I met Jermaine yesterday at a birthday party and asked his family if I could blog about him. He really got me thinking.

Jermaine intrigued me as he walked into the little kids’ party, high quality headphones pronounced largely on his head, connected to his iPad tucked gently under his arm. I couldn’t take my eyes off him as he found a seat all by himself and proceeded to get very busy.

His head was bobbing up and down to a steady beat, his fingers dancing all over his iPad’s screen, mouthing what appeared to be words to a song. I had to approach him. Here’s Jermaine’s passion.

Using apps on his iPad, he makes ‘sick’ hip hop beats. His Notes app consists of pages and pages of marvellously precocious and intelligent lyrics. In addition, he is in the midst of creating his own album artwork using various creative apps.

“Who taught you this?” I asked.

With a look that said, why-would-I-need-someone-to-teach-me-that, he responded, “No one, sir.”

After noticing Jermaine had an entire song about his distaste for school, how teachers ‘don’t get him’, and how he can’t wait for it to end, I felt my heart sink into my stomach.

“Are you allowed to bring your iPad to class?” I asked him. He looked at me stunned, as though he had never even considered it an option.

“No, sir.”

I proceeded to have a lengthy conversation with Jermaine (the best part was that he kept calling me ‘Sir’) and left with the strangest mixture of anger and hope for our education system.

Originally posted on Jun 12 2011 here.

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