She was one of my lecturers when I did my BA in Literature at UWI Mona campus in the early 90s. She was (and probably is) one of the nicest and best teachers I have had. Her classes were fun bwoy! And often quite rude (benz bonnet as a phallic symbol – anyone remember that one?) And she used to host the best parties at her house in college commons – good food, good music and some interesting art. But apart from that I learned a lot in her classes. I learned the importance of observation – on many levels and the importance of bigging up yourself as a dark skinned, afro centric looking woman. That was and is important.
There were other fantastic teachers at UWI, Professor Baugh, Dr (now Prof Chang), and Mr. Smith, my Shakespeare lecturer. Now he was something else. He (and the others mentioned here) truly educated me in that they taught me to think and to appreciate the finer things in life and to consider the human experience. They made it clear that my education was an edifying experience, not a few years during which I could cram in as much information so that I could pass a few exams. I’m reminded of one of Prof’s (Professor Rex Nettleford’s) comments to Mr. Noel Dexter (who was the musical director of the University Singers when I was with them). He said, it that wonderful accent of his, ‘but Mr. Dexter, a butu is a boogooyagga!’;. Hilarious. But I recall that to say that the education I got at UWI ensured that neither butu nor boogooyagga was the result of my time there but a woman with an appreciation for people, literature, science and the arts and an appreciation for the efforts of educators like those mentioned here and elsewhere was the result. Some used to say when you said you were reading for a degree in Literature ‘den lawd missis, yu ah go dead fi hungry!’ but I’ve done alright on the salary front and I don’t regret the lit degree at all. I learned a lot and was privileged to be around some