I am afraid about being busy writing for the Nation and neglecting this blog. I am afraid it just had to happen.
Anyway, last Friday I went to Moi University's Main Campus in Kesses, Eldoret. I ended up at the School of Information Sciences where I spoke for four hours to just 18 students --actually I finished the long talk with just 7 of them-- and I was touched.
I told them about working in the newsroom, how the glamour they see on TV or the thrill of the byline is just the only good side to working right there. My man Auta, will disagree and tell me that I have the opportunity to wine and dine with the high and mighty in society, but then, I know better.
Nonetheless, Auta is right to some extent.
Dr Kogos, the HoD, welcomed me pretty well. I felt like a celebrity. Then we talked a little about Esther Arunga and Hellon, thank goodness she didn't ask about the 'media stupidity.'
So, on my tour of the school I saw these students with laptops, real laptops, forget the minis being sold expensively by Safaricom. They were browsing. Then I was told that the whole of the school was actually a hotspot.
Downstairs at the computer lab--yes, the one that had lotus 123, word perfect and the 'tractor' computers, has P4 clones, but then there is another room with new branded computers. All these are actually networked, although after looking at them, I realised that only four were connected to the internet. The students with the laptops must be enjoying. (Peter Wanyonyi, how about that....the e-learning we talked on the forum about the other day could be closer than we actually think.)
As I looked at the lab, I re-lived the day me, Dennis Kibani, Donfer Kokoyo, Benson Njooni and Evelyn Wambui were asked to record statements at the campus security over lost RAMS and Harddisks. Just because we were the last people to use the lab and a three day long weekend---it was a Madaraka Day on Monday-- we were asked to explain where we took the Rams and HDDs. Did they ever find the lost items? I never know, was never told. Bad things happen to good people.
I never again used a faculty computer, never stepped in the lab, but anyway, we got the PILLAR out. So, in short, those are the memories that ran through my mind as I stood at the entrance into the lab. I left as soon as I started getting bored with the replay in my mind.
Then, I moved into the so called "Fourth Year Internet Lab", yes the one, if Mauya and Dominic can remember, the one that only had four computers...with only two working, and then some IT gurus had decided to put a password "Melkzedek" so that no other person could use the computers.
I found the password abandoned at the desk that's why I still remember it, and even though I wasn't a fourth year, I could log on and do the surfing. That's another memory.
So, that lab has tables, super trunking system, so the cables are no longer exposed and now everyone who wants to use the internet gets in there. It is a nice thing, if only all the computers were working. I think only three were working, the others had that dialog box about some fatal error. Surely, someone can correct this.
Then, my tour guides Aby Agina, Edward Kiptanui and John Kimwele took me to the Radio studio. It is in one corner of the publishing lab at the basement of the school. The whole lab is now carpeted such that going to the studio is like going to a mosque --all shoes are left at the door.
That Friday Janet Maina and Wayne were on the mic, assisted by producer Gilbert and another lady called Wambui. They were having a ball. These guys are talented. They are ready for the market, for sure. The professionalism with the mic, oh my goodness! They then asked me to get onto the mic and say "This is Alphonce Shiundu, and you are listening to MU Radio, don't touch the dial!"
Goodness gracious. I couldn't do it. So Janet Maina commented: "Unaandikia Kenya nzima gazeti but you can't speak on a University radio". That's the irony. But then again, it is just my phobia for microphones.
I listened to them for some fifteen minutes and I can tell any entrepreneur out here who wants talent, there is quite a lot at MU. They also do Kiswahili bulletins and that is amazing. It reminds one of Karani Laban, Jonah Ngare, Hamisi Tembo (sp) and those voices at KBC that made one-o'clock news a must listen.
After that, I went for lunch at the cafeteria. I met madam Irene Moseti, Dr Wanyembi, madam Julia, I saw Prof Ojiambo but he left before I could say hi. I passed by Mr Buigut's office. He is such a nice lecturer and a bit tough on the students, especially when editing the campus articles for Newsround and the online SIS magazine. We talked a little, then I left. Passed by the Moi University Press where I met Waf, a graphic designer and off I went.
Madam Moseti asked why I didn't attend the "OPEN DAY" and I told her, I was a little held up. She understood. Then she told me: "Go back to school." That echoes the advise I have gotten from hundreds of people who know me, it is only me, who doesn't think that I should go back and start reading.
I missed the Dean, Dr Rotich (I didn't even tell him I was going), Mr Musakali was holed up in his crib in the cold Eldoret weather. I missed Mr Amoth, that great teacher! I owe him big time, he knows why, and I will find him soon.
Anyway, I am back in the city, and back to work and I thought you guys would love to know what's up down there.
PS1: The road is in great condition...better than we left it.
PS2: I saw Katuu's email on the survey posted on the noticeboard. How about that?