My years at St Marys College - Port of Spain, 1992 to 1998
It was a great achievement for me to pass the common entrance exam, now called Secondary Entrance Assessment, for my first choice. I heard that in my year you had to make above 95% to pass for CIC, the College of Immaculate Conception, the other name for St Mary's College. However, if you asked me now if they should remove SEA, I would say yes. I chose CIC because it was the best secondary school in north Trinidad, without knowing much else about the school.
I remember the first few days I walked to school up Frederick street. It seemed like a long distance but it really was not. Imagine my surprise years later when I learnt that these nowadays students were taking taxi to go from downtown to school in uptown.
Most students in my days disliked having to wear the shirt inside the pants. I was not surprised when I saw the changeover to shirt jacks years later. But now the dress uniform has a boring tie but at least not as bad the blazer that was there before my time. I am not a fan of formal wear. We live in the tropics, for Gods sake.
Since early forms I knew I wanted to focus on computer studies. I was facinated by what could be done with computers. No wonder I excelled at that subject. I even got a perfect score in my CXC SBA. Many years later and I would not change wanting to be in the technology space. Bits and bytes excite me.
As I write this, I am beginning to feel hungry, just thinking about the doubles and roti and custard cone from Choo Quan cafeteria. I have fond memories of intercol assemblies. There was no computer and internet at home for most persons in Trinidad at that time, so to have a functioning computer lab at that time was a blessing.
In my days there were less scholarships available and no GATE. The reason why I ended up in Morehouse College in Atlanta. CIC has a rich tradition of scholars, high office holders, scholarships and presidents medal winners. I think the reason why we are not ranking high in number of schols and pres medals in these times is because of the shift to produce more all rounded students and the availability of GATE and SAT schols.
One of my regrets is not investing in a camera during that time, as most of my memories are fading in my head. In May I will be 40 years old and the bits of gray hairs that are showing are telling.