The mention of it gives me the creeps. It was the sole reason my stern head-teacher had for being stern and my ruthless principal had for being ruthless. Every time my father distorted his face with a nasty frown as he sunk lashes of his belt into my backside, it was his argument.

I have concluded that it shares strong blood ties with Mathematics. They elicit the same emotions in me and hit the same spots in my head. They both seem hard and beyond human reach, existing only to reflect human weakness. Mathematics swore to be my doom back in secondary school. As my senior secondary school certificate examinations approached, it appeared to toss the keys to my future back and forth in its hands with a mischievous smirk on its face. My father had said that I would forfeit the opportunity to enroll in a university if I failed to pass my senior secondary school certificate examinations in one sitting, and though I had no plans of failing any subject, my will didn’t seem to cover Mathematics.

Now, a number of years later, this new concept tosses the keys again. They say without it, I might never be as rich as I dream because I would always spend more than I earn and be in perpetual debt. I am told lack of it can keep me unemployed, unemployable, or get me repeatedly fired from jobs I land. Even heaven, the glorious place beyond all this pressure, will be farfetched if I ignore this thing.

George Washington of wide acclaim, once ignored firearms, military training and intelligence and dubbed this concept the “soul of an army,” saying “it makes small numbers formidable; procures success to the weak and esteem to all.”

I had to come around to Mathematics. I decided I’ll be damned if I let it thwart my chances of being a University graduate. So I got a Mathematics tutor and worked my muscles, having no delusions that I would hit a distinction score, but ready to try well enough not to fail. I did not fail. I am a graduate now. I’ll fight this new enemy with my old weapons, which implies getting tutors and tying well enough not to fail.



Yemi G360

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