Now I have a little dilemma.
As Jamaicans, we all should stick together, you know? We should applaud the achievements of our fellow citizens, 'big dem up' as we say. But I've been reading in The Gleaner about all these young people getting double-digit distinctions in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams. I don't want to appear 'bad mind' or grudgeful, although I may very well end up doing so, but all this is making me remember one of the negative things about my high-school days.
I readily admit that when I was wearing uniform, I did feel envious. But I thought back then, being envious was understandable. Can't remember if I was in class with any of these bright sparks, could be my mind's way of protecting me from chagrin. I never liked seeing those students who were getting distinctions in nine, 10, or more exams. Knowing how hard you worked, the hours you put in, and the attempts you made to be successful, it was a tad disturbing when students you may have gone to prep or primary school with got more than you did. At times, you wondered if your parents felt 'looks like the stork brought us the wrong child'.
Hard to read
But all these years later, I still find these staggering results hard to read. I find it even harder when I hear the parents say the child isn't gifted, 'he/she just works hard'. So wha di hell me did do? Anyway, there is a part of me that doesn't envy these young people. What's going to happen now is that people expect you to perform at this level for basically the rest of your life. Talk about pressure. You start getting B+ instead of A, some cynic is going to accuse you of slacking off. Even if you're still in the top 10 per cent of the class. Sigh, talk about success being a bad thing.
What I've always wondered, though, is why. As in, why would you do 13 subjects? Call me lazy, but if the maximum is eight at the school you attend, why are people willing to do five or six more? The various syllabuses have changed over the years since I left high school (i.e. they've got harder) and me and my crew found it hard to do di likkle eight. So what's with all these children doing double-digit? Just makes the previous generations, of which I'm a member, look bad.
Anyway, I wish all the scholars the best. I really do. Having done this well to this point, there's no turning back now. One thing I'm going to beg them, though. Regardless of where you do your tertiary studies, please try keep the talents yah so! Respect.
Tell me if I'm just being a punk at firstname.lastname@example.org