Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Contest

I love my children. They are like small versions of me. Usually this creates tension and conflict. Like two positively charged particles repelling each other. And normally when I ask them to do something unusual it is met with consternation and dissension.

But occasionally not.

Last evening no one could think of anything fun to do so I suggested that we have a contest to see who could write the best 300 word essay in twenty minutes or less. You would think that this would have gone over like a lead balloon.

Davis chose the topic: Fun (wink). That is Davis saying the word fun and then winking like Barney on How I Met Your Mother, Season Two, Episode 19, Bachelor Party.

These are the entries. It's fun(ny) because there was a clear winner.

Fun (wink), by John Andrew Davis Hitch

Fun. What is fun. Its the thing you do to pass time. The types of fun vary from adventure to relaxation. You can have fun doing anything, basically. Adventure gives you the rush and excitement that people go mad for.

Fun is love and hate. Fun is an argument or a debate. Fun can be happy or sad. Fun can be writing a paper for your dad. These last few lines have been fun. I’ve been using a poetic diction and been having fun with it.

Anything you set your mind to can be fun. Fun to me is playing a kindhearted game of bang! Striving to beat and kill my that’s fun.

Lucas for instance loves to discuss Lost.

I love to write and make up stories.

My dad thinks having fun is having a writing contest within your house, hence this

My mom thinks going to the beach and swimming is fun.

Doing what you love is fun. And loving what you do is fun. People have different views of fun. It varies from who you are and where you come from. Any one can have fun. Fun can be anything you set your mind to. I could have chosen to write about a story I heard or a rumor. But the fact that I chose to write about such a variable topic proves that this is fun.

Fun is life. Fun is love. Fun is happiness. Fun is friends. Fun is what I do and don’t do. Fun is what I choose to do. Fun is nothing and everything. But most of all fun is FUN.

Fun (wink), by Dr. Neal V. Hitch

What's fun. What's up. Washcloth.

This last couple of weeks my brother's son has been visiting us. As we sit in the living room listening to jazz fusion I am reminded of when I moved into the apartment with my brother when I was 13. This memory, as we sit eating a light appetizer of cheese and olives, is pleasant. It has been a long time since jazz has held my subconscious. The movement of music through the room strikes me in a place that makes me want to write. To me, jazz has a way of creating creativity, while to others it is nothing but noise. But jazz is history and future at the same time. It is something and nothing.

I listened to a song today that my nephew wrote. I listened to it nine times. The guitar riff reminded me of another song. But I could not place it. I listened over and over again trying to recall a distant melody lodged somewhere in my memory. It was not recalled.

This exercise to me is fun. Not traditional fun like going to a theme park. Something different. A mind game. Stretching to make connections between points in your memory that only align when something triggers the synapses.

Jazz? Is jazz the trigger? I think that jazz is the trigger that reminds me of a day when I was 13. This is the same age as Davis, who is also sitting in this room listening to jazz. Maybe its more than a memory. It is a memory that I also see in the present. A moment when you see your past placed over top of someone else's present. This is the same feeling listening to Jared's song. My past placed over his present.

Is that fun for me? Yes, in fact it is. A pleasant moment now gone as we get ready to put on a video.

That's fun. That's up. Washcloth.

Fun:, by Neal Lucas Hitch

“F” is for friends who do stuff together: What's the point of having fun if you can't share your joy with anyone? So ever after it is, when two friends sit down and say those three magic words, “Hey remember when?” You would look crazy if you sat down with your friends while they were reminiscing and said to yourself hey I remember when we did that really fun thing the other day. Nobody cares! Its only fun when you share your fun.

“U” is for you and me: There is another way to have fun, but you share this fun with a different type of friend. A “girl/boy” friend. In this day and age romance is the new fun. Just with this friend your gonna have to find a little more to talk about. You can't just say, “Hey, remember when we made out in my truck for like an hour?” No, with this type of friend there is a new three magic words: “I love you.”

“N” is for anywhere at anytime at all: It doesn't matter if you are in math class or writing a three-hundred word essay if your friends are there. “Hey remember when we put that whoopee cushion under Miss Collin's seat in math?” As long as you've got your buddies or your babe you'll have a butt load of fun.

Do you know who won?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No Wall, No Barriers

"The Turks and Caicos Islands played a historic role in the launch of a new program, “No Barriers No Walls,” which is aimed at enhancing the awareness of the transatlantic slave trade."

This was from the Turks and Caicos Free Press last week. The article went on:

"Hundreds of adults and youths celebrated the momentous launch on June 14 of the program that is focused on keeping the memory of the slave trade alive in the hopes of preventing it from every happening again"

OK, so my quick blog worthy story.

During the session there was a sing along with a local Praise band leading "This Little Light of Mine." Out of the corner of my eye I saw this camera guy come up to take a picture of the Governor. I decided that I should start clapping and smiling just in case I wound up in the newspaper next to the Governor. I have seen this before here, a picture of someone looking totally bored and not participating next to a local official. Good thing, this is the picture that got published.

I spoke last at this event. Don't ask me why. When I was asked to participate I thought I was just doing a greeting. But everyone else read a prepared statement. This included the Governor, the Chairman of the Education Board, and some other dignitary. Then I got up and basically lectured on the importance of saving your heritage and then came up with a great catchphrhad to some everything up:

"When you understanding your past, you can understand your present, and with an understanding of your past and present you can plan for the future."

When I sat back down the reporter sitting next to me said, "That was great!"


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shark Mait

Do you know what would be a great. If all the guys with shows on the Discovery Channel had to go out to track wild animals with their mothers!

This evening we went up to North Creek to watch the nurse sharks mate. We got a heads up that yesterday there were a bunch of sharks right off of the shore at the mouth of the creek.

We went at high tide and there were in fact several sharks swimming around near the shore in very shallow water. Though I told everyone to bring snorkel gear. Only Davis and I did. Deneen thought I was joking.

Have you ever tried to watch sharks mate with someone yelling, "That's too close."

"There's one coming right toward you."

"Davis, you are too far out."

"Davis, I said you were too close."

Well, it is very cool to see nurse sharks mate. Davis and I were able to get within a couple feet of two. The nurse sharks come into very shallow water where their fins are sticking out. Then they flip over upside down. When they complete the process they swim off very fast as if in a frenzy.

It was so cool that we are going back tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grand Turk Community College Graduation

Last night Aliatte and Rueben graduated from the Community College on Grand Turk. Deneen and I went up. It poured rain. But that did not put a dampener on the event. The auditorium was so packed that we could not get in, but we stood in a back room and listened.

Aliatte graduated with an associates degree in elementary education. She was recognized for having the highest grade out of her class for her teaching practicum. She has been working at the museum for six years and has been indispensable to me for the three years I have been here.

Aliatte has grown in her abilities to work with children through the museum's Children's Club program. She actually told me once that her work in the Children's Club is why she wanted to go into teaching.

Rueben graduated with an associates degree in Electrical Engineering. He was the only one in this program to graduate this year. I knew Rueben from when Martin was at HR Robinson High School, but when we began the After School Homework Program after the September 2008 hurricanes Rueben began coming to the museum almost everyday.

I worked with him extensively on preparing a college application, I helped him with his essay, and wrote a recommendation for him. He is a good guy, and I really want him to succeed. He was accepted to the engineering program at Leicester University. He is waiting to see if he will be one of the few from the TCI to get a scholarship this year.

One of the issues here is that there was not enough accountability in the government scholarships that were given out in the past. An article in the paper a few months ago suggested that many students simply took there scholarships to the US but failed to complete their degrees. Now there is only a hand full of scholarships available and it is young people like Ruben who will be bearing the brunt...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Area "B"

Air travel this last few weeks has been awful. The day I was to leave for the states there was a huge lightening storm on Grand Turk and the airport closed. I was out on the first flight available at 2:30pm.

When I touched down in Provo I could see my US Airways flight loading.

Of course I missed it. After 30 minutes of arguing I was able to rescheduled the flight for the next day. I got on the next flight back to Grand Turk. I did catch the flight the next day. Home for 6 days for Martin's graduation. Then we picked up a rental car and drove to Pittsburgh. The one-way flights out of PIT were $285 compared to $560 out of CMH in Columbus. With four of us flying this is worth driving to Pittsburgh. We stayed the night at a Holiday Inn Express and had our room upgraded to a suite which was nice.

The next day Deneen, Lucas, Davis and I boarded a flight to Charlotte. Here we are under the "B" This has been a tradition whenever I have come through Charlotte since the March 31, 2008 blog.

This will be the last time. The family will be down all summer. When our contract ends in August we will be returning to the United States. One last summer of adventures.

This past Monday Jacob Hitch was to fly in to spend three weeks with us. I had to be in Provo for the kick off of the No Barriers No Walls program. A United Nations sponsored initiative to teach the Atlantic slave trade. Jacob had a passport issue and did not make his flight.

I flew back to Grand Turk and made hasty arrangements for Jake to catch his own flight from Provo to Grand Turk. Though we were a little stressed about it, the next day Jacob got here fine. We got him in the water to swim immediately. That is the rule. You have to swim on your first day here. And we did.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Martin's Graduation

OK, I have not written a blog in a long time. I have had plenty to write about. I have just been busy.

Last weekend I flew home to attend Martin's graduation. I did not think that I would be able to go, but as the graduation got closer and closer, Deneen became more adamant(utterly unyielding in attitude or opinion in spite of all appeals)that she wanted me to come home. One thing is she was afraid that 100 people or more were going to come to his graduation party and she wanted help with the food. In fact, I got home just in time to go grocery shopping. On Sunday I grilled 104 hamburgers and 48 hotdogs.

Martin graduated from the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center, a fine arts high school in Columbus. The graduation was as much a performance as it was a ceremony. The Metro Choir sang, the orchestra played, there was a performance by the dance company. And then 115 graduates walked across the stage and the child that I brought to Grand Turk three years ago picked up his diploma and set a course for his own life.