Apr 9, 2016

Communication Studies Trip to T&T

English Department
St. Stanislaus College.
April 5th, 2016

In fulfillment of a widespread understanding, application, and further knowledge of the constituents of the Communication Studies syllabus, the students pursuing the said subject at the 6th Form level of the St. Stanislaus College participated in a one week trip to the island territory of Trinidad and Tobago. On this trip there were numerous expeditions and lectures that impacted upon the knowledge and comprehension of the students, not only for items regarding the subject, but for other C.A.P.E.-oriented disciplines such as Caribbean Studies, Geography, and even Chemistry to some extent.
Departure from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport at 8:05 am was the commencement of a delightful and interesting trip.
Arrival at Piarco International Airport
Lunch at Halyconia Inn.
Activities of education officially began on Monday, March 28th  – one day after the arrival of the students on the island of Trinidad and Tobago. On the given day, the participating students, by way of organized transportation, travelled from the hostel on the outskirts of Port-of-Spain, along the western coast of the island of Trinidad, to the small town of La Brea, south of the island. Here, the students, by way of a tour guide, explored the pitch lake and learned about the nature of the said area. That was followed by a visit to San Fernando Hill. The view was spectacular and interaction with the picnic goers was epic.
The Group at Pitch Lake
Pitch Lake in La Brea

The participating students also visited the school of Brazil Secondary situated in the town of Brazil on the island of Trinidad on Tuesday, March 29th. Regarding the activities on the given day, there were interactions between students of both schools – the St. Stanislaus College and Brazil Secondary School – regarding renditions of both countries’ national and cultural songs by the students and introductions to the G.L.O.B.E. foundation of which the Brazil Secondary School is a part. An invitation was extended for our school to join the G.L.O.B.E. program and had the opportunity to interact with NASA scientists. A planned program of fun activities subsequently ensued and establishment of friendships was the outcome.
A Talk on Dialetical Variation.
Cooking at Brazil high
Mud slide.
Having fun while interacting with Brazil high
Thea Tobin presenting a clock to the class at Brazil high.
St. Stanislaus and Brazil High playing cricket.
Kevon Roach presenting Ms. Madoo with a token of appreciation from St. Stanislaus College.
Ronique James presenting Sir Ali with a token of appreciation for hosting St. Stanislaus College.
Heading to Brazil High School
On Wednesday, March 30th, a meeting with the Communication Studies class of the Arima North Secondary School, in which the students took part in a panel discussion, on what is a dialect, what is Standard English and its uses, the use of Creole in social situations. The students also participated in the working of the 2014 and 2015 past papers. They were showed the techniques engaged in answering of CAPE questions by Ms Henry and Ms De Abreu. Students were engaged in listening to a Trinidadian Story name “De Beauty Contest”. They then took part in the exchange of culture with the Trinidadian students through the recital of folk songs and rhymes from both countries. Also sampling of Trinidadian cuisine was a part of the day’s agenda.
Students from St. Stanislaus College and Arima North Secondary working on CAPE Communication .
Students from Arima North Secondary with Mrs. Koalie and Ms. De Abreu
On Thursday, March 31st, the students embarked upon a trip to the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, where they received firsthand and enlightening lecture on the discipline of linguistics, closely relating to most aspects of the Communication Studies syllabus from trained professors of the institute. Moreover, the students were given additional lectures providing knowledge in areas of the languages of the Caribbean, linguistic development in Guyana, including the formation of the now extinct Dutch Creole and the nonstandard Creole we use and speak today, along with its derivatives. Following the full day of lecturing, the students participated in open forum discussions and even small quizzes upon which some were awarded prizes for their correct answers to questions.
Back Row From Left:  Cleon Bovell, Dr Ben Braithwaite, Salena George, Michael Thomas, Kimberly Sparman, Althea Duncan, Carlisa  Ifil, Pierre Squires, Chandanie Getram, Quedeeze Lilliah, Sonia Adolph, Trenicka Clement, Shania Wilson, Rondell Austin, Carlos Gonsalves, Christopher Langevine, Schauvonne Perreira, Casey Ramos, Charles Elliot, Lisa Henry.

Middle Row: Kevon Roach, Megan Da Silva-Ally, Sandhya Persaud, Alexandrina De Freitas, Deopaul Somarwu, Tiffany Charles, Jomeala Gilkes, Marion Adridge, Melinda Hercules, Sharen Henry, Kendrea King, Dr Nicole Roberts, Gavin

Front row:  Josh Oodit, Thea Tobin, Kadeem Bowen, Wanella Griffith, Ronique James, Najuma Greenidge, Leah Nurse.
From left Najuma Greenidge (GHOD),Lisa Henry (GSM)Sabina Tappin-Daniels(AM)Hugo James(GAM)

Friday, April 1st, students were given the opportunity to shop in Port of Spain and Trincity Mall after which they were given a brief tour of University of Southern Caribbean (Adventist University).
Saturday, April 2nd,  saw the students packing for return trip then a visit to the zoo, a movie at Movietown Mall and a birthday celebration for Pierre Squires whose 19th birthday was on the same day.
Return to Guyana on Sunday, April 3rd, at 4:15pm.
On behalf of the entire group of students and staff, we wish to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation for the kind and generous assistance of the Toronto Alumni Association, the College Association locally and the Board of Governors who all contributed to making our trip possible. It was certainly a huge success and was both educational as well as enjoyable.
Yours for progress
Ms .Lisa Henry (GSM)
Ms. Najuma Greenidge (GHOD)
Mr . Hugo James (GAM)

Ms .Sabina Tappin-Daniels (AM)

Student Essays

Schauvonne Perreira                                                               2016-04-15

My first encounter with the beautiful Trinidad and Tobago

“Hello! Hello! Hello! Put away all cellphones! No photographs! No photographs!” shouted the tall airport security lady with a stern  face as she made a swift sweep  pointing both of her hands in the direction of the small sign at the top of the wall that said ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED IN THIS AREA’. My phone almost fell out of my hand as I was startled by that loud voice of hers. The sunroof of the Piarco International Airport with its colour stained reflective glass was a picturesque sight that was exhorting me to photograph its beauty. Reality struck me as the ear- piercing Trinidadian accent collided with my eardrums. The Communication Studies trip to Trinidad was really happening! I finally felt in the moment. I finally felt the thrill of being in Trinidad. The study of the dialectical variations has already begun. I was already looking forward to the upcoming seven days in this country with my colleagues.
My alarm went off at four am the next day; I got up and prepared myself for the day’s activities. This being the earliest I have gotten up in a long time illustrates how anxious I was to discover Trinidad and her people.  We (the Communication class) found ourselves at La Brea Pitch Lake, the largest natural deposit of asphalt in the world. The history of the lake is an interesting one as it is a part of an Amerindian folk tale which states that the Pitch Lake was a punishment from the Gods. The retribution was on the Chaima Indians who cooked and ate the sacred Humming Birds while celebrating their victory over another tribe. This angered the Gods who caused the earth to open up and swallow the entire village, leaving in its place the molten pitch or La Brea, which means tar pit.  It’s amazing how so much history can be held in one place. It was recorded that artifacts such as bones of a Giant Sloth and a Mastodon’s tooth was pulled from the Pitch Lake. This Lake is mined for pitch which is converted into asphalt in the factories. It holds approximately 10 million tonnes of asphalt. It is the world's largest commercial deposit of natural asphalt, which is mined and exported for use in manufacturing and road paving.
The drive to Brazil Secondary School really granted us the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the scenic Trinidad. The mountains that outlined the coast were visible at every standpoint in the shimmering sun. The houses on the hills were a true beauty as they were built in some angles that I never thought were possible. Some appeared to be leaning down, pointing up, slanting left and slanting right but it was the mere uneven terrain that created the illusion. To see houses and buildings built on an asymmetrical territory demonstrated the skill level of the construction workers in Trinidad. It was evident that the twin island had a rich history as the architecture of the buildings spoke of the colonial period. Some of the designs and layouts were antique with much attention paid to detail but as soon as the bus entered Port of Spain the Western theme was quite evident. The meters high of glass and steel held up the clouds whilst the paved roads and over head walk ways comfortably accommodated the four lane roads. The corkscrew roads that neatly circled the mountains were a spectacle as they accommodated two lanes which the drivers effortlessly maneuvered without colliding.
My colleagues and I proudly sung our national anthem and said our pledge to begin the ceremony at the Trinidadian school. To my astonishment, the Brazil Secondary School has no connection with the country Brazil but instead it is named after the village it is found in. After being entertained with a song, the steel pan and other items, we were invited to join the students of the Brazil Secondary School in some outdoor games such as football, cricket, basket ball and slip and slide. Leaving Brazil Secondary School energized, we visited the largest mall of the Caribbean, the Trincity Mall. This mall has a total of 2 million square feet, an area so large that we didn’t even get to visit half of the stores in the hour spent there. However, I was fortunate to meet Minnie and Mickey Mouse; two of my favourite childhood characters. Minnie Mouse all clad in his bold red pants, crisp white shirt, pitch black cape and shimmering gold bowtie exclaimed in his deep Trini accent “Oh My God! You are beautiful!” when I took a photograph with him. Who knew Minnie Mouse had a thing for Guyanese girls?
“Welcome to the University of the West Indies. I am Professor Ben Braithwaite” the hospitable linguist vocalized as he addressed us. We were all attentive to what he had to say. His presentation on Linguistics captured our attention as he incorporated intriguing videos and tape recordings. We spent the entire day at UWI completing a timetable of activities. Yes an actual timetable was prepared by the university coordination crew and Miss Henry to facilitate he smooth flowing of the activities for the day. Two entertaining and informative presentations were delivered to us on linguistics along with a tour of the UWI faculties. We were also allowed to have a taste of the food courts on campus and have lunch among the students of the university. Group photos were taken in the backdrop of an artistic wall which was covered with a carnival of colours. A folder with booklets, a pencil and a wrist band all with the UWI logo on them were gifted to each of us. We were also invited to consider UWI as one of our options for further education.
The trip to the twin island was used as a relaxation period for me. It helped to take my mind off of my usual studies oriented schedule. It was a week well spent. Furthermore, it may have been the most productive week of my life as we engaged in several activities everyday, which challenged me both mentally and physically. The trip has left me renewed and refreshed for the new school term. It has also enhanced my social interaction skills as I was given the opportunity to interact with complete strangers in a foreign land. I even built the foundation for friendship with some of my colleagues that I never spoke to and even with the Trinidadians that I met throughout the journey. This educational trip was also a medium of me cleansing my soul of all the hatred that I had in my heart. I no longer feel that negative energy because of all the love and support that emanated from the teachers that accompanied us and even my Guyanese counterparts. I now see the world in a different light and have realized that there is good in everyone but all it takes to discover that good is a simple initiation of conversation.

Communication is the key to a stress free life and if it wasn’t for the trip I would have probably still be assuming and judging instead of conversing and discovering the truth.

Carlos Gonsalves
I would like to imagine that my communication studies class trip to the small island nation of Trinidad from March 27- April 2th 2016 would be the closest thing I would ever experience to a pilgrimage (experience wise), however I doubt this would be the case. But in many ways I consider this to be an enlightening experience, both for the body and my mind.  After months of anticipation, planning, concerts, sales and movie nights, forty plus students for the Saint Stanislaus College communication studies class gathered at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport. Our bright eyes overpowered our sleepy yawns and sluggish movements from having to arise in the wee hours of the morning. For many of us, the students, it was our first time traveling without family members. For many more, it was the first time on an aero plane. Personally, it was my first time traveling and staying in another country on my own, as a “responsible person” so to speak so quite frankly, I was very eager even though I would miss my family and friends as it was the Easter vacation after all. But never the less, excitement outweighed any negative emotions. Who knew what Trinidad had in store for us? Even the four teachers accompanying the students on this trip; sir James, Miss Grennich, Miss Tappin and our communication studies teacher, Miss Henry felt like part of the flock, four of our peers. They acted as though they were responsible older students, enjoying the trip just as much as we did. My being craved to be on a flight again, and as the aero plane reached breakneck speeds on preparation for takeoff, I knew this was the beginning of a modern day adventure.
                       The flight was surprisingly short, possibly due to me nodding off, my mind soaring between the clouds. I had been in Trinidad’s airport before, but just the airport, but as we walked through the terminal, it still felt as though it was the first time, everything about Piarco International was different from what we were accustomed to, the air, the architecture, the stores and especially the restaurants. I was fresh out of the baggage claim when I brought my first subway six inch sandwich, and I felt an odd delight as I ordered every dressing on it as the cashier clerk looked at me with a bewildered look. Our place of residence for our eight day stay was a splendid little accommodation by the name of Halyconia Inn which was nestled right into the heart of Cascade Valley near Port of Spain. Our first experience of Trinidad was a little excursion just hours after unpacking our suitcases to the renowned Queens Park Savannah, a massive park in downtown Port of Spain that makes Guyana’s National Park look like its little brother. Now, on the way to the Inn, we certainly noticed the beautiful mountainous scenery and the unusual hilly terrain of the nation but it was another thing to actually feel the pull in your legs as you had to descend and climb these hills. For a group of students who have been living on relatively flat land for most if not all their life, you can expect this was a bit of a challenge, but never the less one worth the experience, especially for the geography students within the batch, like myself, who noticed all the angles, slopes, rock formations and flora of the area. The infrastructure of the Island was one to behold, the numerous pristine colonial era buildings, massive skyscrapers and commercial buildings and cozy homes embedded into the hills was a uniquely interesting sight to behold.
                       On our second day we ventured towards the south of Trinidad to visit an inactive volcanic pitch lake, this was one of my favorite places as it was so interesting, the lake is actually composed of liquid , solid and semi solid parts. As we walked out on the lake, our tour guide, an elderly lady, pointed out patches of burnt grass that have dried and was ignited by the sun. The interesting fact about these spots though was that they never stopped producing smoke until it rained. According to our guide, this was so as pocket of non-harmful volcanic gas was continuously being released. The upper layer of the lake composed of solid and semisolid spots and the closer we ventured towards the center or ‘heart’ (liquid area) of the lake the deeper our feet sank with each step. We could feel the wind blowing the heated gas against our skin. As we walked to examine the mineral rich water on the cracks on the lake, we could feel the heat from the pitch radiate through our shoes, it was truly a fascinating and educational experience. Before departure, our guide shared with us some common Trinidadian terms and local slang, displayed several Amerindian artifacts that have arisen from the lake over the years as well as a story of a young man who fell into the heart of the lake in 1998 and barely escaped with his life, thanks to the efforts of many to pull him from the depths. After the visit to the lake, our bus driver offered us a tour of some interesting sites, which included a temple in the sea built by a Hindu monk. Any non-vegetarian is prohibited from entering the temple, but at the time of our visit the temple was closed. We also ventured to an intriguing looking natural monument on the top of a rather large hill. This turned out to be San Fernando Hill. The view from the top was truly spectacular, there was 360 degree vision stretching for miles around. The tranquility and peacefulness this area offered was unrivaled.
                  Our next destination the following day was a visit to Brazil Secondary School. What was expected to be a long, relatively uneventful day took an unexpected turn and resulted as one of the most memorable days of the journey. At Brazil, we Guyanese students were first treated to a presentation of various initiatives by the first formers of Brazil Secondary. One such initiative was the GLOBE which was an interesting project that should be undertaken in Guyanese school. This programs offers students of various levels the opportunity to collaborate with several notable science agencies worldwide such as NASA. Following this the extremely courteous students of Brazil engaged us in several activities and games such as basketball, football and cricket as well as a water fight to end the day. This was an especially enlightening experience as it was the first true interaction with persons speaking with a Trinidadian accent. This demonstrated how easily bonds can be made and how friendships can overcome barriers such as language and distance. Following this was a trip to a second school Arima North Secondary. This visit focused on a more academic standpoint as we were awarded the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and share answers for 2014 and 2015 communication studies past papers, the student of Arima North Secondary were very knowledgeable and well read, seemingly on par with us, Saint Stanislaus College Students in the field of communication studies, however during some discussions some students proved difficult to understand due to their dialect and different lexical items. Following the discussions of the papers, both schools, we and the students of Arima North engaged in a song competition as well as a dance off, which was truly entertaining and proved to be medicine for the mind. After numerous goodbyes, hugs, selfies and jotting down of phone numbers and email addresses, we bid them farewell and made our departure.
                        Next on our Itinerary was another academic destination that we were all looking forward to and rather interested in. This was none other than a lecture on linguistics and a tour of the campus of the University of the West Indies Saint Augustine Campus. The campus was truly something different than I have personally ever seen. Our lecturer on linguistics, Professor Ben Braithwaite was an interesting, eccentric, motivated lecturer who never failed throughout his two hour plus lecture to capture our attention. Not only was this lecture fun, interesting and interactive, it also was very educational and informative as he pointed out several characteristics of the English and creole languages, for example the “s” to form a plural means not one  and not more than one as we thought!  Our tour guide was a “crazy research assistant” who was overflowing with humor, sarcasm, witty comments and puns. He made the tour all the more enjoyable. For our next lecture after the tour, we were awarded the honor of having a noted Guyanese linguist lecture us. Dr. Ian Robertson was born and bred in Guyana and was the, man who discovered and documented an entire language before its extinction; Berbice Dutch Creole. He lectured was a mix of memories and linguistic characteristics of Guyanese creole linguistic features and language.
                       On the Friday, our teachers arranged for us to go shopping in the nation’s capital, Port of Spain. This day was my least favorite, not because of the lack of sights or items to purchase, but because of my personal lack of financial capacity to purchase them as I had already utilized a sizable chunk of my funds towards various fast foods and a few souvenirs I had purchased when we had visited Trincity mall the day before, the largest shopping center in the English speaking Caribbean. Lastly as we began to close down and repack our suitcases on the Saturday, we ventured to the Emperor Valley zoo. This place was especially exciting for environmental science students like myself, as the wide variety of species that the zoo housed was awesome. I was also awarded the opportunity to see animal in real life that I have never seen before, such as giraffes, Lions, Bengal tigers, Siberian tigers, baboons, chimpanzees and other various species of aquatic life, reptiles, butterflies, birds, amphibians and mammals.

                      In conclusion, I reiterate on my statement that this was an enlightening experience both for my body and mind, as the exercise, sights, interactions, educational experiences and cuisine were all amazing. In addition I was able to experience living and taking care of myself and others, being fully responsible for my actions and for how my school and country is portrayed, learning how to swim (in the pool at the inn) and learning the daily ins and outs of the beautiful, amazing twin island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. 


After months of planning with fundraisers, which included fashion shows, movie nights, ‘Trending Day’ and games, the Communication Studies class 2015/2016 of the St. Stanislaus College raised enough money to embark on the annual educational trip. Om the 27th March, 2016 at 5:00am 40 students along with 4 teachers made their way to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport for an hour long flight on Caribbean Airlines flight BW526 to Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
Upon arrival at the Halyconia Inn, everyone settled in and was introduced to the owners of the establishment. We then had lunch; Trinidadian cuisine and some students engaged in a game of either cards or dominos while others took a nap. Later that afternoon, Sir James took us to the Savannah Park which apparently has the biggest round about in the entire Caribbean. Since it was Easter Sunday, the park was packed. Children, teens and adults were all out in their best outfits supporting the numerous booths and games set up. The delicious smell of food was everywhere and everyone seemed to be having a good time. There was a stage set up and various artists were taking turns to hype up the crowd with their performances including the well-known Ravi B.
The week that followed was absolutely exceptional. On Monday, we mostly did some site seeing. First we had a tour of ‘La Brea’ which is a pitch lake. We were informed by our tour guide that the lake was where the materials used to make roads and roofs were mined. We then went to San Fernando Hill after lunch where there was a family fun day going on and where we got a magnificent view of Trinidad. We visited an underwater Temple afterward but were denied entry because we had all consumed meat at lunch. ‘Movie Towne’ was the last stop for the day where some students watched ‘London has Fallen’ while others saw ‘Gods of Egypt’.
The real work began on Tuesday when we made our way to Brazil Secondary School. We sat through an hour session which was planned by some of the students of the school, Ms.Madoo and Ms. Henry. Throughout the session, the students presented on the culture and heritage of Trinidad and Tobago while we did the same for Guyana. Afterward, we all engaged in games of cricket, kite flying and football but the highlight of our trip to Brazil Secondary School was the intense water fight that ended everything. It left everyone tired and of course, wet. That afternoon we left the school and made our way to Trin City Mall which was at least ten times bigger than Guyana’s City Mall. There, we did some shopping and exploring and after an hour and a half we went back to the Inn to prepare for day three.
On Wednesday we visited Arima High School where we were greeted by students our age. There, we were given an introduction on Trinidadian Creole and soon after attempted Communication Studies 2014 and 2015 CAPE Paper 02 with the students of the school. Of course, our teachers guided us and we were given some rather useful information on how to properly answer the questions which would guaranty any student at least a grade 2 when they write the examinations. Being the bold Guyanese that we are, we then challenged the students of Arima High School to a Nursery Rhyme/Folk Song battle. We went back and forth belting out rhymes and tunes but they were some competitive players. We than decided to challenge them to something we knew we would have won; a dance battle. Both countries sent their best dancers on stage and the screams and chants from the other students encouraged some great dancing from the Guyanese and Trinidadian students. In the end, of course, Guyana took home the gold. We then thanked the students and teachers of Arima High School for a wonderful experience, exchanged numbers with most of the students and left with a day to remember.
Thursday was one of the most exciting days of the trip. We visited The University of the West Indies campus. We were introduced to Mr. Benjamin Braithwaite who was a lecturer for the Linguistics Department of the university. He gave us a very informative session on linguistics and language. We were then given a tour of the university by Mr. Garvin Parsons and after lunch had two more sessions with very educational lecturers, one of them being Mr. Ian Robertson, a Guyanese who now lives in Trinidad. A games and challenges session followed with The UWI Linguistics Society, a group photo then the vote of thanks. After our day at UWI I’m sure that some students including myself were considering attending the university in the near future.
On Friday, not much took place. We went to downtown Port of Spain and did some shopping while on Saturday, some students along with Sir James went to church while some went exploring around town again and the others stayed and packed for our return to Guyana the next day.
Even with all the activities that were planned, we did not fail to observe the beauty of the land and people of Trinidad. Amongst the many hills and mountains where the population lies at 1.341 million everywhere was different from that of Guyana. The place was absolutely beautiful and clean, with a very reasonable cost of living. Due to them finding oil a few years back, the country has become very developed with the nickname ‘Little America’. The people were amazing and the food was tasty especially the famous delicacy known as ‘Doubles’. We also spent time observing the Trinidadian dialect and making comparisons and listing differences between that of the Guyanese dialect. All in all, the trip to Trinidad and Tobago was an educational and fun experience and I am sure that the students going on to upper six are looking forward to the trip that will take place next year. I know I am.

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