When did the narrator meet TItus Hoyt?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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The narrator of Miguel Street meets Titus Hoyt the day that Elias sat for the Cambridge Senior School Certificate examination. Elias had been studying at the school begun and operated by Titus Hoyt. It was located at the far end of Miguel Street, the end the narrator and his friends did not frequent. He makes the remark that it looked like any regular house on the street rather than like a schoolhouse. When the narrator meets Titus Hoyt, when Titus Hoyt first comes to the narrator's end of the street, is also the year before Elias's mother dies.

   Elias began going to the school at the other end of Miguel Street. It didn't really look like a school at all. it looked just like any house to me, but there was a sign outside that said:

  • Titus Hoyt, I.A. (London, External)
    Passes in the Cambridge School Certificate Guaranteed

[...] The year before his mother died, Elias sat for the Cambridge Senior School Certificate.
   Titus Hoyt came down to our end of the street.
   'That boy going to pass with honours,' Titus Hoyt said. 'With honours.'
   We saw Elias dressed in neat khaki trousers and white shirt, going to the examination room, and we looked at him in awe.

Elias sits for the exam in that first year after studying with Titus Hoyt but fails despite great expectations. His name is not published in the newspaper, The Guardian, which it would have been had he "gotten a pass." (In England and in all countries where the British colonialism implanted the English school system, students "sit for" exams, or examinations, whereas in the American school system, students "take" exams, more often called "tests.")

It took quite a long time to get the results of the Cambridge Senior Schools Certificate examination. Elias sat for the exam the "year before his mother died." His "mother died in January" of the year after he sat for the exam. The results were published in The Guardian the March of the year his mother died: "His mother died in January; the results came out in March." [Elias had to wait something like an entire year to find out whether he passed or not. After finding out he failed to pass, Elias decided to study another year with Titus Hoyt and, to that end, moved in with him.]

Thus, though little information is given about the narrator's initial introduction to Titus Hoyt, he met him the year before Elias's mother died; the day Elias first sat for the Cambridge exam; about a year before Elias learned that he failed his first sitting of the Cambridge exam.

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