Been out for a while now battling with all the documentations and lectures that come with an orientation week. Its been a truely aha experience and there is just so much I could talk about but let me stick to the one just fresh from the oven.
We had the introduction to general management class today which spanned about 9hrs and was taught by a strategy professor who formerly taught at Wharton. It was the first time I had a real case study class and really, what can I say? It was inspiring!
While my heavy lunch made me occassionally drowsy in the afternoon, I was able to immerse myself in the real life experience of a company which has gone bankrupt now. Well, not that I can now stop a company from going bankrupt but Ive seen one way to and not to approach a tough business challenge. I hope the momentum continues like this.
On a lighter note, some days ago, I was in the mrt; the doors close automatically without the option of opening manually from outside or inside. Then came along this woman with her todler son, dashing towards the door to get in before the door shuts. As soon as she got to the door, she shoved the boy in and bam, the door shut and the mrt moved. The boy was crying inside and the mom was screaming outside as she watched the mrt take her son away. And I thought – this could never have happened in Nigeria! We would have shouted the molue or danfo to a halt and gotten the boy back:) Anyway, her boy was dropped with the security at the next station.
Some years ago, watching some of these foreign movies, we see people travel in trains with their heads buried in one book or the other. This was a time when people soaked in knowledge and acquired wisdom. Such beautiful sight to behold.
But what do we have these days? Everyones head is buried quite alright but not in books. I was on the MRT yesterday and I looked around and it was amazing to see that about 7% were reading something, another 13% like me doing nothing or sleeping and the remaining 80% had their eyes glued to their smartphones or tablets. They were typing, giggling, and raising their heads only occasionally for whatever reason.
Even at kFC, every one on a particular queue was lost in the mobile world. It was really obnoxious at first but then you never judge a book by its cover even though the cover might make you put it away for a long time. While I cannot really say what impact this is having on people’s intellectual development and social interactions in this part of the world, I can definitely argue its having some adverse effect on Nigerian youths.
But really, we need to slow down a bit on this – it just does not seem right!
To complete my student pass application, I have to complete a medical test which was why I went to the hospital – Thomas medical center – in the first place. For many years now, if you ask me why I did not become a medical doctor, I’d mention 2 reasons one of which is the smell of the place. You will agree with me that hospitals have this smell when you get in there that you really can neither miss nor shake off. Well, I just realized that Nigeria dulled me from becoming the greatest neuro surgeon of all time.
I walked into this hospital and I was not sure if it was a fast food joint, beauty salon, or even a 5 star hotel lobby. Not because of the design but the smell. I still relish the thought of it and really looking forward to going to get my report.
Yes, mentioning the report, I had the biggest personal laughing session since I arrived. One of the tests requires that blood be pulled from my body. In came this chinese lady and tried frantically in vain to find a vein. While I was initially wondering why, I looked at her skin and realized how easy it was to see her vein. Then it dawned on me….I black no be small. She later went to get a younger asian lady who after smacking and hitting eventually found the vein. This was very amusing to me!
While I’d like to stop here today, I simply cannot help myself from mentioning that a cab driver told me he has a masters degree in sex and also plays BEDminton as a sport or hobby. Geez, what will I not see and hear!
Having gone through the pain and rigour of traveling half way across the world to Singapore and asking myself how I got myself into the whole situation, I finally visited the INSEAD campus today. Men and brethren, I totally embrace the ‘suffering’ of that journey and cherish the hurting pangs of hunger. Was I blown away? That will be an understatement in the affirmative!
As I walked out of the One North MRT station and turned into the street, I saw a magnificient building that looked like something I’d seen in picture before and there before my eyes, was the big, bold and beautiful inscription – INSEAD, Business School of the World! Simply magnificient! I walked into the premises and went straight to the reception where I was given a visitors tag to look around. I checked out the library, the auditoriums, interview rooms, breakout rooms, lounge, cafe, – the exquisite architecture, brilliant interior decoration and much more the level of stimulating activities that were happening on campus – it was humbling!
I then answered the “Why was I going through all this stress” question. The stress is so worth it! True, I’ve only be captivated by what you would call the hardcore and not softcore but I’m sure you will permit my overaching stance owning to the fact that this is the most stimulating, beautiful, amazing educational environment I’ve ever been to – don’t even count Apollo, which was my secondary school! Well, I do have a lot to look forward to and I’m sure glad this is part of my experience!
Officially, I’m the only black dude in Singapore. Ok, thats not true but if I did not know any better and someone tells me that right now, I might have believed. I have not set my eyes on a single black person all day and do not think I’ve been locked up in the hotel all day. Well, I kinda like the feel of it plus the many stares which is increasing my popularity. I might even consider running for president here.
As a nationalist, another major aha for me was the number of apartments i saw with the Singaporean flag hanging from their windows. These are people who believe so much in the Singapore dream and embrace it totally. Moving around, you can hardly tell the difference between the rich and the poor, the students and working class. Though I honestly could not but notice how well bum shorts must be selling around here!
What of the transportation system? Simply brilliant! The only transport system I’ve seen that compares with theirs is that of Paris. The MRTs(read trains), LRTs (read buses) are so well connected that you can very well do without a car around here.
One problem though, I think I’m starving. The food I’ve been seeing so far is making me think my fasting life might just be fully activated again.
So much for my first day. Beautiful so far!