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Birthday

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“Have you ever lied about your age? Why? Bonus: Do you think they believed you?” Is the question from WordPress Post A Day Challenge.

What are these people trying to do? I have an halo WordPress! So, No I’ve never lied about my age for three reasons, firstly I usually get it wrong because I genuinely can’t remember majority of the times, especially since I stop keeping track of my age on my 14th birthday way back in the annals of history. The other reason is because most people seem to think I’m younger than I really am, so why mess with perfection? Finally, I don’t have to remember nothing, after all I getting old. Pun intended.

Of course, I’ve lied about my age, both to sound younger and older, if fact I been doing it since thirteen (13) years old; well…ahm…I can explain, please hear me out.

The first time I lied about my age, It Wasn’t Me; Shaggy and RikRoc didn’t put me up this I swear. One of my eight grade teacher made me do it. Yes she made me do it! …don’t tell me I agreed to it so I did it too, my mind was impressionable and she took advantage of that, I was 13 years old (I feel so abused, The Cries of Men). The name of the teacher was Mrs. Brown and she was my Home Economics teacher, and one of the Advisor in the 4-H Club.

It was coming on the annual 4-H Parish Achievement Day, which is a day of competition various activities such as cooking, sewing, animal husbandry, research-base etc, all apart of the objective of development and empowerment of youth as leaders for positive change, as well give back to their local communities. Now because I had aced my 7th grade High School class in Home Economics in both practical and theory I was ask and entered in the 4-H Apron Making Competition and was place 3rd at the Parish level. While I was happy to have been placed 3rd I was disappointed not to have won, it never seem the right placing for my efforts preparing it, even though I got JMD$5000 at the time.

With my experience the Apron Making when the following year came I was asked to enter the competition, basically I was told because it was a statement. Then after being told my teacher asked my age and I said 13 years old, she told me I never looked it and even though the competition was for up to 12 years old they were going to enter me and I was to maintain I was going to be 12 the December instead of 14 years old.

No one questioned my age, for my application was completed by the Advisors and unlike the year before I won the 4-H Apron Making Competition for my parish. As winner of my parish I had to represent at the 4-H National Achievement Day in Denbigh and was place 3rd, which I was elated about; on my return to school I was commended at a general devotion for all grades.

Later that year on my 14th birthday I decided that I was tired of keeping up with this age thing, chiefly because my mother and I was planning a mega celebration and we couldn’t get to because she was sick and away from home. That year I lost all interest in birthdays and eventually Christmas because on my birthday I got news my mother was admitted to hospital and five days later on Christmas I visited her in the hospital. After being admitted to the hospital I knew our Christmas like my birthday plans would be derailed.

Back to the question.

Since my 14th birthday I often would forget the 19th of December and would just agree that I was older than the year before. I said nothing about my birthday to friends and classmates and was often lucky that school would often be on Christmas-Break before my birthday and became the perfect way to avoid friends, classmate etc re the day.

I went on ignoring my birthday, until if I was asked what age I was I would say, “I don’t know”, “let me check and tell you”, “I’m still young” OR “I’m underage”. I vividly recalled while in first year I went to the bank and the attendant told me I had to chance my update my account because I had exceed the age on the saving account I had, I protested and told her that was impossible gave her a age which was, I believe a year or two less than what she was telling me. She even showed me via a calculator that I had in fact pass that age.

I was slightly embarrassed but that wasn’t enough to shake me and I sit refused to know my age up to now.

I don’t know if this counts, but during high school when I was still underage age for certain sites I often lied about my age by mathematically modifying the year I was born to ensure my legality. I therefore created a online identity for myself to satisfy my curiosity at the time.

These days I usually refrain from telling my exact age and since most people are polite, they wear a look of shock on their faces and tell me they don’t believe. When I celebrated my birthday the first time in a long while last December and said I was 19th, a friend asked me if I never said I was 19th the year before. My response, “a man or woman is as young as he or she thinks he or she is”.

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“Topic #38
Here’s today’s topic, brought to you by Plinky.com: Describe the worst teacher you ever had.”

The challenge today is certainly an amusing one! Everyone has had that one bad teacher, however for some its way too much and itself is a challenge picking the worst of them all.

“…Someone told me that their is always an extra seat in the class for her ego”, was the comment yesterday from a colleague of mine regarding a lecturer we had last semester, to which I agree and said there are two chairs for her ego, any poll could prove. With such sentiments its difficult to imagine why some people get into the career of teaching career in the first place if absent from their nature are patience to endure students.

My worse teacher had to be my Five Grade teacher, a Miss Palmer, she was slim, dark skin and had jerried hair and had only recently completed Teacher’s College when she got a gig at my school because my then teacher was on leave. We often nicknamed her “Annie Palmer“, “Annie Palmer the Witch” or “the Witch”, the name was given because we felt she was the replica of ‘the White Witch of Rose Hall‘ a popular book and cultural remnant of Jamaica.

I wasn’t a fan of Miss Palmer and I never hide it, I’m getting ahead of myself. I can’t recall exactly how Miss Palmer assume duties for my class, but I believe school had already start for that term. From the get go I was fond of her, but that had nothing to do with me dubbing her the worse teacher. She wasn’t new to the school and so I knew of her from an Assistant Teacher position she played while she was doing teaching practise the year/term before.

She had a particular annoying voice, shouted (one of my biggest pet peeved), a liar (another pet peeved), loud and seem to take a particular pleasure in beating students. To be frank I often thought she became a teacher because that was the only thing left for her to do. She seem to have been one of those “new teachers” who were doing things because she was told by the authority, rightfully so because we were located just outside a passage way to our principal’s office and staff room. Apparently someone told her “keep them (the students) quite, your job depends on it”.

My first reason for not liking Ms. Palmer was relating to an incident that happen at the end of school term outing/trip that we would regularly go on. While some parents had accompanied their child/children, I was alone like most others. I had grown accustomed to going on schools by myself with only supervision from the teachers present and perhaps parents who were present. Returning from the trip I was told and expected to travel when I reach the final stop when we got back to school with another bus driver and family friend who had took another class. I disembarked the bus that had took my class at the final stop and boarded the family friend bus driver, who still had persons in it that the driver would stop and leave while he was passing their residence.

The reason my parents had instructed me to boarded that bus was because the driver would have pass my house before reaching his, they were sure of my safety and the said driver had pick me up that morning and left me at school so I could have boarded my bus to the trip. However, when I boarded the family friend bus driver’s bus, Ms. Palmer who was left in charge of that bus mentioned that she never knew me and I explain why I was on the bus. She proceeded to talk to me in a loud tone that the bus wasn’t going where I had indicated I was, all without consultation with the driver. The one Ms. Palmer preceded to instruct me to get off the bus and eventually led me off the bus. I watch as the bus drove off in the night and I was left in the cold of that Wednesday night; a child of nine and a half, with bags of clothes from the fun I had that day and other items brought back from the trip. It couldn’t have been later than 9:30pm and I sat on my bag under the front of a closed shop, snacking away at food items I had with me at the time, mainly KFC chicken.

I sat there for what would have been almost an hour, hoping that my family would realise soonest that I had missed the family friend when the bus drove past our house and would come in search of me.

By intuition my mother had began had just thought that it was too late and I wasn’t home yet and that’s when dad came in search of me. Driving he saw the family friend and ask if I was with him, he check and there was no Leethan. Miss Palmer who was on that bus, I was later inform by my dad and the family friend noted that I had gotten off the bus in the square of the town. Now this “witch” didn’t explain that she had told me to get off the bus, but twisted the words to make it look like I willingly got off. Shortly after my dad’s encounter when both he came and fetch me.

Driving home we ran into the family friend, who was driving back to the town square, he said, to ensure that my dad had found me. Coincidentally, we all met right after the family friend had drop “the witch” home and had turn the bus around. My dad explain to the family friend what I had said and the “the witch” eavesdrop. After talking with the family friend, my dad stop and exchange words with the Miss Palmer she asking her what kind of teacher she was to have left a student of not ten on the street like that without care for how he would get home. Frankly I never thought my dad dealt with the case well, I wanted him to give her a proper tongue-lashing, but he never did.

The following day the woman had the audacity to come in my classroom to ask me why I told a lie on her. Right there and then I got feisty with her and told her she was rude to have been talking with me the way she approach me. I gave her all of the bitterness I had because I was left in the cold and some of what both my parents had quarrel about re the incident. I did refresh her memory as to what she did and told her next time she must ask proper questions before she act. I remember she trying to reprimand me and me telling her she was the one in need of it. I gave her everything my mother wanted to give her and the anger and embarrassment I felt because of how she chase me off the bus.

So when she became my teacher I had a severe distaste for her, which I wasn’t going to release. I did the work she gave, and refuse to communicate with her if I never understood anything. Thank heavens I was a quick child, and when I never understood what was thought I asked my Principal who was in charge of extra lessons.

My relationship with Miss Palmer further disintegrated when we were given a short story assignment for class. I went home and like usual my mother ask me what about my homework and I told her what it was. I was instructed to complete it and showed it to her, which I did, my mother wasn’t satisfied and told me to do it over. Instead of doing my English assignment I did other assignments and was refusing to do it. When my mother asked for it again and I brought the said thing, she beat me and told me that wasn’t a story. Shortly after she sent me to the shop to get something to purchase. This upset me more because it was raining, I had to walk pass this dark corner, where it was often said duppy existed. On my way back from the shop I notice what appeared to be moving shadows. Given the stories of duppies, nearby graves to the corner, the dark corner and it was raining, I panic said it was duppy and attempted to run. Sooner I started running I knock my toe and felt a burning sensation; it was bleeding.

I got home without any Duppy doing me anything and my big toe gushing with blood. My mother treated the toe and joked, “this is some story”. I precede to document what happen and added a extra ending that I had stumbled over the near by gully and crabs had finish snapping off my toe. My mother applauded my efforts and told me I had done well.

When the Miss Palmer she had read the story, she marked and indicated her comments in red ink “Plagiarism, this is not your idea.” I went to talk with her after and she refuse to hear me out, saying I had copied it. Right there and then I vowed that I hated the woman name Miss Palmer and that I was through with English as a subject and writing short stories. I was that serious that all my exams papers for the remaining of my five and six grade having anything to do with stories were deliberately omitted unless I could have a choice and did one. I however did one other good story in six grade base on a picture for another teacher’s class all because a girl I liked had done an impressive piece that was read in class. Outside of that I hate writing until my quest for journalism took the most of me in high school.

Have you have seen this challenge has brought back to me repressed memories. Wish I could see that Miss Palmer now, think I owe her couple punches to the face, perhaps if it wasn’t for those mean things she said I would have been a better writer all those years ago. I guess she though I should have produce mediocrity work because that was what she was use to producing.

There you have it the story about “The Witch” aka Annie Palmer, the worst teacher EVER!



The internet has come to be known as a convenience tool, it is used for work, academic research and various personal gains. Since becoming increasingly popular the internet has truly changed society and made it what many may now term a necessity; in other words it has become a way of life for us.

Today’s WordPress Blog Challenge asks the question: Could you live without the internet for a week? For a month?

Of course, is my first response, after all it not like water and food that we can’t live without. What we need to ask ourselves are, do we want to live without the Internet?

I don’t suffer from pre-Internet nostalgia, but I do believe it can be done. For a week? Absolutely. A month? Sure.

I initial link the idea a few years back to 2004 when our tropical island Jamaica was devastated by a category four hurricane and the power went for several months because our light & power company had suffer extreme damages; power lines and were down. The first day was fine and fun, the second day we were flipping light switches and trying to do everything. Of course you could well imagined how we all were fuming because of all the work we ‘could’ get done if we could just get power and eventually online! Experiencing this first-hand its perhaps fair to say that the internet has come to play a crucial role in my life.

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But what exactly do we mean by the “Internet”. Like “technology” the term “Internet” has been misused. Arguable so because we have come to associate the internet solely with the World Wide Web (www) and as such ignore the other services outside of email, & social networking that it provides such as normal telephone calls. The reality of this was recently observed in the Middle East where Egyptians organised a pro-democracy protest against President Hosni Mubarak and the government in response brough the entire City to a standstill just by flicking a “kill switch”. The move by the government not only saw Facebook, blogs, but telephone, fax, TV, radio and all form of electronic communication inaccessible. Almost nothing could be done.

I known I had said I wasn’t pre-Internet nostalgic, if fact I never grew up in the era where internet wasn’t present. I too like many of my peers can tell you that we remember dial up internet and NetCards (a card that would be used for credit through a dial-up port for internet), even though I never had the service home, I certainly had access to it, all of this was of course before fibre optic system, WIFI service and now portable internet. With all the advancement with the internet it would be good to see some amount of return to the old days when we communicated face to face, and mailed hand written letters or even have penpals, and we all looked forward to visiting the local library. Even so I don’t think I would want to return to the days before electricity, telephones, not to mention cell phones, automobiles, paved roads, supermarkets, refrigerators, and stoves. Don’t get me wrong speaking with my Grandparents and other elders who grew up in these time I’m marvel at their stories, some or fun and others are down right not what I want.

I guess, all of this has to do with the web call the internet that I have become entangled in, which tempts me with more time for leisure and to make more money; not that I can without also amassing inflation.

The most and only consistent thing in life is change. It therefore goes to say that life as we know it has no turning back. However, to perhaps teach us a lesson and to get some level of appreciation for what we have a little disconnect now and then would help. Furthermore, a little disconnection every now and then will help us to appreciate other things in life, when we don’t.

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Fourteen days ago, that would be January 14th, I signed up for this Post a Day or Post a Week challenge that WordPress.com, the site on which I host my blog had. Sad to say today January 31st, I’m yet to make an entry.

I signed up for this Blog Challenge because I was attracted to the description WordPress used to sell the idea to bloggers. I still can recall the words splashed across my computer screen: “For those of you who want to take your blog to the next level in 2011.”

Can yoy imagine a grab like that and I still haven’t committed myself to the pledge I made? That’s about to change as I’m in bed typing away on my phone :)

Excuse/Justification
I must say I signed up late on January 18th and so my first challenge was issued on the 19th. Why it was only the 19th of January, the challenge was already at ‘Topic #20′. My First Challenge was emailed to me at about 12:22pm, which I open and read like I did with all of the other Challenges sent to me until the end of that week (January 22nd) and basically up to today. I must confess that I have thought about the challenges, but have just never got around to write on them.

First Challenge
Surprisingly my first challenge was: What’s the most important thing you’re putting off? And why haven’t you done it yet? What do you need to make it happen?

I gonna digress again. I think perhaps why I never start blogging on January 19th was because I had too much important things and couldn’t choose one. Like finishing the interior designs of my new house, making school arrangements and visiting friends who have been scattered all over the globe.

In answering why I haven’t done either is as simple as saying one of three things. One, financial drought or a lack of money experience I have been having and secondly, I was concern how my readers would take or view this everyday writing or once a week, which more or less was different from what they had grown accustom to reading. Finally I was concern about finding the time daily to pledge.

What do you need to make it happen? Committment. I need to seriously and wholeheartedly pledge myself to this task as I would do to any other. After all WordPress.com said it will help me to “produce high-quality content, boost…[my] readership, and make the most of all the fabulous WordPress.com features.”

Will all that consider, this is my first post in the The Daily Post at WordPress.com Post a Day Challenge; its late in coming but its the beginning of a journey with me…into my mind with various daily topics.

I wonder what I’ll write on next…mmm



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