While growing up, I got to know about a popular cliché that says “Water is life”. I totally agree with this cliché because of its ability to quench my thirst anytime I gulped it down my throat. According to H.H. Mitchel, Journal of Biological chemistry 158, the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, and the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles, and kidneys are 79% and even the bones are watery: 31%.
Water has proven to have some health benefits. Drinking a large, cool glass of water after you wake up has been shown to fire up your metabolism by a whopping 24% for 90minutes. Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate according to Kenneth Ellner, an Atlanta-based dermatologist. One study showed that people who drink a glass of water before every meal lost 4.5 pounds over a three-month period because if fills up the stomach with a substance that has zero calories and people feel full as a result.
The statistics above buttresses the point that Water is truly life.
When I got admission into Achimota School I was exposed to a different dimension of what water could do. During orientation for 1st-year students, I remember the Headmistress of Achimota School hammered on a point that “Achimota School trains you to know the life that is life indeed and go forth from it as living waters to a thirsty land.(where Living water meant making positive impact in society) We don’t want you to be stagnant waters. We are training you to put the body and minds God has given you to good use. Don’t just pass through the walls of the school but let the school pass through you”. These were the poignant words of my HeadMistress. On the 2nd day of orientation, one of the school chaplains also came to buttress the point the headmistress made. He talked about how we were like some minerals in the raw state and that by the time we were done going through the various training Achimota offers, we’d come out refined like the toughest steel in order to face the real world.It is only when we are refined that we can become living waters to thirsty lands.
True to the chaplain’s words, we really went through some tough moments initially but as I sit back and reminisce, I’ve come to the realization that all those tough times have really refined me.
The first thing Achimota School taught me was to develop a personal relationship with God. Before I entered Achimota School, I didn’t develop a personal relationship with God. I saw God as some deity whom I encountered only on Sundays. I didn’t even know what quiet time was or the essence of a devotional. Achimota School made quiet time compulsory for every student even though most of the seniors didn’t observe it. It was a time meant for reading the Bible and meditating on it every morning.We had morning devotion in the Aggrey chapel almost every day except Saturdays where the various chaplains preached to us about God’s love, how to develop a personal relationship with God and the essence of God in our personal lives. I remember Rev. Baiden always chided us when we made noise in the chapel and admonished us to always give reverence to God anytime we enter a place of worship. We were also taught some Amazing Hymns that I never knew of. One of my favorite hymns was “Oh Jesus I Have Promised” which was composed by John E. Bode.
As I’m chronicling these moments, I’ve made God an integral part of my life and I’ve never regretted it. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t come to Achimota School.
Another important value I took from my stay in Achimota School is Time Consciousness and Time management. I remember the house prefect of the house I was allocated orienting us on the rules governing the house. One of the rules was that, all fresh year students are to wake up by 4:45am and start performing their house duties. Latest by 6:15, everybody is expected to get ready and leave the house to the dining hall for breakfast. I reacted to this rule with chagrin. I was wondering how I’d cope with this rule because I usually wake up from bed at 6am when I’m home. Almost every activity was tailored with time. You dare not attend a student gathering late. I struggled in the initial stages and I remember weeping and complaining to my mum that I couldn’t cope with boarding house life so my residential status should be changed to a day student.
Currently, my work demands that I wake up as early as 4am to prepare and leave the house in order to avoid the energy wrenching morning Accra traffic in order to get to work on time. I’m able to keep up with this trend because it’s something I’m used to. As an event correspondent for an online news portal, I’m able to make it to events on the scheduled time because I’ve developed that habit from Achimota school
Achimota School doesn’t only train students in the area of academia but gives you a holistic training in other disciplines. Founders day is an integral part of the Achimotan Culture . It is celebrated to commemorate and appreciate the efforts that the founding fathers of the school put in to give birth to this great institution. As part of activities to mark this memorable occasion, there is a cadet parade made up of student contingents and a display of rich Ghanaian culture.
Students display the dances and other cultures of the various ethnic groups in Ghana. This spectacular cultural display and magnificent Cadet parade are borne out of consistent rehearsals on the part of students. In a build up to this special day, we are subjected to persistent and laborious rehearsals at the close of every school day. We always looked forward to the school authorities giving us a little respite from the usual evening prep but it was not to be. The school authorities always stood their grounds that we were supposed to learn irrespective of any extracurricular activity we engaged in. (In exception of sportsmen and women). We used to brand the authorities as being heartless. When I finished Achimota School and began facing the rigours of the real world, it dawned on me that the school wasn’t doing us a disservice as we used to think. It was preparing us for the real world. Currently, I go to work as early as 5am and sometimes come home very late. As tired as I am, I still have to chronicle and publish the events I covered during the day within the shortest possible time because it would become a dead story when the days elapse. I’m able to inure myself to all these stress because I’ve been through similar stressful moments in Achimota School.
I remember when the school cadet was called upon to represent the school during Ghana’s independence day anniversary, we had to go for rehearsals thrice in a week. After subjugating ourselves under the scorching sun to rehearse for several hours, we were made to go back to our classrooms to continue with academic work immediately we arrived on the school premises. There were occasions where we had some upcoming tests so we had to juggle preparing for the tests with rehearsing for the Independence Day anniversary. It applied to other sporting events. One key factor that helped us was time management.
I’m now able to juggle work and school together because I’ve learnt how to manage and maximize my time when I was at Achimota School.
Discipline is one of the virtues that Achimota School strongly upholds. During the week of orientation for fresh students, I remember the assistant house prefect telling us that “If I see you pass by a litter anywhere on campus, I’d punish you severely”. Irrespective of where you were going or the attire you wore, you’re expected to pick up any litter on the ground and dispose of it in the nearest dustbin. Even though I strictly didn’t acquiesce to this rule, I find it difficult littering the environment. Anytime I purchase any product especially sachet water, I keep the wrapper in my bag till I see a dustbin and dispose of it.
The conduct of examinations in Achimota School is akin to a Prison warden monitoring the movement of a prisoner. Examinations were supervised with the highest level of strictness. In as much as you’re being tempted to copy especially during a nerve-wracking paper, the eagle looking CCTV eyes of the supervisors alone would discourage you. This has made me self-reliant during examinations. I can say without any shred of doubt that, since I entered the University, I’ve never sort for assistance from my colleagues during examinations unlike some colleagues of mine who can’t do independent work during exams.This is because Achimota school has made me independent and made me believe in my ability to excel when it comes to examinations.
Not only has Achimota school imbibed in me the sense of discipline during exams and avoid littering but the sense of discipline has traversed into how i approach my duties at work, how I conduct myself in public etc. I’m therefore grateful to Achimota School for making me what i am today. I believe i’m still in the process of becoming a living water to a thirsty land.
I can confidently say that, just like how water is life, Achimota School also has a way of training students to become living waters that give life to everything that makes up the society. Achimota school is truly the head of all the hosts, she’s the school of whom we boast, She’s the glory of the Coast, Achimota!!!
John Dumelo(Upper Left Corner), Ex President Rawlings and Robert Nii Arday Clegg( Lower Left Corner), Kafui Dey(Upper Right Corner) and Madam Joyce Aryee(Lower Right Corner)