Next week, I will complete my first online course, a certified course from the University of Washington – Leadership and Management in Health. The first time I came across the course was last year. I was a busy house officer in Ile-Ife and didn’t think I met the requirements for the course. When I saw it again this year, I felt better qualified to take it. What I didn’t see coming was the unique challenge of completing an online course.
Prior to getting into medical school, I nursed dreams of becoming either a Paediatrician or a cardiothoracic surgeon. My lean perspective would start to broaden sometime in 400 level when I heard a classmate talk about her interest in Public Health specialisation. I found it fascinating and unconventional. Going through my clinical rotations in the last two years of medical school would further open me up to the diverse options that abound in Medicine.
Learning a new language can be hard, learning a new language as an adult even harder, and learning a new language as an adult via an app can prove to be an extreme sport. I have been learning French solely using the Duolingo app for five months. As a newly sworn-in corp member sitting in Ikare-Akoko orientation camp, Ondo state, Nigeria and receiving lectures on Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED), I wrote out some skills I had an interest in acquiring. Topmost on my list was to learn a foreign language.
I saw a beautiful circular by the Christian Medical and Dental Association, Nigeria (CMDA – Nigeria) which combined a familiar idiom with a captivating adjunct: ‘A stitch in time saves nine, be the stitch in the fabric of one’s life.’
In recent weeks, I have watched with admiration as this association have strived to stay on top of the situation in Nigeria; ushering light and hope into a world threatened to be overtaken by darkness and fear. Such an admirable position to assume.
There is no question if life would be different post-COVID-19. Some persons and organisations have shared their thoughts on some of the ways they think that life would differ after the pandemic – nobody knows anything for sure, we can only speculate. If there is one thing this pandemic has done, it is to redirect our focus to things that matter more, and a number of persons (myself inclusive) have thought, ‘ What will I do differently post-COVID-19?’ The first time I thought about it, I couldn’t think of any area I would love to improve upon, but some ideas crossed my mind and I would love to share them with you and hear yours too. In no order:
Sometime in the middle of January 2020, a heartwarming thought coursed its way through my mind: ‘If I live every year the way I have lived this year so far, I would have a consistently great year and life.’ At the time, I was moving in the direction of my goals for 2020 and it was a delight to see and feel.
I received the result of my IELTS test taken on the 13th of February, 2020 last week and to say I was overjoyed would be understating the emotions I felt. Besides joy, I felt gratitude – a big one – to God, my friends who believed in me especially the one that gladly reviewed my writing until it was perfect, and the one whom I both studied and passed the exam with. Above all, I was glad that I was a testament to all coming behind me that success – not merely in IELTS, but anything they set their mind to do – is achievable with determination and hard work.
When I informed my family and friends that I was posted to Ondo State for my National Youth Service, after spending the last year in Ile-Ife, Osun State most were of the opinion that I held some kind of bond to the Southwestern part of Nigeria.
Papa lives in Sothern Nigeria. Even though there are tales of its sojourn in the South-South region of Nigeria, it appears that Papa makes its home in South-West Nigeria – these people are more acquainted with Papa’s escapades.
I first heard and came into contact with Papa in November, when I was sent to the NYSC Orientation Camp, Ikare-Akoko, Ondo state.
At the beginning of the year, I set a reading goal to read two fictions and one non-fiction every month, to foster both my writing skills and mental wellbeing. Even though I was not meeting this goal, I became more intentional about my reading and talked about its benefits in this first quarter recap.