Title: UWI today
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Title: UWI today
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Language: English
Publisher: UWI Marketing and Communications Office
Place of Publication: St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Publication Date: January 31, 2010
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UWI
ST. AUGUSTINE
CAMPUS


RESEARCH 5
Are we at risk?
* Earthquakes


UWI TODAA
THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES ST. AUGUSTINE CAMPUS
SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


What the

Twilight Says
BY IRA MATHUR

One pre-carnival evening, in the early
1990s, under a livid sky of hot rouge
rimmed with orange, with the sounds of
steel pan and David Rudder sweeping
the Savannah-its yet unpaved dust
unsettled by a thousand feet-I first
met Derek Walcott.
In all that confusion, with the darkness underfoot, I
stumbled, almost eyeballing a tall, sexy (red man first,
poet after) Poet Laureate with a powerful voice, of the
mythical proportions he mastered and executed in his
epic "Omeros," (an audacious rewriting of Greek myth,
carving in Caribbean stone our landscape, mouthing
our voice, giving our region greater authenticity than
any independence movement has). The encounter must
have lasted thirty seconds, not long enough to warrant
an exaggerated retelling of my brush with greatness.
(Continues on Page 8)


DEREKWALCOTT UWI FETE 14
CONFERENCE 8 Wereyou there?
My Community 0 Development and Endowment Fund
is the world .
E Prof
Edward -
Baugh






Page
Missing
or
Unavailable






SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010 UWI TODAY 3


As Haitian society reels from the devastating
earthquake that rocked the island on January
12th 2010, it can gain some small measure of
comfort in knowing that the world has rallied
together, determined to see it through these
trying times. This occasion has forced today's
fast-paced, self-centered society to stop and
shift its focus to this nation in dire need of help.
Organizations and individuals
around the world have
dropped tasks at hand
to offer what help
they could, whether
it be by physically
venturing to the
island or providing
efforts from home, and
The University of the West
Indies has joined the ranks in
full force.
Immediately, this institution
saw the need for public discussion on
the occurrence, and on Thursday January
14th, the Seismic Research Centre held a
press conference to address the cause of the
catastrophic earthquake and its impact on
the region. On the same day, two engineers
from our St Augustine campus and medical
personnel from the Mona campus in Jamaica
joined a Caribbean Disaster Emergency
Management Agency (CDEMA) assessment
team which accompanied Jamaican Prime
Minister, Bruce Golding, on his venture into
Haiti. The team's objective was to survey the
damage to the island, determine which needs


r

S


were of priority and investigate the most
effective response strategy to get Haiti back
on its feet. UWI will also dispatch a support
team of psychologists, engineers, public
health practitioners and other technical
experts to Haiti, through an appropriate lead
agency, if assistance is needed.
The UWI community, propelled by
compassion for the people
of our fellow Caribbean
island, has been
constructing
avenues through
which to provide
aid from home.
Special bank
accounts have been set
up in each of the campus
islands, here in Trinidad and
Tobago, Jamaica and Barbados,
to allow staff and students to donate
to an emergency fund. Staff and students
are also collecting non-perishable food
items, first-aid supplies, linen, toiletries and
other such necessities to send to Haiti and
encourage the rest of the country to do the
same.
UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor E.
Nigel Harris has voiced his faith that The
UWI community, "will respond generously,
in cash as well as in kind, to alleviate the
suffering of the people of Haiti" and he asserts
that the University is determined to continue
efforts to aid Haiti in the mid and long-term
future. (Serah Acham)


People walk by the collapsed Sacre Coeur Church in Port-au-Prince.


THE SPIRIT OF

HUMANITY


Here at The University of the West Indies,
we consider ourselves to be an integral part
of the communities we serve throughout
our region. In that regard, we have always
felt duty-bound to use our resources and
technical expertise to improve the quality
of lives.
None of us could have remained
impervious to the horrendous devastation
wrought by the earthquake that shattered Haiti on January 12. Apart
from the distress invoked by the gut-wrenching scenes in its aftermath,
it called to the spirit of humanity within us and there has been an
outpouring of efforts to provide some measure of relief to the ravaged
island.
The UWI will continue to lend its expertise in whatever way it
can, and we expect this to be a lengthy process as time reveals in more
precise ways the nature of the needs and the mechanisms that can be
instituted.
In the short term, our regional institution has already made it
possible for staff and students to make monetary contributions through
established bank accounts. I am appealing to our alumni to also join
our efforts to mobilize assistance and to help Haiti recover from
this disaster. At the St Augustine Campus, we have been discussing
additional ways to enable support and are keeping our internal lines
open for suggestions from our UWI community as well as to let
everyone know what is being done.
In the face of such overwhelming catastrophes, it is tempting
to succumb to despair, to wonder interminably whether our efforts
can even begin to have any impact in alleviating the suffering of our
neighbours. We have to remain steadfast in the belief that every little
bit counts, and we must not dismiss any act as too insignificant to
make a difference.
I encourage everyone to continue to be guided by the spirit of
giving. It is what defines our humanity.




CLEMENT K. SANKAT
Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal



EDITORS* L


CAMPUS PRINCIPAL
Professor Clement Sankat

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mrs. Dawn Marie De Four-Gill

EDITOR
Ms. Vaneisa Baksh

CONTACT US
The UWI Marketing and Communications Office
Tel: (868) 662-2002, exts. 2013. 2014
Or email: uwitoday@sta.uwi.edu


1 0 AMPS NWS


I FROM THE PRINCIPAL






4 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


WEBSITE MAKEOVER
Usability Lab helps make your users fall in love


Savvy organizations know that it simply isn't enough for
their information portals and websites to be functional. Not
if they want to maximize revenue. To satisfy web-based end
user needs and to remain competitive in the online com-
munity, websites must be intuitive. Designers must be able
to fit themselves fully into the users' shoes. Websites and web
services that are useful, usable, and appealing must put the
user at the centre of the website design process. Designing
web interfaces according to user-oriented guidelines usually
significantly increases (2-10 times) the website's profitability,
as well as increases the chance that key messages are com-
municated to the user.
To help organizations achieve a powerful and effec-
tive online presence, the Faculty of Science & Agriculture's
Usability Lab (UL) at The UWI held a one-day training
workshop on Modern Consumer-Oriented Website Design
(http://www2.sta.uwi.edu/usability) in December 2009.
The workshop was organized by the Business Develop-
ment Unit of the Faculty of Science and Agriculture. There
were 13 participants from the Ministries of National Secu-
rity, Foreign Affairs, Information, Agriculture, Legal Affairs
and Sports & Youth Affairs; as well as from the National
Library and Telios Systems Ltd. The workshop provided
training on the latest international trends in user-centered
design for building efficient, effective, user-satisfying,
competitive and highly profitable websites and web-based
services. This understanding helped workshop participants
define ways to improve their current website designs.


.1 i i lI


TYPES OF PRODUCTS STUDIED IN THE UL
* Traditional to web-based or multi-media systems
* Most types of software or web-based services, e.g.
eCommerce, informational, educational or entertain-
ment websites, mCommerce or online information
services.
* Most types of hardware, e.g. kiosk systems, mobile
computing (mobile phones, PDAs).
* Industrial products, e.g. TVs, washing machines, re-
frigerators, ovens with displays.
* Most types of procedures, e.g. assembly procedures,
task instructions, software installations, and so on.
* Workplace design and workplace furniture-elements
to consider in purchasing, layout and deployment


THE USABILITY LAB
The UL is the Caribbean's foremost usability resource
for promoting usability practices within the Caribbean by
providing usability testing facilities, resources and services
including analysis, engineering and design of ICT systems
and industrial products in addition to offering training in
these areas.
In well-equipped stationary and mobile usability labs,
users are studied interacting with a system. That interac-
tion is evaluated to determine the system's usability. Types
of products analysed include web-based and desk-top ap-
plications; large, and small (including mobile technology)
hardware devices and even entire workplaces. The UL will
help to develop leading edge products through unbeatable
user experiences.
The Usability Laboratory promotes and facilitates in-
novation and quality through academic-industry relation-
ships within many areas of Human-Computer Interaction:
user-centered design, usability and interaction design.


The full-day event combined lectures, practical training
and testing of workshop participants' websites in the UL.
Participants were trained in:
* Modern principles of user-oriented web design and
development
* Maximising user productivity with highly effective
website design
* Avoiding costly design mistakes by properly imple-
menting a proven user-centered design approach
* Applying user-centered design integration during the
website creation process
* Applying practical website design know-how
* Conducting usability testing

The usability testing ofparticipants' websites uncovered
considerable usability problems and led to development of
proposals for improvement.
Attendees took away a complete set of user-centered
website design principles that they could quickly implement
within their organizations.


E- Z


UL SERVICES
User-Centered Design
and Development
User-oriented design and devel-
opment of interactive systems
and products like websites, soft-
ware, mobile devices, etc.

Usability Testing
I'i,,ilii"y tests in the CGirNl'e1ti' '
first usability lab

Personalization
Design and development ofuser-
,idiipte'd piersl ,tize1'd interactive
systems and products.

Emotive design
Design and development of in-
terfaces that adaptively and
positively appeal to the emotions
of the user. ,i'dliia), personal-
ization and emotive design are
hi-tech approaches for any web-
based services and websites. They
can increase web user productiv-
ity and satisfaction; decrease user
errors, training time and need for
user support.

Human-oriented
workplace design


Contact: Dr. Alexander Nikov (Head of UL) Usability Lab, Frank Stockdale Building, The University of the West Indies
(868) 662 2002 ext. 4127/3117 alexander.nikov@sta.uwi.edu www2.sta.uwi.edu/-anikov The Business Development Unit: (868) 662-3719 Fax: 663-9686/662-1182


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0 CAMPS NEW


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..............................................
.......................................






SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010 UWI TODAY 5


1 0 AITIEARTQUAK


Has the Earth's stress been released?


The following is a list of questions and
answers compiled by the UWI Seismic
Research Centre (Website: www.
uwiseismic.com) following the Haiti
Earthquake on January 12th, 2010. The
Haiti Earthquake was of magnitude 7.0,
caused major structural damage and
resulted in thousands of deaths.

What type of plate movement caused this earthquake?
The northern boundary of the Caribbean plate exhibits left-
lateral strike-slip motion and the fault plane solution of this
earthquake is consistent with that regime. The Enriquillo-
Plaintain Garden fault system in southern Haiti appears to
have hosted this earthquake. (Source: USGS).

Is it normal to have an earthquake of this size
in the Caribbean?
Yes, it is normal to have an earthquake of this size and
larger in the Caribbean. In the last three years at least three
earthquakes greater than 7.0 magnitude have occurred in
the Caribbean.

What is meant by a shallow earthquake?
Earthquakes that occur within the crust, which in the
Caribbean is about 0-35 km thick, are described as shallow
earthquakes. Shallow earthquakes are generally felt more
strongly than deep earthquakes since they are closer to the
surface of the earth. The Haiti Earthquake was 13km deep
which is a shallow earthquake.

What does this earthquake mean for neighboring
countries like Jamaica or Puerto Rico?
Countries in the near vicinity may have felt the earthquake.
For example, the quake was reportedly felt along the Eastern
corridor, particularly the North East and South East coasts
of Jamaica. Assessments are being conducted to determine
if there has been any structural damage to buildings and
infrastructure. As strain adjusts in the area following the
occurrence of an earthquake of this size, seismic activity
in the area is expected to be somewhat elevated for some
time to come.


,11-

At the Press conference held by the UWI Seismic Research Centre, Dr Walter Alexander, earthquake engineer, Lloyd Lynch, Ag Director of the
SRC, and Dr Joan Latchman, seismologist, take questions from the media.


Are the Eastern Caribbean islands in any danger as a
result of the Haiti Earthquake?
Large earthquakes can, in some cases, advance or delay the
occurrence of some future earthquakes. That said the Eastern
Caribbean is known to have a history of major earthquakes
and the reality is that, with or without the occurrence of the
Haiti earthquake, big damaging earthquakes can and will
occur in the Eastern Caribbean.

If the earthquake occurred near Haiti how come it was
felt in Caracas, Venezuela and not in any other islands
in the Eastern Caribbean?
When an earthquake occurs, the energy is released in waves
of different frequencies. The effect of the high frequency
waves is reduced rapidly as they travel through the crust. The
shaking generated by such waves mostly affects buildings
with few stories. Therefore those closer to the earthquake
in low-rise buildings would be affected by these waves. Low
frequency waves, on the other hand, can travel for greater
distances and tall buildings respond to such waves. The
report from Caracas came from someone on the 14th floor
of a building. It may also be that features exist on the eastern
side of the Caribbean plate that serve to lessen the energy of
the waves coming from that direction reducing their effect
as they pass through the region.


Does the occurrence of this earthquake mean that stress
has been released and so we probably won't have any big
earthquakes in the region for a while?
No. In a zone that generates earthquakes, there is a system
of faults of varying sizes. The distribution of faults in a
seismically active area may be pictured as a pyramid with
there being many small faults at the bottom of the pyramid
and the number of faults scaling such that the bigger the
fault the smaller the number. In the Haiti area there are
fault segments that can generate earthquakes larger than
magnitude 7.0 and these faults will continue to accumulate
strain energy until they can absorb no more, at which time
they will rupture. It is unknown, at this time, how close such
faults are to their limit.

Where can I get more information on this earthquake?
The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks which occurred
near Haiti on January 12th, 2010 are located in a region
outside of the responsibility of the UWI Seismic Research
Centre. The SRC monitors earthquakes, tsunamis and
volcanoes for the English-speaking Eastern Caribbean
countries and as such it is inappropriate for the Centre to
provide scientific advisories and updates on this event.


Updates are available from the National Earthquake Information Center: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/us20 Orja6.php






6 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


BY DEBBIE HILAIRE


Mirroring the global increase in the prevalence of chronic
disease, recent data coming out of Trinidad reveals the
emergence of non-communicable diseases as the main
causes of death during the past decade. The impact of diet and
environment in the development of these lifestyle diseases
has been well documented and therefore an assessment
of the current eating patterns and lifestyle behaviours,
which have changed during the past decade due to various
national as well as international triggers, is necessary for
understanding, and subsequently addressing the problem.
With limited national data available, a comprehensive study
of a sub-sample of the population has provided a unique
opportunity to examine several facets of the local culture
such as diet and physical activity, to determine the burden
of disease in a high risk sample, with particular focus on
the prevalence of chronic disease risk factors and to plan
and execute a risk reduction programme.
To determine health status and identify risk factors
for chronic disease, a proportionate cross-sectional
study design was employed, comprising 273 randomly
selected full-time employees of The University of the
West Indies. The following standardized methods were
employed: (i) anthropometry, to determine BMI and waist
circumference; (ii) biochemical analysis of a fasting blood
sample for glucose, total cholesterol, HDL-C and LDL-C and
triglycerides (iii) duplicate blood pressure measurements
using a random zero sphygmomanometer (iv) dietary
assessment using 24-hr recalls to define nutrition status
and identify dietary behaviours and associations between
current health status and chronic disease risk factors;
(v) physical examinations to identify signs of nutrient
deficiency or toxicity. Questionnaires also provided data
on demographics, family history/health status, behaviour


and lifestyle, physical activity and health-related quality of
life. All statistical analyses were performed with the use of
SPSS 17.0 (SPSS Inc., Chicago, USA). A p-value < 0.05 was
considered significant. Descriptive statistics, independent
t-tests and ANOVA and Pearson's correlations were used
to assess the burden of disease and to identify associations
between chronic disease risk factors i.e. central obesity,
high blood pressure, elevated glucose, cholesterol, blood
triglycerides and LDL, low HDL and (i) dietary intakes
(ii) physical activity and (iii) quality of life. Post ANOVA
comparisons explored the differences between persons with
and without risk factors. Associations between independent
risk factor components and anthropometry, dietary/nutrient
intakes, physical activity and quality of life were detected by
the use of correlation and regression techniques.
Dietary intake as well as nutrient composition of
foods were analyzed with the use of a nutrition software
program, Nutribase, and food composition tables, after
recipes were collected for 89 commonly consumed foods.
The frequency with which specific foods were consumed
facilitated the development of a culture-specific draft food
frequency questionnaire which would more appropriately
guide community-based interventions aimed at reducing
chronic disease risk factors in Trinidad.
The data gleaned about the diet and lifestyle behaviours
of the sample has provided insight into factors which are
associated with the prevalence of chronic disease risk
factors. It also formed the basis for the development of
risk reduction strategies that can improve overall health,
as well as enhance well-being and improve the quality of
life of staff members, and by extension, the wider Trinidad
community.


0 HALT


The impact of diet and environment in the development of

these lifestyle diseases has been well documented


This is a summary of a presentation made by UWI PhD Nutrition candidate, Debbie Hilaire, titled,
"Assessing the Burden of Disease and Lifestyle Behaviours among University Staff provides opportunities for culturally appropriate interventions.


Competition winners Semone Moore and Avinash
Maharajh; and Mrs. Kamla Mungal, Academic Director
of the Lok Jack GSB.


TALKING ABOUT

REVOLUTION


The Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business
recently hosted their 2009 Essay Competition
offering two scholarships as prizes. At the
presentation ceremony Professor Miguel Carrillo,
Executive Director of the Lok Jack GSB, said
the competition is an example of the School's
commitment to attract, educate and develop the
very best students in Trinidad and Tobago and the
wider Caribbean region.
Applicants submitted essays on the topic
"What strategies can a Caribbean leader use to
become innovative?" Semone Moore of St. James
and Avinash Maharajh won the scholarships to the
IMBA programme at the School. Both expressed
their gratitude and pledged their commitment to
working with the School to develop and promote a
national innovation system.
In her essay, Semone pointed out that "A
cultural revolution is needed among regional
leaders. Shedding the traditional dependence
on the bureaucratic organizational structure
and its associated organizational culture as
well as transcending misoneism through new
paradigms, methods and technology is a necessary
watershed. Such changes must be embraced in order
to precipitate the transformation in culture that will
cultivate innovation."
Avinash wrote: "The enhancement and
diversification of their educational backgrounds,
the utilization and refinement of their technological
savvy and intra-disciplinary as well as inter-
disciplinary knowledge sharing are just a few of the
methodologies that can be employed to foster the
growth of an innovative leader'.






Page
Missing
or
Unavailable






8 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


0 ~ I CEERTN SRKAC


MY COMMUNITY IS TH


Professor Emeritus Edward Baugh delivered the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conf
Interlocking Basins of a Globe, held at The UWI, St Augustine from January 13-15, 2010. This is an ex
titled Walcott's Island(s), Walcott's World(s): On inhabiting disparate, shifting.


"When West Indian literature,

emerging out Of a colonial

history which wouldseek to keep

it a mere tributary of English

literatum, came to realize itsek

as a literature with its own

separate, distinctive identity,

and a West Indian criticism

began to emerge to define and

theorize the literature, the

dominant impulse was to close

the doors to outside presence

and influences, in response

to an imperative to look into

and at ourselves on our own

ground and our own terms,

even ifthis impulse ofnecessity

had something idealistic and

reductive about it."


PROFESSOR
EDWARDBAUGH


psychologically speaking, the ghost of the White Goddess On
who had held him in thrall. brii
At the same time, though, and interestingly, although it iP
he acknowledged that he didn't "think in the African mode," to
"that is not to say one doesn't know who one is: our music, cru
our speech-all the things that are organic in the way dre
we live-are African." Again, "The African experience is for
historically remote, but spiritually ineradicable. Nothing woi
has really been lost," and, he comes to say in the Nobel the
lecture, "even the actions of surf on sand cannot erase the wit
African memory...". not
More to the point, though, is that Africa and reconnection Sin
with Africa eventually came to be represented in a major,
regenerative, self-realizing way in Walcott's poetry, notably in


"Yes, he won the Nobel Prizr

really get the respect he desert

His American colleagues tenc

Brits don't claim him as one


...I begin by taking as generally recognized (whatever
one's own response to it may be), Walcott's ideal of multi-
culturalism and hybridity, the idea of "the interlocking of the
races', of the Port of Spain of his desire as "a city ideal in its
commercial and human proportions" which would be "so
racially various that the cultures of the world-the Asiatic,
the Mediterranean, the European, the African-would be
represented in it [and] its citizens would intermarry as they
chose, from instinct, not tradition, until their children find
it increasingly futile to trace their genealogy"'
I have thought it remarkable that from early Walcott
sought to imagine himself into Indo-Caribbean mind-space,
especially when we consider that the (East) Indian presence
in St Lucia was very much a minority. I once heard the
late Earl Warner say something about the play The Sea at
Dauphin (1954) which he was directing at the time, and what
he said articulated something I had felt but unconsciously.
That play is dominated by the eloquently God-cursing,
history-cursing Afa, but Warner said that it really became
Hounakin's play, the tragedy of the old Indian Hounakin,
who is the test of Afa's humanity. Walcott's compassion and
respect for the Caribbean person of the Indian diaspora was
developed in another play, Franklin, which has, regrettably
to me, never been published. In his portrayal of Ramsingh
and his daughter Maria, Walcott builds on his depiction of
Hounakin. Ramsingh, too, is a tragic figure, unable to come
to terms with the erosion of his cultural traditions. Then
there is the poem "The Saddhu of Couva:' and the use, in
the Nobel lecture, of the performance of the Ramleela at
Felicity as the foundation-stone, so to speak.
When we come to Africa, we are in uneasy terrain.
Walcott has not been known for any desire to "inhabit"
Africa. Harold McDermott has remarked his "seeming
failure to accord the African the same privilege he does
to the European in his work..." Decades earlier, Maria
Mootry, comparing the poetry of Brathwaite, Cesaire and
Walcott wrote: "As a man committed to 'West Indianness,
Derek Walcott tends to play down African influences and
to insist on the West Indian's potential for creating a new
world'. That was true enough, but later in the same piece
she spoke of Walcott's "rejection of Africa.' True enough,
in his early poetry, such instances of African consciousness
in the Caribbean as he essayed tended to be of the more
questionable kind, as in "Chapter V" and "Chapter VI"
of "Tales of the Islands:' and in the story of Manoir, the
island's "first black merchant baron" (Another Life), "pillar
of the Church', and his pact with the Devil in Another Life.
The much-cited "A Far Cry from Africa:' while stating
some allegiance to Africa, has its problems and has come
in for some strong criticism. Walcott also emphasized the
transported African's loss of memory of Africa-"customs
and gods that are not born again" ("Laventille"), seeking
to turn this "deep, amnesiac blow" to the advantage of his
thought-provoking theory that this erasure of memory
enabled Caribbean people to free themselves of the tyranny
of history and to inscribe their presence on a "virginal,
unpainted world" (Another Life) and to create a world like
nothing the world had ever seen.
It is worth remembering that Walcott's position was,
at the time, partly a reaction against the upsurge of Black
African consciousness in the Anglophone Caribbean in the
later 1960s and early 1970s, which he saw as being too much
of "political nostalgia" for "a kind of Eden-like grandeur'.
Hence the necessity of Makak's dream journey back to
Africa to purge himself of his illusions, just as he had to kill,






SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010 UWI TODAY 9


E WORLD


?rence in celebration of Derek Walcott,
-erptfrom Prof Baugh's address which was
,overlapping spaces.


'eros. IfI maybe permitted to quote myself: "If the poem
igs to a head Walcott's long involvement with the classics,
also his deepest, most unqualified acknowledgement
late of the African presence in the Caribbean." Two
cial sequences are those in which Achille makes his
am-journey to Africa and Ma Kilman journeys into the
;st to find the lost African root that will heal Philoctete's
and, symbol of all the wounds of heart and history that
poem probes. Achille's journey parallels but contrasts
h, balances Makak's. It is a journey to complete himself,
, as with Makak, to discard a misguided part of himself.
tilarly, Ma Kilman's journey into the forest revises the
(Continues on Page 10)



, but does Derek Walcott

res from his fellow poets?


I to ignore him, while the


of their own.'


I mumbled something about working in
the Government Information Division, feeling
horribly pedestrian, and he responded quicker
than light with a question: Well then, can you
multiply 25435 by 234? Then laughed raucously
as I looked up, completely floored (I'm refiguring
the numbers, but you get my drift). He vanished
into the Savannah. But I saw him again, directing
his play (may have been Moon over Monkey
Mountain) at the Old Fire Station building which
then housed the Trinidad Theatre Workshop he'd
started in 1959, jocular, intimate with his actors,
clearly relishing the authenticity of producing one
of his plays, here, by people he loved.
A few years later came "The Bounty," a slim
volume of poetry which, while retaining his
unstinting examination of our new world-the
unlikely conversion of strands of four continents,
a colonized people with lost languages and
clean slates, who resist further colonization and
maintain authenticity. It is a celebratory volume:
lush and tender, with intimations of loss and a
claim too of other continents. (Remember this?
I'm just a red nigger who love the sea/ I had a
sound colonial education/ I have Dutch, nigger,
and English in me/ and either I'm nobody, or I'm
a nation.)
By then he had already produced as if a
mere tossing of omelettes (a phrase borrowed by
Virginia Woolf) not simply (ha!) "Omeros," but
the bulk of his twenty plays, enough landscape
paintings to fill an exhibition, essays, and a Nobel
lecture that has already in his lifetime become a
timeless classic: the Ramleela, acted out in Felicity,
plucked out of obscurity.
This January, when The University of the
West Indies had a week-long poetic and literary
tribute to this Nobel Laureate, the poet was far
more subdued. There were intimations of the man
I'd met years back in the chuckles in his own wit
in our unique humour, his obvious enjoyment at
watching the audience howl with laughter during
the performance of Fragments.
But he was different, older. His twin brother
was dead. His sister's death was fresh in his
memory. The diabetes was obviously taking hold
of his body. And so when he read from his latest


volume of poetry, "White Egrets" to be published in April this
year, it was heartbreakingly lovely. His preoccupation of time,
with the here and now, with memory and rain, is reminiscent
of TS Eliot. His subject, as he put it before he began to read,
a kind of quiet, meandering through St Lucia, London, New
York, Trinidad, Italy-his preoccupation with the light making
transitions between continents seamless. He maintains in
"White Egrets" that the perpetual ideal is astonishment. He
strives for it, but also falls into stillness, a quiet, that could be
death, that could transcend it.

Consider the Sweet Life Cafe from "White Egrets":
If Ifall into a grizzle stillness
sometimes, over the read-chequered tablecloth
outdoors of the Sweet Life Cafe, when the noise
Of Sunday traffic in the Village is soft as a moth
working in storage, it is because of age
which I rarely admit to, or, honestly, even think of
I have kept the same furies, though my domestic rage
is illogical, diabetic, with no lessening of love
though my hand trembles wildly, but not over this page.
My lust is in great health, but, if it happens
that all my towers shrivel to .i 4., i, sand,
joy will still bend the cane-reeds with my pen's
elation on the road to Vieuxfort with fever-grass
white in the sun, and, as for the sea breaking
in the gap at Praslin, they add up to the grace
I have known and which death will be taking
from my hand on this chequered tablecloth in this good place.

In the interview I had with him his one regret (and there
were many: he wished he'd written more, done more) was that
he hadn't been tender enough towards our islands). Walcott
bemoaned our self loathing. The sum of what we are, he felt, the
amalgam of many continents, allowed us a sophistication and
identity that went far beyond that claimed by people of the old
world, be it Italian or Persian. We had three continents, four, for
God's sake. They had the one. He wanted less veneration of that
old world and a greater recognition of our own authenticity.
At 80, Walcott should have no regrets. If what we feel now
is a lasting gratitude for helping to restore our lost selves, for
taking us out of the reach of imposed touristy stereotypes,
allowing ourselves confidence in who we are, we should let
him know. All his work, all his greatness, can be distilled to
one point, that of a paean to our New World, that of love, of a
boundless, heartbreaking tenderness for us, for the continents
we inhabit in these tiny islands.






10 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


(Continued from Page 9)
ironic "truth" enacted by the story of Manoir: that "One
step beyond the city was the bush. / One step behind the
churchdoor stood the devil" (Another Life). Drawn by her
subconscious African memory, she leaves her pew in church
to go into the forest to find the healing herb.
In a recent interview, Walcott, telling the interviewer
that he is "travelling [now] more than [he] ever did before",
and that "seeing another place is always good', let on that
he had recently been to Nigeria, "quite an experience," and
that that was his first time in Africa. The interviewer, Dante
Micheaux, then asked him what the experience of Nigeria
was like. This was his reply:
"I don't want to summarise it in a sentence because
there's bound to be a germ from the experience that I might
use for writing. The one thing I would say is that it felt as
if the years between Africa and the Caribbean, the 300 or
500 years, had vanished. A weird feeling'.
Perhaps there will be more to come on the matter of
Walcott's inhabiting, or being inhabited by Africa.
But to return to The Prodigal. He returns to his island
in pre-Easter drought, and notes that the ground dove,
which "flew / up from his path to settle in the sun-browned /
branches that were now barely twigs", coos with a "relentless
... tiring sound" that is "not like ... the flutes of Venus in
frescoes". In his "scorched, barren acre", "he had the memory
of rain / carried in his head, the rain on Pescara's beach". The
drought breaks, and the rain images the blessing and renewal
of the return home, but it is now, as the poem draws to its
close, even in the peace and fulfillment of "the enclosing
harmony that we call home", that the dialogue between
the Caribbean and Europe comes to a head in complex
twists and turns, nuanced, subtilized, to a new level of self-
conscious scrutiny of how "we have tortured ourselves /
with our conflicts of origins". The simultaneous inhabiting
of disparate places is true, but conflicted.
The persona reaches the point where he asks himself,
"So has it come to this, to have to choose?" To choose, that
is to say, between the island and Italy, between Canaries and
Venice, between "the marble miracles of the Villa Borghese"
and "villages of absolutely no importance", with "streets
untainted / by any history"; between "a plank bridge" and
Florence's fabled Ponte Vecchio. But, no, he says, "the point is
not comparison or mimicry." "Both worlds are welded, they
were seamed by delight'. So the blending is enacted when

A crowd crosses a bridge
from Canaries to the Ponte Vecchio, from
Piaille to Pescara, and a volley of blackbirds
fans over Venice or the broken pier of Choiseul,
and love is as wide as the span of my open palm
forfrontiers that read like one country,
one map of affection that closes around my pen.


A crowd crosses a bridge
from Canaries to the Ponte Vecchio, from
Piaille to Pescara, and a volley of blackbirds
fans over Venice or the broken pier of Choiseul,
and love is as wide as the span of my open palm

forfrontiers that read like one country,
one map of affection that closes around my pen.


Derek Walcott signs a book for Ira Mathur, while daughter Dr Elizabeth WalcottHackshaw, looks on
Derek Walcott signs a book for Ira Mathur, while daughter, Dr Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw, looks on.


To inhabit, simultaneously, different, shifting,
overlapping spaces is, to borrow a phrase from Tiepolo's
Hound, to live by "maps made in the heart", such maps being
truer than the maps of everyday, factual use. While, in his
right ear sounds "oak-echo, beech-echo, linden-echo" (62),
his left hand writes "palms and wild fern.. / sea-almond ...
and agave," but the one set is "not [the] opposite or [the]
enemy"of the other. So, the stately Caribbean cabbage palm,
the palmiste, stands beside "Doric and Corinthian" columns
in the same line of verse, on equal terms. The palmistes
speak, in their "correcting imprecations," saying to poet
and reader,

Listen, we have
no envy of the white mountains [the Alps],
or of the white horn [the Matterhorn]
above the smothered inns, no envy of the olive
or redoubtable oaks. We were never emblems.

In other words, they were and are only themselves, and
that is everything.
In the final analysis, there is no resolution in the sense
of accepting one place and rejecting the other. Europe will
still have its place in the poet-Prodigal's head space, but he
knows where his groundings are, he knows where is home.
It is where he has the privilege of"mak[ing] each place"

new again from naming it, the gaping view
of the bay with its toy yachts at Marigot,
and the plunge into the rich banana valley
under the haze-blue ridges into Roseau.

Incidentally, the representation of home provides
another instance of the simultaneous inhabiting of different
places. Home is configured, in the most particular sense,
as one would expect, in images of St Lucia, but at times it is
also configured in images of Trinidad, "Sancta Trinidad" as
he says, and more particularly the Santa Cruz valley, locale
of the white egrets that will provide the title of his next
collection of poems:

Santa Cruz, in spring. Deep hills with blue clefts.
I have come back for the white egrets
feeding in a flock on the lawn, darting their bills
in that finical stride,,,, i ri elegant,
then suddenly but leisurely sailing
to settle, but not too far off like angels.

Significantly enough, the poem ends imagining another
kind, another level of space, beyond worldly spaces, another
"idea of home," another idea of "Out There'. At the end, the
poet-Prodigal is on a dolphin-sighting boat ride, heading
out between Martinique and St Vincent. In a visionary,
epiphanic close, the dolphins become the possibility of
angels,






SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010 UWI TODAY 11


And always certainly, steadily, on the bright rim
of the world, getting no nearer or nearer, the more
the bow's wedge shuddered towards it, prodigal,
that line of light that shines from that other shore.

We may simultaneously inhabit worldly and other-
worldly spaces.
Now, after all that, listen to this. In its list of "The Best
Books of 2007," Contemporary Poetry Review named, as "Best
New and Selected Edition," Derek Walcott's Selected Poems.
On the winner in each category, there was a comment. Here
is the comment on Walcott:
"Yes, he won the Nobel Prize, but does Derek Walcott
really get the respect he deserves from his fellow poets?
His American colleagues tend to ignore him, while the
Brits don't claim him as one of their own. 'What are his
politics? Who does he belong to? What group does his
work represent?' You can just imagine the academics asking
their reductive questions about him and shaking their heads
in dismissal. Walcott is, however, one of the greatest poets
alive in English-only Richard Wilbur, Seamus Heaney, and
Geoffrey Hill are in his league."
In other words, "Where does he belong, especially since
acceptance and acclamation depend on our being able to
place him, never mind that he has said,'My community, that
of any twentieth-century artist, is the world' (Conversations,
83)?" Interestingly enough, he has also said, "I think it's
very exciting to be outside English literature, English
literature in a hierarchic sense" (Conversations, 47). And
speaking of himself and his close Nobel laureate friends
Brodsky and Heaney, he remarked, with an implicitly self-
confident sense of place, "The three of us are outside of the
American experience" (Conversations, 119). Haven't "the
academics asking their reductive questions" ever heard of
the Caribbean? What can we say: "Alas, poor Derek?" Or,
better, following the CPR line, "More power to Walcott"?
Perhaps I should say, "So much for all my wanderings and
wonderings about the desire to inhabit different places
simultaneously."


Early in the week of celebrations, Derek Walcott unveiled a painting which had been donated to The UWI by the estate of former lecturer Dr
Patricia Ismond, a Walcott scholar. Afterwards, he posed with daughters, (from left) Dr Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw and Anna Walcott-Hardy,
and the Campus Principal, Prof Clement Sankat.


Santa Cruz, in spring. Deep hills with blue clefts.
I have come back for the white egrets
feeding in a flock on the lawn, darting their bills
in that finical stride, gawkily elegant,
then suddenly but leisurely sailing
to settle, but not too far off like angels.


Dr Paula Morgan was one of the driving forces in the Liberal Arts
Department behind the conference in celebration of Derek Walcott.


The performances of "Fragments" had to be extended to cater for the hundreds of secondary school students who turned up on a day specially reserved for them.






Page
Missing
or
Unavailable






SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010 UWI TODAY 13


Blending Tertiary Level English with Educational Technology:


A MARRIAGE IN MODERN TIMES!

BY TYRONE ALI


When it comes to blended learning at The UWI, it may
surprise some that the discipline of English Language has
been at the forefront in the use of educational technology.
Not so to the huge student population pursuing related
courses over the past four years, nor to the administrators
and practitioners directly involved in the planning,
preparation and delivery aspects of the English Language
Foundation Programme.
The most recent technique employed by the Programme
has been the enormously successful video recording of
summarized lectures that students download, view and
interface with, seemingly anytime and anywhere!
Over the past two decades or so, the Programme
was largely paper-based with weekly two-hour face-to-
face sessions. Students were expected to achieve success
through these sessions supplemented by the obvious need
for research on their part.
The seed for transition in the Programme was planted
six years ago and revolved around forward and backward
linkages between the secondary and post-secondary student
entering The UWI and the strategic plan of The UWI itself.
Recognition and a full appreciation of the technological
skills possessed by school-leavers was the catalyst.


Summarised lecture presentations lasting twenty to thirty minutes
are done with the assistance of Nolan Craigwell, Technical Assistant
(right) and Barbara Constance-Baptiste, Assistant Coordinator of the
Programme.


* BLENDED LEARNING OFFERS:
An electronic teaching-learning platform
Power point presentations
Electronic dissemination of lecture notes
Online tutorials
Exposure of students to related web links
A Writing Centre


The use of my-Elearning as an electronic platform
at St Augustine has had tremendous positive impact for
students who need to relate to the instructional content of
the courses in a manner that reflects their learning pace.
Beyond interfacing with my-Elearning to select tutorials,
view time-tables, gain access to course materials, visit
related websites and download and upload assignments,
which can be done using any computer with Internet access
(both on and off campus, 24/7), since 2007 students have
been engaging Camtasia, the software that links power point
presentations with audio feed as related plenary lectures are
designed to incorporate this dimension that allows students
to download audio recordings of lectures and so relate to
the courses' content at their own pace.


Introduced last semester, video recordings of
summarized lectures have been most helpful, but not for
the videos themselves, for the i ., d.,ii.y of the video for
students to download and interface with, regardless of time
or location, that has served them well in their studies.
Summarised lecture presentations lasting twenty to
thirty minutes are done and then processed for web delivery.
The link is then accessible to students on my-Elearning.
The videos can be run on any Internet-enabled device that
supports Windows Media Video. And it is this feature that
students maximize as they download and utilize on their
personal computers, laptops, MP3 players, MP4 players,
tablet PCs and even the very popular Blackberry phones.
In order for students to really function successfully
in formal English at university, backward and forward
linkages with the national community cannot be ignored.
The Programme has already begun an intense three-month
training workshop for secondary school teachers and other
officers of the Ministry of Education that focuses largely
on teaching and assessment strategies using blended
learning techniques. Plans are underway for a one-day
secondary school staff developmental workshop that will
allow English teachers to interface with the Programme's
offerings, methodologies and aims, with a view to assisting
students bridge the gap between the secondary school and
the university in a smoother and more holistic manner.
On the other side of the coin, a proposal is being prepared
for the Foundation English Programme to be part of
the University's World of Work seminars to invite firms
and potential employers to outline the requirements and
attributes of a model employee, with an obvious focus
on the need for graduates of the University possessing
formal English communicative competencies. This will
undoubtedly continue to shape the Programme's courses
as the quest continues for the production of the distinctive
UWI graduate capable of functioning successfully in a
globalized, competitive world.


THE FOUNDATION ENGLISH PROGRAMME
serves four faculties of the St. Augustine campus
Humanities and Education, Social Sciences, Law,
and Science and Agriculture. Additionally, there
is face-to-face contact with an outreach centre in
Tobago as well as outreach colleges in St. Lucia, St.
Kitts and Nevis,and St.Vincent and the Grenadines.
There is also the relatively recent and separate
Foundation Programme that caters for Evening
University students reading related courses.


"The use of my-Elearning as an electronic platform at St Augustine has had

tremendous positive impact for students who need to relate to the instructional content

of the courses in a manner that reflects their learning pace."


Tyrone Ali is Coordinator of the English Language Foundation Programme, Department of Liberal Arts, Faculty of Humanities and Education, UWI


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14 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


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16 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 31ST JANUARY, 2010


UWI CALENDAR ofEVENTS

FEBRUARY MARCH 2010


SOUTH AMERICAN FIESTA
Today Sunday Januaiy 31,2010
3p1m to 9pmF
The Univeisity School Compound,
Baker Street, St Augustine

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WORLD OF WORK (WOW) CAREER FAIR
Janualy-lMach 2010
St Augustine Campus, UWI

Registration:
2- Jlnuin I chul i v. 2nI
Interview Preparation and
Resume W'riting Workshop:
4 I chl Lujv. 21i111
Seminar:
6 l1 chi Lu I 211i11
Mock Interviews:
2 I chil LIJI\I antJ i 6 icIh. 211111
Recruitment Fair
11- 12 N\liich. 211111

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Saturday 27 February, 2010
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Making Literacy Improvement a Reality
March 11-12,2010
Mona Visitors' Lodge, Mona Campus, UWI

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UWI TODAY WANTS
TO HEAR FROM YOU

LII' i .i i i l .1 I' 1 I I' l I I l I- II I I I I I III II I I IIII
II III I. I I. 'I. I I I I ll I.I I I ll, I I 1 1 I I IL .


Shi idcatl Ramnphal
C E N T R E

CARIBBEANTALES FILM FESTIVAL
AND SYMPOSIUM
FILM MARKETPLACE
Febiuaiy 25,2010
Shiiclath Ramphal Center, Cave Hill Campus,
UWI

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TURMOIL AND TURBULENCE
March 24-26,2010
SALISES, St Augustine Campus, UWI

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