How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Anything that doesn't fit anywhere else, but that's still CH related.

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rockfreak
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How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by rockfreak »

...although of course some have managed to combine the two.

I've often pondered how I felt at CH, and after many decades I decided that it was like living underwater for eight years. You could see a shaft of light above and thought that if you could only swim upwards and break surface there might be another world up there. I suppose it was a bit like Sylvia Plath's bell jar only without the suicide attempts. I've read that it was worse for people at boarding schools in the sixties because they had this sneaking feeling that there was a party going on in the next room but couldn't find the door.
In his book Gilded Youth, James Brooke-Smith cites Peter Cook's experiences at Radley as one of several inspirations for satire, notably the naturalist Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling. Interviewed by Dudley Moore as TV host, Sir Arthur recounts how he has been trying to teach ravens to fly underwater, a task he pursues with diligent zeal. His mother has told him: "If you don't get underwater and teach ravens to fly I'll smash your silly old face off!" Brooke-Smith believes that all this comes from the "attachment fracture" that Cooke suffered when his parents, then working in Africa, sent him to boarding school, where he was then faced with the usual boarding school problem of encountering rank idiocy and being told he had to try and make a fist of it.

Avon
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by Avon »

Are you on a commission for that bl00dy book?
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sejintenej
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

I liked the extract from a review of the book (?) " public schools have produced rebels as well as shoring up elitism."

There has to be one exception hell bent on tearing down this historic nation rather than trying to improve it
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by loringa »

For me, Christ's Hospital did exactly what it needed to do. It prepared me for the next stage in my life which, at the end of the day, is what education is all about. After 6 different primary schools in 4 different countries it provided me with the schooling required to embark on my chosen career. It taught me to be independent, to become self-sufficient whilst learning to live, work and tolerate others, including those I didn't much like (and didn't much like me) without open conflict erupting. Trips with JDS through pre-development London Docklands and Manchester helped me to develop a social conscience, whilst a number of events at the school itself taught me about racism, in particular the curse of institutional and casual racism which is now, rightly, starting to gain the prominence it deserves. The Scouts / Venture Scouts taught me a very wide range of outdoor skills from hill climbing in the Lake District via trekking in the Black Forest to sailing in the Norfolk Broads and canoeing in the sea off the coast of East Sussex (somewhere). These activities also taught me to cook, camp and look after myself in less than ideal conditions, an essential life skill as things turned out. Not being either good at games or remotely interested on where a ball of any shape ended up on a muddy / grassy / dusty field, the wide range of other, non-core sporting activities available enabled me to to find out what I was actually good at (thanks Chief).

Overall, these collective opportunities enabled me to to leave with a CV that included most of the things that my employer was looking for and the life skills necessary to move on to this new stage of my life. So, how was it for me? It was fine. I missed my family and decent food but everything else was absolutely what I needed (apart from a high degree of ineptitude in talking to the opposite sex)!

We obviously spend a significant proportion of our life in education of some sort but, as one gets older, schooldays do rather fade away. Though I remember them well, they certainly seem to me like a different life whilst everything I have done since seems somehow to be quite current. One of the saddest things I have ever heard is when someone says or writes that schooldays were the happiest days of their life (though, I suppose, that is better than them being the most miserable), however, the seven years I spent at Christ's Hospital is the longest period I have ever spent in any one place in my life so it is certainly important and relevant to who or what I am today, for better or for worse.
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sejintenej
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

My take on this subject is very much two sided.
I came to CH from a background more often seen in period TV movies, totally and completely unaware of anything outside the kitchen. CH might have taught me the three "R"s but it forgot that there is something outside there which is not covered. Leaving CH I found al the omitted education and it took me twenty years to start to overcome the effects. On top of that the school deliberately put me into positions specifically against my will that I hated .That still has deleterious effects .

The followup? Well I did try the Old Blues Club in Great Tower Street and discovered what Old Blues think of their successors even without a word being uttered - never again. As for the OB rugby club - they simply didn't even allow me inside the door. (I went on to play for Barclays Bank, the Wanderers and through them an international!

There were two incidents on the athletics track which were to have after effects - I have suffered from an eye problem from getting sand in it and the school's failure to properly oversee sports resulted in permanent damage to a shoulder; this latter had a beneficial effect in that I did meet two very attractive physios but is still painful at times. Thanks to CH where any weakness was savagely exploited I can live with it.

Yes; a good education but total failure on the humanities side.
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by Pe.A »

sejintenej wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:35 am
On top of that the school deliberately put me into positions specifically against my will that I hated .

Interesting points. Just curious about this one...

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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

Pe.A wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:06 pm

On top of that the school deliberately put me into positions specifically against my will that I hated .
Interesting points. Just curious about this one...
[/quote]
Simple example: my training from birth was that staff in the house are never seen by the family.
I had a very minor role which was referred to, all backstage, in the house play.. Nothing on stage whatsoever but Kit forced me despite my objections to dress up and appear onstage for the final bow. Very embarrassing and directly contrary to my training. Another one was the practices for and the school dance; being close to a non-family female (there were none in any case) was another banned situation. Thank goodness “they” didn’t hear about it.
It had been a problem when I was sat next to a young girl in primary school; her mother had died the previous day and it was my duty to “comfort” a seven year old. She never came back.
Last edited by sejintenej on Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by rockfreak »

Loringa mentions being taught to hill climb in the Lake District. Does one need to learn this at school? I was afraid of heights when I was younger yet at around forty I discovered hill walking (the Wainwright routes) and then rock climbing, going on to snow and ice in Scotland. I'd done most sports at CH and was never fitter than when I left school. In the following years I played tennis to club standard. But here's my tennis experience at CH. A friend in Col B (Nick Mudie, JR, if you remember him) asked if I fancied a game of tennis. I replied that I'd never played before. No problem, he said, I've got a spare racquet. So we set out for Big Side and had a knock-up. He was complimentary and said I had the shots including a backhand. I was delighted. I'd discovered a new sport. Unfortunately a lordly Grecian from another house was not so delighted. He strode over and told me that I was inappopriately dressed for tennis. I was wearing plimsolls so clearly not ploughing up the ground with clodhopping boots but I suppose I didn't have a full set of whites. I hadn't thought to bother my parents with such a request. So that was the end of tennis.

After school I played tennis as well as football (not encouraged at CH back then) but then had a long break with work and family being more important. So eventually, being too old for fast or physical contact sports, I looked around for something else. I'd always wanted to ride so got involved with horse riding for several years doing basic dressage, jumping and hacking out. I developed a passion for working the horses in the indoor school. Of course this wasn't offered at CH, and indeed why would it have been? Then finally I discovered rock climbing, the sport that I was really physically designed to do with my light frame and agility with which I'm happily still blessed. None of the things that I became passionate about developed at CH. Indeed I just have this residual feeling after all these years of a stifling, supercilious institution grounded in tight-assed, conformist, Judaeo-Christian values.

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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by Pe.A »

sejintenej wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:17 am
Pe.A wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:06 pm

On top of that the school deliberately put me into positions specifically against my will that I hated .
Interesting points. Just curious about this one...
Simple example: my training from birth was that staff in the house are never seen by the family.
I had a very minor role which was referred to, all backstage, in the house play.. Nothing on stage whatsoever but Kit forced me despite my objections to dress up and appear onstage for the final bow. Very embarrassing and directly contrary to my training.
[/quote]

What were you dressed up as...?

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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by Pe.A »

rockfreak wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:04 pm
Loringa mentions being taught to hill climb in the Lake District. Does one need to learn this at school?
No. Not if you live near hills in the Lake District or other picturesque hilly areas...

sejintenej
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

Pe.A wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:24 pm
rockfreak wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:04 pm
Loringa mentions being taught to hill climb in the Lake District. Does one need to learn this at school?
No. Not if you live near hills in the Lake District or other picturesque hilly areas...
In answer to Rockfreak; yes. It is the training and practice which is necessary.
How many people have you come across who haven't the first idea about reading a map?
How many have no idea about self-protection?
How many males cannot cook?
How many have no idea about first aid? (British Colombia started compulsory teaching mouth to mouth resuscitation and heart massage in all schools; they reckon that alone saved 1000+ lives in the first year)

All those are parts of the training for hill climbing. (I had a list of perhaps 20 other things that are NOT taught but are necessary in life - wiring a plug, understanding a bank statement, dealing with a water leak ..... which schools forget)

Loringa will understand this; February morning, some snow on the ground, windy, top of Helvelyn and some stupid cow well dressed was with a child in high street clothes and wellington boots!!!! Hypothermia waiting to happen. (The kids I was training later went on to get Chief Constable's Commendations because they were well equipped and saved a man's life because they knew what to do.)

I have seen too many injuries (and a few corpses) where CH CD training helped me cope. Hill climbing incorporates much of the same training. If you don't like hill climbing then what alternative does Rockfreak suggest?
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

Pe.A wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:22 pm
sejintenej wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:17 am
Pe.A wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:06 pm

On top of that the school deliberately put me into positions specifically against my will that I hated .
Interesting points. Just curious about this one...
Simple example: my training from birth was that staff in the house are never seen by the family.
I had a very minor role which was referred to, all backstage, in the house play.. Nothing on stage whatsoever but Kit forced me despite my objections to dress up and appear onstage for the final bow. Very embarrassing and directly contrary to my training.
What were you dressed up as...?
[/quote]
A chef. I had to break some to make the noise when plates fell to the floor and broke.
Je suis prest.

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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by Pe.A »

sejintenej wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:00 pm
Pe.A wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:22 pm
sejintenej wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:17 am

Interesting points. Just curious about this one...
Simple example: my training from birth was that staff in the house are never seen by the family.
I had a very minor role which was referred to, all backstage, in the house play.. Nothing on stage whatsoever but Kit forced me despite my objections to dress up and appear onstage for the final bow. Very embarrassing and directly contrary to my training.
What were you dressed up as...?
A chef. I had to break some to make the noise when plates fell to the floor and broke.
[/quote]

A chef? Was that it?? I thought you were going to say you were forced to dress up like the Christmas fairy or something...

sejintenej
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Re: How was it for you? (CH, not sex)

Post by sejintenej »

Pe.A wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:25 pm
sejintenej wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:00 pm
Pe.A wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:22 pm

Simple example: my training from birth was that staff in the house are never seen by the family.
I had a very minor role which was referred to, all backstage, in the house play.. Nothing on stage whatsoever but Kit forced me despite my objections to dress up and appear onstage for the final bow. Very embarrassing and directly contrary to my training.
What were you dressed up as...?
A chef. I had to break some to make the noise when plates fell to the floor and broke.
A chef? Was that it?? I thought you were going to say you were forced to dress up like the Christmas fairy or something...
[/quote]
It was the appearance on stage after I had done effectively nothing that I hated. The chef clothes was the ultimate insult because Kit knew whom my mother was chef to (and those names remain private given their identities - yes, I have had a very "interesting" life before and after CH but no prison yet)
Je suis prest.

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