Monday, June 15, 2009
Whoa! That's like my favorite part of boarding school life.
The good part is, like all groups of people united by a common cause, boarders have slangs that are totally unique to the school they attend.
The uniqueness of school slangs arises mainly from the location of the school and the native language spoken in that location, as well as the ethnicity and background of the students within the school. Let's not forget the hand-me-down slangs that must have been a tradition of the school from the get go. A great example is 'Madam Koi-Koi'. Now, if you haven't heard that one, irrespective of how old your boarding school is or where it is located in Nigeria, then you must be totally... LOL!!!
Slangs are like an unspoken rule: once you become a student of the school, you gotta learn the language and slangs of that school. No two ways about it.
I totally remember the first time my bunk mate referred to me as 'Bunkie'.
I was like, hold on... what was that?
Then there was the day a senior girl in my dorm threatened a junior student by telling her she was 'done for'.
Yeah right... please, mind defining that for me?
What about when someone asks you to go find their 'neighbor'?
Or when an announcement like this is made in the dining hall: "All 'meant-to's' should see me after siesta"?
So, after spending just three days in a boarding school, I began to think that each school should like, have a kind of dictionary that explains these slangs to new students. You know, sorta like a Slangotionary or something. LOL!!!
Seriously, wouldn't this make life easier for the new junior students?
Imagine having to figure out on your own what each slang means, or the consequences of mixing-up two like-sounding slangs, but with totally different meanings? i.e 'Pass' and 'Paas'. Totally un-cool huh?
So you can imagine how embarrassed I felt, when one day, I blurted out, "She banged her teacher!" when I actually meant, "She failed her teacher!".
Well, who would blame me? How was I to know that it was okay to use the slang 'bang' to connote 'fail', but only in terms of tests and exams. When used in the context of human to human relations, then 'bang' totally means something else.
Trust me, I got in a lot of trouble for that one. I had to learn the hard way--great way to go, huh?
The annoying part is that the older students always refuse to define the slangs for you when you ask them.
For instance, someone darts into the dormitory and declares, "You need to get a load of the kind atta that obtained me in Physics practicals today."
You ask, "What does 'atta' mean?"
And they reply, "Go and find out for yourself."
Gee thanks! If I could, I wouldn't be asking.
Anyways, it's all good, cos the average time for imbibing school slangs for any level-headed and minimally observant junior girl is three weeks. The 'ogba-mbo's' and 'efficienco's' usually pick them up in a few days flat.
Don't ask me what those mean. Cos if you do, I'd say, "Go and find out for yourself!" LOL!!!
Just so I don't sound like a total block-head, I've come up with a few slangs that are totally part of the slangotionary for my school.
Here they are in alphabetical order:
Barbie dolls: Girls who are pretty and rich, and usually very full of themselves. E.g. Did you see the expensive sunglasses that Barbie doll had on in class yesterday?
Been-to's: Students who have visited foreign nations like the UK and US. E.g. She now regards herself as a been-to, just because she managed to spend two days in London last hols.
Bubble girls: Students who are famous, especially due to their social skills. E.g. Everyone wants to be like that Bubble girl over there--she displays the coolest dance steps on stage.
Floater: Clueless students who seem to never be able to get the gist of what's on board. E.g. If you still don't get what this blog is all about, then you are a major floater.
Floor-members: Students in a senior class who are not prefects but are at the same class level as school prefects. E.g Your Bunkie is a floor member, so you don't have to obey all school rules to the letter.
Kabashers: Students who are religious fanatics and often known for their penchant to pray loudly anywhere at all manners of day or night. E.g. Someone should please tell that Kabasher to tone it down and let us get some sleep!
Meant-to's: Students who are repeating a class and are, therefore, meant to be in a higher class level otherwise. E.g. There is a meant-to in our class. Should we also put her name down for noise-making?
Princy: The school principal. E.g. This one is self-explanatory--Princy said so herself.
Subsidy: This term is used for identifying dormitory prefect. E.g. The subsidy in my dorm punished me for tardiness.
Transits: Students who transferred form a different school. E.g The transit in our class was formerly a day-student in another school.
Witchy: Being very mean; as in one who is wicked and unkind. E.g. She's such a witchy student, please have nothing to do with her.
Yacker: Someone who talks too much without making much sense. E.g. Please shut-up--you're just a miserable yacker.
Okay, that's it for now, but feel free to include yours. Remember, each school has its own unique slangs, so it will be great to have your versions of the above. LOL!!!
Read excerpts of the FEDDIE GIRL novel HERE and RESERVE A COPY.
The novel will be available on the PUBLISHER'S SITE starting this July. Availability will be by reservation only.
Monday, June 8, 2009
This is an excerpt from the actual novel, FEDDIE GIRL by Nona David. Advance copies of the novel will be released this July, but availability will be by reservation only. Click HERE to reserve copies.
ENJOY THE SNEAK PEEK!
The next morning dawned bright and clear, but Carlotta was apprehensive in the presence of her new classmates.
Having to attend a girls’ boarding school in a foreign country was not too bad. But, what Carlotta loathed about school period was the deafening and head aching quarrels her classmates indulged in when there was no teacher in the classroom.
It was only 8:45 AM and, already, the JS1D students were at it again. This time, they were bickering and fighting one another about what cities and towns in Nigeria had the best residential areas. When words weren’t enough, they resorted to throwing missiles in the form of books, combs, and school sandals.
As if anyone cares where others grew up, Carlotta thought, feeling miserable. She’d lived her whole life in the United States and hadn’t been able to do a thing about it when her parents decided to ship her off to a boarding school in Nigeria as punishment for getting expelled from middle school.
The noise was making her head hurt. Carlotta depressed her vibrating eyeballs with the heel of her palms, hoping to keep them from falling out of their sockets. She was wondering how the girls were able to keep up such a racket, when a particularly loud bang surprised her into snapping her eyes open.
A furious looking male teacher stood at the classroom door.
The students stopped fighting at once. The screeching was cut off from the throats of two students—like a raging fire abruptly doused with water. One final sandal arched high above the heads of the students and landed squarely in the middle of the blackboard with a loud thud, then skidded mournfully down to the ground. Several girls scuttled back to their seats. Ndidi and her cohorts scrambled down from their lockers.
When all was calm, the class stared sheepishly at the dark male teacher leaning against the doorframe.
The teacher considered them for a while, his handsome face devoid of expression. Without much show of annoyance, he strolled into the classroom and stood before the students. “I am not going to inquire as to the cause of the noise,” he declared, “but this is a classroom, and it is time for my lesson.” He walked over to the blackboard and picked up the lone sandal. “Who lost this?” he asked in a scathing tone, holding the rubber footwear aloft by the tips of his forefinger and thumb, dangling it like an offending rodent for the whole class to see.
A chubby girl walked up to him like one would to a dangerous dog. “Please sir, it’s mine,” she breathed, and held out her hand for the shoe.
The teacher cast her a wary eye, snorted, and dropped the sandal in her hand.
The girl clutched the shoe and scurried back to her seat.
The teacher sneered then turned abruptly and picked up the duster. With a swift swipe of his left hand, he wiped the board clean. His right hand moved with lightening speed as he wrote the word mathematics on the board with a piece of white chalk. He whirled around in one fluid motion and began to teach.
The teacher’s movements seemed so effortless; his actions— electrifying; voice—spellbinding.
There was no beep from the class during the entire lesson. The students were caught up in the fast paced action of his teaching. They watched in fascination as he stabbed and slashed at the blackboard with the chalk, whipping-up seemingly intoxicating mathematical symbols and equations from thin air.
The math teacher was the performer; the mesmerized class his spectator.
Not until the bell rang did Carlotta realize she hadn’t grasped a thing out of the lesson.
The math teacher had raced through his lesson in a well-meaning tactic to revise the basic math skills he believed the class should have already acquired. He had breezed through even and odd numbers and the rules of addition and subtraction. After those came multiplication and division. Then types of fractions. Simple proportions. Percentages. Finally, it had come to algebra and the real lesson had commenced.
The math teacher had sauntered out of the class as soon as the bell rang, leaving an awed class behind him. He hadn’t even bothered to introduce himself.
A stunned silence followed the teacher’s departure until someone broke the spell by saying,
“Please, what was his name?”
“Mr. Wesley Iorshimbe-Ngongngong,” another offered.
“Mr. Wesley what?” a different girl quipped.
“Wesley Snipes!” Joyce snapped at the girl. “Kai, are you deaf?”
The girl gave Joyce a reproachful look. “Please allow me oh, the man’s name has k-leg, abeg.”
Another student admonished Joyce. “Yes oh, allow her. I’m sure that even you can’t pronounce the name sef.”
Nelly laughed and shook her head. “Come to think of it, that Mathematics teacher is a real Snipes.” She jumped to her feet, her eyes shinning with mischief. She couldn’t stop laughing. “Wait oh, he even looks like the real Wesley Snipes.” She stopped to catch her breath.
Several girls laughed, too.
That opened the floodgates. In excited tones, the students compared the math teacher’s movements to that of Wesley Snipes’ ingenious stunts in the ‘Blade’ movies. They got so wrapped-up in their stories they lost track of time, until Rosemary the class prefect announced in dismay,
“You girls, it’s time for integrated science, and it says here on the time-table that we are supposed to go to the biology lab for the lesson.”
They were already six minutes late. Lockers were opened and banged as the students reached for their science text and notebooks. In a flash, most of them were out the door.
“Biology lab, Carlotta. Let’s go,” Ossie apprised. She picked up her books, shut her desk with a bang, and ran for the door.
“Hey, wait up!” Carlotta called to Ossie, “I dunno where to find the biology lab!” In a rush, she grabbed a heavy textbook she assumed was for integrated science, and bolted out the door after her classmates.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009
While in boarding school, ever been in the situation where you feel like a senior girl is totally out to get you and deal with you? It's like, whatever you do, you always end-up in trouble with the same senior girl?
Yeah, I've totally been there. In my case, her name is Senior Chidinma, and she also happens to be the house prefect of my house.
The first time I met her, I knew there was just something about her that wasn't right. Don't get me wrong, she's not sick in the head or anything like that. It's just that she's -- weird. Kinda sinister internally. I mean, she looks okay, very pretty on the outside, but I'm sure if you were to take a knife to her chest, you'll probably be looking at a black stone embedded right there in place of a heart.
I'm not gonna be all righteous and pretend like I've never had my share of wickedness as a kid, believe me, I have. But Senior Chidinma's attitude takes wickedness to a whole new level. Maybe it's just me who see her that way. The first time I looked into her eyes, I felt chills creep up my back. The girl has no eyes. What she has are marbles. Cold black marbles.
Needless to say, my path crossed hers a few times, and it was from her I learned there were ways to deal with someone without laying a finger on them. If you've ever knelt on the rough ground for three straight hours with your arms extended at ninety degree angles on either side of you, then you'd get what I'm saying. Imagine! Before boarding school, the meanest punishment I'd ever been given was being grounded for two weeks. So, go figure.
Senior Chidi always seemed to materialize each time I do something wrong. I don't know how she totally does that. She just sorta -- appears. Just like that! Whoooo!!! And she's not one to ease-off on the punishments. You should see her meting them out. It's like her favorite pastimes are assigning morning duties and ordering students about before Saturday morning inspections. Well, I guess that's why she was made the house prefect. Kudos to her! Bummer for us!
So one evening, I was leaving the dining hall with my friend, on our way to class for night prep. It wasn't actually time for prep, we still had a few minutes before the bell was supposed to go off. So my friend and I kinda dawdled for a while, you know, just bonding and talking about stuff. Then all of sudden, what did I hear?
"Feddie Girl, come here!"
I turn around and what do you know? Senior Chidi was a little way ahead, glaring at me with those black marbles. I swallowed down the creeping chills, dismissed my friend and start to make my way to her.
"Start running!" she ordered.
There was only a few feet separating us. Why should I run, when I can cover the distance as quickly in a few long strides. So, I quickened my steps and got to her in like three seconds. Guess what she said?
"Go back to where you were and run from there to here!"
Seriously? Is she kidding? Well, I guess not, cos she made me repeat the whole process like a dozen times before she was satisfied. By then, I was already a slobbering panting mess. I also puked all the dinner I ate that evening. You'd think she would stop there won't you?
No way! Not Senior Chidinma.
She made me kneel for an hour and a half with a heavy book on my head. Then she made me scrub half a dozen bathrooms until they shone and sparkled. That's not all. The next afternoon she made me clean several pots and sweep several classrooms. By the time the punishment was over, I was ready to pack my bags and call it quits.
So, please, remind me again. What was it I did to merit the punishment in the first place?
Senior Chidi, what have you got with me?
FEDDIE GIRL, novel by Nona David. Coming this July to Bernard Books Publishing. Read excerpts and reserve a copy.