Barnes A Parents

Area for current parents, past parents and future parents of Blues or Old Blues.

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carong
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by carong » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:18 pm

Angela Woodford wrote: Missing Holly Burning? What sort of stupid punishment is that?

And what is this "standing up if you've ever had a school punishment" thing?

I'm all in favour of speaking out if a Housemistress is unreasonable, Caron.

I wish that I'd been able to speak out about seven years of DR. Kerren once spoke of a friend who had been given a dismal mark from DR after her Scripture essay, but "took it on the chin" and wasn't distressed. I might just bet that that friend hadn't been written off as hopeless by DR for seven years? "Took it on the chin"? I did, for seven years.

Hertford Housemistresses were a strange variety of women, but it's also the punishments inflicted by the Senior Girls and the perceived "superiorities" of the 'A' and 'B' streams (another DR terrible mistake) that stick most in my mind; that were also important when it came to Hertford unhappiness.

Nowadays, let's have transparency. No unkindness, no bullying.
Missing Holly Burning was the punishment for sneaking out on the night of Holly Burning the year before to have a Midnight picnic in School Block and some 'concerned neighbour' calling the Police. TBH, I thought it was a reasonable punishment, and Mrs Lawerence did let us have our own mini (and subdued!) Holly Burning up in Dorm. (Besides, it was all the 'fun' group who had sneaked out, and therefore I think we still had a better time upstairs than they did down!)

The standing up thing is a jokey thing. Different 'factions' are given different verses of the 12 days of Christmas to sing - anyone who was in the 1st XV rugby, anyone who was in the choir etc ... The final one is 'anyone who had a school punishment'.

I'm sorry you had such a miserable time. There were still elements of that in my time, and I have never been able to understand WHY senior girls were permitted to punish the younger ones without any form of checks and balances.
Caron Garrod (nee Haskell)

2:38 1976 - 1979

Angela Woodford
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by Angela Woodford » Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:02 pm

Thanks for your kind reply, Caron!

I hope that anyone else affected by your Housemistress problem has contacted you. I think you're a great, efficient and concerned mother!

I wrote home again and again in the L1V about my daily punishments - I'm sure others did too - but, as Frances has said, staff and seniors were bound to be right and "they'd have been making things worse for me". My parents were terribly disappointed that I didn't succeed at CH, but were far too in awe of DR to investigate.

I always feel so pleased that things have changed from that Hertford closed-institution system.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

fra828
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by fra828 » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:58 pm

When I was a senior at Hertford, I never felt comfortable with giving out punishments to juniors, so I just turned a blind eye! Did anyone else do this?

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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by Pixie » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:37 pm

Yes, I did that too. I was considered to be too friendly with my juniors and DR wrote in my last report 'she needs to hold herself aloof from the juniors and develop more dignity and poise'! I've never been one for pulling rank and and I have a happy working life that way.
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by wurzel » Thu Jul 08, 2010 3:23 pm

Biggest problem we ever had was when there were senior and junior houses - half the UF stayed down as monitors and some were megalomaniacs. They could give out house drills which in LHB were 4 loops single 6 loops double of LHB down past doctors house to doctors lake along the road and through maingate up avenue back to LHB to be done and you changed back into housey before breakfast. One monitor used to cycle behind you holding a hockey stick if it touched you he would smack it round your behind.

As there were no checks you could get a drill for trivial things - i once got one on my 3rd form for to put it politely "passing wind" on the back asphalt.

I vowed to go up on my UF and in fact was never a house monitor even in senior house

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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by sejintenej » Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:34 pm

wurzel wrote:Biggest problem we ever had was when there were senior and junior houses - half the UF stayed down as monitors and some were megalomaniacs. They could give out house drills which in LHB were 4 loops single 6 loops double of LHB down past doctors house to doctors lake along the road and through maingate up avenue back to LHB to be done and you changed back into housey before breakfast. One monitor used to cycle behind you holding a hockey stick if it touched you he would smack it round your behind.

As there were no checks you could get a drill for trivial things - i once got one on my 3rd form for to put it politely "passing wind" on the back asphalt.

I vowed to go up on my UF and in fact was never a house monitor even in senior house
At least in the 1950's in Col A every punishment by a monitor had to be recorded in writing giving reason and punishment plus sign-off when it had been done. A small number of reasons required the House Captain to authorise the punishment (like insufficient points in the inter-house athletics). Kit Aitken would check the book from time to time as did the house captain - who knew exactly what was going on. Absolutely NO physical touching allowed - that was for house masters.

Megalomaniacs just didn't get to be monitors - period!.
However, there were time limits for punishments and if they were not acheived then the punishment had to be done again and again and again; each attempt was recorded and after a series of close failures the person giving the punishment could record it as passed. Yes - we did check that the mile was the complete distance, the PO Path had to have the gate visibly touched ..... An attempt to cloud the issue went to the housemaster for a walloping

wurzel
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by wurzel » Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:39 pm

i was talking early 1980's !!!!

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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by Jo » Sat Jul 10, 2010 2:58 pm

fra828 wrote:When I was a senior at Hertford, I never felt comfortable with giving out punishments to juniors, so I just turned a blind eye! Did anyone else do this?
To my shame, no I didn't. Angela has said on here how she was concerned that the juniors didn't have as miserable a time as she did, and I read that with huge admiration. I think I tried to be sympathetic to those suffering from homesickness, having been so terribly homesick myself, but I'm afraid I probably took on the punishment-giving with rather too much relish. I don't think I was ever unnecessarily hard or unfair, and actually I did learn a thing or two from the experience. I think I've written before about when I was supervising 2nd year prep and it was impossible to make them behave properly - basically I gave up telling them off, and instead told them I had two hours' prep to do, and would only start timing them for their 40 minutes when everyone shut up and behaved. It was TOTP night so they kept each other in order perfectly so as to get out on time...... :D

Moral: it's usually impossible to make someone do something. You have to find the correct incentive to make them want to .

I also remember b*llocking a group of juniors when I was on dorm duty, and giving them all silent beds. They were picking on one person and giving her a really hard time. My instinct was to come to her defence but I realised that would make it worse for her so I just punished them all equally. It felt unfair but I knew from experience that people are more likely to unite against a common "enemy".

I suspect, and I'm not proud of this, that I was probably a bit petty. I remember telling some juniors off for something and one of my own peers told me I was precipitating trouble. She was probably right.
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Angela Woodford
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by Angela Woodford » Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:08 pm

Pixie wrote:Yes, I did that too. I was considered to be too friendly with my juniors and DR wrote in my last report 'she needs to hold herself aloof from the juniors and develop more dignity and poise'! I've never been one for pulling rank and and I have a happy working life that way.

Too friendly with the juniors! You bet - I've said before that 6's Juniors were the most super little girls; lively, funny and original. I'd go and sit on the radiator in the dayrooom and laugh and laugh at all their funny ways. I felt the most terrific maternal instinct towards them. They were not going to be summoned to the Study, shouted at and bullied, suppressed, and given endless shoe and bathroom cleaning and lines-writing punishments, or genuinely scorned and despised as I and a couple of other juniors were by the 6's Study of 1965.

Wendy Lee, Ruth McCurry, Anne-Marie Kelly and Alexandra Tzantyr - don't expect you'd remember? Thought not.

Fortunately, when dear old Pot arrived, she really liked and preferred the younger ones. " Eee... eee. M'chuldren!" she'd slur and puff through yet another cork-tipped Craven 'A'.

I'd love to know that those little girls never felt too unhappy.

I only had a go at one punishment. Lower Dorm was always noisy at night with after-hours messin' around. "But Munch! We're not really that tired!" they protested after I had urged them to settle down and crash out. You could hear the giggling and shrieking out of the open windows late on a summer night.

I organised a token run around the playground one evening. Hysterical! But everyone ran around really fast in an effort to wear themselves out. To my great horror, I saw DR approach. Of all the people, to bogger things up and maybe impose another punishment? She stood there, vibrating her chins and glaring at me; then suddenly turned on her heel and stamped off.

No comment! I'd got away with it.
"Baldrick, you wouldn't recognise a cunning plan if it painted itself purple, and danced naked on top of a harpsichord singing "Cunning plans are here again.""

carong
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UPDATE Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by carong » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:19 am

Hello Everyone!

Just thought I would let you all know the latest on this situation. (Esp. Nicky, whose daughter I have been very worried about).

I decided to take some time out before I did anything in order to let emotions (mainly mine!) calm down and then I sat down last weekend with the daughter, her best friend (in another house) and BF's mum, who is one of my BFs too, and we had a long chat about it all.

To the amazement of the 3 of us, my daughter put up a spirited defence of her housemistress and humbled us all with her attitude. Her main point was that it was this person's first year at CH, let alone as a HM, and that therefore she was probably quite right to stick strictly to the letter of the law while she was still learning the ropes. She freely admitted that she had transgressed the rules, but had maybe been slightly complacent because she had always been treated fairly leniently in the past by HMs who had known her from the beginning of her school career and therefore knew that she wasn't 'bad', just lacking in judgement sometimes. This woman could only take her at face value and had to set her own tone in the house.

She has asked me NOT to write to Mr Vessey but instead - "if you must write to someone, Mum" - to write to the HM concerned and explain my viewpoint. Then "Let's just keep an eye out next year". If she feels that the HM's attitude is still heavy-handed and OTT, then she will do something about it herself.

She said that she thought it would be horrible for the HM to finish her first year with such a huge complaint against her.

So ... that's what I've done today, and I am full of admiration for my daughter's maturity and understanding!

Caron
Caron Garrod (nee Haskell)

2:38 1976 - 1979

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J.R.
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by J.R. » Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:16 pm

I'm really glad that's sorted out !
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by englishangel » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:23 pm

They do surprise us sometimes don't they?
"If a man speaks, and there isn't a woman to hear him, is he still wrong?"

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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by wickedwitch » Fri Jul 23, 2010 10:08 pm

glad to hear its ok. x
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by sejintenej » Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:41 pm

Caron
Although I am glad to hear that you think everything is OK I think that it is your daughter's attitude which is the real victory.

She has learned to look at the subject from every angle - not just her own - and to make a careful (and sensible) judgement based on all the facts - not just those which would suit her. You should be proud of her and the environment which taught that to her.

David

carong
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Re: Barnes A Parents

Post by carong » Sun Jul 25, 2010 8:11 pm

sejintenej wrote:Caron
Although I am glad to hear that you think everything is OK I think that it is your daughter's attitude which is the real victory.

She has learned to look at the subject from every angle - not just her own - and to make a careful (and sensible) judgement based on all the facts - not just those which would suit her. You should be proud of her and the environment which taught that to her.

David
Thank you David, and I am immensely proud of her!

Caron
Caron Garrod (nee Haskell)

2:38 1976 - 1979

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