Suffer the little c such is the King
Nothing affords me greater pleasure than the opportunity to engage in rap sessions with young people all over this land. The opportunity to rap with kids on their own turf, by which I mean to say their school, is always especially welcome. So, on Tuesday when I was asked to say a few motivating words to some 15 to 17-year-old Bocage students, it didn’t matter that I barely had two hours to get to the school. I said I’d be there soon after the lunch break, even though I had more than my fair share of work to attend to.
From talking with the teacher who had solicited my presence, I learned that some local celebrities had earlier addressed the kids. I asked and was told what they had said to the ostensible young leaders of tomorrow. I also inquired why the inviting teacher thought his students needed to be lectured by the local celebs: singers, musicians, social workers among them. And he said, “Well, some of them have a tendency to lean to the other side of the fence.” The students, that is, not their lecturers.
“In other words,” I said, “you’re talking about problem kids who need to be set on the straight and narrow.” “Precisely,” he said. And I said: “I wonder why it’s always the young people who are blamed whenever this country is in trouble. For how much longer will we continue to misdiagnose Helen? How many more times will the same medicine men offer their obviously useless voodoo potions while anticipating cures?”
He chuckled, and I said: “You know, I have a different point of view and I hope you won’t mind if I share it with your students.”
And the teacher said: “You wouldn’t be who you are if you merely echoed others. The kids have their own reasons for requesting your presence.”
I could not believe how dilapidated was the classroom that would serve as my platform on Tuesday afternoon. The desks should long ago have been dumped as health hazards. The windows were for the most part without louvers. And although, admittedly, I did not actually count them I imagine there were 20-25 desks in this room that could not have been built to accommodate more ten students—at any rate, with some comfort. The first row was barely two feet from the
Rick Wayne with Bocage students this week: The publisher and show host told a roomful of 15 to 17-year-olds that they were not to blame for their country’s sorry state. “You
tomorrow,” said Wayne, “but you would do well to start leading now—because the leaders of today seem to know only how to get Saint Lucia into more