid copy and paste as it will definitely reduce the mark that would have ordinarily been awarded to the student for a job well done.
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