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 Post subject: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 31 Jul 2017, 23:58 
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This week’s discussion is The Chalet School in the Oberland, first published in 1952. This book covers the same term as Shocks, and chronicles the first term of the new CS finishing branch, St Mildred’s, in the Bernese Oberland. Peggy Bettany and Co. form Team Chalet, while new girl Elma Conroy is the most prominent of the non-Chalet girls to become a Millie. Notable events:

The book opens with Miss Wilson, now Head of St Mildred’s, getting everything organised for the first term with her new secretary, Gillian Culver. They had initially expected only girls from the CS and Nell Randolph, guest star of Peggy, but word soon got around and they will be opening with thirty nine girls, many of whom are of non-CS origins.
Daisy Venables, who is spending a few days with Peggy Bettany in Lugano, rings up to say she has to return to England sooner than expected, therefore Peggy will be seeing her off and then coming up that day instead of the next. Miss Wilson tells Gill about Daisy’s engagement, and that the wedding is fixed for June next year when the Russells and Maynards return from Canada.
The girls arrive at Interlaken and make their way up to the new school. One of the new non-CS girls, Elma Conroy, is disgusted that they are made to croc in the streets, sneers at the warm reception Peggy receives when they meet her at the Lauterbach station, and when they arrive at the school and have Mittagessen, she is disparaging about the dishes and the way Marie, one of the maids, answers a question about the dessert.
After Mittagessen, the girls begin to get acquainted. Peggy explains that the trilingual policy will be in force. One of five new French girls, Gabrielle Fournet, reveals that her mother’s cousin was Yvette Mercier, and that Suzanne died of a cold during the Occupation when the Nazis turned her and her week old son out of their home.
As the girls settle in, they continue in their own particular cliques. Miss Wilson announces that they will be sorted into three groups for lectures depending on their specialisms; St Ursula’s for languages, literature, geography and botany; St Barbara’s for maths and science, and St Agnes for the girls expecting to be there for two years instead of one.
Elma, seeking out her friend Pamela, finds her sitting at a table with another girl, Edna Purdon. Elma rhetorically asks Pamela why they couldn’t have opened the school near a town, and Edna, thinking she is speaking to her, replies that the San will be opening nearby soon and patients will want their girls nearby. Elma mocks her and walks off with Pamela, leaving Edna puzzled.
Edna, who was taught at home by an over-protective Oxford don mother and doctor father, was sent to Moray House at the age of fifteen, and had been thoroughly miserable because her stilted speech and priggishness had caused everyone to dislike her. Following Elma’s rudeness, she wonders if the same thing is going to happen here, and is genuinely puzzled as to why nobody likes her.
Peggy comes in, and Edna asks her why nobody likes her. Peggy advises her not to talk as though she’s always right about everything, as it gets people’s backs up, then takes her off for hot chocolate and advises her to bring her Kodak for the walk they are about to embark upon. She accompanies Edna up to her cubicle and is struck by its prim neatness.
On the walk, Dickie quietly asks Peggy why Edna is tagging on with their group, and Peggy tells her that Edna looked so miserable she wanted to help, and that it isn’t the Chalet way to leave new girls on their own.
At the bottom of a slope, the group stop so that Dickie can take a photograph, but they disturb an ant colony in doing so and several of the girls end up covered in them. Edna suggests they buy some paraffin as she believes ants hate the smell of it, but before they can act on the idea Frau Heinersch, the postmistress, brought to the scene by the girls’ shrieks, offers them the use of her chalet so that the girls affected can undress and rub themselves down there instead.
The school begins lessons, and many of the girls struggle with having to put everything into French. Elma earns herself another black mark when she replied rudely in English to a remark by Anthea Barnett, only to be overhead by Matron.
Two weeks into the term, the staff have a discussion about how the girls are settling in. Miss Norton, the English mistress, remarks that she has observed two distinct camps springing up; Peggy, Anthea and Co., and a group led by Elma who seem to have the knives out for Peggy and Anthea, as well as Edna and the French girls. Miss Nalder, who taught at Elma’s old school and is the reason she is there in the first place, reveals that Elma led a rebellion against some school governor dictums and, if her mother hadn’t got her oar in first and withdrawn her, would have been quietly removed from the school at the end of term.
The school goes on its first expedition, to the Wengernalp, and on the way pass the Auberge with its echoes which becomes a staple ramble of later Swiss books.
One Sunday, a shocked Edna walks in on Elma, Pamela and two other girls, June Amery and Muriel Abbey, smoking and playing contract bridge in the summerhouse. Elma threatens Edna if she dares to sneak on them and Edna walks off. Peggy and Daphne then walk in, and while they are dubious about whether or not they are allowed to smoke, they know that cards are definitely not allowed on Sundays. They are then interrupted by Miss Norton and Mlle, who confiscate the cards and orders them off on a walk. Elma believes that the reason the mistresses arrived is because Edna sneaked on them, and vows to pay her out. She and Pamela go for a walk, and she reveals to a shocked Pamela that she has been secretly seeing Stuart Raynor, a ne’er-do-well, and plans to marry him.
That evening, the girls notice that Peggy, who had been sent for by Miss Culver, is missing. Dickie and Daphne ask Miss Wilson about her, and she reveals that Peggy’s mother is seriously ill with goitre, and they are standing by as she is likely to be sent for at any moment. The girls are horrified and send their best wishes to Peggy, who wants to be alone in the privacy of the San.
Peggy is sent for the next day and flies to England. Several days later comes the news that Mollie has been operated on and it has been a success, but that the next two days are vital to see if she stands the shock. Two days later, Madge rings up to say that she has pulled through and Peggy will be returning to school.
Elma receives a letter from Stuart Raynor, and her blush when she receives it attracts the attention of both Miss Norton and Pamela, who badgers Elma to give him up, knowing that her parents don’t approve of him and that she will get into an outsize row if she is caught. Elma snaps at her to mind her own business, and a fuming Pamela decides to cut her altogether and let her get into a row if she likes.
The next day, another letter arrives for Elma from Stuart, and the postmark and lack of a return address attracts the attention of Matron, who passes it to Miss Wilson. As Mrs Conroy had specifically asked Miss Wilson to watch Elma’s correspondence for any letters from Stuart, Miss Wilson sends for Elma and demands she open the letter. Elma initially resists, then lets her read it and the letter she had received the day before. Miss Wilson asks if she is engaged to Stuart, and she replied not yet. Miss Wilson sends her to her cubicle until she decides what to do with her.
Peggy returns late in the evening, still concerned at how weak her mother is, and Miss Wilson counsels her that she will probably be stronger than she ever was now that the goitre is removed. Reassured, Peggy goes to bed, and the next day receives a rapturous welcome from the others, although she notices that Elma is missing. When she goes to the dormitory for her coat, she hears Elma crying, and goes in to comfort her. Elma tells her the whole story, and confesses that she doesn’t love Stuart, she just enjoyed being singled out and defying her parents.
Peggy goes to Miss Wilson to tell her what she has heard, and Miss Wilson has a serious talk with Elma that leaves her happier but also ashamed of herself, and the matter is let go at that.
The snow begins, and the girls go out for skiing. Most of them are complete novices, and by that evening are very stiff and bruised, particularly Edna, who asks Miss Nalder if she can go to bed. Miss Nalder puts her down as a whiner and sends her to Matron, who puts her to bed on invalid diet. By the next day, Edna is so bored that she joins in the skiing with no further complaints.
Peggy, chasing Joan on her skis, gets caught in a stray branch and vanishes over a ledge into a snow drift. She is dug out and found to have taken no harm except for a broken ski, much to her sorrow.
More snow prevents the girls from going out, so to alleviate their boredom they decide to do something for the staff. Various suggestions are mooted, and Elma suggests a pantomime, which the girls agree on. They decide on Sleeping Beauty and set to doling out parts. Meanwhile, the staff issue invitations for St Nicholas’ Day, which puzzles all the girls except those who are French, and whom Mlle swears to secrecy.
The Feast of St Nicholas arrives, and after Kaffee the girls go to change. Peggy is astonished when Edna shyly asks if she can have a loan of some face powder, but obligingly shows her how to apply it and some lipstick, and does her hair in a style more suited to her. When they go downstairs, Peggy notices that Elma is sitting alone and brings her over to join the main group.
St Nicholas (Miss Wilson), three angels and two demons enter, and after reading out the list of girls names and a sin for each of them, the demons chase the girls all over the school until they are caught and beg for mercy. Each girl is then handed three gifts each before they have a splendid Abendessen.
Elma receives another letter from Stuart Raynor despite Miss Wilson having written to warn him off. She confides in Peggy, who coaxes her into taking the letter to Miss Wilson. Miss Wilson assures her she will deal with it, and warns Elma to be careful about how far she allows friendships with men to go. She advises her to try and patch things up with Pamela, and writes to Stuart again warning him that she will refer the matter to Mr Conroy and his solicitor if Elma is bothered again. Stuart takes the hint and backs off.
The staff notice that Pamela, who is still sulking over her fall-out with Elma, is unhappy, but as they take the line of not interfering in friendships, they are unable to do anything about it. They take the girls down to Interlaken for a concert, and Pamela gives Elma a wide berth the whole time. On the way back, Elma gets her alone for a moment and tries to make amends, but Pamela is not interested and stalks off.
The party gets on the train, which loses power halfway up the mountainside and begins to slide backwards, causing a panic. Pamela loses her head completely, but Elma takes charge of her and calms her down until the power comes back on. The incident helps them to reconcile, although Elma no longer tries to influence Pamela and Pamela learns to think for herself more.
The girls buckle down to rehearsing their pantomime, and invitations are sent out to the teaching and domestic staff. A visitor to the school spots Peggy passing with some costumes and, on hearing that they are doing a pantomime, asks if they would perform it at Mahlhausen for the invalids being treated there. The girls are initially horrified at the idea, but when the staff volunteer to help and put an end to lectures to give them extra rehearsal time, they agree.
The pantomime is held and is a great success, and the term ends with everyone declaring the new venture off to a good start.

So, thoughts on EBD's new direction with this book? What do you think of the Swiss setting? Thoughts on the Elma storyline and how it's dealt with? What about Peggy and her mother's illness?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 07:51 
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I quite like this book. I think Welsen lost its raison d'etre as soon as the main branch moved to the Gornetz Platz, but, at this stage, it makes a lot of sense for the girls to have a year in Switzerland, especially as the war and its aftermath had made any sort of foreign travel difficult during the 1940s. St Nicholas's Day and the pantomime are fun, when it's the first time we've had them, and the same with all the ski-ing stuff. It's new and exciting at this point.

Having said which, whilst I like the idea of the "older girls" storylines, but, unfortunately, I think it gets way too preachy. Naturally, it's one of the non-CS girls who has a boyfriend - and, of course, he has to be bad news, so it has to end in tears, as a dire warning to have nothing to do with boys. And then there's all that preachy stuff about not playing cards on a Sunday. Is there any need for that storyline? It'd fit better in something like the horrendous Beechy of the Harbour School. It was a good idea, but couldn't the "older" storylines have been less preachy? And was it necessary to make it quite so clear that the girl with the boyfriend was Not Quite One Of Us - dad sells tacky-sounding cosmetics - and for all the "bad" stuff to be done by non-CS girls?

I like Peggy much more in this book than I do when she's HG of the Chalet School. She shows much better leadership qualities. And, minor point, but, when she finds that there's no-one at the airport to meet her, she just sensibly gets in a taxi, instead of going off and having some sort of wild adventure and nearly dying in a snowdrift, which would have been much more of a typical CS storyline :lol:.

Welsen sounds like a nice place to spend a year, if you haven't been at school in the Alps previously and you aren't going on to further education. You get a year in a different country/culture, learn fluent French and German, have lectures on literature and the arts (or science, if you prefer), eat loads of cake without putting on any weight, and go to concerts.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 10:22 
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Alison H wrote:
Having said which, whilst I like the idea of the "older girls" storylines, but, unfortunately, I think it gets way too preachy.


I think EBD realised very quickly that older girl storylines wasn't really her style. She keeps emphasising the lack of rules and then introduces some! I think she wasn't able to write about things like wearing makeup, playing cards, smoking and liking boys, without reverting to a more 'typical' school story style which doesn't really suit the older atmosphere she was trying to paint.

For instance, Miss Wilson suppresses a money order Mrs Conroy sends to her daughter because she thinks Elma has too much money. How is that any of her business? Is there a rule saying the girls are only allowed XX amount of money? If Mrs Conroy wants her daughter to have the cash, then Miss Wilson should give it to her. Maybe have a chat about careful spending but she had no right to override Mrs Conroy's wishes.

Love it when Peggy calls Stuart a 'hunk' as an insult. Maybe she needs to meet one. :D

But I also like Peggy much better in this book especially the way she helps Edna and encourages her to fit in. It just shows just kind hearted she is, as she clearly has her own gang, but also goes out of her way to makes friends with Edna.

Overall, I love this book. The hikes, skiing, the concert visits and the putting on the pantomime just sound like a lot of fun.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 14:25 
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I think this book is fine as a one-off, to do something a bit different and try out the Swiss setting before taking the major step of moving the whole school there.

But I think it might not have appealed to EBD's main readership of girls aged 10-13. When I was that age, I didn't enjoy books where the characters were a lot older than I was. Ideally I liked to read about girls who were my age or up to a couple of years older than I was. I thought the ideal age for a schoolgirl heroine was 13-14.

There isn't the scope for the pranks and mishaps and classroom scenes one gets in the main series. Overall, I think the books work best when we get a mix of age groups featured - Middles, Seniors, Prefects and Staff.

One of the main storylines here is the division between the CS girls and the 'new' girls. I wonder what it was like in the future, when the CS Sixth form decamped en masse to St Mildred's and new girls would have been very much in the minority among girls who had known each other for years?

I'm sorry that from here on we lose Nell from the main school. I also don't think she's necessarily best suited to running a finishing school. I think it would have been a far better use of her talents to have her take over at Glendower House and perhaps have Mdlle Lachenais at St Mildred's. But then we'd have lost her from the books entirely.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 15:16 
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Yes, this is an odd book to me, and it's really not one of my favourites - I always have a slightly uncomfortable feeling that a school like St Mildred's is almost counter to CS ideals, even if it's not so awful as the one Drina ends up at in Drina Dances in Switzerland.

The idea seems to be that it's trying not to be 'the CS at one remove', but I don't think it succeeds - not surprising, considering the CS girls obviously all know each other already, and how much of the CS ethos it retains: suppressing Elma's money (mentioned by Joyce) and no playing cards on Sunday are surely straight from CS rules (regulated pocket money is definitely flagged up in Lavender and Carola). Minor differences such as having lectures instead of lessons are not going to have that much impact on the situation.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 16:00 
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The few stated rules but lots of unspoken rules approach would have worked just fine with the CS girls - they've come through the system, and they know what's expected with things like boys, smoking, appropriate reading material, playing cards, makeup, prayers, dormitory routine and so on. But throwing a random set of new girls into the mix would mean they would have to spell out things more clearly. They have some girls from day schools, where they would not be under school authority outside of school hours, along with girls from convent schools. And it makes sense that some of the girls would have boyfriends (or platonic male friends) they communicate with, and that wealthy girls would be learning to handle having more than basic school-girl spending money.

I also like Peggy better here than as a Head Girl or middle. She still comes across as a bit too perfect, but the plotline with Mollie's illness is well done, and her willingness to help Elma is nice.

In the later years of the finishing branch, I think the CS/non-CS divide would be a big problem. Here, at least, they've got some new mistresses, a new setting, and physical distance from the main school. Miss Norton is new, and Matron Rider and Miss Nalder have been at other schools since the school left Austria, so they wouldn't know the CS girls at all.

The first pantomime is quite entertaining (much more so that in later books), and I like the girls' panic when they realize they've been volunteered for a public performance.

The Elma storyline is a bit over the top in a morality-tale way, but I like her fall-out with Edna and her friend Pamela.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 01 Aug 2017, 17:40 
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I feel really sorry for Edna (although I shall always associate the name Edna with Mrs Krabappel from The Simpsons :D ). She's basically Eustacia 2.0, except that she does at least make the effort to find out why the other girls don't like her and tries to do something about it, but nobody except Peggy attempts to meet her halfway. I was astonished at the bit where Dickie groans because Peggy brings Edna along with their group - it might be very realistic, but it was just so un-CSish. And I don't get why the staff were so down on her when she asked if she could lie down after skiing - she isn't used to that sort of exercise and has just got over a bad cold, and the girls were lazing about in their Saal anyway, so what difference would it have made if Edna wanted a kip in her actual bed?

Elma's a nasty piece of work for the first half of this book, and I don't blame Pamela in the slightest for cold-shouldering her after trying to do the right thing re. Stuart - I'm only sorry EBD makes them pally again at the end! The bit about Elma vowing to pay Edna back because she believes she grassed them up to the mistresses for smoking and playing cards doesn't seem to go anywhere. It was ages since I'd read this book and I couldn't remember what happened, so I was all expectant that Elma would wreak some sort of revenge on Edna, but nothing happens. :dontknow:

I love the description of St Nicholas's night, and the image of Nita dancing round and round a table to avoid the demon chasing her had me in stitches. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 04:32 
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Aquabird wrote:
I was astonished at the bit where Dickie groans because Peggy brings Edna along with their group - it might be very realistic, but it was just so un-CSish.


At least Dickie had the decency not to let Edna overhear her. I had that done right to my face after a teacher 'forced' a group to let me join them. It was for a school excursion to a museum and we were not allowed to be alone. Of course as soon as the teacher left, the group all ran off. Then I got in trouble for walking round on my own.

That's why I liked the CS girls - even though occasionally we see girls who are asked to have a girl they did not like as a walk partner etc they at least stay with the person and don't make them feel bad.

Quote:
The bit about Elma vowing to pay Edna back because she believes she grassed them up to the mistresses for smoking and playing cards doesn't seem to go anywhere. It was ages since I'd read this book and I couldn't remember what happened.


I think Pamela, who seems to be much nicer and kinder, tells Elma to leave Edna alone because they don't have any real proof of what happened.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 02 Aug 2017, 14:24 
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I really enjoyed this book. It was nice to see well known characters dealing with a different situation and the desicions made as to what would and would not be allowed or acceptable.

I have to say that I don't really understand the point of a finishing school in a foreign country when it is in the middle of nowhere. I thought the purpose was to spend some time in another culture and learning/perfecting the language with native speakers. We don't really see that happening - the school is too isolated. Would it not have been better in a large town or city?


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2017, 18:23 
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I like this book too and really enjoyed seeing the girls post regular education and preparing for the real world.

I'm quite surprised it was Miss Wilson who became the head of Welson, I always thought of her as a tomboy so going into a very feminine environment must have taken some adjustments. Having said that Tom Gay later attends so goodness knows how she coped!

One thing that annoys me in this book is the make-up comments about those without having pale lips and a shiny nose! I don't wear make-up for these reasons! :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2017, 18:40 
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Quote:
Tom Gay later attends so goodness knows how she coped!

One thing that annoys me in this book is the make-up comments about those without having pale lips and a shiny nose!

I don't suppose Peggy would dream of telling Tom she should wear make-up, and Tom (and everyone else) would either laugh at her, or think she had gone mad, if she did. But it's all right for her to tell Edna she should wear make-up.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2017, 22:02 
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I am just really repeating what others have said but also my thoughts.

Until GGB brought out this book I had only read it once when young as a library book so not too familiar with it.

A finishing school the last place I would have expected to see Miss Wilson and such a shame she did not stay with the main school. Clearing her out though left Joey as Hilda's main confidante.

I also cannot help but contrast the roles of Rosalie Dene and Gill Culver. I suppose it was because she was older and more experienced but Rosalie seemed a much more respected figure than Gill. Gill often seemed little more than a messenger but that would also have been in part due to the difference in size of the schools.

I wonder though towards the end of the series when Rosalie had such a huge workload why we never hear of some of the work being given to Gill. Ditto the once or twice Rosalie was ill and we hear of her work being farmed out to the older girls. I also wonder whether Gill would have been a bit lonely amongst older, more senior teaching staff?

I don 't see Peggy as any different in this book as she was in her last year in the main CS books apart from being a bit more mature. I think it's interesting that when she hears her mother is so ill she withdraws into herself. It's quite an uncommon reaction in a children's/girls' book and I wonder if this was how EBD reacted when she had trouble.

The finishing school really worked here before the main school went to Switzerland. Later on, too, I wonder if girls set up for university or other definite careers would have gone to a finishing school first.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 03 Aug 2017, 22:46 
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Quote:
I also wonder whether Gill would have been a bit lonely amongst older, more senior teaching staff?

She'd have been all right once the school proper arrived the following year; she could socialise with the younger mistresses.

We never hear of any of the mistresses doing it, but there must have been plenty of young nurses at the San to socialise with, too.

Quote:
Later on, too, I wonder if girls set up for university or other definite careers would have gone to a finishing school first.


What would have been useful, I think, would have been to add a secretarial course along with intensive language tuition and general social skills. That would have been useful for girls like Joan Baker and Evelyn Ross and others who were going to work but weren't going on to further education.


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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2017, 01:08 
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For someone like Mary-Lou, there wouldn't be much point in going to the finishing branch. Her languages are already quite good, and she's got very definite and ambitious career plans that wouldn't be helped by a year at finishing school, and would be put off by an extra year.

The finishing school would work best, I think, as a gap-year or alternate upper sixth aimed at non-CS girls; year in Europe with a concentration on languages and culture and healthy sport. Having half or more be CS girls, with a smattering of strangers would be a disaster. The CS girls would be familiar with the area, all know each other, and would be chattering away in German next to girls who were still struggling at the "pen of my aunt" stage (and likely didn't care at about events at the main school).

I agree that Miss Wilson seems an odd choice. She strikes me as one of the least traditionally feminine of the staff, and one of the more academic minded. I can't see her being happy providing polish to well to do young
women. And as a science type myself, I can't see the finishing branch offering much to girls intending on studying science or math. It would make much more sense for them to go straight to university, and you need a fair investment in facilities to teach any lab work. And unless a girl was already advanced in French and German, she'd need to spend a lot of time on language work, not equations.

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 04 Aug 2017, 02:32 
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jennifer wrote:
Having half or more be CS girls, with a smattering of strangers would be a disaster. The CS girls would be familiar with the area, all know each other, and would be chattering away in German next to girls who were still struggling at the "pen of my aunt" stage (and likely didn't care at about events at the main school).


Not to mention having to go to Saturday night events at the main school and having to come up with silly dressing up ideas for it. That might be good for children but do people in the late teens think that is fun?

Later they also have a stall at the sale so they have to spend time making stuff for it. Now that's fine for CS girls who are used to hobbies club and making arts and crafts, but what if you are not? And you don't give a hoot about the San?

I think EBD just forgets non-CS girls, especially older ones, may not fall into the CS ideas as readily and indeed, may even think they are silly.

Cheers,
Joyce

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 21:04 
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Being told to stand on your own two feet
Being told to stand on your own two feet
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Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 06:47
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Location: North Carolina, USA
I enjoy this one, but I read it for the first time as an adult. It wouldn't have appealed to me as a child; the girls and their problems are too mature. As a one-off, it's a nice glimpse into a different part of the school.

Every time I read it, I wonder what Stuart Raynor wrote to Elma that she went with Peggy to Miss Wilson. Did he say he would harass her with letters? Did he threaten to expose their trysts and ruin her unless she kept them up?

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 Post subject: Re: Books: The Chalet School in the Oberland
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:47 
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Joined: 20 Dec 2016, 13:46
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I also read this one for the first time as an adult, and was rather amused by EBD's attempt to deal with more adult issues.
I suspect this was not the emotion she was intending to evoke.

It was nice to see a mix of girls but the overtones of classism did annoy me - makeup is acceptable when used to make a new girl 'one of us' but is distinctly Non U when it pays another girl's school fees.


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