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Day 1 at the Office; View of 2011

Posted by Badabeat

Ok. The new year is already rolling...and we are now in the 3rd day. This will be an apt season to resurrect all our energies towards constructive planning for the new year and laying the foundation that will stand the test of 2011.
So, I am having serious issues with the paper pushers at the US Embassy today; these folks stated on their website that students can get expedited visa appointments by sending emails requesting such to them once they have made an appointment from the VFS website. Some of our students that were unable to secure a visa interview appointment earlier due to delays in delivery of their I-20s have done all that is required and sent the email as stated. Alas, out of 3 students, one has not received a single reply since more than 2 weeks ago even though he got the auto-reply from their server, the other 2 were "expedited" for dates that are some days after the scheduled date of arrival as stated on their Form I-20. 
We know everybody wants to go and study in the USA now (as some students have said to my face; UK is becoming more expensive, request tuition deposit before getting CAS Letter and all other "relevancies" as it applies to the UK overhaul of their education system) because of the obvious reasons and we appreciate the Consulate staffs for working tirelessly to schedule students for expedited appointments.
However, what is the point of giving students "expedited' appointments when the dates they are supposed to arrive (which the schools will insist on and the DHS might give the students trouble over) would have passed?
Now, the student that did not get any reply to be expedited might have to wait till next entry ( a judicious waste of a student's plan and time by the authorities that should know better) and thats not to say the visa will be issued when the dates are given and the student's eventually make the interview.
The VFS folks are a different ball game.
The brunt and challenges of outsourcing are always borne by the 3rd party users. I am talking from experience and if you want instances, I can tell you many... Now, whats not to say that the "good Asian folks" at VFS are not blocking these slots deliberately in order to sell them to desperate applicants at Skyrocketing Prices? I have heard of instances when this had happened and I think the US authorities should not play Ostrich with this reality.
So much to write about but my backlog of paperwork are also starring me in the face. I need to appeal to the US Consulate to please answer the 3rd student while thinking of the looks that will be on the faces of the other 2 students if and when I have to inform them that the school will not allow them arrive any day after the scheduled arrival date, won't give extension letter and won't issue another I-20 with a few days grace. What a day.
I hope this is not the shape of things to come but rather a leftover from 2010.

2011 - Its here, Its REAL!

Posted by Badabeat

I made a commitment last year (well actually last week or even less than 96 hours ago) to blog this year and blog well and I am committed to my commitment to be fully committed to the commitment I made :)
Ok. Time is an enigma because I have been wondering how mankind can move from one year to another and a decade to another all within a week. This is not space or time travel experience but reality of the new age.
So, I digress. 
Dear reader, welcome to the new year, the year 2011.
This year is full of possibilities for the student and youth traveler and I will be here every day of the year (I hope so too but spare me the weekends) to share my experience, thoughts and yarntra as the industry evolves in the new year.
Please, OXFORD will you add my new coinage; YARNTRA to the Advanced Learner Dictionary?
See you tomorrow.

2011; New Concepts, New Ideas, New Beginnings

Posted by Badabeat Labels: , , ,

I have taken a longer than usual hiatus from blogging and discovered there is so much to tell but so little time to tell it all.
In 2011, I will re-commit my efforts to this blog and let the yarns flow as due.
To every one in every clime across every divide that has strived faithfully to make 2010 a fulfilling year for me and all the beautiful folks at Badabeat Associates, as we enter a new decade in a few hours, may you find peace, joy, honor and help from all and lack nothing that your heart desires.
Thank you all and see you next decade.

Trip to the Island!

Posted by Badabeat

Victoria Island....
Going to Victoria Island in Lagos has always signified SERIOUS BUSINESS and my last trip to VI on friday was more than just a trip.
A lot of things sure do come to mind and as much as I tried to get it out of mind, my mind had succeded in saving the tiny bits of impression this trip had on me.After hobnobing all over the important places; had to visit Qatar Airways office at Ahmadu Bello way to confirm a ticket to Dubai.
It would have taken me a few minutes if these people can just have a customer service desk, but I had to take a number and wait for more than an hour only to be told by the "trying hard to be chic" agent that my options cannot be met by the airline.
Pissed off and steaming, I went to Silverbird Galleria; my purpose was to visit the popular Nu Metro store and alas, they have moved to Shoprite, so I just concluded my business there, cross the road and head off to Oyin Jolayemi (what a crowded street) and from what I saw there, I hope a major fire outbreak does not happen, otherwise all the tightly packed buildings with no alley whatsoever will be infected by any primary carrier of the disaster.
From on here, I went to Idowu Taylor to make some enquiries at Ethiopia Airline and I was sorely disappointed as well ( at least a notch higher than Qatar Airways).Well, that will be a story for another day.
My final stop on the Island was supposed to be the Public Affairs Section of the United States Consulate in Lagos a.k.a. EAC (formerly USIS) at Broad Street and here was the interesting part.The purpose of this visit and ensuing meeting will not be transcripted as they are intended to be CLASSIFIED for my own purposes. However, I will de-classify my conclusions of the matter. Shikena!

Another day with HOPE on Education!

Posted by Badabeat

I have heard it said times without number that humans are more or less animals of hope and indeed hope is always a sell-out on us.

I bought my own share of hope a few years back when I believe the situation of higher education in Nigeria will change for the better. Afterall, through my university days, I was always regaled by lecturers narrating how things were better in their own days which was also worse than the days of their predecessors; thats if you can call a hall built for 150, now sitting 500 when it used to sit 300 students an improvement, Na wa O!

Anyway, my brand of hope was wishing that a Nigerian university will be listed on the top 50 universities in the world, but alas, we were not even in the first 100 and I doubt if we make it to the first 200; pity, pity, pity.

Maybe, I should do a refund issue on this hope. Hope, uhmmmm, always reminds of a recent story one of my exchange students told me after returning from their program in the US.

He had visited one of the colleges in Los Angeles to look at a postgraduate option; of course, they gave him a book indexing all the universities and colleges they will accept their graduates and Lo & behold! his perceived prestigious private university in Nigeria was not even listed there.

Well, enough yarn...see this on Harvard blasting the No 1 spot for 5 years going:

...Ya' adua, pls do something aside from the Rule of Law.PLEASE!!!

Education: getting the best outside the classroom!

Posted by Badabeat

Welcome to my blog.
I am new here but not really new to this and I guess this has to be done to reach out to many of such individuals looking forward to their first class and lesson outside the classroom; a life of learning on the road.
Stay tuned as more details comes your way on a regular basis,soon.