Not Giving Up
A True Story
on Feb 12, 2019
Hello my dear reader! How have you been? It has been awhile since I last posted a story in this blog of mine. I wish I could say it's because my laptop broke down or there was a power-failure in my home-area for the past two weeks but since I stopped lying and exaggerating stuff, let me be honest with you by admitting that I got a bit discouraged from posting stories in this blog after Google Adsense disabled my account without alerting me via email.
Well, I did try to appeal the decision by Google Adsense to disable my account but my pleas fell on deaf ears. And when I turned to a certain internet forum, I felt comforted when I learnt that there are other thousands of site owners whose Google Adsense accounts have also been disabled without being told why.
To tell you the truth, I didn't feel bitter at Google Adsense team for disabling my account because in the six months or so I ran its adverts on this blog, I didn't make decent money. It has now become clear to me that to make a liveable income from blogging, a blog needs to be attracting tens of thousands of visitors per day. Currently, my blog receives a paltry number of about 1000 visitors per month which I think is the reason Google Adsense disabled my account.
But I am yet to give up on this blogging venture because I find it fun. To help attract the tens of thousands of visitors required to earn a liveable income from blogging, I have planned to take to two important actions. Let me tell you about them.
First, I plan to produce quality songs and post them in the videos' section of this blog. For a long time, I have desired to compose songs with beautiful melodies and inspiring lyrics. Once I achieve that dream, and I believe with God's help I will, then netting thousands of blog visitors per day will become easy. People out there love music, don't they?
Secondly, I plan to be consistent in posting stories here. For as someone more famous than me observed: "Success does not come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently."
Not only will I strive to blog consistently but also ensure my stories add value to readers like you. So be certain that in every story I will be posting here, you will either learn something new or feel inspired.
My role model in blogging consistency and quality is Maria Popova - author of Brain Pickings, a blog that attracts millions of visitors per month and which has been catalogued in the Library of Congress as a material of historical importance.
Maria Popova emails me every Sunday without fail about her week's most interesting blog articles. Even though unlike me she is an unbeliever, I have learnt a lot from her. Like I took to heart the advice she gave to the 2016 graduating class of University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School of Communication. She advised the class:
Develop an inner barometer of your own value. Resist page-views and likes and retweets and all those silly-sounding quantifications metrics that will be obsolete within the decade. Don't hang the stability of your soul on them. They can't tell you how much your work counts for and to whom. They can't tell you who you are and what you're worth. They are that demoralizing electric bike that makes you feel if only you could pedal faster - if only you could get more page-views and likes and retweets - you'd be worthier of your life.To summarize what I've told you, I plan to produce music and post stories here consistently in an effort to net thousands of blog visitors per day so that I can make a liveable income from blogging, my favourite pastime. I am not giving up for shizzle.
My dear reader, I urge you to also not give up in whatever you are striving to do. Troubles arrive in measures and if we stack them up real high, we'll convince ourselves we have no reason to try. But if we ignore the minor setbacks that pile up and trouble us, we will end up achieving our dreams. We can change our tomorrow if we seek our dream today. It matters that we just don't give up.
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How My MIT Interview Went
A True Story
on Jan 28, 2019
As I have said before in this blog of mine, I developed a desire to pursue my undergraduate studies abroad when I was in Starehe Institute in 2006. That year when I made up my mind to apply to MIT, my plan was to finish the diploma I was pursuing in Starehe Institute in mid-2007 and then fly to America for my undergraduate degree.
Along with sitting for SAT exams and submitting some other necessary documents, applying to MIT required that I have an interview with one of its alumni in my area. I was assigned to be interviewed by a gentleman called Eston Kimani who had graduated from MIT the previous year; in 2005, that is. Prior to the interview, I learnt from a friend who was also applying to MIT that Eston Kimani was an old boy of Starehe where I was pursuing my diploma.
When MIT assigned Eston Kimani to interview me, I contacted him via email. And through it, we arranged that we would have the interview in the evening of a date I have forgotten at Java Coffee House on Koinange Street in down-town Nairobi. He emailed me his phone number in case I needed to reach him quickly.
Back then in 2006, I had noted that I had days when I felt happy and clear-headed and other days when I felt dull and confused. Because I really wanted the day I was to be interviewed by Eston Kimani to be one of those I felt happy and clear-headed so that I could make a good impression, I went to Koinange Street a day or two before the interview to confirm the exact location of Java Coffee House.
But alas! When the time of interview reached and headed for Koinange Street, I learnt that the Java Coffee House I had visited a day or two before was not where we were to have the interview. Eston Kimani was waiting for me in another Java Coffee House. I quickly asked for its direction and arrived there five or ten minutes late.
To tell you the truth, it had been my wish to be punctual for the interview but the mix-up on which Java Coffee House on Koinange Street where we were to have the interview made me a bit late. And contrary to my wish, I didn't feel as happy and clear-headed as I would have loved to be during the interview.
Before we began the interview, a waiter of the coffee house came to ask me what I wanted for a drink of which Eston Kimani was to pay. She asked me about it using some jargon I didn't understand, like whether I wanted my coffee black or white. But I pretended to know what she was talking about. And guess what! The answers I gave led the waiter to bring me a cup of coffee without milk and sugar; it tasted awful in my mouth but I had no choice but to endure it stoically. My ignorance made me miss an opportunity to order a paid-for hot cup of cappuccino.
When the interview began, Eston Kimani asked me a number of questions most of which I have forgotten. I only remember three of them. Let me tell you of two. Only two.
The first was on the challenges we face while working in a team. I told him that it is members of a team having conflicting opinions, something I had witnessed at Starehe Institute when I co-founded an educational website with my classmates Stephen Mutevu and Kennedy Munene.
The other question I will tell you that Eston Kimani asked me is from whom I drew inspiration. I told him it was Albert Einstein, the famous particle physicist and the greatest genius who ever lived. I went ahead to explain to him why I admired Einstein. Looking back, I think it was wise of me to mention Einstein in an interview for MIT bearing in mind that the university is the world's premier institute in science, technology, engineering and math.
Aside from asking me questions, Eston Kimani also gave me an opportunity to learn more about MIT from him. He made it known to me that I had to be among the top students at Starehe to survive in MIT and that every graduating student of MIT has at least three jobs waiting for him. And when I asked him whether people at MIT smoke and drink, he told me some do.
Oh, Eston Kimani also shared with me a little info about himself, like his exemplary score in the SAT exams. He told me he was then working for the World Bank and his plan was to work for a few years and then go back to the university to pursue an MBA. And if my memory serves me well, I recall him telling me that he was also trying to start a company.
And my dear reader, that's how my MIT interview went. I hope you have enjoyed my side of the story, have you?
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed this story of mine on how my MIT interview went like and are curious to know what became of my application to MIT, then I recommend that you read a story I wrote sometimes back on "My First Major Setback". Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.