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News Article

November 25, 2013
COB cultivating creativity in mathematics, physics and technology

NASSAU, Bahamas -- The most powerful tools for analysis and problem-solving emanate from innovations in technology and scientific discovery, a notion at the centre of a deliberate focus at The College of The Bahamas on the opportunities that Mathematics, Physics and Technology unlock.
The School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology recently used a week of activities to raise the awareness of the utility of these disciplines and how they are the linchpin of a fundamental understanding and development of the modern world. This was much the same theme that Antonio Stubbs, Senior Vice President of Technical Services, Transformation and Planning at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited delivered when he spoke to students and faculty.
As the demand increases for young, technologically shrewd individuals in the job market, COB students were challenged to use their knowledge, creativity and passion now to drive future innovations.
"You can't come here every day, sit in classes, take exams, get A's, graduate and go home and get a job. Put these brains together. Why can't you build the next super app? Why don't you guys put your minds together and develop some applications for the banking industry and the tourism industry?" he questioned.
Mr. Stubbs was the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony for Mathematics, Physics and Technology Week at The College and delivered a high-energy presentation, which captured the attention of the audience that filled the auditorium of the Harry C. Moore Library and Information Centre. He illustrated how technology has evolved so rapidly, particularly in the telecommunications sector.

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News Article

October 10, 2013
New Thought Christianity

New Thought is an umbrella term for diverse beliefs that emphasize practically oriented spirituality, promoting wholeness in living through constructive thinking, meditation, prayer and the realization of the presence of God. It's more than a century old and includes unity, religious science and divine science. Because it maintains that the mind is continually growing, New Thought is not a static system of beliefs.
While it acknowledges the importance of traditional religious thought as a part of the mind's development, it finds the permanence of dogma to be contradictory to the mind's natural striving for advancement.
New Thought practitioners believe there exists one God - an omnipresent universal mind or creative intelligence. It is a principle (not a being), an impersonal force that manifests itself personally, perfectly and equally within all. The universe and all within it are expressions of God - the creative intelligence - with no beginning and no end.
This New Thought Christianity is being practiced at Universal Truth Ministries for Better Living, located in Palmdale by Rev. Claudia Fletcher.
"As a spiritual philosophy, New Thought is not new," said Fletcher. "It was so dubbed because it came into existence in the late 19th century offering new paradigms, new and different ways of relating the mind and body and inquiring into humankind's nature.
"It was considered new because these paradigms were the first to be developed in America by Americans antithetic to the old doctrines that came with the early colonizers from England and Scotland. However, much of what was included was not new at all because many of its major ideas had appeared at some period in the history of the Christianity or other religions of the world.
"For example, its philosophical roots of idealism can be traced as far back as Plato (427-437 B.C.E.). The new in New Thought also refers to the fact that in order to achieve positive results in our lives, we must keep our thoughts in a constant state of renewal - having new thoughts every day."
According to the leader, the God of New Thought is not person, neither place nor thing, but a universal mind and spirit that permeates and interpenetrates the entire universe and finds expression through and as the mind of human beings.
"This Spirit is revealing itself to humankind continually through the reasoning mind and the whispering inward voice of intuition," she said.
"God is thus universal in scope and application; is everywhere and operates through the use of all-encompassing law. These laws operate constantly whether we know about them or not, and they function the same for everyone and everything."
According to Fletcher, depending on who is asked about New Thought, the responses can be varied. She said people have referred to them as "airy-fairy people", and even likened practitioners to a "cult". She added that none of the descriptors are accurate.
"New Thought is a system of thinking that almost everyone is familiar with; they just don't know it. Numerous authors, speakers, movie producers and even preachers [outside of New Thought], use New Thought in their works; they just don't call it by that name," said Fletcher.
"As a spiritual philosophy, it has a diversified following of individuals from a wide variety of religious backgrounds who now find spiritual nourishment from organizations such as Universal Foundation for Better Living (UFBL), Unity, Centers for Spiritual Living (formerly Religious Science), Christian Science and Divine Science. These organizations are united by the predominant belief in one God - universal mind, creative intelligence, omnipresent - principle (not a being), an impersonal force that manifests itself personally, perfectly and equally within all."
Universal kinship
Fletcher said, "New Thought stands for the universal kinship of all peoples; that it proclaims that health, happiness and success are the birthright of every child of God and denies that there is a future punishment.
"New Thought is about right thinking... thinking in a way that leads to positive results in one's life and affairs - health, wealth, peace and happiness. It teaches universal spiritual principles that enable people to build happy and prosperous lives and helps people to change their circumstances by changing their thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
"However, there is more to New Thought than right thinking, it is also a lifestyle, metaphysics and religion. The International New Thought Alliance Bulletin defined New Thought in a 1916 edition as a system that practices what Jesus taught - healing, unity, cooperation, seeing the good in others and trusting God for all our needs."
Fletcher said New Thought focuses on the divinity within humanity.
"We are spiritual beings or expanding ideas in the mind of God, forever held in the mind of God and functioning under and operating through the law of mind action," she said.
"It is dedicated to the development of the latent possibilities in people. Jesus is the model for expressing our divinity. Jesus is honored as one who realized his oneness with God and exercised power, mastery and dominion over his mind, body and affairs.
"The same authority is available to us when we, too, begin to understand the spiritual principles that govern our lives, acquire a new way of seeing things, and have a new thought about our experiences. Then we shall no longer accept the error belief we are miserable sinners whose brief life on earth ends in heaven or hell. 'The Father (Source) and I are one' is true and the realization of this indwelling Christ empowers us to live happier, healthier and more prosperous lives."
According to Fletcher, New Thought is considered a science because science is demonstrable and knowledge of Truth is also demonstrable. She said it is committed to finding and revealing the good and the beautiful in life.
"New Thought is also practical Christianity that empowers people to realize their potential by becoming consciously aware of the spirit of God within them," she said.
"Practical Christianity is more than an intellectual theory and can be understood by thinking logically beginning with a basic premise, adding clear-cut propositions and then carried sequentially to a conclusion."
She said many of New Thought Christianity's beliefs are derived from the Bible and the words of Jesus Christ.
Forward look
"New Thought Practical Christianity is not a backward glance at the life of Jesus, but a forward look at the Christ spirit in all people and the expectation of its fulfillment," Fletcher said.
"Whereas, traditional Christianity is founded upon a particular set of beliefs about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. This savior, God, is believed to have delivered and rescued sinful humanity. The New Testament focuses on how his blood was shed for us and how we are reconciled back to God because of his sacrificial act.
"In the past, New Thought Christianity has interpreted the canonical gospels in an allegorical manner in order to uncover an alternative interpretation of who Jesus was. However, discoveries of the mid-20th century have enabled us to study newly available documents that, even literally interpreted, closely resemble the teachings of New Thought Christianity.
"These scriptures, though external to the Judeo-Christian canon, provide the foundation for New Thought Christian teachings. The Gospel of Thomas is a primary example and resource for understanding of the message of Jesus and how the allegorical method of interpretation plays an important part in helping us to understand the deeper meaning of the canonical scriptures."
Fletcher said the key to understanding the gospels lies in the word "Christ". Christ is not the name of a person, she added, but the title given to the universal idea of divine son-ship. And that people must therefore discern when Jesus the man is speaking in the gospels and when the Christ speaks in its absolute.
"The second coming refers not to a literal coming again of Jesus, but to our coming into an awareness of the Christ within us," she said.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have eternal life. The Son of God is the spiritual potential of all humankind. The son of man is a soul that is not awakened to its divine origin and nature. The son of man is awakened to its divinity and consciously shows forth the likeness of God."

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News Article

September 16, 2014
New scholarship fund to help develop engineering sector

NASSAU, Bahamas -- A corporate entity is collaborating with The Bahamas Society of Engineers (BSE) to help stimulate the participation of more Bahamians in a critical sector in the Bahamian economy. BHM Co. Ltd., formerly Bahamas Hot Mix Co. Ltd., and the BSE have established a scholarship fund at The College of The Bahamas for civil engineering technology students.
The College recently received a donation that will fund a scholarship of $3,000 every two years for a full-time, undergraduate majors pursuing the Associate of Science in Civil Engineering Technology programme. There will also be an opportunity for these scholarship recipients to intern with BHM Co. Ltd.
Ebbe Saidi, Managing Director of BHM Co. Ltd., is convinced that initiating this scholarship fund was necessary in order to encourage more Bahamians to pursue a civil engineering profession.
"Civil engineering is about developing the environment. A lot of that type of industry is on the way in The Bahamas. Firms from all over the world are here and we felt that Bahamians need to enter the industry and take possession of the industry," he said during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding to establish The Bahamas Hot Mix, Bahamas Society of Engineers Scholars Programme.
Recipients of this scholarship will be students enrolled in the ASc. programme in the School of Mathematics, Physics and Technology at The College who demonstrates financial need.

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News Article

August 24, 2014
The cycles of life

My Friend, believe me when I tell you, that during my lifetime I've had some most wonderful, blissful, enjoyable, successful events take place which have indeed been most rewarding and satisfying. However, to be totally honest with you, I've also experienced a great deal of failure in both my personal and professional life at times when everything seemed to go terribly wrong. So the obvious question is, how did I deal with these very painful 'Down Times' which let's face it we all go through at times?
Well what assisted me greatly to deal with the tough times in my life was when I commenced my studies at The University of Metaphysics and became aware of The FACT, that The Universe and everything in it, including our individual lives, operates in 'Cycles'. That's right, there are the inevitable ups and downs which occur throughout the entire Universe, and the same thing applies to our individual lives.
So this to me is a most reassuring thought for I know that, although I or my business may be in a temporary 'Low Cycle' with things not going as initially planned; one thing I know is for sure, and that is that the 'Low Cycle' will not last forever because that's the way The Universe and everything in it works, including my life and your life.....in 'Cycles'. So My Friend, if per chance you're in a 'Low Cycle', cheer up for one thing is absolutely certain, and that is that the 'High Cycle' is already on its way for it's actually the way life works.
But D. Paul, how does a person cope with things when they're in a 'Down Cycle', many may query? Well, thanks for asking that most important question, and here's the answer. The key to dealing with the inevitable 'Low Cycles' in life is to remain totally positive and upbeat during the 'Low Cycle' KNOWING all the time, that the 'High Cycle' is already on its way. If you allow yourself to get negative in outlook during the inevitable 'Low Cycles', the next 'High Cycle' will actually come along and great opportunities will be staring you in the face, figuratively speaking; however, you will not be able to see them and thus take full advantage of them due to your negativity which blinds you to the 'Up Cycle'.
So, stay in touch with God through daily meditation so that you can remain optimistic, thus you'll be able to very clearly see the 'High Cycle' full of wonderful opportunities to succeed, when it comes around.
o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to 'Time to Think' the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

February 02, 2012
Where do we go from here pt. 1

The Bahamas like many other nations around the world in this 21st century is plagued with socio-economic challenges that seem to stifle the progress of our nation towards the path that leads to the desired level of peace, prosperity and security for our people.  The economy is certainly uppermost in the minds of our people as we tread through these turbulent times with many looking to the government for solutions to our economic woes.  However, there is a growing concern over the increased level of social degradation that we are experiencing as evidenced by the myriad social issues that we are confronted with daily.  Unfortunately, it appears that our young people continue to be the major casualties of this degradation.  This impact on our youth raises the fundamental question: Are we failing our youth and will we continue to lose successive generations of Bahamians to issues such as poor economic policies, inadequate education and social ills?
 
The current circumstance
At the government level, it appears that little progress has been made in improving both our economy and the educational system in our nation.  The inability of the government to diversify our economy to provide more job opportunities for its people is accelerating the increase in our poverty levels.  The recent global economic downturn has highlighted the inefficiencies of our economic model that is based primarily on the service industry with dependence on financial services and tourism.  It also stresses the regressive nature of our tax code and inefficient methods of collecting government revenue.  Most importantly, it reinforces the harsh reality of our gross dependency on the prosperity of the American and European economies.  The more we witness events unfold in The Bahamas, one can't help but wonder whether we are regressing rather than progressing.
Over the last five years alone, our national debt has risen to an astounding $4.5 billion, our debt-to-GDP ratio has increased from some 30 percent to approximately 60 percent.  Our deficit currently stands at more than eight percent and the unemployment rate has doubled during the last few years, contributing to the tremendous amount of foreclosures in our nation.  The government has justified its borrowing as the only alternative course of action to prevent a collapse in the Bahamian economy.  However, one wonders whether this was in fact the only option available and if agreed, if the borrowed funds were invested in a manner that benefitted a wide cross-section of Bahamians or just a select few.  The aforementioned statistics suggest that the funds were arguably mismanaged and invested heavily in infrastructural projects that benefitted a small percentage of contractors and companies while the country witnessed and continues to witness increased social degradation.
Being in a position where it was strapped for cash and with revenues down, the government has made minimal investment in social programs comparative to its investment in infrastructural projects and has significantly increased the tax burden on its people in addition to raising the national debt.  It is common knowledge that investment in key social programs is important for the sustenance of our nation and will help minimize the rising social issues that plague our nation.  Focusing on education, it is a given that an educated Bahamas will position itself to play a more vital role on the global stage.  The general consensus still exists that education in various forms including academic, athletic, social and culture among others, provides an individual with an opportunity to pursue a better way of life.  In The Bahamas, it appears that there are classes of Bahamian children who are being denied adequate education, particularly in the public school system.
 
The need for a better education system
The Department of Statistics' labor force report reveals that two percent of our labor force has had no schooling and six percent has stopped short of a primary education while nine percent of our total work force has not completed secondary education.  The aforesaid percentages suggest that approximately 20 percent of our working population is inadequately equipped academically to compete on a national level, let alone a global level.  There is further evidence that shows that approximately 20 percent of our work force receives a university level education while 10 percent attend some other form of tertiary education.  As a result, 53 percent of our work force attain at the most an education at the secondary level.
Combined with the aforementioned startling statistics is the fact that the national grade average based upon national examination results in 2011 sits at a discontented D average.  Even more disturbing is the fact that the D average includes the private schooling system, which if removed, will probably significantly decrease the national average.  It is reported that the recent examination results evidence that approximately 34 percent of 5,000 plus students sitting the English examination received C or above while some 24 percent who took math received a C or above.  Consequently, 65 percent of our children received an English grade of D or lower while some 75 percent of our children received a grade of D or lower.  The lack of sufficient teachers to teach key subjects such as math, physics, chemistry and other technical courses, has been blamed for these unimpressive statistics.  It is important to ascertain whether sufficient measures are being put in place to encourage more Bahamians to become educators.
In the absence of an aggressive recruitment process, are we exhausting all avenues to engage qualified teachers that will produce the desired results?  Further, what measures are being taken to reduce the overcrowding in our public system to provide for more favorable teacher-student ratios?  If we are serious about preparing the next generation for the future, greater emphasis must be placed upon adequate and quality education of our children.  We must see to it that more of the 53 percent mentioned above have the opportunity to receive tertiary level education and greater opportunities to obtain the same locally.  Of particular note is the long overdue upgrade of The College of The Bahamas to university status.
Investment in infrastructure is absolutely necessary to any society, but a lack of investment in a nation's citizens and, more importantly, the education of its youth will minimize or eradicate any lasting effect of infrastructural development due to a lack of qualified citizens in society with a propensity to increase social ills.  In this regard, it is welcomed news to hear that the Progressive Liberal Party has committed to doubling the budget allocation to education if it wins the next general election; however, such allotment must be dispensed in an effective manner that will produce favorable results in education.
Many believe that our leaders are bankrupt of ideas to address our failing education system.  The curriculum itself is widely believed to be deficient and outdated.  The lack of adequate education among our youth will inevitably lead to a further increase in social issues and will inevitably increase youth engagement in illegal activities such as the drug trade, guns and arms trafficking and anti-social behavior such as gang violence.
A lie has been sold to our children that the perceived rewards of these activities afford them a lifestyle that may otherwise be unattainable by securing an honest job and obtaining a better way of life through conventional norms.  The level of violence among our youth had increased to such an alarming rate that a school-based policing program was initiated by the Christie administration of 2002-2007.  It is worth noting that the current administration canceled the program in 2007.  However, their subsequent realization of the wisdom of the program in the midst of escalating levels of violence in our schools prompted the re-implementation of the program in 2011.  In today's Bahamas, our young people should not be faced with the challenge of having a fear of attending school due to violence among their peers; neither should teachers be afraid to carry out their functions as nation builders in fear of a potential violent backlash.
I believe that what is lacking in our society is an 'all hands on deck' approach in our society by our parents, religious leaders, politicians and civic organizations.  However, we must invest appropriately in the education of our children to acquire the requisite skill-set, diversifying our economy to provide opportunities for both educated and technical Bahamians, taking the necessary steps to reduce our national debt and deficit as well as implementing a progressive tax system in order to move our country forward.
Failure to implement the necessary policies looking at the current environment in which we live begs the questions: Is there light at the end of the tunnel?  Should we hope again?  Will the Bahamian dream be preserved for future generations?  Where do we go from here?
 
oArinthia S. Komolafe is an attorney-at-law.  Comments can be directed at arinthia.komolafe@komolafelaw.com.

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News Article

September 05, 2011
Union concerned about teacher shortage, dengue, state of schools

A shortage of teachers, the escalating dengue fever outbreak, and the state of some schools affected by Hurricane Irene, are some of the chief concerns that Bahamas Union of Teachers (BUT) President Belinda Wilson expressed as public schools open across the country today.
Yesterday Wilson said the public school system is short of about 22 teachers, particularly in the areas of mathematics and other speciality subjects.
Director of Education Lionel Sands, has admitted that the department does not have a sufficient compliment of teachers to teach the subjects of maths, physics, chemistry and several other technical areas.  Sands said the ministry relies on bringing in teachers from abroad.  He added that the ministry offers grants to persons interested in studying the more technical subjects where further assistance is needed.
Meantime, Wilson is also concerned about the dengue fever outbreak.
Thousands of Bahamians have contracted the vector-borne virus over the past two months, and at least one person has died as a result of the virus.
"I want our teachers to be safe.  Since we had the dengue fever outbreak I want to urge the minister of health to ensure that all schools have been sprayed for mosquitos to assist with student safety," Wilson said.
The union president also expressed concern about the schools that will have to open late as a result of damage sustained during Hurricane Irene.  The Ministry of Education will be relocating students at several schools on Family Islands impacted by Hurricane Irene, in order to ensure they are able to attend classes when the school year begins today.  However, students who attend Arthur's Town High School and Orange Creek Primary School on Cat island, will not begin classes until September 12, according to Director of Education Lionel Sands.
Sands told The Nassau Guardian in an interview last week, that students who attend Colonel Hill High School on Crooked Island and Snug Corner Primary School on Acklins, will be relocated due to extensive damage sustained to those facilities last week.
He added that schools on Cat Island were not that badly impacted by Irene.  He added that the hurricane interrupted summer repairs, which will be completed next week.
Meantime, Wilson reminded parents and teachers whose school routes are impacted by the massive road works across the island to plan ahead.
"I'm concerned about persons getting to and from school in a timely matter.  I'm hoping that teachers, parents and administrators map out the route so they can get to school on time.  I also want administrators to be lenient with some teachers and some students who have to travel where work is being done.  We have to be aware that it may pose challenges," Wilson said.
BUT is currently in the process on negotiating a new contract with the Ministry of Education.  Wilson said so far the process is going smooth.  She expects negotiations to conclude by the end of October.

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News Article

February 01, 2012
A young man who has his 'head on right'

At first glance, he seems to be like just any other young man his age with the usual air of confidence and a seeming nonchalant attitude, but if you take a closer look and get to know him better, you realize that 15-year-old Brennan Williams is much more than meets the eye. He's smart and he has a passion for saving animals -- particularly cats.
Williams, a ninth-grade student at North Eleuthera High School, was recently recognized at the Ministry of Education's 19th annual national award presentation as co-winner of the best results for the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examinations in the government schools, and the male with the best overall BJC results in government schools.
He believes that if young men live in the shadow that society casts upon them, they will never live up to their potential. And he worked hard to prove that he is capable, earning seven A grades in General Science, Health Science, Mathematics, Technical Drawing, Family and Consumer Sciences, Social Studies and Religious Knowledge and a B grade in English Language.
"When I started grade nine I said to myself that I really wanted to do the best in my school when I took the BJCs," he said. "I even thought it would be great to do the best on my island but I didn't imagine that I would get the overall best results in the country for a government school or even a male. It was amazing when I did all of that. To me this proves that nothing is impossible once you are willing to work hard for it."
The honor roll student, who has a grade point average (GPA) of 3.44, has always set the bar high for himself and is glad when he achieves far beyond his expectatons. Due to his determination to outdo himself he does not let the views of society hinder his dreams or dicatate what he can or cannot do. He truly believes nothing is impossible.
Although he has a lot of ambition, he gives credit for his success to his family who he says has always supported him in excelling in everything that he sets his mind to.
His mother, Thakurdaye Williams, a primary school teacher, constantly encourages him to work harder in his weakest subject, English. His father, Brian Williams, an agriculture teacher at his school, helps him with his math and sciences. But he says his greatest motivator was his elder sister Brianne, who never let him take no for an answer and was always interested in her education and discovering new things. He says it was her who pushed him to be the same way too.
"I guess since my parents are teachers and my sister was really smart, great things are expected of me as well. For some this may seem like a lot of pressure but it's a good motivation for me to keep doing better and better," he said. "My sister really pushed me the hardest sometimes. She was a really good student and could explain anything to me. She was valedictorian of our school last school year, and seeing how well she did always encourages me."
Williams adheres to a strict study schedule. He hits the books for at least two hours after school on subjects that are easiest for him. He spends an additional hour on the subject he has the most difficulty with -- English. And the study method that he has found that works best for him is to rewrite all of his notes and repeat what he understands to himself. It's a method he doesn't always stick to as he switches things up so that his study habits don't become monotonous. He sometimes makes up questions to himself so that he can think of all the answers, which he said he's found to be a good way to prepare for exams.
Tutoring students who don't understand something the way he does also helps. He said he's found that it's a good way to ensure that he understands the subject too. But he always prefers a quiet area when he's studying.
Now a tenth-grade student, Williams says it was nice to be recognized for his work during the national awards presentation, but he says that is behind him and his focus in on the future. He aspires to become an aeronautical engineer. Passionate about the field, he has chosen a course of study towards that end, taking optional courses in physics, chemistry and graphical communication.
Williams has not started looking at colleges as yet, but he is doing everything he can to ensure that he's a good candidate for any school he applies to.
But brains aren't everything to the teenager, he also has a passion for animals. When he isn't studying or trying to escape to the beach for a quick swim, his hands are full taking care of the cats in his settlement. He was appalled that people did not take care of their animals, and remembers sneaking strays home to feed and take care of them. He never thought about keeping the animals and always set them free once they were better.
"It really hurts me to see animals not being taken care of properly. I think everyone has a role in helping the animals that live around them," he says."Some of them [animals] just need homes and can be really loyal if you take care of them. I don't like to see them being kicked or abused and I think we all can do something about it."
The tenth-grade student believes it's important for young people to find things they like to do, so that they can develop their personality and discover their strengths. While he does not participate in a lot of extracurricular activities at his school, he makes an effort to participate on the track team.
And he does not feel disadvantaged attending a Family Island school. He says he may not have as many options in classes or after-school activities as students at schools in the capital, but he says he has peace and quiet and that he appreciates every class he does have.
"Students should appreciate every small blessing they have when it comes to their education. Make the best of whatever you have and remember that studying is important, but doing other things in your community or around your school is just as good. Caring about what's going on around you or doing things to develop yourself outside of your school work helps to make you a better person I believe."
Williams encourages students -  particularly young men - to find their niche when it comes to their school work and communities. He said not everyone will be strong in the same areas, nor will they be able to study or enjoy things in the same way. He hopes that in the future he can hear more good news about young men excelling in society instead of hearing about fighting and violence.
To contribute to his dream for young men, Williams is aspiring to continue to excel in his school work by first conquering English and finally earning an A grade.  He hopes to achieve a 4.0 GPA before his high school years end and he also dreams of returning as an awardee in the national awards ceremony for his Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education exam results. He says there is nothing a person can't do if they put their mind to it. And while he dreams big he hopes other young men join him and dream even bigger.

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News Article

January 25, 2012
Living up to a legacy of excellence

Dreams are bigger than the problems that try to disillusion you.  This is the belief of 14-year-old Kathie-Lee Petsch, a tenth grade student at N.G.M. Major High School in Long Island.  The over-achiever, who was recognized at the Ministry of Education's annual national awards presentation for the best overall performance by a female student in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) in the public schools, with seven A and two B grades, said hard work and perseverance are the things she lives by when it comes to her education.
Kathie-Lee chalks up her incredible drive to the loving memory of her father, Andreas Petsch, a German electrical engineer who was murdered when she was just 15 months old.
Although she never got to know her dad she feels that her academic achievements make him proud and she hopes to keep doing her best.
Even though he's not actively in her life, she still believes she is connected to her father and inherited his passion and love for education.  In her dad's memory, the student with the best BJC results in Math and Science at North Long Island High School are presented with an award. Petsch has proudly presented the award to a deserving student for the past four years.
To get to where she is academically, Kathie-Lee understands the value of time management and takes advantage of opportunities.
"I did not get where I am overnight," said the honor roll student.  "It's about working hard and being consistent.  It's about balance and time management.  It's about making goals and sticking to them.  I am not saying it's not always going to be hard to stay on top, but it's important to do the extra work even when you don't have to, so you don't get overwhelmed."
Her method for studying effectively is to find a quiet corner in any given environment (preferably her home) and tackle her most intense subjects like Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and English first. Then she relaxes and catches up on subjects that are easier for her like Spanish and Commerce.  She has a strict evening schedule that she adheres to after school so that she does not lose her focus or fall behind in her studies.
Kathie-Lee also believes in always challenging herself and not getting comfortable even if she attains a goal. Even though she did well in her BJC's and received A grades in English, Mathematics, Social Studies, Health Science, General Science, Religious Knowledge and Technical Drawing, and a B grade in Art and Design, she said that does not distract her.  She's upping the ante as she aims for a perfect 4.0 grade point average.  It's currently 3.39.
"I know I am capable of getting a 4.0 grade point average, so I am looking forward to really showing that I can.  I am currently still getting used to my new courses and I am sure in no time I will do what I set out to do."
She said she really needs to keep up her grades if she wants to get into a good university and make her dream of becoming a pediatric psychologist a reality.
Determination and persistence is only one of the key ingredients to Kathie-Lee's recipe for success.  Her familial support system which she feels is unshakeable is also key.  She's an only child, but she lives in a home with five other people, including her mother, Lucinda Petsch and aunts Janetta and Dezerine Cooper, grandmother Rowena Cooper and an eight-year-old cousin Deneshia Johnson. She says their presence gives her the sense of home and support that makes her comfortable and relaxed enough to study her best.
"My mother is especially very supportive of me and is always interested in what I am doing or studying.  She ensures she knows exactly what is going on and if I don't know something she helps me.  If she can't help, she ensures she gets me the resources so I can learn and do my best."
While she strives to do her best academically, Kathie-Lee says she also knows that there is much more to life and to being a good student than simply cramming her mind with facts and equations.  She also values extra-curricular activities and makes time to have fun.  She is active in the Governor General Youth Awards Program and has gotten the bronze and silver medals of achievement.  She is also part of the Bahamas Youth Network -- a Christian-focused group that focuses on community services. To enhance her Spanish-speaking skills she also joined Club Bajamar and hopes to travel to Cuba during the Easter break to make use of what she's learned.  She also ensures she keeps her focus on God in all that she does in being a member of her church's (Church of God the Bight) youth and young adult group, the Family Training Hour.  The smart student even takes time out to be a part of the peer tutoring program in her school, which encourages academically-gifted students to assist those who are struggling with their work.
"I think it's very important to be active in things other than my schoolwork.  Being in numerous activities forces me to manage my time better," she says.  "I also am useful to my community and make myself more well-rounded [because] being in numerous clubs also looks good on my college resume.  Besides you do need to relax sometimes, learn new things and just have fun."
Her advice to all students who wish to excel is to always continue to strive for excellence in all they do.  She says achieveing perfect A grades is always great, but said it is not right to judge what others can do to what you know you are capable of.  If your best grade is a C or a B, then she said you should do your best to achieve those grades. As long as you work as hard as you can, she said knowing that you could not have given anything more -- whatever achievement -- should make you proud.
"I understand that not everyone is the same and what is easy for me is hard for others or the other way around.  I always advise others to do what is best for them and work as hard as they can.  If you need help get it, but the real key to all of this is doing what you personally can and continuing to challenge yourself.  Do not procrastinate when it comes to your work, and it never hurts to ask questions.  No one knows everything, so as long as you remember that you will not only do well but you will be the best that you can be."

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October 14, 2010
Inwardly aware . . . outwardly successful

I was listening to Dr. Paul Masters President of The University of Metaphysics on the internet a few Sundays ago, as I do most Sundays, and he was discussing the subject of success. He commenced his illuminating talk by asking a series of questions. What is Success?Is it Material Wealth?Is it an important position?Is it excellent health?Is it peace of mind?He answered all of these questions by stating, that it could be any or all of those things, but added an extremely important proviso.
He said, that True Success, Real Success MUST also embrace The Spiritual aspect of life. In fact, he went as far as to say, that without a person having a strong spiritual element to his or her life, unless the spi ...

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News Article

January 31, 2013
St. George's senior students visit Pine Ridge Landfill

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama -- Last week 27 St. George's senior high school students (BGCSE and AP Sciences) of the Academic Sciences Department participated in the field excursion to the Sanitation Services Landfill along with Ms. Simms and Mr. Thurston, Chemistry and Physics Teachers at the school.  
The student trip is in keeping with the school's and the Ministry of Education's overall goals of affording students varied academic viewpoints of the "real" world. This trip focused on the environmental sciences and protection concerns for our natural environment as an area of research and focus.
The tour of the Pine Ridge Landfill site, owned and operated by Sanitation Services, targeted the science department's goals and objectives to explore landfill management and operations, environmental protection, including nuisance odours incidents handling issues and protocols.
Pictured at the tour are the St. George's students, teachers and Jason Albury, Sanitation Services Landfill Manager. (Photo courtesy of Jolissa Rolle for Barefoot Marketing)

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