VISION AND SCHOLARSHIP: A CLASSROOM MEDITATION.

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Your vision propels you to work harder so as to accomplish it. It will disturb you, wake you in the night etc, requiring you to study more because studying (Scholarship) in itself makes the vision clearer

VISION AND SCHOLARSHIP: A CLASSROOM MEDITATION.

IS

THE 2015 ORIENTATION LECTURE OF

OYE AGUNBIADE (HON)

                     OF

THE PROSPECTS/RADIO NIGERIA

DELIVERED TO NIGERIAN STUDENTS,

AT THE FRESH STUDENTS’ ORIENTATION PROGRAMME,

OF THE FOLLOWING INSTITUTIONS:

(1) ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION (A.C.E), ONDO-CITY,

ONDO STATE

DATE: 10TH DECEMBER, 2015

(2) AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI (ABUAD)

DATE: 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2015

(3) FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AKURE (FUTA),

ONDO STATE.

DATE: 19TH JANUARY, 2015

The Founder/Vice-Chancellor/ Provost,

The Deputy Vice Chancellors/ Provost,

The Registrar,

The Bursar,

The University Librarian,

Provost of Colleges/ Dean of Faculties,

Dean of Student Affairs,

All Professors and Heads of Departments here Present,

Other Principal Officers of the University

Lecturers and Members of Staff,

Distinguished invited Guests,

Gentlemen of the press, the noble profession,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

And The Greatest Nigerian students!

Preamble

It is important that I begin by expressing first my gratitude for the honour of being invited by your reputable institution to give this Orientation lecture. I am really happy to be with you because opportunity like this offers me the chance to touch the heart of leaders of tomorrow.I hope whatever I say will prove worthy of the respect and generosity that you have accorded me.

In the race of life, not all that participate return with laurels. Many run it but only one wins. However, in the few races of life before you, definitely you have emerged winner in one. And to you and only you I offer my sincere congratulation. It’s not easy as it is to gain admission today especially with the teeming number of applicants competing for the little number the University can admit. I therefore share feelings with some of you that had toiled hard, year after year trying to get what eventually you have today. I however like to tell you to put behind you those struggling years and do not think it is time to rest because of the academic freedom enjoyable within the university but be determined to excel.

Introduction

The topic before us is what I have carefully selected as a result of the obvious gap in our curriculum and especially the changing attitude of students to the main business of their coming to school. This I will say is a meditation not lecture by the way, because occasionally I will crave your indulgence to a seeming impossible world which only meditation and not lecture can grasp.

The Visionary and the N.F.A (No Future Ambition)

The story was told of two friends who visited the soothsayer to have a fore knowledge of what destiny has in stock for them. The following conversations ensued:

Jonny and Jimmy: Old Man, how are you? Your children have come to have a peep into the future.

Old Man: You are welcome my Children, may I have your palms stretched out for the gods to see. (The duo did) Old Man after divination screams in a weird manner and to Jonny the first friend he remarked:

“I am afraid with what I am seeing as the indications are clear that the future is gloomy. In fact you will die poor, and I mean wretched.”

Jonny: (went silent and later asked) “Papa— is there no remedy for this?”

Old Man: with what I have before me—my son, the word is Capital NO….and to you Jimmy; celebrate your Ancestors…. As I see plenty, plenty riches for you.

Jimmy: (Acrobatically, Jimmy danced and reeled out appreciation to the gods for the fortune ahead) Papa, you mean I will be rich…!!! I will have fleet of Cars, own mansions and be in charge of my world…!!!

Old Man: yes you will (replied the old man)

The old man however wished both of them well as his parting words despite what divination reveals about Jonny. Jimmy left in high spirit while Jonny returned home cap in hand.

Getting to the streets, Jimmy announced to all that his wealth is on the way. He promised a number of people what he did not have as well as getting things on credit with the hope that a fairy prince will one day appear to spoil him with fortune.

On his part, Jonny sat to ponder on the impending poverty and the skills at his disposal. He concluded saying “NO, I CANT BE POOR, I WILL WORK HARD AND WILL DISAPPOINT THE PRIEST. Yes I can farm and if I do it well am yet to know that thing in the whole world that will make me poor. Jonny did not stop at the statement; he made straight for the market and bought a very sharp Cutlass and some seedlings with his last card (money), and left the village for a very far region. Found a virgin piece of land good for farming and started cultivating different crops. By the space of five years, Jonny became known by all and the one time poor man now can breathe in wealth. Jonny later decided to return home. While approaching his village with the fleet of messengers and goods behind him, the whole village trooped out to welcome and announced him as their new king. Jimmy however remained a beggar as he only wished and never worked towards achieving it because he saw life as a bed of roses.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT VISION

The discourse of vision is a multifaceted one. However, here I will try as much as possible to en-capsulate it in an easily digestible way.

Vision according to Dr Myles Munroe (of late memory) is:

The ability to see farther than your physical eyes can look, to see not just what is, but also what can be and to make it a reality.

Helen Keller puts it clearer this way that “the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

From the above we can say that vision is a mental image conceived or constructed by the imagination, which sees farther than the eye (Agunbiade, 2010:9)

It could also be a spiritual experience; that is, having a divine undertone. Helen Keller’s conception of vision reveals that vision ranks higher than sight more so considering the great achievements of Keller while on earth, though blind. That brings us to the understanding of the story of Jonny and Jimmy. While both had sight only Jonny had vision, and this is the case with many of us today who still suffer in the midst of the plenty we are capable of bringing to bear. No wonder Norman Vincent Peale once remarked that “within each and every one of us is a powerful resource capable of transforming our defeats to achievements”

SCHOLARSHIP?

Scholarship could be defined along two lines. According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (OALD) “it is the amount of money given to somebody by an organisation to help pay for their education”. But for this meditation we would be considering the second meaning which according to OALD: “Is the serious study of an academic subject and the knowledge and method involved”. Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary puts it clearer as “Serious formal study or research of a subject”. In other words by Scholarship, I mean academic study which is what you are here for by virtue of your admission.

VISION AND SCHOLARSHIP: ISSUES AND INTERRELLATIONSHIP

On a normal situation, vision should precede Scholarship. It is thus wrong to be spiked into studying a particular course without the fellow having a lucid understanding of the significance of such on his/her future. That is why it is unfortunate today seeing some parents insisting their kids must become this or that, all because they themselves failed to become such or they had admired a particular person in such profession.

  • Scholarship hence must be purpose driven and enhanced by vision.
  • Vision is like the Compass to the Sailor, without which no sail could take place.
  • Vision is the Torch to the night traveller.
  • With vision in place, meaningful Scholarship follows.

TOOL 1: (A short Clip on how the Renowned Neurosurgeon, BEN CARSON was transformed by vision after series of failures)— Gifted Hands

  • While vision gives the structural picture, which without no construction can take place, scholarship (now learning) does the building (erection, pillaring and finishing)

Exceptional Cases/ other possibilities: There are however inverted situations just as you will find exceptions to some academic rules in the course of your study.

Scholarship therefore could precede vision and that is why some of you here may not end up taking a career in what you just put in for to study. Some of you because you will perform so well in your studies will come across opportunities that will swerve you totally to another field which you like and you will still excel. An example is a senior friend by name Oye Alonge, who we both studied English at the undergraduate class but now an Ohio (U.S.A) Assistant Attorney General. He later crossed to Law after graduation as the opportunity came because he saw there was more within which he could give to life which a career in Law will afford. Some will also catch another vision which may look so tiny or rather you call it Pet Project like volunteering or learning one skill or the other which later in life will mark a turning point in their life like I did towards the end of my 300 level on campus and has brought me this far. That is why it is foolhardy for any human being today to disregard education, because the opportunities therein for a learned and thinking person cannot be over-emphasised.

VISION AND SCHOLARSHIP: WHICH WINS?

On a normal setting, there exist a synergy between Vision and Scholarship. In other words, the two work hand in hand for the serious student. Hence, both are winners. They are symbiotic and in the service of each other. Your vision propels you to work harder so as to accomplish it. It will disturb you, wake you in the night etc requiring you to study more because studying (Scholarship) in itself makes the vision clearer. In other words your learning (scholarship) today determines your earning tomorrow.

VISION AND SCHOLARSHIP: THE FIRST CLASS QUESTION

I am sure you have heard that earning the highest grades in the university translates to what is called First Class. By now I know you are beginning to wonder how you can go about achieving that feat with the tales you have heard about the University as a place with Big Books, BB. I wish to add as a matter of importance at this juncture that if you are the best in your former school you need to begin to think about it that in this hall are a good number of best students from their own schools. This is not to scare you anyway but to tell you the kind of competition ahead of you so you won’t at this beginning rest on your oars thinking ‘Am still the champion’. Back to the first class issue, I am glad to tell you to do away with your fears because by virtue of being in this hall with your admission letter in your hands, you have this First class already. It’s a GIFT, generously given to you by your school. This institutionby issuing you the admission letter gave all of you First Class. Amazed? That is why you have to understand very well this discourse of vision because now we are trending another level of vision and I will show you briefly how a student offered this gift managed it, and how big the gift was at the point of graduation.

TOOL 2: A GRAPHICAL REPRESENTATION/ COMMENTARY OF A STUDENT’S UNDER-GRADUATE C.G.P.A.

YEAR 1 3.94/ 3.60
YEAR 2 3.41/ 3.36
YEAR 3 3.23/ 3.09
YEAR 4 3.09/ 3.05

Elasticity of Cumulative Grade Point Average (C.G.P.A)

  • It reveals the responsiveness of students to the change in task of one course to another
  • The complex the course, the higher the chances of downward sloping
  • The more unserious the student becomes, the greater his or her chances of downward sloping
  • The more focused you become the steady you are at the top

You then may begin to wonder how realizable it is to have nothing lesser than this GIFT of First Class at graduation.

One of what you need is the hindsight which enables foresight. The hindsight here is taking lessons from the past. And a readily available lesson here is picking past questions of exams and tests at the beginning of each new session and semester. The classroom story is told of three boys trying to wrestle the first three positions from another three girls. They tried time and again but could only go home with the 4th, 5th and 6th positions. However their breakthrough surfaced as a new boy joined their class late for the term. They sympathetically approached him wondering how he would catch up. The new boy surprised them saying “in two weeks, I will be made for the exams.” Curiously they asked how and he replied “the past questions will do it for me.” He explained, “past questions are the fastest and surest way to get yourself ready for exams as teachers the world over are in the habit of repeating their test and exam questions with just few minor changes” he added “they are all there in the Library.” To the library they went and surprisingly there in a box lie all the questions for their grade. They made copies and got down to study. As the new boy predicted, they had many of the past questions repeated and for the first time the three old boys smelt the reality of their dream. As results came out they surely made it as two of the old boys occupied the 1st and 2nd positions, the new boy the 3rd position, while the third of the old boys came 4th. The three ladies who now could not defend their championship swapped for the 5th, 6th and 7th positions. The power of the hindsight definitely can never be over-emphasised.

The Ultimate Vision

In my little sojourn, I have found that whatever plan or vision that we human beings may conceive, except the living God allows us and is in support of such we may not get it right. The Bible records in Jeremiah 1:5 that:

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (KJV)

That is the word of God to Prophet Jeremiah when to himself he was useless but before God he was a world changer. The point here is you can only know your true worth and become who God destined you to be when you draw closer to your maker. Just as many destinies are moulded on campus many others become shattered because they see life as bed of roses; engage in cultism, prostitution and keeping of bad friends. The Catch Them Young is the trend of the moment across campus. Say NO to invitations from people of questionable characters and report any threat to the Student Affairs Division. In addition, only join approved groups by the Student Affairs unit as well as fellowships where you will be well guided especially on how to settle down and go about your studies.

APPRECIATION

I am again honoured to have been given this opportunity to do what I am most delighted to doing. Hence, my profound gratitude goes to the School Authority and especially the organisers of this programme for considering me to address this occasion. I am also indebted to Taiwo and Kehinde Omojola for looking through the text of this meditation and also to my Web Manager and a onetime school son, Mr Seun Adebisi of Goshen Tech for quick upload of the text to my website www.oyeagunbiade.com .

And more importantly to you, Greatest Nigerian Students, for your rapt attention and resolve to actualize the big picture of your future.

Once again, congratulations and God bless you all!

Works Cited

Agunbiade, O. 2010. Discovering and Fulfilling your God-given Vision. Jos: Great Grace Publications. P.9.

Munroe, M. 2003. The Principles and Power of Vision. U.S.A: Whitaker House.

Peale. N. Become All You Can Be. New York: Foundation for Christian Living.

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N.B: This text: “Vision and Scholarship: A Classroom Meditation” is the 2015 Orientation Lecture of OYE AGUNBIADE (HON) of THE PROSPECTS/ RADIO NIGERIA, delivered to Nigerian students, at the Fresh Students’ Orientation Programme of the following institutions:

(1) Adeyemi College of Education (A.C.E), Ondo City, Ondo State. Date: 10th December, 2015

(2) Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD) Date: 25th September, 2015

(3) Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Ondo State. Date: 19th         January, 2015.

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