My thighs are firm now, they haven’t always been. They tightened after my 10 month experience at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University Lagos. I applied to the school to study for a Master’s degree and actual schoolwork commenced August 2013. My hips were full then, full and fleshy. My thighs were round then, round, meaty and appealing. My cheeks were chubby, I looked well fed, polished with no stress markers on my face. Don’t misunderstand me, my life before SMC was not stress free but at least I was paid for my worries. At the SMC, I paid a healthy fee to be worried.
My thighs are firm now, my facilitators made sure of that, Dr. Ike with his endless assignments, perfectly structured criticisms and heavily veiled sarcasm, he drove me to extreme worry, Dr. M’s stare that always galvanized me to action or froze me on the spot, then there was Dr. N, my mentor who you just had to please to get pleasant marks and pleasing her unfortunately involved pages of serious writing, interlinking ideas and analyzing issues, you could get a whole 3½ marks out of 5 marks for pleasing her, 4 was possible in very extreme cases. My facilitators really put fire under my feet and I flew around trying to satisfy all.
My chubby cheeks were the first casualties, they melted away under the strain of gritting my teeth through Dr. Otu’s lectures and laughing uproariously at Doghudje’s blunt depth, I still believe gritting my teeth melted the cheeks faster. I wore a new face, a slimmer, pinched face, fashionable but unlike me. My new face was slim enough to distort effectively in horror over statistics and all those figures and formulas I never thought I would see again. I wasn’t getting enough sleep either I had too many assignments to sleep easy at night, I made up for the lack of sleep though, I made up during Communication research classes, apologies to Dr. IM the research guru, but I really wasn’t interested in disproving theories and identifying some communication reinforced phenomena.
My hips melted away next, in their days of full prominence, eyes strayed to them before those eyes grudgingly and very slowly made their way up to my face. The walk from the bus stop to school took care of those hips, the constant race to beat the 9:00am timeline also took its toll on the hips. Then those endless walks I took around V.I mourning another low score or mulling over a tough assignment didn’t help either. They also probably shrunk under the strain of so many class presentations when I stood long minutes addressing a class just waiting to launch their attack sorry make their contributions. I look at my hips now, a pale reflection of their original glory and I wonder how studying can so physically alter a person.
My thighs firmed up, those meaty chunks that would have made any cannibal’s entire year firmed up. The endless races did it, all that running wearing high heels firmed my thighs like nothing else would. I remember the race to submit topical seminar thesis, it was my last race and I ran it with my heart in my mouth. There was the everyday race to get into the cafeteria before 1:00pm, I shed the calories I would have ingested even before I ate the food.
I wear a new look now, my new look is far nicer than my original look am told. After 10 months at the SMC my mind is far sharper, my stand is firmer too. I look new and different because I am new and different. My new image is a true reflection of a better me.