Times I feel like Tabula Rasa

Chinwe Nlemoha Written by Chinwe Nlemoha · 3 min read >

Before I got into LBS, I was managing a primary school with prospects for expanding. I love learning new things; it gives me joy to see something new, especially when I see it where I was not expecting it to be. It is just like reading your favourite book and every time you read it, you find something mystic that lights a fire deep within you. Sounds familiar yeah? You could call it Mental Orgasm!

I enjoy learning and it made me learn about learning systems and patterns, so I spent bulk of my time studying how my students develop and how to help them improve

I left the job I considered the best in the world to come for my MBA and when I saw my admission letter to Lagos Business School, I felt like I got admitted to Harvard! Friends and family members were  more excited for me because of the way I cried like I just won a lottery. Though a lot of them concluded I was very smart to have gotten into LBS. 

Tabula Rasa:

It’s of Latin origin meaning clean slate; an absence of preconceived ideas. When I feel like tabula rasa is when I know I don’t have a clue on what the other person is saying or doing and I am just left to wonder at how smart the person must be. 

In most cases, I admire the people that leave me in this situation.  

My Tabula rasa moments 

Coming to LBS, I hoped for the best. I hoped to meet people that will be instrumental to my growth and learning process and yes, I couldn’t have found them elsewhere. It has been barely 2 months and I have had a ton of tabula rasa moments. 

You want to know what my tabula rasa moments feel like? 

Hmmm, it’s like when Dr. Bongo Adi walks into class on Monday morning to teach probability distributions, but starts off with an introduction on learned helplessness or jerks the class by describing learning points in books he read or move from philosophy to data science to psychology to history to politics and back to probability distributions. The only thing I am left with is “God when?” 

I thought it would stop at my lecturer, but it got more exciting when I met some of my colleagues like Rashcash in accounting class explaining credit and debit entries for the 100th time with a smile on her face and I am like ‘there are levels to this patience stuff’; or when JohnPaul makes weird things make sense, like counting odds and bets. Or is it how he talks about abstract things and I begin to reason them too. You can wonder the tons of abstract things he processes when he is alone. Olasope, my guy makes probability feel like egg sauce with his explanations and makes feeling too cool feel cool; and Abiodun makes programming like learning to play a game you love. I mean, the other day, we were analyzing a case and he was writing source codes on the board. Who does this? 

When Ijeweme talks, I feel like I have not learnt anything tangible in my life. How can someone know so much? I know you are not omniscient, but it is the depth of knowledge for me. Or Norah with the charisma and grammar. I am like, you do not even have to pass through this management communication with me. Ezinne, a combination of class and brain- how do you do it, ma? The other day, I heard you talk with some guys about coins and pixels you can sell online, how do you keep up?  

Let’s not talk about Edwina with the excel sheets like a weapon of warfare for any course, including her MC presentations. You have inspired me to learn this Excel before Bongo kicks me out of LBS. 

Taiwo, his natural gait is that of a thorough leader. He reminds me of what an MBA student should look like- ambitious, goal oriented and proactive. Whenever you talk, just know you have my attention. 

You do not have to sit with Abimbola for 1 hour before you will hear ‘Kiki did this and that to me or somebody.’

‘Kiki this, Kiki that.’ You make motherhood look pretty and easy. How do you not get bored of talking about the same Kiki every day? It just shows how large your heart is towards Kiki. I am inspired to look forward to this motherhood with all the excitement you deliver when you describe your Kiki. 

You have done well to make me feel like a clean slate; you keep me humble and hungry and sometimes, all I want is just more!

Most importantly, I find it interesting to note that there is so much to learn in every man. Just as my mum says “we learn every day; you must keep your eyes open for the learning of each day because this is how we grow.”

 It feels good to be a learner again. I am glad to feel like Tabula Rasa when I see people do what they do best, their actions or words or just kind smiles. I know I am still a long way from my finish line, but with people around that keep me humble and hungry for more, I know I can do all things. 

What will I do? 

I will keep learning; learn from every person around me, learn from every situation, every conversation and every activity. I may be as smart as my family and friends have assumed, but I remain a learner and Robin Sharma told me that’s all I need to become! 

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