Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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23-25/3/12: Papine High and the journey home

Flight not until the evening, so pleased to have an invitation to visit Papine High, another shift school like Pembroke Hall High, close to where I was staying.  Invited to work with mathematics teachers on basic numeracy, a topic very close to my heart.  Often secondary teachers assume things are learnt when they simply aren't!  Thanks particularly to Maureen Small-Paul, one of our visitors in 2011, for organising this.

Quick dash to the main campus to sort out expenses before reversing steps taken 6 short weeks before, with Mr Spence taking me back to the airport.  However, torrential rain in Kingston meant that the incoming flight was diverted to Montego Bay before coming on, in the circumstances the 2 hour delay didn't seem too bad.

The delay meant I ended up in conversation with a young man whose name I didn't get, an employee of the airport who was giving out customer satisfaction questionnaire forms.  It turned out that he was a graduate of UWI, wanting to be a lawyer and needing a postgraduate qualification, meanwhile, doing a job to make ends meet.  I asked what percentage of graduates of UWI end up working in jobs that don't necessitate graduate status, and he reckoned it would be 80.  Of course, this may not be entirely accurate, and the figure for UK Universities would, I am sure, be higher than comfortable, but this made for a somewhat salutary ending to my time in this beautiful country.

So, on to the plane and off it 8 hours later.  I expect long distance travel to be uncomfortable and insanely boring, so I wasn't disappointed.  The sun was shining for us in Gatwick, and then, continuing the mirror image of the journey there, onto the Oxford bus.  The silence of UK roads!  The occasional 'swish' of a car going past, but otherwise nothing.  What's wrong with these people?  Don't they know where their horns are?

Met Mum and Dad at the coach stop, then onto their house, great to be able to flesh out my blog account and Skype conversations.  After church on Sunday with parents, Pete my brother and sister-in-law Carolyn, got in my car to drive home.  Now, not been in the driving seat for six weeks, so let's think about this carefully.  There's the accelerator - AND THERE'S THE HORN!!!!!!   Oh, there's the brake - but who needs brakes WHEN YOU'VE GOT A HORN!!!!!!

So back to my little house.  Thanks to Turid and Simon for keeping an eye on it in my absence.  Water reconnected, able to use the washing machine without having to buy tokens, but no washing line.  The return to home starts here.


I look forward to reflecting further on the Jamaica experience in due course.  In the meantime, my thanks to colleagues at UWI for hosting my visit, to the principals, staff and pupils of the schools I visited, and many other people for making the visit memorable, enjoyable, thought provoking and transforming.  Let me say now what I said at the end of my assembly at the Holy Childhood School - may God bless each and everyone of you always.

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