By Ayodele Priscilla
“Oh! Take it easy, dear.”
“Thank you, sir.” She goes beet red with embarrassment as she takes the hand offered her by the gentleman to steady and prevent herself from falling right into the drainage and donning a fatal bruise for the next couple of days or weeks.
“Why are you taking that edge of the drainage, though? It’s safer to use the walkway, you know.”
“I don’t want cars splashing muddy water all over me,” her voice distinctly conveys her disgust at the very idea.
She thanks the young man once again and continues her journey, taking careful steps as she takes the route through Heritage Park so as to avoid the walkway and the possibility of getting drenched in muddy water by the cars swimming their way through the road-turned-pool.
On getting to the department few minutes later than lecture time, Alicia is torn between being happy or sad at the news that the lecture she had a one hour trek from her place off campus to the department for will not hold because some lecturers have chosen to hold a meeting or whatever at the very venue for the lecture.
“They must think we only came to UI to play now, as I can see no other reason for them to always use our lecture rooms for meetings during work hours when they know that students will have to receive lectures,” one of her coursemates complains.
“Did we pay tuition fees so they can use lecture rooms for meetings?” another voice says in anger.
“You don’t even know anything. Maybe you’ve not heard lecturers say that you’re paying nothing, or that the peanut you pay doesn’t pay their salary.”
“They say all sorts of whatever, acting like they don’t know there are students who have to work off their buts to pay their tuition. Or do people work to pay nothing?”
“Don’t mind them! Even if we’re paying nothing, their salaries get paid only because we are here. Or will they be employed as lecturers for empty chairs and lecture rooms if there are no students?”
“You better mind your words,” Alicia cautions the angry students as a lecturer walks towards their direction.
“You will be grateful the lecture is not holding now, since you came late.”
“Says who? I even almost fell on my way all because I was trying to avoid the walkways. I didn’t want cars splashing water on me, not even when we’re supposed to make presentations in the class today. All that only to find that the class won’t hold.”
“Sorry, dear. I don’t even know who is supposed to do something about such matters. I’ve seen how the roads turn to pools when it rains and it’s really not cool. There should be a proper drainage system to prevent such.”
“Look at my toe,” a girl chips in, “I bruised it right in front of the SU building two days ago. I hit it against an iron which I think is the remains of what used to be a pipe or something of the sort at that very walkway. Now, what should such a death trap be at the walkway for? I was even lucky I didn’t trip and fall, else, I don’t know what would have happened.”
“Oops! Hope you’re getting the toe treated at the school health center, dear,” Alicia inquires with concern.
“Which health center are we talking about here? You talk like you’re new on this campus, Alicia.”