September 5, 2014

De foe-obeah of math-ah-mad-aches

Andrew Cummings does not often take to de pages of de Newspaper, but whenever he is inspired to so do, regardless to de topic, he does his thing well. As Lie-Za would say his ‘Pen is’ good! Dat 98 percent pass dat GHS got foh Math-ah-mad-aches at CSEC, would have tickled Andrew’s fingers to pen last week’s ‘back page’ contribution in de Vincentian entitled “A Living Maths Teaching legend.” And de legend is none other dan Gillis “Git” Francis, Andrew’s former Classmate and friend.{{more}} Ah read dat article twice and den ah called around to find out what does 98 percent mean in terms ah numbers, and ah was told dat over 140 GHS girls took de exams and only five failed to reach de Pass Mark. Certainly an accomplishment worthy of men-shun. In my days at school, Maths was ah boys subject and Needle-work was foh de girls. So dem kind ah stats says ah lot foh de students and ah hell-of-ah-lot foh de Teacher.

Ah don’t know dis “Git” fellah very well, but my wife who now heads ah small private primary and secondary school, speaks fondly of her History and Social Studies Teacher, and de two Grade 1Passes she got in those subjects at St. Joseph Convent Marriaqua. She say dat “Git” taught History like it was His-story! Our own daughter was suffering from ah ting called Math-ah-mad-aches Anxiety Disorder (MAD), if you wanted to send her to bed instantly, yuh just had to say “let’s do some Maths home work!” In her final year at GHS, we got “Git” to give her evening lessons in Maths, she got ah Grade 2 at CSEC. Thanks Mr Francis.

Dis article is about Math-ah-mad-aches and not to Big Up “Git” foh his One-dah-full teaching skills’ lest ah mek other Math Teachers or foh dat matter, Teachers in general get upset. But Math-ah-mad-aches was, is and will continue to be ah Foe-Obeah (Phobia) in SVG foh sure, and dis is because de very people who are supposed to do something to mek Maths enjoyable, are suffering from de disease MAD, Math-ah-mad-aches Anxiety Disorder, and dis is not an attack on anyone in particular.

At Grammar School, I was blessed to have met ah One-dah-full Maths Teacher from Guyana name Gordon, he taught Maths, especially like playing “tic tac two” lots ah fun, he made us wished we had Maths all day. One Ormond “Bully” Robertson from Rose Hall/ Murray Village, ah youngsters just out ah school, no teaching experience but made Maths fun!

But as Math-ah-mad-aches continue to elude and ill-lude our young minds, I ask me-self why can’t we have our own Institute of Math-ah-mad-aches, way we Teach Teachers to Teach Math-ah-mad-aches! I don’t claim to know many people who have Maths running thru dey veins, but ah would start my Institute wid people like Marcus Cain, Elvis Daniel, Git Francis, Bradley Brooker to name de few wid excellent track records. But I know we must have many more able and cape-able Math Teachers. Lie-Za was challenging me to start de Institute, when ah ask her way ah go find dat kind ah money, she say Ralph got in his posses-shun ah bond ah IOU Forms like de one he used to get NIS money, ah must ask him foh ah IOU Form to carry by de NIS too.


Ah remember hearing Joshua in de Market Square say, dat when de Chief Secretary, de head ah de Local Civil Service back den, wanted to terminate yuh service, dey uses to gradually reduce yuh wuk load till yuh desk MT and yuh had nothing to do. Ah don’t know what Julie-Ann did or failing to do as Minister of Wuks, Transport, Urban Development and Local Go-Venom-mint, but ah don’t like how de Pry Minister teking way all dem nice Ministries from Julie-Ann and keeping dem foh he self. And got de nerve to say, dat he will address largely de Big Projects; those financed by World Bank, CDB, Tie-One and Ecuador! What de hell is going on Julie-Ann boy. Yuh look wuss dan Billy Button whom Sir James did pull under his wing!!

De PM grabbing up all de Ministires and talking bout de Big Ones, reminds me of de “Parable of de Rich Fool.” He had ah bumper crop to harvest, unlike SVG dat got nothing planted and got no harvest to reap. So de Rich Fool in true Go-unsolve style, figured de few lickle Barns he had will never be able to hold de harvested grains. “Ah will tear down de lickle barns and build Bigger Ones (like de big projects), ah will store all my grain and my goods.” He continued day dreaming: ” Den ah will tell me-self, boy yuh have food to last ah life-time, yuh tek all, (de seats) now yuh could tek life easy, drink and be merry!” De Parable continued by stating dat later dat night, he heard ah knocking on de front door and ah voice said: “Big Man yuh up? well hear me. De real Boss Man up dey say he got use foh yuh Soul tonight, yuh hear me tonight.” Man got his Big plans, but God got de Master Plan foh all ah we. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

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