Tag Archives: grandmother

Me and Gran go back to school

26 Jul

My grandmother was born in Barbados in 1913.  At the age of 10, unlike many girls her age, she got the opportunity to enter the prep year for high school.  Two years later, her father passed away.  Facing tighter financial circumstances as a result, her mother opted to take her out of school to save school fees.

Two generations later, I’ve had the benefits of attending high school, attending university and achieving a first degree in engineering.  And now I’m heading to Oxford to do my MBA at the Said Business School. Said is an amazing institution with an ethos closely aligned with my own interests, backed by the incredible legacy of the University of Oxford.  I’m excited beyond words, and very proud of having been accepted to a program that I’m sure is going to exceed my expectations and challenge my boundaries. 

It’s a bit mind-blowing to be honest. One personal concern? That I’ll live up to my grandmother’s legacy. Despite not finishing high school, she was accepted to train as a nurse in her early 20s, and went on to become the first female pharmacist qualified in Barbados.  She raised 5 children and helped many more in the neighbourhood, in the very tough post-World War II economic conditions in Barbados.  She never learned to drive a car, but she was full of other knowledge that helped her touch many lives. She left some big shoes to fill.

 My grandmother and I were both born in the summer, me in August and her in July.  Today, she would have been 97 years old. Looking back on her life, I can’t help but wonder what she would have done with my opportunities. More importantly, what will I do?  Wherever she is, I hope she’s looking out for me.

Happy Birthday Gran.