A short pencil better than the longest human memory

This day a configuration seem to work perfectly. The trick was so simple you never believe it could escape you. The next hour is where the catastrophe all begins.

The need to document the tiniest of tasks cannot be over emphasized.

Of a truth a short pencil retains much longer than the most complex human memory (at least for immediate access).

…worth pondering on, Ray

Having been in the same class over the years back in Prempeh College, Raymond Cluver Amofa-Baah (aka, Ray) was noted for his resoluteness and determination. His quest to achieve excellence always drove him to go the extra mile. In the face of mishaps it was amazing how he saw things in a wonderful perspective.

Seeing former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s words in his facebook board brought back vivid memories of this adorable friend.

It reads:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Nelson Mandela

Indeed these are deep words. What do you think?

Their last in Cape Coast

Time to go….

The 15 Julie\'s departure day

Computer Science, A Distorted Concept?

A group of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) undertaking an introductory course to computer science looked quite puzzled when their professor told them, “computer science is not about computers and not much of a science”. Many people perceive computer science as effective or efficient use technology by which people create, modify and share information in a variety of ways including text, sound, graphic and video. This myopic view tends to limit the broad purpose of computer science. At the end of the day such people push computers, especially personal computers to the centre stage, making it synonymous to computer science. It must be noted, however, that computers are not synonymous to computer science just as geometry is not about surveying instruments. Many years ago, the ancient Egyptians sought means of measuring the earth. Their quest and determination to make their mission a reality led to the introduction of early geometry. Before long the world developed a natural tendency to linking surveying the earth surface to geometry, which could be called an aid or a means to reaching the end. The original aim for the introduction of geometry, however, was to formalize equations on how to do things in their attempt to reach a precise measure or description of their activities. This is similar to the role of the computer in computer science just like microscopes in the study of Biology. Generations to come may wonder what kind of weird tool we were using in the field of computer science. The paradigm may change entirely and consequently distort our notion of associating computers to computer science. The Chinese abacus and the African game oware (Oware Primitive, Prof Nii Narku Quaynor) have equally been useful in the fundamental stages of computing

Computer science as an academic and professional field is very distinct from other sciences. The Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) defines computer science as “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society”. The free web encyclopaedia, wikipedia, has this to say on computer science: Computer science (or computing science) is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. Computer science has many sub-fields; some emphasize the computation of specific results (such as computer graphics), while others relate to properties of computational problems (such as computational complexity theory). Still others focus on the challenges in implementing computations. For example, programming language theory studies approaches to describing computations, while computer programming applies specific programming languages to solve specific computational problems. A further subfield, human-computer interaction, focuses on the challenges in making computers and computations useful, usable and universally accessible to people.

The Last Night in Cape Coast

The black and white pair stepped down from a rather rickety “trotro” (a lowcost commercial vehicle in Ghana). Their steps alone was ample evidence of the stressful day. They seem to love it though. After greeting me with a warm hug, they greeted the old lady of the house. “Maadwo” (meaning good evening in the Akan language of Ghana).

These two are part of a 15 member team from the United States of America with the purpose of joining the Ghana Fellowship of Evangelical Students (GHAFES) for SICE (Student in Church Evangelism) in the Nkwanta district of the Volta Region of Ghana. After a successful week stay in Kwame Nkrumah Hall, they embarked on a home stay with christian families on the University of Cape Coast campus. Kasey “Yaa” Alwood and Jonelissa were assigned to I East Hill Top, the residence of Dr. Peter K. Kwapong and family.

The mother of the house, Mrs. Lydia Kwapong, had to rush for a praise and worship meeting as she is committed leader of the team. She subsequently missed dinner. Daddy was however there to take up his position for the very insightful dinnner, which revealed great lessons through the sharing of experience especially on the part of our foreign friends.

Notable among the many insights was their peculiar challenges here in Ghana. Kasey was quick to point out the “food issue” explaining she loves to eat frequently in bits, but was compelled to take the whole bulk at a time back in the Sasakawa restaurant as they were encouraged to do so. Touching on the outreach programme organized at the University Interdenominational Church (UIC), Jonelissa compared it to the Jehovah witnesses in the state, stating emphatically it was quite weird in their setting.

Kasey loved the newly born bunnies and held them warmly throughout the evening. She actually planned spending the night with her newly discovered friends.

They saw me off the junction amidst hugs and little pleasantries. Indeed how beautiful it is to dwell in the creator’s love.

A Private wedding ?

Gone are the days when one could simply do something in absolute obscurity. Advancement in technology makes it almost impossible!!

If you’ve had a taste of Ghanaian culture, you’ll certainly agree with me that the family, to a very large extent, stays united and throws its unimaginable weight behind great occassions like wedding, which is the natural process of sustaining the already structured African family.

What then caused it? My wonderful cousin and family almost kept the majority uninformed! This gave cause for suspicion..

A conclusion reached… still pending.

Kind of weird.

When all apears meaningless…

Time has unsuspectingly been flying consistently very similar to Ghana June’s unabatting torrential rainfall. It wasn’t until I took one of my long reflective walks along the University of Cape Coast’s brightly-lit main road towards the science faculty that I discovered my long-term plans were not going as ordered.

A lot has happened since I started my National Service (also coined National Suffering by a host of notorious Ghanaians). A good number of activities have certainly been done with relish: My impact with the kids and youth of the University Interdenominational Church, by God’s grace, has been awesome; remedial students, especially those resident at Kwame Nkrumah Hall, have received great guidelines and inspiration from Charles; My moves in GHAFES have equally been so fruitful; my service at the computer science department and computer center has yielded great gains; who knows what else…

The one question that had ripple effects throughout that week was the question from my boss: “What are your plans after service?”. It compelled me to think through my career path for a long while. I soon developed proactive ways of clarifying my priorities, needless to say that was short-lived. Resorting to my natural style of life seem to give me great fulfillment. It also seem to align me to great opportunities. Two will do for now.

It is typical of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) to train student missionaries. Part of this big group is the Ghana Fellowshiop of Evangelical Students (GHAFES). On hearing that a 15 member team from the United States of America has arrived in Kwame Nkrumah, I had no other choice than to contribute my time and resources to ensuring that they had the best of times. My personal interaction gave me a deep insight into several areas of lifes. The many radiant smiles which travelled across their rather smooth faces was really refreshing to me. Guiding them to the Elmina and Cape Coast castles was really emotional on their part, especially the Afro-americans. Analyzing and interpreting the various instances in a godly manner revealed a great deal of truths and assurances. With about two days more to join their counterparts else where for the village outreach (missions), there is no  two ways describing this period as a great blessing.

Seeing Prof Turkson at the computer center of the University of Cape Coast was certainly inspiring. He is one of the many members of UIC who challenge me continuously with his academic life. My task was to help him troubleshoot a problem he had with his anti-virus. Though my task was accomplished, the experience he shared and a suggestion to consider Central University College as part of career development and fulfillment of personal vision.

Don’t you believe it’s a beautiful thing to plan? I certainly support it. However when frustrations pop up here and there and life seem meaningless our mindset and style of living can always bring great relief to the heart. This I think is the creator’s natural gift to them who he created.

When all seems meaningless, always remember the “little” things in life possess priceless packages.