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 Post subject: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 20:10 
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Presenting your school report
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Joined: 13 Aug 2009, 18:41
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I already mentioned this book by Julie Welch in the Kindle thread since it is in the October sale at 99pence but I thought I would give it a thread of its own since reading it has been such a weird experience for me.

I suspect that the same would apply to those who were at school in the fifties and sixties, especially if they were at boarding school, as I was (1953-59)

As I read the first part of the book, it was as if I was reading my own words; much of what she writes is what I say in my talk "Pull your socks up Angela, the English schoolgirl in fact and fiction". The peculiarities of the rules that encompassed us, the power of the prefects, number of photos on dressing tables, the ban on hair washing, the daily rituals, the enforced polite behaviour at mealtimes, pashes, abseiling down from the third storey during a fire practice - indeed, nearly all that she covers, I went through in much the same way.

As she moved up through the school (Felixstowe College) things began to separate out a bit; we were certainly never as taken with boys as her group seems to have been, nor can I remember such extreme embarrassment about the time of the month, but again much is very familiar. I wondered whether the boy thing was as a result of the two school generations difference between us - she started in 1961 - but that wouldn't account for the increased embarrassment.

If others read it, I would be really interested in how much is familiar. I always thought we had such truly bizarre rules, clearly there was a pattern after all.

There is even a young science master, hounded out after a brief term or two. I found myself wondering if it was the same unfortunate man but decided the ages just didn't fit! (Who in their right mind appoints a young man, in his first job, to teach biology to pubescent teenagers? Two different headmistresses apparently!)

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 20:48 
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Joined: 15 Oct 2004, 13:57
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I've got it but haven't had chance to read it yet. I've been wanting to read it since I read a review of it in the paper when it was first published.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 20:58 
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Joined: 20 Jan 2004, 10:57
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^ What she said :wink:

It does sound interesting, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 03 Oct 2017, 21:10 
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Winning the dolls' house
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Joined: 29 Dec 2004, 17:16
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I've ordered a copy, but won't get it for a week or two, I suspect (not available on Kindle over here). I will be very interested to see how it compares with my own boarding school experience (1951-58).


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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 04 Oct 2017, 23:17 
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Joined: 27 May 2006, 13:28
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Quote:
Who in their right mind appoints a young man, in his first job, to teach biology to pubescent teenagers? Two different headmistresses apparently!

And a headmaster. We had a young, attractive, male biology teacher at my mixed grammar school in the late '60s. He'd have been sacked today, for more than one reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 07:39 
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Rescuing a Junior from the lake
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A rumour went round our (all girls) school that the new male geography teacher was incredibly good-looking and that the headmistress had been in two minds about whether or not to appoint him. He was not even remotely good-looking. And he must have been at least 45, which seemed like 100 to us. We were very disappointed :lol:. We did have one male biology teacher, but he was one of the oldest teachers in the school, not very attractive (lovely bloke, just not very attractive) and didn't teach the younger forms who did the "personal" stuff :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 08:41 
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Arguing from cause to effect
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A quick question: Will I still enjoy it if I didn't go to boarding school? I went to my local primary school (shock, horror, a village school) and then a mixed grammar school in the 50s - 60s.

Will now investigate if I can get it here.


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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 09:04 
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I'm planning to read it, and I didn't go to boarding school :D .

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 12:53 
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Presenting your school report
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thefrau46 wrote:
A quick question: Will I still enjoy it if I didn't go to boarding school? I went to my local primary school (shock, horror, a village school) and then a mixed grammar school in the 50s - 60s.

Will now investigate if I can get it here.

If you went to school in the 50-60s I think you will enjoy it, though it having been a co-ed school will have given you very different experiences. We were chaperoned whenever there were any boys around - for example one housemistress used to arrange informal tennis matches for seniors with the local boys' college. Whilst we were on court, there were no staff in sight. If it started to rain, and we sheltered together under the trees, we were surrounded at once by staff.

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 Post subject: Re: Too Marvellous for Words....
PostPosted: 05 Oct 2017, 13:42 
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It sounds exactly like my own school life in a convent grammar school from 1957-1965, cestina, so I must but it. Boys? At the mere mention of such, you were requested to talk about something else - at once!

I do recall the embarrassment over periods, but, at my daughter's junior school in the eighties, the top form decided it would be fun to rummage in people's satchels, remove sanitary pads and scatter them everywhere. I can't imagine that happening in my time, or what the nuns' reactions would have been if it had.

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