Chika Echebiri Bsc Chemistry; MEd Education


New York , United States

A teacher, wife and author of two books - The family of blackbirds and other stories; Mimi the deer and other stories.

Both books are a reflection of what goes on in different communities, worldwide. There's a cultural mix and also some fables that would appeal to children and young adults. Books are available on amazon and Barnes & Noble.

There are a few stories by the author, published in Terror house magazine.


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The Dew

Aug 25, 2019 4 years ago

Like the melting floes of ice, That swirl with the push of the wind, The dew glistens from afar. I couldn't help but surmise, That it was formed from the vapor, Cooled from moments ago. Its appearance is significant, I couldn't help but notice. Oh, how so important , That this should happen, The way it did. Taking a step backward, It glimmers still, As if I just stepped forward. This is pure magic. As it is just a simple dew.


An afternoon lesson

Aug 25, 2019 4 years ago

I could remember what time it was - 12.35pm. This was when the picture above was taken - on the 29th of June, 2015 at Federal Government Girls College, Owerri, Nigeria. These students had come in for their practical chemistry lesson. There were about twenty of them. They had come in, excited and full of expectations for the class. They moved directly to their already assigned tables. I had previously grouped them, so they settled down quietly with no fuss. They were going to carry out Titration, an important aspect of practical chemistry. Here, the volume of a titrant(usually an acid) of very low molar concentration that reacted with an analyte (usually a base) of very low molar concentration was determined. However, I would not go into details of what the whole exercise entailed. I would like to mention however, that adequate preparations had been made previously, in order to achieve the desired outcomes of the lesson. Every required item had been brought out and carefully placed on the tables. These items included; burettes, pipettes, Erlenmeyer flasks (conical flasks), reagents(titrant and analyte), indicators and so on. Suffice to say that the students arrived with the expectation of successfully carrying out a simple titration. I was full of high expectations for them as well, because of their organizational skills observed in similar situations. As I watched them settle down, I knew that nothing could possibly go wrong. I had made sure of this, by consulting the lab attendants and utilities department, the day before, about the provision of water and electricity. It would help greatly, to conduct the practical class under a conducive atmosphere. I began with a quick demonstration, as a reminder of the procedure required to carry out a simple titration. I had carried out the same task thrice before and explained the rules guiding this activity. The girls were all attentive as I carried out the demonstration and asked some questions. I was happy to provide answers to them as I was encouraged by their enthusiasm. I recall that one of them had commented offhand, as I carried out the demonstration that I had perhaps swallowed some of the analyte(base), while sucking it up from a beaker, using the pipette. But this did not bother me in the least, as I was more interested in their ablity to carry out the activity successfully. 'Now, is the time to show me what you can do,' I had said jocularly. This was a clear signal to begin the activity in earnest. I also reminded them about the do's and don'ts governing the experiment and I was satisfied they understood it, based on the general replies given. They had all of the rules guiding the Titration experiment, pat. I was impressed at the zeal shown by these girls as they carried out the practical in earnest, in their various groups. There was effective collaboration - which was great. I moved around and watched them as they became engrossed with this activity. I made a few suggestions and assisted a few as I watched and supervised. There were some incidents though- but they were not serious. There were a few of them that got the analyte into their mouths and had to spit out in the in the lab sinks. But no worries. These were bound to happen anyway. Moreover there was no cause for alarm, as the molar concentration of the analyte was insignificant to be harmful. I observed from some of the recordings, that the values of the titrant obtained by the different groups, varied significantly. I attributed this to some errors made while carrying out the experiment. I raised no brows at this, as it was their first time of carrying out this experiment. I was satisfied that they understood the procedure. I was also confident that the readings would be more accurate in subsequent practical lessons, based on my teaching experience. And it happened exactly as I thought. So, back to their first trial....The students were specially careful as they used the instruments provided. I looked at the time and realized that the lesson was almost over. The students realized this too and were actually eager to begin clearing up. They helped to wash the instruments used and that was really great. The lab attendant also assisted to tidy up the clutter. All this took about five minutes as everyone was involved. The bell was rung some minutes later, formally signaling the end of class. The students moved out in just the same way they came in....chatting in hushed tones but now, a little bit higher.

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I need to write!

Aug 20, 2019 4 years ago

I am one of those people who seem to look on the bright side of things. I recently picked up the interest and zeal to write again after a rather long period of time. I experimented with writing some articles while in High School. And a school mate recently reminded me of the title of a story I wrote back then, titled \\"Allamanda\\", which was all of 120 pages. She actually asked me about it and embarrassingly, I could not provide a suitable answer, as I had misplaced the book in question. Need I add that it was an unpublished work - a handwritten manuscript. I still beat myself about its loss. An aunt of mine had come across the book and actually read it. She admitted that she had enjoyed reading it. The genre of the story was Romance and I was chagrined that she had read it without asking me first. I dreaded what her reaction to the book might be and I was greatly relieved that she was more interested in the storyline than anything else. Anyway that is neither here nor there. Suffice to say that I picked up some interest in writing, two years ago - did I hear a shoe drop?\n\nThis is a sure proof that my love for writing never ceased. The zeal is still there, thank God!\n\nSo, I got to publish my first book, titled; \\"The family of blackbirds and other stories,\\" in 2017 . The second book, \\"Mimi the deer and other stories,\\" was published the next year. Both books belong to the genre of children fiction. Adults would find the books appealing too.\n\nThe family of blackbirds and other stories, are made up of 5 short stories that have some moral teachings that reflect on the circumstances that comply with our existence. There's a cultural mix present as well.\n\nMimi the deer and other stories consist of 5 short stories of a cultural mix that reveals some events that influence the decisions we take. Some magic is attached to one of the stories, for effect.\n\nMy objective of getting these books published was borne out of the desire to provide children with ideas on how to conform to acceptable societal norms and values, as well as getting them entertained in the process. It's a win-win, right?\n\nAs a kid growing up in a middle class family and environment, I had several books accessible to me and I read quite a lot of them. I was drawn more to books written by Enid Blyton and Uncle Arthur. These books provided a source of entertainment and imaginations for me. Therefore, I felt and still feel obligated and encouraged to give something back to the present generation of kids - thanks to these authors who were a source of inspiration to me. They gave a lot of their time and commitment to impact positively on my life as well as those of other kids of my generation.\n\nIt's my pleasure and goal to make a similar impression on children generally and at the same time, have them develop an avid interest for reading, writing as well as improving their vocabulary, in the process.

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