In Jamaica the passing of the G.S.A.T. Examination is one of the defining moments in a student’s life. It decides where he or she goes on to continue secondary education. The students with the top grades are usually placed in the Traditional High Schools while others are placed in what we term ‘Non Traditional High Schools’ In many of these schools the performance is just average, so the moment a child is placed in one of these schools he or she is left with the feeling that they did not do well on their G.S.A.T. Exam.
This does not mean the student is a slow learner or that he or she lacks the potential to excel. Children learn at different paces; some start out brilliant and then slow down while others pick up later and continue to excel. The fact that a student did not get a ninety-five percent or upward grade does not mean that he or she cannot excel at the secondary level.
What is lacking in many of the Non Traditional High Schools is motivation. These students are placed in a school system where there is no set structure in place to motivate them. If the system is ready to give up on them, then they in turn will give up on themselves.
These students need to understand that it is not how they start but how they finish that really matters. They can do just as well as their fellow students in the Traditional High schools if they are motivated to do so.
I give you an example; my daughter was never at the top of her class in primary school, maths was her favorite subject so she always did well at maths, the other subjects not so well. When we moved to St. Kitts she attended the Washington Archibald High School. At this school there is an atmosphere of healthy competition and students are motivated to do well. Students who do well at C.X.C. are not only honored by their schools but by the Government and the Private Sector as well. After seeing fellow students graduating with eleven and more subjects,some with as much as eight distinctions, she felt motivated to excel as well and she did passing ten C.X.C. subjects, obtaining seven distinctions and three credits. Let me therefore emphasis, students need to know; it is not how they start out but how they finish that really matters.
I could tell by the smile that was missing from your eyes
when you looked at me,
I could tell by the way you acted surprised,
when I entered the room,
I could tell from the way you hastily said,
“I’m busy today, could you come back tomorrow?”
I could tell you were cheating on me,
I had come by to surprise you,
but the surprise was on me.
I could tell from her face when she came out the shower,
that she was surprised to see me as much as I was surprised,
to see her,
We could tell from the look on your face that you knew,
you were screwed,
You were playing us two, but listen up player,
the joke is on you,
We had a little talk and guess what? both of us are
through with you.
I love your smile, the twinkle in your eyes,
I love the way you body embraces mine,
I love the way you hold my hand,
the way you stroke my hair,
I love the fact that you understand,
It’s not the big things but the simple things
you do that truly makes me happy so,
Like breakfast in bed, a bouquet of roses,
fixing me chicken soup when I’m down with the flu
I didn’t know what loving was until I met you,
Now that you are here in my arms,
I hope you stay this we,
We loving each other until the end of days.
“Some people have this amazing ability to turn disaster into opportunity, while others simply turn potentially fruitful opportunities to disaster. Try to remain optimistic at all times so the latter doesn’t happen to you.” (Michael Williams) The banning of the scrap metaltrade in Jamaica is a perfect example of people turning something which would have been otherwise productive into disaster. Not only was the trade providing much needed employment, it was also helping to clean up our countrysides of these unsightly metals. However when people are driven by greed they lose their moral conscience. The cutting down of telephone cables and the theft of railway lines are bad enough; but when they begin to desecrate graves, when not even the dead can rest in peace, when caskets are been dug up for there metal handles, that served as a signal that enough was enough. There are people who have invested a lot of money in the scrap metal trade and would like for the ban to be lifted; and one can understand their situation. The question is if this is to happen what measures will be put in place so that the factors which caused the closure of the trade in the first place do not repeat itself. Does anyone have any answers?
I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry and the skillful are not necessary wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
It has been suggested that Amy Winehouse death might have resulted from her attempt to withdraw from alcohol on her own. If this is so this would be the second case I have heard about. Many of us are not aware that just like cocaine and heroin, alcohol can produce serious side effects if you attempt to withdraw from it on your own. Using a line from Amy Winehouse song; They tried to make me go to rehab, I said “No, no, no” Maybe this is one of the time she should have said “Yes, yes, yes” Then again, maybe it was her time to go. Such a tragic loss of a young life. At the age of twenty-seven, gone too soon. We however do not know what demons she was fighting or why she chose to do it on her own. All we can say is RIP Amy. There are no more problems for you to wrestle with. God Bless.
I close my eyes and reality sins in, the past, the present intertwined. A vivid contrast of what was and what is. And yet if one digs deeply enough, it is clear that nothing really changes. People born and people die. People get married and people get divorced. There are devoted parents and there are those who don’t really care, all living together in a world where sometimes strange things do happen. There is a road which we all need to take. One which path will lead us to true happiness. Question is, how many walk that path? How many are able to find that road. Many spend their lives searching for it; some not even understanding the true meaning of happiness. Maybe it is time to change that perspective and begin to enjoy each day to the fullest!
Who has anguish? Who has sorrow? Who is always complaining? Who has unnecessary bruises? Who has bloodshot eyes? It is the one who spends long hours in the tavern, trying out new drinks? Don’t gaze at the wine, see how red it is, how it sparkle in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. You will see hallucinations, and you will say crazy things. You will stagger like a sailor tossed at sea clinging to a swaying mast. And you will say “They hit me, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even know when they beat me up. When will I wake up so I can go for another drink?