31st July, 2013 marked the last day of one year of National Service. I can honestly say I enjoyed it and gave off my best. I decided to go into National Service with a good, positive attitude, and even though at (many) times, I had to (groan) remind myself to be positive, I enjoyed it, and I have learnt so much.
Thank you National Service Secretariat and Mr. Vincent Kuagbenu (They should not have sacked you)!
The registration process went rather well… Just that my friend Sarpong and I registered late because … of… reasons… So when the postings came out, even though our department had asked us to stay on as teaching assistants, we were scared we were going to end up like this guy who got posted to a mortuary.
When the postings finally came out, we got posted to the KMA and Town & Country planning respectively, which I hear is a good posting if you want a year of R&R with a monthly allowance of about 240 cedis… but the Department of Architecture at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) said WE WANT YOU!, and got our postings changed… so what could we do? We blessed them with our awesome genius awesomeness.
In a wave of good luck, Sarpong got assigned to the M.Arch 2 studio with his mentor/hero Dr. Kootin-Sanwu and I got assigned to the 4th year studio with my mentor/hero Professor George Intsiful. In a wave of more good luck for me, my class happened to be the best class inna di whole department (college too)… and I got to be the only Teaching Assistant with my own office. ヘ(^_^ヘ)(ノ^_^)ノ
It looked better after I had “pimped” it up, really it did
Life as a teaching assistant was really cool, and my class was so good that discussing design schemes left both T.A. and student feeling très bien. I learned so much from them.
No wonder some of the freshest, best ideas ever come from architects who teach.
I have so many fond memories of my awesome class. Did I mention they won first place at the Carol Service, among other general awesome awesomeness? (˘⌣˘)
I entered National Service in a government institution with very low expectations. I expected to get my allowances very late, I expected to have to join long queues to get those allowances, I expected to encounter many, many frustrated and therefore
rude douchebags rude people in the National Service Secretariat (NSS).
Allowances were never paid late. By the end of the month, and in fact most times 5 days before the end of the month, allowances were ready! I was actually the one who was late in collecting (which led me to meet one of only two rude people encountered in the entire NSS. Very manageable!) Queues? Well, service personnel who were working at KNUST usually had officials coming to them at the University’s Great Hall or had a special KNUST table at the NSS. So no long queues for us.
Morale: Work hard and become a TA, Or try and get posted to the library or one of the department offices.
The only drawback was the mode of paying through EZwich, which is not NSS’ fault, but the government’s, for starting a service they cannot maintain (as usual). The EZwich ATM on campus didn’t and still doesn’t work. The closest ones were in Asafo and Adum (which is pretty much a long way to go to use an ATM) and most of the banks always had a problem with the “system” being “down”.
This post has gotten really long, so let me conclude… Perhaps there will be a part 2 later. I’ll leave you (especially the next batch of National SERVANTS) with
1. It’s called National Service for a reason. STOP complaining and Go and serve!
2. Just have a positive attitude and I promise you will be surprise with how much you take away from National Service. One day I’ll tell you about my friend who got posted to a village school, did his job so well, that when the… (Is this my story to tell? Perhaps not) _______ Foundation came to Ghana, the CEO met him and offered him an amazing job.
3. Learn to live on 240 a month.