Michael Cherniavsky

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geoffreycannon
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by geoffreycannon » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:35 pm

Richard Slingfield says that most of the contributions to this website are inconsequential. So they are, but this is good. The meisters of the site have done a phenomenal job of creating space for so many hundreds of Old Blues to chat and sometimes to renew acquaintance. Also let's celebrate the construction of the site. It never occurred to me that there would be an unofficial CH site, which even could hint at the Dark Events of the mid to late 1950s, until in the midst of reminiscing about Michael Cherniavsky for the GC memoirs, I simply searched his name - and, lo! The reality of CH. like that of any institution, is never going to be depicted in official statements or positions.

Here is a suggestion. For me it is reinforced by what Richard Slingfield indicates about LCC scholarships, for I was an LCC scholar, without which my life would have been different and perhaps would have remained impoverished. Here is the suggestion. A bunch of us could create an e-book and an e-report. The fun part would be profiles of CH and great masters among whom I would include Nell Todd. The serious part would explain what was special then which is missing now, and propose how to restore the glory of the best British secondary education. This would be designed as the blueprint for the next UK government. I could not be a leader of such a project - for a start, my chosen country is Brazil where I now live and raise a family. But I could contribute. As a Guardian reader and also long ago a founding member of New Society staff, it's obvious to me that UK educational policy is in the hands of idiots and ideologues, and I am not yet confident in any alternative government politicians, advisors and officials.

Any resonance....

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by Richard » Mon Nov 04, 2013 7:01 pm

I fully endorse these ideas of compiling an eBook and eReport, as Geoffrey Cannon proposes, and thereby changing the UK for the next generation! I trust that some UK based literary Blue is able to coordinate the project. But I cannot contribute more than an occasional memory. (I am about to start a thread on EG Malins.)

In my short time viewing the Forum I have come across items of great value (for me and my recollections) and hope to find many more. So hats off again to the Forum’s organising geniuses!

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by sejintenej » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:32 pm

Geoffrey,
I don't know what your recent history is like but I have to wonder if you are thinking that Britain can be changed in the way that Lula started change in Brasil.

If so I think you are wrong. I think that under Giesel Brasil changed radically. No, he didn't change it but he allowed change. The intelligencia saw that change was needed and what change was needed. They realised that whatever happened they themselves would not lose out, that if the worst came to the worst they would be welcomed abroad but they had a strong power base in the Republic. The SNI hierarchy also knew that in great detail and allowed the changes to take place. All this allowed the unionists under Lula to start change fairly well unopposed (yes, there were demonstrations but not effectively) and that change snowballed. Even so there are still major problems.
British education is very different. Here you are up against teachers with ingrained anti-authority attitudes, and with too many of them turning up solely for the wage packet and not the joy of imparting learning. We have teachers whose knowledge of the English language and of their specialist subjects is sorely lacking. You have a trades union movement which thinks it should control everything and the government can go hang. Politicians are looking to win the next election and to avoid doing anything radical which would result in their being swept out of power and lastly you have the danger of an army of housewives who would be up in arms if their precious sprogs were taught any harder or, even horror of horrors, disciplined.

In Brasil you had 5% rich and another 10% (at best) who stood to lose as a result of change; in the UK you could have 40% ¤¤ of the population out on the streets if a worthwhile regime were to be introduced and it would simply not be allowed.
Brasil can channge in a short period; in the UK everything is so entrenched that any change takes many years and perhaps a decade.


¤¤ I won't argue if you want to make that 60%


btw Geoffrey; please look in your inward pms.
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postwarblue
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by postwarblue » Tue Nov 05, 2013 2:54 pm

I think Geoffrey Cannon is being unfair regarding CH slinging out non-Grecians at 16. Until the widespread rise of Redbrick there were few viable university options for Blues who could not get some sort of Oxbridge scholarship or exhibition to sustain them. CH therefore tried to get everybody through school cert or, as it became, GCE, and then to place those with no hope of Oxbridge in some sort of career, typically in the City through its contacts. It has to be remembered that CH, unlike other public schools, recruited boys with only moderate brain and no money (hence the 'Manual School'); other schools could take in the more solid on a basis that their money would see them through. I think it may have been 1953 that CH achieved 24 Oxbridge places which is a pretty good record.

As to the rest of it, I may have been the only Tory in CH but I have no time for those who still believe in the free lunch of Socialism, whose failure it is now impossible not to recognise, and for which we shall be paying for generations. Cherny's naïve Leftyness left me very cold.
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by alterblau » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:51 pm

postwarblue wrote:
Until the widespread rise of Redbrick there were few viable university options for Blues who could not get some sort of Oxbridge scholarship or exhibition to sustain them. CH therefore tried to get everybody through school cert or, as it became, GCE, and then to place those with no hope of Oxbridge in some sort of career, typically in the City through its contacts.
I suspect that PostWarBlue may have been an Oxbridge scholar, for he apparently did not know what happened to those of his vintage who had only Oxbridge places, or who went to other universities. (There was a score or so of non-Oxbridge universities active before the 1970s.).

Financing for university studies was the second most important problem for would-be university undergraduates. The most important problem was obtaining a place at the university. Then financing mainly came from central or local government. The results of A & S level GCE examinations resulted in the best students obtaining a State Scholarship. If that was not possible then all the local education authorities had funds for County Major (or Minor) university scholarships. In addition there were relatively few non-Oxbridge university scholarships/bursaries, or funds from some charitable body.

Therefore my impression is that it was relatively easy in those (pre-1970s days) to obtain funding. I never knew of a person with a university place who could not find the necessary financing and in those days a few hundred pounds paid for the year’s expenses. The only serious hurdle was first to obtain the university place. Many CH boys who studied medicine or dentistry went to the University of London and were financed by State or County funds. These scholarships supported the greatest number of all OBs’ university studies. Even more importantly all the funding mentioned above was a gift and never a loan. In addition many large companies, mainly manufacturers of technical products but not all, offered university funding with the condition that the recipient worked for the company after graduation for a fixed number of years, typically 3 – 5. Sometimes the years of university study instead alternated with practical work experience - the sandwich courses.

So in summary there were plenty of possibilities for a non-Oxbridge university education, with the necessary financing available too, in those halcyon days of pre-1970s tertiary education.

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by michael scuffil » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:12 pm

One or two things arising in this thread.

The Oxbridge award system meant something before the war, when a 100-pound scholarship would keep you in quite good state (and CH added to this with its own exhibition and book grant). After the inflation of the war years, it was merely an add-on, but brought considerable kudos to schools, and the predicted ability to win one was still the basis of Grecians' buttons. When State Scholarships were introduced, you automatically got one if you had an Oxbridge open award (though the regular method was to get a distinction in the S papers at A level).

CH for historical reasons was rather fixated on Oxbridge open awards, because until the war, they were the only sure way of financing one's studies if one were not rich (as Blues weren't). When local authority grants came in, this ceased to matter much. But CH took a long time to latch on, and it was one of Seaman's great achievements to expand the Grecians to take account of it, and we had that new phenomenon, the A level leaver. So that the old '2nd partings' were now expanded into '2nd year Grecians'. The former were those who would go on to be 1st partings and take Oxbridge scholarship exams, while the latter got the best A levels they could and hoped this would get them a place at some other university.

Oxbridge abolished the system in about 1985, by which time it was dead on its feet.

On a personal note, if I hadn't gone to CH, I would have gone to Upper Latymer, a direct grant school in London. I was interested to note that in my year, they got the same number of open awards as CH. (I know this because The Times listed all open award winners.)
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sejintenej
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by sejintenej » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:01 pm

Alterblau and Michael. What you write is totally at variance with what I understood both at CH and subsequently until I read your last posts. Yes, the state paid your education cost but my understanding was that you had to find money for lodging, food, paper, books, foods etc etc. The only scholarships we ever heard of were those from Oxbridge.
Why didn't the school actually tell us anything about the outside world? You write that £100 would cover those 'incidentals' but we were, by definition, from poor backgrounds. My family could scrape together just £25 a year to cover my train fares (£19) compulsory pocket money (£3 10/-) sports and home clothing and Xmas presents: your talk of £100 is outside a CH boy's comprehension. The school told us exactly nothing about other possible funding - get an Oxbridge scholarship or forget Uni was the ethos. Equally we heard nothing about any ties with the City or offers of help in finding jobs. Having lost one marvellous entry for my CV because the Oil wouldn't let me miss two days of school I was totally ignorant of the outside world (at home the nearest town was 17 miles away). If this is how CH 'helps' its's pupils now ..................

Incidentally I later studied with the Open University at my own expense but was eventually told that either I leave the Uni or my mortgage would be called and I would lose my job with what is now part of one of the biggest UK banks - they didn't want graduates

Michael; I don't think it was solely CMES who was behind the A level leaver - that was the mapped put path for me before he arrived. Perhaps I was lucky.

I agree with Postwarblue's account of the lesser mortals; there was the concept that nobody should leave with less than 5 'O" levels which, in those days, would get one into quite a good job. (I went through the 5th Form but, amazingly to me) was shifted into Deps a year later. His comment
It has to be remembered that CH, unlike other public schools, recruited boys with only moderate brain and no money
is important given that now with dumbed down exams many kids leave school with two, one or no GCSE passes ('C' grades) which shows the teaching ability of the CH staff and the discipline exerted by older boys in the Houses.
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by LongGone » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:51 pm

I don't know how quickly things changed but in 1961 I got a Local Education grant that covered all my costs, including travel, books and board and lodging. It also provided enough spending money that (after 7 years of pocket money) seemed like a fortune. This was to study at the University of Wales,Bangor which, at that time was just one of two universities offering Marine Biology.
Incidentally, one of my lasting memories is going there for an interview in full uniform and having to walk across the Menai Straights bridge to reach the Marine Biology department. Since I have severe acrophobia, this was pretty traumatic, made all the worse by knowing I would have to repeat the journey after the interview.
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geoffreycannon
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by geoffreycannon » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:47 pm

What a great site this is. Up there with the best discussion sites.

Richard (Slingfield). Go for it!

Sejintenej (David Brown). Greetings. Is 'inward pms' short for 'personal motives', or what... If so sounds OK to me, and see below. Now, Britain and Brazil ... no no me being here is not homage to Michael Cherniavsky gone mad, he was born in Argentina. I decided to choose my country at the end of the millennium, and here I am in Brazil. Very pleased to be here too. Your reading of the last half century or so in Brazil is very wonky. First the military regime of the mid 60s to the mid 80s was enabled by the same foreign and other forces that created the far worse regimes in Chile and Argentina, having already generally deliberately screwed up Latin America (Monroe Doctrine and all that, see Eduardo Galeano), and was repressive, with Ernest Giesel being one of the worst of the bunch of military presidents. What is interesting about what might be now called the 'Brazil Spring' of the mid-1980s is that the military finally allowed open elections. Why is partly because of popular protests despite a fair amount of murder and torture, and partly because of the strong trade union plus professional and intellectual movement that, rather like British democratic socialists and the Labour Party, morphed into the PT (Workers Party) which eventually formed the coalition governments since 2003. After the military gave up power there was a mess with raging inflation, which was brought under control by the centre-right pro-'market' governments of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who was succeeded by Lula for the mandatory maximum two terms, to be followed by the current president Dilma Rousseff, who (since my Brazilian wife is not reading this), is in my view not much cop. The general situation in Latin America as we surely all know, with centre-left and left presidents and parties getting elected in many countries and not being murdered or deposed, is of course because of the luck (bad luck for the Arabs) of the US now being over-stretched in Iraq, Afghanistan and other points East, but not South, and effectively being bankrupt and now, thanks to Snowden and Greenwald, being viewed with derision and contempt as well as hatred. We are in the era of the gradual and soon sudden collapse of the US Empire. If you wanted to know, here it is, babes! As for education, Brazilian state primary and secondary education is an outrage, a national disgrace and scandal which continues to hold the country back. However, for those who survive - usually by their parents beggaring themselves by paying for private schools a lot of which are crummy also - there is still a system of free publicly funded university education. So if I have guessed right on 'pms' here are some of my outward 'pbs' ('political beliefs', well grounded in experience). Back to Michael Cherniavsky, who turned us all on to Bertrand Russell who, when a lot older than I am now, was asked how come it was normal with age to get more reactionary whereas he was getting more radical. 'Force of circumstances', he said. Bingo.

Postwar Blue (Robert Griffiths). Greetings. I placed too much reliance on the heavy obverse of the note sent every term to parents. Thank you for the correction and castigation! But, free lunch... socialism... paying for generations. More like the banking system and the military-industrial complex, not to mention Thatcher destroying Britain's industrial base, and Blair (no socialist) hurtling the UK towards bankruptcy with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, with the deranged Brown imagining that he personally had abolished the trade cycle, got the bankers to behave, and had saved the world. And still it goes on - just maybe though we can thank George Galloway MP for swaying a few more votes that blocked Cameron from bombing Syria, in the one Commons debate in living memory in which the British people can feel pride.

Fun to have this in the Michael Cherniavsky thread, him also being debating society supremo I sense a beam from the empyrean.

geoffreycannon
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by geoffreycannon » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:19 pm

Two errors in my last, apologies. (1) Ernesto Geisel.(2) I should have said he was one of the least worst military regime presidents.

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by AKAP » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:34 am

Geoffrey

Pm's are are personal messages. If you go to the top left corner of the page and click on "User control panel" it will take you to a new page. Look for the tab that says "personal messages".
Hope this helps.

Andrew

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postwarblue
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by postwarblue » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:00 am

For me, the unions destroyed the industrial base, largely by inhibiting modernisation and, in the car industry, preventing the application of the disciplines necessary to ensure an adequate quality of product. From the bottom up, within the Socialist prescription of a managed economy, the over-paid miners produced over-priced coal which produced too-expensive electricity which was used to produced too-costly steel so that our ships and cars, already produced by under costly restrictive practices cost too much for anyone else to buy them. However back to CH -

I am much flattered by the idea that I was an Oxbridge Schol chap. In fact I went straight in to the RN from CH, via the last time this was managed through a set of exams run by the Civil Service Commission (the next term's entry to Dartmouth was gated on A levels). Fortunately I was able to take my A-levels at CH in the same term as the CSC exams (summer 1954) so had a banker should I fail the Dartmouth interview.

As a Grecian I shipped my buttons automatically on attaining my 17th birthday (see avatar), in my A level year as a third parting. I was promoted to second parting for the term I came back to CH between the summer exams and starting at Dartmouth the following January, although I spent much of that term working through some of Bill Armistead's bound volumes of Oxbridge exam questions. There were no gap years in those days except as provided by an ever-caring army via National Service. As it was I was able to commence my education in the matters of drink and women (initially on 4 shillings a day which only paid for the drink) while those of my cohort still at CH were still focused on rugger and cricket, both of which I still regard as an entire waste of time.
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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by michael scuffil » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:02 am

sejintenej wrote:
1. Alterblau and Michael. What you write is totally at variance with what I understood both at CH and subsequently until I read your last posts. Yes, the state paid your education cost but my understanding was that you had to find money for lodging, food, paper, books, foods etc etc. The only scholarships we ever heard of were those from Oxbridge.

2. Why didn't the school actually tell us anything about the outside world?

3. Michael; I don't think it was solely CMES who was behind the A level leaver - that was the mapped put path for me before he arrived. Perhaps I was lucky.
1. I'm not sure when State Scholarships and Local Authority Grants came in (State Scholarships came first, but were few and far between), but before them, there really was no financial help (just as there isn't now). So in that sense, it might be said that there was no rationale for preparing CH pupils (by definition not wealthy) for a university place they couldn't afford.

2. That is a good question, and IMO one of the major shortcomings of CH in my time. Especially for working-class boys like me whose parents had no knowledge of the middle class they were trying to get their sons into.

3. No, not solely. But unlike HLOF, CMES was an efficient modernizer (as long as this didn't clash with his self-confessed puritan instincts).
Th.B. 27 1955-63

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by tub » Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:37 am

Micheal Cherniavsky's nicknames have had a mention. Sorry about the lack of all the clever quote and highlighting stuff you folk do, but I'm not only new here, and this is the first forum I've ever been in. Don't hold your breath for any imminent improvement in my nuts and bolts skills; how am I ever to tear myself away from the posts? Geoffrey Cannon, old classmate, thank you so much for your wonderful contributions here - will be in touch one of these days. Anyway, anyway.
While Michael was our Junior Housemaster in Lamb A, he was always Joe Chern to us and, in my recollection, this was always spoken fondly. What a lovely gentle gentleman.

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Re: Michael Cherniavsky

Post by jtaylor » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:21 pm

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