As an adult, we are continuously plagued by the perils of professional education. No one wants to do the work but we all want to benefit from the results of these new found insights that comes from studying a professional course.
Not to digress, I was recently at Uganda Management Institute for my Saturday morning class for one of my final papers for my course. Sadly, I was the only student in class that day with my tutor for close to an hour before anyone else arrived. Then in walked a middle-aged gentleman who asked;
Student 1: ‘’Is John around?’’ he asked he pointed at the tutor’s laptop which was open at the head of the long table.
Me: ‘’Yes he is,’’ I responded as I looked up.
Student 1: ‘’Where is he?’’
Me: ‘’He stepped out to go and get some airtime.’’
Student 1: ‘’Are you on a break?’’
Me: ‘’Yes,’’ I said as I went back to my crunchy pack of cookies.
The tutor returned after a brief while and found us seated across from each other on either side of our long class table and after glancing at our new addition to the class he asked;
Tutor: ‘’Jim, where is your material for class? Where is your laptop, notebook, pen and flash disk?’’
Student 1: ‘’I have it with me.’’
Tutor: ‘’Where is it? I do not see a laptop.’’
Student 1: ‘’I do not need a laptop, all I need is,’’ he said as he tapped his forehead and I allowed a chuckle to escape under my breath.
Tutor: ‘’Okay, well will that capture your assignment? The assignment for your December sitting is out, give me a flash disk.’’
With a grin on my face, I watched the gentleman dig deep into his pockets and fish out a flash disk which he passed on to the tutor.
Tutor: ‘’So why did you come to class, ….now how are you going to view what am giving you as we read through the assignment.’’
Student 1: ‘’………,’’ he paused for a while as silent as a bat before responding, ‘’I was on my way somewhere when you called me so I came to class.
Tutor: ‘’So you did not receive the class timetable?’’
Student 1: ‘’Yes I did but I did not expect you to come to class for the first lecture.’’
As he spoke these words the other 2 members of our class snuck in behind the tutor as he faced the soft board. When he faced the class again, he saw 4 instead of 2 faces and said;
Tutor: ‘’Eh, we keep multiplying.’’
Student 2: ‘’Yes, we were not sure you would be coming to teach today.’’
Tutor: ‘’Yes, this is level 7 so there are no games. So did you also bring just your heads? Where are your class items, study material?’’
Student 2 & 3: ‘’……’’ There was dead silence as the students looked on stunned. Jim and I could not help but laugh because we were the only ones who could understand this joke.
The moral of the story is if you are going to show up, own it and make sure you are not simply physically present.