Monday, June 20, 2005

Back in day, Part 4: Learning to Spell "Jamaica"

Its 1996-ish, I'm still at that lovely place, in Brixton. One day my mum comes in asks me, "Jonathan, how would you like to live in Jamaica?", you'll never guess what I said. 5 Minutes later I had my suitcases out and was packing. I kinda thought it was a holiday, I found this wasn't the situation, took a couple of years though.
So in September 96 I went off to Jamaica. My Headmaster at my old school actually begged my mother not to move me, I would say thanks, but I can't remember her name, lol, but thanks anyway. There I lived with My grandparents, (on my Mum's side). I went to a school, in the hills above where I lived called Torrado Heights preparatory School, that's a mouthful. Anyhow I was there from year 3(I should have been in year 4, but I failed the year's entry exam, lol) till year 5(I skipped year 6 :)). First off I imagine your confused by the whole year skipping thing. In Jamaica you have to take an exam to get into Secondary School, Called the "Common Entrance" exam. If you fail it you have to repeat the final year, this exam is by no means easy, and I knew about 4 people that did fail it and had to repeat. The trick was that there was a minimum age of 11, so even if you were in year 6, but under 11 you had till wait to next year. So I was old enough to go in year 4 when I started at the school, but I failed a maths test(this would happen again later in life). So cause I could add and subtract fractions at 7 I had to go into into year 3. I was then one of the oldest kids in the year.
Now where as in the UK, I had always been in the upper 10% of students in my year, this was no longer the case. Even though I was a year behind my age group, I was still about another year behind the Jamaica curriculum.. So technically there where 5 old's with more ability than me at 7. Cause of this fact I had to work my arse off in the later years. But for my entire time in Jamaica I rarely ever got grades above D-C. But I was still smarter than the average English child my age. And this isn't the case only in Jamaica, most Black countries curriculum are a lot more advanced than the UK's, Stuff like Pure maths, and other A-level like stuff, is done in year 10 and 11! There were even elements of subjects I did in year 5 that were A-Level maths! Education wasn't free like it is over here, however it wasn't that expensive either, My school was another private school, and the fees were about $7500(Jamaican dollars), which sounds like a lot, right. Well back then it was about £100 a term, now its more like £70. Compared to thridiculousus fees here its pretty cheap, along with the cheaper cost of living, it made growing up there pretty easy. I used to get $100 in pocket money a weekthat'sts £1.50. I could a whoa lotlot with that, example, Drinks cost $2I, i could get a whole chicken dinner(2 pcs of chicken, rice and salad) for $80. Can't beat devalued currency.
Well really this post could go on for ages, bI'mi'm sum up some of the big highlights of my first 3 years Jamaicaica.
      RealiziIg i was stupid, sorta

      Meeting one my best friends ever, Tariq(though he's got Asianian name, he's actually white, and from Canada.)

      Getting my first Computer (Intel 486 66mhz, 32Mb ram, 1Gb HDD, Windows 95, the size of a small fridge!)

      Buying my first(of 2) CD(compilation album by various Jazz and soul artists, the most recent track on it was published in 1987!)

      Getting my first and only E-mail address(9 years old and counting)

      Cheating on my Maths moIk(i got 87%, the giIl i copied got 92I) i admitted after about 2 hours, lol

      Getting my first bike, Green, 7 speed

      Introduction mosquito'stos, and Boils.

      Seeing the GiIl i was infatuated with do a table dance, that was nice...(it was legit, no peeping tom crap here!)

Before you aI'mi'm not gonna answer many questions on that last one, but that has to be the best one of all.
Anyway another chapter in my life closed, one final one left, my last Schootechnicallylly by the tiIe i write It i can do the latest chapter the "Astley years", might leave that one a while, got a loose end(or twI) i need to tie up before then. I just thought after this seriIs i might talk about all the "girls"(sI'mi'm nDerekrek!I) i fancied, why, who they where(not thIt i have pictures), and what happen. However there are a few issues involved, might save those ones for the Podcast.
Take care till tomorrow.

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