October 3, 1944
To: Principal Percival Davis
Address: Combermere School, Barbados
From: Austin Clarke
Address: St. Matthias, Barbados
Back in September 1944, I was enrolled into Combermere School, into its own ‘L2D’, or ‘Lower Second Form’, and it almost felt (in terms of the emotional environment) like the day I was born. I was enrolled into it with thirty other boys, almost ready to experience something entirely, completely different. Combermere School happened to be located in Barbados, a Caribbean island, and this was also my home country, for all my life. To add on, Barbados happened to be in Central America, to the right of the Americas’ own Mexico, amongst the most popular countries, as well as the NA’s very own third-biggest.
Why was I enrolled? It was because my mother wanted me to. And she could not have been happier for me, as she had just achieved something that was incredibly unexpected, and exceeded the expectations of everyone at our village. It happened to the extent that all the mothers of the village, with a hope for me being successful, cheered me on, told me to accomplish great things at school, said that learning would make me a better man, and, otherwise, simply wished me good luck on my way to school. Their motivation was very much required, and provided me with some optimism.
If one were to ask me how I felt during all of this, I would probably have said that I was very happy. Nervous, tense and stressed, sure, but I was also extremely glad, proud of myself, happy with my mother’s pride for my enrollment, and ready to conquer whatever awaited me. If I did bad enough, I would be a sanitary inspector, and if worse, a ‘book-keeper’ on the sugar plantations. But, doing well would have allowed me to become a civil servant, which had been my dream since childhood. To achieve that dream would have filled me with joy, and that made me more than prepared for Combermere School.
But, what of my mother? She was indeed very happy for me, as I pointed out before, and was prepared as to what she would put in my bag: books, puzzles, compasses, a biscuit tin, a fish sandwich and lemonade. She wanted me to learn all that could be learned, study all that could be studied, and be the best, most well-groomed by in the entire world. And yet… she did not want me to be a civil servant. Rather than letting me achieve my dreams, she would have rather preferred me to become a doctor, the safer, more ‘accepted’ job, than the dangerous sorts, which was in the form of a ‘civil servant’.
So, here I am now, a student in secondary school, writing to you an account regarding my experiences getting prepared for secondary school, to make my mother proud. My mother’s insistence resulted in me getting enrolled into secondary school, with me being very tense and excited, and my mother being happy; she wanted me to be a doctor, whereas I wanted to be a civil servant. I have learnt that, sometimes, experiences do not go the way you want them to go. It is advised that the principal impresses me greatly with this school, so that I do not wish to leave, and I hope that everything in this above account is extremely helpful to the addressee, to further their cause of better education.