Tuesday, December 27, 2011
As some of you may know, I went to boarding school, and the question has been asked - well, was it? Apart from the wands and quill pens and so on?
How can I begin to answer that? Perhaps it will go some way if I tell you our timetable for the day.
7:15 Rising bell
7:45 Line up in twos to march silently to
8:00 Chapel. 1 hymn, 1 psalm (I'm one of the few who can still chant a psalm the old-fashioned way.
8:15 Walk in twos silently to breakfast
A short time to collect post from houseroom and collect books for
Short mid-morning break followed by
More lessons, except Wednesday, games afternoon, and Saturday = Freedom!
After lessons more games
More prep for senior school
My school had obviously taken to heart the saying about the devil making work for idle hands, and made jolly sure we were never idle. Also communication was not encouraged. Walking around in pairs in silence was a big thing in our life. If we couldn't talk, we couldn't plan anything, I think,
Sunday was an extra special day. There was an early communion service for those who wished - about the only thing in the week that was voluntary. They would have recognised the German system whereby everything that wasn't forbidden was compulsory. Then:
Writing home (in silence)
Walk - compulsory except in case of hurricane or a foot of snow
So not only did we have no free time to fraternise, but also there was the famous six-inch rule. Don't snigger in the back there! The rule states that there must be at least six inches separating members of the opposite sex at all times - yes, it was a mixed boarding school. But not very. It must have been reluctantly that they accepted that boys and girls would have to be in the same classroom, at all other times fraternisation was strictly discouraged.