This is a rant, a long rant so just ignore any grammatical error you may find in this post. I am seriously fuming and my head aches.
Who remembers the encounter I had with my supervisor few months ago? When all the witches from my father’s village came out of their coven to assiduously follow me.
That day still makes my face hurt.
If only I had known that encounter was the starting point of months of running from pillar to post, reading and rereading of books running into 500 and something pages repeatedly, PhD thesis written before I was conceived, theorists arguments that has nothing to do with my life, sleepless nights with my back bent over a television-laptop.Television-laptop you heard right, a laptop with a poor battery life that goes off the moment light goes off, just like a TV.
What is pain compared to the way you’d feel when you couldn’t submit chapters you laboured over simply because your supervisor just left the office, is currently chilling at home and cannot come to school because her car ‘broke down’ on the road but you can clearly hear the echo of her voice as her kids scream excitedly in the background.
What is frustration when you have a supervisor who asks you to search for reviews of a recently written book
‘But there is no… ‘
‘Get out of my office please, I have other things to do’
When your books become MTN, they follow you everywhere you go so you don’t waste any of the little time you have. The mountain loads of books that eventually weigh you down and you don’t know where to start removing the weight from. The hisses, the headaches, the stress, the tears when you eventually gave in to your sorrows.
My supervisor has given a new definition of failure. What is failure? failure is when your supervisor cancels your expressions and inputs simply because you didn’t add the source.
‘Source? Am I supposed to add my name to an assertion by me ma?’
‘Who said this is your assertion? You think I don’t know you stole this expression word for word from someone like you? Do they have two heads, can’t you think for yourself?’
Cancel, cancel, cancel, red pen all over the chapters you sweated on. Your file is dumped into your hands to ‘go and cite the original “owners” of what you stole.’ The feeling that you are good for nothing pour over you like rain, storms stir up in you as you walk without feeling your legs to the library or your hostel as you try to relate the connection between dejection and rejection.
My supervisor is Janus-mouthed, she’d ask you to write on what Soyinka did to Achebe in 1966 after canceling what you wrote about what Adichie did to Acholonu. When you take what you had written on what Soyinka did to Achebe in 1966 to her in delight, citing the scholars, the critics, the theorists who spoke as if they were there when they were doing whatever it was they did to themselves. My supervisor would shake her pretty head in astonishment.
‘I specifically said you should quote what Adichie said to Mary Anthony’
‘Didn’t I tell you that? You have to put the quote to buttress your point’
‘But you said?’
‘I said what? I told you Acholonu was the one who propounded the theory Adichie used. Adichie now told Mary Anthony in 2059 what Soyinka told Achebe in 1966 but Soyinka and Achebe are not relevant.’
Cancel cancel cancel. 55 pages or more, 550 naira wasted when your broke self had to borrow the 550 naira so you could print out the chapters. The extra 50 naira you swindled out of a course mate so you could buy a new file because the one you have is worn out due to endless cycles of corrections and coercions.
My supervisor with her tiny voice, reels out insults covered with smooth grammar. You’d be lost in the euphoria of her command of English, mesmerized with her voice until you realize she was insulting you.
She who is capable of making you give Usain Bolt a run for his money.
‘The deadline is tomorrow, if you don’t submit your files then…’
Run run run run run. As you correct pages of the rubbish you were told you have written. Run run run run. As you feverishly start all over. I am still running from my bed to the bathroom as I furiously correct what she deems incorrect. Run run run run. A peep into the kitchen, I have not eaten in hours. Run run run run run. Snatches garri and groundnuts. Run run runs back to bed. My supervisor wants to kill me. Run run run, furiously types and corrects all errors. Run run run. I won’t let her!