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 Post subject: nepotism?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2018, 10:04 
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How do you think the girls at Glendower house felt when the triplets went to switzerland, and they were left in England because they were to young?

Are there any other incidents of preferential treatment of the MBR clan?


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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2018, 10:18 
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I never understand why EBD did that. Why didn't she just make the cut-off age 10? I understand that parents might have been reluctant to send girls of primary school age to school abroad, but that never bothered her in the Tyrol books, and she changed her mind a few years later and decided that the Swiss branch should have juniors after all. And it's hardly as if she was that worried about being realistic - as if a school would just up sticks and move to another country at two minutes' notice, anyway!

I think Bride was an obvious choice as HG, and arguably Peggy as well, and there was no strong alternative in Josette's form, but I don't see why Maeve should have been HG rather than someone like Jo Scott. The triplets also seem to get special treatment in that Miss Annersley discusses school business with them in Challenge, but Mary-Lou gets told a lot more confidential info than they do. And Margot gets let off her punishment in New Mistress - that's not so much because she's Joey's daughter as that the Maynards live next door so are able to have a birthday party, but it's still special treatment.

The one that really annoys me is in Eustacia, when Robin is allowed to go on the trip to Fulpmes but Anne Seymour has to miss the highlight of the trip to babysit her. The excuse was that Die Rosen was full up with visitors, but couldn't either Robin or one of the visitors have stayed elsewhere?

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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2018, 10:37 
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Alison H wrote:
The one that really annoys me is in Eustacia, when Robin is allowed to go on the trip to Fulpmes but Anne Seymour has to miss the highlight of the trip to babysit her. The excuse was that Die Rosen was full up with visitors, but couldn't either Robin or one of the visitors have stayed elsewhere?


It's weird that Madge tells Jo that she wants her to visit the glacier, but expects somebody else to pass up that opportunity and stay with Robin instead of Jo. If the glacier is so important that Jo (who, after all, lives relatively close) shouldn't miss seeing it, then why would somebody else want to stay behind?

(Apart from the needs of the story, of course!)


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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 31 Oct 2018, 17:37 
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The triplets going to Switzerland is definitely nepotism. It's hard on the triplets too - they're over a year younger than the next oldest girl in the school, which had to be difficult socially. And they start out as day girls; the only girls in the school who aren't full boarders, which would set them apart even more. And it's particularly hard for Margot. Len's naturally mature, academically advanced and well behaved, and Con retreats into her own imagination, but Margot's an impulsive not very hard working kid, is expected to be a good two years more advanced than her age in bother behaviour and academics, and is shamed when she can't manage it. It's also only for two terms, as the school gets juniors the following summer.

And really, Joey could have stayed in England for an additional two terms while Jack is in Switzerland getting established. She moves away from Jack for a year with no qualms earlier - from Island to Carola.

Sending Robin on the half-term expedition likewise makes no sense. If she's so delicate that an evening of worry threatens to send her into a fatal decline there's no way she should have been sent away from Madge and Jem's care.

I would say Margot's treatment in general is nepotism. If she weren't a Maynard her outbursts of temper and blackmail would have been treated more seriously (particularly nearly killing Betty), and she would definitely not have been made Games Prefect. But that's also hard on her. She doesn't have the personality and maturity to be Games Prefect, so she's being set up to fail.

Early in the series Joey's treatment is also a sort of nepotism. Madge makes the decision early on to treat school business as Bettany family business, which means telling Joey information that really should have been confidential, and Joey does get treated differently than the rest of the school when it comes to discipline.

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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 12:46 
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Alison H wrote:
I never understand why EBD did that. Why didn't she just make the cut-off age 10? I understand that parents might have been reluctant to send girls of primary school age to school abroad, but that never bothered her in the Tyrol books, and she changed her mind a few years later and decided that the Swiss branch should have juniors after all. And it's hardly as if she was that worried about being realistic - as if a school would just up sticks and move to another country at two minutes' notice, anyway!


It's particularly odd as the likely demand for school places from locals, patients and San staff would be for primary school and nursery aged children, many on a day basis.


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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 01 Nov 2018, 20:48 
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Margot not being punished more severely for the blackmail and bullying of Ted, or the bookend incident. At the very least, she should have been put in isolation or something for how she treated Ted. It was really nasty, and it wasn't a spontaneous outburst, it was planned.

ETA: agreed that Maeve was a poor choice for head girl as well. Bride did really well considering how last minute it was, and Peggy is one of those people who's just naturally good at taking care of others. Jury's out about Josette though.


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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 02:48 
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There's also an incident where Con's 'punishment' is to tell her mother. Where else in the series is that considered a proper punishment?

Con being given the magazine prefect job when previously the position had been voted for an Jo Scott being awarded the Jo Maynard prize by the prefects, also raises eyebrows.

But without doubt, the way Margot's bad behaviour is constantly excused is the worse example.

Even when she plainly should never be allowed to coach the younger girls and bullies them, she's not dumped as Games Prefect. When you have young girls gossiping about her bad temper and actively avoiding her, then she really needs to have the self awareness that she needs to resign of her own accord.

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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 08:48 
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It's interesting because none of this is down to either Madge or Joey: it's Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson who are making the decisions. OK, it's actually EBD, for the sake of the story it's the two headmistresses! Miss Annersley actually tells Bride that they were worried there'd be allegations of favouritism if she'd been named HG straight after Peggy, but that doesn't seem to bother them later on. They can't have imagined that Madge would sack them if they removed her niece from the position of Games Prefect for valid reasons, or gave her a severe punishment for her treatment of Ted or throwing the bookend at Betty. At worst, it would have made things awkward between them and Joey, but I think Joey would have accepted it.

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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 13:48 
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There are minor incidents too such as the triplets being upset because Mamma won't be there for their birthday (do any or many girls have parents for their birthdays?) but Auntie Hilda arranges a special birthday tea for them. Jo is going to UK for an op.


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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 16:46 
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Can anyone really see Hilda and Nell - two strong women, as created by EBD - doing such things? It's just poor writing and not knowing your own characters. Surely she, as a teacher and headmistress herself, must have had some idea of how such things would look.

Would a strong person like Hilda really need Joey to shore her up when things go wrong? :shock:

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 Post subject: Re: nepotism?
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2019, 18:03 
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It's very frustrating. I know she wanted Joey involved, but there'd have been ways to do that without the staff and the prefects running to Joey every time there was a problem. They wouldn't have expected Joey to come for them to advice about her writing.

Len asks her dad why she and Con and Margot weren't going to St Mildred's, which would have made sense seeing as they seemed to have spent two years in the VIth form already, and Jack said that the school needed them, which really was strange!!

I also find it annoying that Mary-Lou was given a special award when she left. My school always gave a leaving prize to the head girl, and I think that head girls of the Chalet School had so much responsibility that they were quite entitled to a special prize, but why give one to Mary-Lou when none of the other head girls had ever got anything? It wasn't even as if they'd decided to introduce the idea for all future head girls: it was made clear that it was a special award just for one person. Julie and Betsy were probably quite hurt when Vi told them about it!

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