The Ice Cream Monster

Which extracurricular activity listed on your application is most meaningful to you, and why?

My day is sticky fingerprints on crisp notebook sheets; healing playground rifts and easing the transition from playtime to classwork; overcoming the ice cream monster. Had anyone told me ten years earlier that I would spend much of my time teaching toddlers the fundamental aspects of literary and numeracy, I would have been aghast.

As a young child, I disliked all facets of childhood, including my still developing form which masked my intelligence from the world. I slipped my mother’s psychology texts out of her bookshelf when she wasn’t looking and devoured studies of the African condition underneath the cover of my pastel pink duvet. I did not paint garish representations of my home in my sketchpad; I drew, instead, innovations such as children’s cooking utensils which would be safe enough to allay my mother’s apprehension of my presence in the kitchen. I was precocious but scowled when adults told me so, for it was considered ‘exceptional’ that I would know its meaning. Thus, my disdain for youth gradually evolved into a desire to eliminate the intellectual and creative confines which are inadvertently placed upon children.

I now work as a Learning Support Tutor for pupils aged four to seven. For four days a week, over six months, I have encouraged pupils to broaden their perspective of the world through cultural appreciation, the applications of emotional intelligence, and common scientific sense. In this manner, I hope to contribute to a future of boundless potentials.

Someday, Nigerian children will clamber onto the roofs on the homestead to observe the rain-capture systems there. They, unlike me, will not receive stern criticism from their relatives. These children will read from their guardians’ bookshelves in the full light of day. They will be, in then obsolete terms, precocious wonders.

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