Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 26th 2017 Contents life B5
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enrolment at QRC
McLean said she did not think of
the journey she had ahead.
“I don’t know what was in me,
I just wasn’t feeling anything, I
was just happy I was getting to do
physics. That is all I was studying I
really was not thinking this is a boy’s
school, this is going to be challeng-
ing, I did think that for a brief mo-
ment that I did not know how these
boys would have accepted me being
the only girl in the school but I said,
you know what, I don’t care, I don’t
care. I just wanted to do physics,”
First day of school,
challenging the enrolment
The first day of school McLean
was escorted to the office of the
dean, Mr Lilla.
“While I was in the dean’s office
all these boys rushed in, they wanted
to meet this new student and I was
confused because I was seeing these
grown men with beards wearing the
uniform and I didn’t realise these
students were so big,” Mc Lean said.
“I just stared them down and let
them know that they would not
scare me, that I am still coming,
that I want to do physics, that was
all that was in my head,” she said.
McLean was then escorted to
“He (Lilla) came back and collect-
ed me, maybe an hour after sitting
in class, and took me over to the
Ministry of Education and he said
he just wanted to check something,”
The Ministry of Education was
right next door to QRC.
“I didn’t know what was going
on and they brought out the char-
ter and it did not saying anything
about ‘boys’, only said ‘pupils’, and
they were like ‘well, I guess she can
go back’ and that is when I realised
they were challenging my enrol-
ment,” McLean said.
She was escorted back to the
school and the class.
“I was sitting in the very back
row and they all accumulated at the
back of the class to get to talk to me.
I was there just talking with them
about generic topics and then my
pencil fell and a swarm of boys just
swooped down to help and I thought,
‘what the hell is this?’” she said.
“I just froze, I said something stu-
pid and got myself in trouble and put
my foot in my mouth like I used to do
a lot, and they burst out laughing at
me and it just broke the ice, I guess.”
One of the most embarrassing
moments McLean said she had at
QRC was when she marched in the
school’s sport’s day.
“That stood out to me because I
had to stand out more than I was al-
ready standing out. I used to try
and keep a low profile as much
as I could and they wanted me to
be more a part of the school, so
they pushed and pushed and told
me I had to participate,” she said.
“So I had to wear this tank top
and a skirt and it was short and
with the whole school staring, and
from the time I stepped out of the
bathroom to the courtyard I never
heard the courtyard get so quiet
ever, it was an instant hush and
just a lull and then uproar, whistles
and I just kept my head straight and
went and lined up with my house
and marched in front the boys, did
my salute, and we won. I went back
inside and immediately changed my
clothes and I never heard the end of
that,” she said.
A second female enrols
After a year of being the lone fe-
male at the school, when McLean
entered Upper Six, a second female,
Charlene Rampersad, enrolled at
“I was a little bit concerned be-
cause I knew what I had to deal with
my first year and I did not know who
this person was, how she would be,
and I had sort of set a standard with
the boys to keep them at bay and I
didn’t want to upset the system that
I had put in place,” McLean said.
“So I was a little bit worried but
at the same time, I was saying may-
be it would work out where I may
actually get somebody to talk to or
whatever and it worked out very
well, Charlene and I became very
good friends, we are still friends to
today,” she said.
McLean said it was hard to get
close to anyone because other stu-
dents became subjected to picong.
“One of the boys was helping
me one time and he was just be-
ing a friend and he would go to the
cafeteria for me and they labelled
him Jarvis, they call him Jarvis to
this day, because it was a securi-
ty system back then and I realised
one time than I could not have any
friends, I was not allowed. Just like
Jarvis, it would have been bad for
them and it would have been bad for
me,” she said.
McLean had a “secret friend”
though, which she said she reveals
in the book.
McLean eventually graduated
“That is when it kind of hit me, the
magnitude of the situation being the
first female to graduate from QRC,”
After, she attended the University
of the West Indies for a year before
migrating to Canada, and eventually
settling in Pittsburgh in the United
States of America, where she works
in technology information manage-
ment in the health sector.
McLean is now a mother of two
children—Siroun, who is 16, the age
McLean started her journey at QRC,
and Aryll, who celebrated his 12th
birthday earlier this month.
A Sparkle of Royal Blue book cover.
From Page B1
I didn’t know what was
going on and they brought
out the charter and it did
not saying anything about
‘boys’, only said ‘pupils’,
and they were like ‘well,
I guess she can go back’
and that is when I realised
they were challenging my
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