Friday, May 23, 2008

What puts me off reproduction - II

Read this article (thanks to Ms Cute Pants) with tears of joy and respect in my eyes. It's from The Royal Gazette of Bermuda. Pasting it inline because I'm sure this news article won't stay at the current location for long.

Bernella Williams has every reason to smile proudly at the pictures of her sons.
Because almost single-handedly she has raised eight boys - who are all excelling in fields ranging from medical research, law, business and computers.
An Antiguan native, Mrs. Williams came to Bermuda in 1966, after her mother gained status, and worked at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital as a nurse and married Carlton Williams, a Bermudian with whom she had eight sons.
They divorced and he became ill, so a lot of the child rearing and financial burden fell on her shoulders, but despite that Mrs. Williams was determined to give her boys the best education she could.
All of her sons attended Bermuda Institute (BI), a private elementary and high school, and with the exception of her youngest son, who is 14, all of her boys have attended university.
She said: "Some of my boys received scholarships and some of them I had to pay for. I struggled to pay tuition and I had to have priorities — what is most important?"
Carlton Junior, 31, her oldest son graduated from BI and then attended Oakwood College, in Huntsville, Alabama, where he studied business administration. He now works at Durham Accountant and Management.
Her second born, Burnell, 30, also graduated from BI and attended Oakwood College, obtaining two Bachelor degrees in biology and science.
Burnell wanted to go to graduate school to study Bio-Medical Research but funds were not available at that time.
He came back to the Island and taught science at BI, returning to Oakwood to pursue another Bachelor in Math.
After graduation, he attended the University of Michigan on a full scholarship and obtained a Master of Bio-Medical Engineering degree.
He is currently at The Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences completing his PhD in Bio-Medical Engineering, which he is due to receive later this year.
Burnell said: "I am currently doing research which targets specific cancer cells. Currently, cancer medication, such as chemotherapy, targets both the good cells and the cancerous cells which cause harmful side effects."
Orlyn, 27, also attended Oakwood College after graduating from BI. He received his Bachelor's degree in information technology and is currently working in the IT department at Butterfield Bank.
Orlyn is currently working on other certifications in his field of study to enhance his skills and outside his IT career, he works as a photographer taking pictures for, a Bermudian entertainment website.
Next in line is Nevin, 26, who like his brothers, successfully finished his formative education at BI and continued on to Oakwood to obtain his Bachelor's degree in Biology.
Currently, Nevin is at Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California, in his third year studying medicine.
Mrs. Williams, 61, said: "Nevin is very musically talented, he plays grade seven piano and grade six soprano sax from the Royal College of Music, so I am very proud of him."
With a degree from Oakwood College in history Dante, age 24, is currently at the University of Manchester, in the UK, studying criminal law.
Shammah, 22, graduated from Oakwood with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Math and is now at Loma Linda University in his first year of Medical school.
"He is studying to be a cardiologist. When he is on vacation here in the Island, he works at the Cardio Diagnostic Unit at KEMH," said Mrs. Williams.
Not following the trend of his brothers, Delmont 19, is currently studying at La Sierra University, in Riverside, California. His major is Math, with a concentration in Education. His focus is teaching High School Math.
"My youngest son, Va Shon who is 14 is currently at BI and graduated from the eight grade with a 4.0 grade point average, he says he just wants to be successful and play football," Mrs. Williams laughed.
Mrs. Williams revealed her secret to keeping eight boys in line: "I prayed a lot and we did everything together. I taught my sons to take care of each other and to respect themselves and others, especially women."
She said life was not easy for her while she brought up her children, but she stopped working for a while and focused on making her sons well rounded.
"When I was up to five sons, a lady came up to me and said 'If I had five boys I would kill myself', I told her, because I have five boys, I can't kill myself."
Mrs. Williams says that in the mornings she would gather them all up and go to the beach or the docks and sit and watch the ships come in and talk about them.
She made every experience they had an educational one by allowing them to ask any questions and keeping the lines of communication open.
Mrs. Williams, who lives in Pembroke, said she taught her boys to read at an early age by first reading to them, then as they got older, she would pay them an amount for every page they read on their own.
"This was a big motivator for them," she said.
She talked about today's education system and said parents need to be more involved in their children's education.
"I made it my duty to have a good relationship with all of their teachers.
"My boys told me if they had problems in school and I listened to their side but had already been in contact with the school, so that eliminated a lot of the misunderstandings.
"We live in a neighbourhood where there is a lot of undesirable things that go on, but I taught them values and to know their limits so that is how they have managed to stay out of trouble over the years.
"I have taught my sons that when they're going up the ladder of success, take someone with them, so when they fall, someone is there to push them back up."
Mrs. Williams addressed the recent issues of the motorcycle accidents and fatalities and her own issues with her sons.
"In 1999, Oryln had his liver severed in a bike accident, I prayed and prayed that he would be OK and thankfully he has fully recovered," she said. "I still get nervous when I see him on a bike and tell him to be careful."
"The young people today don't understand consequence.
"They think they're in charge, I have seen Bermuda go down, down, down but mothers need to reclaim it. Train our children right."

I don't think I have that kind of strength of character to bring up a child. Besides, I'm not sure I can spend enough time at home with the child to bring it up the way I want, while keeping my job. Heck, I'm not even sure of what I want half of the time. Hence the title.

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