MY HOSTEL LEGACY

STUDYING (101)

Study could easily have been the second name of every GBSS Hostel Boy. The only thing we did more than studying was eating – three regular meals per day plus Afternoon Tea… Except on Saturdays, we had study periods every day of the week and twice on Sunday (seriously). Saturday evenings was reserved for “Literary League” at which we honed skills in debating, presentations, and parliamentary procedure.

Study Period began promptly at 8 p.m. Study periods were: Forms II-III (8 p.m.-9 p.m.), and Form IV (to 10 p.m.). Forms V and VI regulated their own study after 10 p.m. These were people studying for annual external examinations

By the end of year 1, any boy would be acclimatized to organized study. The younger boy linked impressive results by seniors to seeing them hard at studying. The presence of seniors in the study room was always a damper to any junior exuberance. In addition, Prefects were always present to have any errant boy stand in the corner and still do his work. So Hostel Boys became ‘students’ who took studying very seriously.  Boys developed their own study methods and timetables. Secondly, meaningful study took you into a world of reading, thinking, taking ideas apart and then reconstructing them. This was not a ‘passing fancy’ but something you discovered later was what effective people did in working life. And study required discipline; something had to be given up (sleep, perhaps) to do it, and to do it well.

I am often at odds with the North American concept of ‘students having fun in the classroom’.  Some teachers equate entertainment in the class with fun. The experts themselves do not specify what will guarantee this objective.  I don’t see how they could since study enjoyment is so personal. My own view of what is fun in classes or individual studying is purely and simply discovery – discovering some new twist to an old problem; discovering what the author of a text is trying to communicate; or seeing the possibilities from new angles, even if you might not necessarily agree with some views.

Much of this ability to discovering new leads and understanding communication comes from an ability to read. Many adult students, for example, would be horrified if they were told that they do not, or cannot read well. This includes not having developed the ability to ask what the author is trying to communicate, far less to understand what the author is trying to say, and to add their own thoughts from their own experiences. The latter point is important. I, for one, was not averse to penciling notes in my textbook, even to express what farmers’ bulls do, when I did not agree with an author. But then I had to have a dissenting and reasonable view!

Studying, like other aspects of young life, should set the individual up for later life. I used to tell my children, and I now tell my grandchildren that they have a job. Being a student is a job! Their job as students is to study. They get paid by their parents with love, food, clothes and shelter, the same stuff that their teacher buys with her wages. So the lesson is to work hard at studying; do a good job at it; and that will serve them well in later life. Anybody against this motion?

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3 Responses to MY HOSTEL LEGACY

  1. barry noel says:

    Hi, Its been a long time.

    I think i have caught up with you;please give me a shout.
    Hope to hear from you.
    Thanks
    Barry

  2. bobby says:

    I am happy that you find the blog interesting. Much of what is written on the blog can be seen as ‘matters arising’ from the book, and from the Hostel experience. I recognize that social and other conditions have changed which might affect the applicability of any principle that was in vogue over fifty years ago. I do not suggest that they are better than what exists today. I only ask that people read them think about them and express an opinion. In the process someone or ones may be helped. I think much of what I do is consistent with your sentiments, and I would like to see some more on your propopsal and strategy.

  3. I am proud to say that I do take pleasure in reading your blog but I think there is more to be done. So much more! How then do we being? Here is a small strategy

    1.) Create a database of all our intellectuals domestically and internationally who wish to participate in Generation Generativity

    2.) Call a conference locally and Internationally (Caldwell and friends can coordinate Canada and all the Canadian provinces) He is doing something fantastic with BigDrumNation.org

    3.) Duplicate #2 for all other cities in the continentatl USA and Grenadians living anywhere else in the world

    4.) Create small groups in each city locally and internationally

    5.) The agenda must be standardize and must be duplicated in evey place where Grenadians reside. We should be the first Caricom Nation to sping into the 22nd century to take ouver the raw resources of our Island Nation, we should be the intellectuals ( well I am not yet validated by Strayer University) to control our beach fronts, our hotels, our national buses should be proucured,( e.g.Hey Leroy) We need to use our intellectual resources. We need to give back.

    6.) We need a national account. Money is a factor in rebuilding, we need men, women and youthws of moral, spiritualm,financial integrity to lead our nation into the future.

    7.) Grenada has a lot or raw resources that we could utilize. With a new attitude to change and implementation of technological equipment GRENADIANS can join “with hearts and hands and unity to reach our destiny” (verse of The National Anthem of Grenada)
    8.) Dr. Phillips you can be a torchbear. I have the idea the rest of Grenada who has the intellectual resources can make it happen.

    9.) This is not a political movement, this is an approch to change Grenada through Generation Generativity.

    10.) If not Grenadians who? “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. JFK.

    If this makes sense to any Grenadian please get in touch with me. annettewcoxall@gmail.com GrenadaWestIndies.net

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