Saturday, 20 June 2015

My CME Lectures story

2 weeks ago I was at a lush hotel on invitation by a big foreign pharmaceutical company for a  crash course on Asthma. I had heard they were awarding 10 CME (continuing medical education) points, so I went. I woke up early and found my way to Eko hotel. The environment was enough to gawk at and the reception was more than welcoming. On registration, I was given a comic book on an asthma story, some pamphlets, a pre test and a feed back form. The ushers were respectful and water was on the tables. Because people kept strutting in, the tables had to be removed to accommodate more people, yet the room was as cold as Canada. We had the tea break before we even started so as to save time while waiting for The Africans. We were allowed to help ourselves with pastries and cookies and tea or coffee. The lectures were fast paced but apprehensible. I was never bored. At lunch break, it was like a banquet. I found my friend and classmate and we began to do what chicks do: take selfies. From selfies, we exchanged phones and snapped each other, then we even called someone to take pictures of the two of us. We were frantic. We stood at a vantage point to get a glimpse of the pool side. It was idyllic. My friend was shocked at the ratio of whites to the blacks that were there. I saw only one black lady. I'm sure the whites would have thought we were tourists with the way we took pictures of the pool, sky, trees, e.t.c. At the end of the lectures, we were given certificates and forms of Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) bearing our 6 CME points. I was disappointed to have 4-less of what I expected, but I was more than grateful to even have the 6, plus the state-of-the-art treat I had received. All for free!


Today, I went for a similar event at Protea hotel, Ikeja. Shhh. Before you conclude that my weekend job is hotel hunting, let me explain. All doctors except those in the residency program and perhaps house officers are expected to show a particular number of CME points during their annual renewal of license to show they've been updating their knowledge since they left medical school. Pharmaceutical companies take advantage of this to organize lectures and sometimes market their products. They use the CME points as bait 'cause otherwise their hall will be empty. Some CME courses are price-tagged and some like those of these multinational pharmaceutical companies are entirely free. 

So I went for this one. I didn't even know who was organizing it or what topic was going to be discussed. I only got a text from the same friend saying there was a course holding at Protea hotel by 9am. I didn't even know how many CME points it was worth. Since I was practically free today, I jumped at it, got to the hotel and then found out about the organizers and that the discourse was on diabetes. 

I had gone there empty-stomached 'cause I left quite early and knowing that there'd be tea break, I didn't bother much. Unfortunately, tea break was shifted till after two lectures. OMG, those were hours of writhing abdominal cramps. I wondered if I actually had worms. The first lecture was interesting though. The anchor was funny but quite slow and he was very much practical. For that I really appreciated him. The second was as boring as my Embryology lectures in 2nd year of medical school. It was a video lecture and a white man was speaking. I don't know if it was his accent, or that it was lengthy or that it was cold, but practically half of the hall was asleep. I dozed off at some point too and woke as my head was about to hit the back of my chair. It was a relief to finally hear it was time for tea break. And it was around 12:20pm. We spent too much time on the queue, had a smidgen of spring roll and cake. My friend couldn't make it for this one, so I walked alone until someone recognized me. 

'Chidiogo!', I heard at my back.
Her face was familiar but I couldn't remember her name. We hugged and got talking. And from talking, we took selfies and then we got another to snap us. The third lecture had begun but we didn't care. 'That last lecture was boring', she beefed. 'Very boring', I seconded. I finally got in. Another white man was on the video. He was younger and more lively. I was following at first, then he got technical and I got lost somewhere in the HbA1c targets and dilemma of post prandial or fasting basal doses of insulin.



At the end of the lecture, we had to queue up again to collect our CME certificates and lunch tickets, until someone sensible suggested they gave it to us while seated. We sat, soon we were up again. The company's organization was clearly below par. The only part I preferred to that of last 2 weeks was the lunch. A 'real' buffet was served. You know when Nigerians say buffet, they mean you are at liberty to pick your plate and point the food you want, while a straight-faced server dished out a spoon and called for the next person. Not here though. You could binge at your own risk. Waiters were there to pour out water in your glass and clean up the table. After eating, I said my goodbyes and

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Set Up

I was invited by a friend to judge a food contest today. I didn't know it was for Wazobia TV. God set me up 'cause had I known, I'm sure I would have chickened out 'cause I don't speak Pidgin so well. Not having any certified cooking experience, I felt unqualified; but then I had this thing at the back of my mind, having attended several motivational talks. They always say, 'don't say you can't, say you can and then go learn how to do it'. I've always begrudged that statement. I really don't think we should go out grabbing every opportunity 'cause we will only end up being Jacks-of-all-trade and masters of none. That's how mediocre products and services are made. I believe I should be known for something that I'm the best at. However, I didn't also want to miss an opportunity that was mine because of fear. I had learnt my lessons well. Thankfully, I didn't have time to contemplate. Before I could say yeah or nay, I got a call from one of the organizers. I expressed my concern of not being a professional cook and she said, 'Oh no, it doesn't matter. We are looking for people from different walks of life. We just want food lovers'. Thank goodness. I finally felt qualified. Another weakness turned to strength.

So I read a little about judging a food contest and today arrived. I didn't know how to be dressed. This was going to be my first Tv appearance since I was about 8yrs old. I didn't want to be too casual, but I didn't also want to wear something I couldn't walk on since it was going to be a long trip to VI and I wasn't mobile. So I wore a short gown with a pantyhose and a flat black shoe which happened to be a bad choice for a rainy day. I managed to arrive early and I had to wait for the other judges who happened to be Nikki Laoye, the gospel hip hop artiste and Jennifer, fashion designer of Esosa stores. 

Queen B was the host and the show was Chop Chop. We were to make all conversations in Pidgin English. That was the hard part. Queen B's Pidgin was flawless. I really struggled, switching from Pidgin to English to Igbo even. Thank God it wasn't live. I hope they cut out my misyarns before it's aired. 

So it wasn't a bad experience after all and the judging thing wasn't as technical as I had thought it would be. 

I may not still agree with that saying of I can do all, (I'm not saying I don't believe the Bible, we just quote that out of context many times) but I know that when you walk with God, He'll lead you into the opportunity that is yours. I've become bolder knowing that even if I make mistakes, I'll learn from them. Fear denies us of a whole lot. 

I have an assignment now: to go work on my Pidgin. 


















Radiant ~ June 2015

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Lessons Learnt



I learnt something today and I hope I won't have to learn it again. When you want something, you've got to be willing to fight for it. 

I was to recite a poem at a service of songs today. I knew the person that contacted me for it had called one other poet. I had heard him speak once when he forgot his lines and struggled a bit. So I prepared. I wrote it, sent to two people to review and then I began to rehearse. I got the lines almost immediately but I still didn't want to take it for granted since this was going to be my first recitation since many years and I didn't know how it would be. When it was time, I dressed up and headed for the event. I made a copy on my phone to carry so I'd look into it, should I get stuck. During the service, I kept going through the lines in my head. Then it was testimony time. I didn't know when exactly I'd be called up but I knew it was close. My heart skipped a beat. Three people came out one after the other to talk about the deceased. After them, a group came out to sing a capella.

Then the announcement came. 'We have a presentation by a poet from Covenant Christian Centre' . A poet? We were two. I wanted to get up but then I looked at my contractor for her go-ahead and immediately two people walked up the stage. One of them was the familiar poet. I thought the other was just an escort, but then he took the mic and gave a flawless presentation. I was impressed but not intimidated. I knew I had a different message and mine was going to be presented quite solemnly. I think people clapped then the moderator retreived the mic and was about to get into something else when the poet I knew stopped him. He took the mic from him and began his recitation. He seemed to forget some lines but he managed to pull it through and got a round of applause. 

I studied him and studied myself and I learnt something. This is a well known poet. He performs regularly and yet he still forgets his lines. But that hasn't stopped him from appearing on stage. Me... I'd rather wait for everything to be perfect. I cringe at the slightest possibility of failure. I'm afraid to make mistakes, so I never try. And so nobody gets to see what I carry and I don't get to learn. 

Another thing I learnt was that though I stayed back because provision was made for just one poet, he fought his way through by reaching for the mic after the moderator had moved on to something else. I was too shy to do that. And so I have my poem, my time-and- creativity-costing seasonal poem with me, and no one has heard it. 

Every writer craves for readers. Every performer wants an audience. 

I have learnt two lessons today. To face my fears. That's the way to learn. And to fight to reach what I consider an honourable goal.  

©Radiant~ June 2015

Monday, 1 June 2015

An Ordinary Birthday




So I get to write about ordinary days and ordinary events, but have nothing to say of my birthday.

Well, I wasn't woken at 12am with a happy birthday call. The first person to call me wasn't any lover but my mom. I didn't take any pictures. I didn't throw a party for my friends. I didn't get unending calls and my battery didn't run down. I didn't have too many text messages to reply. I didn't go to the movies or a photo studio. I didn't get a car. I didn't get engaged. I didn't make a wish.


So what do I write about?

I woke up healthy. I went to church. I auditioned for a movie. I visited my sister. I ate sweet rice. I watched a movie. I had some calls to answer. I replied texts and fb messages. I received a gift and I said a prayer.


Now I have what to write about. It was an almost ordinary day, but nice. I ate this delicious rice prepared by my sister. It was white rice and vegetable sauce. I had to ask her to teach me how to make it. Here goes the recipe: you fry some smoked fish, use the oil to fry a few diced tomatoes, onions and pepper, season with cubes, curry, thyme and salt,  put one or two eggs and stir, add pumpkin leaves (ugu) and scent leaves. Stir and put back your fish. Boil rice and the food is ready. 

I hope I haven't succeeded in boring you. That was not the plan. Ciao

©Radiant~June 2015