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GAL FRIDAY: Brighter not always better


Veoma Ali

GAL FRIDAY: Brighter not always better

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I SAW THE LIGHT. Almost veered  off the left, because it was coming from the right.

Maybe this is the white light many claim to see before passing over.

 It was the ending of Passover a few weeks ago and my Jewish friend had invited me to his family home.

Just past One Sandy Lane, a Beamer beamed some bright, white lights as it raced into oblivion. I almost crashed into the people lining up for fish nearby.

Now reader, if you drive, you will know that lights on high beam can be very distracting. So imagine light about a trillion times brighter!?!

The experience was painful. The consoling coincidence which made me shed some light-heartedness on the matter was that my Chicago CD was in, playing the track Look Away at the time. But tell me this: how many of you have had to look away when the headlamps from oncoming traffic were too bright, white and mighty?

 If my boy Mighty Whitey were still alive, I’m sure he’d have done a number on this off-putting illumination.

Brighter is not always better.

And talking about brightness, some of these 11-Plus students sharp like rat teeth. Hearing some of them speak over the last few days has been very impressive. I know you may talk about the pressure of the examinations and question whether they are necessary and so forth, but what I will say today is not to tackle you in debate. It is simply to make a submission.

Mathematics and English are not the only subjects which form the basis of a solid educational foundation. A student’s sense of the world at such an early age should also be shaped by basic scientific thinking and a sense of the society around him.

Thus, science and social studies should be part of the common core of primary school education.

When I wrote the Common Entrance Examination, my test was not simply linguistic or mathematical. There were also two sections which dealt with science and social studies.

This approach allowed testing to be done on a more extensive level, without confining academic judgement to only two subjects.

But I am not one to get into the nitty-gritty of education. That is a simple observation from one who tutors high-school children, observing a lack of general knowledge.

Before I go though, let me ask you this: do you remember your 11-plus experience? For many of us it was decades ago, but I still remember my mother packing two hot dogs, a Kiss cake and a flask of Coke for break time.

During the break, I ravenously wolfed all of it down and the invigilator said: “I hope that going to yuh brain and not yuh guts!”

Well, it did and my mother was proud, at the end of the day.

This Sunday is about that special lady in your life who’s mothered you, sometimes bothered and smothered you, but who could never be replaced by another.

 Love and appreciate her, hear?

Veoma Ali is an author, broadcaster, advertising exec and most important, a karaoke lover.

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