Office hours are over, but he bangs on the gate

asking to see his former teacher.

It’s urgent he says, but he’s not in trouble.

He just has a wee problem with his student visa application.

He says he’s too lazy to read through and hands him the papers.

He can’t understand the language yet he’s dead set

on going Down Under for higher education.


The martinet’s edict:

A deadline is a deadline.

Miss it and suffer.

No one dared to defy her authority until one Friday morning

She – with the stance of a fighter – floundered.

She pulled out the big guns instead: a text message

from mother pleading at the first instance,

enumerating her daughter’s hard work, of burning

the midnight oil segueing into, with an FYI, that

her hard working daughter was drowning in deadlines.

She must understand, the mother pointed out.

She does understand so her decision stands.


They all harbor lofty dreams of making it abroad,

of bagging full scholarships,

dazzling parents and contemporaries,

blazing the halls

of the academe with their brilliance.

Yet something is askew:

Essays are incoherent

Books left untouched

Punctuation marks are missing

Questions are left blank.

Self-reliance is unheard of

while foresight is forgotten.

But FB and Twitter are

Updated by the minute;

texting perfected and

iPods well organized.


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