Posts by Deborah Adebayo

How I decided on an LLM program at Georgetown Law

I will just write it. Plain and old. Waiting for the right time hasn’t allowed me to write on so many beautiful experiences that could’ve been a blessing to the world. So here’s this one on deciding on an LLM degree at Georgetown Law- before it gets a bit too old for me.

I was in Port-Harcourt, and I had a green bound journal – actually, it was pretty much a cyan colour. I had bought it myself from a mall (Port-Harcourt Market Square). In this journal, I had scribbled all sorts. Plans with mister lover, some “bite-sized” revelations, and in greater volume for its dedicated purpose, – my plans for grad school. There had been a quickening of my plans for grad school – my thoughts about it at the time weren’t the most relevant. It was more of a quickening from heaven, an urgency I couldn’t shake off, and would prove itself true time after time. So I often was on my bed on many afternoons, scribbling stuff. I checked out all the top law schools in the United States. I checked the top schools because I was gunning for the best experience. One thing I always looked to have was an invitation/ special connection to the school. I weighed their writings and videos, the feel of the website, their centers and institutes, the faculty and scholarship specialization, I stopped short of specific course descriptions. I learnt about Law schools in the US, and boy, did I do it more when I made up my mind to go for a JD instead.

The plan was an LLM yeah, but then I began to consider plans of staying back in the US – which was never my plan originally. Having that new plan, I set to work discovering the legal job market and my research seemed to always yield one thing from a vast source of knowledge: The LLM program may not be the best way to secure a job as a lawyer in the US. The sources, including the schools themselves lol, said it was competitive and to not have high hopes. So instantly, my fast-moving brain began to seriously consider a Juris Doctor degree. At this point, I did way more research. I got into contact with a Nigerian who was preparing for the JD as well. I checked out a lot. I began prep for LSAT (Thankfully, I didn’t do this for a full week. That exam humbles people. weeps). Then one day, I heard God speak to me; I had been sending myself on an errand. You see, I had began my prep for a JD out of fear. Scriptures tells me whatever is done outside of faith is a sin, Romans 14:23. Oh mine. It was a cold realization. I had taken the report of the US legal market being competitive and devised my own plan. That day, I cancelled my JD plans. This is probably crazy for someone who is not used to hearing God speak. Most people (read “Bio-form-filling Christian”) take steps and want God to bless it. Now, he wouldn’t ‘not’ bless it, he is rich in mercy and abounding in Love. However, you may want to consider a Christ-driven life.

I quit JD plans and paused LLM plans (I would as well have been quitting LLM, had I not realized God wanted me to go on, and he gave me the vision for the LLM program to start with). Now, if you have attempted an LLM application, you may be wondering what is with the plenty preparation in my journal that I highlighted above. Part of what made my search crazy long was because of my field of study. That is what this particular blog post will focus on.

For context, this was in the middle of Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions in Nigeria. I was in Port-Harcourt and the governor was particularly bent on more restrictions. My workplace wasn’t interested in having me either, but I wanted to work. I guess that was what made me very introspective about what I want to spend my time doing. I knew getting back into serious work, I really wanted to go in hot with impact. I wanted to release what it was I had inside of me and be a blessing to others. Practicing in a law firm wasn’t going to give that to me, neither was in-house company Law. I always sought a larger client base. Being in that contextual space, I thought of what job I would do if I wasn’t being paid for it. It wasn’t going to be clear-cut Law. For clear-cut Law, I think my charges have been quite firm – all in kindness 🙂. I know as a practicing lawyer, I will bill. Law is a career for me, and it is my ethical responsibility as a lawyer to bill 😄. The thing I wouldn’t bill for is being a blessing to others; helping, ensuring people’s welfare. This was something resonating with me deeply. I wanted desperately to have people realize their inherent dignity – imago dei. To know they are the splitting image of God, and that no one should ever make them feel less than, because of their socio-economic status. Never. And that people can and should achieve their dreams without anyone, not even the State, standing in their way.

This led me to search for an area of law I didn’t know how to find. What was I looking for? It beat me, but I was searching. That, friend, was why I had that journal that I scribbled plenty into (asides the part that held my earlier sojourn into JD, and as you will learn, MPP). I kept trying to find what legal discipline would give me that job I can do without getting paid for. Then on a call with a stranger from Columbia who had given me an hour of her precious time, I picked up the word “International development”. She had heard me talk about my passion, and she’d said “okay, so its development-oriented...”. I can’t give you the long gist of it, but I stumbled onto Masters of public policy, M.Sc International development, M.Sc global studies, and locating the best schools for those in the US became my priority. I came back to an LLM with an assurance from God (I heard God quickly too because I wasn’t interested in studying math in any shape or form. weeps).

There are about two schools in the world that quite clearly have an LLM specialization referencing international development, and I DIDN’T want either. As I end this interesting read, I learnt I could study International Law and pick course modules pertaining to development and that was my route in picking the most sought after Law school in the US.

This story about deciding on an LLM degree at Georgetown Law is one about the definitive start of my journey to the US. It also is a story to tell you to re-evaluate your reason. Are you taking some steps because of a mental calculation? Are you being a foolish Galatian to have started a project in the Spirit and to seek to complete it in the flesh of your reasoning (Galatians 3:3)? Are you concerned about your ministry? Or that is on pause until your career is “established”?

Is it ever really established?

Is your career your ministry?


I will see you in my next post. If this has been a blessing to you, do share it with others and tell me below.

Have a similar experience? We want to hear it!

Your online best friend,

Blog titles are difficult

Believe it or not, I am writing like a newbie. I am shy and highly doubtful of what my words will read like. Going by blogging science, most of my readers will be long gone because consistency is key for bloggers. So why am I back? 

  • I have things to write that could help one or two people, and I live for the opportunity to do so
  • My bio page puts me to shame. I literally wrote there guys, that if no one was reading, I’ll still be blogging. Eweee! 

In 2019 and 2020 blogging wasn’t consistent, I didn’t blog every week (or even twice a week like I once did), but I still put out interesting content.

2021 rolled by and I just stopped. There were reasons for stopping. Now we’re in 2022, and I’ll put my fear right out in the open – I don’t think I can be consistent with writing, or as fabulous as you all may think I used to be. 

I don’t promise consistency, but I promise consistency. Make of it what you will.

Now that we have shattered the ice, welcome! I love this space, and if you’re new here, I hope you get to love it too.

My name is Debby – we should pause here. As a Nigerian, I grew up introducing myself as Deborah pronounced something like this /Dei-beu-rah/. I told people they could call me any variation of my name that gave them joy – Debs, Debby (I was likely to tell them no “Debbie” though), even (the offensive to some Yoruba namesakes,) Debo. When I moved to Washington DC (which I will tell you about in time), I found it weird that some people didn’t know how to pronounce my name. Like Deborah. Relatively common christian name, you know, but they seemed lost to it. One toaster guy that followed and scared me at the bus stop lol, pronounced it as Devoura. For a minute, I thought I was from an exotic Caribbean country and that was indeed my name. Fancy. 

However, thanks to my primary 4 teacher, Ms. Kehinde, I picked up that the “O”(which we Nigerians mostly pronounce like /eu/) should perhaps be silent and instead the name may sound like /De-brah/.

I was like Riiiiiiiiight! I introduced myself with the silent ‘o’, and everybody was just fine. The weird part is that I adapted to a silent ‘o’ in no time, and found myself even struggling to remember to pronounce the /eu/ version to the Nigerians I meet over here. They tend to say ‘ehn’ after I say silent ‘o’-Deborah (weeps in solidarity). The ease with which I changed the pronunciation of my own name, baffles me. There is no moral lesson to this brief story. Except that…on doing a google search now, it seems the problem is with the ‘e’ in the first syllable, making it /Dɛ-beu-rah/, pronounced like ‘bet’ not ‘hay’ which /ei/ gives off. If I have confused you, sorry o.

Yes, my name is Deborah Adebayo, I am a Lawyer, international and social development professional. I am a Christian, and a Nigerian currently residing in Washington DC, USA – Nope, I am yet to run into Joe Biden, but that is underway. I used to love reading books, but now, I read professional articles in my free time (it comes with age, dear). Here are other things I’ve been doing in my free time of late: I discuss with mister lover, fellowship with other christians, cook and eat, binge-view interior design pictures on instagram or I make it a case of binge-watching movies. I am a couch-potato home-loving ambivert. I am therefore blessed that some people who read this blog consider me funny, because it is weird explaining my lack of a social hobby to other people outside of the blog. If it helps them, I say I used to bake and play the guitar (it never helps them). Feel free to call me Debby, (can’t have you struggling with /eu/ or silent ‘o’ or /ɛ/) and enjoy this online unraveling of the thoughts in my head as we go on. 

P.S: *I had completed this post when I re-read my about page, and found out that I had earlier edited away the part that says “…and if no one is reading, I’ll still be blogging”. So I wasn’t even tied to my words. On that note, see you never again!

Love and light,

2021

What does 24 look like? Who is a 24 year old? Should they love flowers? Should they be confused about their lives? Should they feel old? Should they feel un-centered? Should they be focused on feelings?

What should they be like in 2021? 2021 is the crazy year, isn’t it? The year COVID has the world in it lockgrip – still. The year it loosens up. The year it attempts to swallow it up back. You’re perplexed reading tweets tonight about New York. Is it truly happening again? The lockdowns? You wonder how much food you can stock up on? What will it be like in DC, pretty alone?

Does 24 come with feeling unready to give an answer to your future babies? After all, plenty (things) you do is for them. Oh, we’re going about the question wrongly again. It isn’t about feelings.

But tonight, IT IS the feelings. It is feelings that get you writing. It’s just knowing, realizing, before it is over that you are A PART of Georgetown Law community. You add to its spirit. You contribute to its knowledge, its breath. Wow. You are here meeting new people, showing them your incredible self. Completing exams, writing papers, scoring externships – wait for it – at the World Bank! You are here, girl.

I don’t know if I’ll cringe at this post tommorow or in a few days and think I should’ve waited for a bang re-opening on my my blog after 11 months. But it’s the feeling, yo!

It’s knowing I’m not too old for anything. I’m not too young for anything. I am just fine. I am just here at this point with my jutted afro, probably high from seeing La Casa de Papel rob the bank of Spain ‘successfully’, I’m here and saying hi.

I don’t know who will read this post because I’m not promoting it 😅. I’m just here proud of the girl “Debby” and if she were my daughter, wow, I wouldn’t let her go for a second without squeezing life into her with a hug!

2020 Highlights

As a norm, I don’t publicize my blog post highlighting how my year went – because that is an incredibly personal thing to do (hey world, come see my life on display). But I still appreciate being able to put up an highlight.

I hope you learn from this, since you’re here. P.S: No pictures because picture-hunting and merging will be such an additional task. ❣️


What has this year been like?
If I did a monthly recap for my blog, will that be good enough? Or if I compiled memories captured through pictures as is commonly done?

This year I got on a platter of gold what most people grovel for. This year I enjoyed companionship and love. I experienced speed.

LESSONS


Since 2018, I came into a phase of not knowing what lies ahead. You say who does?
But I knew by experience what the song lyric “when I trust you, I don’t need to understand” really meant. I miss the crystallized years – after 100 level, comes 200 level, then 300 level. But now, who says after a first-class degree from law school, a top-tier law firm is next? Who says? What decides the next level of your life now? Acceptable societal norm? And even when the next level is clear to you, the steps that make the journey up, aren’t. In 2020, I’ve come to the phase where I respect the need for financial freedom. I’ve put in the hard-work but seen the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong but it is God that shows mercy. I’ve been this close to my hope but had it taken away – interesting bit about it was that it didn’t crush me in the least. Didn’t depress me. I understood what a wise woman had said to me “pray thoroughly about your steps. If they don’t work out, you won’t be devastated about them. You’ll know God has a plan but if you don’t pray, wow, losses will hit you hard”.


In December this year, when I thought it wasn’t possible anymore, I have met more people. Stretched further and grown wiser.
I don’t count my successes in terms of recognition and money, I count it on inner wealth. Am I richer in wisdom? Have I converted my experiences into strength of instincts and perception? I’m my greatest investment asset, so I read and inflect. I have learnt about myself that I have a poorer self-esteem than I should have. I have heard God re-emphasize to me the need for sacrifices – Psalm 50:5. In my year, I have travelled a lot and it was hitch-free on all counts. In what counts hugely, I escaped the virus!


I love my process. I shared with mister lover sometime during the year the amount of work I put into a certain project vis-à-vis what two other people I knew did. To think they got a good result so speedily, I felt cheated by life to have taken the thorough path. You know what he told me? I summarize it as the excellence of my process. My system. It wasn’t about the project but about my excellence as a person. He led me to see the theme of thoroughness and excellence in different experiences in my life. I’m driven not by the need to relass and be taken kiaruf relax and be taken care of, nor by the need to hustle and hammer, neither by the need to be vindicated for my efforts.
I’m driven by the excellent spirit within me. (pray in tongues here. Lol). This reminds me of what a brilliant man told me this year when I went visiting “excellence is a result of spirits – I didn’t say the holy spirit! But spirits. Wherever you find excellence, spirits are at work”. So it makes sense to me what the wallpaper I created in 2019 was for.


Grateful for the support of friends I enjoyed this year. For finding family in an unexpected place, and at an otherwise difficult time.
For the stubborn but cute puppy, Jack, we got this year. Jack’s grip is strong. Jack’s will is strong. Jack will wear you out. It turned out that when I got back home, we didn’t have a carer for the dogs anymore so the responsibility fell on all of us. Mehn.

EVENTS


To have a snap shot of my year, I went through my gratitude journal and was surprised to see what my thoughts centered around on January 2nd. Crazy.


“Dear Amala-loving Nigerian (from the south-west I suppose), no food vendor in the Nigerian Law School, Bwari campus premises, deems it fit to sell good amala. Pitiable”.


Dwelling on these ephemeral matters in less than fourteen days to my bar exam. On that day, I made the tenacious trip to Bwari kitchen to get amala fele, after which my assimilation rate increased.


Going through pictures, boy, I’ve had an interesting year. It’s interesting how a year can mark a phase in your life. This was to be my NYSC in a top tier-law firm year by my calculations, or since NYSC posting came out and read Port- Harcourt, I figured it should be spent vibrantly doing community service and relating with other young corpers – both lawyers at work and other professionals.


It wasn’t. It was blocks. Blocks of babysitting, playing the guitar, sorting through my sensitive emotions, travelling, caring for dogs, acting as a lawyer while terribly navigating new wig cluelessness, organizing programs, incalculable hours on the phone talking to the same person. Whew! It wasn’t my projected service year but it was fun. I made a new family this year and it may bemuse loved ones to know I moved out of my comfort space – at least considerably.
I read more articles and blogs than I read books, especially in the second half of the year. I became very professionally-inclined in my readings. I blogged lesser than I’ve done in recent years. Second-guessed a lot.


My gratitude journal reveals that on January 1, I thanked God for my blog’s growth and the many countries my blog got views from. Moving through the months, I was thankful for friends and gist, for my CLASFON family, for my exam week, for being a fine girl (there are days I realize), for each exam, for God’s presence, for everything jare (January 19). Skipped on gratitude journaling again till March when I travelled for my NYSC. Then I was grateful for the family that lodged me, for food, naps, books, friendships, a toddler, strolls and shopping, exercises, gist, for being the sole recipient of a man’s love, for family, a photo-shoot, cooking of moi-moi and fried rice, toddler tantrums, emotional sensitivity. Looking through my April gratitude journal, it seems all of 2020 was in April because what is this?! Mehn. It was my first month to settle down properly in Port-Harcourt, it was the month Corona virus took the world, and particularly Nigeria, by a storm. Everything was new. And cautious.


My baking classes started in June and the days were stressful. It was a physical and mental task. I began learning to play the guitar too. Took on some projects virtually. Boy! I came on the team for TKP radio and had to make recordings. There were threats of returning to camp which were quelled, only to finally happen in November and December. I had been thrust into a different year than I envisaged.
July opened with dad’s birthday and the release of my law school result the same night. For the congratulatory craze that followed. Had my first visit to a spa. Goofy times. For new songs and lengthy bible-studies.
For the journey home in August. For a family photo-shoot that turned out well. For taking on the dogs. Whew. For deep discussions with mister lover. For direction as regards my career’s vision, though the steps uncover slowly. For knowledge and learnings.
Returned to Port-Harcourt this month (December) and moved in to NCCF family house willingly – who would’ve thought? I’m still waiting for how the family house story will turn out. I’m grateful to meet different people. Minister to, and be ministered to by different people. And to enter a new year from this location – discomforts and all.

INTERESTING GRATITUDE


When guitar rehearsals started, I was of the opinion that our instructor was biased towards my friend because of past family house relationship they shared “aunty this…aunty that…” (NCCF family house language) it annoyed me small. Lol. We later became good friends. Stephen did real well and if ever you want to learn how to play the guitar in Lagos, I have the right contact. Guitar rehearsals were fun. My fingers suffered and my emotions occasionally suffered when I had to rehearse alone because suddenly the good sound I was able to produce two days prior went on a sabbatical. Lol. If you want to give me a gift in 2021, you may pay for a voice training in my name, because apparently your singing affects your playing. I sing on keys different from C (that’s the most I can say) but I play on key C. Lmao. I’m actually better than the jokes I make of myself (disagree at your expense). Grateful to have taken this step this year.


One of the things I’m most grateful for this year was that I learned how to pacify a toddler, clean up after a toddler, feed a toddler and endure the tantrums. In my first two weeks of living under the same roof, the whole toddler thing got to me. Yells of NO, cries, spills, – everything I wasn’t used to. I couldn’t believe myself later when I could (sometimes. Lol) meditate in the middle of that. Wow. Look who grew. I also began to read up on raising toddlers. As the softie that I am, I have a million and one pictures and cute videos with my toddler. I love that she loves me too. End of story.


I’m also grateful for the grounds mister lover and I covered on several fronts.


My return to Abuja for my call to bar was also memorable. Better put as nostalgic for me. I started writing on the event but never published the post here. I had some nerves. “What if something goes wrong with your clearance and you’re not called to the bar?” Imagine my concerns the day before when I was running late for my initial clearance at the Supreme Court. I have a video to that memory. There was no cause for alarm after all, it ended up being a beautiful week. Wore brand new everything and ordered food like a boss, because it was whose call to bar? Debby’s (and because of provision which I don’t take for granted).


I had concluded this post before realizing I didn’t include my first-class result under this sub-heading of interesting gratitude. I’m grateful for the result only because it was a manifestation of claiming by faith what grace had made available, and not because I think an excellent result is the only way to a great life. I didn’t get my result by being the most ambitious Nigerian Law School student, but by the excellent spirit within me and His purposes. Glory to the Lord.

CONCLUSION

(I’m sure you’re sad to the see the post is ending. I am too)


Because the trajectory of each year is never sure, I’ll leave you with one of the wise words I penned down this year:


“Does what I am feeling or doing have its roots in the contentment of faith or in the anxious insecurity of unbelief?” that will help you in hundreds of little and big ethical decisions.

This is important, dear friends, because we walk by faith and not by sight, year in, year out. God bless you and I’m eager to see what 2021 highlight will look like.

If God be for us, who can be against us? Shout it on the rooftop!

Your online best friend,

Debby.

Boasting on Instagram

As I sat to type, I decided to take a picture of what’s going on over here. How is it that my laptop needs external support for everything? Check it out.



I got a wireless mouse from my dad because my laptop’s mouse just wouldn’t cooperate. Mister lover bought me an external keyboard because the internal keyboard was getting me frustrated one day and I’m not ready to send it for repairs. If then the Lord ministers to you to bless the blog ministry with an efficient laptop, do not say no to the Lord. Should I open a blog go-fund-me account?



I got a new Bible this past week. A solid leather-bound John Maxwell leadership bible. This delighted me greatly in ways greater than I can write of and so I posted a video of it on my Instagram feed.
The entire experience has led me to two questions and I want you to help me out:


1. Instagram boasting. What is considered Instagram boasting? Should we never post the things that delight us on Instagram? Is it a show-off? And is it excused if the boast is spiritually inclined, like having a new bible? What should we make of Instagram?


2. Are you a leader? What qualifies a person to self-identify as a leader? Is it being appointed to certain offices in your church group or fellowship? is it being a founder of a movement? When are you a leader? I thought of this because I wondered if having a leadership bible was what I really needed right now. Isn’t it better suited for church pastors and intending church pastors? Maybe I need another women study bible instead.
I really want to hear your thoughts on these matters. 1. Instagram and boasting. 2. Qualifications for leadership.



Now, here’s what I think:

Instagram


Instagram is visual. Its created to capture pictures of beautiful things. My C.R.S teacher in SS1, Mrs. Ibitoye, taught me something I keep remembering till today because it was such a profound knowledge for me: God created man to appreciate beauty. Prior to that, I had related to beauty awkwardly. Never one to enjoy a lot of attention, I didn’t know how to cope with it (Not sure I still do today haha), but that statement was so enlightening. You don’t have to be apologetic about beauty. My class had been a study on Genesis 1 and 2. I know now that God created man to appreciate beauty in other people, in objects of art, and in nature. Instagram appeals to that. It appeals to your innate, God-given desire to look at and appreciate beautiful things. If you have something beautiful to post on instagram, that in itself is not boasting.

On the other hand, Instagram makes you susceptible to one of the classified temptations of sin – the lust of the eyes. Oh wait, it’s two, – oh, it’s all three of them! Lol. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.

You may spend five hours on Instagram lusting after what other people have or what they do.

You may spend five fours creating an Instagram-worthy picture or caption which will stun everyone.

You may breathe a little easier when people like your posts and comment fire on your posts.

You, my dear friend, have succumbed to these three temptations. And don’t think it’s any different because you don’t spend five hours, lol. It’s not strictly about the length of time you spend, although your time is a pretty good indicator of where your mind’s at. It’s principally about your heart.

In summary, Instagram doesn’t have to be a boastful place. It can simply be a place to once again appreciate beauty – which God created you to do! It can be a place where you learn from other people’s experiences and are encouraged by people in your community. So I hope my posting a study bible encourages someone to desire a good study bible because you need to hear this: study bibles help you study. There are bibles often carried along for outings which are often pocket-friendly ones. But we all need study bibles stationed by our desks or bedside. And when you’ve used it a couple of years, you may need to change it. Your Instagram community may inspire you in these things. I was once inspired by Ife Grace who wrote about how she saved a huge amount of money as a student to get herself a Dakes bible. That was the first time I paid attention to finding out what a Dakes study bible was.

Phew! End of my thoughts on instagram. Now it’s your turn to comment.

Leadership

Leadership! Oh mine. If you’ve ever written certain applications, you may know how hung up people can be on leadership experience. At the moment, I’m not heading any spiritual group whether initiated or appointed. Am I then a leader? Does a Maxwell leadership bible befit me? I think yes, sure. Here’s the passage that came to mind immediately after I thought of 2 Tim 3:5 “let the older women teach the younger women“. That passage has been sufficiently explained to me in emphasizing the suffix“-er”. Older women and not old women. The Lord sees me as a leader over younger women who are around me. My dad often says “if you have a younger sibling, you are a leader. They look up to you”. The question that’s then left is “am I taking on my role of leadership properly?’ am I slack about it because I think I’m not accountable to anyone? Because it isn’t a leadership experience I can pen down on my CV? You are a leader; you who has never led a group before. The Lord is waiting to see how you will approach the authority he has given you. That’s my two cents on that. Kindly tell me some more in the comments section. I’ll love to know, and I think other readers would want to learn as well.




I hope to see you next week Saturday. Enjoy your weekend.


Knowledge and Growth,
Debby.


A visit to Nike Art Gallery

Hey guys. How are you doing? While I was ready with a non-fiction story to tell you, I was also hugely interested in documenting my recent visit to Nike Art Gallery over here. So today, it’s a picture-story about my visit. I hope you enjoy it.


I had always wanted to take a picture like this. Guess who succeeded? 😀
By the way, you won’t appreciate this art I’m standing infront of, unless you see it in person. What is captured by the camera is waaay different from what is initially captured by the naked eye. It makes everyone go “wow”!
Absolutely one of my favourites.
Sisi D and sisi G
♥️

We should all regularly ask ourselves: “Does what
I am feeling or doing have its roots in the contentment of
faith or in the anxious insecurity of unbelief?” That will give
you help in hundreds of little and big ethical decisions.


Here’s the one that bugged us. Please what in this picture explains the writing on it? A bountiful gift awaits whoever can unlock the mystery
Another favourite
If you don’t understand art, it’s okay, provided you don’t criticize it. In other words, if you laugh at my jump in this picture, you’re just hating. I jumped this way on purpose because I was trying to fly like a bird.
There I am on the first floor. Jumping regularly. You see?
Our national cake
♥️
Yuck!

Here starts a story:

Sisi and I walking to the pose with the art in front
First picture
Who are you? Mr random stranger taking our pictures without permission?
Trying without success to ignore the photographer
I can’t bear this. Something must be done about this blatant infringement.
Excuse me Uncle, explain your mission!
All settled. I can relax

There are two ways to live your life. One is as nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.


My reaction when it’s time to leave.
Bye!

I hope you’re good guys. I’ll see you next week with some non-fiction stories.

As always,

Debby

Blogging hiatus |Privacy | Stories

I have a friend who tells me “I don’t understand this 2020 version of Debby”. Personally, I get myself sometimes. At other times, I don’t. This is mostly because I no longer have a routine for most things in my life. No constancy. I mostly wake up knowing the tasks I have pending and I see to them – in bits. This leads to feeling bad for what’s left undone.

But one task I haven’t felt bad about leaving undone is this blog. I’ve always wanted my blog to be as open as possible; share my life and lessons. But what happens when I can’t share my life because it intersects with other people’s stories? What happens when I can’t share some bits because they aren’t ripe for sharing yet? When I can’t share my lessons? Lessons which aren’t briefly gotten but are winding lessons that takes whole seasons and years? If I can’t share, then I don’t have a blog. So I’ve been thinking which one should go? My blog? Or my privacy?

Perhaps though, it may help to write prose. Such an old time friend, this prose. I got to write prose as I understood myself a little better in primary school. I’ve always been writing, but the first time I knew I had a following, I was about seven years old.

My seatmate, Cynthia, who was my best friend at the time, loved to read my stories. I credit her with the first publicity of my stories in school. Each 20 or 40 leaves notebook was dedicated to a particular story. Pictures were on alternate pages of a story, because if you didn’t know, I’m a skilled fine artist too. I draw. Or I drew 😄. It was equal parts pleasure for me. Detailed drawings that my readers marvelled at. And neat writing with an epic storyline.

So then, my classmates, mostly other seven year olds, would queue up on a written list for who gets to read my book next. It was so good, that some wise seven year olds thought to themselves that they’d gain greater ranking on the wait list, if they made some contribution to my ‘writing academy’.

I can’t remember the start or end of it, but they began to volunteer. In retrospect, it’s so funny. Lol.

There was a list of concievable roles in our company. We called it ‘ The Best Company’. I was the chief guy – the writer. And there were secretaries of different departments and even a driver, best believe. I remember this because one of those days, a classmate took home the list of ’employees’. Her mother saw it and was perplexed. Are these your classmates? Why do you have a driver there? Along with other jobs I can’t remember. I’m sure the story couldn’t add up so the mother came to school the following day and showed it to my class teacher. My teacher, aunty Hope, called me aside and asked me what it was about. I told her as plainly as possible what it was. It was so funny they couldn’t actually ask me to stop. They just made a joke of it. But there, that was my first awareness that I could create something that people love.

So let’s get back to writing a bit on here since you love to read and I love to write. I’ll try to narrate some flashbacks about experiences in my life and if ever it flows, I’ll imagine something and present you with fiction. Along the line, I know other write-ups will come. But in the mean time I do something I love and I’m open about it. Let’s have fun.


I figured you may have missed my face so I wanted to show you a picture but guys, I don’t have. I’ve not been taking pictures. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for next week.

Let’s meet in the comment section below. Love.

Stories, Truth and Blogging,

Debby

Some of my favourite YouTube Vloggers

Hi guys! At the time of writing this, I had had quite an interesting day on YouTube. At the time of publishing this though, I barely think sending Vloggers your way is super productive but it can be super relaxing. I’m also trying to be consistent with blogging once again. I hope you find this post helpful.

In no particular order, welcome:

1. WITH THE PERRYS

I found this channel very recently and the channel in itself is quite new.

What do I like about this channel? It’s Jackie and Preston. They’re the ones I like.

Despite knowing of them, I had never followed either’s spoken word pieces until I found this channel. When you head over to their channel, start with the very first video they uploaded; Meet the Perrys.

I think Jackie is always bursting lines. Lord, may I be as effortlessly cool as Jackie 😂. The first two days after I watched their channel, guess what I did in my comfortable moments: created rhymes with my everyday words. I decided to stop though because ko le werk.

2. BIBIANA YETTY: Bibiana’s channel doesn’t need so much gist. It speaks for itself. I like family vlogs a lot so I love watching hers. She’s a Nigerian-British mom who’s a good christian. She’s very intentional about her family life. She models true intentionality with her husband and each of her children despite being a working Dentist in the UK.

3. THE KESENAS: Young, ever-smiling Joshua and Ope. Not to forget baby Hadassah. I like that they’re grounded in the word and still project ease with their channel. They share on relationships and family life. They’re completely relatable, that’s why I like them.

4. OHEMGEES/ YETUNDE’S VLOG: I like Yetunde’s personality. No pretense. Inner class. Lol. I see reflections of her principles when I watch her videos sometimes. She’s down to earth. She and her husband (who’s apparently popular in the entertainment industry) run the OheEmGees channel. She also has her personal channel – Yetunde Vlogs.

5. KEMI OYEDEPO: Now this is an exception to my vlog list. Her channel isn’t a vlog but in my head, it feels like one. I feel like I get insights into her life so she qualifies for this list. Her channel is a ministry platform for families – CrisisProof Your Family. I like her because she’s calm, wise and moderate. With peng carriage. She’s Bishop Oyedepo’s daughter in law.

6. TOSIN ALABI: One other person who draws me in with her vivaciousness yet locks me in with her principles. Tosin is chill. I’ve followed her for some years, right from when she principally blogged till now that she vlogs. Tosin doesn’t carry life ontop of her head. She laughs and being around her (online) keeps you light. Tosin likes to watch and dance to African praise songs. Her bible study videos can be found uploaded after her makeup and wig videos. Lol.

7. AYOPE TV: These guys can laugh for Africa. I’ve had some fun moments with them. They’re a Christian couple with two adorable daughters. They mostly do content on family living.

I watch a few other vlogging channels but I’d rather write about these ones only. Principally, I’ve enjoy watching vlogs done by joyful people. Joyful people that have depth. Joy is a matter of choice. I may follow up by writing about certain YouTube channels (other than lifestyle vlogs) I really appreciate.

Have a wonderful weekend. Don’t forget to laugh a lot. Joy is a matter of choice. “Don’t tight the world to your chest” is our Naija speak.

Tell me your favourite YouTube vlogs (and other channels) in the comment section below.

Love and joy,

Debby

Nigerian Law School Advice

Hi guys! I wanted to upload this post on the blog for close to a month but I had been busy. I’m glad to finally have it up. It’s a part of what I shared on a Law School webinar I was invited on recently. Share with your law school contacts and have an amazing day.


I finished from the Nigerian Law School this year with a first class. I wasn’t surprised when I saw my result but I was surprised at one thing – only five of us made a first class. The year preceding mine at the law school saw over a hundred students bagging a first class and I totally believed it would be the same in my set. Why is it that certain other people didn’t make a first class? I don’t know. I can’t speak for others, but I do speak for myself. I want you to have a similar attitude towards life. Speak for yourself. I did the same thing while in secondary school, I affirmed that if only one person would be granted admission to study Law in the entire nation, it would be me. I made this statement in the course of a discussion some of my classmates were having on change of course from law to other disciplines. Of all that were engaged in that conversation and more, I was the only one to get an admission to study law that year. I say this because law school tales are often to the negative. Be resolute in your mind what it is that you want and stand by it. It is not your business why other people ‘fail’. It is your business that you will succeed. It is not your business that people say there is a casting down, it is your business that your story will be one of a lifting up. Now that I hope we’ve settled the issue of mindset, we will move on to specific tips I think will be of great relevance to you.

1. Why do you want the class of degree you want?
When I got into the University, I didn’t aim for a first class. For my entire period in the University, I didn’t aim for it. I didn’t value it. Entering the Nigerian law school, I valued having a first class and I aimed for it. I desired to give expression to my faith by having a first class. As a Christian, I had understood that God’s plan for me is to be high above every nation he has made for his praise and glory. That was my goal. I also wanted to do it for myself; reveal that it’s not out of my reach. You have to have a value system for the class of degree you want. When you value that class of degree, you should have a reason for wanting that valued degree. Do you value a distinction? Why do you value a distinction?
For those in law school currently, don’t think it’s too late to make up your mind. I’m aware you haven’t had externship yet so time isn’t out.

2.  Work on your subconscious mind:  You can beat your subconscious mind. What you are mostly aware of is your conscious mind. Your subconscious however is a deeper level that holds its own beliefs. Your subconscious thoughts occasionally project into you conscious and so you’re able to detect it.
It’s best if you do some reading into the conscious and subconscious mind.
It’s said that the ‘The mind cannot tell the difference between something that is repeatedly imagined or whether it was an actual experience‘. Pause to read that again. Imagine your excellence. Picture your red scroll (till all you see is red). Use your conscious mind to override your subconscious. Create a confession/affirmation that tells you the kind of excellence you’ll attain. When you do this, it wouldn’t matter the type of ‘strange’ question you face in the exam hall, even your subconscious mind will tell you it’s a walkover. A child’s play. Or when you’re doing your revision and you keep unravelling new aspects you haven’t covered previously in your reading, your subconscious mind will still say ‘no big deal, I’ll trash this course’. On the other hand, people who haven’t controlled their subconscious minds will panic.
Picture your success repeatedly. Affirm your confessions.

3. Read in the way that works best for you. Don’t be intimidated by the way others are reading. I wasn’t the BGS from my University. you don’t have to be the BGS or have made a first class in University for you to bag it in law school. Don’t think that if all the BGS from different schools read overnight, you must read overnight too. It may not be effective for you. If you’re a daytime reader, then, maximize that daytime. Don’t listen to anyone telling you ‘you read too much’. That’s because you know you’re probably asleep by 12mindnight while the other person will likely read during the night. Always read in the manner most effective for you. Use the library if it’s best for you (I advise library), use your room, seminar room or what suits you best. Create fresh notes if it works for you, don’t create notes if it doesn’t work for you. I rarely create notes. I’d rather read and understand over time than create notes with half of the entire time available. But if creating notes works for you, please do. Work with what is effective.
My caveat to this point is don’t be mediocre, claiming “This is what suits me best”. Be challenged by good things. You are not a tree; don’t be stuck in your (unhelpful) ways.

4. Engage the syllabus properly. Don’t just mark reading time. Ensure reading time is spent reading what the examiner expects you to know. Understand what you’re reading. Other than a particular textbook you may have, borrow textbooks written by other authors and get an understanding of each concept. The examiner can always twist the questions, understand the concepts deeply.
Like your lecturers advise, don’t use the blue spiral binded books sold at mammy market. Have a better reading culture than you’re used to.
Read with the lesson outcomes in mind. Please don’t ignore your law school handbook. The handbook contains lesson outcomes, use them to tailor your reading. follow the lesson objectives and be able to speak to each objective authoritatively.

5. Love your drafts. I know you’ve heard that you shouldn’t neglect your drafts but are you adhering to this? You have to become a master of drafts. Each court process, letter e.t.c in each course. Every course has drafts you must learn. Don’t assume that because you weren’t taught the draft in class the way you’re taught charges for example, that it means you don’t need it. You do, please. Each draft. Each, using the law school syllabus. Now there’s nothing like reading draft. Nothing like it. Each time you’re reading and you get to a point to draft, don’t skim over it and think you know it (or will practice it later). Practice it now. Draft it from memory.

6. Use past questions: This helps you to be familiar with how the examiners think. When I began to use pqs, I knew the answers yet I always answered in an Off Point manner. With time, I mastered the skill of answering law school questions. Get to the point please. Someone once told me that in the manner we law students answer questions in University with the IRAC principle, in law school the principle is : Conclusion, Rules, Application, Conclusion. CRAC. Lol, this is not a rule so don’t take it as such. Use or discard it. The real deal is that you go straight to the point. I think CRAC helps with getting to the point but I say this lightly, don’t quote me.

7. If helps to have study groups. It is not compulsory. I think it helps to discuss with other brilliant minds so you’ll know where you’re still lacking. Don’t make an habit of only discussing with people you’re smarter than. That way you won’t know where you have room for improvement.

And if you’re almost always smarter than everyone in the room, no problem. Truthfully.

8. Utilize your externship: Some people have taken this to mean look and pray for a law firm where you’ll not work so you’ll spend the time reading. No. I think working helps you. Moreover, the serious firms sometimes have an arrangement for occasional tutorials. Don’t underestimate what reading tips your immediate (five years and below) seniors in the firm give you. Stop lamenting on the circumstances around your externship, if any. Simply utilize it.

9. Get away from distractions. Law school is for less than a year. Don’t leave law school wondering if you could’ve done better. I wondered very briefly if I could’ve read for longer hours in the library.
Don’t live in a way that you’ll be unsure after everything. Leave no room for more to be done. Uninstall some of your social media applications if you need to. Tell close friends and family the peculiarity of law school. I know someone who gave his family time slots for phone calls. You may have to do this if distractions are always plenty. Don’t say you must see a movie everynight to ‘wash down‘ your reading (especially if your faith practices already take some part of your day) because you know someone who does so. For me, I prioritized my faith so I didn’t have time to gist away. Gist had mostly been replaced by fellowship with God. If you have faith practices that take time, don’t add plenty gist and movie time. Time is precious.

10. Enjoy your one year. You will never have cause to return to Law school in Nigeria again (Amen). So enjoy it. Don’t listen to people that say its a traumatic moment. No. Long before result came out, I already kept telling people how law school was one of the best moments of my life. Because it genuinely was. I enjoyed my Clasfon family and the entire learning process. Stop complaining. Start enjoying.

Bonus point for those currently in Law school: I’ve heard that the Uploaded videos are too heavy so most people don’t watch them. I’ll say if you find an opportunity to get WiFI, download about every video. Hearing your law school lecturer helps. I wish you the best.


I hope this has helped. Let me know your comments belows.

As always,

Debby.

Dear Mentee || The failproof principle

This segment is where I write what’s desperately on my heart. Obviously, that’s what the entire blog is for, but this is different. On the blog, I’m addressing myself, addressing my future children and grandchildren, addressing you and your uncles and neighbours. This segment though is addressing my mentees or proteges, if you’ll like. The things that I desperately want to pass on to the younger ones (not only age wise) that’s what I’ll write here. They are some of the life tips I’ll tell my younger ones who come to sit beside me at night and say “advise me. Tutor me”. Its a broad range of advice. Little structures that give me the results I get.

I began to wonder what I should write to you about this time. It came to me and I was ecstatic. I think this will be my greatest principle of all time. On this blog, posts expressly dedicated to the Word are:

This principle is my backbone and the backbone of all I respect the most today. It’s the study of God’s word.

Study. Make a commitment of it. For example, a couple of times I’ve read Psalms, Hebrews, Ezra, Esther, 1st and 2nd Timothy but never before have I seen the gems in them that I have been seeing in them these recent months. I remember some four years ago when I read Isaiah and was bewildered. I thought “How come I’m getting it this clearly?”. It was no longer an Old Testament book that I had to push through. It became life.

You should know that there’s no stream of wisdom in the world today that’s not traced back to a biblical principle. Everything is from God. When you begin to study scriptures, you begin to tap into wisdom. Hidden wisdom.

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple

Psalm 19:7

What makes a man succeed in an endeavour designed to fail is the hand of the Lord upon him. The hand of the lord rests mightily upon those who obey the principles of his word. You obey the principles of his word when you know (study) his word. Ezra’s entire secret is in chapter 7 verse 10. It was deep for him. It was a heart preparation standard.

 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel

Ezra 7:10

This Ezra came up from Babylon. He was a teacher well versed in the Law of Moses, which the LORD, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him

Ezra 7:6

You don’t get extraordinary results by doing ordinary things.

By the way, I’ve wanted to bring three posts to limelight again:

My take on House Chores. I think it’s very relevant for everyday living. Life isn’t always glamorous and we must maximize it still.

My trusted and simple False Adequacy message.

Secrets of a wise man is more recent and hasn’t gotten the traction it deserves yet for a timeless message.

In the False Adequacy post above, I mentioned the principle of locking yourself up in a cell so you have time to do this. There’s no excuse that suffices for not keeping to the Word.

I call the principle of studying, obeying and teaching God’s word failproof because I have seen every other thing fail. Everything but His Presence. Everything but his word.

In some other micro news, my guitar practices are starting to annoy me to no end for failing to produce the right sounds.

Enjoy your Saturday. Do drop a comment, and share with others.

Light and love,

Debby.