Monthly Archives: October 2012

Awesome Threesome

“Hurricane warning is in effect for Jamaica. The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM)  is urging persons residing in low lying areas to move to higher grounds immediately!!!!”

That’s how the bulletins kept coming. The roads were busy and schools quickly sent home students to keep them safe.  Some persons remained in a state of worrination (worry) while  others ‘laugh’ and remain content.

The supermarkets/Haberdasheries or home depots

At a time like this, there is a mad dash as shoppers flock the supermarkets and haberdasheries/home depots making sure they stock up on extra things such as tin food items, breads, bottled water, tarpaulin, batteries, plywood, flashlights, generators you name it. The selves become empty;  restocked and emptied again in a cyclical manner. Can you imagine, two days before this warning you could hardly find a ‘dollar’ for anything extra but today, but with this pending catastrophe, the ‘dollar’ suddenly appears. Hmmm I wonder where it came from… But of course, the owners of these entities lick their fingers as they stand/sit from a vantage point and watch you scurrying and emptying their shelves. And if they are truly mean and cruel, they will be praying a silent prayer for a hurricane every three months.

There are several others such as the Service stations where lines are long as people  rush to secure petrol in preparation for the tropical storm. To what end? Where are you going to go in this weather?  But you may never know so just got to be prepared. But we can’t blame these business people.  As they say, some of us benefits from the misfortune of others. At these times, don’t you just wish you owned one of these businesses?

Awesome threesome!!!

Men!!! This is your perfect opportunity for that awesome threesome some of you often dream of. Guess what is the name of the tropical storm? You are right. It is SANDY!!!  A female!!!!!  And she is taking a trip to Jamaica. So, tonight,  tomorrow night or however long ‘she decides’ to stay in Jamaica, you know that when you hop in bed with your spouse, Sandy will be there with you ‘silently’ giving you bedroom instructions- whether it is to twist or turn, squeeze your spouse tighter, wrap tighter in your blanket etc…)

But guess what, Jamaicans by nature are very warm and welcoming and so they always go all out to ensure their visitors are well taken care of and will no doubt give to visitors the kind of treatment they deserve-real yardy style!!!! . So it is no surprise to see everyone busy preparing for Sandy’s first visit to Jamaica.

So I say to Jamaica, let us adhere to the hurricane tips, be vigilant and make the necessary preparations – evacuate if you must;  baton down; you know the procedures-  for Sandy and give her a treatment she will never forget that she will never want to make Jamaica her choice of destination again!!!

*pictures taken from google images

Dor @ the reins

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School is Drama

The familiar scene opens with you being jolted from a deep sweet sleep by the alarm and you grumpily crawling out of bed to prepare to face the day ahead.   The moment you reach the vicinity of the education institution, the teacher or student persona takes over- you become the character.   But that is just the beginning.

Drama in discipline

In this scene, picture the expression on the face of a student when a teacher unexpectedly comes upon him/her using a cell phone! Priceless! But what is more  hilarious is watching the student with head tilted to one side like a pup who has lost one ear as he/she tries to  hide the phone in his/her collar and discreetly trying to balance it on their necks! Who the hell hides a cell phone in their collar?(dwl) Only students are so creative.  It gets better.   With the phone ‘discreetly’ hidden, you hear the voice coming through the phone “hello *Paula mi caan hear yuh. Paulaa…” and the student staring at you nervously.  Boy, oh how you want to have a good laugh at the student’s posture and expression but you the teacher MUST stay in character (stern teacher persona). But when out of their presence, you cart wheel and pupalick with laughter.

Dance off

This scene cannot be overlooked. It is always good to keep abreast with what is happening in students’ world. So despite your stern teacher disposition, there are those students who THINK it is their job to keep you up to date with the latest dance moves and music. And if you are a teacher like me, you will certainly NOT refuse.  (I always enjoy a good dance off with my ‘gyals’) .  Can you imagine your students telling you “miss you look like handicap”  yet when they are unable to do a dance move from your (teacher) childhood, they tell you “miss dem dance deh a old people dance”.  All you can do is laugh and share their excitement as it is all done in good grace. This makes your classes fun and students feel they can ‘level’ with you. (talk to you)

The disarming group

Then there is the scene where you have just had a rough class where student were just downright rude and did not complete assignments. Coupled with that, you had a running in with your supervisor/ a colleague and you are not in the mood to teach. You just want to go home but cant because you must teach the other class.  Then they come into your classroom bursting with excitement, big energy, showering you with compliments, stories from the previous class, poking fun at themselves and each other and suddenly, your day become BETTER.

this is what I am talking about!!!!!

The last Scene ends with you opening the door of your house, looking and feeling beat up and some of us heading straight for bed- right where you started the day.

The point is:

Teaching is hard!!!   So as I pause for a moment to reflect, I realize the various characters that school personnel take on each day and the various spectacle that is created and events that happen in the school environs and I say school IS drama. It lives up to what Shakespeare said about all the world’s a stage and men and women are mere actors.

*Name is fictitious

Dor @ the reins

We Want Justice

“We want justice! We want justice!”

Placard bearing mis-spelt words; women skimpily clad with hair unkempt and children at their sides accompanied by sounds effects of raucous screams “we want justice” forms the familiar scene we so often see.  (or that’s the part some newscast show)

Justice for what?

News reporter: It is alleged that the police shot and killed a man in Rat Town…

People: We want justice!

News reporter: A woman was killed by a motorist travelling along Pathway Avenue…

People: we want justice!

News reporter: Children are not going school because parents not working…

People: We want justice!

News reporter: “Fire destroyed a three bedroom dwelling in Johncrow Town. Fire fighters ascertain fire was caused by an illegal wire…”

People: We want justice!

…and the situations continue.

But the question is, are they really in a position to plea for justice? Do they really want justice? I question this cry for justice on the basis that the law enforcers on numerous occasions pratically beg citizens to give information to help prevent crime and violence but only a few respond. Some of these people screaming for justice are swift to call others “informa” when they give information that will aid in fighting crime. By doing this they are doing a gross INJUSTICE to the judicial system and Jamaica. So why do we cry for justice when we ourselves refuse to ‘give’ justice? Boy, sometimes we are so hypocritical!

Robbery of Justice!

Informa fi dead!

Really? (Raise my brows) We need to re-examine the word information from which this term ‘informa’ is derived “inform-a-tion”. The word is telling us to give information (to a source). Therefore, we can substitute the “tion” with several other words:

  • Inform-a-nation
  • Inform-a-people
  • Inform-a-child
  • Inform-a-government

… and the list continues.

These information we always find relevant and if we are not informed, how are we going to move forward? So what is this talk about “informa fi dead”?  By withholding information we are committing a robbery of the justice system.

Wash over gold!

Silence is not always golden. (In the case of seeking justice it is “wash-over-gold”!. Unsightly!) We need to speak out! When our children are young, we encourage them to be ‘informas’ by giving us inform-a-tion (inform-a-parent) immediately if they are violated in any way, shape or form; or if something happens in class they should INFORM the teacher. Yet, when they get older we silence them- “shut up yuh mout” or  “you chat too much” and then they too learn that “ informa fi dead”As adults we refuse to give information  on the things that are destroying us.  Based on this I ask, Is it that the meaning attach to the word informa is age driven? Hmmm!!!!! As a child it is okay to talk and as an adult it is not!

Yet we continue to recreate the familiar scene and echo the words “we want justice” like a programmed robot or automated machine.  But do we really know WHAT justice is? Think about it.

Dor @ reins

 

Against the odds in J.A.

Jamaica has problems yes! But we all can’t just talk about the problems and pretend as if there are no positives. The following are some of my experiences which cause me to see Jamaica in a very positive light:

1. Up to grade 5 I could hardly read or write – I subsequently met some outstanding teachers who went above and beyond the call of duty and by the  time I graduated from high school I had improved so much I had a full scholarship waiting on me to attend a university in England (though I couldn’t take up the offer due to illness)

2. When it was time to undergo an operation relating to the illness mentioned above – I had no money – an excellent Dr Francis (consultant at that) decided to do the surgery free of cost!!!

3. When I recovered I decided I wanted to take on tertiary studies – I could not afford the fees!! The Student Loan Bureau (SLB) and the National Reserve of the Jamaican Army were my rescuers however at that time SLB only covered full tuition for UTECH and UWI students and the army only assigned reserves on a needs basis and as such opportunities to earn was limited. I was therefore saddled with a huge portion of the tuition fees and there seem no way out.

4. With respect to item 3 above a good Jamaican who was a total stranger at the time offered me a part-time job out of the blues so that I could earn enough money to pay my tuition fees, purchase books, meals and take care of transportation and other cost relating to my studies

5. As a result of items 1-4 I graduated with a degree and was valedictorian for my graduating class.

6. The same year I finished undergrad I was accepted into a masters programme and I started out with mere faith – not knowing where the money would come from to complete – a friend of mine told me about CHASE funds – I applied and won a scholarship to cover the entire master’s programme

7. Along the path an opportunity arose for me to do a graduate certificate in Global Education in the USA – while I was checking it out I received information the Organization of Latin American and Caribbean States (OACS) that they would fund my participation in the programme in full. At the end of the programme I was selected the valedictorian and I was only one of two black persons out of a cohort of 50 excellent teachers from across the globe.

8. In 2010 I applied to four universities in New Zealand to pursue a PhD and was accepted by all four. I now had to seek funding so I applied for the Common Wealth Scholarship. I was in the top two but lost out to a popular media personality. One of the interviewers pointed me to a NZ university which offers scholarship to international students. I applied and was successful but round about that time my daughter entered the world and I chose to stay in J.A and watch her grow.

9. I have had the distinct advantage of serving in some crucial positions in some of the pioneering institutions which resulted from the National Task Force on Educational Reform 2004

Ray Sim

From a boy who could hardly read and write up the Common Entrance/GSAT age, I have the Jamaican teachers/education system to thank for my subsequent development; the SLB for sparing me of some of the burden of tuition fees; A good Jamaican who offered me a part-time job to cover critical expenses; CHASE Funds, the Common Wealth Scholarship Programme; the (OACS) – programmes which are all facilitated by the Jamaican Government!!!

There are indeed a number of agencies in this country which are strategically placed to aid development!

Jamaica has been good to me – thank you Ja!!!!

Ray @ the reins!

Knowledge is Power

Part II (continued from dutty kaylis man)

The reality of sexual abuse of our children is a terrifying concept –but this is something that every parent MUST face because KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!

The facts

1.       Unfortunately, ANY child is at risk of sexual abuse.  Hoping… denying…. pretending…. that this can’t happen to you or your child is not lowering your child’s risk of being sexually abused, and it does not prepare them to get help quickly and effectively if the worst does happen – SO WISE UP REALITY

2.   Children from as young as three years old can be taught skills that lower their vulnerability of sexual abuse and which also increase their ability to tell if something does happen. You, as the parent, play the most vital role in educating your child about their safety and about what’s right and wrong. Similarly, you have a big role to play in identifying risk factors and signs in order to aid prevention and detection of abuse

3. The stark reality of the statistics circulating in the print media is that approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before the age of 18 and it can affect any child regardless of age, gender, family income, culture, race, religion, physical appearance, sexuality, intellect, disability etc – TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED THEREFORE.

4.  Most sexual abuse (85%) is perpetrated by someone within the child’s social sphere – for example, a relative, a family friend, a teacher, youth worker, religious leader, neighbour – KEEP A CONSTANT EYE ON YOUR CHILDREN NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE WITH.

5.  Despite the stereotypical image of the abuser propagated by the media, abusers usually do not look like monsters and it is relatively rare for them to be strangers – SO DON’T STEORTYPE .

The majority of children never report the abuse, and often this is because they are afraid of their parents’ reactions, because they fear getting in trouble, or because they don’t know how to tell. The child who keeps the abuse secret is more likely to experience severe physical and emotional consequences, both in childhood and later in life.

Red Flags

WATCH FOR ADULTS WHO:

  • Refuse children privacy or invade their privacy.
  • Insist on physical affection even when the child looks uncomfortable.
  • Insist on “special time” alone from other adults and children
  • Spend a lot of time with children instead of adults.
  • Buy children expensive gifts for no apparent reason.
  •  Appear to put a lot of effort into getting close to children.
  •  Have had previous allegations against them before.
  •  Make you feel uneasy…..even if you can’t put your finger on why.
  • Your child or other children seem afraid of.
  • Your child or other children do not want to be alone with.

And if you have all done all the above and  you still happen to catch a predator in the act and you are sure of what he was doing Call the police!!!!  Act swiftly so speedy justice will be carried out.

In your hearts daily, listen to the plea projected through the voice of a child:
“Dear Mr. Jesus, I just had to write to you
Something really scared me, when I saw it on the news
A story ’bout a little girl beaten black and blue
Jesus, thought I’d take this right to you
Please don’t let them hurt your children
They need love and shelter from the storm
Please don’t let them hurt your children
Won’t you keep us safe and warm”

Ray @ the reins

Dutty Kaylis Man (DKM) Why you never go rape you hand??

Part I

Dutty Kaylis Man (DKM) Why you never go rape you hand??

I was traumatized, flabbergasted, sick to the stomach, annoyed and very ANGRY to learn that several DKM entered the home of five women in western Jamaica and raped them!!!!

My God in heaven, only you know why these DKM take on to their not so clean self the “right” to violate people like this (and I have to say people because NO AGE or SEX is spared)  THIS unwelcome truth is so hard to digest!

What is worst is that these imbeciles are now raping 8 year old girls (children)! What in the world could a man see on an 8 year old pickney??? I would like to know WHAT could possess them. Such men are sick, heartless evil things who have signed a pack with the devil or he  has seven “debil” tan up inna him!!! – I beseech us, please, stop referring to them as dogs or any form of animal in general because such comparisons are grossly unfair to our animals!!!  Have you not seen how dogs protect children?  These unknown species do not deserve such honour.

We must protect our children but we cannot do it alone – we need Christ to help us flush out these DKM from our society and we need people who are willing to share there ideas on how we can minimize these occurrences.

Disable the Myths

Once upon a time, there was a belief held by many that rapist and child offenders were homosexuals because these savage acts against women are the surest ways to demonstrate a hatred for women! And that men who can destroy the lives of our children in such brutal ways are in start contrast to nature. What!!!!! Stark contrast to nature yes, as they refuse to naturally be protectors but homosexuals? MOST RIDICULOUS!!! Women and children of both sexes are being violated so how did one make that conclusion? Besides, who said that homosexuals hate women? Hmmmmmm!!!

Once upon a time, people’s reaction to things of this nature would be “this could’t happen to my child”.  But given the current environment, is there anyone that is still singing this sankey (song)?

“Him look like a rapistt!”  Do sex offenders really have a particular look! Naaaaa.

Let us stop hiding behind carefully crafted myths! and once we have established that, we may look at some preventative strategies against child abuse. (see Part II “Knowledge is power”)

Remember children are our future. Let us do what Jimmy Cliff said: “treat the youths right”

Tune in to Part II

Ray @ the reins