Let me tell you all about my old girlfriend. Joanne is from Trou Macaque Laventille and went to some of the worst schools in her community, Hockett Baptist and Morvant Laventille Junior sec. Malick Comprehensive. She now has a PhD. (Rutgers English) When she first came to America she wanted to go to the big schools as told to her by one of her friends, you know Columbia, NYU etc. I told her forget it do like me start at a community college and then take it from there, at least all your credits will transfer. It took her four years before she partially listened , she started at Queens College. She soon became an honor student, Mellon fellow they call it and had a choice of three fellowships to pursue that terminal degree. She never paid a cent. She embraced education all the way putting behind all the negatives as she went along.
This is a long way from her childhood indeed. At one time her brothers and sisters thought she was going mad as she would go to the toilet to read. She did that to escape the loud music in the house and read till she dropped asleep. She said that she was destined not to be like her sisters, barefooted and pregnant or, like her brothers, illiterate. Now she can look back and say she has made it.
In between there was no name brand sneakers or hip hop clothes, she probably doesn't know who is Puffy or Russel Simmons. Instead she chose to read sonnets to me, drag me along to the museums etc. I tell you her only luxuries were the ocassional dig at Dunkins Donuts. She grew her hair in locks so as not to buy the perms and the gels. Most of my other friends called her plain Jane. Now I call her now Cosby's daughter. I can't wait to see her again to hug and tell her thanks.
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