A comedy of errors is a situation so full of mistakes and problems that it appears funny. This is not a condescending article, let’s put all our insecurities aside.
Where to start, where to start, where to start…
The ’18/19 TESA dinner is fast approaching and as is the case with every academic dinner, everyone is anticipating the awards. In this case, the TESA awards. A representative of the NIMechE-UI Press happens to have an informant in the Dinner committee and I must say that it has been a great experience so far. Well, up until now. Up until a google doc. revealing the award categories was shared.
Our elders say that two heads are better than one but the results we have seen from a combination of numerous heads… beg to differ. Let me start by asking, who is a money bag? I’ll do you one better, what is a money bag? How are the award categories honoring people for absolutely no achievement whatsoever? Take home to mama and take home to papa? Shoot me! A member of the dinner committee even highlighted that the last time he saw an award category like “take home to mama,” was in his final year of senior secondary. I never saw such in secondary school myself.
The arguments in support of these irrelevant awards were emptier than the TME class of a boring lecturer that doesn’t take attendance. Leaked screenshots from conversations on the TESA dinner committee WhatsApp group demand a cause for alarm.
In this conversation, a member of the group is of the opinion that the award ceremony is for fun. In the conversation that ensued, another member wasn’t in tune with the proposed categories and suggested what should be an award for social projects.
Eventually, there was an argument about the award categories already being too academic. An important member of the committee highlighted the fact that they already had enough awards for academic achievements and listed all two to be exact. Two, including the press.
Just so we are on the same page, the press really isn’t an academic organization. If it were, many of us won’t be here. Maybe none of us in fact. Except of course if membership carried marks.
The problem of award categories in relation to school dinners is an extensive one. The demand for entertainment and the required dose of fun to satisfy our youthful appetites is natural. After all, it is supposed to be a social event. A time to dance, eat and make merry.
However, the awards are in themselves exclusive; they are a thing of honor; they make us strive for excellence. They are not to entertain us or make us laugh. If it were the case then comedians and MCs will be out of business. There is no need for the mental calisthenics. When an award is given for academic excellence it encourages the awardee and the audience to strive for more. When awards are given for entrepreneurship, social projects, innovation, skill and design, artistic endeavors etc. the same effect happens. But when I’m called up to collect an award for being a money bag, it begs the question “what is a money bag?” If we’re all being real, what the world needs -what our country needs- with all that’s happening isn’t a “take home to mama” award or another bogus or irrelevant award category. It’s something to celebrate and motivate tangible achievement. Tech is working. Sometime last semester a club of Techites came first in a national competition and won a million naira. One million naira and there is no award category for such. A group of 500L students in a department in Tech are carrying out a social project that has already reached 60% completion; I’m talking clean energy projects and orphanage homes and there is also no award category for such. We have CAD designers, AI influencers, robotics enthusiasts, IOT engineers all in Tech and all with reasonable achievements. These intellectuals and great thinkers will sit on four-legged stools with back rests as they watch their colleagues climb the podium to receive awards for being the most handsome in the faculty of technology? God forbid!
This is a new year; we should start on a good note. We are intellectuals first before anything else. We are Technology, the pace setters, the wheel and gears of the world. The others should learn from us. If these TESA awards are not revised, then operation TESA Abort! must be put into action.
Do you agree or disagree with the current TESA Award categories? Here’s a chance to let the powers that be know your opinion. Take our online poll here.
Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.
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