We featured Linda ‘Chocolate’ Berthier some time aback—lovely girl! After (recently) discovering that she had topped her class, we had a chat with this ‘mom on the go’ about finally attaining her Bachelor’s Degree, encountering a million hurdles whilst pursuing it, and more. Seriously, she’s superwoman to her family. Find out more about Linda’s accomplishments below.
YO!Last time we spoke you informed us that you had just completed your Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health at Monroe College. Now you have graduated and soon, you’ll have your degree in hand. Not forgetting that you topped your class too! How does it feel? How long did it take?
L.B: Yes I did top my class which comprised of Saint Lucians, and other students who flew in to the island to study here and others around the world online. I feel really relieved to have completed the programme, surprised at how quickly time flew by and my confidence has boosted up a few notches really to see that I did complete this intense one and a half year challenge.
YO!What was it like being a mom, (and momager?) singer-songwriter and emcee whilst also being a student?
L.B: I’m forever grateful to my family for the unmeasurable support and understanding. I would spend time playing harder with my kids during my planned play times and after tucking them in, I’d burn the midnight oil. Singing, emceeing—generally, entertainment is creative play therapy for me so I kept on doing what I love in between through meticulous time management.
YO!Mention some of the difficulties you encountered along the way and how you overcame them.
L.B: Engaging in fulltime study while remaining productive on a full time job was the main challenge. Technology helped but also became a huge downfall one particular semster. I was mugged one evening on my way home from school and lost my phone and pendrive and other school related stuff. That was another emotional drain and set back. At one time, the computer crashed whilst on vacation in Cuba so I had to spend literally hundreds of US dollars in one month to complete my assignemnets and online class sessions. The kind of dependancy humans have developed on technology can cause serious psychological strain, resource related set backs. During my studies there was such reliance on my machine that when a computer crashed it was like my life goals were placed on pause like forever! It was hard for my family because I spent most of my vacation rushing through house chores, then disappearing for the rest of the day till evening studying at the library. Apwey mweh tay lass! Worst vacation ever! We live and learn.
YO!Now that you have graduated, (major congratulations by the way!) what’s next?
L.B: Thank you! I will continue to soar. I’m convinced that nothing in life comes on a platter for me. I work hard and play hard. Education first and everything follows. Jah knows my desires so I’m reliant on the Higher Power’s guidance and just rewards.
YO! Did you ever expect to top your class?
L.B: I never ever expected to top not even a course really! Lol. I kept my focus on doing what’s right and doing my best, no matter how hard or tedious it seemed. Positive feedback from professors and classmates, hinted that I was a hard worker but I never once thought about comparing myself or competition. My head was too deep into my books! Lol