Making enemies
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#1: Making enemies Author: MaeveLocation: Romania PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:11 pm
New girls arriving at the CS often seem to make one serious enemy - theres Jane and Jack, Althea and Val, Barbara and Mary Woodley, Ted and Margot. I can see how this supplies EBD with some easy tension in the plot, but it seems especially odd that people like Jack and Val Pertwee, both of whom are likable characters in general, (their naughtiness is "nice naughtiness" as their elders put it), would be so intentionally unkind to new girls. (Margot, we know, is bad when she wants to be and Mary is not a full character.)

At my day school, there were cliques of course, but I can't recall anything approaching this type of meanness. Does it have something to do with the potential hothouse atmosphere of boarding school?

#2:  Author: JayBLocation: SE England PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:35 pm
Also Ruey and Francie.
Does it have something to do with the potential hothouse atmosphere of boarding school?

I think that's part of it. At day school, if something upsetting happens, well, you ony have to deal with it between 9.00 and 4.00, Monday-Friday. Then you go home to your family and perhaps have other friends at church/guides/youth club/whatever.

At boarding school you're stuck with these people seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for three montsh at a time. It matters far more that you get on with them, therefore fallings out assume a much greater significance. Also the age of the girls - early/mid teens, when this sort of thing has a much greater emotional impact than it might at an older age.

Val resented Althea because Val herself had been lazy and careless and got into trouble for it. In all the other cases, it wasn't anything to do with the girl herself, but just that she had something the other girl wanted. Len's attention, in the case of Jane and Ted, Margot's friendship, in Francie's case, Vi's friendship, in Mary's case. I think it's quite believable that this would happen - just perhaps not quite so often as EBD has it happening!

Sorry, rambling a bit.

#3:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:04 pm
I can't remember anything as nasty as the Margot/Ted thing ever happening at our school, but at that sort of age there was certainly quite a bit of "trauma" over friendships.

I would think it probably would be even worse at a boarding school where you're together in the evenings and as weekends as well. It must've been really awful for those on the receiving end Sad .

#4:  Author: TaraLocation: Malvern, Worcestershire PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:12 am
One of the ghastly things about being a Form Tutor for the Junior School was the desperate traumas over friendships with the girls. They were forever in floods of tears because they'd 'broken friends' and it was extremely tedious! I suppose girls do tend to analyse and dissect feelings much more than boys ever do (stop crying and go and kick a ball ...), and when they're immature it ends up like that. There was certainly never any of the bullying sort of nastiness in the school I went to; there was some in the schools I taught at, but not from the CS-type girls. 'She gave me a death-stare, Miss'! Oh, go away, foolish child! Something to be said for boys, who, on the whole, just thump each other!

#5:  Author: jenniferLocation: Taiwan PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 5:07 am
To be fair, I've seen much worse behaviour in public schools than is ever shown at the CS, including deliberate bullying campaigns targeted at a single student and ignored by the teachers, and ganging up on new/different people.

I do remember that the age from about 10-14 was bad for idiotic relationship drama. Girls formed friendships, broke them off, had cliques, excluded people and then started talking to them again - every offended look, offhanded comment or choice of clothes was fuel for the fire, and taken in deadly seriousness.

I suppose that's part of what makes it difficult to tell the normal tempest in a teapot from the more serious cases of bullying.

#6:  Author: SquirrelLocation: St-Andrews or Dunfermline PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 9:06 am
Tara wrote:
'She gave me a death-stare, Miss'! Oh, go away, foolish child! Something to be said for boys, who, on the whole, just thump each other!

*giggles* Oh how often I tried to do that to other pupils. In my own defence, it was usually to stop people 'teasing' me, and it never worked. In time I learned that it wouldn't work unless there was respect between both people, and goodness knows how 'death'-like my 'stare' actually was! Rolling Eyes

#7:  Author: TamzinLocation: Edinburgh PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:08 am
I can remember being terrified of certain groups of girls in my year at school - they just seemed to be constantly sniggering and making snidey comments behind their hands. They were mostly girls from the more deprived areas who seemed to act as though they were a couple of years older than the rest of us. I had my own friends of course but they couldn't influence the scary ones for the most part. I used to dread games and PE lessons because I was rubbish at them but also because they were the only classes I shared with this type of pupil - I would have been dead against mixed ability classes for academic subjects I can tell you!

I remember the one time I actually skived off from school was because I was dreading the games lesson so much. My Mum then came home from work early that afternoon giving me the fright of my life as I had thought I was safe!

Anyway those girls would have made the CS pupils seem like a load of tame pussycats. Smile

#8:  Author: SquirrelLocation: St-Andrews or Dunfermline PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:52 am
Tamzin - you've just reminded me of one experience I had at my own school. We had a girl who had presumably had a 'difficult' child hood - I'm being charitable here! - who tended to bully one of my friends. She wouldn't stand up for herself, and another friend of mine who was in class with her was too scared to do so - she didn't want to become a target herself.

I wasn't in this girls class, and chances were that I couldn't have cared less about the treatment I might have got (see previous post!). So one day I skipped out of PE early (forbidden, but we were changed and doing nothing so no harm in it for what I can see - I'd to wait for people to come anyway). As I passed some of the english classes I came upon my 2 friends plus bully.

The class had been let out early, and one friend had borrowed a casserole dish from me to use for home eccy. Usually bully got to it (messing with the contents etc! Confused )during class hours, but this time she couldn't and was more or less wrestling with my friend for my dish. You can understand I wasn't having any of it, and I entered the fray. Said bully didn't get the dish, and my friend more or less gave up as soon as I joined in. I was just as determined, and strong, as the bully, my friend wasn't either really - she'd been cowed too long.

After that, the other friend must have told her sister what had happened (she was 3 years older than us) and sister took bullied friend to guidance and I *think* it was sorted out.

#9:  Author: RosieLocation: Land of Three-Quarters Sky PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:01 am
Tamzin wrote:

Anyway those girls would have made the CS pupils seem like a load of tame pussycats. Smile

That's what strikes me about the CS girls being nasty - they'd not have lasted 2 mins against some of the girls in my school! And we weren't a particularly bad school (ignoring the later 'special measures'...) and a lot of the pupils were perfectly nice! There were just some you wouldn't mess with!

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