B A N T A M

29/01/2017

The year 1963, a year earlier we arrived in Canada to be reunited with our mother from whom we had been separated for five years. Placed into the school system according to our respective ages in spite of our qualifications, we were undermined, through filial politics affecting our lives ever since. Not that there weren’t other contributing factors, via cultural considerations; but, I will not be relating these and other earlier experiences in this story.

 

I graduated elementary school after the first year, uploaded into the local high school, Central Technical School, claimed the largest high school in the British Commonwealth. We were all informed of this fact during our orientation assembly. It was a whirlwind experience, new for us all as we set about familiarizing ourselves with the layout among a student population numbering 2700, 200 of which were females! A dizzy undertaking amidst a mostly Eastern Europe and Mediterranean immigrants, adding the first wave of Caribbean emigres among which I numbered.

 

During my first week of high school, I was still unclear of the protocols in spite of having survived my first year as a senior public school newcomer. Unaware of having an accent, not hearing how I sounded outside of my thoughts, I received quite different indications from various peers in and out of school grounds. Those fell by the way like water off a duck’s back, as I had no emotional investments being unaware of their content and context.

 

Walking the halls, to and from classes, there had been incidents without context, except that I fended off intendant assaults as they occurred. Interestingly, unexpected support by interceptions from larger senior students standing nearby. All the while, there was little to no meaning in these attempted assaults that still had not registered to my naive psyche without social context. I continued in my orientation of this new world amidst a wide variety of nationalities and attempted to gain a stabilizing foothold.

 

All of us grade nine boys were told of an activity called ‘football’, a very different activity for those of us who recognized the term relative to ‘soccer’. A subtle form of conscription was in the works by way of creating a bantam level team in preparation for the senior grades from the hope of a talented team would emerge. I made the cut onto the roster formed, got called up and given football equipment with detailed explanation of how to dress from cleats-to-helmet.

 

After donning our equipment in the dressing room, I made my way to the playing field for initial practice with all the other niners. Before arriving to the full gathering, I was intercepted by the coach, a Physical Education teacher. It appeared there was late arrival to the school who he appeared to prefer on the team instead of me. Out of the more than twenty-something grade nine students, I was intercepted before joining the squad when he instructed me to return to the dressing room with this student. I was instructed to remove all my equipment, minus my jock-strap, and give them all to the new student.

 
Surprisingly, I could hardly breathe after the exchange that with that teacher, not-to-be coach. My mind went blank, emptied of all awareness as I walked out of the team’s dressing room feeling downhearted and mortally wounded, emotionally.

 

Curiously, weeks later an incident of grave importance putting my minor numbing incident into perspective, occurred on the international stage,. Without qualifying my comparison, there were two known fatalities during that month, a president and I.

 

 

c. 1962

A  Pivotal  Phase

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A Turn of Events

25/01/2017

Our lives are filled with joy and sadness tailored to our past growth inductions. This is just one such induction woven among goings on known and unknown. In my life, Life shoved me onto a path which involved job changes, learning in three institutions of higher learning and the martial arts. Of course, these were added to family dynamics labelled dysfunctional, as many of us live without knowledge.

 

Be that as they may, this strand was recalled in conversation with third cousin by marriage the day prior to my mother’s 88th birthday celebration preparation. We were comparing sad turn of events in lives affected by self-medication of varying substances, and my recollection was of a bygone era, the mid-seventies where Life was intermingled with benefits and deficits. This recollected scenario involved a woman who assisted me on various unexpected occasions, chain of events synchronized by unseen methods.

 

I was in the final year of undergrad studies in Fine Arts, competing/instructing a martial arts and engaged in part-time employment. A uncertain future lay ahead of me, one for which I was incapable of making plans save using my acquired degree to gain suitable employment. It was at this juncture I was asked about said plans to which I replied, “Find a job using my degree as basis.” This person made an interesting suggestion, one I would have never considered. He suggested I go into education, given my upcoming qualification and skill set in teaching martial arts, no more – no less.

 

A conversation with a friend from a previous university revealed a relative of his who was willing to shed light on this option. Thus began what was to be a series of exchanges with this person. Armed with less than basic information, unaware of what to ask, I shelved the possibility overshadowed by my many life activities.
The following year, after graduating amidst my instructing/competing and part-time jobs, it occurred to me it was worth applying for teachers college rather than continuing my usual habit of working multiple part-time jobs. My application was accepted, and one of my teacher-trainers was the same person who offered to inform me years earlier. In fact, during the following three years we crossed paths while occasional-teaching and initial contract-teaching.

 

This was a kindly/selfless woman, unbeknownst to me, in an influential position to hire me on contract in my early teaching years. Her intimate challenges took hold of her and I was unaware I could interpret and inquire into what appeared slightly off to me. I believed people would be forthcoming with their sadness, instead of subsuming and subsequently victimized by them.

 

Time passed, we drifted apart as I got further into education, while I continued with my martial arts journey and other sundry of involvements. In the middle of my career in education I was to learn she fell on hard times with her colleagues watching her downward spiral, people closer to her than I. Exercising caution in contacting her from a distance, I was in my own maelstrom of activities while she hit rock bottom, literally.

 

Years after the fact, details of her downward spiral resulting in her accidental demise, subject to her substance-of-choice, was revealed to me. I was dismayed reflecting on faded our relationship as the years passed, and was downhearted by its outcome. How we let each other down, using the many conditions in Life to excuse/explain the business that claimed our attention, is deplorable in spite of their popularity. Still, we’re culpable even by omission, which many also deny.

 

We are within the flow regardless of our perceptions, and I wonder still as I grow towards the inevitable, what’s on your mind?                 25.1.17         ~        02:43hrs

 

Conceptualizing

Efficacies of Life

20/01/2017

Whether or not recognized and/or accepted, this common understanding that abounds in society, the only Constant in Life is Change.

 

However, life experiences throughout childhood into adulthood has repeatedly taught me to not expect anything in particular.

 
Be there acquisitions good and/or ill, they have never been from desires/expectations. Neither, were they without dire accompanying aspects to sour, never sweeten, them.

 

Still, throughout these experiences, and beyond, I have done my utmost to maintain an equilibrium, a balanced view if you will, moving forward as Life progressed day-to-day/moment-to-moment.                                                                                                    17.1.17

 

 

Focussing...

In Time…

Smoking is Deadly and Expensive

Consider these findings:

$1 Trillion, annual cost to world’s economy from smoking and its side-effects

80% proportion of 1.1billion smokers living in low- and middle-income countries

$268billion Global revenue from Tobacco Taxes in 2013 – 2014

$1billion of that tax revenue invested in tobacco control

Indicates a planned losing proposition…

 
Overall review of Obama’s presidency

‘Ask for the Sun, settle for the Moon.’

‘Legacy may be the fact he accomplished anything in the wake of unprecedented opposition from Republicans.’ Greg Stock – Toronto Star 14/1/17

 
Late-Former Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia

On US Intelligence Agency’s excesses, including an attempt to push Martin Luther King Jr. to take his own life.

 

9b. Panorama '10

Superficial Overlay

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