What Not To Wear

When I was a kid in grade school, there was one day we all looked forward to: anti-uniform day. These days came far and few in between but this made each one special. The day you got to dress up in your own clothes at school for $1.

In The Bahamas, students must wear a uniform, in both private and public schools. Each school has it’s own rules concerning what was appropriate and allowed.

I went to two religious private schools for junior and senior high so the list of what you were allowed to wear was extensive, or minimal depending on how you look at it.

  1. When standing at attention, skirts or short pants must be past the tip of your fingers.
  2. Clothing cannot be too tight or fitted.
  3. Shirts must have sleeves (i.e. no tanks tops, halter tops, tube tops etc..) unless it’s being covered with a jacket (to be worn at all times).
  4. No visible stomach.

Leggings weren’t a popular item at that time so I’m not exactly sure how administration is dealing with it these days. The uniform rules were even more detailed.

Students in Kingsway Academy uniform. I went to this school from 9th-12th grade.

Students in Kingsway Academy uniform. I went to this school from 9th-12th grade.

Despite these rules, I would dress up every single time, because it represented a slice of freedom. Freedom of individual expression typically unseen in my knee-length hunter green skirt and white, short-sleeve button-up with the school crest on the pocket.

Two of my favorite outfits came about in 9th grade. One was a baby blue terry cloth J-lo track suit. The other was an Asian-inspired fitted shirt and some jeans my grandmother bought me that I still have and wear to this day. They were, to me, age-appropriate “sexy” when everyone else thought I looked so cute.

We on the uniform-wearing side of the fence used to wish that we could wear our own clothes everyday and those that do wear their own clothes to school would probably gasp at the thought of wearing the same stuff as everyone else. But I understand it. Worrying about what to wear is annoying and time-consuming as it is now, but imagine this during a time of teenage hormones and social pressures. Look at some of the issues American schools are facing with what is deemed acceptable school attire:

Leggings

Graphic Tees

Cheerleaders

These and many more issues could be avoided by simply wearing uniforms. Now of course, this does not mean it will eliminate social pressures… The brand of school bag (Kipling), shoes (Clarke’s) and brand of pants (Dickie’s) were all status markers. But think of how much less financial stress it would be if you only had to buy your kids 2 or 3 new shirts instead of an entire wardrobe each semester.

I think many of us could not wait until we got out of high school and into college so we could wear whatever the heck we wanted but for many in the work place, this still meant another uniform of some sort. In culinary school, I wore a chef’s uniform and my first “job” after college also had a uniform. In a way, all that uniform wearing just prepared us for the real world.

BP Time

I was having a bit of a creativity block the other day because I wanted to write something about schools, but I read a recent article from Huffington Post about people being late and I thought it totally applies to The Bahamas. Bahamians will show up late to weddings, funerals, work… just about anything you can name. There’s even references to people showing up whatever time they feel like to their jobs because they don’t care about being on time.1382030_539814226094096_948732163_n

Now I’m sure this is not isolated to Bahamians or even black people only, as the HP’s article didn’t indicate the race of the persons he had encountered, but I think that being late is a negative attribute commonly associated with black people.

I learned that here in Emporia, they don’t play that game. No, not all! If the bus is scheduled to arrive at 5:03, sure enough, 5:01:22 they are at the stop light at the entrance of the school.

I, personally am not a late person typically. I believe in the phrase, “You’re late if you’re on time. You’re on time you’re 5-minutes early.” If someone is scheduled to speak at the hour, it’s really rude to just be walking in and getting settled etc.

I know this may be hard for some Bahamians living abroad, but it’s advisable to adapt or you could find yourself losing credibility of co-workers and etc.

Cut Hip in Session

Yes, I need a cut hip for not blogging in over two weeks! Sometimes college life gets crazy busy and then sometimes you forget your password.

Cut hip is what we Bahamians call a spanking. Actually, the grown up phrase is cut a$$, you get the point. Spanking, whopping, whipping, beating…it all means the same thing to the child that has to go out to the trees in the yard and pick their “switch”, the choice item used for spanking.

I remember having to choose a few of my own. For a kid, sure the beating hurts like hell, but it’s the anticipation of knowing what’s coming that used to get me crying before I got the first lick.

I know many people these days are against corporal or physical punishment because they may thinks its abusive or counterproductive to teach kids not to hit each other and then you as an adult are spanking them etc, etc… All that is fine and dandy, but generally speaking a good cut hip never killed nobody.

There used to be a running joke that Americans should come to The Bahamas if they want to spank their kids because we don’t play that calling child protective services mess back home! You act up, you get a spanking, quick!

Of course, you have people that take it to the extremes and take out all their anger and frustrations on their children as they’re beating them, but I believe in biblical principles, one of which said that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. There’s another that says you should drive foolishness out of the heart with the rod of correction (Proverbs 22:15). Clearly, I paraphrased, but still, those biblical principles are what taught youngsters about respect and honoring your parents and older folks, not back-talking what you felt like. In some ways, cut hip replaced foolishness with fear because you (should have) learned that if you played the game or tried some mess, another serving of cut behind was coming up.

Back then, I could get beating from just about any respectable adult who saw me doing anything out of the way. Granted, I didn’t do too much, that thought was enough most times for me. Teachers could spank you followed by the principal, and if word got home, that could also lead to yet another spanking.

The point was that kids needed to know that their actions could result in serious and sometimes painful consequences. Does it work for every child? No, and neither does the same methods of teaching. Are some people more responsible in how they punish children? Yes. For me, when I have my child(ren), cut hip will be on the menu of punishment options along with other delectable items which are age appropriate. They will for sure have the option to “pick their switch”!

Is He Working for a Cut Hip??

*Warning: you are most free to share your thoughts and comments but I’m not going to entertain rudeness or anyone trying to convert me from by “barbaric” ways.

Summer Fun in the Not-So-Sunny Sun

Towards the end of summer, I went on an amazing boat adventure tour in which I got to see some of the Exuma cays. There are over 700 islands and cays that make up the Bahamas although most of them are uninhabited. There are some celebs that own a few private islands in the Bahamas including Nicholas Cage, Julia Roberts and Johnny Depp. But on this tour, I got to see these and some unique treasures that Exuma has to offer.

We did this on a day that a bit cloudy and actually storming in some areas. Imagine if the sun was out shining in its glory! Could you imagine?! Beautiful.