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Showing posts from September, 2011

Local vs. ‘Foreign’ Education

Like any year, in 2011, some of my friends moved up ‘North’ to help ensure what they perceive to be ‘better’ educational opportunities for their children.  Ironically, I have some friends that returned to Trinidad to enjoy what they perceive to be a better quality of life for their children.  Of course this dilemma is not a new one and it probably goes as far back as colonial days.
Growing up, I was always acutely aware of our admiration for things foreign.  This adulation ranged from entertainment, to clothing and to of course – education.  My father benefitted from a Government scholarship and studied Accounting in the UK, so that was always in the back of my mind.  Nevertheless, I chose to do my first degree at UWI in St Augustine and only left after that to pursue post graduate work outside.  Interestingly, I had to pay (CESS back in the early 1990s) for my degree at UWI but managed to get funding for my post graduate work in the UK. 
It is a credit to the previous administration…

The Decline of the West

The title “decline of the West” works on two levels - domestically and globally.  Let me explain.  I had an interesting email exchange recently that got me thinking.  In terms of Trinidad specifically, for a long time it could be credibly argued that the centre of politics, wealth, entertainment and so on lay in the North Western peninsula.  The “best” so called prestige secondary schools were those in Port of Spain.  Real estate prices reflected the desire of “everyone” to live there. 
Even those from different parts of the island moved to Port of Spain to prove themselves and “make it”.  I remember in the 1980s, when I attended both primary (Rosary Boys R.C.) and secondary school (St Mary’s College) in Port of Spain, there was always friendly banter between those students who lived in the “West” and those that did not.  My secondary school looked forward to national scholarship results every year to find out how many more scholarships we won than the second placed boys school.  Fas…

Kelly Village TV and Trolls on the Internet

I rarely watch television these days.  This is mainly because it is difficult for me to engage with regular mainstream television programs.  But I am not alone as there is a huge shift away from television viewing towards the internet in particular.  One thing I particularly dislike about television is ads.  When I did have cable television, I ensured that we had a PVR / DVR which meant that I never watched anything live.  Rather programs were recorded so that I could fast forward past commercials.  Now I confess that I am one of those that spend more and more hours each day in front of my laptop.  I must also confess that one of my favorite websites has to be YouTube and on YouTube, one of my favorite channels has to be Kelly Village TV.  Just do a YouTube search for ‘KellyVillageTV’.
I honestly do not remember how I stumbled across Kelly Village TV (KVTV), but it was in the run up to the Red Bull Flugtag when there was a team from Kelly Village who documented their preparation for …

Collective Responsibility

In   Trinidad and Tobago, we have achieved much in 49 years and we do have much for which we should be grateful.  At the same time, our nation is facing its fair share of challenges.  Among our challenges is compliance with rules.  So many of us complain about the failure of fellow citizens to adhere to rules yet we regularly break rules ourselves.  When last I counted, everytime a light turns red at a major intersection, I count on average 2 cars that break the light.  Most of us know that you never go on green…you need to wait at least a few seconds.
By way of an anecdote, I was driving along a major road and someone emerged from a minor road to hit me on the side last April.  Their insurer offered to pay only 60% of the cost of repairing the vehicle I was driving.  The reason being that if it went to court, it is unlikely that the judge would award 100% because they could argue that even though a driver has the right of way, he should still be exercising caution when passing minor…

The World is a Cycle

As the debate around the State of Emergency becomes increasingly polarised along political lines, I thought I would look at it from a different angle.  Those who know me know that I am one of those people who believe in the supernatural or realm of the spiritual.  Not that I have no respect for science, but I know that there are some things that the scientific method has been able to explain and there are some things that it has not.  As I look for answers, I have always been unafraid to look beyond the boundaries.
Now, I do not claim that my examination of the realms outside of science have given me more answers.  Rather, it has been the opposite in that it simply helped me refine my own questions.  It was back in the 2008 to 2009 period, that I began hearing talk of cycles of events.  For me the unrivaled expert in this space has to be the late, great Dr Terrence McKenna.  You can Google his background but he wrote and spoke extensively about cycles of time and in the 1990s when ma…