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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 21:00 
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Jennie wrote:
It's not unfair for the girls to wash staff cars. In one independent school, I had girls asking if they could wash my car, because they found Sunday afternoons long and boring, so anything was better than nothing.


I don't have an issue with pupils volunteering to clean cars but there's a difference between Jack doing it because she enjoys messing about with cars and someone who asked to do it and feels unable to refuse.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2018, 16:01 
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Argh! Jack and her disgusting behaviour! Every time I read the scenes with her and Jane I want to start whipping the prefects and staff! I know, not very CS-like thoughts...

Jack’s initial grouse about being moved from Len is understandable and mildly believable, because no teen really likes change. But then to continue much longer is less credible. Len is just putty around Jack. She hears the dreadful things Jack says and just pets her.

Over-sharing personal information is such a recurring theme in the Swiss years. It’s unnecessary in almost every scenario (even when it’s a convenient way to do exposition). As others have said, there was absolutely no need for Jack to know anything about Jane’s background. Although she at least doesn’t make use of the information negatively.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 08 Sep 2018, 20:29 
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If only Mary-Lou had been Head Girl when Jack started. She wouldn't have enabled Jack's rotten behaviour.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2018, 01:32 
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Yeah, everyone falls down on this one. Jack is leading a targeted bullying campaign against a new girl, that starts with group ostracism, progresses to verbal harassment and then to physical violence. Everyone who sees what's going on is tenderly concerned with Jack's feelings and making sure she doesn't get into trouble, but they're surprisingly indifferent to poor Jane.

I don't actually blame Len that much - she's been burdened with responsibility from a young age, and has ended up believing that it's her duty to keep other people out of trouble, to avoid worrying the adults. She does it with Margot over and over again, and then with Jack, and both of them have issues that are way above Len's pay grade. And the spilling personal information is something she's seen her mother do repeatedly, to general praise. The mistresses, on the other hand, should know better. And even after this book, people are scared of Jack's jealousy, and indulge it.

Moving Jack away from Len's dormitory was a very sensible move, and probably should have been done after the first term or two. Jack is way to dependent on having Len as a personal mentor, and Len deserves to be able to go to bed in peace, particularly once she's got school prefect duties.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2018, 08:42 
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I think this and Eustacia are the only books where pretty much everyone messes up. I don't particularly blame Len either, but Maeve blaming Jane for being the victim of bullying, and then Kathie apologising to Maeve, is ridiculous.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2018, 14:44 
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jennifer wrote:
Yeah, everyone falls down on this one. Jack is leading a targeted bullying campaign against a new girl, that starts with group ostracism, progresses to verbal harassment and then to physical violence. Everyone who sees what's going on is tenderly concerned with Jack's feelings and making sure she doesn't get into trouble, but they're surprisingly indifferent to poor Jane.

I don't actually blame Len that much - she's been burdened with responsibility from a young age, and has ended up believing that it's her duty to keep other people out of trouble, to avoid worrying the adults. She does it with Margot over and over again, and then with Jack, and both of them have issues that are way above Len's pay grade. And the spilling personal information is something she's seen her mother do repeatedly, to general praise. The mistresses, on the other hand, should know better. And even after this book, people are scared of Jack's jealousy, and indulge it.

Moving Jack away from Len's dormitory was a very sensible move, and probably should have been done after the first term or two. Jack is way to dependent on having Len as a personal mentor, and Len deserves to be able to go to bed in peace, particularly once she's got school prefect duties.

That's one of the things that bothered me about Mary-Lou's speech to the triplets in Theodora, that and how nasty she is to Con, though that's another thread. Len is neurotic and over-responsible. But is it surprising? She's got her family constantly dumping responsibilities onto her, even for her own sisters who are the same age as her, and the school. They constantly expect Len to be responsible, and go on about how sensible and mature and how like Joey she is one minute and the next, she's being told off for it and being told she'll be a 'fussy old maid' if she doesn't stop doing what people have expected her to do her whole life.

Yes, Len enables Jack. But Len's been pigeonholed as the Responsible One since she was literally a toddler.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2018, 15:14 
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Alison H wrote:
I think this and Eustacia are the only books where pretty much everyone messes up. I don't particularly blame Len either, but Maeve blaming Jane for being the victim of bullying, and then Kathie apologising to Maeve, is ridiculous.


Absolutely. Kathie should have exerted her authority and sent Jack for a Head’s report. And banned her from the car for the rest of the term.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Sep 2018, 21:56 
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Lotte wrote:
jennifer wrote:
Yeah, everyone falls down on this one. Jack is leading a targeted bullying campaign against a new girl, that starts with group ostracism, progresses to verbal harassment and then to physical violence. Everyone who sees what's going on is tenderly concerned with Jack's feelings and making sure she doesn't get into trouble, but they're surprisingly indifferent to poor Jane.

I don't actually blame Len that much - she's been burdened with responsibility from a young age, and has ended up believing that it's her duty to keep other people out of trouble, to avoid worrying the adults. She does it with Margot over and over again, and then with Jack, and both of them have issues that are way above Len's pay grade. And the spilling personal information is something she's seen her mother do repeatedly, to general praise. The mistresses, on the other hand, should know better. And even after this book, people are scared of Jack's jealousy, and indulge it.

Moving Jack away from Len's dormitory was a very sensible move, and probably should have been done after the first term or two. Jack is way to dependent on having Len as a personal mentor, and Len deserves to be able to go to bed in peace, particularly once she's got school prefect duties.

That's one of the things that bothered me about Mary-Lou's speech to the triplets in Theodora, that and how nasty she is to Con, though that's another thread. Len is neurotic and over-responsible. But is it surprising? She's got her family constantly dumping responsibilities onto her, even for her own sisters who are the same age as her, and the school. They constantly expect Len to be responsible, and go on about how sensible and mature and how like Joey she is one minute and the next, she's being told off for it and being told she'll be a 'fussy old maid' if she doesn't stop doing what people have expected her to do her whole life.

Yes, Len enables Jack. But Len's been pigeonholed as the Responsible One since she was literally a toddler.


How do we know that Len did not enjoy the responsibility? She's only human. I know it makes me feel good if people depend on me. It must have been great for Len. I never get the impression she doesn't like it apart from when she mentions to Joey in A Future Chalet School Girl that she does not want to be a prefect the next term.

Regardless of what happened at home though, if she really didn't like responsibility, she could have shied away from it at school so no-one would have considered her for a prefectship until her last year.

In Bride Leads, I think it is Nancy Chester who says the person chosen to be HG must be very sure of herself so we can take it that Len must be sure of herself.

I think EBD regretted Mary-Lou ticking Len off in Theodora which is why, in the next book, we have Joey telling Len she has never been anything but a joy to her and Jack since the day she was born.

I feel sorry for Con and Margot having to live in the slipstream of this perfect sister.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2018, 06:13 
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I think you answered your own question, Audrey: the fact that we do see Len being uncomfortable at the thought of being a prefect so early, which is a pattern we've also seen with her mother, and yet not seen with any other person in the series is a fairly concrete suggestion that she perhaps doesn't enjoy being in a position of responsibility as much as you might have done. And it makes sense that there would be at least some people who would feel like she does. The thought of prefectorial duties makes me feel unwell, so not everybody is the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Sep 2018, 21:13 
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KB wrote:
I think you answered your own question, Audrey: the fact that we do see Len being uncomfortable at the thought of being a prefect so early, which is a pattern we've also seen with her mother, and yet not seen with any other person in the series is a fairly concrete suggestion that she perhaps doesn't enjoy being in a position of responsibility as much as you might have done. And it makes sense that there would be at least some people who would feel like she does. The thought of prefectorial duties makes me feel unwell, so not everybody is the same.


I am a background person; I loathe the spotlight. Len went on to be head girl, however, and the incident where she tells Jo she does not want to be a prefect the next year, is the only incident in the books where we see her not accepting responsibility.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2018, 07:08 
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Audrey25 wrote:
I am a background person; I loathe the spotlight. Len went on to be head girl, however, and the incident where she tells Jo she does not want to be a prefect the next year, is the only incident in the books where we see her not accepting responsibility.


Perhaps I misinterpreted what you meant when you said the following:

Quote:
I know it makes me feel good if people depend on me. It must have been great for Len.


And nobody at the school chooses to be Head Girl. They are appointed to it. So it's impossible to know, particularly as we don't see her being told she will be HG, as we do with Jo and Peggy and others, how she might have reacted to being told that.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2018, 09:18 
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KB wrote:
Audrey25 wrote:
I am a background person; I loathe the spotlight. Len went on to be head girl, however, and the incident where she tells Jo she does not want to be a prefect the next year, is the only incident in the books where we see her not accepting responsibility.


Perhaps I misinterpreted what you meant when you said the following:

Quote:
I know it makes me feel good if people depend on me. It must have been great for Len.


And nobody at the school chooses to be Head Girl. They are appointed to it. So it's impossible to know, particularly as we don't see her being told she will be HG, as we do with Jo and Peggy and others, how she might have reacted to being told that.


You did misinterpret KB. In relation to myself I meant if I am asked for advice or to do something quietly; not the very public duties Len was asked to perform where she was often the one on charge.

Regarding the head girl position, the point I was making was not whether or not she wanted to be head girl, but the fact she was seen as someone with the condidence to take on the role - to be able to speak from the school assembly platform, be in charge of other prefects, in charge of the school discipline from the point of view of the prefects, do a lot of organisation. She then did do the job which it had already been agreed (Bride Leads) was a job only a very confident person could do. Many people could not under any circs.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2018, 16:41 
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Audrey25 wrote:
You did misinterpret KB. In relation to myself I meant if I am asked for advice or to do something quietly; not the very public duties Len was asked to perform where she was often the one on charge.


Actually, looking back at what I wrote, I don't think I was making reference to you at all.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2018, 18:00 
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I think Len is quite an anxious person - which I sympathise with. For example, in Excitements, she's asked to go to see Miss A, for what turns out to be about the chapels, and spends all morning stressing that she's in big trouble, messing up her work as a result.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Sep 2018, 18:30 
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Alison H wrote:
I think Len is quite an anxious person - which I sympathise with. For example, in Excitements, she's asked to go to see Miss A, for what turns out to be about the chapels, and spends all morning stressing that she's in big trouble, messing up her work as a result.


I’d agree that she’s anxious. She worries about how her actions- or inactions- are the cause of others problems. Starting with Margot and needing to keep her calm, to Jack, to Mélanie in Future... EBD presents her as a leader, but she seems to just be trying to avoid conflict.

It still doesn’t, IMHO, excuse her failure to deal appropriately with Jack, although it does explain her actions.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2018, 18:11 
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Audrey25 wrote:
KB wrote:
I think you answered your own question, Audrey: the fact that we do see Len being uncomfortable at the thought of being a prefect so early, which is a pattern we've also seen with her mother, and yet not seen with any other person in the series is a fairly concrete suggestion that she perhaps doesn't enjoy being in a position of responsibility as much as you might have done. And it makes sense that there would be at least some people who would feel like she does. The thought of prefectorial duties makes me feel unwell, so not everybody is the same.


I am a background person; I loathe the spotlight. Len went on to be head girl, however, and the incident where she tells Jo she does not want to be a prefect the next year, is the only incident in the books where we see her not accepting responsibility.

You sound like my mum. Who was also a head girl, funnily enough. I don't know if she was elected or whether the staff picked her though. In my school, it was an election, and I didn't run due to being unpopular AND socially awkward.

I was going to say something about Con being HG, but then I think she'd have hated it and would rather just stick to creative things like the magazine.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 16 Sep 2018, 18:16 
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Len has been told since she was a toddler that she was "the responsible one". I see her as accepting responsibility because that is what she is expected to do rather than taking responsibility because that is her nature. It's the difference between Mary-Lou and Len.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: Jane and the Chalet School
PostPosted: 17 Sep 2018, 01:20 
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When I think of Len as a leader, I end up comparing her to Mary-Lou, who *was* a natural leader. If you put Mary-Lou in a group with no instructions, she'd end up in charge through sheer force of character. She also has a habit of seeing people's problems and trying to help. We see this when she's brand new to school and has never had a peer group, or been responsible for anyone in her life. She also has a tendency to be cheeky or overly familiar, and an unsquashable self confidence. So I get the impression of someone who loves being in charge and loves having people depend on her and actively seeks out those situations.

With Len, as someone said above, it's a much more anxious process. I think that naturally, she would be a responsible, well behaved girl who liked to help and was easily crushed by adult disapproval. But without the constant from-birth refrain of "eldest and most responsible" I think it would have been a much quieter process, working in the background. She doesn't show a desire to run things - she's happy with a couple of close friends, and is reluctant to be a prefect.

As it is, she's primary worried about keeping people out of trouble, rather than actually helping them with their problems. And as someone said upstream, she's quite anxious about it. When Jack and co run off from their walk, Len rushes to Miss Annersley to take all the blame, because it's her duty to personally keep Jack out of trouble. I don't see Mary-Lou doing that - she'd be just as annoyed at Jack as the rest of the school, even if she were trying to help her. And when Margot is acting up, Len is all about hiding her flaws from others, while quiet Con is the one who sees things clearly and asks for advice. And with Len, we don't see her seeking out people to help. Her sisters are assigned to her, and her relationship with Jack is all driven by the younger girl - Jack latches on and Len accepts the responsibility, even when it's not healthy, and really annoying.

Jack is also a natural leader - she quickly ends up with a gang of people around her, and she definitely bosses her form around. She's just not a good influence, and she lacks a desire to help people.

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