Nigerian vs. American Schooling. Hello you guys, and welcome back to my channel, my name is Laraddiji. If you’re here for the first time, you’re most especially welcome to this family. Don’t forget to like this post and subscribe if you’ve been inspired from what you’ll read today. I’ll be talking about my experiences with schools I attended back home versus the ones I attended here in the US. Well, let’s get to it. I love that I get to go back in time with you guys to the schools I attended back in my home country Nigeria compared to the ones I attended here in the States. Thank God for WordPress, I’ll also be able to read this post many years to come.
I really wish I was consistent with my blogging many years ago, because I think I have some sort of memory loss, mostly detailed memory loss. For the purpose of this post I’ll only talk about memories that stand out from all the schools I’ve attended. I was born in Lagos state, this is usually the state where I believe most people who travel to Nigeria visit first, I don’t remember much from the first school I attended called Police Children School but I do remember seeing a class picture later on when I was older in our family photo album, which I don’t have here, the pictures are all back home.
My mom and I lived with my grandparents when I was about 4yrs old and that picture was taken around maybe 1991. In the picture, I remember seeing my mom who was also a teacher in that school, myself and the rest of my Primary 1 class that I was apparently a part of equivalent to 1st grade here in the States. I also remember my parents telling me stories where she would try to get a seat on an overcrowded public bus by putting me through the window of the bus and then telling the bus conductor she had to get to her daughter. Basically getting transportation was a hassle back then and that was what people would resort to doing.
Earlier on in their marriage, my parents were living apart due to their jobs, then my mom and I moved to the state where my dad was OSun, I had a little brother by now. I was maybe 5yrs old and the year was 1992. I remember attending this very small school not far from my house called Osun State College Primary School, it was the only school I attended in my educational; career that had a school bus, my brother and I attended only one grade there, for me that was Primary 2, equivalent to 2nd grade. Nothing much really happened here for me but I do remember my parents saying I discovered the swing here and that my uniform was always dirt brown by the time I came home. Even if my uniform was washed, dried and pressed the night before it would be dirt brown by pick up time.
And then we had to move again, about 30mins to an hour away. Then we started attending St. Franciscan Primary school, I did my 3rd, 4th and 5th grade in that school from 93’ to 95’, by now I was 8yrs old and nothing much really happened here but I do remember getting an infected knee that made me walk very funny because of the pain I was in. My knee got so swollen and painful and after a while of no official medical treatment, it started oozing a lot of pus, I don’t think I’ve ever fallen ill except for this, Now that I think about it, I believe I got that septic knee from kneeling down because this is how we show respect to our elders like how the Chinese bow, I must have knelt on some dirt.
I believe this was where my love for nursing started from. A nurse had made an impression on me when I was being treated. While schooling at St Franciscan, my parents made money farming, yam, pepper, corn and others and I loved helping my dad in his plantation. I don’t remember a time when I helped my mum in the kitchen, but I was always with my dad, this made me very independent at a young age and I find myself telling people “its ok, you don’t have to help me” I’m not helpless, I can do it is really what I want to say, If I need help, I’ll ask, not in any proud way but I’ve learnt to do tough tasks myself. I digress.
We had to move again, back to my grandmas house in Lagos state, my grandpa had passed on by then, my dad had won the U.S. lottery and he would travel to the States. So, my schooling adventure continued in Shadel Montessori school in 1996, I actually loved this school, I had to repeat Primary 5/5th grade here in the States but for the life of me I can’t remember the reason why, I learnt the Montessori way of spelling and then I finished my Primary school education the year after. There was a time I thought I would attend boarding school in another state for my secondary school education and actually I had to cut my hair in preparation for that but that ended up not happening.
I later came back to Lagos state and started attending Distinct Medal College, I lasted only 1yr and half here because two phenomenal incidents happened here, this was the first time I passed out, thinking about it now, I was most likely dehydrated for some reason, I remember vividly singing Nigeria’s national anthem on the school assembly where all the students stood and the teachers would be in front of us and I passed out, all I saw was one of the teachers running towards me and they picked me up and took me to the school’s clinic, I was given a liter of fluids and had the most delicious and over-sweetened and concentrated chocolate milk drink, yummy yummy, I was maybe 10 or 11yrs old here and trust me I loved the attention.
The second incident in this private school was that there were probably less than 10 students in a class. so basically in my class, there was 6 students I think and then we had male twins enroll and join our class, the twins are actually in London now, married with kids. Anyway, we had downtime on this glorious day and we were talking and you know gisting and I said, “after the twins, we haven’t had any student join us, what’s going on, you guys must be blocking the door of our class..”. Apparently the Principal of the school was walking around at the same exact time I was talking and called me in her office. She accused me blocking the door of my class so that new students wouldn’t come.
Who am I? What’s my own, What’s my business, I’m in school to learn, do they pay me? anyway, I forget the whole details but I do remember that the end of the story was that I had to leave her school, can you imagine. “Let’s disrupt an innocent child’s school over such nonsense”. That didn’t even hurt me, but there was a book that was gifted to me around that same time by one of my seniors then, the Principal seized it from me and I never saw that book again, that really hurt me and from then on, I kind of retreated and wouldn’t speak or really talk about my inner thoughts.
My parents at this time were not with us, and going through all this was really tough. This might be the reason why I forget things easily because I try not to hold on to anything serious in particular anymore. The moral of that story is that, when you’re living your life, always remember that nothing just happens just for it to happen. God is the master planner and he knows the beginning from the end, I believe now from the bottom off my heart that God saved me from a bigger problem and put me in a safe place instead. While I was in Shadel Montessori primary school, they didn’t have a high school then, that was one of the reasons I had to attend another high school in the first place. But thank God by the end of that accusation issue, Shadel had finished with building their high school, called Shadel International High School and was enrolling students and there I found myself.
I attended Junior Secondary School 2, and 3, Senior Secondary 1 and the beginning of SS2 when our plans to travel and unite with my parents came to pass. The classes were equivalent to 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grade. The awesome experience I had here was with the school’s inter-house sport, involving competition between the blue, yellow, green and red teams. The entire school’s students were pre-divided into these teams and I was in the yellow house team and I was voted to be the teams Queen. One of the senior student on our team back then made me up with make up and a wig and with the most beautiful gown, I won’t mention her name here because I don’t have her permission but she was one of the people that left an incredible impression on me. I felt like a queen and had never been so happy in my life. This is why yellow is my favorite color.
Here in the States, reunited with my family, I had to start over from 10th grade at Curtis High School in New York City due to my age, I was only 14yrs old then and that was also where I started my nursing career. Life was definitely different with relearning who my parents were in a new country, their beliefs and \ll\/kalues and parenting was also modified from what I knew, schooling was also different, I missed my friends and neighbors. My mentality then was that I would never be able to see or talk to my friends again, I was depressed. That was when facebook came out and became popular and I was able to reconnect with my friends but the relationship wasn’t the same. I took public transportation to school and was told to go to school and come right back home.
High School was horrid, I pretended through it all. Students made fun of my shoes, my accent and boy did I even retire into my shell the more. I tried to be like the students in my class and joined the running team, after a while I asked myself, why am I punishing myself, who’s running after me? figuratively and physically, I was always the last every competition and I was alone a lot so I quit the team. I tried Lawn tennis, I quit that too, I was finding myself and where I had belonged but didn’t quite succeed in high school unfortunately, my self esteem was so low, only I knew it. I finished high school at 17, still unsure of myself, my achievements and what laid ahead of me. This was 2004, off to college I went pursuing nursing.
The funny thing that happened to me in high school that I would never forget is that one night I had vegetables the night before going to school and by the next morning, I was having a lot of stomach trouble, while I was on the bus, it felt like everyone could hear my stomach growling, I had to poop and I tried so hard to hold it till I got to school, every step I took was with prayer. I remembered my dad’s office was not far from the school and my dad was still at home because I had to leave earlier to get to school on time. So I made it to the office but the office was closed and I lost all hope, my G.I. system sphincter released the unimaginable, my pants were soiled, my shoes, everything. I didn’t eat veggies for a long time after that. I was so glad that it didn’t happen in my school, my life would’ve been over, it would’ve been over after its been over already, like 2nd death.
I’m always glad that I didn’t attend university back in my country, there’s so many stories that could’ve been mine like the professor not giving me the grade I deserve because I didn’t sleep with him or the cult member that will be chasing me or bribing professors and lecturers before getting your grades and many more. I attended a local college for my Undergraduate nursing program, that took me 5yrs to complete, nothing special or out of the ordinary happened in college, except I was still finding my way and then I found my husband. I started my masters program before we got married and I wanted to finish the program before I started having children but the children came first before I finished, it was tough but I’m glad that program is over. All I get to do now is focus on my children’s success.
There was a lot of moving when I was younger and I’m hoping to keep that to a minimum for my children, so that they can grow in a consistent and uninterrupted manner. There was also that period of 5yrs that we weren’t with our parents and even though my Aunt and grandma did an awesome job raising us in that critical time period of our lives, I still would’ve preferred to be with my parents. So I hope that there wont be a situation where I would have to be separated from my children ever. The moral of the story? Cherish every moment, every experience, every situation, every hardship, every disappointment, with them all will come growth, wisdom and a life of fulfillment. Now to you guys, 1) Have you experienced anything close to what I have? Have you ever moved a lot when you were younger and what were the consequences? Any separation from your parents while growing up? Accused of being what you weren’t?
Thank very much for staying with me till the very end, I didn’t mean for this to be this long but I hope you enjoyed every minute of it, and learned something new about me today. And that’s all for now you guys, Ask questions if you have any, you can leave a comment as well. Also, you can like this post by giving it 5 stars. To get notified of new posts, why wait, Subscribe now. Hoping to read from you beautiful people very soon. Don’t forget to love your neighbors as yourself. Remember, to RestInPeace, we all need to be LivingInPeace, Stay blessed.