Back when I did the common entrance exam they would announce the results during morning assembly and one by one we would walk out and stand in line. Before I lose some of you I'll add a link to help you understand what is the common entrance exam https://www.theschoolrun.com/what-are-common-entrance-exams.
On we go.
Now that I think about it, publicly announcing the results probably wasn't a good idea. They certainly figured it out too because by the time my son did the exam not only did the results come in a sealed envelope but it the name changed to the SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment) all part of our efforts to establish our Independence (I am guessing).
I don't recall the reactions of the other children in my year but I know when I heard that I passed for St. Francois Girls College I was disappointed and confused. Disappointed that I didn't pass for my first choice, St. Joseph's Convent, Port of Spain and confused because I had never heard of St. Francois before. I didn't even know there was a place called Belmont!
I cried soooo much.
My parents talked me through it and said they would take care of it and arrange a transfer. Sweet!!!
I remember walking into St. Francois the first day of school and immediately falling in love with the landscaping. I am a country girl at heart. Okay, hear me out. I love the mountains and the serenity of the countryside BUT I hate frogs and toads and snakes and bugs etc. Sooo...I try to create my urban lifestyle in the midst of the countryside. It's called balance!
St. Francois gave me that balance. As the days went by and I started making friends and finding my groove the less I thought about the transfer. During my first week a few senior students walked into our classroom and said they were there to 'adopt' a baby sister. Rene chose me! She came right up to me and said...'Wait nah...is hair you have on your nose? Okay, 'hairynose' I am your big sister. Doh let nobody interfere with you!' I loved Rene from that day onward. Today, we are good friends. She is one of the funniest people I know! In fact, the funniest people I know went to St. Francois Girls College. For REAL! Something about the greenery and the food at the tuck shop seasoned our funny bone nice and sweet.
As we were nearing the end of the first term mum told me the transfer was successful and I would be attending St Joseph's Convent at the start of the next term. (Our school year back home (remember home is Trinidad and Tobago) consist of three terms)
'Are you crazy? I can't! I have a crew! What about my adoption? My big sister Rene will die! I have a family now! I have friends! THE HILLS!!!' Plus...we were already rivals with the girls at Convent. You know, as you grow older the rivals become less (they should!) and you realize we all have some greatness to us no matter what and plus also, it's not their fault they didn't go to St. Francois...😁😂😂😂
After endless tears (and lots of drama🙄) mum and dad decided I would continue on at St. Francois.
The next four and a half years turned out to be the best time of my LIFE with some of my favourite people in the whole wide world!
Denise joined our form two class and we've been arguing and debating and laughing and crying our way through life since!
Joann joined us in fifth form. We partied and laughed and cried and misbehaved our way into adulthood and we are still at it!
One year I forgot to wear my vest (tank top) under my uniform (I wasn't at the 'bra-phase' yet...probably still not but mind your damn business!). Michelle George lived nearby and fetched one of her grandmother's vest. LAWD! That girl never allowed me to forget that. GEEZ!!! I guess I owe her a tank top 😑
There is Candice, Marsha, Ayo, Shelly, Arlene, Melissa, Lisa, the Nicoles, the Natashas, the Michelles, the Tricias and so many wonderful women who made my journey through secondary school unforgettable! They each impacted my life in different ways adding flavour and colour to my life's diet. My girls in green and gold black and white.
This year I am honoured to be able to give back to my alma mater.
I am moved by the generosity of Arlene Hamblin-Smith, Melissa Alexander and Jannine Horsford who agreed to show grace by donating door prizes for the event.
I am blessed to call Lisa Sargeant-Rudd my friend. A friend who offers her shop as a ticket outlet year after year. Please check out her amazing designs https://lisafayesilks.com/.
Visit her store at 8 Patna Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad to snag your outfit and your ticket to join us on November 20, at the Central Bank Auditorium.
Look WE! Sweet as ever ALWAYS AND FOREVER!