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For The Love of a Mother

Mr. Wizzet was busy rearranging his room and changing desks here and there at Sparks Vocational Institute, Abu Dhabi. He quickly swapped the boards and turned on the projector. He brought out a fresh set of files and folders and dumped them on the front desk.

Abdul was still bent over his task.

“You must leave now Abdul. Tomorrow is another day. You come back  and finish your work.”

Abdul pulled his stuff together, bungled them into his folder while Mr. Wizzet was at the door receiving his next class.

Mr. Wizzet made it a point of duty to stand at the door and shake every student’s hand. He made sure that he ignited an eye contact with all of them. He would end up spending about 20 seconds with each student to contact their spirit and welcome them into his room. By standing there at the door, he clearly demonstrated that you were coming into his domain. By standing there, he made you feel welcomed by personalizing a greeting and handshake. By standing there, he took charge of the fact that, he was in control and also a collaboration.

As the last one was coming in, Abdul, was waiting by the door to jet out. Mr. Wizzet called him to himself, gave him a good handshake saying “good job buddy. I like your determination however you don’t have to finish everything in one day”.

“Thanks Mr. Wizzet. But I need to finish everything. It is a goal that I have set for myself”.

The next time Mr. Wizzet had a lesson with Abdul’s class, he moved Abdul away from his mates. He sat him alone in a quiet corner. Here Abdul was able to concentrate and figure out what he had to do. Abdul was not the brightest of kids but he had an irrepressible determination. He would not leave his work unfinished. His mates didn’t seem to care much about work once the lesson time was over. They wanted to move on.

Abdul took special interest on the spreadsheet that signaled his performance. Yellow meant absence, red meant failed and no color coding meant you are on safe ground. If you had a green, it meant outstanding. Abdul’s eyes were on the green. He wanted to populate his cells with the green color. He loved seeing his cells being highlighted with green. He was always asking what he could do to improve his grades.

Another significant thing about Abdul was that he never missed a lesson. He was always present for every single lesson. His attendance was 100%. He walked with a swag and wore such a beautiful smile. He looked disorganized from the outside. However, he was organized to a fault. His shoes were always shiny. He had a comb in his pocket and he only combed his beards. Mr. Wizzet was once tempted to ask him why he couldn’t extend such benevolence to his hair.

He spoke in a calculated manner and counted his words when he spoke. You needed to understand him to realize that you have to be patient with him. He gave utter consideration to whatever he wanted to say first before spewing it out. Some of his comments were too weighty for some of his mates. His comments were on the high end of the spectrum, being able to connect whatever he learnt to real life situations.

One time they were studying about timelines and the character the class used for the case study was Hisun, a Chinese. At first glance Abdul thought it was an error. He blurted in a calculated note “Mr. Wizzet why are the books we study always with the foreign names and stuff. What about Hussain and places in the Middle East?”

“You are correct Abdul. This is the sort of conversation I want to encourage you guys to have with me. If you notice Abdul, at the end of each unit, I always set work that relates to you transferring your knowledge to that of your context.”

Preparations were in top gear for the upcoming Eid holiday. The fast was drawing to an end and the students were genuinely tired. All what they wanted to do was come in, have a chat and check out of the room. Only the likes of Abdul could sustain a deep conversation and work ethics.

Two days to the end of the fast, Mr. Wizzet decided to ease out with the boys. They would stream into his classroom, sit down and have informal chats. Anytime Mr. Wizzet wasn’t teaching he preferred to stay in his classroom and work than go to his office space in the faculty building. Most of his resources were in his teaching room and since he didn’t share his teaching room with another person, he was cool with that.

In between his sessions, he would shut his door so that intruders would be avoided.  Mr. Wizzet had just finished teaching a class and was settling down to do some admin tasks when there was a knock on his door. He didn’t bother to open the door. The knock was persistent. Then it moved over to his window. He had no option than to open the door. Three of them came in without being invited.

“But folks I don’t have a lesson with you now” Mr. Wizzet said politely.

They pulled out chairs and sat down.

“Mr. Wizzet you can do what you have to do, we won’t bother you. We will sit here till we go” Kora said.

“No we won’t disturb you, Abdul chipped in”

“Mr. Wizzet just carry on with your work” Koura said.

In a swift sense of reaction, Mr. Wizzet decided to convert this to a moment.

“Let me get to know the boys on a personal level” he thought.

He stepped down from his desk on the platform and pulled a chair and sat next to them.

“So what are your plans for the upcoming Eid holiday?”

“I will be going to Dubai to spend time with my family” Koura responded. “I am looking forward to it so badly. My brother and sister will come to visit and we will see each other again” he concluded.

“I will head back to Ras al Khaimah” Kora joined in. “It’s going to be the same thing as in past Eid’s. I will be with my family and khalas!”

“I will be right here in the Centre” Abdul said. The rest of the boys laughed.

“Why?” Mr. Wizzet queried.

“Because I don’t have anywhere to go to.”

“What of your father?” Mr. Wizzet asked.

“His father is dead” Kora replied.

“Oh I am sorry to hear that. What of your mother?”

“My mother is in Yemen”.

“What about your siblings?”

“Well my sisters are married, so I don’t have anywhere to go to. I stay in the Camp all year round.”

“What?”

They all laughed. Kora said “I have asked him to come with me to my house but he doesn’t want to come.”

Koura added “I have also suggested to him to come and spend some time with me but he doesn’t like the idea.”

Mr. Wizzet was apparently shocked and intrigued at what he heard.

“I have been here for seven months now” Abdul announced.

“How do you socialize and how do you spend your time?”

“Sometimes I get a pass and go to the mall on some weekends for a few hours. Sometimes I go to visit my mother at Yemen.”

“How do you get to the mall. You drive?”

“No I call a taxi and I get back with a taxi as well.”

“So how do you see your mum?” Mr. Wizzet asked.

“He doesn’t go there. Her mum goes to Egypt and he travels to Egypt to meet the mum” Kora said.

“You know there is war in Yemen and he can’t go there” Koura added as well.

“I spend my time studying in the night school for my diploma after my day time studies in the Centre” Abdul said.

“When I graduate from here, I hope to get a good job as an apprentice aeronautical engineer. I will rent an apartment and bring in my mother so that we can stay together as a family again.”

Mr. Wizzet’s heart was broken. Abdul spoke through all of these with ease, smile and charm. This is what has broken some people in life, this is what has damaged some people in life, yet for Abdul, this has been his fuel. This has been his drive, his motivator. To be united with his mother again. Nonstop studying. Paying the price now, so that he could be re-united with his mother.

Mr. Wizzet brought out his periscope and peered into the future. He saw Abdul sitting in an office bent over a plant drawing. He saw him driving back from work and his mama opening the door for him.

“Abdul.”

“Yes Mr. Wizzet.”

“Your future is very bright. You are going to be an epitome of success. Just keep it moving.”

“I know Mr. Wizzet. Thank you very much.”

They all stood up and pushed in their chairs and shook hands with Mr. Wizzet and walked away. They all wore that smile that knew no defeat.

Uwem Mbot Umana(c)2020

 

Now answer the following questions

 

  1. a) List all the characters in the story
  2. b) List all the countries associated with this story

 

  1. a) What does the word “bungled” mean.
  2. b) Give another word or phrase that can be used in its place.

 

  1. Find and copy a phrase that tells us that Mr. Wizzet believed it was important to shake his students’ hands before they entered the class.

 

  1. How would you describe Abdul, use three words (of your own – not used in the text) to describe him and reasons or quotes to support each.

 

  1. Why do you think Abdul does not accept his friends’ invitations?

 

  1. What made Mr. Wizzet open the door to the boys?

 

  1. Why does Abdul not return to Yemen?

 

  1. Find and copy a metaphor used near the end of the story.

 

  1. Longer writing task: Write an essay that describes your favourite teacher. I want to meet this favourite teacher, I want to know the impact he has had on you and what makes him/her to stand out. Your work must be written in 3 paragraphs. First paragraph – introducing your favourite teacher, second paragraph – the things that made him or her your favourite teacher, 3rd paragraph – your conclusion.

 

Example: My favourite teacher:

My favourite teacher when I was in secondary school was Mrs. Cecelia Akpan. She was about 35 years old and was from Akwa Ibom State. She was my geography teacher.

 

Before she started teaching me geography I hated geography subject. I found it so boring. My previous teacher did not make it fun and because of that I lost interest in the subject. But when Mrs. Akpan started teaching me geography she was so different. She took an interest in my studies. She spoke kindly to me. She didn’t yell at me. She made me realise that I could do it. She was always telling funny stories in the class that made me laugh. I used to look forward to her lessons. Her stories always connected with geography and anytime I remembered the stories, I remembered what she was trying to teach. she once told a story on how people left a village called Ukam to a big city to look for jobs and the village was nearly empty and that was how she explained the concept of urbanisation to me. I never forgot that story.  

 

She always smelt nice and when she walked past me, she had such a nice smell. Mr. Udo my former geography teacher always smelt of sweat and didn’t use to smile. I always thought that life must have been so difficult for him and this put me off the subject. At the end of the term I scored 64% in geography, a subject I was failing at before. And from that time I fell in love with geography till today.

 

  1. Give a speech about this favourite teacher of yours in not more than a minute. Post the video on the WhatsApp platform. Thanks.

8 Comments

  1. 1a) The characters in the story are; Abdul, Mr. Wizzet, Kora, and Koura.
    b) The countries associated with this story are; United Arab Emirates ( U. A. E. ), Yemen, and Egypt.
    2a) Bungled means to do something badly or without skill, not paying much attention to details.
    b) word or phrase that can be used in place of bungled: jumbled.
    3) ‘ Mr. Wizzet made it a point of duty to stand at the door and shake every students hand ”
    4) words to describe Abdul: (a) DOGGED– Abdul is very dogged and persistent. In fact this is his greatest trait. This can be seen in the part of the story that says; ” Abdul was not the brightest of kids but he had an irrepressible determination “.We say with a great deal of certainty that Abdul will succeed due to his doggedness.
    (b) COMMITED – Abdul is very committed. He is willing to work hard and give his time and energy to his academics. It can be seen throughout the story that Abdul is solely committed to succeeding in his academics, he doesn’t allow himself to be distracted. This can be seen in the part of the story that says; ” He would not leave his work unfinished ”
    (C) DILIGENT – Abdul is also very diligent. A diligent person shows care and effort in his or her work or duty. The fact that Abdul ‘ never missed a lesson and is always asking what he could do to improve his grades ‘ shows that he is diligent. His determination to always complete his work also shows diligence.
    A lot of words can be used to describe Abdul. Abdul is tenacious, focused, optimistic, confident ( it can be seen that Abdul is confident from his reply to Mr. Wizzet’s ‘ prophecy ‘; ” I know Mr. Wizzet …”
    5) I think that Abdul refused to accept his friends invitation because he wanted to utilize the time productively. Abdul has a goal which is to become a successful aeronautical engineer with a good job and finances. He is very focused on his goal and is ready to pay the necessary price. He is determined to deprive himself of the pleasure of spending the holidays with any of his friends so that he can study.
    6) Mr. Wizzet had been forced to open the door because the knockers had been persistent and insistent, they had even gone to the extent of knocking on his window.
    7) Abdul doesn’t and can’t go to Yemen because there is war in Yemen.
    8) Metaphor: ” yet for Abdul, this has been his fuel”
    9) Mustafa Kemal Ataturk once said that ” a good teacher is like a candle that consumes itself to light the world for others”. That saying is so true about the man I call my best teacher, Mr. Festus Emeh. Mr. Festus isn’t just my best teacher, he is also my mentor. Mr Festus is a tall, sturdy and handsome man which I presume to be in his mid thirties. He has a degree in chemistry and pharmacology. He is a lecturer in the university of uyo and has an educational resort where him and other tutors prepare students for their Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination. Mr Festus has a very interesting personality. He exudes thick fumes of confidence yet is still very approachable to all. He is also a very determined man that takes personal interest in the welfare of his students. I could go on and on describing this man whom I admire and love greatly.
    I met Mr Festus when I was attending his educational resort in preparation for my UTME. He taught me chemistry and picked a special interest in me probably because I was the smallest person in the class physically and did very well in most of his tests and quizzes. Mr Festus is the man that made me love chemistry. I had not been doing poorly in chemistry before, but I had not fully grasped or understood many topics in chemistry. Mr Festus helped so much in simplifying all the topics that had seemed titanic to me previously. What I love most about him is the fact that how is very approachable and understanding, I have never returned without an answer all the times I’ve gone to him with problems. He encourages students to study, pushes us hard and always expects the very best from his students. He is not a man who settles for anything less than the best. He doesn’t just expect us to soar academically bit in all aspects of our lives, more importantly, he shows us how to achieve these great expectations.
    I fear that I am beginning to sound like a hagiographer, Mr Festus is off course not a saint, he definitely has his own flaws but it is not his flaws that touched my life and so, I have no reason to write about those flaws. I could write a lengthy epistle about this great man but resources and time would not permit me to write such an epistle. I admire Mr Festus so much and I dream of becoming a better man than him. Despite the fact that I have taken my UTME, I still maintain my relationship with him. Everytime I find myself in a quagmire, I hear Mr Festus’s rich baritone voice in my head, ” Ariel, you can do whatever you want if you put your mind to it “

    • 1.

      a. Abdul.
      b. Mr. Wizzet.
      c. Kora.
      d. Koura.
      e. Abdul’s other classmates.
      f. Abdul’s Mother.

      b. a. Abu Dabi
      b. Hussian
      c. Ras al Khalma
      d. Dubai
      e. Egypt
      f. Yemen

      2. a) Bungled: (Of a task) carried out clumsily or incompletely.

      b) Mismanaged

      4. Intelligent, Bright future, Cares for his mother. “Thanks Mr. Wizzet. But I need to finish everything. It is a goal that I have set for myself”. “As the last one was coming in, Abdul, was waiting by the door to get out. Mr. Wizzet called him to himself, gave him a good handshake saying “good job buddy. I like your determination however you don’t have to finish everything in one day”.
      5. “He made sure that he ignited an eye contact with all of them.”

      5. Because he needs to to study. His goal is to finish his work and his undone works.

      6. “Mr. Wizzet made it a point of duty to stand at the door and shake every student’s hand. He made sure that he ignited an eye contact with all of them. He would end up spending about 20 seconds with each student to contact their spirit and welcome them into his room. By standing there at the door, he clearly demonstrated that you were coming into his domain.”

      7. Because there is war in Yemen and he can’t go there.

      8. Smile that knew no defeat.

      9.

      My favourite teacher right now in Primary 4 is Ms. Sarah. She is from Ogun state. She is my current teacher. I love her English teachings.

      Before she started teaching me I hated English . I found it so boring. My previous teacher did not make it fun and because of that, I lost interest in the subject. But when Ms. Sarah started teaching me English she was so different. She took an interest in my studies. She spoke kindly to me. She yelled at me in time I was wrong. She made me realise that I could do it.

      She always smelt nice and when she walked past me, she has such a nice smell. She does not smell bad. She encouraged us to be clean like her. I can remember when we started with her she promised we will be good friends and I see she turned out to be my good friend. At the end of the first term I scored 91% in English, a subject I hated became my very best. And from that time I fell in love with English till today.

  2. 1. (a) Mr. Wright
    Abdul
    Kora
    Koura
    (b) United Arab Emirates
    Saudi Arabia (Yemen)
    Egypt

    2. (a) Badly done, in a careless way
    (b) Muddled

    3. “….. made you feel welcomed”

    4. He was loving.
    “When I graduate from here, I hope to get a good job as an apprentice aeronautical engineer. I will
    rent an apartment and bring in my mother so that we can stay together as a family again.”

    “Love is a very strong motivating factor, it forms the basis of all things we want to do for ourselves
    and others; it’s the bedrock of sacrifice. And, we see the loving nature displayed in Abdul, in that he
    made his education primary, so as to become a better person, succeed, and finally give his mother the
    fruit of their joint reward – staying together as a family.

    5. To avoid distractions, and the comfort that comes with holidaying.

    6. To get to know them, personally, and as well form a relationship with them.

    7. Abdul does not return to Yemen because of the war going on there.

    8. “Your future is very bright.”

    • 9. There are 40 teacher in my school, among all the teachers who teaches in my school, MR Anurag is my best favorite teacher. He teaches us history, MR Anurag is about 34 years of age, tall , smart, and has tough look.

      A teacher is one who instills in the learner an inspiration to learn and to be good. With this message I’ll love to tell you about my favorite teacher; I am a student of Adepetu Comprehensive College, senior secondary class three in a private school which is a well know school in the city. It is a reputed school with over 700 students. History is a subject I dislike in that I find it so taxing and boring, that was the case until Mr Anurag came into the picture. He believes in high thinking and simple living and thus always wears simple clothes and look so sober, his manners are pleasing and liked by all. He is also an experienced English teacher. He has masters and postgraduate degrees both in History and English. He is also soft spoken but strict in discipline. The best part of him is that he doesn’t believe in physical punishment. I have never seen him giving any kind of punishment to anyone, rather discipline is maintained nicely in his class. He has some positive influence on us. He has perfect command over the English language. His pronunciation is perfect, accurate, and very clear. I feel so fortunate to be his student and so other students also feel the same. He look upon us as his own son and takes a lot of interest in solving our school and personal problems. He is also the principal advisor of our school drama club and also prepare student for English debate and clocution contest under his guidance, many student have won a number of prize and trophies in school competitions. We have become 3times consecutive champions in debate under his guidance. He is an asset to the school and student community.

      I am sure that even after some years when I leave this school I’ll take his portrait fitted into the depth of my mind and heart. His picture is so deeply entrenched in my heart and head that, I think no matter where I go, I will never forget his idealism and I kind of believe that I’ll never get to have another teacher like Mr. Anurag.

      Thank you.

  3. 1
    a. Wizzet
    b. Abdul
    c. Abdul’s classmates
    d. Kora
    e. Koura
    f. Abduls mother

    b)
    A. Abu Dhabi
    B. Hussain
    C. Ras al khaimah
    D. Dubai
    E. Egypt
    F. Yemen

    2.a. Bungled: Of a task carried out clumsily or incompletely.
    Jumbled

    3.
    “Mr. Wizzet made it a point of duty to stand at the door and shake every student’s hand”.

    4.
    Abdul wants to be successful, his goal is to get green marks, he wants to pass his exams.“Thanks Mr. Wizzet. But I need to finish everything. It is a goal that I have set for myself”.

    5.
    Because he needs to study so he couldn’t

    6.
    “The knock was persistent. Then it moved over to his window. He had no option than to open the door.

    7.
    Because there is war in Yemen.

    8.
    That smile that knew no defeat.

    9.
    My favourite teacher was my Art teacher Mr. Kayode). He was my Art teacher.

    Before he started teaching me Art I hated Art so much. I found it so boring. My previous teacher did not make it fun and because of that I lost interest in the subject. But when Mr. Kayode started teaching me Art he was so different. He spoke kindly to me. He didn’t yell at me. He made me realise that I could do it. He was always telling us to keep pushing that was when I found Art an interesting subject.

    He always gave us full attention. I always thought that life must have been so difficult for him and this put me on the subject. At the end of the term I got 100% in Art, a subject I was failing at before. And from that time I fell in love with Art till today.

  4. 1a.) (i.) Mr. Wizzet
    (ii.) Abdul
    (iii.) Kora
    (iv.) Koura
    (v.) Koura’s family (his brother and sister)
    (vi.) Kora’s family (and his khalas-aunties)
    (vii.) Abdul’s family (his father, mother and sisters)
    (viii.) The students
    2b.) (i.) China
    (ii.) Egypt
    (iii.) Yemen
    (iv.) United Arab Emirates (UAE):
    —Abu Dhabi
    —Hussain
    —Dubai
    —Ras al Khaimah
    1a.) To do something in a bad way, with no skill.
    b.) botched
    2.) “…to contact their spirits and welcome them into his room.”
    3.) (i.) zealous– “Thanks Mr. Wizzet, but I need to finish everything. It is a goal that I have set for myself.”
    (ii.) steadfast– Abdul was steadfast, that was the reason he had his eyes totally on his aim; TO WORK HARD TO BRING HIMSELF AND HIS MOTHER TOGETHER AGAIN.
    (iii.) pleasant– “He walked with a swag and wore such a beautiful smile.”
    4.) Because he doesn’t want them to feel sorry for him in any way. He recognized the situation life had put him in, and was determined to make a conscious and deliberate effort to bring happiness back to his life. He knew that he too, would soon be reunited with his mother forever.
    5.) The persistent knock at his door and window.
    6.) Because there was war in Yemen.
    7.) “Mr. Wizzet brought out his periscope and peered into the future.”
    8.). My Favourite Teacher.
    My favourite teacher is Mrs. Okafor. She is a middle aged beautiful woman. She was my English Language teacher while in Junior Secondary School 1 (JSS1). She is from Anambra state, Nigeria.
    I had always believed English Language to be an easy subject, but never did I really understand that until she taught me herself. Her teaching was always comprehensive, and hardly ever could a student fail her subject. It was during the time she was my teacher that I emerged first overall in English Language in JSS1. She was also very caring, and is still very caring now that I am in Senior Secondary School.
    Mrs. Okafor has always been my guardian while in school, she looks after me and always wants to know how I’m doing. She gives me advice when I need it, and she is always there for me with her arms wide open. I am certain that she will remain my favourite teacher throughout my secondary school days. I love and will always love her simply because of who she is.

  5. 1a. I. Mr Wizzet.
    II. Abdul.
    III. Kora.
    iv. Koura.
    v. Abduls Mom.

    1b. I.Dubai.
    II. Parkitan.
    III. China.
    Iv. Yemen.
    v. Egypt.

    2a. To do something in a clumsy way.

    2b. Muddled.

    3. By standing there he made you feel welcomed by personalizing ã greeting and handshake.

    4a. Abdul was hardworking – He was asking what to do to improve his grades.
    b. He was consistent- He never missed a class.
    c. He was neat- His shoes were always shining.

    5. To prevent getting lost and having time to study.

    6. The constant knocking of the door made him open the door.

    7. He didn’t return to Yemen because of the war going on.
    8a. They all wore smiles that knew no defeat.

    9. MY FAVORITE TEACHER.
    My favorite teacher is Mr. ‘P’ as we all call him in school, he is in late fourty’s, he is average height and he is very hard-working and organized in all he does.
    When I was in primary school, I saw mathematics as a very hard subject that I can never understand or even pass, the teachers who taught me in primary school did not have enough patience to teach me to understand the subject very well. But when I met Mr. P in secondary School the story changed. He made me start developing interest in maths he was very patient in helping me understand the formulas to working out the sums, gradually I started to understand how to work out some simple sums and some harder ones. He really has helped me with my mathematic skills.
    Mr. P is a man who has the interest of each pupil and I happen to be one of them I am thankful to God that our path has met even though it’s not as early as I would have wanted it. He has changed my thoughts about mathematics positively. He is indeed a great teacher and I will never forget him.

  6. 1i. Abdul’s Mom
    II. Abdul
    III. Kora
    Iv. Koura
    v. Mr. Wizzet
    Bi. Dubai
    II. Hussain
    III. China
    iv. Yemen
    v. Egypt

    2a. To do something in a disorderly manner.
    b.muffed.

    3. By personalizing a greeting by a handshake.

    4 I. Organized: his shoe’s were always shining and he had his comb in his pocket.
    II. Hardworking: he never missed a class.
    III. Loving: I will get an apartment so that my mother and I can live together.

    5 . He didn’t want to be a burden on them.

    6. The persistent knocking on the door.

    7. He didn’t return to Yemen, because there was war there.

    8.Mr. Wizzet brought out his periscope and peeped into the future.

    9. MY FAVOURITE TEACHER.
    Mr. Ebenezer Ogunleye is my favorite teacher. He is a young man and light in complexion, he is disciplined and hardworking. He teaches Mathematics, English and General Studies.
    I like all the subject he teaches but at times I have some difficulties in maths. He makes me keep trying until I get it, he take his time to explain any of the subject and make sure that I practice maths. he punishes me at times when I seem a little lazy. This has made me improve in maths and other subjects.
    Mr. Ebenezer always give me good advice and tells me the need to be more serious with reading my books and more maths questions so I can get better with my studies. I really love and appreciate him he is a real good teacher.

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