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Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 7:44pm On Jun 27, 2022
Olufemi O.Taiwo’s theory of everything

marenx The Writer

Headshot of Olufemi Taiwo by Jared Rodriguez

Age 32, Olufemi O. Taiwo is one of the youngest Philosophers of the United states of America. He's an assistant professor in the University of Washington.

He's described as one of America’s most prominent philosophers and certainly the most vocal philosopher working on issues related to climate change.

A writer, he publishes regularly not only in professional philosophical journals, but also in publications like The New Yorker, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and too many others to list.

Táíwò’s parents left Nigeria in the early 1980s to pursue graduate school in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Táíwò was born. His childhood memories start in the suburban Midwest. His mother’s career as a pharmacologist took the family from the affluent suburbs of Cincinnati to the affluent suburbs of Indianapolis and then to nearby Muncie — “Parks and Rec Indiana,” as Táíwò calls it. As a kid, he was absorbed by Ender’s Game, the mythology of the Star Wars expanded universe, and Super Smash Brothers Melee.

The affluent suburb of Cincinnati, photo from www.bellhopblog.com/blog

The affluent suburb of Cincinnati, photo from www.bellhopblog.com/blog

At UCLA, Taiwo studied under philosophers who encouraged him to pursue the broad, big-picture questions that animated him—questions about how contemporary society is structured, and how it could be restructured in a just way — rather than reorienting himself toward the arcana associated with academic philosophy. The wide scope of Táíwò’s inquiry led him to take much of his coursework outside his home department, in classes on history and cultural studies. Táíwò’s dissertation advisor, the philosopher AJ Julius, described their time together as the “uncommon experience of watching someone in permanent revolution.”

Continue reading: https://grist.org/culture/olufemi-taiwo-climate-change-reparations-justice/?utm_source=pocket_discover
Re: Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 6:48am On Jul 07, 2022

The Use of As in Bihind the Cloud by Ifeoma Okoye

First published in 1982, Behind the Cloud is a novel written by Ifeoma Okoye. The author shows the consequences of becoming a baren wife, particularly in Eastern Nigeria. In this novel of 119 pages, Ije is presented as Dozie's wife who suffers humiliation and agony just because she can't become pregnant let alone give birth to a baby. At the end of the novel, however, the cause of her bareness is medically discovered--her husband can't impregnate a woman.

Behind the Cloud is a story written economically and in a simple English. Every conscious reader would like to appreciate what makes it thick.

The author begins the story when Ije has already gone far in her struggle to become pregnant. She therefore needs to rely on a word that causes tension in order to keep her readers. That's where the use of a transition word 'as' comes in to play.

As tiny as it is, the transition word can make a reader desperate to continue reading. Let's see how it works in the following sentence:

'As he entered the room, the wall cracked.'

If you haven't observed the sentence, two things simultaneously occur:

1. He entered the room, and
2. The wall cracked.

Why? Because of the use of 'as'.

If you don't know, if you don't use 'as' in the beginning of the sentence, the sentence will lack tension as in the following:

The wall cracked as he entered the room.

Assuming this sentence appears in the first page of your novel, your readers may feel reluctant to continue reading. Because you've said it all at once.

You should have hooked your readers first before giving them any new piece of information--a technique journalists have been using for ages. For instance, I hook a reader by saying, "As I entered the room..." because the reader would like to know what happened next.

Now let's see how Ifeoma effectively uses the technique in her novel.

The Effective Use of 'As' As a Transition Word in Ifeoma Okoye's Behind the Cloud

The word "as" is one of the most commonest used words in English. It serves as both a foundation and a pillar in the novel. A transition word and a sentence variation factor, it's often employed in the first half of the book.

The writer wants to smoothly move a reader to understand Ije's struggle to reproduce. The first use of "as" in the fashion mentioned above appears in page one when Ije is in the hospital's waiting-room. The word assists the author to use one of the most important literary devices--flashback:

"As Ije sat there, her mind plunged deep into the past: a past full of failures that still rankled. She remembered vividly all the doctors who had treated her--the tests, the minor operations, and the major one that almost killed her."1

"As Ije sat there" can be replaced by "while Ije sat there" but the author goes with the simply pronounced syllable "as" to introduce the flashback. As a result, we unconsciously find ourselves plunged deep into Ije's world of meeting with the herbalists.

After the newspaper vendor interrupted the flashback, however, the author has no any option than to resume the use of "as" in page 3 for Ije to read the newspaper and for a fat woman to be introduced in the novel. She wrote:

"As the vendor walked away, Ije began to scan the newspaper while she waited for her turn to see the doctor. Presently, she was interrupted by a fat woman who came and sat down in the armchair next to hers."2

Notice that after the use of "as" in the first sentence, the next sentence reveals a progress. First in page 1, the next sentence reveals a flashback of Ije's meetings with herbalists, then in page 3 it reveals her meeting with a fat woman who is later known as Beatrice the sprinter who was in class 3 while Ije was in class 4 back at ACM in Port Harcourt.

As if that isn't enough, the author similarly uses "as" in the last sentence of page 10 to round up the clinic scenes and reveal chapter 2 of the novel where Ije continues her struggle to reproduce. Here's an example of the bridge sentence:

"As Ije drove out of the clinic, her hope rose and she prayed silently to God to grand her her wish."3

A reader leaves chapter 1 with the expectation of seeing the outcome of Ije's prayer but, like most novelists, Ifeoma delays the outcome with the use of suspense. Thus, chapter 2 begins with: "There was not much traffic as Ije drove through Kenyatta Street into Edozie Street."

The author uses "as" in the middle of the above sentence but it doesn't work as much as when used in the beginning.

The transition word is further used in the beginning of the sentence on page 13 as it's used in page 1 introducing the use of flashback:

"As Ije sat down again she was overcome by a sudden depression. Her mind went back to the hospital. Dr Melie's words rang in her ears."5

Afterward, after the foundation of the novel stands firm, the author however relies less on the use of the transition word as a reader is already fully aware of Ije's agony.

But a few pages later proves that absolute avoidance of the use of the transition word may bore a reader. This may explain why the author resumes the usage which appears on pages 58, 62, 66, 71, 73 and finally 76 respectively.

The final use of the transition word on page 76 is similar to the use on page 10.


"As she drove home she hoped to discover on arrival that the visitor had gone."6

I can say the author stops using the transition word on page 76 either because of fear of overusing it or because the story has fully reached its climax where a reader must press on to see what happens next after Ije is aware that her husband has impregnated Virginia.


The use of "as" isn't the only way to hook your readers before offering them a new piece of information. There are many other ways in many great novels and short stories out there. For example, you can read "The Falls", an interesting short story by George Saunders to see how the use of "although" plays a significant role.

© Maren John Mafuyai
Re: Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 2:06am On Aug 31, 2022
Thanks and glory be to God Almighty my yesterday's WhatsApp class was amazing.
I am going to expose more secrets in my next WhatsApp Class coming soon.

2. I enjoy riding a bicycle as part of aerobic exercise in the forest to breath more fresh air than I can ever do in any tree less or deforested environment.
The quality of air in the forest is just incomparable.
That is why I must confess I am among those mourners whenever a tree is fallen anywhere in the world.
Everyone should be part of the world's project of planting more trees for more fresh air.


My white bicycle had a flat tire. I pushed it to a bicycle mender, an elderly man in his late 70s with about 50 years of experience.
A few minutes later he did a nice Job for me. I became excited and endulged in to a casual discussion with him.
The following are the lessons I learned from that single experience:

1. Passion is real.
He didn't earn much from what he did but he didn't change or transition to plumbing or wielding.
Most of us are richer than him but we have no any sign of happiness in us while we work as employees. We have more than one university degree but we are still schooling to add more.

2. Money doesn't give happiness but it gives what gives happiness such as:
-ability to render financial help to many people
-having a happy family
-financial freedom.

3. Living within your means can fuel poverty circle.
Poor people who gave birth to poor generation are people who live within their means without creating a leverage. You hear them say something like:
"If God says you will be poor, nomatter what you do you will be poor."
Modern psychologists call them people with fixed mindset.
I call them people with lack of financial education.
Learn. Apply. Enjoy


Riding a white bicycle I bought last year makes me realize that exercise is another big source of ideas.
It occurred to me that the harder I struggle to climb up a steep surface, the more the quality of my thought becomes.
There was a day I came to realization that I need a pen and a journal with me to document my thoughts.
The result was amazing. My idea of teaching Secondary School students writing and public speaking skills was born.
Today I can say I helped the young ones to conquer their fear of writing and standing before audience to present their wonderful ideas.
I am putting together the strategies to share with my interested friends in a free WhatsApp class coming up soon.
Message me if you're interested.


Do you have the guts to tell people you are abnormal?
Whether you have it or not, I am going to tell you that someone has it....
I recently attended a network marketing seminar where I learn transformative strategies of becoming the next Warren Buffet or Elon Musk. The first speaker to blow our minds however was a young man who toward the end of his lecture declared he was abnormal without even telling us how and why.
Hearing that makes some attendants left the hall but I stayed. That wasn't the first time I attended such seminar.
Latter, a mentor came and his first sentence was:
"I am not talking to everyone."
He invited all of us only to tell us he wasn't talking to all of us? I listened attentively to understand that thing he had for the few. Only to come to the realization that he made that sentence just to draw our attention to all his words.
Every attendant heard him when he said:
"It is not your fault to be born into poverty but it is your fault to die poor."
That turned out to be the only sentence that compelled many of us to join his business.
Words have powers.



Writing is the cheapest, fastest and most effective means of communication.
I have two writing styles: informal and semiformal.
I learned both of these styles with equal seriousness. I have noticed that if you want to excel in something, give it your whole.
I usually tell my students there is no any other magic and that a teacher is just a guide. A student is the one to put in the hard work out of determination.
And this is the secret I have found:
Writing starts from your head.
Take your time to master these tools through making interesting sentences:
>though, although,
>however, but
>that is why
Each of the tools determines a sentence structure, a paragraph structure and the whole essay structure.
In my previous WhatsApp class I gave impressive examples that serve as samples learners use to develop their writing skills.
Message me if you are interested in the WhatsApp Writing class.

Re: Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 10:22am On Sep 04, 2022

I pushed my small white bicycle as I passed by a shopping mall. An elderly neighbor saw me and shouted:
"This bicycle is too small for you. Dont use it."
I waved and shouted, "Thank you."
Though I was embarrassed.
A bicycle is small for me only if I can't ride it comfortably. So any bicycle I can ride to a reasonable distance is my size.
My bicycle is taller than a motorcycle that can carry three men to their destination.
But I found it easier to cope and calm down and shake the embarrassment because this isn't the first time I experienced someone whose joy comes from someone's sadness.
Every adult should know these:
-If you assume something, don't state it. Instead, turn it to question.
If the man asked me privately, "Is this bicycle not too small for you?" it wouldn't have caused him this kind of writing here.
-Never believe you know.
From a distance or because you don't understand my bicycle, it may look too small. But wait until you see me riding it before arriving at your conclusion.
During my school days I lived in a hostel with someone similar who moved to disapprove of almost everything I said eventhough he knew he was wrong. My relationship with him was never connected.
Why did I share this story?
You may be facing or causing similar challenges.
But it is good to know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
Ask good questions to recognize that someone has emotions too.


Coming up from work, I appeared on a path near a big house...
Someone appeared and gave me a handshake. When I accepted it, friendship was established between us...
Later he visited me, have a nice time with me. We began to visit each other and cook together and meet girls...
Until I realized he was an unrepented, big cheat.
Though he was well educated, a good story teller and an interesting conversation creator, I had to quit the relationship in order to maintain my good image as a professional teacher.
I spent more than a week feeling pain of missing him....
Why did I share this story?
I just want to tell you that missing someone you enjoy is painful.
The following experiences too are frustrating:
-missing a valuable dream customer
-missing a valuable customer
-missing a valuable influencer or a motivational speaker
-missing a valuable employee
Some years back I was following a valuable influencer by the name Jeff Haden on Linkedin...
When he retired to Incom and my browser couldn't reach him, I felt a part of me was missing.
Though my writing style isn't similar to his, his influence is still with me eventhough I have never seen him.
I ever told him on Twitter that I wanted to write like him.
Life is really tough whenever most people like me have negative experience.
But I develop a let-go strategy that I use to instantly calm myself during such tough times (I call it uplifting strategy).
It can help everyone.
For example, to uplift myself back I usually use and visualize the following affirmations:
-I create interesting conversations
-I tell interesting stories.
-I lead people to success.
-I give help.
I have put together a WhatsApp lesson titled 'How to Create and Use Affirmations for Self-uplifting' in any kind of emotional trouble.
Message me if you're interested.

The first time I carried over a course back then in the tertiary institution, I felt my heart would burst...
I put my hands over my head as I walked towards a bush.
And that was where I reached to find peace of mind....
"All my junior course mates will know it and I may fail again", I kept on telling myself.
If you have ever carried over a course, got fired from work, become pregnant out of wedlock or caught doing something disgraceful, you understand my pain.
Now listen.
The major cause of this pain is asking one or all of the following questions:
-How will my friends think of me?
-What will my parents say?
-Will my neighbours ever look at me the same again?
Asking these questions can lead to committing suicide or abortion.
The only solution to this however is; once you go out more than thrice and meet those people you mentioned, the pain may go.
I know so many ladies that said "What will people say about this 'out of the wedlock' pregnancy of mine?"
But today they are thanking God for giving them those pregnancies that turned to helpful children.
Some people will say "I am a coward."
Oh, don't say that.
Just go out and face your fears.
Re: Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 1:21pm On Sep 07, 2022
The staffroom was big enough and under construction...
I relaxed on a plastic chair and watched three men speak.
The man they called pastor said, "My wrist-watch stops working just like that. Time is money."
The other man said, "I help people schedule their time effectively."
Now let's analyze what the other man said:
What he said is advertising or marketing.
If you keep saying something similar whenever you casually interact with people, finding employment, market closure and more followers or connections is easier.
If you're into plumbing work for example, you can say something like: 'I help people fix their toilets.'
But advertising your skill is not pride as many people think. It's something that says, 'Hi! I can help. I am interesting. I have value.'
What comes out of your mouth matters a lot and your CV should not only end in print but also in your brain wherever you go.
Try it and thank me later.
The following are more examples of such ad statements:
-I am selfmotivated and selforiented.
-I have good observation skills.
-I accept responsibilities.
-I am good at multi-tasking even in tough times.
-I am awake at 5a.m.
-I always appear on time.
Some of the statements should appear in your CV.


The classroom was quiet.

Students were listening to me as a new teacher of French Language.


A student walked out slowly and stood one foot away from me near a white board.

She said: "Sir, may I use the rest room?"

I frowned and cautioned her to address me using 'correct' language because I was never taught to use American English in such situation...

I passed through government school from elementary to tertiary level where British English was usually used.

Not only that...

One day I found myself chatting with some people from a French speaking country in West Africa.

The people spoke a kind of French I never learned in school: pidgin mixed with standard French and incorrect pronunciation.

Not only that...

I can give you more examples that shows that after graduating from school, you start learning again.

Sometimes you must begin to learn how to convince employers that you are suitable for the position.

Sometimes you begin to learn that the kind of course you learned in school is not needed in your society.

Sometimes you begin to learn a lot especially when you remember you may soon become a fool at 40.

Don't hesitate to start learning a marketable skill.

It is never too late.


It is not a lie that there are different kinds of stories of employment abuse everywhere today.

The way out is, identify the skills you learned so far in school, eg:

-you can read
-you can write
-you can teach or address people
-you can speak more than one language

The only thing you need to bring food on the table without begging or slaving yourself is therefore marketing skill.

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Re: Olufemi O. Taiwo’s Theory Of Everything by marenx: 11:14am On Oct 29, 2022
The Use of passive voice in chinua achebe's dead men's path

Reviewer: maren John Mafuyai

Review date: 7/11/2022

Dead Men's Path" is a short story written by Chinua Achebe and published in 1953. The story follows a young headmaster who is assigned to manage a mission school in a place where African traditional religion is fully in fashion.

The headmaster wants to prove that he's self-oriented, highly educated and therefore good at running the school. However, he ends up blocking the path that connects the people with their dead people--a move that results in a serious conflict.

This is a kind of a story one can see featured in most African history books. It is therefore no longer a new thing that it's difficult to make one forsake his/her inherited religion especially in totality.

To attract people to read this kind of a story, a creative writer needs to employ a device to hook them. That may be why Achebe relies on passive voice.

What is passive voice?

Any grammatical element is geared towards helping a speaker or writer to deliberately pass a particular information or message to a reader or listener. One of those elements is passive voice.

Passive voice is a form of a lexical verb in which the subject of a sentence receives the action of the verb rather than performing the action. The opposite of passive voice is called active voice.


Passive voice: Okon's promise was fulfilled.

Active voice: Okon fulfilled his promise.

In passive voice the sentence begins with Okon's promise. However, in active voice the sentence begins with Okon. In passive voice Okon receives the action of the verb rather than performing the action. Passive voice can appear in present tense, perfect tense, past tense, future tense, present and past continuous tense, etc.

Present tense: Okon's promise is fulfilled.
Perfect tense: Okon's promise has/had been fulfilled.
Past tense: Okon's promise was fulfilled.
Future tense: Okon's promise will/would/shall/should be fulfilled.
Present continuous tense: Okon's promise is being fulfilled.
Past continuous tense: Okon's promise was being fulfilled....

Passive voice is usually used in expository essay explaining a process of doing something like cooking, experiment, industrial work, etc. Creative writers are advised to avoid using it as it weakens a creative story. They are told "Mary runs the school" is more effective than "The school is run by Mary."

But the major concern is sometimes a situation can be best explained through the use of passive voice. For example, it's better to say "The school is short-staffed" rather than "The mischievous proprietor short-staffs the school."

There are often situations in creative writing where it's more preferable to use passive voice. In 'Dead Men's Path', for example, Chinua Achebe demonstrates his intelligence and accurate sense of observation through employing the voice.

The Use Of Passive Voice in 'Dead Men's Path'

Chinua Achebe wishes to begin his 'Dead Men's Path' featuring the main character, a young energetic man named Michael Obi. He has no any effective option than to use a passive voice in both the first and the second sentence. He writes:

"Michael Obi's hopes were fulfilled much earlier than he had expected. He was appointed headmaster of Ndume Central School in January 1949."

The use of passive voice, his "hopes were fulfilled" and he "was appointed headmaster", is very interesting and impressive. A reader must want to know more about this man Michael Obi.

After Michael Obi's wife says something in reply to Michael Obi, Achebe wants us to know more about them. Again he chooses to use a passive voice but this time in a long sentence. He writes:

"In their two years of married life she had become completely infected by his passion for 'modern methods' and his denigration of 'these old and superanuated people in the teaching field who would be better employed as traders in the Onitsha Market.'"

Notice that "who would be better employed" and "she had become completely infected" are all forms of passive voice. Further, passive voice appears in conversation in what Michael Obi says to his wife:

"I was thinking what a grand opportunity we've got at last to show these people how a school should be run."

"How a school is run" and "how a school should be run" are both correct forms of passive voice. But a man who uses "how a school is run" may however be considered less professional in handling English Language than the one who uses "how a school should be run." Maybe that's why Achebe puts the later in Michael Obi's mouth since "Michael Obi was appointed headmaster of Ndume Central School."

Now Achebe has proven that he can more often use this technique effectively. He further uses it twice in one sentence as he writes:

"A high standard of teaching was insisted upon, and the school compound was to be turned into a place of beauty."

The author depends on passive voice throughout the story. It produces formal, original and mature language that reveals a clash between European and African belief. The following is the rest of the sentences where passive voice appears:

"Although [the path] is hardly used, it connects the village shrine with their place of burial."

"'But [the path] will not be used now'..."

"Heavy sticks were planted closely across the path at the two places where it entered and left the school premises. These were further strengthened with barbed wire."

"'...this path was here before you were born and before your father was born."

"...it is the path of children coming to be born."

"A diviner was immediately consulted and he prescribed heavy sacrifices to propitiate ancestors insulted by the fence."

"The beautiful hedges were torn up not just near the path but right round the school, the flowers trampled to death and one of the school buildings pulled down..."

All the sentences sound interesting, entertaining and easy to access, follow and interpret. Passive voice is a good ingredient to use to cook a fascinating story.


Great writers are aware that a key to great writing is identifying literary and grammatical devices and using them effectively. Through Dead Men's Path" Chinua Achebe demonstrates that passive voice is the best device any creative writer can take advantage of. The tool can be shaped and transformed to refine any dirty or weak sentence into the most wealthiest one.

It's far better off to tell up-coming creative writers to learn how to effectively use passive voice rather than scaring them that passive voice spoils a story.

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