August 22, 2014

Dey blow me mind again

Ah wrote last year around dis time, how dem young people in de STEM summer program at St Martin’s Secondary School (SMSS) Blow Me Mind. Yuh know last week Friday, ah went back again to dis year’s closing ceremony, and would yuh believe dem young people Blow Me Mind again! Is ah lucky thing ah does do thing wid two minds sometimes.

STEM is ah-crow-name foh Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics. It is de brainchild of Graduate Teacher, Petrus Gumbs, who heads ah team of dedicated Teachers and professionals in various science disciplines, instructing during de summer vacation.{{more}} When ah wrote last year ah said dat “STEM is not ‘bout baby-sitting de kids foh de vacation,” it’s an introduction to de real world of wuk. STEM has roots and branches that are beginning to bear fruits. It all came out when de students presented dey projects. Ah talking ‘bout 12 and 14 year ole children using de computer to produce Art wuk, Architectural and Engineering Drawings in three dimensions. Some fantastic projects! Kids designing dey own computer games, again in three dimensions.” Dis year however, de Kids are into Robotics, designing programs on dey Lapped-up foh Robots; assembling de Robot dat came in pieces, programming de Robots to race and do simple mechanical tasks. We were even treated to exciting demonstrations.

So it was not me alone who get me mind blow-way last Friday. Ah believe every parent was pleasantly surprised wid way go on, and indeed happy we kids Blow We Mind! PS Education, Nickle Bonadie-Baker nose swell till it almost buss when her youth-man Blow She Mind wid his own VDO game he designed and presented. Foh de N-ah-jet-tek, Ca-milo (calcium and milo) Gonsalves, it must have been ah mind boggling experience to see these youngsters already mastering de Lapped-up dey received only ah month ago. Go-venom-mint had just provided twelve thousand Lapped-up to students, which left de Ministry of Education scrambling all dis summer vacation, getting teachers to respond to ah crash course in de basics: “use and care of de Lapped-up.” Ah wonder whatever became of the 300 teachers whom Jeer-all Thompson was to have trained in de use, care and repairs of de first set ah Lapped-up? Talk is always cheap except when yuh get Sue!

Minister Ca-milo really inspired dem youths wid ah short but very effective pep talk. Ca-milo, is ah brilliant young man, and in addition to being familiar wid IT, knew exactly what to say to de youngsters (more boys dan girls foh ah change). Here was ah group of youngsters who over de last six weeks, had endless fun and excitement lapping up dey Lapped-up, doing all sorts ah productive exercises in IT. At ages 11 to 16 dey still needed to know “way do we go from here,” And dat was precisely what Ca-milo was able to tell dem in ah language dat dey overs. Basically he encouraged dem to move away from de traditional ‘learn by regurgitating what teacher says’ and begin to ‘think things out foh demselves.’ Dey are now equipped with de tool, present day technology to take dem into de future. And I think dat fired dem up.

Once again ah say: “Man nuff respect to Mr. Gumbs and his committed STEM team. Thanks to SMSS foh opening de program to non SMSS students.” My youth-man always wanted to be like Robot Jones when he grew up. He now knows how to design, assemble and program his own Robot Jones, thanks to STEM.


Lie-Za was at GHS 2014 Graduation Ceremony, and she was telling me bout ah white lady wid ah axe-cent who gave de feature ah-dress. Dah kind ah descript-shun could be anybody, den she say: “De lady tell de girls she does manage ah Bank.” Ah was stumped, we ain’t got no White Bank Manager in SVG, neither male nor female, well not yet. Ah wondered if Headmistress Andrea invited Heida Miller from JPMorgan Chase Manhattan in de USA to speak. Was Wednesday night Lie-za phone to tell me de white lady Bank Manager, dey pon SVG TV channel 9; poor Lie-za aint realize de channels FLOW’n different! However when ah switched de channel, Lie-Za was right, was ah white lady in truth, ah Bank Manager in truth, wid Axe-cent in truth! Dis lady bound to love me foh these nice things ah saying bout her. But ah didn’t have to see de person, just de way she spoke wid ‘no water in she mouth’ and telling de girls dem like it is, ah know was La Verne Velox, ah plain penny, no wonder dey mek she manager ah de Penny Bank. Yes de Guest Speaker had ah conversation wid dem Graduands. It was like school over, so close de books, ley dey talk woman to woman talk! Ley we scoop way de real world got waiting foh dem out dey! De ‘Birds and Bees’, ‘dey neither ready foh sex nor pregnancy’, remember ‘rudeness gets yuh noway’ and all time ‘leave lasting footprints way ever yuh pass’ and much more. Yes it was ah good Speech, well put to-gather, relevant and captivating. And ley me say it again, she spoke de language de young ladies overs. No hi-fo-looting, talking over heads. Dey was not ah single big word, if yuh must tell it like it is, nah nice it up wid ah whole set ah garbage oops verbage! Congrats tanty La Verne our first white lady, bank manager! And wid dat is gone ah gone again!

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.