“We are Kolij, hear us ROAR” – Blog-like analysis from Tammi Pilgrim, Jr Vice President – Old Harrisonian Society

I don’t usually write notes, but after what happened this week… I HAD to.

‘Harrison College students aren’t well rounded? I agree. We aren’t well rounded. We are rounded to perfection.’

I am a proud Harrisonian… that’s a fact. But it has always frustrated me that we never seem able to express our pride in the way that people from other schools do. All you have to do is say something good about HC and the next thing out of people’s mouths is how elitist the school is, how it isn’t what it used to be, how we focus too much on academics, how we aren’t well-rounded… all kinds of nonsense (heavy editing there).

This week though… WOW. I honestly have no words to express how proud I am of all of the people who put up the Kolij Lion(c), who wore their ties, put ties in their cars, wore wristbands etc. Kolijeans all over the world were saying it loud and proud this year… probably for the first time in a looong time.

And of course, like clockwork, out came the haters… I don’t mean other people who genuinely love their school and who put up their own school emblems (funny how that happened AFTER the Kolij Lion(c) started lighting up facebook…but I digress). I mean the ones who were BITTERLY calling Kolij down.

Let me give you an example (DISCLAIMER – this might make you steupse):

I was fighting the urge but after that IGNORANT radio diss this morning I CYAN’ TEK IT. FYAH PON KOLIJ! Their claim to fame is being NERDS. They ‘WENT SCHOOL’ at Kolij. COMBERMERE IS GREAT BECAUSE WE ARE A FAMILY. Nobody ‘went school’ at Combermere. The PM is NOT an ‘ex-Combermerian’. There IS no such thing. There are Combermerian Students and Old Scholars. Period. And kolij sucks.”

And this: “HC WISHES they could have what we have. Now they trying a ting with the whole school spirit. We’ve been doing it for CENTURIES. I won’t knock the HC elitism too much, as I guess all thetop schools are a little guilty of that, although HC really takes the cake there. AND they suck :-)”

All that vitriol…for what? For being who we are and being proud of it? It’s as though if you went to or still go to Harrison College, to be proud of your school means that something is CLEARLY wrong with you. Everyone gets to do it except us? How unfair is that?? [Note how I haven’t even begun to dissect what was said… wouldn’t waste time sifting thru that garbage if you paid me…well, maybe if you paid me. But it would have to be substantial 🙂 … Naw, no money is worth that tripe]

Plus, the hypocrisy of it all just astounds me… I am POSITIVE that if Harrison College’s girls were blasting away Inter-School competition the way Springer Memorial is, there would be calls from all corners to investigate what we are up to, calls for reform of how we train our athletes… they might even accuse us of performance enhancing drugs… who knows? Anything is possible. Bottom line is… there would be something wrong with it. It wouldn’t be cool. It wouldn’t sit well. “Level the playing field!!” I can hear it now…

Let me hear you? “K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!”

THE SAME PEOPLE would have no trouble getting all impressed if they see Harvard, Yale, Oxford, London School of Economics on someone’s cv. Yet, they would try to encourage this tiny island’s top school to water down its academically inclined intake and teaching staff all in the name of some idiot’s hypocritical stance on equality and misguided notions of egalitarianism.

It’s time for Harrison College and Harrisonians to stop paying the price of society’s inferiority complex. Our students and athletes have NOTHING to be ashamed of. We need to accept the fact that we can’t help it if society puts us on a pedestal. But we also have to remember that we don’t just magically do well… alot of us work hard and against odds (just like everyone else) to achieve again and again in life and that is NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.

So what do we do? We keep roaring together. Loud and proud.
You don’t like it? Lump it.
Kolij sucks? Sticks and stones baby, sticks and stones. K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!
Kolij is elitist? Hah! Ten points if you spell ‘elitist’ right and use it in another sentence. K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!
Harrison College students aren’t well rounded? I agree. We aren’t well rounded. We are rounded to perfection. K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!
Kolij isn’t what it used to be. You’re right. I hear they let girls in there now. K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!
Harrison College puts students under too much pressure. Life is pressure. Deal with it. K-O-L-I-J, KOLIJ!!!!

But we need to go further than just saying it!! We need to set the example for the present Kolijeans. Let them know that they are part of something unique so that they never feel ashamed. If you feel that you can give back by being a mentor in any way to a present student, then let the OHS know. If you feel that the girls’ team can be encouraged, let the OHS know. We will find ways to strengthen the bonds between all Harrisonians.

Anyway, I really want to encourage all my fellow Kolijeans to keep doing your best and being the best at what you do in whatever you do… that is our hallmark.

Tammi Pilgrim: Jr Vice President – Old Harrisonian Society & Attorney-At-Law

6 Responses

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  1. Bravo Tammi! I feel you on this one.To paraphrase the yout all a dum is haters. They dont need to pull us down to big up their schools.
    Yes life is pressure and being formed in the cruicible that is HC helped to mek big strong men and women out of all a we so deal with it.

    Nothing to be ashamed about at all for either present or past students. When we show our pride no need to get nasty or to try to pull us down at all.

  2. I have no difficulty with allegiance to one’s alma mater and I agree that school pride is something that needs to be encouraged. However, I am stupefied that the writer can suggests with confidence that the Barbadian public would cast aspersions on the prowess of female Harrisonian athletes if they were leaders at Inter School Sports?
    I think those comments are unfounded and are without basis. Indeed to reference the two comments here as an indication of broad based animosity to Harrisonian athletes is in my opinion faulty.
    Congrats to Springer Queens and Harrison College Lions, and to all the athletes from both primary and secondary school who participated and succeeded in school sports.

  3. @jdid – Had no idea you was Kolij, explains your eclectic taste and brilliance of expression?

  4. @ Alexandra School Queen…Clearly you didn’t attend Harrison College.

  5. Tammi
    Kudos – It is about time someone spoke up. I am a parent of a “well rounded” Kolij student and a Caribbean person (aka legal immigrant in Barbados). The well roundedness is through discipline, focussed effort and hardwork that I proudly see being put in by that student and many others at that school. They are also no way your typical nerd type – but just mostly disciplined intelligent students that really want to do their best, willing to work for it and are also able to chill out and have a good time too!

    Every year I see the same thing happen in the press, Kolij’s achievements get down played (just check out the papers in the past week).

    It simply amazes and disheartens me that Barbados is one of the few places in this world (if there are any others at all!) that appears to want to pull down rather than lift up one of its top educational institutions and high academic achievers because the students continue to excel in spite of it all. It appears that many supposedly sensible adults have a propensity to embrace mediocrity or have a serious grudge because they did not go to that school and want everyone to feel that way. To think that grown men and women keep pushing this nonsense.

    A nation needs all kinds to remain industrious and if this country wants to continue to shine and be a leader in the Caribbean then it has to invest and big up all of its youth’s achievements – the sports achievers, the artistically inclined, the academic under achievers who may be top achievers in other areas and are otherwise inclined to do great things AS WELL AS the brainy ones.

    It would be better if these begrudged persons were to focus their energies on pushing for programs in all schools that cater to the diversity of our people, institute pride ,industry, DISCIPLINE, RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY for one’s actions in ALL students, instead of trying to pull down those that are already so inclined.

    I have one comment for the Kolij team – CONGRATULATIONS !!! Girls start boosting up your training for next year!!



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