A must- read!

“What are we?  Since that’s your question, I’m going to answer you.

We’re this country, and it wouldn’t be a thing without us, nothing at all. Who does the planting? Who does the watering? Who does the harvesting? Coffee, cotton, rice, sugar cane, caco, corn, bananas, vegetables, and all the fruits, who’s going to grow them if we don’t? Yet with all that, we’re poor, that’s true. We’re out of luck, that’s true. We’re miserable, that’s true.

But do you know why, brother?

Because of our ignorance. We don’t know yet what a force we are, what a single force – all the peasants, all the Negroes of the plain and hill, all united. Someday, when we get wise to that, we’ll rise up from one end of the country to the other. Then we’ll call a General Assembly of the Masters of the Dew, a great big coumbite of farmers and we’ll clear out poverty and plant a new life”. [p.106]

This novel is a wonderful and insightful illustration of Caribbean literature.  Roumain’s Masters of the Dew is an exceptionally beautiful story of victory over poverty and harmony with nature. The novel is relatable to the mores of the Haitian people; their culture and their habits and it invites the reader to delve into and experience the many facets of authentic Haitian society and evaluate the issues have remained the same, even in present day Haiti. Jacques Roumain describes the harsh life of peasants in this novel, a battle in which he devoted a part of his life to alleviate with his political party. The novel shows the power within such a tight group of people and the conflicts that arise; similar to any tight knitted family. Roumain’s communist and socialist ideology is also prevalent throughout the novel. Written with utmost care, Masters of the Dew is a classy story of encouraging and building a new beginning from devastating circumstance.

Such a brilliant book!

master

I am Caribbean

When one thinks about the Caribbean, an image of dancing to steelpan or reggae music in the sunset, cool island breezes sweeping through the mountains with a rum soaked drink in hand immediately comes to mind. How sweet life is dong in de islands! This archipelago, famed for its beauty and tranquillity is more than just a paradise. It is a mealting pot of different ethnic groups; their backgrounds, beliefs, religions and culture and trying to create a fusion of the lifestyles into a homogenous socitey. It is about the fight to figure out who we are and where we are heading as a region. Are we followers of our colonial backgrounds or are we a unique people with our own culture, music and being Caribbean?

Identifying myself as being from the Caribbean means I understand and appreciate the sacrifices our ancestors have made. The struggle and ultimate decimation of our indigenous peoples to the foreigners who invaded the lands they have lived on for thousands of years are forever a reminder that the first peoples were stripped of their way of life and suffered greatly, all in the name of wealth. The enslaved Africans, who were thorn from all that they knew, coralled and beaten like animals and forced to endure cruel and inhumane deeds for nothing in return. The East Indians, who left their behind the meager life of suffering and poverty and journed to a distant land, not knowing the trials and tribulations they were to be faced with that was no fault of their own, as well as the minority groups – the East Asians, Middle Easterners and the Merikins who arrived and etched out a living far away from their home lands, just with the hope to make something better of their situations.

One must not forget the Europeans who started it all, for without them the Caribbean may have remained a mystery. Their sacrifices were noble too, as the Caribbean shares a familiar colonial legacy, encompassing all the opportunities and problems it presents to us today. The West Indies is portrayed to the world as a happy place, where the lifestyle is of a relaxed and easygoing nature. While all this may be true, the Caribbean is just as a person is, struggling to find its identity  As Geoffrey Philip, a Jamaican writer said, ‘Within this archipelago, we have people from all over the planet meeting and trying to live here together without resorting to genocide…” How true are his words!

While the Spaniards and other European empires have surely developed the region into the comfortable place we now enjoy, the prejudice and racial attitude towards those that were not Caucasian is still very much prevalent in today’s society. The superpowers beginning with the 16th century played games with all the enslaved beings, brainwashing them to believe that they are not human and not worthy to have emotions or identities. This rift between the different ethnic groups existing at that period have continued to the dismay of many into present times and has transformed to further widen the gap to defining racism.

The genetic makeup of humans is remarkable; we all have the same physical attributes, the colour of of blood is the same yet, individuals are still wrestling with questions of identity and race. Identity and talking about one’s identity is a shaded idea, manipulated  by politics, history, social status and religion. These factors contributed to the division of the different enthic groups and as such, each group have based a negative ideology of the other according to what they were taught by the Europeans.  The Trinidadian society has become to an extent, tolerant of interracial relationships. The idea of a girl of East Indian descent in a relationship with a boy of African descent or vice versa is frowned upon in certain communities in our country. Some people of African descent despise persons of East Indian descent because of what has been promoted by the slave owners; a new group has come to take away your livelihood and been given land to do so. That concept alone has changed the way of how the society was to become –  jealous of each other, distrusting and not wanting to understand the culture or background of each other.

Personal experience has shown how narrow minded people are about belonging to a certain ethnic group. I am in a relationship with a gentleman of African descent, yet my family who resides in rural South views me as a disappointment. The point, according to tradition is that you go to school, find a nice Indian man to marry, settle down and have children. It bothers me that the human construct of race is continuing to cause cracks in families and the negative ideology of one’s race will always be present.

This division in society because of ignorance have left the West Indian people searching for an identity. History and the effects of colonialism has hindered the way the Caribbean people see themselves. Yes, we understand that being from the Caribbean means to recognize and value the sacrifices our ancestors have made, but how do we identify ourselves? I believe that to truly grasp what out identity is, we must first appreciate where we come from and appreciate the sacrifices the other ethnic groups have made as well. We must learn about our religion, our beliefs, our customs, as well as those of different ethnic groupings and notice the similarities we share as a people and use it to build OUR culture, our Caribbean culture. When we are able to call ourselves Caribbean people, then we can truly say that we have found our identity.

I know I have found mine.

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Library class

So today I had a First Form library class and I had to be a little bit of a dragon. It’s really nice that the students are utilizing the materials but, it hurts my heart that they’re just taking the books off the shelves and putting them all over the place! I specifically told them to leave all materials on the table and to tuck in their chairs. Lo and behold, when the bell rang to signal the end of the period, they just got up and RAN to collect their bags, laughing loudly all the way. The dragon came out. I calmly locked the door and waited for them to realize what was going on. When my lecture was over, there was not a single chair out of place and all books were neatly placed in a pile at the end of the tables. What a morning and it’s not even ten!

New School Term!!

Ah!!  The new semester is here and it is a LONG one. The new First Form students at the school looks promising as more than half the pupils are already members of NALIS. We are getting set to introduce EBSOChost to the Fourth Form classes, as well as having carded library classes for the new students to properly educate them in computer literacy. I am looking forward to this new online class, as I am not very computer savvy and excited to learn as must as I can.

Settling in…

This library is really cool! In addition to some new books, the library got about 10 games for the students to use. 10 games! We would have been happy if we only got one but, we are very ecstatic for so much! The students love coming to the library. As soon as the bell goes, they rush into here. I wonder if they eat their lunches or buy anything in the cafe as they are here for the whole lunch hour. Anyhows, they are so cute when I’m bawling at them to be quiet. They look so guilty!!

Library

They’re so studious!

Humble Quote

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.

Agatha Christie

Remember when

Remember When: A Poem About Technology

James S. Huggins’ Refrigerator Door

 

A computer was something on TV
From a sci fi show of note.
A window was something you hated to clean
And ram was the cousin of goat.

 Meg was the name of my girlfriend
And gig was a job for the nights.
Now they all mean different things
And that really mega bytes.

 An application was for employment.
A program was a TV show.
A curser used profanity.
A keyboard was a piano.

 Memory was something that you lost with age.
A CD was a bank account.
And if you had a 3 1/2″ floppy
You hoped nobody found out.

 Compress was something you did to the garbage
Not something you did to a file.
And if you unzipped anything in public
You’d be in jail for a while.

 Log on was adding wood to the fire.
Hard drive was a long trip on the road.
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived.
And a backup happened to your commode.

Cut you did with a pocket knife.
Paste you did with glue.
A web was a spider’s home.
And a virus was the flu

 I guess I’ll stick to my pad and paper
And the memory in my head.
I hear nobody’s been killed in a computer crash,
But when it happens they wish they were dead.

School Library

I am fortunate to work in a school library. The students in the school are very friendly and the atmosphere is a pleasing one. What is astounding though is the frequent use of the school’s library by the students AND teachers. Over the past week, 35-40 students have utilized the library during their 20 minute break time each day and during the lunch period, 50-55 students frequent use the building. Teachers visit to gather information pertaining to their certain subject topics nearly twice a week. Books are borrowed on a regular basis, with periodicals being mostly used. The six computers in the library are always booked with students researching their homework.

I adore the teens and I love my experience in the school library, especially when the patrons are constantly using the services provided to their benefit. It’s fulfilling when students rush into the library as soon as the bells rings and browse through the materials.

 

 

Chapter Books

ImageThis is such an inventive story! I read this last night for my niece and I was just enthralled with how the story progressed. Reading starts from an early age and this particular author, Peter Brown is fantastic.

Funny Library Quotes

A book may be compared to your neighbor; if it be good, it cannot last too long; if bad, you cannot get rid of it too early.
 Henry Brooke

Book lovers never go to bed alone.
– Unknown

There are two kinds of statistics, the kind you look up and the kind you make up.
– Rex Stout

Seventy million books in America’s libraries, but the one you want to read is always out.
– Tom Masson

“Classic”: A book which people praise but don’t read.
– Mark Twain

Knowledge is free at the libraryJust bring your own container.
– Unknown

Book — what they make a movie out of for television. 
– Leonard Louis Levinson

On how many people’s libraries, as on bottles from the drugstore, one might write: “For external use only.”
– 
Unknown