Two – from How To Talk To Crazy People by Donna Kakonge – Teaching

Work at Makerere University is weird. I co-teach radio and television with a Nigerian woman named Chassie. There are only three students in the communications stream of the program, all female, who probably want to be media stars and are content to make no money. The rest of the forty students, all male, had the good sense to go into the public relations stream of the program. They will make money.

On the first day of class, Chassie opened a textbook and read directly from the page. My hands knotted into fists and hung stiffly beside my body. I stared at her. What was she doing?

When it was my turn to teach I spoke from the heart, the way I had been taught by my journalism professors at   Carleton University. Textbooks were not used at Carleton, at least not for the practical courses.

Chassie just looked at me.

I brought my Hi8 Video camera and Marantz audio recorder to class. I taught the three communications students how to use the equipment to tell stories. In a way it’s a blessing there are only the three, and that they are women.  This saves me the headache of the sexual tension when teaching young men.

After about four days of consistent indoor light, the electricity went out again last night.

I promise myself to not smile—it’s best not to, especially when it comes to the future health of my skin. I worry about wrinkles.

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