Monday, September 12, 2011

The 'From Lausie with love edition'.

 Great start to the day today with flat fire closing off the high street making getting into work later than it should of been, the rubbishy IT system we changed to was reversed to old one and storms raging here meaning I had to leave early too. Such fun!

Well in chatting with Lausie a few topics came up and I thought it would a good idea to post about them subject to the usually "all locations and full names  removed cos this is the internet' stuff:

So you wanna know about boarding school?
Well I went when I was 11 and 1/2 and it probably as as well as there were lots of problems at home revolving around Dad that were affecting me emotionally.
As much as I'd love to say I went to this gorgeous old building with orchard and that, it was actually a very modern boarding school on the edge of a small town and as close we got to an orchard was a field with wild poppies growing in it.
The school was what you call co-ed so not just being a girls school one didn't need any kind of spray Elspeth might of concocted to get in!
I quite liked it because it gave me security, a host of friends and more of a chance to be myself because for once I was in the right place at the right time.

When you mention boarding schools people tend to weigh in with opinions from either 'my Island horror story' or 'the very making of me' but oddly enough I think the best portrayal is in fiction specifically Enid Blyton's Malory Tower or St Clares series that you might possible of read before those who had it in for Enid removed her books from libraries in England.
Her portrayal is very similar to my experience in that it's a multifaceted thing because you are part of a social unit who live and breathe together for all of the time so everything is that much bigger.The good and the not so good.

If you live a way from people as I did it's a great thing because you have a ready made supply of playmates available form daybreak to sunset from different backgrounds plus my family had issues amongst themselves (still does!) so it provided a bit of an escape from them.
I suppose the first thing to say when I arrived was there were more boys so when the first morning had began it obvious the head boy had rather more to 'take care of' so standing very nervously by the wall, the Head Girl puts her arm through mine and says "I'm Jo and I'll take care of you".
This leads to the biggest tear stain heart to heart ever as I explain what stuff is like at home and why I really hate how I looked to the point of hurting myself deliberately all with a vocabulary of a nine year old as my English wasn't terribly good then. She doesn't really understand it all but says she'll help me which is good enough.
By a stroke of luck while the individual Dorms are gender separated, they alternate along one long corridor and so long as you didn't snuck in rooms over night or when people were getting changed, you could visit anybody in either, so I spend quite a bit of my my time with the Head Girls Dorm with her friends who become mine.

As well she realizes how the imbalance may affects Games we'd be down for Rounders and Netball and has a masterstroke. She takes me in tow to the Games Mistress and Having explained the potential problem says can I join them? After a while It's agreed so all I had to do was go to were the girls were playing and anyway Swimming was mixed.

In my school, the  Dorms for us held about 3 or four to one room in which  which you can put up some of your own things such as posters, dolls and you could have your own tv and tape player

If you wished although in the common room where you could read watch tv and have drinks before getting dressed for bed and lights out. No talking ever after lights out!!

Generally we could play in our dorm, the hall, outdoors in good weather under supervision, in in our common room although that's where we'd listen to music mainly in and sometimes we could arrange activities or school would take us out to places like the movies or the theatre especially when we were older.
The other side of being in a boarding school was you had to accept this space had rules and you had staff who would see you looked after yourself when it personal appearance and hygiene because that was their responsibility.
We also wore uniform outside class grey skirts or trousers with grey or red jumpers and white blouses -nothing really fancy (I'd of loved a blazer!) which I didn't mind cos at least nobody was able to be nasty about clothes you had.

The first thing you learned in your first term as that the 'social ground rules' were different, so If anyone said anything catty regarding another it would last well beyond communal mealtimes and 'broadcasting' your thoughts willy nilly or making wild accusations was a very silly thing to do cos the group would be upset for ages and you couldn't escape it.
You'd pretty much have to apologize to the person and the group and take whatever sanction they'd apply so we all could move on. Yes that was one lesson I learned from the Head Girl of the form the hard way!
In hindsight that was the best training for using the internet ever ('Everything seen cannot be unseen') as well as being very useful in large organizations dealing with group issues.
So you see my school experience was actually pretty good not because of some big idict from above but just from being flexible and showing compassion.

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