Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Likely U.S. Student Interview Questions

Q: What do you know about American universities?

The officer wants to know what made you do decide to study at American universities. You

should highlight a few features of US universities.

Sample Answers:

According to my research, American Universities focus primarily on the practice of the taught

knowledge at their institutes and provide students with numerous research opportunities.

Speaking from experience of alumni, programs implemented in American Universities are very

well designed and renowned for their impeccable quality and commendable structure that

focuses on building skills.

American universities are well known for their quality of education and research opportunities.

Their programs are well designed with equal importance on theoretical knowledge along with

strong practical skills.

Q: Why did you choose to study in the US?/ Why study in the US, why not the UK or Canada?

The visa officer is looking for a justifiable reason for what convinced you to pursue higher

studies in the US. You will have to tell what features of the American education system appeal to

you compared to other countries.

Sample Answers:

Academic experience from a US university is highly valued around the world. Also, US

universities offer excellent research opportunities through many assistant-ship programs. On top

of that, having global exposure tremendously helps to advance my career.

The American education system has been deemed the best amongst all others, and I believe their

programs are well structured and suitable for the field I would like to step in.

Universities in the U.S. hail a fine blend of theoretical and practical knowledge. To develop my

practical skills, enrolling in a U.S. university is the best option.

Note: Of the long list of noble laureate prize winner of Economics since 1969 till date, 41 of

them are from the united states.

Q: What will be your specialization in MS? / What will be your major in MS?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I will be majoring in Computer Science)

Q: Why do you want to do a Master's?

State why you want to do a master in a particular field with enthusiasm and purpose. Your answer

should reflect confidence in your decision and should outline why doing Masters in your field is

necessary for you.

Sample Answers:

Pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Science will allow me to gain more technical

knowledge and help me find more opportunities and better prospects.

In this competitive world, higher qualification in a field will serve greatly to give me a better

chance to join the industry of my choice as a long-term career prospect.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

Your answer should show concrete evidence that you do not plan to live in the U.S. after studies

but to return to your home country.

Sample Answers:

I plan to return to my country and begin working in a firm in my city as a software developer as

the demand for individuals in this profession keeps increasing.

After completing my course in computer science, I will return to join the ever-growing IT

industry in my country.

We have great opportunities here in the field of my study. The advanced degree I will be pursuing

from the US will be a great asset in advancing my career here in my country.

After I complete my studies, I plan to return to my home country and settle in ABC city because

several technology companies are present here that offer jobs with high pay corresponding to my

field of study.

I plan to return to my country and take up a job offer I have been presented with by a family

friend’s firm. I will be working as a software developer there and completing my Masters in the

The US will help me to greatly enhance my skills for the job.

My mother is dependent on me and lives with me in our self-owned house. She will be staying

with my grandparents while I am in the States. I will be returning after graduation to support my

mother and managing our property.

The job market for software developers is increasing exponentially day by day in my home

country. Hence, I will be returning to my country to take advantage of several high posts

on offer in several organizations after completing my master's in computer

science.

My home country has been all I have known for the entirety of my life, and after I have

completed my course at XYZ university, I will be coming back home to utilize my newly

developed skills for the betterment of my own country.

Q: Do you have your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS/GMAT score reports?

Answer appropriately (Provide originals)

Q: Why are your GRE/TOEFL/IELTS scores low?

Truthfully explain what mistakes you made and where you stumbled. Do not make excuses or

cover up your errors. Instead, own up to it and explain a proper and genuine reason why

you were unable to perform that well.

Sample Answers:

The test took place during my college examinations, which is why I was not thoroughly prepared.

Despite my low GRE score, my verbal TOEFL score is pretty good.

I answered the first few questions wrong, which caused my score to fall. Despite performing well

in the latter part of the test, I could not substantially improve it.

Q: What was your major in undergrad?/ What was your specialization in Bachelors?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I did Bachelors in Electrical Engineering)

Q: Why change your academic background now?

You must know what made you change your area of specialization. It is necessary to have a

the genuine reason as to what convinced you to switch your major.

Sample Answers:

I have always been more passionate about environmental science, and pursuing this degree will

allow me to step into a field which I truly enjoy instead of continuing one I chose because of

high pay.

There is much more demand and need for this profession in my country compared to the one I am

already in.

Q: Why do you have several backlogs?

You should convince the officer that you can study in the US despite these shortcomings.

Convince him that you can do better and state confidently how so.

Sample Answers:

During a certain period, I was unable to manage my studies and co-curricular activities, which damaged my performance report. But I have made promises and have the determination to not

repeat my mistakes.

I have made amends to ensure I can continue my studies in the US by selecting extremely proficient and well-versed subjects. I am sure I can handle the pressure now.

Q: Have you been to the States before? / Have you ever been outside India?

Answer appropriately (e.g., No! I have never been outside India)

Q: Can I see your Bachelor’s diploma?

Answer appropriately

Q: When and from which university did you graduate?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I graduated in XXXX(year) from XYZ university)

Q: Can I see your mark sheets/transcripts?

Answer appropriately

Q: What universities did you apply to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I applied to 3 universities)

Q: Which universities did you get admission to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I got admission from all 3 universities)

Q: Which university are you going to?

Answer appropriately

Q: Why this university?

The officer wants to know what your reason for choosing that specific university is. You

should provide a solid and justifiable reason for pursuing your studies at this university.

Sample Answers:

I have interacted with a few current students who are pursuing their Master's at this University.

They advised it’s one of the Universities that offer great research opportunities in the field I

will be studying, and on top of that, it has outstanding faculty.

I have been accepted to a few other universities, but this one appealed the most to me. It is

because the courses that are offered at this university perfectly match my area of interest that is

Data Analytics. Other institutes did not offer this field as a separate course, which is why this

university became my top priority.

Q: Did you get any scholarships?

Answer accordingly (e.g., Yes! I was awarded X dollars scholarship)

Q: Did you contact any professors from that university?

Answer appropriately (e.g., Yes! I have been in touch with a couple of professors)

Q: Do you happen to remember those professors' names?

Answer appropriately (e.g., Name a few professors)

Q: Do you happen to know about the city you will be going to?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I heard Houston weather is very much similar to Indian weather, which definitely helps me adjust to it pretty quickly).

Q: Do you have family in the US?

Answer appropriately

Q: Do you have friends in the US?

Answer appropriately

Q: What is your father?

Answer appropriately

Q: Do you have siblings?

Answer appropriately

Q: Who is sponsoring your studies?

Answer appropriately (e.g., My father is sponsoring my education)

Q: What is your father’s income?

Answer appropriately

Q: Can I see tax returns?

Answer appropriately

Q: Can I see Bank Statements/Passbook?

Answer appropriately

Q: Did you take any loans?

Answer appropriately (If yes, give the officer your loan approval letter)

Q: Where do your parents live?

Answer appropriately

Q: Why do you think we should give you a visa to study in the US?

Your answer should show confidence in the evidence you have provided, and your tone should

display a positive attitude regarding this opportunity. Hence, the officer knows you have a purpose

and passion for pursuing higher studies in the United States.

Sample Answer:

I think I should be granted a visa because I am very passionate about pursuing my studies in the

States and will make full use of this opportunity.

Additional questions for those who are currently working and going for MS in the US

Q: Who is your current employer?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I am currently working for ABC company)

Q: What are your role and responsibilities?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I work as a System Analyst. I design, develop, and test applications

for the clients)

Q: Since how long have you been working for this company?

Answer appropriately (e.g., I have been working here for X years)

Q: How much is your salary?

Answer appropriately

Q: How big is this company? (Number of employees)

It has about X employees

Q: Well, your current employers sound strongly established, why do you want to leave?

Give a few strong reasons why it is more important for you to gain a higher degree instead of

continuing your well-established job. Explain what other benefits pursuing MS in the States can

bring to you that have greater importance than your current pay.

Sample Answers:

In this highly competitive world, having global exposure through abroad studies is important in

advancing my career, and it also enhances my ability to work with different cultures.

It is important to keep moving forward in this fast-paced world. I can further advance in my

career by leaving to achieve higher education.

Example of an interview for F1 Visa

VO: How are you?

Me: I am doing pretty good, sir! (Smile) How are you doing today?

VO: I am good. Thank you! What is the purpose of your travel?

Me: I will be going to pursue my Master’s in Computer Science

VO: What was your major in undergrad?

Me: My major was Computer Science

VO: Do you have any work experience?

Me: I have been working for TCS for the last 2 years

VO: How was your experience working at TCS?

Me: I love my job, and it’s quite challenging. The team I work with is amicable

VO: What is your role?

Me: I work as a Systems Analyst

VO: Why would you like to pursue your studies in the US?

Me: What’s best about pursuing advanced studies in a US university is that the qualification I

earn is globally recognized. On top of that, the education system in the US has been known for

its academic excellence.

VO: Can I see your experience letter?

Me: Sure, sir! Here you go!

VO: Who is sponsoring your studies?

Me: I have my own funds saved up, and the rest will be taking care of my parents.

VO: Can you pass those supporting documents?

Me: Definitely! Here are the bank statements

VO: What is your father?

Me: My father is a Businessman

VO: Do you have his Tax returns?

Me: Sure!

VO: Does the company you are currently working with bear any of the expenses?

Me: No, Sir! My parents and I will be taking care of all the expenses

VO: What are your plans after graduation?

Me: I will be returning back to India once after I graduate and will be working in the Software

field.

VO: Does this degree help advance your career?

Me: Undoubtedly, earning an advanced degree from the US will definitely serve as a great asset in

advancing my career and enhancing my skills

VO: You have a solid job, and your family is in India. Why you chose to leave everything and

pursue it further?

Me: In Today’s competitive world, I feel that my decision to pursue graduate studies in the US is

smart to advance my career. While I invest some time and money into this highly valuable

education, the payoffs will be well worth my time and money.

VO: Great! I approve of your visa! Enjoy your time in the US!

Me: That’s great news! Thank you, Sir! Have a great day!

Sunday, 1 November 2020

I must go to school

How my life started 

My parents gave birth to my eldest and my elder brother before they gave birth to me. While she was pregnant with me, she was convinced that I was a girl. She was so convinced that she bought female baby clothes. Why was she so convinced that I was a girl? I am glad you asked! As at the time I was born, I do not think ultrasound to determine the sex of a baby in the womb has been discovered yet. If it has, then it was not common in Nigeria then. According to my mum, I was so quiet in her womb. I did not kick and disturb her like her first two sons. So she was sure that the baby in her womb was a girl. However, I came out as a boy. So she gave out all the female things she bought for me to those close to her and went to buy male things for me, and that is how my life started. 

The test 

After my birth, my mom said that my eldest brother was asking too many intelligent questions. She took it as a challenge and decided to further her education. That was how she went to college. According to her," a woman with such an intelligent child cannot be illiterate." When she went back to college, she took us to the village to live with my grandparents. At a tender age, I was staying with my grandparents and my aunties and uncles in our village. While I was there, I was too young to go to school, but my elder one was old enough to go to school. As the practice was in Africa then, the test to know if you are old enough to go to school was to put your hands over your head. If it touches your ear at the other end of your head, then you are old enough to go to school. If not, you cannot go to school because you are not good enough. That is how the test was for you to be considered to be of age to go to school. 

The trouble 

 so the test was performed on me, and indeed I failed it. My elder brother passed the test, and he was sent to school. Every day, He will go to school, but I will be asked to stay back home. In any case, they were talking to themselves, not me. I will cry and wail and shout at the top of my voice. I will roll on the floor and cause much commotion in the whole house. Why was I crying? Because I wanted to go to school! Even though I was not good enough and generally in an African setting then, when a child is crying, you either do two things, beat the child the more and ask them to keep quiet and close their mouth with their hands or give them something the like to 'bribe' them to stop crying. However, no one ever beats me to make me stop because what I was crying for was legit (you beat a child to stop crying when what they are asking for is detrimental to their wellbeing). My action was ironic because most children my age do not want to go to school, and they cry daily when asked to go to school, and their parents would give them money or biscuit or anything the like to make them change their minds but not for me. I was crying to go and not to stay home. Giving me something I like was also not working. I would not accept anything they gave me to make me change my mind. None of the tactics they tried was going to work for me. I will cry and make a hail of noise all day long. This action of mine continued throughout the whole semester, and those at home, my grandma, my uncles, and my aunties, could not bear it anymore. All I wanted was to go to school. Was it too much to ask? Is it a bad thing to want to go to school? So what would they do? When they saw that I kept crying all semester long and was not showing any sign of relenting, my auntie came up with a plan. 

The solution 

 My auntie spoke which one of the teachers in the school asking her to allow me to stay in her class even though I was not registered as a student. The teacher was told that I was crying nonstop, so she agreed. When that arrangement went through, then they could breathe a sigh of relief in that house. There was relative peace because I stopped crying. I was always happy to go to school, so they sowed the uniform for Me and gave me a slate to write on. So I started going to school, but I was not a student, but who cares about being a registered student? As far as I was in school, I was happy and stopped crying, and they were happy too because there was now peace at home and everyone was happy. It was a win-win situation for everyone. Therefore, at the end of that semester, since I was not a student, my auntie went and bought a report card for me. She gave me the report card and told me that I passed to make me feel as a registered student. I do not know why they went through all those stress. I was not crying for a report card. I was crying to go to school. Well, maybe they figured out that is I do not have a report card like everyone else, and then they are in trouble again. Who can blame them after the unsolicited trouble I took them through? It was only wise to do the needful. I was told that I passed, and I do not know if I understood what that meant. 

What is important to me was that I was going to school. I was fulfilled, and I was happy. The next semester I was registered, I became a bonafide student of the school, and I passed. That was how my journey in academia started. I kept moving from one class to the other, and the rest is history. From time to time, I will speak of my experiences at every other level, but this is how I started the journey that has lasted and seen me through to this level. I graduated with a first-class from the University of Benin. I have 3 masters, one in French from the University of Benin, the second in Linguistics from the University of Rouen in France, and the third in Theology from the Redeemers Bible College. I was the best graduating master's student in my class. I won the best lecturer in the faculty of Arts at the University of Benin in 2013, the President of the year award, and the Who is who in American Universities in 2020 at the University of Mississippi, USA.

The purpose of telling the story 

Where am I telling this story? Because I know someone is reading this article that may have had a passion for something legit, but maybe your parents did not allow you to pursue it. They made you go to school to read a professional course. It is not too late to face your passion there in your fulfillment lies. There may be someone reading this article, and your child may be crying for something legit do not discourage them just because you think they should do something else to maintain the 'pride' of the family or because that is not what you want from them. That thing you are discouraging them from doing might be what God put in them to do here on earth. Finally, there may be some who are yet to have up springs be vigilant of their legit passions and see how you can guide them to excel in it, and you will be surprised how far they can go. In my next post, I am going to be talking about how I ended up doing linguistics.

Bye for now.
#school #mystory #Imustgotoschool 
for more, click here

Tuesday, 8 September 2020

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING - By Rume Kpadamrophe

The famous phrase, “Big brother is watching you” is taken from George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984: A dystopian novel that depicts a society under constant surveillance of an authoritarian regime. The citizens of Oceania are always being watched through telescreens. This novel was first published in 1949. Fast-forward to 2020, we are slowly seeing the world evolving into an Orwellian society.

Big tech is watching you.

In April 2019, NBC News reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg oversaw plans to consolidate the social media network’s power and control competitors by treating its users’ data as bargaining chips. It was reported that Zuckerberg, along with his board, found ways to tap Facebook’s data- including information about friends, relationships, and photos- as leverage over companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook rewarded favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users.

This kind of behavior is not common to Facebook. In In May 2019, it was reported that Snapchat employees were using the app to obtain vital information from users without their consent. Harvard business professor Shoshana Zuboff once wrote, “once we searched Google. Now, Google searches us.” It seems like no one is safe from the prying eyes of big tech. Big tech is watching you.

The rise of the Thought Police

Over the past couple of months, Facebook and other social media networks have banned Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, and other “extremists.”

On July 28th, 2020, Twitter suspended Donald Trump, Jr. For posting a video of medical doctors affirming the use of Hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19. Big tech further went on to take down the video, tagging it, “misleading and potentially harmful information.”

For several days, left-leaning media continually smeared the names of these doctors and even tagged one of them as insane. They ignored the hundreds of research published by various medical journals affirming that Hydroxychloroquine works.  In an article titled, The key to defeating COVID-19 already exists, Harvey A. Risch, professor of Epidemiology, Yale University, clearly stated that when administered early, Hydroxychloroquine works. So why has the big tech and the media discredited and debased anyone that dares to speak the facts concerning this drug that has been used for decades?

On August 5th, 2020, Facebook and Twitter removed a video posted by President Donald Trump in which he said children are “almost immune from this disease.” Conservatives, in particular, have been on the receiving end of big tech’s regulation of free speech.

We live in a society that is becoming increasingly polarized, so harmful information may be healthy information to another and vise-versa.

Thought Police

In George Orwell’s 1984, the Thought Police are the secret police of the state who discover and punish “thought crimes.” I dare to say that big tech is playing the role of the Thought Police in today’s world.

We live in a world where tech companies are more powerful than the government of nations, so censoring free speech is a big deal, and we must kick against it. In my opinion, big tech companies are slowly becoming the fascists of today.

Comedian Ricky Gervais, a self-proclaimed, ‘old fashioned liberal lefty, champagne socialist typed of guy,’ recently described the cancel culture as “a kind of strange fascism.” He further stated, “There is a new kind of strange fascism of people who think they know what you can say and what you cannot, and that is a strange thing. Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

One of the reasons I believe big tech’s censorship is extremely dangerous is because it destroys the culture of healthy debates. It’s wrong to ‘cancel’ someone because you disagree with them. Disagreeing with people has been a part of human culture for ages, and anytime a small percentage of individuals have stifled the freedom of speech of the masses, it has resulted in unfavorable circumstances.

When we disagree with people, the rational human response has always been to counter their opinions through healthy debates and not to debase them or cancel them. If human civilization is to progress, all sides of the political spectrum must be heard and respected. We must all learn to remove the logs from our eyes before we attempt to remove the speck in the eyes of others. 

 

Rume Kpadamrophe: is an evangelist, writer, teacher, and researcher based in Lagos, Nigeria. Rume speaks French and English and loves to travel. He desires to see revival ignited and sustained in the nations of the world. Rume’s email address is rumekpadamrophe@yahoo.com

#Hydroxychloroquine #big tech #network #Donald Trump #COVID-19 #Epidemiology


Disclaimer:

 The views and opinions expressed in this article do not represent that of the owner of the blog. They are entirely that of the guest blogger, Rume Kpadamrophe. 


Friday, 4 September 2020

I AM BACK

 I have not posted for a while now on this platform for obvious reasons: I have been busy with my Ph.D. work, which is quite demanding because of the workload. I must take classes, and I also must teach at the same time. The life of a Ph.D. student is quite a demanding one, so I had to focus my attention on it to make the best out of it. Now, I am a little bit freer with my time because I am all about my dissertation. This fact does not mean that I have all the time in the world. It only means that my professors no longer give me deadlines. It means that I set the deadlines for myself,  follow my pace, and I make my plans on how to write and finish the chapters of my dissertation, which is a different ball game from when you are taking classes at the Ph.D. level. As such, I have more control over my time right now. Thus, I am going to be doing some writing about a lot of things that are on my mind.

I will be talking about myself. I will share things about myself that boarder around my academics, relationships, spiritual experiences, how I ended up doing my Ph.D. in the USA, and so on. I will be talking about pidgin and Creole linguistics, where I major. I will also be talking about faith in Christ Jesus, also my experience about coming and staying in the US to study both the negative and challenging experiences that I had to go through, my pains, my struggles, and my eventual triumph. I will also be giving information about the possibilities and scholarship opportunities that are available to come to study in the US. I might even drop some French lessons and expressions to the delight of my former and present students. These and more are just some of the things that will be uploaded on this platform.

I will also be sharing my thoughts on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels. I wish to reach out to a lot of people to share my experience to help others successfully navigate their way through life. If I knew the things that I knew right now some ten years ago or even 20 years ago, I would have gone farther than where I am now, and I would have been able to avoid some pains that I experienced along the way. However, I am grateful to God for all that I went through because he was with me through it all, and they made me a wiser person. Thus, I want to share my life experience and expertise that I have gained with others for their benefit. It is the least that I could do.

I intend to share whatever I know is going to be profitable too many people out there who do not know as much as I do about specific areas of life. So, feel free to follow my post and contribute by giving your comments. Remember to be respectful, and please do not attack anybody with your comments. Constructive criticisms are allowed but not attacks. However, as you criticize, remember to proffer solutions to any problem that you have observed.

God blesses!    

Monday, 27 October 2014

PRACTICAL TRUTH TO ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

Academic excellence has to do with what we ought to do—that is, the activities we need to carry out regularly to improve in our schoolwork until we become extremely good at it.

Steps to that excellence are based on real facts, are feasible, and must be carried out. They are devoid of any sort of sentimental or emotional ideas that are not realistic. They work for anyone that does them, rather than being ideas that a person may have about how academic excellence
might be achieved.

They include the do-able aspects of academic excellence that we ignore most of the time because we are too busy with the spiritual aspects. We neglect the practical aspects that ought to be taken seriously.

We need realistic expectations concerning what we do so that we do not have extreme expectations— that is, expecting God to do what He never really said He would do. The Bible says, “Even so faith if it hath not works, is dead being alone” (James 2:17 KJV).

Abraham, the father of our faith, showed us a good example. God told him he would become a father of many nations, and God changed his name from Abram to Abraham and also his wife’s name (Genesis17:5–15). Abraham means “father of many nation.” This showed he believed God. But Abraham did not stop there. He did not go around saying, “I am a father of many nation” without a corresponding action.

What did Abraham do? The Bible says that he did not consider his body dead or the womb of Sarah barren. So he went in and lay with his wife, so they could have Isaac. If he had stopped at the level of name change alone, Isaac wouldn’t have come forth.

Dear brothers and sisters, what we call faith sometimes is not faith at all; it is just mere wish or, at best, presumption—a high expectation based on wrong information that is usually followed by a wrong corresponding action.

Some Christian students get that kind of wrong information. They lay their hands on their books (some would go as far as standing on their books and making decrees), but refuse to read them. In the end, they fail. By the time they realize it, they are already in their third year in school with a lot of failed classes. The practical truth when it comes to overcoming your books is that you must study.

Your faith must be based on the Word of God . No Word, no faith! If you have the Word of God and faith, that faith is dead without a corresponding action.

One of the pastors that mentored me told me of his experience while he was a student. He had a friend, a believer, who went to God in prayer to seek His face concerning his academics. The friend came back and told him that God had given him a word that he would be the head and not the tail. As a result, he started reading his books ferociously.

My pastor just said, “I will be the head and not the tail,” but did not study hard. My pastor’s friend did excellently, but my pastor did not do very well. During the next session, however, my pastor went to God for a word, which he received, and he backed it up with a corresponding
action. He emerged as one of the best in that session. If you really believe that God will make you excel in your academics, you definitely need to study your books.

Faith makes you work. Most lazy Christians try to avoid the work aspect. But we must come to the point where we realize that we must do something. We have a part to play in the matter. God expects us to work. You have to give your all; fire on all cylinders. You can take authority over your books, which I’m not against, for I do it myself. But if you don’t read, calamity is coming on you, and you will fail. If you read, you will know! It’s that simple.

Faith is not in any sense an opinion; religion is. The apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13 KJV). Th is alone is a source of motivation to press forward. Don’t be lazy. Motivate yourself. Some say that religion is the
opium of the people, but when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ, that is a motivation, not opium. Let Christianity be an opium to you when it comes to doing what is evil. Let the Bible motivate you in doing what is right.

To lead an effective Christian life, you must be able to bring the Word of God into a place of practicality. Bishop David Oyedepo, the founder of Living Faith Church, once said that the problem he noticed in Christians is that there are many revelations but little or no manifestation
because of lack of application, which leads to the destruction of so many.


A practical truth of academic excellence is that facts work the same way for anyone who will get involved in them. Good success comes from balancing the spiritual with the physical, which is practical.

Monday, 8 September 2014

REVIEW: THE PERFECT SCHOLAR

BOOK: THE PERFECT SCHOLAR
AUTHOR: JIMOH BRAIMOH (JR)
PUBLISHER: WESTBOW PRESS, 2014, xv + 117 pp.
REVIEWER: GABRIEL ARISHE, LL.M; Ph.D; B.L; DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC LAW, UNIVERSITY OF BENIN, BENIN CITY, NIGERIA
   INTRODUCTION
Complains about poor performance in school by students in Nigerian educational institutoin is now commonplace. The reasons for the endemic failure in examinations and the poor capacity of graduates from our tertiary institutions have ranged from incessant strikes by teachers, poorly motivated teaching staff, obsolete teaching aids and facilities, and a host of other reasons. While the hues and cries of poor academic performance in Nigeria is not necessarily over-hyped, poor performance in schools is not peculiar neither is it limited to Nigeria. Indeed, school drop-out due to drugs, gangsterism, peer pressures, etc are common place in North America and in Europe. Poor academic performance is not unheard of in those continents. The prevalence of poor academic performance globally, though failure rates might differ across the continents, points to the fact that majority of students are far from being the perfect model of studentship. While a lot of studies have been conducted on how to reverse this trend, and in fact, books on making students better in their studies have been written, the desired change appears elusive. There are academics devoted to the specialised study of educational psychology and other related disciplines to enable students cope with academic pressures and study. In spite of research findings and implementations from the works published in such areas, every day experience points to a diminishing return in terms of students’ performance in key subject areas and at school generally.
The Perfect Scholar perhaps is a bold attempt to fill the gap in the quest for an enduring solution to poor academic performance globally. While previous efforts at redressing poor results in school focused more on personal efforts alone, Jimoh Braimoh (Jr) brings into focus the centrality of God, the Almighty Creator of man, in the quest for success. Without Him academic success and indeed every other success is vain. The foundation to the author’s whole concept of success in academics and in life, therefore is to become first a Christian, put God in one’s study, and work hard in line with divine principles because God is not lazy either. I cannot disagree with this insightful perspective because the author having earned a First Class Honours in his first degree capped with a Master degree from Europe is perhaps letting us into the path he trod to his academic accomplishments. The specific principles on how to become highly successful in academic pursuit and how to apply them are the compelling information you would find in The Perfect Scholar.
The title of the book is highly suggestive of its thematic preoccupation: it is about a student; but not just the average student; it is about the student that earns high grades. The author was one, now in a highly scintillating prose he tells us how to achieve this.
APPRAISAL OF CONTENT
Apart from the preliminary pages, this book is structured into six chapters. Chapter one reveals God’s positive agenda for everyone’s academic pursuit and further dispels the notion that failure could be an act of spiritual consciousness towards God or His work. As a follow-up to this latter contestation, chapter two takes the reader through the practical ways to achieve academic excellence. Contextually, divine support could have formed part of chapter two but given its centrality and significance, the reader is made to see in a separate chapter: three, the inevitability of the God factor in the quest for academic excellence.
Chapter four will be the delight of any inquisitive reader. It is entitled: ‘Why some Students Fail.’ The reasons adduced by the author are Fear, Overconfidence, Bad Omen, Anxiety, Lack of Composure, and Lack of Concentration. The reader who has not followed chapters one to three might be disappointed that failure to attend classes and study hard are vital omissions from the list. They are not. Prompt attendance to classes and a diligent study life have already been discussed in chapter two as pathways to achieving academic excellence and they form part of the discussion in chapter six.
Chapter five gives invaluable tips on time management, while chapter six explains how to prepare adequately for examinations.
Each chapter ends with study questions while the entire book ends with prayer points on academic success. Aside the known fact that prayer is indispensable to one’s success in life, the allusion to spiritual attack on academic pursuit, including the author’s narration of his personal experience during one of his examinations in his undergraduate days makes the prayer point in the book a necessity.
  CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The strength of this book lies in its down-to-earth approach. It conceals no facts and does not beg the question in any areas. I have found it to be a book so well written in easily comprehensible prose and style. In addition, it is in very clear prints and well bound to international standards. I am not surprised at this given the status of the publishers and printers who are reputed for high quality academic publishing. My genuine impression is that this book is an invaluable source of knowledge and information that can propel any success-thirsty individual into higher productivity. I will therefore recommend this book to everyone, including students, parents, academics, researchers, businessmen, etc.
This book is worth having on the shelf, for it is worth more than the cover price.
Thank you.

Monday, 25 August 2014

THE INSPIRATION BEHIND MY BOOK

I’ve seen a lot of graduates whose performance is far below what they are capable of. Obviously, because they are unable to discover and put into practice some doable facts that can make them achieve excellence in their academic pursuit.
When I was a student someone told me that “if you aim at the sky, you might fall on the roof”. On hearing this, I went outside and took a good look at the sky and the roof. And I came to the conclusion that if land on the roof it either you really were not aiming at the sky or you really don’t know where the sky is, because they are both miles apart.
By the grace of God, I made a First Class and it’s those things that I did that worked for me that I put together in this book to help others and I am sure it will work for anyone who is careful enough to do them because they are proven.
In this book, I balanced spirituality with practicality to achieve academic excellence. I have observed over the years that students are caught up between these two dichotomies, i.e. the ones who are so “spiritual” and see no need to add work to their faith and the ones who work so hard and see no need for God. Both extremes can be avoided and a balance stroke. The ways to do this are contained in this book.
As a matter of fact, you cannot be a perfect scholar until you are able to balance spirituality with practicality. Until the mind and the heart meet. You can be bright in the mind but darken in the heart. Records have it that Adolf Hitler and his men had PhDs but the show no restraints when it was time for them to kill innocent Jewish babes in mass. They were bright in the mind but darken in the heart.
A perfect scholar is bright in the mind and bright in the heart. When this is lacking, a scholar uses his knowledge against humanity but a perfect scholar strikes a balance between both extremes and use their knowledge to help humanity.
To wit, The Perfect Scholar aims at teaching young ones how to achieve academic excellence and to remain relevant to their society afterwards.


Jimoh Braimoh (Jr) can be contacted at jimoh.braimoh@uniben.edu (08135832572). Copies of his book can be ordered directly from him, through booksellers or online at http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/products/sku-000704438/The-Perfect-Scholar.aspx 

Monday, 23 June 2014

WHY SOME STUDENT FAIL: THE LACK OF COMPOSURE FACTOR


Lack of composure : The inability to keep calm is referred to as a lack
of composure . It is the feeling you have when you are upset. You are
unable to keep your cool.
While anxiety comes on you during a test because you are in a
hurry to put down what you know, lack of composure often occurs
if you don’t plan your work or prepare for an exam. When you don’t
have a worked-out and concise plan for approaching a question or you
don’t have enough ideas to develop because you aren’t prepared, your
composure diminishes, and your work will be disorganized. It will
portray that you are confused, because it will lack organization.
To this effect, a lecturer once said, “When I come across such
writing, I go back to read the question I gave to see exactly what I
asked.” This shows that a confused answer can, in turn, confuse the
examiner to the point that he forgets the question he asked.
Adequate preparation is a key to preventing a lack of composure .
But no matter what you know and what you put down, if it is not in
order, you will confuse the examiner, and there is no way you will pass.

What you say is as important as how you say it.

Monday, 26 May 2014

WHY SOME STUDENTS FAIL: THE ANXIETY FACTOR

Anxiety is a state of uneasiness or tension caused by apprehension of possible future  misfortune, danger, etc.; worry. Anxiety can come upon you when you are worried or uneasy or very eager or in a hurry to answer a question . You become nervous
and jittery. The problem is that you lose control. You begin to make
unpardonable and unnecessary mistakes—even in a subject area you
know well. You will be perplexed at the sort of errors you make just
because of anxiety.
To successfully deal with anxiety, “be careful for nothing; but
in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your
request be made known unto God and the peace of God, which passeth
all understanding , shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ

Jesus” (Philippians 4: 6–7 KJV).

From The Perfect Scholar by Jimoh BRAIMOH (Jnr)

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

WHY SOME STUDENTS FAIL: THE BAD OMEN FACTOR

This can also be referred to as bad luck or bad company.
You almost have no control over this. For example, when the results of
a whole class’s exams are withheld because of cheating , everyone who
took it—both those who were involved in the cheating and those who
were innocent —suffer. Little wonder the Bible says, “Be not deceived;
evil communications corrupt good manners ” (1 Corinthian 15:33 KJV).
A bad omen situation is something you don’t see coming. It just
befalls you when you least expect it. Here’s an example: One day, during
an exam, a lecturer asked me to tell him what the two female students
who were sitting right in front of me were doing. I could not give him an
answer that satisfied him, because I knew nothing. I was just minding
my business in the hall. He took my answer booklet along with those
of the other students and asked us to leave the room.
This could happen to anyone, but we can overcome with prayer .
Jesus said , “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit
truly is ready, but the flesh is weak (Mark 14: 38 KJV)”. I pray that
such a thing will not befall you, in Jesus’ name. This happened to me
when I was not yet born again, and it can surely happen to a child of
God who is not very prayerful. However, it is one of the ways students
encounter failure .

From The Perfect Scholar by Jimoh BRAIMOH (Jnr)

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

FOUR THINGS A FOOL CAN DO TO YOU


1)    A fool will weaken your focus.
2)    He will slow your life.
3)    He will waste your time on futile fix and
4)    Make you to disbelieve God.
WHO IS A FOOL?
-         A fool is one who despises wisdom and instruction.
-         Anyone who refuses to depart from evil
-         Anyone who reveals secret.
-         Anyone whose conduct doesn’t change even after experiencing painful consequences.
-         A fool spends more than he is willing to earn.
-         He creates his own believe system contrary to God’s word.

-         He focuses on financial increase instead of God. 

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

UNDERSTANDING THE LAWS OF LIFE


Life is govern by laws; both physical and spiritual laws and principles. The spiritual controls the physical. Money responds directly to some spiritual laws and principles. For it is He i.e. God that giveth thee power to get wealth. There is a spiritual empowerment from above that money response to. Understanding and pitting these laws and principles to practice will help one to get desired result.
Law of visualizationwhat you can see in the spirit, you can handle in the physical. You can create your future by speaking into the present.
Law of promotion: you can only be promoted by someone whose instruction you follow (obey).
Law of reproduction: You can only reproduce yourself!
Law of seed: Whatever you have in your hand can create whatever you desire in your future.
Law of recognition: What you don’t recognize remains celebrated.

Understanding the laws of life can catapult you from darkness and obscurity to light, from lowness to high place and from poverty to riches.

Friday, 25 April 2014

WHY SOME STUDENTS FAIL: THE OVERCONFIDENCE FACTOR

While fear makes you perform below your capability, overconfidence, which is an excessive trust that you can do something successfully, can make you fail also.
          When you believe too much in yourself, you soon begin to underestimate God and others—even those who are in a position to help you. If you do that, God will no longer be on the scene in your life. Arrogance will become the norm. You will not care about other people’s feelings, thereby hurting them even when you are right. You will become repulsive. Grace will no longer follow you. And you will do things out of context. When you are asked a question that requires a simple answer, out of arrogance and the desire to show off, you will give an elaborate and exaggerated answer. Your intent is not to give an answer but to prove that you have knowledge, even when it is not needed. So you end up saying what is relevant and what is irrelevant. This sort of thing seems to happen to people who do not learn that they can help others; instead they intimidate and oppress others. They first want to show that they know better and are therefore superior.

          To overcome this, you need the grace of God to be humble. Proverbs 3:5–7 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”(KJV) Someone asked me some time ago how an exam was going to be. I answered, “We are looking unto God.” He replied with great surprise, saying, “People like us are calling on God, and you too will be calling on God?!” He expected me to depend on my intelligence. But an understanding of the Word of God had delivered me from such a trap. Even when you know something, “don’t be wise in your own eyes”; depend on the help of God to make the task easier for you, or you will end up messing things up for yourself.

Monday, 14 April 2014

WHY SOME STUDENTS FAIL: THE FEAR FACTOR


A student was asked why she failed. She answered, “I failed because I was afraid.” Somebody once defined fear using the acronym FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real.
Fear is the feeling you get when you think something bad is going to happen to you. It brings tension, anxiety, and even torment. It can make you unable to articulate what you already know. It can paralyze you, because you already expect the worst to happen. It causes you to be against yourself when nobody is against you.
The Bible helps us to understand that fear is a spirit of bondage and that it is not from God: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15 KJV). “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV). Elsewhere, the Bible says, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1 KJV). We do not have the spirit of fear and bondage but of boldness and liberty.
Fear is an evil spirit. It is an enemy to your destiny, because it can make you perform far below your capacity. It takes away your confidence, composure, and courage and turns you into a coward.
The general overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, said in one of his sermon, “You can overcome fear by doing what fear asks you not to do.” Now, that is called courage. Disobeying the voice of fear! You can also overcome fear with the Word of God. Faith is the opposite of fear, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God, but when you focus too much on your challenges and your past failures, fear takes root in your heart and rules over your life. It can be seen even in the words you speak, “…for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”(Matthew 12:34 KJV) But when you mediate on the Word of God and the possibilities that God can bring your way, even in the midst of the challenges, confidence and hope will take root in your heart.
Scriptures like “I can do all things” and “I know the thoughts that I think toward you  are thoughts of good and not of evil”. “You are the head and not the tail”. “And this is the confidence that we have that he that has started a new thing in your life will bring it till the day of Jesus Christ.” And, above all, “all things work together for your good.” You hear that? “All things” not “some things,” not “pleasant things” but all things, for not all good things are pleasurable.
The Bible says that those “who live only for pleasure are spiritually dead” (1Timothy 5:6 TNLT). Fasting is not pleasurable, but it is very profitable to us spiritually, physically, and mentally. Studying is not pleasurable either, but it develops the mind. Fear is capable of truncating your destiny by making you fail even when you are good enough to pass. Therefore, confront it with the Word of God.

FROM


The Perfect Scholar by Jimoh Braimoh (Jr)