Out of the Frying Pan & into the Fire

I viewed a television program that depicted a gentleman reflecting on his young life during the sixties. Inspiringly, I picked up my diary which I maintained since my elementary school days. My former teacher, Mr. Clark (now a National Commerce Bank senior executive and a major sponsor of Jamaica’s National Volleyball Team), taught us the importance of keeping a diary. Plus, he nudged us to write about our daily activities.

I attempted to travel back in time to relive the experiences that I read in the diary. I imagined myself to be looking through a crystal ball or hypnotic lenses as I perceived my life in its virgin form.

The most cherished experience of my elementary school days, was the one that taught me how not to succumb to peer pressure by standing on my convictions. I’ll expound on this experience in a pristine and brief manner in the following paragraphs.

I was in the fifth grade at Ewarton Primary School; who was somewhat naïve, and lived a sheltered lifestyle.

Naturally, I was susceptible to Doug’s, a classmate, wiles and penchant for attracting mischief. Doug was comical as he was adventurous. He was a free spirit – a cross between Mercury and Peter Pan.

The school bell rang. “Karl!” Doug asserted, “Let’s go to the principal’s orange orchard, today.” “Doug,” I replied, “Didn’t Mrs. Powers, the principal, stated that no pupil is allowed on her private property without her authorized consent?” “Yes,” he responded, “However, my uncle works for her.” “Thus, she is partial toward me because of my relation.” “Okay!” I resigned.

We were eating oranges that we picked off the trees. Suddenly, there was a shuffle behind a tree. “Who goes there?” shouted Mas’ Jones, a groundskeeper. Instinctively, Doug dashed for the fence. In a panic, I followed in his wake. We scaled a fence and traversed a vegetated plot. Suddenly, we heard a rustling noise behind us. Mike, a marijuana farmer, chased us with a machete for trespassing and trampling on his illegal agricultural enterprise. I thought to myself: out of the frying pan and into the fire. “Swish, swish!” he swung at us. “Yu bumbo ras cloth!” he cursed at us. I fell. “Clang! Clang!” clanged the machete against a stone. “Ahhhhhhhhh! Ahhhhhhh!” I screamed. “Yu sissy wuss, git yu bludcloth outta ya befur me limb up yu cloth!” shot back Mike. I gathered my composure and ran home as Doug disappeared over the horizon.

Reflections on my School Days Excerpted from “The Memoirs of Karl A. Mitchell”Karl A. Mitchell, B.A., M.A., M.A. is a consultant with the following companies: Drummond and Crawford, P.C. (www.drumcraw-law.com); True Systems Integration (www.tsidrvs.com), and Qui Ping Hu & Associates (email: [email protected]).